Title:
Portable multi-functional ball game apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The apparatus has a stanchion (10) including a plurality of telescopic members (12, 112, 14, 114, 16) provided with lines of spaced securing holes (22, 12, 1122) extending along the length thereof. A ball target device (20, 120) is detachably and adjustably mounted on the stanchion (10). Telescopic leg assemblies (18, 54, 56) are mounted on thc stanchion (10) intermediate the ends thereof.



Inventors:
Kane, Brian (Walderslade, GB)
Kane, Kevin (Gillingham, GB)
Chandler, Michael (Taipei, TW)
Application Number:
10/482906
Publication Date:
10/28/2004
Filing Date:
05/19/2004
Assignee:
KANE BRIAN
KANE KEVIN
CHANDLER MICHAEL
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/407, 473/447, 473/479
International Classes:
A63B63/04; A63B63/08; A63B63/00; A63B71/02; A63B71/06; (IPC1-7): A63B63/08
View Patent Images:
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20060063615Training apparatus for passing a projectileMarch, 2006Richardson et al.
20070197314RANGEFINDING DEVICES AND METHODS FOR GOLFINGAugust, 2007York et al.
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20090318251NOVEL TENNIS BALLDecember, 2009Limerkens et al.



Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Nields, Lemack & Frame, LLC (Westborough, MA, US)
Claims:
1. A collapsible multi-functional ball game apparatus having: a stanchion (10) comprising a plurality of telescopic members (12, 112, 14, 114, 16) provided with lines of spaced securing holes (22, 12, 122) extending along the length thereof; a ball target device (20, 120) detachably and adjustably mounted on the stanchion (10); and telescopic leg assemblies (18, 54, 56, 118) mounted on the stanchion (10) intermediate the ends thereof.

2. The ball game apparatus of claim 1, wherein the leg assemblies (18, 54, 56) are detachably and adjustably mounted on the stanchion (10).

3. The ball game apparatus of claim 1 or 2, wherein each leg assembly comprises a leg (48, 148) carrying a ground engaging foot (50, 150).

4. The ball game apparatus of claim 1, wherein the ball target device (20, 120) is in the form of a hoop.

5. The ball game apparatus of claim 4, wherein the hoop carries a net (40, 140).

6. The ball game apparatus of claim 5, wherein means are provided for closing the net.

7. The ball game apparatus of claim 1, wherein the telescopic members (12, 14, 16, 112, 114) of the stanchion (10) have a circular, triangular or rectangular cross-section.

8. The ball game apparatus of claim 1, wherein the stanchion (10) includes at least three telescopic members (12, 14, 16, 112, 114) and can be extended to more than twice its retracted height.

9. The ball game apparatus of claim 1, together with a ball return device detachably and adjustably mounted on the stanchion below the ball target device.

10. The ball game apparatus of claim 1, including three ball target devices, detachably and adjustably mounted on the stanchion, one above the other.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a portable multi-functional ball game apparatus, particularly such an apparatus as can be used for enhancing football skills as well as for practising other sports such as basketball and netball.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Ball game apparatuses such as football goals, basketball and netball stands and the like are usually constructed in a non-portable manner, so that they can only be used in one location. There is an advantage however in constructing such apparatus in a portable manner so that it can be easily relocated and used in a variety of different locations, such as in parks, gardens, playgrounds and on the beach.

[0003] Multi-functional games apparatus is useful as it enables the user to practice different skills, and in particular the skills of different games.

[0004] Portable multi-functional ball game apparatus are not unknown. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,602,504 (Chapman et al.) describes an apparatus having a standard comprising telescoping tube sections adapted to be clamped at adjustable height positions. A number of ball training or game devices of exchangeable character can be supported on the standard.

[0005] To be readily portable, the apparatus should ideally be light weight and it should collapse to a size which can be easily carried and, for example, be small enough to fit into the boot of a small motor car. Furthermore the apparatus should be easy to assemble quickly, and yet be sufficiently stable in use.

[0006] It is an object of the present invention to provide a collapsible multi-functional ball game apparatus which is capable of achieving these requirements.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The present invention concerns a collapsible multi-functional ball game apparatus having a stanchion comprising a plurality of telescopic members provided with lines of spaced securing holes extending along the length thereof, a ball target device detachably and adjustably mounted on the stanchion, and telescopic leg assemblies mounted on the stanchion intermediate the ends thereof.

[0008] In one embodiment of the invention the leg assemblies are detachably and adjustably mounted on the stanchion and include a support block which carries at least two locating pegs, so spaced as to be located in selected securing holes in the stanchion. In this embodiment, it is preferred that at least the lowest telescopic member has at least three lines of spaced securing holes extending along the length thereof, and three leg assemblies are provided. The leg assemblies may each comprise a leg secured to the support block.

[0009] The ball target device may include a support block which carries at least two locating pegs, so spaced as to be located in selected securing holes in the stanchion.

[0010] By the provision of the support blocks and locating pegs on the leg assemblies and the ball target device, the apparatus can be quickly and easily assembled, without the use of nuts, bolts and screws, often provided with other forms of games apparatus.

[0011] In preferred embodiments, each support block carries at least two pegs, an upper one of the pegs having a hooked configuration while the remaining peg or pegs have a straight configuration. In this manner the pegs are inserted in the securing holes by a tilting movement, which leads to a configuration of greater stability.

[0012] Each support block may be so shaped to abut the stanchion in face-to-face relationship. That is, where the telescopic member has a curved cross-section, the peg carrying face of the support block is similarly curved. Where the telescopic members have flat faces, the support block may be provided with wrap-around edges.

[0013] In an alternative construction for the leg assemblies, pivot blocks are mounted on the stanchion, preferably on the lowest telescopic member thereof, and telescopic legs are pivoted to these pivot blocks. Preferably, one pivot block is provided for each telescopic leg.

[0014] The leg preferably carries a ground engaging foot hinged thereto. The ground engaging foot may be removable, to render the apparatus more completely collapsible. As an alternative or additional feature, each leg may carry a ground penetrating spike while a similar spike may be provided at the bottom end of the lower telescopic member of the stanchion.

[0015] In an alternative construction for the ball target device, this includes a bar which can be inserted through opposed securing holes in the stanchion. In this case of course, the lines of securing holes in the stanchion are so arranged that each securing hole is diametrically opposite another securing hole. This may be achieved, for example, by arranging for an even number of lines of securing holes to be provided, and for these to be circumferentially equally spaced. The lines of securing holes my be straight and positioned parallel to the axis of the stanchion. The bar, which passes through the securing holes may be provided with a removable or disengageable securing clip towards its free end.

[0016] The ball target device is preferably in the form of a hoop, which may have an adjustable diameter, so as to vary the difficulty of the game when a game ball of the same size is used or to enable practice with game balls of different sizes for different games which use hoops of different sizes, such as basketball (relatively large hoop) and netball (relatively small). The hoop may be mounted on the support block in a fixed position, or alternatively for rotation between a position in which the hoop lies in a horizontal plane and a position in which the hoop lies in a vertical plane.

[0017] Ideally, the hoop carries a net, which may be open or closed, but when open may include means such as a draw string for closing the net for capturing the game ball when a goal is scored.

[0018] In one embodiment of the invention the ball target device includes a goal counter, which may be e.g. a mechanical or electronic digital counter. A device for emitting sound effects when a goal is scored may also be included.

[0019] The telescopic members of the stanchion may have a circular, triangular or rectangular cross-section. The members may be locked together in the preferred position by the use of locking bolts passing through the securing holes, by bars extending through opposed securing holes in the same manner as described above in connection with the manner of securing the ball target device to the stanchion, or by the use of spring loaded locking balls which engage in the securing holes.

[0020] The lines of spaced securing holes are preferably straight and positioned such that the target device can be mounted directly above one of the leg assemblies, or centrally between adjacent leg assemblies. The securing holes should ideally be equally spaced.

[0021] To reduce weight while providing sufficient strength and durability, at least the stanchion may be formed of a light weight material such as a plastics material or a light-weight metal such as aluminium, or alloys thereof.

[0022] The stanchion may include at least three telescopic members so that it can be extended to more than twice its retracted height.

[0023] A game ball return device, such as a sloped gulley member formed of a plastics material such as PVC, may be provided detachably and adjustably mounted on the stanchion below the ball target device. The return device may be mounted on the stanchion in a similar manner to the leg assemblies and ball target device.

[0024] By the provision of lines of securing holes on the telescopic members of the stanchion, the ball target device can be mounted at any height to suit the user. Furthermore, a number of ball target devices may be provided, detachably and adjustably mounted on the stanchion, one mounted above the other.

[0025] The invention will now be further described, purely by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0026] FIG. 1 shows an exploded view of a portable multi-functional ball game apparatus according to the invention;

[0027] FIG. 2 is a section through part of two adjacent stanchion members of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1;

[0028] FIG. 3 is a perspective partial view of a hoop assembly of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1;

[0029] FIG. 4 is a side view of the hoop assembly shown in FIG. 3;

[0030] FIG. 5 is a partial side view of a leg assembly of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1;

[0031] FIG. 6 is a view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1, from above;

[0032] FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a first alternative stanchion member for use with apparatus according to the invention;

[0033] FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of a second alternative stanchion member for use with apparatus according to the invention;

[0034] FIG. 9 is a view from above of an alternative hoop assembly for use with apparatus according to the invention;

[0035] FIG. 10 is a side view of the hoop assembly shown in FIG. 9;

[0036] FIG. 11 shows an alternative construction for the hoop assembly; and

[0037] FIG. 12 shows an alternative construction for the leg assemblies.

[0038] As shown in FIGS. 1 to 6, the apparatus has a stanchion 10 formed of aluminium consisting of three telescopic stanchion tubes 12, 14, 16, each of 1 m length, the stanchion having an overall length of up to about 2.5 m. Three leg assemblies of which only leg assembly 18 is shown in detail in FIG. 1, are detachably and adjustably mounted on the lowest stanchion tube 12. A hoop assembly 20 is detachably and adjustably mounted on the highest stanchion tube 16.

[0039] Each stanchion tube is provided with straight lines of equally spaced securing holes 22 extending along the length thereof. As shown particularly in FIG. 2, a spring 24 is mounted inside the stanchion tube 14, adjacent the lower end thereof, by means of rivets 26. The spring 24 bears against a locking ball 28 which is of a diameter just less than that of the securing hole 222 in the stanchion tube 14 and the securing hole 221 in the stanchion tube 12. In this manner the locking ball 28 serves to lock the two adjacent stanchion tubes together. This locked configuration can be overcome by manually pressing the locking ball 28 from the outside sufficiently to clear the securing hole 221, enabling the stanchion tubes 12 and 14 to be telescoped further together or further apart as desired.

[0040] Referring particularly to FIGS. 3 and 4, the hoop assembly 20 includes a ring 30 carried on a support block 32. The support block 32 is provided with two locating pegs 34, 36, so spaced as to be located in selected securing holes 22 in the stanchion 10. The upper peg 34 has a hooked configuration while the lower peg 36 has a straight configuration. The support block 32 has a peg carrying face 38 which is shaped to match the curvature of the stanchion tube 16 so as to fit in face-to-face relationship therewith. The hoop ring 30 carries an open net 40. The hoop assembly 20 may be mounted on the stanchion tube 16 at a desired position, while as indicated in FIG. 1, a second similar hoop assembly 205 may also be mounted on the stanchion tube 16 below the hoop assembly 20.

[0041] As shown particularly in FIGS. 1 and 5, the leg assembly 18 includes a support block 42 which carries two locating pegs 44, 46, so spaced as to be located in selected securing holes 22 in the stanchion 10. The upper peg 44 has a hooked configuration while the lower peg 46 has a straight configuration. Although not shown in detail, the support block 42 has a peg carrying face which is shaped to match the curvature of the stanchion tube 12 so as to fit in face-to-face relationship therewith. The leg assembly 18 comprises a telescopic leg 48 secured to the support block 42. The leg 48 carries a ground engaging foot 50 connected thereto by a hinge 52. The telescopic leg 48 may be constructed in a manner similar to the telescopic stanchion tubes, incorporating the use of a spring-loaded locking ball 29 as indicated in FIG. 1.

[0042] As shown by reference to FIG. 6, the lowest stanchion tube 12 has three lines of spaced securing holes 22 extending along the length thereof, thereby enabling three similar leg assemblies 18, 54, 56 to be mounted thereon. On the other hand the other stanchion tubes 14 and 16 both have four lines of spaced securing holes 22 extending along the length thereof, thereby enabling the hoop assembly 20 to be mounted in one of four alternative positions according to choice. This arrangement enables the hoop assembly 20 to be positioned directly above the leg assembly 18 where the nature of the game to be played involves a mainly downward force as the game ball strikes the hoop assembly, diametrically opposite the leg assembly as shown by the broken lines 202, or to one side as shown by the broken lines 201 and 203, where the game involves forces in other directions. Thus the apparatus can be assembled in a configuration which provides the greatest stability according to the nature of the game to be played.

[0043] In the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, the stanchion tube 121 has a triangular cross-section, with three leg assemblies 58, 60 and 62 mounted thereon.

[0044] In the embodiment shown in FIG. 8, the stanchion tube 122 has a square cross-section, with four leg assemblies 64, 66, 68 and 70 mounted thereon.

[0045] In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, the hoop assembly 204 comprises a net ring 304 carrying a collar 72, having an internal diameter just greater than the external diameter of the stanchion tube 16. A push pin 74 is provide to engage one of the holes 22 in the stanchion tube 16, enabling the hoop assembly 204 to be positioned as desired.

[0046] FIG. 11 shows an alternative hoop assembly 120 which includes a ring 130 which carries an open net 140. The ring 130 carries a securing bar 134 which passes through two opposed securing holes 122 and 1221 at a selected height in the stanchion tube 114. The securing bar 134 is retained in place by a removable retaining pin 136.

[0047] FIG. 12 shows an alternative leg assembly 118 which comprises a telescopic leg 148 pivoted by a pivot pin 143 to a pivot block 142 secured to the top of the lower stanchion tube 112. The leg 148 carries a ground engaging foot 150 connected thereto by a hinge 152. Although not shown, a strap of flexible material, such as a plastics material cord, may be provided to extend between intermediate points on the leg 148 and the lower stanchion tube 112 to limit the extent of pivoting of the leg 148 about the pivot pin 143. The other leg assemblies, which for the sake of clarity are not shown in FIG. 12, may be similarly constructed.