Title:
Batting practice tee
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A batting practice tee for baseball and softball practice is provided. The batting practice tee includes a home plate and a stem. The top of the stem includes a supporting part, which includes a plurality of upright-standing and resilient hairs to hold the ball. As the friction between the ball and the hairs are reduced, the trajectory path of the ball can accurately reflect the hitting force and position to provide better simulation and training of the practice.



Inventors:
Liao, Grace (Hsinchu City, TW)
Application Number:
11/134203
Publication Date:
11/23/2006
Filing Date:
05/20/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lin & Associates (Saratoga, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A batting practice tee, applicable to baseball and softball batting practice, comprising: a home plate; a stem, located at the center of the top surface of said home plate; and a supporting part, further comprising a plurality of upright-standing and resilient hairs, distributed on the top surface of said stem.

2. The batting practice tee as claimed in claim 1, wherein said stem further comprises a main stem body and a secondary stem body, said secondary stem body is inserted inside said main stem body, and can be extended or retracted to adjust the height of said tee.

3. The batting practice tee as claimed in claim 2, wherein said secondary stem body is made of a resilient and bendable material.

4. The batting practice tee as claimed in claim 1, wherein said supporting part is a round shape, and said hairs distributed on said top have different height, with said hair at the center being shorter and increasing gradually towards the circumference to form a curve to match the curve of a ball.

5. The batting practice tee as claimed in claim 1, wherein said supporting part comprises a plurality of supporting units, with each supporting unit comprising a plurality of upright-standing and resilient hairs, and said supporting units are arranged in a circle around the top surface of said stem.

6. The batting practice tee as claimed in claim 5, further comprising a main supporting unit, with shorter hairs, surrounded by said supporting units.

7. The batting practice tee as claimed in claim 6, wherein said hairs of said main supporting unit are harder, but still resilient, to provide the support of the weight of a ball.

8. The batting practice tee as claimed in claim 5, wherein said circle of said supporting units comprises at least three supporting units made of harder material, and arranged in an evenly distributed fashion in said circle.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a batting practice tee, and more specifically to a baseball or softball batting practice tee. The batting practice tee can correctly reflect the trajectory path of the hit ball.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Conventional batting practice tee includes a home plate with a stem. The upper portion of the stem includes a soft rod and a ball holder. The soft rod is usually made of sponge or foaming material for supporting the ball holder. After the ball is hit, the soft rod will swing back and forth and eventually return to its original upright position for holding the ball. However, this structure of soft rod and ball holder cannot always simulate the hit effect accurately. For example, when the hitter hits from a lower position, the bat may touch the ball holder before hitting the ball, which will cause the ball falling from the ball holder, or shifting in the trajectory path. On the other hand, when the hit comes from a higher position, the ball may endure more friction with the ball holder due to the force coming from above, which will also cause the shifting in the trajectory path. In either case, the hitting practice may not provide the most accurate training. In addition, this type of batting practice tee utilizes the bending of the soft rod to throw the ball when hit, the friction between the ball holder and the ball will cause the trajectory path. It is imperative to provide a batting practice tee to alleviate the aforementioned problems faced by the hitter using a conventional batting practice tee.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has been made to overcome the aforementioned drawback of conventional batting practice tee for baseball and softball players. The primary object of the present invention is to provide a batting practice tee that the trajectory path of the ball can accurately reflect the force and the position of the hit so that the hitter can improve the hitting position and the force through the practice.

To achieve the aforementioned object, the present invention provides a batting practice tee including a home plate and a stem. The top of the stem includes a supporting part, which further includes a plurality of upright-standing and resilient hairs. By reducing the contact area between the ball and the supporting part and using only the tips of the hairs to hold the ball, the friction between the ball and the supporting part can be reduced and the trajectory path of the ball can more accurately reflect the force and the position of the hit.

The foregoing and other objects, features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood from a careful reading of a detailed description provided herein below with appropriate reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention can be understood in more detail by reading the subsequent detailed description in conjunction with the examples and references made to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 shows a three-dimensional view of a first embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows a cross-sectional view of the top part of the present invention;

FIG. 3 shows a three-dimensional view of a second embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 shows a top view of the supporting part of the second embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 5 shows a vertical cross-sectional view of the second embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. shows a baseball or softball batting practice tee of the present invention. The structure includes a home plate 1, a stem 2, and a supporting part 3. Home plate 1 has the shape that is similar to the home plate used in baseball or softball games, but weighs less. Stem 2 stands at the top center of home plate 1. Stem 2 includes a main stem body 21 and a secondary stem body 22. Main stem body 21 is a rigid body and has a larger diameter to accommodate secondary stem body 22. Secondary stem body 22 is made of a softer and resilient material, such as rubber, and has a smaller diameter so that secondary stem body 22 can be inserted inside main stem body 21 for extending or retraction in order to adjust the height of the batting practice tee. When the ball is hit, secondary stem body 22 can bend and swing back and forth, and eventually returns to its original upright position.

Supporting part 3 is located at the top of stem 2, and attached to the top of secondary stem body 22. Supporting part 3 includes a plurality of upright-standing and resilient hairs 31. Hairs 31 are sufficiently strong to stand upright and hold the ball. Hairs 31 are distributed over the top surface of secondary stem body 22, as shown in FIG. 2. The hairs at the center are shorter and increase gradually towards the circumference, so that the tips of hairs 31 form a curve matching the ball 5.

With a plurality of hairs 31 to form supporting part 3 and the weight of the ball distributed over the tips of hairs 31, the contact area between the ball and supporting part 3 is reduced, which leads to less friction between the ball and supporting part 3. Therefore, the trajectory path of the ball is closer to the actually situation when the ball is hit.

FIG. 3 shows a second embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 3, the top of secondary stem body 22 of supporting part 3 includes a plurality of supporting units 32, with each supporting unit 32 including a plurality of hairs 31. Supporting units 32 are arranged in a circle around the circumference of the top surface of secondary stem body 22, as shown in FIG. 4. In this embodiment, a main supporting unit 33 is included and surrounded by the circle formed by supporting units 32. The height of main supporting unit 33 is lower than the surrounding supporting units 32, as shown in FIG. 5. The tips of hairs of main supporting units 33 and supporting units 32 form a curve that matches the ball to provide better support.

In this embodiment, hairs 31 of main supporting unit 33 are stronger than hairs 31 of supporting units 32, but are still resilient. Main supporting unit 33 is for holding the weight of the ball, while supporting units 32 are for providing auxiliary support to hold the ball in place. The area of ball 5 that is in contact with supporting part 3 is greatly reduced in this embodiment; therefore, the friction is minimal when the ball is hit.

Additional embodiments of the present invention include the arrangement of at least three supporting units 32 equally spaced, for example, 120° apart, around the circumference of the top surface of supporting part 3. These supporting units 32 will e made of harder yet resilient material, while the rest of supporting units can be made of softer material to provide auxiliary support.

Although the present invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiments, it will be understood that the invention is not limited to the details described thereof. Various substitutions and modifications have been suggested in the foregoing description, and others will occur to those of ordinary skill in the art. Therefore, all such substitutions and modifications are intended to be embraced within the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.