Title:
Basketball training device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A basketball training device including a wheeled dolly with a pair of guide rails extending upwardly from its opposite sides. The guide rails are generally U-shaped in cross-section and open outwardly from the center of the dolly. Slidably positioned within the guide rails is a pair of elongated side members, the upper ends of which carry a transparent panel. Apertures in the guide rails and side members may be axially aligned to admit locking pins so that the height of the panel above the dolly can be adjusted by a user. A user practices the game of basketball by shooting baskets over the transparent panel. In time, the user learns to put the correct arch on his shots.



Inventors:
Hodges, Kenneth A. (Durant, MS, US)
Application Number:
10/364320
Publication Date:
08/12/2004
Filing Date:
02/12/2003
Assignee:
HODGES KENNETH A.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00; A63B23/12; (IPC1-7): A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAMBERS, MICHAEL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Stephen R. Greiner, Esquire (Bethesda, MD, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A basketball training device, comprising: a wheeled dolly having a pair of guide rails extending upwardly therefrom, each of said guide rails being hollow and having a first transverse aperture penetrating such; and, a movable barrier including: a frame having a pair of elongated side members with upper and lower ends, said lower ends being slidably positioned within said guide rails, each of said side members having a plurality of second transverse apertures adapted for selective alignment with said first transverse aperture in one of said guide rails; a transparent panel being secured between said upper ends of said elongated side members; and, a pair of locking pins each being adapted for positioning within one pair of axially aligned first and second transverse apertures so as to fix the height of said transparent panel above said wheeled dolly.

2. A basketball training device, comprising: a wheeled dolly having a pair of guide rails extending upwardly therefrom, each of said guide rails being hollow and having a first transverse aperture penetrating such, each of said guide rails also having a longitudinal slot remote from said first transverse aperture; and, a movable barrier including: a frame having a pair of elongated side members with upper and lower ends, said lower ends being slidably positioned within said guide rails, each of said side members having a plurality of second transverse apertures adapted for selective alignment with said first transverse aperture in one of said guide rails; a pair of handles each being secured to a respective one of said elongated side members and being adapted for sliding movement within one said longitudinal slot; a transparent plastic panel being secured between said upper ends of said elongated side members; and, a pair of locking pins each being adapted for positioning within one pair of axially aligned first and second transverse apertures so as to fix the height of said transparent plastic panel above said wheeled dolly.

3. A basketball training device, comprising: a dolly having casters for movement and having a pair of guide rails extending upwardly therefrom, each of said guide rails being hollow and each of said guide rails also having a longitudinal slot, a movable barrier including: a frame having a pair of elongated side members with upper and lower ends, said elongated side members being connected at their respective upper ends and midpoints by a pair of cross members, said lower ends of said elongated side members being slidably positioned within said guide rails; a pair of handles each being secured to said lower end of a respective one of said elongated side members and being adapted for sliding movement within one said longitudinal slot; a transparent plastic panel being secured within the space bounded by said elongated side members and said cross members; and, means for selectively locking said elongated side members to said guide rails so as to selectively fix the height of said transparent plastic panel above said wheeled dolly.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to apparatus for use in games wherein one or more participants throw a ball through the air to achieve game objectives.

BACKGROUND OF TH INVENTION

[0002] In basketball, the greater the height or arch of a shot, the greater the chance of a ball going in the basket. The largest possible landing area for a shot is a circle with an eighteen-inch diameter defined by a basket rim. Such a landing area would be seen only by a ball falling straight down from above the basket and could be achieved by a very high shot taken from almost under the basket. Most shots, however, are taken away from the basket and made at an incline. Some studies indicate that the most effective shot angle is sixty degrees from horizontal whereas others suggest fifty degrees.

[0003] Deficiencies in shooting a basketball can be corrected by a conscientious player. A player that shoots entirely with his arms, hands and fingers can expect shots that possess a low arch. When the player incorporates the upward drive of his legs and body into a shot, the shot automatically becomes more vertical and properly arched. A shot with proper arch sees a larger landing area and has a greater chance of going in the basket. Such a shot is also harder to block during game play.

[0004] To obtain a good shot, practice and repetition on the part of a player is required. To obtain a proper arch, some have proposed devices that a player must shoot over to make a basket. These devices have been cumbersome in their construction and difficult to adjust. They have not achieved widespread acceptance in the field or commercial success. A need, therefore, exists for a basketball training device of uncomplicated construction that is easy to set up and use to enhance the basketball shooting abilities of users of all skill levels.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] In light of the problems associated with the known products for teaching users to shoot a basketball, it is a principal object of the invention to provide a basketball training device that requires that a user apply the proper arch to a shot in order to make a basket. In use, the device focuses the attention of a user on a basket. The device does not impede the ability of a user to see the basket; thus, the hand-eye coordination required to make good shots is rapidly improved.

[0006] It is another object of the invention to provide a basketball training device of the type described that is easily moved about with a gentle push from a user. The device can also be easily adjusted to accommodate the varying heights of different users and to simulate different playing conditions.

[0007] It is a further object of the invention to provide a basketball training device that requires few, if any, tools to set up and requires minimal training to use.

[0008] It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof in a basketball training device for the purposes described which is lightweight in construction, inexpensive to manufacture, and dependable in use.

[0009] Briefly, the basketball training device in accordance with this invention achieves the intended objects by featuring a wheeled dolly with a pair of guide rails extending upwardly therefrom. Slidably positioned within the guide rails is a pair of elongated side members forming part of a movable barrier, the upper ends of which carry a transparent panel. Apertures in the guide rails and side members permit the passage of locking pins so as to fix the height of the panel above the dolly. A user shoots baskets over the transparent panel.

[0010] The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] The present invention may be more readily described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0012] FIG. 1 is a side view of a basketball training device in accordance with the present invention.

[0013] FIG. 2 is a front view of the basketball training device of FIG. 1.

[0014] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the basketball training device positioned between a player and a basket for basketball shooting practice.

[0015] Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the accompanying drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0016] Referring now to the FIG., a basketball training device in accordance with the present invention is shown at 10. Training device 10 includes a wheeled dolly 12 carrying a movable barrier 14 for blocking shots made by a player 16 with a basketball 18 toward a basket 20. By varying the height of barrier 14, player 16 can be trained to impart the proper arch to his shots when shooting basketball 18.

[0017] Dolly 12 includes a pair of legs 22 connected at their midpoints by a crosspiece 24 in an H-shaped configuration. A pair of guide rails 26 extends upwardly from the midpoints of legs 22 adjacent crosspiece 24. Guide rails 26 may be U-shaped in cross-section so as to define a pair of slots 28 that opens outwardly from the center of dolly 12. A pair of struts 30 connects the opposite ends of each leg 22 with the center of the guide rail 26 secured thereto for purposes of reinforcement. One of a number of casters 32 is positioned beneath the ends of each leg 22 so that dolly 12 can be conveniently moved over a basketball court or other supporting surface.

[0018] Barrier 14 includes a frame 34 that supports a transparent panel 36 at its top. As shown, frame 34 has a pair of elongated side members 38 connected at their tops and midpoints by cross members 40 and 42. Members 38, 40 and 42 define a rectangular opening within which is fitted panel 36, formed of Plexiglas or like material, in the manner of a windowpane.

[0019] Side members 38 extend downwardly into guide rails 26 and are supported in an upright orientation by them. When desired, side members 38 can be partially withdrawn from guide rails 26 to increase the height of training device 10. To facilitate the movement of side members 38, a pair of handles 44 is fastened thereto and is positioned for sliding movement within slots 28.

[0020] The height of training device 10 can be fixed by means of locking pins 46 positioned in axially alignable apertures 48 and 50 provided in guide rails 26 and side members 38. Preferably, each of the guide rails 26 is provided with a single aperture 48 extending from front to back above its associated struts 30. Each of the side members 38, however, is provided with a number of apertures 50 spaced along its length and extending from front to back that can be selectively aligned with an aperture 48.

[0021] Use of training device 10 is straightforward. First, training device 10 is wheeled onto a basketball court and positioned a desired distance from basket 20. Then, barrier 14 is elevated to a desired height by lifting upwardly upon handles 44. Next, locking pins 46 are extended through aligned apertures 48 and 50 so as to fix the height of barrier 14. Finally, while sighting shots through transparent panel 36, player 16 shoots basketball 18 toward basket 20. By making repeated shooting attempts, player 16 learns to increase the arch or loft of basketball 18 necessary to make successful shots over opposing players under actual game conditions.

[0022] While the invention has been described with a high degree of particularity, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that modifications may be made thereto. Therefore, it is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the sole embodiment described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.