Title:
QUICK SET UP NET ASSEMBLY FOR GAME PLAY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A net assembly for game play, e.g., volleyball, badminton, or other games, is disclosed. The net assembly includes a first net pole, a second net pole, a first collar for securing to the first net pole, and a second collar for securing to the second net pole. A stabilizer cord is provided that has stakes affixed to each end. The collars each have a securement device for securing the collars to a net pole, a stabilizer affixing portion for receiving a stabilizer cord and a net affixing device for receiving a net cord. Preferably, the stabilizer affixing portion receives a midpoint of the stabilizer cord. Additionally, net poles preferably have a non-circular shape and the collars preferably have a complimentary shape to that of the non-circular net poles. The mating non-circular shapes enable the collars to be positioned at a desired angular orientation.



Inventors:
Nally, Michael (Ridgewood, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/777688
Publication Date:
01/15/2009
Filing Date:
07/13/2007
Assignee:
SPORTCRAFT, LTD. (Mt. Olive, NJ, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B61/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NICONOVICH, ALEXANDER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CROWE & DUNLEVY (TULSA, OK, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A net assembly for game play comprising: a first net pole; a second net pole; a first collar for securing to said first net pole; a second collar for securing to said second net pole; a stabilizer cord having a first stake affixed to a first end and having a second stake affixed to a second end; wherein said first collar and said second collar each have a securement device, a net affixing portion and a stabilizer affixing portion; wherein said net affixing portion is for receiving an end of a net; and wherein said stabilizer affixing portion is for receiving a midpoint of said stabilizer cord.

2. The net assembly for game play according to claim 1 wherein: said first net pole and said second net pole have a non-circular shape; and at least one of said first collar and said second collar have a complimentary shape to said non-circular shape of at least one of said first net pole and said second net pole so that at least one of said first collar and said second collar may be positioned on said first net pole and said second net pole, respectively, at a desired angular orientation.

3. The net assembly for game play according to claim 2 wherein: said at least one of said first net pole and said second net pole and said first collar and said second collar are hexagonal in shape.

4. The net assembly for game play according to claim 1 wherein: said securement device is a threaded member.

5. The net assembly for game play according to claim 1 wherein: said net affixing portion and said stabilizer affixing portion are circular members for receiving a cord.

6. A method of setting up a game play net comprising the steps of: locating a first net pole having an upper collar and a lower collar surrounding said first net pole; locating a second net pole having an upper collar and a lower collar surrounding said second net pole; affixing a first end of said net to net affixing portions of said upper collar and said lower collar of said first net pole; affixing a second end of said net to net affixing portions of said upper collar and said lower collar of said second net pole; passing a midpoint of a first stabilizer cord over a stabilizer portion of one of said upper collar and said lower collar of said first net pole; passing a midpoint of a second stabilizer cord over a stabilizer portion of one of said upper collar and said lower collar of said second net pole; locating stakes affixed to a first end and a second end of said stabilizer cords in the ground at a location for applying proper tension to said net for effective game play.

7. The method according to claim 6 wherein: said collars are non-circular and said poles are non-circular; and further comprising the step of: locating said non-circular collars at a desired angular orientation on said non-circular pole to achieve a desired tension of said net.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to net assemblies for game play. More particularly, this invention relates to a net assembly having components that facilitate a quick set up of the net.

2. Background

Various games, including volleyball and badminton, require the use of a net over which an object is directed during game play. Such games are popular at informal gatherings such as picnics and the like. A difficulty associated with the set up of traditional net assemblies is that the net set up is burdensome. Typically, net set up requires the steps of tying the ends of the net to eye bolts protruding from net poles, locating support cords, and affixing the support cords to the poles.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The game net of the present invention utilizes collars that surround poles wherein support cords are easily affixed to the collars. To set up the inventive net, a user need only set up the poles, locate a support cord in an attachment point of a collar, slip the collars over the tops of the poles, vertically adjust the collars, and affix the collars in place with tightening screws. Support cords and stakes may be pre-attached to the collars. The collar is preferably non-circular, e.g., hex shaped, and easily slips over an end of a complementary shaped pole. The collar is preferably provided with a very simple wing nut screw mechanism for securing the collar to the pole. The inventive design reduces the number of steps required to set up a game net. The design of the present disclosure is of benefit to users because the design eliminates the hassle of pole and net set up. Therefore, the present invention provides an improvement in game nets and the set up of game nets for playing volleyball, badminton, and other games.

A better understanding of the present invention, its several aspects, and its advantages will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the attached drawings, wherein there is shown and described the preferred embodiment of the invention, simply by way of illustration of the best mode contemplated for carrying out the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the game net of the invention in a set up configuration;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the support cord with stakes attached to each end;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective view of a collar attached to the support cord of FIGS. 1 and 2 and to the net of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4a is a view of a square collar mounted on a square pole taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4b is a view of a octagonal collar mounted on a octagonal pole taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4c is a view of a hexagonal collar mounted on a hexagonal pole taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention will be further understood with reference to the following non-limiting experimental examples.

Before explaining the present invention in detail, it is important to understand that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the embodiments and steps described herein. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or carried out in a variety of ways. It is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.

Referring first to FIG. 1, net assembly is designated generally 10. Net assembly 10 includes a first net pole 12 and a second net pole 14. A first upper collar 16 and a first lower collar 18 are secured to first net pole 12. Additionally, a second upper collar 20 and a second lower collar 22 are secured to second net pole 14. Net 23 spans between first net pole 12 and second net pole 14 and is secured to collars 16, 18, 20 and 22.

In a preferred embodiment, at least one of the first net pole 12 and second net pole 14 have a non-circular shape. Additionally, at least one of the first set of collars, i.e., first upper collar 16 and first lower collar 18, and second set of collars, i.e., second upper collar 20 and second lower collar 22, have a complimentary shape to the non-circular shape of at least one of first net pole 12 and second net pole 14, so that at least one set of collars may be positioned on a respective first net pole 12 or second net pole 14 at a desired angular orientation. By locating one or more of collars 12, 14, 16, and 18 at an angular orientation that is offset from an orientation that is in line with net 23, net 23 may be tensioned as desired. Although the above example is discussed in terms of using upper and lower collars, i.e., upper collars 16, 20, in conjunction with a lower collars 18, 22, it should be understood that it may be possible to use a single collar for each of first net pole 12 and second net pole 14.

Referring now to FIG. 2, shown is a preferred embodiment of non-circular collar 16, 18, 20 and 22, i.e., a hexagonal collar 24 (also shown in FIG. 3c). Examples of other non-circular collars and complementary pole cross-sections are shown in FIGS. 3a through 3c, including square collar 28 (FIG. 3a) surrounding square pole 30, octagonal collar 32 (FIG. 3b) surrounding octagonal pole 34, or hexagonal collar 24 (FIG. 3c) surrounding hexagonal pole 33. Additionally, other non-circular cross-sectional shapes may also be utilized, including open shapes such as “T” cross-sectional poles, I-beam cross-sectional poles, or C-channel cross-sectional poles.

Still referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, it can be seen that each of the collars define an orifice 36 for receiving a threaded member, such as wing nut 38 that is used to secure collar 24, 28, 32 onto a complementary shaped pole 12, 30, 34. Additionally, each collar 24, 28, 32 possesses a stabilizer attachment point 40 and a net attachment point 42. In the preferred embodiment, each stabilizer attachment point 40 and net attachment point 42 are hook shaped protrusions (FIG. 2) adapted to receive a cord member.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 4, shown is a first stabilizer cord 44 for supporting first net pole 12 and a second stabilizer cord 46 for supporting second net pole 14. As shown in greater detail in FIG. 2, it can be seen that first stabilizer cord 44 is received within stabilizer attachment point 40 and first net cord 48 is received within net attachment point 42. In a preferred embodiment, upper collar 16 receives a first stabilizer cord 44 in stabilizer attachment point 40 and receives net cord 48 in net attachment point 42. Lower collars 18 and 22 are typically not affixed to a stabilizer cord 44, 46 at stabilizer attachment point 40 but instead are only affixed to net cord 48 at net attachment point 42. Stabilizer attachment point 40 may be omitted on lower collars 18 and 22. Alternatively, a stabilizer cord may be affixed to lower collars 18 and 22 instead of or in addition to upper collars 16 and 20. However, it is preferred to utilize only upper collars 16 and 20 since the higher attachment point provides good stability.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 4, stabilizer cord 44 is provided with a first stake 50 and a second stake 52 on a first and second end of first stabilizer cord 44. Additionally, second stabilizer cord 46 is provided with a first stake 54 and a second stake 56 on a first and second end of second stabilizer cord 46. Therefore, the portion of first stabilizer cord 44 and second stabilizer cord 46 that engage the stabilizer attachment point 40 of a selected collar 16, 18, 20, 22 is proximate a mid point of the stabilizer cord 44, 46. Preferably, the stabilizer cord 44, 46 and selected collar 16, 18, 20, 22 are pre-engaged so that a user may readily slip a collar 16, 18, 20, 22 over a selected net pole 12, 14 and drive pre-affixed stakes 50, 52, 54, 56 into the ground to set up stabilizer cords 44, 46 with a minimum of steps.

In use, a user locates first net pole 12, preferably having an upper collar 16 and lower collar 18 already in position. Similarly, a user then selects a second net pole 14, also preferably having an upper collar 20 and lower collar 22 surrounding second net pole. Net pole 12, 14 and collars 16, 18, 20, 22 are preferably non-circular, examples of which may be seen in FIGS. 3a through 3c. The user then affixes a first end of net 23 to net affixing portions 42 of upper collar 16 and lower collar 18 of first net pole 12. The user then affixes a second end of net 23 to net affixing points of upper collar 20 and lower collar 22 of second net pole 14. A middle portion of first stabilizer cord 44 is then passed over stabilizer attachment point 40 of one of upper collar 16 and lower collar 18 on first net pole 12. The user then passes a middle portion of second stabilizer cord 46 over a stabilizer attachment point 40 of second upper collar 20 and second lower collar 22 of second net pole 14. Stakes 50, 52, 54 and 56, which are located at first and second ends of first stabilizer cord 44 and second stabilizer cord 46, are then positioned in the ground at a location that applies a proper tension to net 23 for effective game play. Additionally, a user may locate one or more of collars 16, 18, 20, 22 on net poles 12, 14 at a desired angular offset from an orientation parallel to net 23. The selected angular offset will allow a user to make adjustments to the tension of net 23.

While the invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the invention is not limited to the embodiment(s) set for herein for purposes of exemplification, but is to be limited only by the scope of the attached claim or claims, including the full range of equivalency to which each element thereof is entitled.