Title:
Baseball data gathering device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hand-held baseball data gathering and manipulating device is used by coaches and scouts to analyze and coach pitchers and players. The device includes functions for tracking and analyzing pitching performance and for tracking and analyzing playing performance of players other than pitchers. Stop watch functions are also included.



Inventors:
Neel, Steven L. (Weed, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/481985
Publication Date:
01/31/2008
Filing Date:
07/06/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00
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Primary Examiner:
GARNER, WERNER G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STEVEN L. NEEL (WEED, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A hand-held baseball data gathering and manipulating device comprising: A) a housing having a first surface that is a display surface when the housing is in use, a first wall which is a top wall when the housing is in use and a second wall which is a bottom wall when the housing is in use; B) a strap attached to the second wall of the housing; C) a display screen on the first surface; D) a plurality of function buttons including (1) a plurality of strike buttons, each strike button being associated with a particular type of pitch, (2) a plurality of ball buttons, each ball button being associated with a particular type of pitch, (3) a reset button, and (4) a cancel button; and E) a pitch count display screen.

2. A hand-held baseball data gathering and manipulating device comprising: A) a housing having a first surface that is a display surface when the housing is in use, a first wall which is a top wall when the housing is in use and a second wall which is a bottom wall when the housing is in use; B) a strap attached to the second wall of the housing; C) a display screen on the first surface; D) a stop watch function in the housing; E) a plurality of function buttons including (1) a first button to select whether a pitcher or a catcher is being tracked, (2) a second button to select whether a catcher is being tracked, (3) a third button to select whether a runner is being tracked, (4) a reset button, and (5) a cancel button; and F) a display for average times.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the general art of data gathering devices, and to the particular field of data gathering device used in baseball.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Sporting contests require accurate recordation of the events that transpire during the contest. A significant statistical record is often generated in a single athletic contest. Accurate record keeping often requires an experienced skilled individual and a significant effort during the contest. The final outcome of the contest is determined by record keeping or scoring and an evaluation of the contestants performance is accomplished through analysis of the statistical record. Historically a scorekeeper who has considerable knowledge of the contest is utilized to perform the necessary recordation and statistical compilations.

Traditionally, scorekeepers for various sports have kept track of the score of a game as well as numerous additional statistics related to various aspects of the game on specialized score sheets. These score sheets contain sections for recording the appropriate events of the game such that elaborate statistics may be compiled following the game, or even as the game progresses. These statistics may relate, not only to the specific game being played, but may also extend to an entire playing season or part thereof and may highlight trends relating to a particular player, team, or other category of game related-statistic.

Conventionally, it was normal to fill all the baseball game data in a data sheet made of paper, so-called baseball game scorebook, and to record the baseball game data while the game was in progress. Unfortunately, it was not possible to extract desired information instantly in a usable form when it is needed.

Therefore, there is a continuing search for new and innovative methods to enhance the performance of athletes to their highest level. The use of “radar guns” to measure the velocity of a pitched baseball is an example of a recent application of technology. However, its use has had only a minimal impact upon the training and perfection of pitching ability.

The goal of the pitcher is to deliver a baseball at a high velocity across the plate within the strike zone, but in the strike areas where hits occur less frequently. In pitching strategy, the pitcher attempts to avoid a hit by creating variations of velocity, movement of the baseball, and location of the baseball as it penetrates the strike zone. The most difficult effect to accomplish with reliability is variation of location of the baseball as it penetrates the strike zone. It is believed that the majority of baseball pitchers learn the art of throwing to a specific location only after they lose their ability to control velocity or movement or both. There is a need, therefore, for training apparatus which can be used by a baseball pitcher to improve his performance in pitch delivery and placement.

There is much data that goes well beyond merely ball and strike count. For example, most known counters, such as used by umpires and the like, have no provision for denoting the particular “inning,” which often times involves dispute from failure of the umpire to recall the number of innings remaining.

Yet a further of the shortcomings of presently available devices arise because such devices have no provision for tracking a pitcher's pitches. If it is possible for a team scorer or pitcher to know the kind of pitch a particular batter can use to hit a home run, then he can gain a considerable advantage over that batter if and when the pitcher confronts the batter in a future game.

On the other hand, if it is possible for a batter to know the strongest pitches of a particular pitcher and study the pitcher's pitching motion in the form of still pictures or videos, that batter can then gain an advantage over that pitcher.

Therefore, there is a need for a device that can accurately and efficiently record a great deal of data, beyond a mere record of balls and strikes, relating to a baseball game.

While computers and the like are available for recording statistics, such devices are often cumbersome, delicate and difficult to use.

Therefore, there is a need for a device that can accurately and efficiently record a great deal of data, beyond a mere record of balls and strikes, relating to a baseball game and which are easy to use.

Another goal of scouts and coaches is to have accurate data related to pitcher delivery times, catcher pop times, and base runner times.

Therefore, there is a need for a device that can accurately and effectively record throwing and running times, related to a baseball game.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The above-discussed disadvantages of the prior art are overcome by a hand-held device that will record data associated with a baseball game, including, but not limited to: pitches, pitch count, types of pitches, number of strikes and balls thrown, percentages, times, throwing times, running time, and the like. One form of the device can be used by coaches for pitchers and other forms can be used by scouts and coaches for everyone else. The device also functions in a stop watch mode so players can be timed as needed for analysis an coaching and scouting.

Using the embodying the present invention will permit coaches and scouts to keep track of all pertinent statistics for players so performances can be quickly and easily evaluated for teaching or scouting purposes.

Other systems, methods, features, and advantages of the invention will be, or will become, apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following figures and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features, and advantages be included within this description, be within the scope of the invention, and be protected by the following claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

The invention can be better understood with reference to the following drawings and description. The components in the figures are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the principles of the invention. Moreover, in the figures, like referenced numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the different views.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one form of a baseball data device embodying the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of another form of a baseball data device embodying the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the figures, it can be understood that the present invention is embodied in a hand-held baseball data gathering and manipulating device 10. Device 10 comprises a housing 12 which has a first surface 14 that is a display surface when the housing is in use, a first wall 16 which is a top wall when the housing is in use and a second wall 18 which is a bottom wall when the housing is in use. A strap 20 is attached to second wall 18 of the housing.

A display screen 26 is located on first surface 14 and can be a LED screen or the like. A plurality of function buttons are located on the housing. Each function button is associated with a circuit and a memory chip. The circuits and chips are well known to those skilled in the art. The details of the circuits and chips are not important to this invention and as such will not be described or claimed.

The function buttons include a plurality of strike buttons 30 each strike button being associated with a particular type of pitch, such as a fast ball 32, a curve ball 34, a change up 36 or other type of pitch 38. A plurality of ball buttons 40 with each ball button being associated with a particular type of pitch. A reset button 42 is located on wall 16, and a cancel button 44 is also located on wall 16. A pitch count display screen 46 is located on surface 14.

Each time a particular pitch button is pressed, the pitch count increases and the display on the display screen 26 is updated accordingly. The cancel button will allow a user to change the input as needed and the reset button will clear all data from the device. A second version of the device 10′ is shown in FIG. 2 and comprises a housing 60 having a first surface 62 that is a display surface when the housing is in use, a first wall 64 which is a top wall when the housing is in use and a second wall 66 which is a bottom wall when the housing is in use.

A strap 70 is attached to second wall 66 of the housing. A display screen 80 is located on first surface 62. A stop watch function 90 is located in the housing and operates in the known manner. A plurality of function buttons 100 includes a first button 102 to select whether a pitcher or a catcher is being tracked, a second button 104 to select whether a catcher is being tracked, and a third button 106 to select whether a runner is being tracked.

A reset button 110 allows the device to be cleared and a cancel button 112 clears the last entry in the event of an error or the like. A display 114 displays average times and is connected to suitable circuitry in the housing. Additional reset buttons 116 are also connected to the circuits in the housing.

In the pitcher's split mode, the first touch of the control button starts the pitcher's time, the second touch ends the pitcher's time and starts the catcher's time and a third touch will end the catcher's time. If there is no third touch within five seconds after the second touch, the watch function will not record catcher's time. Pitcher time, catcher time and total time will be displayed.

Button 104 is of the catcher's mode. This mode will calculate just the pop times of the catcher, if the pitcher's times are not needed. The device will also average pitcher and catcher times. The average times are displayed on screen 114. Button 106 will allow the device to function as a normal stop watch to record runner's times. The reset buttons 116 will reset the last display on one touch and reset all on two touches.

Two versions of the device are contemplated. In a pitching coach version, the device can display four types of pitches including curve, fastball, change other, the number of strikes and balls thrown, the percentage of strikes for each pitch type thrown, the total number of pitches thrown during a game, during warmup, balls thrown to hold runners, and the like. In a scout form of the device, data tracking a pitcher's throws to home, catcher's pop times to second base, and runners' times, and the like can be stored and manipulated.

While various embodiments of the invention have been described, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that many more embodiments and implementations are possible within the scope of this invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be restricted except in light of the attached claims and their equivalents.





 
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