Title:
Substitute goalie
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An improved substitute goalie system in which an additional means of forcing the user to shoot within a prescribed period of time (taking the part of a substitute defensive player) increases the effectiveness of the apparatus when used as a training device; and where the central controller and the interconnections between the goalie substitute components is eliminated by providing control functions and power on each individual target; and the use of piezoelectric-like strike sensors provides a common component across many applications.



Inventors:
Decloux, Richard J. (Manchester, NH, US)
Application Number:
09/954948
Publication Date:
04/11/2002
Filing Date:
09/18/2001
Assignee:
DECLOUX RICHARD J.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B63/00; A63B69/00; (IPC1-7): A63B63/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
CHAMBERS, MICHAEL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard J. Decloux (Manchester, NH, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A training oriented substitute goalie system, comprising: means for defining at least one target; means for indicating when said at least one target is open; means for indicating the period during which a user must shoot; and means for signaling that a target was struck while open and during the period indicated.

2. The system of claim 1 with: means to adjust the length and frequency of the period during which a user must shoot.

3. A substitute goalie system, comprising: means for defining at least one target; means for indicating when said at least one target is open; and means for signaling that a target was struck while open; wherein the timing of each said at least one target means being open is controlled by a processor associated with that target.

4. A substitute goalie system, comprising: means for defining at least one target; means for indicating when said at least one target is open; and means for signaling that a target was struck while open; wherein the strike on a target is sensed by an impact sensing device associated with that target.

5. The system of claim 4 wherein: the impact sensing device generates a voltage.

Description:

FIELD OF USE

[0001] This invention relates to a goalie substitute and more particularly to the improvements that make the system more useful as a training device, less costly to manufacture/easier to use, and more reliable.

RELATED ART

[0002] The most significant existing art for providing an effective goalie substitute is DeCloux (ACN 09/584,756 which teaches the design of a system that presents the user with targets that indicate when they will register a score if hit, and further indicates various targets for scoring in a sequence that surprises the user.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0003] It is an objective of the subject invention to provide:

[0004] a. improved use as a training device: by adding means that require the user to hit one of the indicated targets within a prescribed period of time;

[0005] b. less costly manufacture/easier use: by eliminating the interconnection of the individual targets to a controller and power supply; and placing power and/or control functions on the individual targets;

[0006] c. more reliable: by use of piezo-electric sensing of the target being struck.

[0007] The present art works well as a substitute goalie for use during a game. However, in use as a substitute goalie for practice shooting, a player is tempted to pick a target, wait for it to be indicated as open (will score if hit), and then shoot. The addition of a means to force the user to shoot within a prescribed period of time (simulating the addition of a substitute defensive player) will provide more game-like shooting practice, and make use of the goalie substitute for training more effective.

[0008] The present art teaches a plurality of targets with a means of connecting them to a controller that determines when each individual target is indicated as open, and initiates a signal to the user if a target was struck during that open period. Although the means of interconnection may be varied (e.g. RF or IR), a wiring harness is most likely to be the practical selection. By incorporating the control and power functions onto each individual target the interconnections can be eliminated for cost reduction and ease user installation/removal. By judicious selection of the on/off time ratio, the simulation of openings for scoring presented by live goalies can be effectively approximated by multiple, independent targets.

[0009] The present art calls for the use of sensors to recognize strikes on the targets. It mentions (as examples) tilt switches to indicate that goal-hung targets have been hit; and proximity switches to indicate strikes on both swiveling and essentially rigidly mounted targets. Inexpensive voltage generating sensors can be used which would register a strike with virtually no target movement. This would eliminate reliability problems associated with non-strike movement such as that caused by wind or a hit elsewhere on the mechanism. A single sensor for all applications would increase purchase quantities thereby likely reducing per unit sensing cost.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] These and other features of the subject invention will be better understood in connection with the detailed description taken in conjunction with the drawings of which:

[0011] FIG. 1 is a diagram showing a time indicator added to a goal equipped with substitute goalie components.

[0012] FIG. 2 is a diagram of a target with components that allow it to function as a substitute goalie alone, or in conjunction with other targets, without connection to those other targets or to a central controller.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0013] The substitute goalie can be made a more effective training device by addition of a means of limiting the time in which the user must shoot in order to score. Referring now to FIG. 1, a set of LEDs 1 is added to a goal-hung goalie substitute 2. In this particular application and selection of components the LEDs are all lit at the initiation of the period during which the trainee must shoot in order to score, and turn off in sequence until the last LED's extinction indicates the end of the scoring period. Different means of indicating to the user the beginning and ending of the shooting period, e.g. initiation and cessation of a sound, can be used. The addition of the forced shooting period can be used effectively with all of the goalie substitute system applications and component selections.

[0014] The individual targets of the goalie substitute can be made independent of each other and of a central controller by incorporating the timing of when an individual target is indicated as open (will acknowledge a goal if struck) into a component mounted on, and controlling only, that individual target. Referring now to FIG. 2, an individual target 3 has attached to it a processing chip 4 that operates under a set of instructions which determine when a target is indicated as ‘open’ by activating indicator 5, and signaling ‘score’ if it receives an input from strike sensor 6. To be completely independent, a target mounted power source 7 is necessary.

[0015] The selection of components for the goalie substitute concept depends greatly on the needs of the various situations of use. However, again referring to FIG. 2, if a voltage generating sensor such as a piezo-electric or dielectric elastomer device was used as strike sensor 6, its use would not depend upon significant target movement and would thus avoid false signals from inadvertent target movement, and problems associated with movement degradation. Voltage generating sensing would also increase the range of applications for one sensing device.