Title:
Soccer training aid and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A soccer training aid having at least one continuous, elongate, durable strip of field-marking webbing with grommets located at opposite ends and at an intermediate position on the webbing. Anchor pegs are secured to the grommets enabling the webbing to be removably secured to a surface of a playing field. The webbing can be wound into a compact storage condition on a hand-held carrier and conveniently carried to and from the playing field. A method of applying markings to a playing field is also disclosed.



Inventors:
Caruso, Anthony (Center Valley, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/328949
Publication Date:
06/21/2007
Filing Date:
01/10/2006
Assignee:
Kwik Goal Ltd. (Quakertown, PA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOWSON & HOWSON LLP (Blue Bell, PA, US)
Claims:
1. A soccer training aid, comprising: at least one continuous, elongate, durable strip of field-marking webbing extending between opposite ends; a plurality of grommets located on said webbing, said plurality of grommets including one grommet on each of said opposite ends of said webbing and at least one grommet located at an intermediate position between said opposite ends of said webbing; a plurality of anchor pegs, each peg being secured to one of said grommets so that said webbing is removably securable to a surface of a playing field; and a carrier on which said webbing is wound in a compact storage condition when stored, carried, or transported and from which said webbing is removable for placement on the playing field during use thereof.

2. A soccer training aid according to claim 1, wherein each of said anchor pegs has a proximal end with a substantially-closed hook which substantially-permanently captures said proximal end of said anchor peg to said grommet.

3. A soccer training aid according to claim 2, wherein, when said webbing is in said compact storage condition on said carrier, said anchor pegs remain secured to said grommets.

4. A soccer training aid according to claim 3, wherein said webbing is nylon webbing.

5. A soccer training aid according to claim 4, wherein said grommets are made of a corrosion resistant metal.

6. A soccer training aid according to claim 5, wherein each of said anchor pegs is made of zinc plated steel and includes an elongate distal portion for insertion into the playing field.

7. A soccer training aid according to claim 6, wherein said carrier includes a framework body having a handle and defining a spaced-apart pair of oppositely-opening webbing-receiving slots for supporting said webbing when said webbing is wound in said compact storage condition on said carrier.

8. A soccer training aid according to claim 7, wherein said framework body of said carrier is made of plastic.

9. A soccer training aid according to claim 8, further comprising a plurality of said strips of said field-marking webbing, wherein each of said strips is at least about thirty feet in length, and wherein said carrier has a capacity to hold about eight of said strips in said compact storage condition.

10. A method of creating defined areas for soccer training drills, comprising the steps of: transporting at least one continuous, elongate, durable strip of field-marking webbing wound in a compact storage condition on a hand-held carrier to a playing field; removing the webbing from said carrier; and securing the webbing to the playing field in a predetermined layout by inserting anchor pins extending from said webbing into the playing field at opposite ends of said webbing and at an intermediate location of said webbing.

11. A method according to claim 10, wherein said securing step includes gripping a substantially-closed hook proximal end of one of the anchor pegs and applying a downwardly-directed force thereon to insert an elongate distal end of the anchor peg into the playing field.

12. A method according to claim 11, wherein said predetermined layout is a substantially square grid for a soccer training drill within the grid.

13. A method according to claim 11, wherein said predetermined layout is V-shaped for use during a player tracking exercise.

14. A method according to claim 11, wherein said predetermined layout is a step layout for use during a line of sight training drill.

15. A method according to claim 11, wherein said predetermined layout includes a base line and several lines spaced at varying distances therefrom for use during a shuttle run drill.

16. A method according to claim 11, wherein said transporting step includes transporting multiple identical strips of webbing each wound on said carrier, wherein each webbing is at least about thirty feet in length.

17. A method according to claim 16, further comprising a step of removing the webbing from the playing field after said securing step.

18. A method according to claim 17, further comprising a step of re-securing the webbing to the playing field in a different layout pattern after said step of removing the webbing from the playing field.

19. A method according to claim 17, further comprising a step of winding the webbing onto the carrier so that the webbing is placed in the compact storage condition and can be readily stored and carried after completion of soccer training drills.

20. A method according to claim 19, wherein, during said winding step, said anchor pins remain attached to the webbing.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit under 35 USC §119(e) of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/752,169, filed Dec. 19, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a device and method for creating defined playing areas for soccer training drills.

Various types of training systems and field markers are known. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,669,833 issued to Stone discloses a system in which a series of cones and a flexible cord is used in training drills for kicking and dribbling a soccer ball. U.S. Pat. No. 6,447,427 B1 issued to Myrland et al. and U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,955,631 B2 and 6,475,116 B2 issued to Chen Wu disclose agility training ladders applied to a ground surface. U.S. Pat. No. 2,458,984 issued to Engle and U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,613,855 and 5,839,903 issued to Thompson et al. disclose football training aids and markers, and U.S. Pat. No. 4,880,243 issued to Raub, U.S. Pat. No. 1,257,768 issued to Turner et al., U.S. Pat. No. 1,986,941 issued to Pearson, and U.S. Pat. No. 1,605,662 issued to Kayser disclose markers for outlining volleyball and tennis courts.

Although the above referenced training systems, devices and methods disclosed by the above referenced patents may be satisfactory for their intended purposes, there is a need for a soccer training system enabling a playing surface to be marked and re-marked to define training area boundaries in a manner requiring a minimum of time, effort, skill and labor. Preferably, the markers should be capable of ready transport to and from the playing field in a compact storage condition and capable of ready application on the playing surface in any desired layout.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of the present invention, a soccer training aid includes at least one continuous, elongate, durable strip of field-marking webbing having a plurality of grommets. The grommets are located at opposite ends of the webbing and at an intermediate position on the webbing. Anchor pegs are secured to the grommets so that the webbing can be removably secured to a surface of a playing field. The soccer training aid also includes a hand-held carrier on which the webbing can be wound in a compact storage condition.

In a preferred embodiment, each anchor peg has a substantially-closed hook proximal end that substantially-permanently captures the anchor peg to one of the grommets on the webbing. The anchor pegs remain secured to the grommets during use of the webbing on a playing surface and when the webbing is placed in the compact storage condition on the carrier. Preferably, the webbing is nylon webbing, the grommets are made of a corrosion resistant metal, and the anchor pegs are made of zinc plated steel. In addition, preferably the carrier includes a plastic framework body that has a handle and that defines a spaced-apart pair of oppositely-opening web-receiving slots for supporting the webbing when the webbing is wound in the compact storage condition on the carrier. The carrier has the capacity to support multiple strips of field-marking webbing with each strip preferably being at least thirty feet in length.

According to another aspect of the present invention, a method is provided for creating defined areas for soccer training drills. One or more continuous, elongate, durable strips of field-marking webbing are wound in a compact storage condition on a hand-held carrier which is carried by hand to a playing field. The webbing is removed from the carrier and is secured to the playing field in a predetermined layout by inserting anchor pins extending from the webbing into the playing field. Preferably, the anchors pins are located at opposite ends of the webbing and at an intermediate location of the webbing. Examples of layouts include layouts for grid training, player tracking exercises, line of sight training drills, and shuttle runs. The method also includes a step of winding the webbing onto the carrier to position the webbing in the compact storage condition.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention should become apparent from the following description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is perspective view of a strip of field marking webbing according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of a grommet and anchor pin assembly taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 3-5 are examples of layout patterns for soccer training according to the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is an elevational view of field marking webbing (shown in phantom) stored on a hand-held carrier according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A strip of field-marking webbing 10 according to the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1. By way of example, the webbing 10 can be provided as a continuous strip of yellow nylon webbing having a width of about an inch, a length of about thirty feet, and a thickness of about 0.04 inch. Of course, the webbing 10 can be made of other materials and can be made having other dimensions. In use, the webbing 10 is secured to the surface of a playing field and provides a marker, or boundary, for a training exercise related to the game of soccer, or like sport. The webbing 10 can also include indicia (not shown), for instance, to identify one yard increments along the webbing 10.

Apertures 12 are formed through the webbing 10 at predetermined locations and are reinforced with corrosion resistant metal grommets 14. Preferably, an aperture 12 and grommet 14 is located adjacent each opposite end, 16 and 18, of the webbing 10 and at an intermediate location of the webbing 10, such as at a central position 20 of the webbing 10. The apertures 12 and grommets 14 receive anchor pegs 22 used to temporarily secure the webbing 10 to the surface of the playing field in a desired layout.

Preferably, each anchor peg 22 has a distal end 24 capable of being readily inserted by hand into the playing field. For example, the anchor peg 22 can be made of zinc plated steel and the distal end 24 can be about three inches in length and have a diameter of about 0.2 inch. Other dimensions and materials can be utilized.

A proximal end 26 of the anchor peg 22 is preferably formed into a substantially closed loop, or hook, 28 about the grommet 14 so that it is captured to the grommet 14 and webbing 10. For instance, see FIG. 2. This substantially permanently secures the anchor pegs 22 to the webbing 10 so that the anchor pegs 22 are always carried on the webbing 10 regardless of whether the webbing 10 is in use on a playing field (see FIGS. 3-5) or is being stored on a carrier (see FIG. 6). The loop 28 also provides a part of the anchor peg 22 that can be readily gripped by hand during insertion of the anchor peg 22 into the field or during removal of the anchor peg 22 from the field.

The webbing 10 can be readily secured to the surface of the playing field in any desired layout pattern. For example, one or more webbings 10 can form a square, or grid, layout 30 for use in defining the boundaries of a soccer training drill in which, for instance, two offensive players pass a soccer ball within the grid while a defensive player attempts to steal the soccer ball from the offensive players. Alternatively, one or more webbings 10 can be positioned to form a V-shaped field-marking pattern 32 for use in player tracking exercises in which one stationary offensive player is located at the closed end of the “V” and passes a soccer ball along either leg of the “V” to a second offensive player moving between the legs at the open end of the “V” while being tracked by a defender. (The dashed line in FIG. 4 shows ball movement and the solid lines show player movement.) Another layout includes a step, or zigzag, arrangement 34 for use in line of sight training in which a player advances along the length of the pattern while facing in only one direction throughout the exercise. Yet a further layout includes a shuttle run arrangement (not shown) in which players run from a base field-marking line to the next closest untouched field-marking line and back until all lines are touched. Of course, the webbing 10 can be used in other layout patterns and for other drills.

One or more of the webbings 10 can be positioned in a compact condition 38 on a carrier 40 so that the webbing or webbings 10 can be readily hand carried to and from the practice field. As best illustrated in FIG. 6, the carrier 40 has a framework body 42 with a handle 44 and upper and lower framing members, 46 and 48, interconnected by cross-braces, 50, 52 and 54. The webbing 10 can be wound around the cross-braces 52 and 54. The terminal ends 56 of the upper and lower framing members, 46 and 48, capture the webbing 10 on the cross-braces, 52 and 54, and help define a pair of opposed, substantially C-shaped slots, 58 and 60, in which the webbing 10 is received. By way of example, the framework body 42 can be made of plastic, have a total length of about 18.5 inches, a total height of 4.75 inches and a width of about 0.7 inch, and have the capacity to carry a sufficient number and size of strips of webbing 10 capable of forming at least a pair of ten yard by ten yard grids on a playing field.

The present invention also includes a method enabling ready set up and adjustment of field markings for use in a variety of soccer training drills. One or more strips of field marking webbing 10 are wound in a compact storage condition 38 on a hand-held carrier 40. Anchor pegs 22 used to secure the webbing 10 to the surface of a playing field are affixed to the webbing 10 and are carried on the carrier 40 with the webbing 10. The carrier 40 can be gripped by hand and manually carried to a practice field. The webbing 10 is then unwound and removed from the carrier 40 and placed in any desired configuration on the playing surface. For example, the grid 30, V-shape 32, step shape 34, or shuttle run layout patterns discussed above can be formed.

After the webbing 10 is positioned on the surface of the playing field, the loop 28 of the proximal end 26 of each anchor peg 22 is gripped by hand and pressure is manually applied to sink the distal end 24 of the anchor peg 22 into the ground surface to temporarily secure the webbing 10 to the playing field. This step is repeated for all anchor pegs 22 on each webbing 10. This preferably includes inserting anchor pegs 22 into the ground at each end, 16 and 18, of the webbing 10 and at a central position 20 of the webbing 10. After all anchor pegs 22 are secured to the ground, the soccer training grid, player tracking, line of sight, shuttle run, or like drill is started.

Removal of the anchor pegs 22 from the ground and re-positioning of the webbing 10 into a different layout pattern can readily be accomplished in a minimum amount of time and effort. To this end, the loops 26 of the anchor pegs 22 are gripped and pulled upwardly to remove the anchor pegs 22 from the ground, and the distal ends 24 of the anchor pegs 22 are then reinserted into the ground at desired new locations. The anchor pegs 22 are permanently secured to the webbing 10 so that repositioning of the anchor pegs 22 simultaneously accomplishes repositioning of the webbing 10.

When the webbing 10 is no longer needed, one or more strips of the webbing 10 are wound onto the carrier 40 in the compact storage condition 38. The webbing 10 is wound onto the carrier 40 with the anchor pegs 22 affixed to the grommets 14 of the webbing 10. Preferably, each carrier 40 has a capacity to hold multiple strips of webbing 10 of a length sufficient to form at least a pair of ten yard by ten yard grids on a playing field.

While a preferred soccer training aid and method have been described in detail, various modifications, alterations, and changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the soccer training aid and method according to the present invention as defined in the appended claims.





 
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