Title:
Lining system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lining system providing means of establishing visual demarcation lines for sports or other uses such as being played or other use to be used as demarcations for such things as base lines, foul lines, mid-field, goal boxes, penalty boxes, goal lines, yardage markers, parking spaces and other demarcations for playing fields or courts for sports such as baseball, softball, kickball, badminton, volleyball, bocce, croquet, football, flag football, flickerball, soccer, rugby, field hockey, ultimate frisbee, lacrosse or temporary parking lots. The preferred embodiment of the invention consists of a thin woven polymer-based material or film that is positioned where appropriate on the ground or floor. The polymer-based material is not adversely affected by moisture or sunlight making it suitable for outdoor use and is woven for added strength and durability. The material is of adequate width to be easily viewable, typically 1 inch to 4 inches, and comes on a roll or a reel for easy transportation and storage. A more permanent installation is for users that intend on leaving the material in place indefinitely in a semi-permanent installation. Either desired embodiment can be used to make lines and line segments to mark demarcation elements such as sidelines, goal lines, penalty boxes, yard markers, parking spaces or other elements desired by the user.



Inventors:
Frederick, John Garrett (Nacogdoches, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/194162
Publication Date:
02/08/2007
Filing Date:
08/02/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63C19/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIU, RALEIGH W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John Garrett Frederick (Nacogdoches, TX, US)
Claims:
Therefore, I claim:

1. A field or floor or ground demarcation apparatus for quickly and easily providing a visual reference to denote established and preferred areas for such things base lines, foul lines, mid-field, goal boxes, penalty boxes, goal lines, yardage markers, parking spaces and other demarcations for playing fields or courts for sports such as baseball, softball, kickball, badminton, volleyball, bocce, croquet, football, flag football, flickerball, soccer, rugby, field hockey, ultimate frisbee, lacrosse or automobile parking lots with said demarcations being appropriate for the given use, the apparatus comprising: a. A thin, woven polymer-based material or film that is positioned where appropriate on the ground or floor. The material is of adequate width to be easily viewable, typically 1 inch to 4 inches, and comes on a roll or a reel for easy transportation and storage. b. additional demarcation elements attached to said material with particular and purposeful placement at predetermined points and distances to denote appropriate defining elements such as bases, goals, goal lines, mid-field, yardage markers, parking spaces or other appropriate and desired points for the given use.

2. A ground or floor demarcation apparatus as in claim 1 further comprising: a. means for attaching or anchoring said demarcation element to the floor or ground; b. said means for attaching or anchoring said demarcation element to the floor or ground allowing said demarcation element to lay restingly on the floor or ground for temporary purposes such as a single practice or competition of a field sport, said demarcation apparatus being able to be retrieved and stored for subsequent uses. c. said means for attaching or anchoring said demarcation element to the floor or ground allowing said demarcation element to lay restingly on the floor or ground for semi-permanent purposes such as a football practice field, a marching band practice field, or an automobile parking lot, said demarcation apparatus being left in place for extended periods or until it is no longer required.

3. A method for fabricating a field demarcation apparatus for marking the floor or ground having two opposing ends for the creation of a single line or line segment. a. said lines or line segments having demarcations denoting desired points for such things as parking spaces, base lines, foul lines, mid-field, goal boxes, penalty boxes, goal lines, yardage markers and other demarcations for playing fields or courts for sports such as baseball, softball, kickball, badminton, volleyball, bocce, croquet, football, flag football, flickerball, soccer, rugby, field hockey, ultimate frisbee and lacrosse.

Description:

This application is entitled to the benefit of Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/592,961, filed Jul. 29, 2004

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates in general to lining the floor or ground for a visual reference, and in particular to a method of defining and establishing temporary or semi-permanent field lines for sports fields, sports courts, and automobile parking lots.

2. Prior Art

Traditional sports such baseball, softball, kickball, badminton, volleyball, bocce, croquet, football, flag football, flickerball, soccer, rugby, field hockey, ultimate frisbee and lacrosse continue to grow in popularity year after year. The limited options of suitable method to define areas for practice and play presents a problem. Coaches, physical education teachers and organizers typically define a playing area with cones or makeshift objects such as clothing, gym bags, leaving the actual lines to the users imagination. Indoor methods are also limited cones or adhesive tape to line the floor. Football coaches and marching band directors often utilize a practice field that needs to be lined. Conventional means of marking playing fields including chalk or paint are impractical, inconvenient, and expensive. These methods are often disallowed for temporary use in public spaces such as parks.

Various apparatus and methods have been used for laying out playing areas, including EIDEN, U.S. Pat. No. 4,218,059, which describes field markers imbedded into the ground as a more permanent demarcation; CAPACHI, U.S. Pat. No. 4,429,872 which also describes a permanent boundary imbedded into the ground; MILBURN, U.S. Pat. No. 5,280,921 which describes a device and methodology for preparing an athletic field for application of paint or chalk; FREDERICK, U.S. Pat. No. 6,010,416, which describes a singular element completely encompassing a rectangular playing field creating the outer perimeter sidelines and endlines. In CAGLE, U.S. Pat. No. 5,312,109 a portable soccer court is described which includes enclosing walls and a plurality of rigid transparent panels defining said court. Also, various apparatus and methods have been used for laying out playing courts for tennis, volleyball and badminton, including: MOORE, U.S. Pat. No. 3,985,359; RAUB, U.S. Pat. No. 4,880,243; VIENS, U.S. Pat. No. 5,427,383.

Heretofore, there has been no simple, economical, portable means of establishing independent field lines for a visual reference for the practice or play of sports and other events that can be easily dispatched, retrieved and stored for subsequent future uses if desired.

OBJECT AND SUMMARY

Accordingly, it is the principal object of this invention to provide a simple, economical, portable means of establishing field lines appropriate for the sport being played or other use for to be used as demarcations for such things base lines, foul lines, mid-field, goal boxes, penalty boxes, goal lines, yardage markers and other demarcations for playing fields or courts for sports such as baseball, softball, kickball, badminton, volleyball, bocce, croquet, football, flag football, flickerball, soccer, rugby, field hockey, ultimate frisbee and lacrosse with said demarcations being appropriate for the given sport. Disclosed is a method and apparatus to create lined areas on the ground or floor typically used for marking and delineating playing areas and demarcation elements for athletic events or other ground marking needs. The preferred embodiment of the invention consists of a thin woven polymer-based material or film that is positioned where appropriate on the ground and held in place by means further described in this disclosure. The polymer- based material is not adversely affected by moisture or sunlight making it suitable for outdoor use and is woven for added strength and durability. The material is of adequate width to be easily viewable, typically 1 inch to 4 inches, and comes on a roll or a reel for easy transportation and storage. Anchoring methodologies are disclosed with a means for anchoring any free end of the material to the ground and for attaching the material to the ground between the ends and at any corners desired by the user. Anchoring methodologies are provided for both temporary and semi-permanent installations. A temporary installation might be desired by a user for one use or event, with the intention of removing or retrieving the material at the conclusion of the event. A more permanent installation is for users that intend on leaving the material in place indefinitely in a semi-permanent installation. Either desired embodiment can be used to make lines and line segments to mark demarcation elements such as sidelines, goal lines, penalty boxes, yard markers, parking spaces or other elements desired by the user.

For a semi-permanent installation, the preferred embodiment provides an anchor plate that is a rigid member of either metal or plastic the approximate width of the film with a hole to accept the anchor. A shallow hole should be dug in the ground by the user not more than a few inches deep. The material is wrapped around the anchor plate. The width of the anchor plate ensures the material will maintain it's width at the anchor point. An anchor or rod is then pushed through the material, through the hole in the anchor plate, and into the ground in the shallow hole. The user covers this with soil, making the lining material appear to come out of the ground. The user then proceeds to the next desired point, typically a comer, unrolling the lining material along the way. When the desired point is reached, the material is pulled tight, pulling against the previous anchored point, making a straight line. Another shallow hole is dug. At this point, the user can cut the material and install another anchor plate as previously described. If the user intends on proceeding further, perhaps to yet another corner, they can opt to simply wrap the material around an anchor without an anchor plate and without cutting the material. They place this anchor into the ground in the shallow hole, covering it as before. They can then proceed to the next desired point and choose to once again use one of the methods above to anchor the material. To anchor the material between these end points and comers, pegs are inserted through the film and into the ground as needed to anchor the material in place, typically every 10 feet or as necessary. The woven film prevents this anchoring process, which creates holes in the material, from destroying the film or inhibiting the material from performing it's intended use. This process breaks some of the fibers in the woven film but the remaining fibers are of sufficient strength to maintain the integrity of the film.

For the user that desires a temporary installation, a reinforced anchor area including a hole, ring or loop to accept the anchor can be attached to or made as part of the lining material. The anchor is inserted through the reinforced hole, ring or loop and into the ground. Alternatively, the material can be attached to a weighted element, or otherwise adhered to the floor or ground. The user proceeds to the next desired point, unreeling the film along the way. When the desired area is reached, the user pulls the material tight, creating a straight line, and attaching the material to another anchor inserted into the ground or to a weighted element, or otherwise adhered to the floor or ground. The user then proceeds to the next desired point until the desired area is marked or lined. For a temporary installation, wire wickets or adhesive tape can be used between the anchored points to further hold the material in place or making the material maintain contact with the ground or floor, particularly in any low areas or undulations of the ground in the desired area if outdoors.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates the preferred components of the system consisting of 1 the field lining material 2 an anchor plate 3 an anchor 4 a peg and 5 a wicket.

FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 illustrate 1 an anchor plate being 2 wrapped with the film and 3 an anchor being inserted through the film material, through the hole in the anchor plate, through the film material on the other side of the plate. The anchor would then be inserted into the ground.

FIG. 4 and FIG. 5 illustrate a 1 shallow hole with 2 an anchor inserted in the ground and 3 the field lining film material being wrapped around the anchor making a comer and 4 plastic pegs inserted through the material providing additional anchoring of the material to the ground.

FIG. 6 illustrates 1 the lining film material installed on the ground with 2 plastic pegs inserted through the material for anchoring purposes and 3 a shallow hole containing an anchor with film wrapped around it covered with soil.

FIG. 7 illustrates a bird's eye view of 1 the material being used to line half a soccer field and 2 a goal box with 3 pegs or wickets used as additional anchoring devices and 4 a soccer goal.

FIG. 8 illustrates 1 the lining material with 2 pegs inserted through the material for anchoring between comers or ends.

FIG. 9 and FIG. 10 illustrate 1 the lining material with easily removable 2 wickets used to anchor the material to the ground between comers or ends in a more temporary installation.

FIG. 11 illustrates 1 a reinforced end attached to 3 the lining material with 2 a hole or grommet in which an anchor can be inserted.

FIG. 12 illustrates 1 a metal ring attached to 3 the lining material with 2 a reinforcment in which an anchor can be inserted.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Refer now to FIG. 1, which illustrates the preferred components of the system consisting of 1 the field lining material 2 an anchor plate 3 an anchor 4 a peg and 5 a wicket. This embodiment and components are used to create a semi-permanent practice field or other visual reference. FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 illustrate 1 an anchor plate being 2 wrapped with the film and 3 an anchor being inserted through the film material, through the hole in the anchor plate, through the film material on the other side of the plate. The anchor would then be inserted into the ground. FIG. 4 and FIG. 5 illustrate a 1 shallow hole with 2 an anchor inserted in the ground and 3 the field lining film material being wrapped around the anchor making a comer and 4 plastic pegs inserted through the material providing additional anchoring of the material to the ground. FIG. 6 illustrates 1 the lining film material installed on the ground with 2 pegs inserted through the material for anchoring purposes and 3 a shallow hole containing an anchor with film wrapped around it covered with soil. FIG. 7 illustrates a bird's eye view of 1 the material being used to line half a soccer field and 2 a goal box with 3 pegs or wickets used as additional anchoring devices and 4 a soccer goal.

FIG. 8 illustrates 1 the lining material with 2 pegs inserted through the material for anchoring between comers or ends. FIG. 9 and FIG. 10 illustrate 1 the lining material with easily removable 2 wickets used to anchor the material to the ground between corners or ends in a more temporary installation. FIG. 11 illustrates 1 a reinforced end attached to 3 the lining material with 2 a hole or grommet in which an anchor can be inserted. FIG. 12 illustrates 1 a metal ring attached to 3 the lining material with 2 a reinforcement in which an anchor can be inserted.