Title:
Structure Of Batting Tee Ball-Holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A structure of the ball holder for a batting tee is provided, including a holder base and a plurality of resilient supporting elements on the holder base. The resilient supporting elements include at least three long resilient elements with upstanding position on the top surface of the holder base. The entire ball holder is monolithic, for example, manufactured by injection molding. With minimum contact surface, the ball holder can reduce the impact of the friction on the trajectory.



Inventors:
Liao, Grace (Taipei, TW)
Application Number:
11/420221
Publication Date:
11/29/2007
Filing Date:
05/25/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lin & Associates (Saratoga, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A structure of ball holder for batting tee, comprising a holder base and a plurality of resilient supporting elements, said resilient supporting elements comprising at least three long resilient elements and with upstanding position on the top surface of said holder base, said ball holder being monolithically manufactured

2. The structure as claimed in claim 1, wherein said resilient supporting elements are evenly and regularly distributed over the top surface of said holder base.

3. The structure as claimed in claim 2, wherein said resilient supporting elements are distributed as a plurality of concentric rings over said top surface of said holder base.

4. The structure as claimed in claim 3, wherein said resilient supporting elements on the outer rings are taller than said resilient supporting elements in the inner rings of said concentric rings.

5. The structure as claimed in claim 1, wherein said resilient supporting elements are irregularly distributed over the top surface of said holder base.

6. The structure as claimed in claim 1, wherein said ball holder is monolithically formed by injection molding of rubber.

7. The structure as claimed in claim 1, wherein said resilient supporting elements and said holder base are made of the same material.

8. The structure as claimed in claim 1, wherein said resilient supporting elements and said holder base are made of different materials.

9. A batting tee, comprising: a base plate; a supporting rod, placed on top of said base plate; and a ball holder, placed at the tip of said supporting rod, further comprising a holder base and at least three resilient supporting elements having long shape and with upstanding position on the top surface of said holder base, said ball holder being monolithically manufactured.

10. The batting tee as claimed in claim 9, wherein said supporting rod further comprises a primary rod body and a secondary rod body, said secondary rod body is sleeved inside said primary rod body and is retractable in and out of said primary rod body to adjust the height of said batting tee, and said ball holder is engaged and fixed to the tip to said secondary rod body.

11. The batting tee as claimed in claim 9, wherein said secondary rod body is a resilient and bendable tube.

12. The batting tee as claimed in claim 9, wherein ball holder is a removable part that can be engaged to the tip of said supporting rod.

13. A batting tee, comprising: a base plate; a supporting rod, placed on top of said base plate; and a ball holder, placed at the tip of said supporting rod, further comprising a holder base and at least three resilient supporting elements having long shape and with upstanding position on the top surface of said holder base.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a batting tee, and more specifically to a structure of a batting tee ball-holder to reduce the contact surface when holding the ball.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Conventional batting tee usually includes a base plate with an upstanding support rod. The tip of the supporting rod usually includes a soft rod in a shape of a cylinder with a ball-holder with a slightly larger diameter than the soft rod. The soft rod is made of rubber or foam for holding the ball. When the ball placed on the ball holder of the soft rod is hit, the soft rod will swing back and forth, and finally return to the original upstanding position for holding the ball for next batting practice. A drawback of the conventional batting tee is that the ball holder usually has a large contact surface with the ball. When the batter hits the ball from a higher position, the ball is pressed down to the ball holder, which increases the friction between the ball and the ball holder. This will affect the trajectory of the ball. On the other hand, when the batter hits the ball from a lower position, the bat is likely to contact the ball holder before the ball because the ball holder has a large diameter so that the ball will fall from the ball holder to the trajectory is greatly affected. All these will hinder the batting practice effectiveness.

To improve the above drawback, the inventor disclosed a structure of the ball holder for the batting tee, which is submitted for patent as U.S. application Ser. No. 11/134,203 (2005). The disclosed batting tee includes a ball holder having a plurality of hairs. Although the design is effective, the manufacturing process is more expensive as it involves more components and steps. The inventor has thus devised yet another improvement of the structure of a batting tee ball holder.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has been made to overcome the above-mentioned drawback of conventional batting tee ball holder. The primary object of the present invention is to provide a structure of batting tee ball holder which is effective and easy and inexpensive to manufacture. The main body of the ball holder can be monolithically manufactured, and the resilient supporting elements on the ball-holder can hold the ball with minimal contact surface so that the impact of the friction between the ball holder and the ball on the trajectory will be reduced during batting practice.

To achieve the above object, the present invention provides a structure of the ball holder, including a holder base and a plurality of resilient supporting elements on the holder base. The resilient supporting elements include at least three long resilient elements with upstanding position on the top surface of the holder base. The entire ball holder is monolithic, for example, manufactured by injection molding.

With the present invention, a batting tee includes a base plate, a supporting rod and a ball holder. The supporting rod is placed upstanding on the base plate. The ball holder is fixed to the tip of the supporting rod. The ball holder includes a holder base and a plurality of resilient supporting elements, as described above.

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 schematic view of a batting tee ball holder of the present invention;

FIG. 2A shows a top view of the structure shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 2B shows a cross-sectional view of the structure shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows a schematic view of an embodiment of a ball holder of the present invention applied in a batting tee; and

FIG. 4 shows a second embodiment of a ball holder of the present invention applied in a batting tee.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 shows a schematic view of a batting tee ball holder of the present invention. A batting tee ball holder 1 includes a holder base 11 and a plurality of resilient supporting elements 12. Ball holder 1 is placed on a batting tee for holding the ball for batting practice. Resilient supporting elements 12 include at least three long resilient elements. Each long resilient element has one end fixed on the top surface of holder base 11 with an upstanding position. Therefore, resilient supporting elements 12 can swing back and forth with one end attached to holder base 11. For batting practice, the ball is placed on the other end of long resilient supporting elements 12. Resilient supporting elements 12 should be strong enough to support the ball placed on them. Holder base 11 is a cylinder with a large cross-sectional area so that the distribution of resilient supporting elements 12 can hold the ball in place. Entire ball holder 1 is monolithic, for example, the entirety can be made of rubber or other resilient material by injection molding.

The length and diameter of each long object of resilient supporting elements 12, and the total number of resilient supporting elements 12 determine the resilience and the supporting effect of ball holder 1. The embodiment shown in FIG. 2A includes 19 long resilient elements. However, the number of the long resilient elements can vary according to the design. The designs with other numbers of resilient elements are also within the scope of the present invention. In this embodiment, resilient supporting elements 12 are evenly distributed over the top surface of holder base 11. As shown in FIG. 2A, the distribution of resilient supporting elements 12 is in a pattern of a plurality of concentric rings. In addition, to match the curvature of the ball, the resilient supporting elements on the outer rings is taller than the resilient supporting elements in the inner rings, and the height decreases gradually inward towards the center, as shown in FIG. 2B. With this design, the weight of the ball can be evenly supported by resilient supporting elements 12. On the other hand, resilient supporting elements 12 can also be distributed irregularly over the top surface of holder base 11. For example, the area closer to the hitting point of the ball may have more resilient supporting elements, and gradually decreasing towards the trajectory direction of the ball. This design reduces the contact surface between the ball and the resilient supporting elements as the ball flies off the ball holder. Hence, the ball holder will has less impact on the flying trajectory.

This embodiment shows that holder base 11 and resilient supporting elements 12 are monolithically manufactured by, for example, injection molding of the same resilient material. Holder base 11 and resilient supporting elements 12 can also be made of different material and separately. For example, each long resilient element can be made individually. The long resilient elements can then be placed into a mold, and a second injection molding process with a different material can be used to form a holder base with implanted long resilient elements. The embodiment uses injection mold for description. Other equivalent methods are also within the scope of the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows an embodiment of the application of a ball holder of the present invention to a batting tee. The batting tee includes a base plate 2, a supporting rod 3, and a ball holder 1 connected to the tip of supporting rod 2. Base plate 1 can be made of the shape of a home base and with sufficient weight so that the batting tee will stand alone. The center at the top surface of base plate 2 is supporting rod 3 in an upstanding position. Supporting rod 3 further includes a primary rod body 31 and a secondary rod body 32. primary rod body 31 is hard and rigid, and has a slightly larger diameter so that secondary rod body 32 can sleeve in and out of primary rod body for adjusting the height of the batting tee. Secondary rod body 32 is made of a resilient material, such as rubber or similar material. Once hit in the batting practice, secondary rod body can swing back and forth, and return to the original upstanding position. Ball holder 1 is engaged and fixed to the tip of secondary rod body 32 of supporting rod 3 to support the ball with resilient supporting elements 12. With the minimum contact surface, ball holder 1 can reduce the impact on the trajectory caused by the friction.

FIG. 4 shows a second embodiment of the application of a ball holder to a batting tee. The batting tee includes a base plate 2, a supporting rod 3 and a ball holder 1. In this embodiment, ball holder 1 is retractable from the tip of secondary rod body 32 of supporting rod 3. For example, in this embodiment, the outer circumference of holder base 11 of ball holder 1 includes screw teeth 111, and the inside of secondary rod body 32 includes screw teeth 321, so that ball holder 1 can be screwed in to be fastened to secondary rod body 32. This design allows the replacement of the ball holder for different batting practice, for example, softball and baseball.

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.