Title:
Apparatus and method for goal training for field sports
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A training apparatus and method for goal oriented sports that requires a movable object for scoring a goal in a goal area, such as a hockey goal or a soccer goal. The training apparatus is designed to work with the laws of physics by inhibiting those areas having the least gravitational resistance. The apparatus is an alteration that inhibits scoring within the portion of the goal area that includes at least a portion least affected by gravitational resistance to blocking the movable object. The alteration allows scoring along a perimeter area, which can include only an outer and lower perimeter area. For an embodiment directed to soccer goals, the alteration permits scoring at approximately a lower two feet of the goal area, and approximately three feet at each side of the goal area. The insert can be either canvas or netting and attached via fasteners like bungee cords and grommets.



Inventors:
Wedgbury, Donald E. (Rockford, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/444271
Publication Date:
11/25/2004
Filing Date:
05/23/2003
Assignee:
WEDGBURY DONALD E.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B63/00; (IPC1-7): A63B69/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
CHAMBERS, MICHAEL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEYDIG VOIT & MAYER, LTD. (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A training apparatus for goal oriented sports that require a movable object for scoring a goal in a goal area, the training apparatus comprising: an alteration configured to inhibit scoring within a predetermined portion of the goal area that includes at least a portion least affected by gravitational resistance to blocking the movable object.

2. The training apparatus of claim 1 wherein the alteration allows scoring along a perimeter area of the goal area.

3. The training apparatus of claim 1 wherein the perimeter area includes only an outer and lower perimeter area.

4. The training apparatus of claim 1 wherein the movable object is one of a ball and a hockey puck.

5. The training apparatus of claim 1 wherein the goal is one of a hockey goal.

6. The training apparatus of claim 1 wherein the goal is a soccer goal.

7. The training apparatus of claim 6 wherein the alteration permits scoring at approximately a lower two feet of the goal area, and approximately three feet at each side of the goal area.

8. The training apparatus of claim 6 wherein the goal area is approximately 24 feet wide and approximately eight feet in height.

9. The training apparatus of claim 6 wherein the alteration includes an obstruction of an upper center portion of the goal.

10. The training apparatus of claim 6 wherein the alteration is approximately 18 feet in width and approximately 6 feet in length.

11. The training apparatus of claim 6 wherein the alteration includes one of canvas and netting, the alteration configured to be secured to a goal structure via a plurality of fasteners.

12. The training apparatus of claim 11, wherein the plurality of fasteners include bungee cords coupled to a plurality of grommets along the perimeter of the alteration, each of the grommets located at least approximately every two feet along the perimeter of the alteration.

13. A method for training soccer players to score and defend a goal area, the method comprising: inhibiting scoring attempts within a predetermined portion of the goal area, the predetermined portion including at least a portion least affected by gravitational resistance to blocking the movable object; and permitting scoring attempts within one or more perimeter areas of the goal area.

14. The method of claim 13 wherein the one or more perimeter areas includes a lower perimeter area and a side perimeter area.

15. The method of claim 13 wherein the one or more perimeter areas includes only a side perimeter area.

16. The method of claim 13 wherein the one or more perimeter areas includes only a bottom perimeter area.

17. The method of claim 13 wherein the inhibiting scoring attempts in the portion least affected by gravitational resistance to blocking the movable object enables a goalie to concentrate on protecting portions of the goal area that are statistically vulnerable areas for scoring.

18. The method of claim 13 wherein the inhibiting scoring attempts in the portion least affected by gravitational resistance to blocking the movable object enables a scorer to concentrate on aiming at portions of the goal area that are statistically vulnerable areas for scoring.

19. The method of claim 13 wherein the inhibiting scoring attempts is via a hanging insert to a soccer goal.

20. The method of claim 19 wherein the hanging insert comprises an approximately 18 foot by 6 foot alteration to a soccer goal.

21. The method of claim 19 wherein the hanging insert is comprise of a canvas or heavy duty netting material with grommets at approximately one foot intervals around a periphery thereof, the hanging insert configured to attach to a soccer goal via fasteners.

22. The method of claim 21 wherein the fasteners are bungee cords having a lift weight of approximately 50 pounds.

23. The method of claim 21 wherein the hanging insert is a heavy duty netting material with at least a 4 mm minimum strand.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention pertains to the field of goal-oriented sports, and, more particularly, a method and apparatus for ground level goal training in field sports.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Sports such as soccer, field hockey, ice hockey and the like are goal-oriented sports that have a defined goal area. To score a goal, a ball, puck or other appropriate object is directed to an opponent's goal. For those goals that require a player to defend the goal by human shielding, such as, for example, soccer and hockey sports, a common problem is the appropriate training methods for both goalies and scorers. What is persistently needed is a training method and apparatus that assists learning the proper techniques for both protecting a goal from scoring and for scoring.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The invention provides a training apparatus and method for goal oriented sports that requires a movable object for scoring a goal in a goal area, such as a hockey goal or a soccer goal. The training apparatus is designed to work with the laws of physics by inhibiting those areas having the least gravitational resistance. The apparatus is an alteration that inhibits scoring within the portion of the goal area that includes at least a portion least affected by gravitational resistance to blocking the movable object like a soccer ball, a hockey puck or the like. Conversely, the alteration allows scoring along a perimeter area of the goal area, which can include, for certain sports, only an outer and lower perimeter area.

[0004] For an embodiment directed to soccer goals, the alteration permits scoring at approximately a lower two feet of the goal area, and approximately three feet at each side of the goal area. With this configuration, the goal area can be approximately 24 feet wide and approximately eight feet high, and the insert blocking goal in such a case is approximately 18 feet in width and approximately 6 feet in height. The insert can be either canvas or netting and attached via fasteners like bungee cords and grommets. The insert can be configured to provide netting over a top portion of a goal structure for fastening to the structure. The insert can further have a bright color, such as yellow, orange or the like and have florescence. Further, the grommets can be at approximately one foot intervals around a periphery. At the sides of the insert, grommets at approximately two foot intervals can be appropriate. To maintain the insert, quadruple stitching around the periphery can secure the grommets and periphery. In one embodiment, the bungee cords can have a lift weight of approximately 50 pounds. In an embodiment, the insert is held in place via 21 inch bungee cords and 40 inch bungee cords, for corner attachment and the like. An appropriate goal structure can be a 24 foot by 8 foot structure with four inch round or square pipe. The pipe can be aluminum or steel.

[0005] An embodiment directed to a method for training soccer players to score and defend a goal area includes inhibiting scoring attempts within a portion least affected by gravitational resistance to blocking the soccer ball, allowing scoring attempts within a perimeter of the goal area. The perimeter area can include at least a lower perimeter area and a side perimeter area. The inhibiting scoring attempts in the portion least affected by gravitational resistance to blocking the movable object enables a goalie to concentrate on protecting portions of the goal area that are statistically vulnerable areas for scoring, and conversely, enable a scorer to concentrate on aiming at portions of the goal area that are statistically vulnerable areas for scoring.

[0006] Other aspects, objectives and advantages of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] FIG. 1A illustrates a goal training apparatus in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0008] FIG. 1B illustrates a goal training apparatus in accordance with an alternate embodiment of the present invention.

[0009] FIG. 2 illustrates a method according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0010] Referring now to FIG. 1A and 1B, a goal training apparatus is illustrated. The goal training apparatus is an example of an apparatus appropriate for goal oriented sports that require a movable object for scoring a goal in a goal area. Such goal oriented sports include, for example, soccer, hockey and the like wherein a human shield functions as a goalie. The goal training apparatus illustrated is exemplary in nature and illustrates one embodiment that shows features common to other exemplary goal training apparatuses within the scope of the invention but in no way limiting thereto.

[0011] As shown goal training apparatus 100 includes an alteration 110 to a goal 120. The alteration shown can be designed as a hanging insert for goal 120, and can be comprised of heavy duty awning canvas or heavy duty netting material. As will be appreciated by one of skill in the art, the canvas or netting material can be substituted with other appropriate materials suitable for the goal-oriented sport at issue. Also, a combination of canvas and netting can be manufactured that is suitable and within the scope of the present invention. Grommets 130 enable alteration 110 to attach to goal 120 via fasteners such as bungee cords or the like. In one embodiment, the canvas or netting can be quadruple stitched at edges and includes grommets 130 imposed at approximate one foot or two foot intervals around the periphery of the insert. For permanent goals, such as those shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B, grommets 130 can be omitted from bottom areas if there is no bar to which the bungee cords can connect. In FIG. 1A, bungee cords 170 are continuous and wrapped around goal 120. In FIG. 1B, each grommet 130 has a separate bungee cord attached thereto. In one embodiment, the bungee cords can have a lift weight of approximately 50 pounds. Further, for an embodiment, bungee cords 171 can be attached along the top and sides of goal 120 as shown in FIG. 18. In FIG. 1A, the top of goal 120 can be wrapped by the insert. One skilled in the art can appreciate that additional material would be required to wrap the goal to maintain the correct proportional bottom and side open areas as explained herein.

[0012] The alteration can be configured as netting that is fastened over a top portion of a goal structure 120. The alteration can further have a bright color, such as yellow, orange or the like and have florescence. Further, the grommets 130 can be at approximately one foot intervals only at the top and bottom of the alteration. At the sides of the alteration, grommets 130 at approximately two foot intervals can be appropriate. In an embodiment, the alteration 110 is held in place via 21 inch bungee cords and 40 inch bungee cords, for corner attachment and the like. The number of bungee cords and grommets are subject to design requirements and depend on the type of canvas, netting, play conditions and the like. The grommets enable the insert to be attached to a goal via fasteners or the like. For example, the fasteners could be bungee cords having a lift weight of approximately 50 pounds. If the hanging insert is a heavy duty netting material, an embodiment calls for at least a 4 mm minimum strand. An appropriate goal structure can be a 24 foot by 8 foot structure with four inch round or square pipe. The pipe forming goal structure 120 can be aluminum or steel or other appropriate material as required for maintaining alteration 110 securely. The goal structure can be temporary or permanent. For outdoor use, one embodiment is configured to have a netting material to prevent the alteration to the goal from being subject to windy conditions as might cause a temporary goal to fall over.

[0013] As shown, the alteration 110 is configured to inhibit scoring within a predetermined portion of the goal area that is least affected by gravitational resistance to blocking the movable object. Bottom area 150 and side areas 160 are open areas that allow scoring. In other words, the alteration can be configured to allow scoring along only a perimeter area that includes only an outer and lower perimeter area.

[0014] In one embodiment for a soccer embodiment, the alteration permits scoring at approximately a lower two feet of the goal area, and approximately three feet at each side of the goal area. A goal area appropriate for a soccer embodiment includes a goal area of approximately 24 feet wide and approximately 8 feet high. If the goal area is approximately 24 feet by 8 feet, the alteration in one embodiment can be approximately 18 feet in width and approximately 6 feet in height. The 6 feet height does not include any extra material required for the alteration to lie over the top of the goal structure for fastening purposes. The extra material required is subject to design requirement as dictated by the goal structure for attachment. Also, as will be appreciated by those of skill in the art, the size of the alteration can be reduced or increased according to the skill set of the scorer and goalie as the case may be.

[0015] In other embodiments, the alteration of the goal area is an obstruction of an upper center portion of the goal. For example, in an ice hockey or field hockey embodiment, the location can obstruct the portions least affected by gravitational resistance and appropriate for such hockey sports.

[0016] Referring now to FIG. 2, a flow diagram illustrates a method for training soccer players to score and defend a goal area. Block 210 provides for inhibiting scoring attempts within a portion of a goal area least affected by gravitational resistance to blocking a movable object. The inhibiting scoring enables a goalie to concentrate on protecting portions of the goal area that are statistically vulnerable areas for scoring, and enables a scorer to concentrate on aiming at portions of the goal area that are statistically vulnerable areas for scoring.

[0017] Block 220 provides for permitting scoring attempts within one or more predetermined areas of a perimeter of the goal area. The perimeter areas can be side areas 160, bottom area 150 or both, depending on the needs of a scorer or goalie.

[0018] Gravitation resistance to blocking refers to areas of the goal wherein blocking is prevented by gravitational force slowing down a goalie. Specifically, from physics, it is known that object fall to earth at a rate of approximately 32 feet per second and increase at an acceleration of 32 feet per second. Thus, a goalie or object at the end of one second is moving at a rate of 32 feet per second, and after two seconds achieves a rate of 64 feet per second. A goalie blocking a goal by falling must abide by the laws of gravity. Thus, an average sized goalie of six feet in height will, according to the laws of physics, fall approximately 16 feet in the first second, and 8 feet in the first ½ second. If a reaction time of the goalie is between 0.5 and 0.8 seconds, the total time to reach the ground to block a goal will take approximately one second or longer. If a typical player is capable of moving and striking a ball at 60 mph or 88 feet per second, then a ball can be struck within a 44 foot penalty area (18 yards) from the goal line and arrive at the goal line in ½ second. According to the laws of physics, a goalie will not reach the ground to stop the goal within the one second or more amount of time required to reach the ground. According to an embodiment, to encourage a goalie to reach the ground as quickly as possible, the predetermined portion of the perimeter area can include one or more of a lower perimeter area and a side perimeter area. For example, referring to FIGS. 1A and 1B lower perimeter area 150 can be structured to provide approximately 2 feet of clearance to encourage the goalie to reach a soccer ball or a scorer to make a goal. Additionally or alternatively, side perimeter area 160 can be structured to provide approximately 3 feet of clearance to encourage the goalie to reach a soccer ball or a scorer to make a goal. Both areas are defined by alteration 110, alteration 110 inhibits scoring within areas least affected by gravitational resistance to blocking the soccer ball. Thus, alteration 110 can be structure to include either area 150 or area 160 to concentrate on particular needs of goalies and scorers as required.

[0019] According to an embodiment, a training method and apparatus for training uniquely work with the laws of physics to inhibit scoring attempts that do not address the limitations of physics via a hanging insert to a goal, which can be a soccer goal. All references, including publications, patent applications, and patents, cited herein are hereby incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each reference were individually and specifically indicated to be incorporated by reference and were set forth in its entirety herein.

[0020] The use of the terms “a” and “an” and “the” and similar referents in the context of describing the invention (especially in the context of the following claims) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. The terms “comprising,” “having,” “including,” and “containing” are to be construed as open-ended terms (i.e., meaning “including, but not limited to,”) unless otherwise noted. Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. All methods described herein can be performed in any suitable order unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context. The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g., “such as”) provided herein, is intended merely to better illuminate the invention and does not pose a limitation on the scope of the invention unless otherwise claimed. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed element as essential to the practice of the invention.

[0021] Preferred embodiments of this invention are described herein, including the best mode known to the inventors for carrying out the invention. Variations of those preferred embodiments may become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description. The inventors expect skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventors intend for the invention to be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications and equivalents of the subject matter recited in the claims appended hereto as permitted by applicable law. Moreover, any combination of the above-described elements in all possible variations thereof is encompassed by the invention unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.





 
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