Title:
Portable hitting device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The preferred embodiment of this invention involves a portable hitting apparatus comprising a body having a strike zone with one or more hitting targets located thereon. The body is preferably comprised of a bag having interior padding. The body can further include one or more handles on one side for allowing a person to hold the apparatus upright while a user hits the apparatus. The body can be various sizes to accommodate users of different height. The strike zone preferably contains five hitting targets, one for each comer and one for the center of the strike zone. In another embodiment, the body can be sized in the shape of a strike zone, such that no separate delineation of the strike zone is needed. The hitting targets can be designated by a variety of symbols, including baseballs and softballs, and can be various shapes, colors, and sizes.



Inventors:
Presley, Brian R. (Santee, CA, US)
Ehrsam, Summer N. (La Mesa, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/418023
Publication Date:
11/30/2006
Filing Date:
05/04/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAMBERS, MICHAEL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RICHARD D. CLARKE (LA MESA, CA, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A portable hitting apparatus comprising: a) a body portion; b) a strike zone portion located on said body portion; and c) at least one hitting target located within said strike zone portion whereby said body portion can be positioned such that a user can practice his or her hitting technique by hitting said at least one hitting target with a bat or other hitting device.

2. The portable hitting apparatus of claim 1 further comprising at least one handle attached to said body portion for the purpose of allowing a user to place his or her arms there through to support the apparatus while it is being used by a hitter.

3. The portable hitting apparatus of claim 1, wherein said strike zone portion contains five hitting targets.

4. The portable hitting apparatus of claim 1, wherein said body portion is comprised of a flexible bag containing padding material.

5. The portable hitting apparatus of claim 1, wherein said body portion is comprised of a compressible foam material.

6. The portable hitting apparatus of claim 1, wherein said body portion contains curved portions at the ends thereof.

7. The portable hitting apparatus of claim 1, wherein said at least one hitting target is removably attached to said body within said strike zone portion.

8. A portable hitting apparatus comprising: a) a body portion, said body portion having a front surface and a rear surface; b) at least one hitting target located on said front surface; and c) at least one handle located on said rear surface whereby a person can use said at least one handle to support said body portion in an upright position, and a user can practice his or her hitting technique by hitting said at least one hitting target with a baseball bat or other hitting device.

9. The portable hitting apparatus of claim 8, wherein said body portion is sized in the shape of a strike zone.

10. The portable hitting apparatus of claim 8, wherein said strike zone portion contains five hitting targets.

11. The portable hitting apparatus of claim 8, wherein said body portion is comprised of a flexible bag containing padding material.

12. The portable hitting apparatus of claim 8, wherein said body portion contains curved portions at the ends thereof.

13. The portable hitting apparatus of claim 8, wherein said body portion is comprised of a compressible foam material.

14. The portable hitting apparatus of claim 8, wherein said at least one hitting target is removably attached to said body within said strike zone portion.

15. A method for making a portable hitting apparatus comprising the steps of: a) providing a body portion; b) depicting a strike zone on said body portion; and c) depicting at least one hitting target within said strike zone.

16. The method for making a portable hitting apparatus of claim 15, further comprising the steps of: a) providing at least one handle for attachment to said body portion; and b) attaching said at least one handle to said body portion.

Description:

This patent application claims the benefit of previously filed U.S. Provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/678,408 filed on May 6, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to sporting goods. More particularly, this invention relates to portable hitting apparatus.

2. Description of the Related Art

Successfully hitting a baseball or softball can be a difficult task, especially when the ball is traveling at high velocity. Hitting generally requires quick hand-eye coordination by a batter. For example, if a pitch is in the upper and outer part of the strike zone, a user must be able to quickly identify the location of the nitch and be able to tailor his or her swing to successfully hit the ball. If a batter does not apply a proper swing according to the location of the pitch, the batter will either hit the ball weakly, foul the ball off, or miss the pitch entirely.

Several techniques have been utilized to help develop hitting skills, such as batting off a tee, throwing “soft toss”, or hitting in a batting cage from a pitching machine. Although these techniques offer help with batting in general, they are not tailored to help with the particular aspect of batting that requires a user to tailor his or her swing according to the location of the ball. While this type of practice can be achieved by “live” batting practice with the help of a pitcher who can locate pitches in particular spots in the strike zone, many people desiring to improve their hitting do not have a pitcher with such pitching abilities and/or cannot afford one. Further, apparatus that have been designed to assist in developing batting skills have not focused on improving a hitter's ability to tailor his or her swing to the location of the pitch.

Therefore, it would be highly desirable to provide a relatively lightweight, compact, mobile, and easy to operate apparatus that can help a person improve their ability to successfully hit baseballs or softballs located in various parts of the strike zone.

In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. In addition, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The preferred embodiment of this invention involves a portable hitting apparatus comprising a body having a strike zone with one or more hitting targets located thereon. The body is preferably comprised of a bag having interior padding. The body can further include one or more handles on one side for allowing a person to hold the apparatus upright while a user hits the apparatus. The body can be various sizes to accommodate users of different height. The strike zone preferably contains five hitting targets, one for each comer and one for the center of the strike zone. In another embodiment, the body can be sized in the shape of a strike zone, such that no separate delineation of the strike zone is needed. The hitting targets can be designated by a variety of symbols, including baseballs and softballs, and can be various shapes, colors, and sizes.

There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and form a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the description, serve to explain the principals of the embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view of one embodiment of the hitting bag apparatus.

FIG. 2 depicts a front view of one embodiment of the portable hitting apparatus.

FIG. 3 depicts a top view of one embodiment of the portable hitting apparatus.

FIG. 4 depicts a back view of one embodiment of the portable hitting apparatus.

FIG. 5 depicts a bottom view of one embodiment of the portable hitting apparatus.

FIG. 6 depicts a perspective view of another embodiment of the portable hitting apparatus.

FIG. 7 depicts a front view of another embodiment of the portable hitting apparatus.

FIG. 8 depicts a back view of another embodiment of the portable hitting apparatus.

FIG. 9 depicts a top view of another embodiment of the portable hitting apparatus.

FIG. 10 depicts a perspective view of yet another embodiment of the portable hitting apparatus.

FIG. 11 depicts a front view of yet another embodiment of the portable hitting apparatus.

FIG. 12 depicts a back view of yet another embodiment of the portable hitting apparatus.

FIG. 13 depicts a top view of yet another embodiment of the portable hitting apparatus.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawings, wherein similar parts are identified by like reference numerals, there is seen in FIG. 1 a perspective view of one embodiment of the portable hitting apparatus 10. Apparatus 10 includes a body 20 and strike zone 30. Body 20 contains a slanted portion 22 and bottom portion 24, bottom surface 26, and top surface 28. Body 20 is preferably comprised of an outer bag having padding material located therein (not shown). Outer bag can be comprised of coated vinyl, leather, canvas, nylon and any other suitable material. The outer bag is preferably made from coated vinyl. The padding material is preferably comprised of foam, including but not limited to open-cell foam, closed-cell foam, soft rubber foam, injected foam, and can also include other lightweight and compressible materials. Also, it is possible to use soft rubber, sand and water to fill the outer bag.

Body 20 is preferably about 42 to 66 inches in height, about 17 to 30 inches in width, and about 6 to 16 inches in depth. However, body 20 can be varied in size to accommodate different sized users such as those age 8 and under, age 12 and under, age 12 and up, and age 18 and up. An apparatus 10 designed for age 8 and under can have a body 20 with dimensions of about 42 to 48 inches in height, about 17 to 24 inches in width, and about 6 to 12 inches in depth. An apparatus 10 designed for age 12 and under can have a body 20 with dimensions of about 45 to 52 inches in height, about 17 to 24 inches in width, and about 6 to 12 inches in depth. An apparatus 10 designed for age 12 and up can have a body 20 with dimensions of about 48 to 60 inches in height, about 17 to 24 inches in width, and about 10 to 12 inches in depth. An apparatus 10 designed for age 18 and up can have a body 20 with dimensions of about 48 to 66 inches in height, about 17 to 30 inches in width, and about 10 to 16 inches in depth.

Strike zone 30 includes hitting targets 40, 42, 44, 46, and 48 located therein. Hitting targets 40, 42, 44, 46, and 48 are preferably represented pictorially by baseballs, but can be pictorially represented by other symbols, including but not limited to softballs, baseball bats, (add more). Hitting targets 40, 42, 44, 46, and 48 are preferably about 4 inches by 4 inches in size. However, hitting targets 40, 42, 44, 46, and 48 can vary in size to accommodate different sized strike zones 30. Hitting target 40 is preferably located in the top left corner of strike zone 30, hitting target 42 is preferably located in the top right comer of strike zone 30, hitting target 44 is preferably located in the center of strike zone 30, hitting target 46 is preferably located in the bottom left comer of strike zone 30, and hitting target 48 is preferably located in the bottom right comer of strike zone 30. Hitting targets 40, 42, 44, 46, and 48 can be located anywhere within strike zone 30. Further, strike zone 30 can include more or less hitting targets than represented in FIG. 1. Hitting targets 40,42,44, 46, and 48 can be permanently attached to body 20, such as by painting or stitching, or removably attached to body 20.

FIG. 2 depicts a front view of apparatus 10. This figure illustrates the spatial relationship between body 20, strike zone 30, and hitting targets 40, 42, 44, 46, and 48. It also illustrates the base of the portable hitting device 10, comprised of slanted portion 22 and bottom portion 24. In this embodiment of the invention, the portable hitting device can be set directly on the ground or floor, or any other flat surface, for stability during use.

FIG. 3 depicts a top view of apparatus 10, showing top surface 28.

FIG. 4 depicts a back view of apparatus 10. Apparatus 10 further includes handles 52 and 54 located on back surface 50. Handles 52 and 54 are comprised of a durable and flexible material and are preferably sewn to back surface 50. Handles 52 and 54 primarily allow a user to place his or her arms there through to support apparatus 10 upright while it is being used by a hitter. A zipper 60 is also included along back surface 50. Zipper 60 preferably runs the length of apparatus 10 and allows a user to insert padding into or take padding out of apparatus 10.

FIG. 5 depicts a bottom view of apparatus 10, illustrating the width of bottom surface 26 in relation to slanted portion 22.

FIG. 6 depicts a perspective view of another embodiment of the portable hitting apparatus 100. Apparatus 100 includes a body 110 containing a top surface 112 and side portions 114 and 116. Body 110 is preferably comprised of a lightweight and compressible material such as various forms of foam, including open-cell foam or closed cell foam. Body 110 includes hitting targets 120, 122, 124, 126, and 128 located therein. Hitting targets 120, 122, 124, 126, and 128 are preferably represented pictorially by baseballs, but can be pictorially represented by other symbols, including but not limited to softballs, baseball bats, and/or a matrix of hitting zones such as the common 9 zone matrix used by baseball coaches in analyzing hitting zone preferences and weaknesses. Additionally, hitting targets 120, 122, 124, 126, and 128 can vary in size to accommodate different sized bodies 110. Hitting target 120 is preferably located in the top left comer of body 110, hitting target 122 is preferably located in the top right comer of body 110, hitting target 124 is preferably located in the center of body 110, hitting target 126 is preferably located in the bottom left comer of body 110, and hitting target 128 is preferably located in the bottom right comer of body 110. Hitting targets 120,122,124, 126, and 128 can be located anywhere on body 110. Further, body 110 can include more or less hitting targets than represented in FIG. 6. Hitting targets 120, 122, 124, 126, and 128 can be permanently attached to body 110, such as by painting or stitching, or removably attached to body 110.

FIG. 7 depicts a front view of apparatus 100, illustrating the spatial relationship of hitting targets 120, 122, 124, 126, and 128 on body 110.

FIG. 8 depicts a back view of apparatus 100. Apparatus 100 further includes handles 132 and 134 located on back surface 130. Handles 132 and 134 are comprised of a durable and flexible material and are preferably sewn to back surface 130. Handles 132 and 134 primarily allow a user to place his or her arms there through to support apparatus 100 upright while it is being used by a hitter. FIG. 8 also illustrates the protective side portions 114 and 116 which add extra protection to a person that may be standing behind and holding the portable hitting device 10 in place during use by another person.

FIG. 9 depicts a top view of apparatus 100, illustrating the width of top surface 112 and protective side portions 114 and 116.

FIG. 10 depicts a perspective view of yet another embodiment of the portable hitting apparatus 200. Apparatus 200 includes a body 210 containing a top surface 212 and a side surface 214. Body 210 is preferably comprised of a lightweight and compressible material such as foam . . . Body 210 includes hitting targets 220, 222, 224, 226, and 228 located thereon. Hitting targets 220, 222, 224, 226, and 228 are preferably represented pictorially by baseballs, but can be pictorially represented by other symbols, including but not limited to softballs, baseball bats, (add more). Additionally, hitting targets 220, 222, 224, 226, and 228 can vary in size to accommodate different sized bodies 210. Hitting target 220 is preferably located in the top left comer of body 210, hitting target 222 is preferably located in the top right comer of body 210, hitting target 224 is preferably located in the center of body 210, hitting target 226 is preferably located in the bottom left comer of body 210, and hitting target 228 is preferably located in the bottom right comer of body 210. Hitting targets 220, 222, 224, 226, and 228 can be located anywhere on body 210. Further, body 210 can include more or less hitting targets than represented in FIG. 10. Hitting targets 220, 222, 224, 226, and 228 can be permanently attached to body 210, such as by painting or stitching, or removably attached to body 210.

FIG. 11 depicts a front view of apparatus 200, illustrating the spatial relationship of hitting targets 220, 222, 224, 226, and 228 on body 210.

FIG. 12 depicts a back view of apparatus 200. Apparatus 200 further includes handles 232 and 234 located on back surface 230. Handles 232 and 234 are comprised of a durable and flexible material and are preferably sewn to back surface 230. Handles 232 and 234 primarily allow a user to place his or her arms there through to support apparatus 200 upright while it is being used by a hitter.

FIG. 13 depicts a top view of apparatus 200, illustrating the width and depth of apparatus 200, shown by top surface 212.

With respect to the above description it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the embodiments, including variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly, and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the various embodiments of the invention. Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the embodiments of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the embodiments of the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described. Accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents fall within the scope of the embodiments of the invention.

The embodiments of the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the embodiments of the invention reference should be made to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there are illustrated the preferred embodiments of the invention.

Further, the purpose of the foregoing abstract is to enable the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally, and especially the scientists, engineers, and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The abstract is neither intended to define the embodiments of the invention, which are measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting, as to the scope of the embodiments of the invention in any way.





 
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