Title:
Semi-permanent athletic dugout
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A semi-permanent shelter including first and second side frames that are spaced apart by a predetermined distance. Lateral and top fabric portions span the predetermined distance and are attached to side frames. Optionally, the side frames may include fabric portions.



Inventors:
Nissenbaum, Ronald (Philadelphia, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/193826
Publication Date:
02/01/2007
Filing Date:
07/29/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/121
International Classes:
E04H15/42
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HAWK, NOAH CHANDLER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Volpe Koenig (PHILADELPHIA, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An athletic shelter comprising: first and second side frames that are spaced apart by a predetermined distance and affixed on a solid surface, each frame including spaced apart front and back vertical posts and top and bottom transverse supports which define a predetermined area; a lateral fabric potion extending between the spaced apart side frames; and a top fabric portion extending between the side frames and adjacent to the lateral panel.

2. The shelter of claim 1 wherein the lateral fabric includes a plurality of straps for engaging respective vertical posts and the top and bottom transverse supports of the first and second side frames.

3. The shelter of claim 1 wherein at least one of the fabric portions is a mesh fabric.

4. The shelter of claim 1 wherein the fabric portions are comprised of a single fabric.

5. The shelter of claim 1 wherein at least one fabric portion includes an area that is imprinted with human readable information.

6. The shelter of claim 1 further comprising lateral crossbars spanning the distance between the side frames.

7. The shelter of claim 6 further comprising a plurality of straps for attaching the fabric portions to the frame.

8. The shelter of claim 7 wherein the plurality of straps include hook and loop materials.

9. The shelter of claim 7 wherein the fabric portions are comprised of a single fabric.

10. The shelter of claim 1 further including a seat extending between the side frames.

11. The shelter of claim 10 wherein the seat is detachably engaged with the side frames.

12. The shelter of claim 1 wherein the top fabric panel slopes upwardly from the back vertical posts.

13. The semi-permanent athletic dugout of claim 12 wherein the upward slope is between approximately five degrees and approximately twenty degrees with respect to the solid surface.

14. The shelter of claim 1 wherein at least one of the side frames includes a fabric portion.

15. The shelter of claim 14 wherein at least one of the side fabric portions has defined therein an aperture.

16. The shelter of claim 1 wherein at least one of the fabric portions is spaced from the solid surface.

17. The shelter of claim 16 wherein the fabric portion is at least six inches shorter than the back vertical post of the side frame.

18. A semi-permanent shelter comprising: first and second side frames each including spaced front and back vertical posts and top and bottom transverse supports to define a predetermined area; a rear frame which is connected to the first and second side frames and spaces the first and second side frames by a predetermined distance; a top frame extending between the top transverse supports of the first and second side frames; and a seat which rests on the bottom transverse support of the first and second side frames and is located proximate to the rear frame.

19. The shelter of claim 18 further comprising a lateral fabric panel positioned over at least a portion of the rear frame and the first and second side frames for attachment thereto; and a top fabric panel positioned over at least a portion of the top frame.

20. The shelter of claim 19 wherein the lateral fabric panel comprises a plurality of straps configured to engage the front vertical posts, the top transverse support, and the bottom transverse support of the first and second side frames.

21. The shelter of claim 18 wherein the rear frame comprises first and second crossbars extending between the first and second side frames and the top frame comprises the second crossbar and a third crossbar which extends between the first and second side frames.

22. The shelter of claim 19 wherein the lateral fabric panel is spaced from the solid surface supporting the shelter.

23. The shelter of claim 16 wherein the lateral fabric panel is spaced from the solid surface by at least six inches.

24. A semi-permanent athletic dugout, comprising: first and second dugout side frames each including spaced front and back vertical posts and top and bottom transverse supports to define a predetermined area; a rear dugout frame which is connected to the first and second dugout side frames and spaces the first and second dugout side frames by a predetermined distance; a lateral fabric panel positioned along the predetermined distance and over at least a portion of the first and second dugout side frames for attachment thereto; and a top fabric panel extending between the top transverse supports of the first and second dugout side frames and attached thereto.

25. The semi-permanent athletic dugout of claim 24, wherein the lateral fabric panel comprises a plurality of straps configured to engage the front vertical post, the top transverse support, and the bottom transverse support of the first and second dugout side frames.

26. The semi-permanent athletic dugout of claim 24, wherein at least one of the top and lateral fabric panels is formed by a generally mesh fabric.

27. The semi-permanent athletic dugout of claim 25, wherein the rear dugout frame comprises first and second crossbars extending between the first and second dugout side frames and configured to border a portion of the lateral fabric panel extending therebetween.

28. The semi-permanent athletic dugout of claim 27, wherein some of the plurality of straps of the lateral fabric panel are configured to detachably engage the first and second crossbars.

29. The semi-permanent athletic dugout of claim 28, wherein the plurality of straps include hook and loop material.

30. The semi-permanent athletic dugout of claim 24, further including a seat extending between the first and second dugout side frames and located on the bottom transverse supports thereof.

31. The semi-permanent athletic dugout of claim 24, wherein the lateral fabric panel has cutouts therein defining windows therethrough that are positioned in the predetermined area of the first and second dugout side frames.

32. The semi-permanent athletic dugout of claim 24 wherein the lateral fabric panel is spaced from the solid surface to facilitate air flow through the semi-permanent athletic dugout.

33. The semi-permanent athletic dugout of claim 32, wherein the lateral fabric panel is spaced from the solid surface by about six inches.

34. A dugout consisting essentially of: a pair of anchored side frames, each including spaced front and back vertical posts and top and bottom transverse supports, which are spaced apart by a predetermined distance; a flexible panel vertically oriented and connected to at least one post of each side frame; and a flexible panel horizontally oriented and connected to at least one transverse support of each side frame.

35. A removable athletic dugout, comprising: side frames, each including spaced front and back vertical posts and top and bottom transverse supports, anchored at spaced apart locations; a rear frame extending between the side frames; a top frame extending between the side frames; and a seat which extends between the side frames rests on the respective bottom transverse support of each side frames proximate to the rear frame.

36. The removable athletic dugout of claim 35 wherein a flexible material is removably attached to the frame.

Description:

BACKGROUND

The present invention is generally directed to quick assembly shelters, more particularly, the invention is directed to athletic shelters and, most specifically, it is directed to an athletic dugout.

Athletic dugouts are commonly used in many sporting events to provide a shelter and rest area for players not currently participating in a game. Conventional dugouts require that a permanent area be dedicated to the shelter. Conventional dugouts are also at risk of vandalism when not in use. Dugout walls are typically made of permanent materials, like, wood, masonry blocks or steel to resist the elements year round, but those structures typically trap heat, and, due the fact that typical dugout walls generally are directly on the ground, have restricted air flow within the dugout.

The art desires and it would be advantageous to have an athletic dugout that is removable and provides better air flow.

SUMMARY

An athletic shelter having first and second dugout side frames that are spaced apart by a predetermined distance and are affixed on a solid surface. Each frame including spaced apart front and back vertical posts and top and bottom transverse supports which define a predetermined area. The back and top are covered by a lateral fabric portion extending between the spaced apart side frames and a top fabric portion extending between the side frames and adjacent to the lateral panel. As a result the lateral and top fabric portions form a sheltered area for athletes not currently in the game.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention will be better understood when read in conjunction with the drawings.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 illustrates an athletic dugout frame according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention which includes an optional central front support;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the frame of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 illustrates the frame of FIG. 1 with fabric panels and an optional transverse seat;

FIG. 4 illustrates a dugout frame anchor;

FIG. 5 illustrates an alternative frame anchor;

FIG. 6 illustrates one method of attaching the panels to the frame;

FIG. 7 illustrates an alternative means of attaching the panels to the frame; and

FIG. 8 illustrates the invention with different panels on the top and lateral surfaces and the optional transverse bench.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Certain terminology is used in the following description for convenience only and is not limiting. The words“right,” “left,” “top,” and “bottom” designate directions in the drawings; and, the words “inwardly” and “outwardly” refer to directions toward and away from, respectively, the geometric center of the shelter.

Since many of the features of the present invention are similar, the common features of the invention will be described with reference to FIG. 1. With reference to FIG. 1, the shelter has a frame 2 that is assembled of commercially available components, however, custom components may be fabricated if desired. The frame 2 has a back 4, sides 6 and 8 and a top 10. The front or open face of the frame 2 may optionally include a central front support 12 and an even more optional cross member 14 which extends between the front and back central supports.

With reference to FIG. 2, the exploded view of the frame shows the various components. The anchors 20 secure the frame to the surface and provide upright female portions for receiving the lower tubes 22. The female tee coupling 24 pass over the tubes 22 and receive the vertical tubes 34. When the central front support is used, the straight coupling 25 will join the tubes 22 and 34, and in like manner the four way couplings 26 and the four way cross coupling 28 will join the tubes 34 at the back of the frame. The lower side tubes 30 are connected to couplings 24 and 26 and the lower back tubes 32 and connected to coupling 26 and 28. The vertical tubes 34 are connected at the top front to three way corner couplings and four way coupling 46, all of approximately 68′, and the back tubes 34 are connected by similar coupling 38 and 42, all of approximately 112′. The top side tubes 44 connect respectively with coupling 36 and 38 or 42 and 46. Preferably, the front and back vertical posts 14, 16 and the top and bottom transverse support 18, 20 are formed from durable high strength material, such as steel, aluminum, polyvinyl chloride or other suitable polymer. In the prototype, the tubes were power coated pipe which was purchased from Powell & Powell Supply Company, 402 McKinney Parkway, Lillington, N.C. 27546, under it King Canopy line of products. The couplings were also purchased from the same supplier.

Referring to FIG. 3, the shelter 50 has a frame 2 which supports a top fabric portion 52 and a back fabric portion 54. It is generally preferred that the portion 52 and 54 be of one piece construction. However, in some applications it may be desired to have separate panels 52 and 54 so that a ventilation slot is formed between them. FIG. 3 illustrates two variations in side panels. Panel 58 is a fabric panel with a mesh window 58; this may be preferred in warmer weather. Side panel 60 is a fabric panel with a plastic window; this may be preferred in cooler or inclement weather. The front of the shelter 50 is generally left open for viewing the playing surface. The fabric portions for the present invention may be formed of a mesh, woven, knitted or wet laid from cotton, nylon, polymer, or other synthetics, however, it is preferred that the selected material have good sun and weather resistance. It will be appreciated that fabric can also be mixed. For instance, a solid fabric may be preferred in a top position and a mesh in the side positions. Fabrics which have been found satisfactory are Bruin Plastics′ PVC coated mesh fabric and Bruin Plastics′ “Brun-Tuff” PVC laminated polyester fabrics. In addition to providing the desired cover, the fabrics may be imprinted with human readable information to personalize the shelter, such as with a team logo, to identify sponsors, or to selling advertising space as a means of financing the sports program. In addition, the non-permanent attachment to the frame allows the covering members to be selected by season and geographic area. Thus, it may be desirable to have more water repellency at one time of the season and more desirable to have ventilation and sun protection at another time of the season.

Referring still to FIG. 3, the optional bench 64 is secured at the ends by curved end straps 68 and included intermediate supports 66. Three is the presently preferred number of supports 68, but they may be varied according to choice. The supports 68 can be fabricated from the same materials as the frame and attached to the bench 64 in a variety of ways.

With reference to FIG. 4, the structure of suitable anchors 20 will be described in more detail. Anchor 20 has a base plate 70 which includes a plurality of apertures 72 through which ground spikes or nails are driven to secure the anchor. The female upright 72 receives the tube 22 for anchoring the frame 2. The block 76 is threaded and receives the thumb screw 78 which is thread through block 76 to apply pressure for holding the tube 22 in the female upright 74. FIG. 5 illustrates and alternative anchor which has an earth screw 80 that is threaded into the ground. The embodiment of FIG. 5 further differs from the earlier embodiment in that the base plate 70′ does not have apertures for the ground spikes or nails.

With reference to FIGS. 6 and 7, there are illustrated alternative methods of securing the fabric portions to the frame 2. In FIG. 6, the strap 90 is fastened to the fabric at least at one end by pile 92 and hook 94 materials. The other end of the strap 90 may be fastened directly to the fabric or may use the pile and hook attachment. Although the strap 90 may be made to size and fixed, it is preferred that it be elastic so that it will allow for misalignments. In FIG. 7, the tie down arrangement is a cord 100 which is looped around the tubes and through the eyelet 102. Depending on the application and preferences of the user, the cord 100 may be tied off at each eyelet or it may be threaded though a plurality of eyelets and the ties off. Alternatively, strap 90 or cord 100 can be replaced with ties, straps with buttons, straps with snaps, magnets, or any other known securing mechanism.

With reference to FIG. 8, there is illustrated a shelter 150 with a solid top, such as canvas, mesh back panel 154 and mesh side panel 158 which has a straight top to define an open area 160. Alternatively, the back mesh portion 154 may include a skirt 162 that completely closes the back of the shelter. This configuration may be desirable when the shelter is visible to fans. If desired, the skirt 162 may be attached to the frame 2 in the same manner as the other fabric portions.

As noted earlier, it is preferred that the shelter's top frame is slopped upwardly from the back to provide the improved light of sight for occupants of the dugout. As shown in FIG. 8, this slope combines with a straight side panel 162 to form an open area that permits air flow over the panel.

A shelter, as illustrated in FIG. 1, that can be disassembled and reassembled, was assembled using commercially, non-custom components. The non-custom components had the additional advantage that they are within the size restrictions of package delivery services, such as UPS or FedEx and do not require and special handling. It will be understood that larger components can be shipped by other means if the end user desires single lengths. The resultant shelter from the available components had a rear height of 82″, a front height of 94″, a front to back distance of 60″ and an inside width of 15′6″. The following components were purchased from the Powell & Powell Supply Company; six of the longer pipes 77½″ pipes were combined with the 17½″ length pipes to produce the preferred 95″ back sections of tubing.

12—77½″×2″ lengths of Powder Coated Pipe;

2—56″×2″ lengths of Powder Coated Pipe;

3—48″×2″ lengths of Powder Coated pipe;

6—17½″×2″ lengths of Powder Coated pipe;

3—14″×2″ lengths of Powder Coated pipe;

2—3 way fittings at 112°;

2—3 way fittings at 68°;

1—4 way fittings at 112°;

1—4 way fittings at 68°;

2—2″tees fittings (preferably adjustable);

2—2″ corner fittings (preferably adjustable);

1—2″ Cross Fitting (preferably adjustable); and

6—2″ feet with female uprights.

While various configurations have been described and shown in the drawings for various embodiments of the present invention, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that changes may be made to the above described embodiments