Title:
Collapsible goal
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A collapsible goal includes two side frames assembled from multiple tubular members and three crossbars extended between the side frames to connect them to each other. Each of the crossbars is pivotally connected at two outer ends to the side frames via two pivots, and includes two symmetrical sections that are pivotally connected to each other via a knuckle. The knuckle allows the two sections of each crossbar to move into vertically parallel positions while outer ends of the crossbar pivotally turns about the pivots, so that the two side frames are pulled toward each other to collapse the goal into a reduced volume. When the crossbar is in a fully extended and straightened state, a sleeve slidably mounted on the crossbar may be moved to enclose the knuckle and firmly hold the crossbar to the straightened state.



Inventors:
Lee, Michael (Taipei, TW)
Application Number:
10/103874
Publication Date:
09/25/2003
Filing Date:
03/25/2002
Assignee:
LEE MICHAEL
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B63/00; (IPC1-7): A63B63/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAMBERS, MICHAEL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
David E. Dougherty (Arlington, VA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A collapsible goal, comprising two spaced side frames connected to each other via three crossbars separately extended between lower rear side, upper front side, and upper rear side of said goal, each said side frame being assembled from multiple tubular members, including a front upright, a rear upright, a top brace extended between and connected to upper ends of said front and said rear uprights, and a leg base extended between and connected to lower ends of said front and said rear uprights; a batting trainer with a tethered ball being optionally connected to said front upright of one said side frame; said goal being characterized in that each of said crossbars is pivotally connected at two outer ends to said two side frames via two pivots, and includes two symmetrically sections pivotally connected to each other via a knuckle; each said knuckle allowing said two sections of each said crossbar to move toward each other in a direction the same as that in which said pivots at two outer ends of said crossbar allow said crossbar to pivotally turns; each said knuckle also allowing said two sections of each said crossbar to pivotally turn about said knuckle between a first position, in which said two sections are extended to a straight line, and a second position, in which said two sections are moved toward each other into vertically parallel state; and a sleeve being slidably provided on each said crossbar for enclosing said knuckle and holding said two sections of each said crossbar to said first position; Whereby when said sleeves are slid away from said knuckles on said crossbars, said crossbars can be bent at said knuckles into two vertically parallel sections to draw said two side frames close to each other and therefore collapse said goal to a reduced volume for convenient transport and storage, and when said two side frames are pulled outward to straighten said three crossbars and said sleeves are slid to enclose said knuckles, said collapsed goal is fully extended for use.

2. The collapsible goal as claimed in claim 1, wherein each of said pivots includes a U-shaped brace connected to said side frame at a position to where an outer end of one said crossbar is connected, and a pivot pin hole provided at each outer end of each said crossbar.

3. The collapsible goal as claimed in claim 1, wherein said pivots are so oriented that said three crossbars would not collide with one another when they are bent into said vertically parallel state.

4. The collapsible goal as claimed in claim 1, wherein each of said knuckles includes two connectors, each of which having a connecting head connected to an inner end of each said section of said crossbar, and a spider coupling located between said two connectors to connect at two ends to said connecting heads via pivot pins.

5. The collapsible goal as claimed in claim 4, wherein said connectors and said spider couplings are made of a plastic material through molding.

6. The collapsible goal as claimed in claim 1, wherein each said sleeve is movable on said crossbar and has an overall length longer than an overall width of each said knuckle, such that said sleeve may be slid to completely enclose said knuckle when said two sections of said crossbar are fully extended to said first position.

7. The collapsible goal as claimed in claim 1, wherein each said sleeve is provided at two ends with locating holes, and each said section of said crossbar is provided in the inner end with a spring clip having a key projected from a hole on said section, such that said sleeve is firmly held to said crossbar around said knuckle through engagement of said locating holes with said projected keys of said spring clips in said crossbar without the risk of easily sliding away from said knuckle.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a collapsible goal, and more particularly to a goal having crossbars that can be bent at respective knuckles by 180 degrees to collapse the goal for convenient transport and storage of the goal. The crossbars also have respective sleeves to enclose the knuckles, in order to firmly hold the crossbars to a fully extended and straight state when the goal is in use.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] There are many ball games, such as hockey, street hockey, soccer, lacrosse, etc., in which a goal 1 covered with a net 2 as shown in FIG. 1 is used to decide scoring or as training means for such ball games. The goal 1 is usually assembled from several tubular members. These tubular members and some parts for assembling them, such as Velcro stripes, spring clips, screws, safety nuts, etc., are shipped in a completely disassembled condition, and buyers have to take time to assemble these items into the goal completely by themselves. Once the goal is assembled, it is normally kept in the assembled state and will occupy a considerably large room, particularly when the goal has two widely spaced side posts, causing inconvenience in moving and storing the goal when it is not in use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] A primary object of the present invention is to provide a collapsible goal having crossbars that can be bent at respective knuckles by 180 degrees to collapse the goal for convenient transport and storage thereof.

[0006] Another object of the present invention is to provide a collapsible goal having means provided on bendable crossbars thereof, so that the crossbars can be firmly held by the means to a fully extended and straight state when the goal is to be used.

[0007] To achieve the above and other objects, the collapsible goal of the present invention includes two side frames assembled from multiple tubular members and three crossbars extended between the side frames to connect them to each other. Each of the crossbars is pivotally connected at two outer ends to the side frames via two pivots, and includes two symmetrical sections that are pivotally connected to each other via a knuckle. The knuckle includes two connectors, each of which has a connecting head connected to an inner end of each section of the crossbar, and a spider coupling located between the two connectors to connect at two ends to the connecting heads via pivot pins. The knuckle allows the two sections of each crossbar to move into vertically parallel positions while outer ends of the crossbar pivotally turns about the pivots, so that the two side frames are pulled toward each other to collapse the goal into a reduced volume. When the crossbar is in a fully extended and straightened state, a sleeve slidably mounted on the crossbar may be moved to enclose the knuckle and firmly hold the crossbar to the straightened state.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] The structure and the technical means adopted by the present invention to achieve the above and other objects can be best understood by referring to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments and the accompanying drawings, wherein

[0009] FIG. 1 is an assembled perspective view of a collapsible goal according to the present invention in a fully extended state, wherein a net is connected thereto;

[0010] FIG. 2 is an assembled perspective view of the collapsible goal of FIG. 1 with the net removed therefrom;

[0011] FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of FIG. 2 with crossbars thereof in a partially bent state;

[0012] FIG. 3A is an exploded perspective view of the crossbars in a partially bent state;

[0013] FIG. 4 is a partially enlarged perspective view of the crossbar showing a knuckle thereof;

[0014] FIG. 4A is a fragmentary sectional view of FIG. 4;

[0015] FIG. 4B is another fragmentary sectional view of FIG. 4; and

[0016] FIG. 5 is an assembled perspective view of the goal of the present invention in a fully collapsed state.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0017] Please refer to FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 at the same time, in which a collapsible goal 1 according to the present invention is shown. The goal 1 is assembled from a plurality of different tubular members via various types of parts, such as spring clips, screws, and nuts. A net 2 is connected to the goal 1 in a simple manner by means of, for example, Velcro stripes 21.

[0018] The plurality of different tubular members for the goal 1 mainly include left and right leg bases 11, left and right front uprights 12, left and right rear uprights 13, left and right top braces 14, and three crossbars 15. A batting trainer 16 may be connected to one of the two front uprights 12, and a baseball or softball may be tethered to the batting trainer 16 as means for training batting. The left and right leg bases 11, left and right front uprights 12, left and right rear uprights 13, and left and right top braces 14 together form two symmetrical side frames 3 of the goal 1. The three crossbars 15 are separately extended between two lower rear ends, two upper front ends, and two upper rear ends of the two side frames 3 to connect the latter together. With the above structure, the goal 1 can stand stably for use.

[0019] The goal 1 is characterized in that the three crossbars 15 are pivotally connected at two outer ends to the two side frames 3 via pivots 4, as shown in FIGS. 2, 3, and 3A. Each pivot 4 includes a U-shaped brace 41 connected to the side frame 3 at points to where one outer end of the crossbar 15 is connected, and a pivot pin hole 42 provided on each outer end of the crossbar 15. The pivots 4 are particularly oriented so that the crossbars 15 would not collide with one another when they are pivotally bent at respective middle points into vertically parallel positions, as will be described in more details later.

[0020] For the crossbar 15 to pivotally bend at middle point, each crossbar 15 includes two symmetrical sections connected to each other via a knuckle 5. Please refer to FIGS. 4, 4A, and 4B. Each knuckle 5 includes two connectors 53, each of which has a connecting head 52 connected to an inner end 51 of each section of the crossbar 15, and a spider coupling 55 located between the two connectors 53 to connect at two ends to the connecting heads 52 via pivot pins 54. The connectors 53 and the spider coupling 55 may be made of a plastic material through molding. It is to be noted that the two sections of each crossbar 15 are pivotally moved toward each other via the knuckle 5 in a direction the same as that in which the two outer ends of each crossbar 15 are pivotally turned at the pivots 4. As shown in FIG. 2, a short length of sleeve 56 is slidably provided on each crossbar 15 to enclose the whole knuckle 5 when the two sections of the crossbar 15 are in fully extended linear state. To effectively enclose the whole knuckle 5, each sleeve 56 has an overall length no less than a pitch between two opposite connecting heads 52 on the same one crossbar 15. With the spider coupling 55 connected at two opposite ends to two connecting heads 52 via the pivot pins 54 to form the knuckle 5 and with the sleeve 56 enclosing the entire knuckle 5, the two sections of each crossbar 15 are connected together to provide the crossbar 15 good structural rigidity and strength.

[0021] Please refer to FIGS. 3A and 4A. A spring clip 57 is provided in each inner end 51 of the two sections of each crossbar 15 with a key projected from a hole on the inner end 51, and a locating hole 58 is provided at each end of the sleeve 56 corresponding to the projected key of the spring clip 57. When the sleeve 56 is slide to enclose the knuckle 5 with the projected keys of the spring clips 57 on the two sections of the crossbar 15 engaged with the locating holes 58 at two ends of the sleeve 56, the sleeve 56 is firmly held to the two sections around the knuckle 5 without the risk of easily sliding away from the knuckle 5. On the other hand, the projected keys can be depressed to quickly move the sleeve 56 away from the knuckle 5 to allow collapse of the crossbar 15 at the knuckle 5.

[0022] To collapse the goal 1, first move the sleeves 56 on the three crossbars 15 to positions out of the knuckles 5, and then bend the crossbars 15 at the knuckles 5 for the two sections of each crossbar 15 to move toward each other. At this point, two outer ends of each crossbar 15 are pivotally turned about the two pivots 4 and the two side frames 3 are brought to move inward until the two sections of each crossbar 15 are collapsed into vertically parallel positions, as shown in FIG. 5. The goal 1 is now fully collapsed to effectively reduce its overall volume for convenient transport and storage.

[0023] To use the goal 1, pull the two side frames 3 outward for the three crossbars 15 to extend from the fully bent state to a fully straightened state, move the sleeves 56 to enclose the knuckles 5, and engage the spring clips 57 with the locating holes 58 to ensure the crossbars 15 are held in an extended, straightened, and firm state.

[0024] The present invention has been described with a preferred embodiment thereof and it is understood that many changes and modifications in the described embodiment can be carried out without departing from the scope and the spirit of the invention as defined by the appended claims.