Title:
Telescopic batting training apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A telescopic batting training apparatus includes an upright support, and a central base unit. The upright support includes a lower support post, an upper support post telescopically connected to the lower support post, a locking unit for restricting telescopic movement of the upper support post relative to the lower support post, and a ball receptacle mounted on top of the upper support post. The base unit includes a tubular member sleeved around the lower support post, and a plurality of radial legs having inner ends pivotally connected to the tubular member and outer ends opposite to the inner ends. The radial legs are turnable between a stretching position, in which the outer ends move away from the lower support post, and a folding position, in which the outer ends move toward the lower support post.



Inventors:
Liu, Chao-jih (Taichung Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
11/074756
Publication Date:
09/14/2006
Filing Date:
03/09/2005
Assignee:
Shyr Sheng Enterprise Co., Ltd. (Taichung Hsien, TW)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BANNER & WITCOFF, LTD. (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A telescopic batting training apparatus, comprising: an upright support including a lower support post, an upper support post telescopically connected to said lower support post, a first locking unit for restricting telescopic movement of said upper support post relative to said lower support post, and a ball receptacle mounted on top of said upper support post; and a central base unit including a tubular member sleeved around said lower support post, and a plurality of radial legs having inner ends pivotally connected to said tubular member and outer ends opposite to said inner ends, said radial legs being turnable between a stretching position in which said outer ends move away from said lower support post, and a folding position in which said outer ends move toward said lower support post.

2. The telescopic batting training apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said tubular member is sleeved slidably around said lower support post to move downwardly so as to place said legs in said stretching position and to move upwardly so as to place said legs in said folding position.

3. The telescopic batting training apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said central base unit further includes a second locking unit sleeved on said tubular member to lock said tubular member against movement relative to said lower support post.

4. The telescopic batting training apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said upright support further includes a clip for holding a bat.

5. The telescopic batting training apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said lower support post includes a cushion tube disposed around said lower support post.

6. The telescopic batting training apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising a plurality of stabilizing friction members, each sleeved around one of said radial legs.

7. The telescopic batting training apparatus according to claim 3, wherein said tubular member includes a plurality of pivot seats projecting outwardly from said tubular member, each of said pivot seats having an inverted U-shaped cross section for receiving a corresponding one of said radial legs, each of said inner ends being inserted into and being pivoted to a corresponding one of said pivot seats.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a batting training apparatus, more particularly to a telescopic batting training apparatus.

2. Description of the Related Art

Referring to FIG. 1, a conventional batting training apparatus 10 is shown to comprise a base 11, an upright post 12, and a ball-supporting rod 13. The base 11 is supported on the ground through two elongated plastic leg members 111 that intersect each other to form a cross shape. The upright post 12 has a bottom end connected to the base 11, and a top end connected to the ball-supporting rod 13. The ball-supporting rod 13 is made of a foam material, and has a ball receptacle 131 formed on a top end thereof for supporting a ball 100 so that the ball 100 is at a predetermined height relative to the ground. Through such an arrangement, a player can start his batting training by swinging a bat against the ball 100.

Although the conventional batting training apparatus can achieve its intended purpose, it has the following disadvantages:

1. The base 11 is supported on the ground through the ends of the plastic leg members 111 so that the contact area of the base 11 with the ground is limited. This results in the base 11 providing a relatively weak and unstable support so that when the player strikes the ball 100 with the bat, the conventional batting training apparatus 10 easily topples over. Therefore, the conventional batting training apparatus 10 has to be erected after each strike, thereby rendering the conventional batting training apparatus 10 inconvenient to use.

2. Since the upright post 12 is not telescopic, the conventional batting training apparatus 10 has a fixed striking point so that the player cannot practice batting the ball at different height levels, thereby affecting the training efficiency.

3. Since the height of the upright post 12 of the conventional batting training apparatus 10 is fixed, that is, since the upright post 12 is not telescopic, the conventional batting training apparatus 10 is not suitable for players of different ages and heights.

4. The conventional batting training apparatus 10 occupies a substantial space during storage. However, if the conventional batting training apparatus 10 is disassembled so as to facilitate storage and is then assembled so as to facilitate use of the apparatus, considerable time and labor are wasted.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, the object of the present invention is to provide a batting training apparatus that is telescopic, that is convenient to use, and that can be stably mounted on the ground.

According to the present invention, a telescopic batting training apparatus comprises an upright support, and a central base unit. The upright support includes a lower support post, an upper support post telescopically connected to the lower support post, a locking unit for restricting telescopic movement of the upper support post relative to the lower support post, and a ball receptacle mounted on top of the upper support post. The central base unit includes a tubular member sleeved around the lower support post, and a plurality of radial legs having inner ends pivotally connected to the tubular member and outer ends opposite to the inner ends. The radial legs are turnable between a stretching position and a folding position. In the stretching position, the outer ends of the legs move away from the lower support post. In the folding position, the outer ends of the legs move toward the lower support post.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional batting training apparatus;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the first preferred embodiment of a telescopic batting training apparatus according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a schematic view of the first preferred embodiment;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3, but illustrating how an upper support post can be adjusted through a first locking unit;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary partly sectional view of the first preferred embodiment, illustrating how an upright support and a central base unit can be respectively retracted and folded;

FIG. 6 illustrates how a bat may be connected to the upright support after the latter is retracted; and

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the second preferred embodiment of a telescopic batting training apparatus according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Before the present invention is described in greater detail, it should be noted that like elements are denoted by the same reference numerals throughout the disclosure.

Referring to FIGS. 2 to 6, the first preferred embodiment of a batting training apparatus according to the present invention is shown to comprise a central base unit 20, an upright support 30, a ball 100, and a bat 200.

The central base unit 20 includes a tubular member 21, and four radial legs 22 connected pivotally to the tubular member 21. The tubular member 21 defines a central hole 211, and includes an upper section 213, a lower section 214 connected to the upper section 213, and four pivot seats 212 projecting outwardly from the lower section 214. Each of the pivot seats 212 has an inverted U-shaped cross section for receiving a respective one of the legs 22. Each of the legs 22 has an inner end inserted into and pivoted to a respective one of the pivot seats 212, and an outer end 222 opposite to the inner end.

The upright support 30 includes a hollow lower support post 31, an upper support post 33, a first locking unit 50, a ball-supporting rod 34, and a clip 35.

The lower support post 31 is inserted into the tubular member 21 via the central hole 211.

The upper support post 33 has a diameter smaller than that of the lower support post 31, and has a bottom end portion inserted adjustably and movably into the lower support post 31. The lower support post 31 defines a clearance 312 around the upper support post 33, as shown in FIG. 5.

The first locking unit 50 is provided for restricting the telescopic movement of the upper support post 33 relative to the lower support post 31. The first locking unit 50, as best shown in FIG. 5, includes a rotary annular member 51 sleeved threadedly around the lower support post 31 and having a flanged end 511, and a wedge-shaped packing member 52 connected to the rotary annular member 51 and inserted into the clearance 312. When the rotary annular member 51 is rotated to a tightening position, the flanged end 511 of the rotary annular member 51 pulls the packing member 52 toward the clearance 312 so that the upper support post 33 is locked against movement relative to the lower support post 31. When the rotary annular member 51 is rotated to a loosening position, the flanged end 511 of the rotary annular member 51 moves the packing member 52 away from the clearance 312, thereby allowing movement of the upper support post 33 relative to the lower support post 31.

The ball-supporting rod 34 is connected to a top end of the upper support post 33, and is made of a foam material. The ball-supporting rod 34 includes a ball receptacle 341 formed on a top face thereof for holding the ball 100.

The clip 35 has two opposite ends formed with a first C-shaped clip portion 351 and a second C-shaped clip portion 352. The first C-shaped clip portion 351 is secured on the upper support post 33. The second C-shaped clip portion 352 extends outwardly from the upper support post 33 for holding the bat 200, which may, for example, be a baseball bat.

The radial legs 22 of the central base unit 20 are turnable between a stretching position and a folding position. In the stretching position, as shown in FIG. 2, the outer ends 222 of the radial legs 22 move away from the lower support post 31. In the folding position, as shown in FIG. 5, the outer ends 222 of the radial legs 22 move toward the lower support post 31.

The tubular member 21 is sleeved slidably around the lower support post 31 to move downwardly so as to place the legs 22 in the stretching position and to move upwardly so as to place the legs 22 in the folding position.

A second locking unit 50′ is provided on the central base unit 20, and has a structure similar to that of the first locking unit 50. Particularly, the second locking unit 50′ includes a rotary annular member 51′, and a wedge-shaped packing member 52′. When the rotary annular member 51′ is rotated to a tightening position, the lower support post 31 is locked against movement relative to the tubular member 21. When the rotary annular member 51′ is rotated to a loosening position, the tubular member 21 is free to move along the lower support post 31.

Referring to FIG. 4, when a player desires to adjust the height of the ball 100 on the ball-supporting rod 34, the first locking unit 50 is simply loosened so that the upper support post 33 can move freely relative to the lower support post 31. The position of the ball-supporting rod 34 is also changed following the movement of the upper support post 33. When the desired height of the upper support post 33 is obtained, the first locking unit 50 is tightened, thereby locking the upper support post 33 and preventing movement of the same relative to the lower support post 31.

Referring to FIG. 5, when it is desired to prepare the batting training apparatus of the present invention for transport and/or storage, the first and second locking units 50, 50′ are loosened so that the upper support post 33 can move into the lower support post 31, and so that the tubular member 21 can move upwardly along the lower support post 31 so as to fold the legs 22.

Referring to FIG. 6, in this state where the central base unit 20 and the upright support 30 are respectively folded and retracted, a handgrip portion 201 of the bat 200 may be secured to the second C-shaped clip portion 352 of the clip 35.

From the aforesaid description, it is apparent that with the provision of the four radial legs 22 which can be folded and stretched, use of the batting training apparatus of the present invention is facilitated. When the legs 22 are stretched, the legs 22 abut against the ground so that the contact area of the central base unit 20 relative to the ground is increased, thereby achieving a stable support. Furthermore, the upright support 30 has telescopic upper and lower support posts 33, 31 which can be adjusted through the first locking unit 50. This allows for quick adjustment of the height of the ball-supporting rod 34, that is, the height of the ball 100 on the ball-supporting rod 34 can be quickly adjusted according to the height of the player. Since the upper and lower support posts 33, 31 are telescopic, the batting training apparatus of the present invention can have a reduced volume after retraction so that it does not occupy a substantial space during storage and is easy to carry.

Referring to FIG. 7, the second preferred embodiment of a batting training apparatus according to the present invention is shown to be similar to the first preferred embodiment. However, in this embodiment, the batting training apparatus of the present invention further includes four stabilizing friction members 223. Each of the stabilizing friction members 223 is made of a foam material, and is sleeved on a corresponding one of the radial legs 22 (see FIG. 2). The stabilizing friction members 223 can increase contact and friction with the ground so that the central base unit 20 can be more stably supported on the ground. A cushion tube 313 is disposed around the lower support post 31 (see FIG. 2) of the upright support 30. The cushion tube 313 is made of a foam material, and can dampen an external impact force. The cushion tube 313 also serves to protect the upright support 30 so that the service life and the appearance of the upright support 30 are enhanced.

While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.