Title:
BATTING TRAINING DEVICE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A batting training device includes a telescopic prop, a base, a plurality of support members, and a limiting unit. The telescopic prop has top and bottom ends. The base is connected to the bottom end of the prop. Each of the support members has a pivot end pivoted to the base, and a ground contacting end opposite to the pivot end. Each of the support members is pivotable upwardly relative the base from an unfolded position to a folded position. The limiting unit is provided on the base and has a plurality of blocking portions. The blocking portions are movable relative to the base between a blocking position and an unblocking position.



Inventors:
Liu, Jui-ju (Taichung Hsien, TW)
Liu, Ying-tsung (Taichung Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
12/174991
Publication Date:
01/21/2010
Filing Date:
07/17/2008
Assignee:
SHYR SHENG ENTERPRISE CO., LTD. (Taichung Hsien, TW)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/451
International Classes:
A63B69/00; A63B69/40
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KLAYMAN, AMIR ARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OCCHIUTI & ROHLICEK LLP (Boston, MA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A batting training device comprising: a telescopic prop having top and bottom ends; a base connected to said bottom end of said prop; a plurality of support members, each of which has a pivot end pivoted to said base and a ground contacting end opposite to said pivot end, each of said support members being pivotable upwardly relative to said base from an unfolded position, where said ground contacting ends of said support members are adapted to contact the ground so that said support members cooperate to support an assembly of said prop and said base on the ground, to a folded position, where said ground contacting ends of said support members are disposed adjacent to said prop; and a limiting unit provided on said base and having a plurality of blocking portions, said blocking portions being movable relative to said base between a blocking position, where each of said blocking portions is disposed to block upward pivoting movement of a respective one of said support members from the unfolded position to the folded position, and an unblocking position, where each of said blocking portions is disposed to permit upward pivoting movement of the respective one of said support members from the unfolded position to the folded position.

2. The batting training device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said telescopic prop includes a first tube, a second tube connected telescopically to said first tube, and a retaining member made of a resilient material, provided on one of said first tube and said second tube, and engaging frictionally the other one of said first tube and said second rod to permit retention of said second tube at a desired extended length relative to said first tube.

3. The batting training device as claimed in claim 2, wherein said first tube is an outer tube and said second tube is an inner tube that is extended into said first tube, said first tube being formed with a radial hole that is filled with an adhesive, said retaining member being sleeved on said first tube and being connected to said first tube via said adhesive.

4. The batting training device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said base includes an annular wall connected to said bottom end of said prop, and a plurality of pairs of pivot lugs that extend outwardly from said annular wall, each of said pairs of said pivot lugs defining a pivot space for receiving said pivot end of a respective one of said support members therein.

5. The batting training device as claimed in claim 4, wherein said limiting unit includes a coupling seat that connects said bottom end of said prop to said annular wall of said base, said blocking portions being movably provided on said coupling seat and being rotatable relative to said base such that each of said blocking portions blocks a top side of said pivot space of a respective one of said pairs of said pivot lugs to block upward pivoting movement of the respective one of said support members from the unfolded position to the folded position when said blocking portions are at the blocking position, and such that said blocking portions are staggered with said pivot spaces of said pairs of said pivot lugs to permit upward pivoting movement of said support members from the unfolded position to the folded position when said blocking portions are at the unblocking position.

6. The batting training device as claimed in claim 5, wherein said coupling seat is tubular and has an inner seat surface, said bottom end of said prop being inserted into said coupling seat, one of said inner seat surface and said bottom end of said prop being formed with a protrusion, the other one of said inner seat surface and said bottom end of said prop being formed with an indentation to engage said protrusion.

7. The batting training device as claimed in claim 5, wherein one of said pivot lugs in each of said pairs is formed with a first locking member, and each of said blocking portions is formed with a second locking member to engage said first locking member of the respective one of said pairs of said pivot lugs when said blocking portions are at the blocking position.

8. The batting training device as claimed in claim 7, wherein said first locking member is a female locking component, and said second locking member is a male locking component.

9. The batting training device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a ball support connected detachably to said top end of said prop.

10. The batting training device as claimed in claim 9, wherein said ball support includes a coupler connected detachably to said top end of said prop, and a ball-supporting tube connected detachably to said coupler.

11. The batting training device as claimed in claim 10, wherein said coupler extends along an axis and has an outer surface formed with a plurality of longitudinal ribs that extend parallel to the axis, said ball-supporting tube having an inner surface formed with a plurality of annular ribs to engage frictionally said longitudinal ribs.

12. The batting training device as claimed in claim 10, wherein said ball-supporting tube is made of a rubber material.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a batting training device, more particularly to a batting training device that is telescopic and that has pivotable support members.

2. Description of the Related Art

Referring to FIG. 1, a conventional batting training device 1 includes a cross-shaped base 11, a prop 12 having a bottom end connected to the base 11, and a ball support 13 made of foam and connected to a top end of the prop 12. In use, a ball 14 is placed on top of the ball support 13 so that the ball 14 is at a suitable height from the ground and so that the ball 14 can be struck with a baseball bat (not shown) for batting training.

However, since the cross-shaped base 11 is not foldable, and since the length of the prop 12 is not adjustable, the space required to store the batting training device 1 is relatively large, thereby making storage of the same inconvenient. In addition, the height of the ball 14 from the ground is not adjustable to suit the height of the user such that the batting training effect is unsatisfactory.

Referring to FIG. 2, Taiwanese Utility Model Number M269097 discloses a batting training device 2 that includes a base 21, a plurality of support members 22 pivoted to the base 21, a telescopic prop 23 connected to the base 21 and constructed from a plurality of tubes 231, a ball support 24 made of foam and connected to a top end of an innermost one of the tubes 231, and a bat holder 26 clipped onto the prop 23 for gripping a bat 25. The base 21 has a plurality of pivot lugs 211 on which the support members 23 are pivoted, respectively. Each of the pivot lugs 211 is configured to block upward pivoting movement of the respective support member 22 such that the support members 22 can cooperate to support an assembly of the prop 23 and the base 21 on the ground when the support members 22 are at an unfolded position.

When storing the batting training device 2, the length of the prop 23 can be shortened, and the support members 22 are pivoted downwardly relative to the base 21 from the unfolded position to a folded position. Therefore, an area occupied by the support members 22 is reduced when the support members 22 are at the folded position. However, because the support members 22 are pivoted downwardly when moved to the folded position, the length of the batting training device 2 is actually increased. It is therefore desirable to provide a batting training device that can be converted to a more compact size to facilitate storage when not in use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, the object of the present invention is to provide a batting training device that can overcome the aforesaid drawbacks of the prior art.

According to this invention, a batting training device includes a telescopic prop, a base, a plurality of support members, and a limiting unit. The telescopic prop has top and bottom ends. The base is connected to the bottom end of the prop. Each of the support members has a pivot end pivoted to the base, and a ground contacting end opposite to the pivot end. Each of the support members is pivotable upwardly relative the base from an unfolded position, where the ground contacting ends of the support members are adapted to contact the ground so that the support members cooperate to support an assembly of the prop and the base on the ground, to a folded position, where the ground contacting ends of the support members are disposed adjacent to the prop. The limiting unit is provided on the base and has a plurality of blocking portions. The blocking portions are movable relative to the base between a blocking position, where each of the blocking portions is disposed to block upward pivoting movement of a respective one of the support members from the unfolded position to the folded position, and an unblocking position, where each of the blocking portions is disposed to permit upward pivoting movement of the respective one of the support members from the unfolded position to the folded position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment of this invention, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional batting training device;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of another conventional batting training device disclosed in Taiwanese Utility Model Number M269097;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of a batting training device according to this invention;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary partly exploded perspective view to illustrate a limiting unit of the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating how blocking portions block upward pivoting movement of support members according to the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 7 is a side view illustrating how the support members cooperate to support an assembly of a prop and a base on the ground according to the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating how the blocking portions permit upward pivoting movement of the support members according to the preferred embodiment; and

FIG. 9 is a side view of the preferred embodiment to illustrate the support members at a folded position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIGS. 3, 4, and 5, the preferred embodiment of a batting training device according to the present invention is shown to include a telescopic prop 3, a base 4, four support members 5, and a limiting unit 6.

The telescopic prop 3 has top and bottom ends, and includes a first tube 31, a second tube 32 connected telescopically to the first tube 31, a third tube 33 connected telescopically to the second tube 32, and first and second retaining members 341, 342. The first retaining member 341 is made of a resilient material such as rubber, is provided on one of the first tube 31 and the second tube 32, and engages frictionally the other one of the first tube 31 and the second tube 32 to permit retention of the second tube 32 at a desired extended length relative to the first tube 31. The second retaining member 342 is also made of a resilient material such as rubber, is provided on one of the second tube 32 and the third tube 33, and engages frictionally the other one of the second tube 32 and the third tube 33 to permit retention of the third tube 33 at a desired extended length relative to the second tube 32.

In this embodiment, the first tube 31 is an outermost tube, the second tube 32 is an inner tube that is extended into the first tube 31, and the third tube 33 is an innermost tube that is extended into the second tube 32. The first tube 31 has a top part formed with a radial hole 311 that is filled with an adhesive. The first retaining member 341 is sleeved on the top part of the first tube 31, and is connected to the first tube 31 via the adhesive. The second tube 32 also has a top part formed with a radial hole 321 that is filled with an adhesive. The second retaining member 342 is sleeved on the top part of the second tube 32, and is connected to the second tube 32 via the adhesive.

In this embodiment, the batting training device further includes a ball support connected detachably to the top end of the third tube 33 of the prop 3. The ball support includes a coupler 35 connected detachably to the top end of the third tube 33 of the prop 3, and a ball-supporting tube 36 connected detachably to the coupler 35. The coupler 35 extends along an axis, and has an outer surface formed with a plurality of longitudinal ribs 351 that extend parallel to the axis. In this embodiment, the ball-supporting tube 36 is made of a rubber material, and has an inner surface formed with a plurality of annular ribs 361 to engage frictionally the longitudinal ribs 351.

The base 4 includes an annular wall 41 connected to the bottom end of the first tube 31 of the prop 3, and four pairs of pivot lugs 42 that extend outwardly from the annular wall 41. Each of the pairs of the pivot lugs 42 defines a pivot space 420.

Each of the support members 5 has a pivot end 51 pivoted to the base 4, and a ground contacting end 52 opposite to the pivot end 51. The pivot end 51 of each of the support members 5 is received in the pivot space 420 defined by a respective pair of the pivot lugs 42, and is pivoted to the respective pair of the pivot lugs 42. Each of the support members 5 is pivotable upwardly relative to the base 4 from an unfolded position (see FIG. 7), where the ground contacting ends 52 of the support members 5 are adapted to contact the ground so that the support members 5 cooperate to support an assembly of the prop 3 and the base 4 on the ground, to a folded position (see FIG. 9), where the ground contacting ends 52 of the support members 5 are disposed adjacent to the prop 3.

The limiting unit 6 includes a coupling seat 61 that connects the bottom end of the first tube 31 of the prop 3 to the annular wall 41 of the base 4, and four blocking portions 621. The coupling seat 61 is tubular and has an inner seat surface formed with two protrusions 611. The bottom end of the first tube 31 of the prop 3 is inserted into the coupling seat 61 and is formed with two indentations 312 to engage the protrusions 611, respectively. It is noted that the positions of the protrusions 611 and the indentations 312 may be interchanged in other embodiments of the invention.

Referring to FIGS. 3, 6, and 8, the blocking portions 621 are movably provided on the coupling seat 61 and are rotatable relative to the base 4 between a blocking position (see FIG. 6), where each of the blocking portions 621 is disposed to block a top side of the pivot space 420 of a respective one of the pairs of the pivot lugs 42 so as to block upward pivoting movement of a respective one of the support members 5 from the unfolded position to the folded position, and an unblocking position (see FIG. 8), where the blocking portions 621 are staggered with the pivot spaces 420 of the pairs of the pivot lugs 42 to permit upward pivoting movement of the support members 5 from the unfolded position to the folded position.

In this embodiment, one of the pivot lugs 42 in each of the pairs is formed with a first locking member 43, and each of the blocking portions 621 is formed with a second locking member 622 to engage the first locking member 43 of the respective one of the pairs of the pivot lugs 42 when the blocking portions 621 are at the blocking position. In this embodiment, the first locking member 43 is a female locking component, and the second locking member 622 is a male locking component. Accordingly, the support members 5 can be stabilized when at the unfolded position.

Referring to FIGS. 3, 4 and 7, when it is desired to adjust the height of a ball 71 on a top end of the ball-supporting tube 36 of the ball support during training, it is only required to lengthen or shorten the prop 3 by adjusting extension of the second tube 32 relative to the first tube 31 and extension of the third tube 33 relative to the second tube 32. The frictional engagement produced by the first and second retaining members 341, 342 permits retention of the second tube 32 at a desired extended length relative to the first tube 31, and retention of the third tube 33 at a desired extended length relative to the second tube 32. Therefore, the height of the ball 71 for batting training can be adjusted with ease.

During batting training, the ball 71 is struck with the use of a bat 72. If the ball-supporting tube 36 is undesirably struck with the bat 72, the ball-supporting tube 36 can be automatically restored to its initial state by virtue of its resiliency. Therefore, the ball-supporting tube 36 is not easily damaged, and the service life of the batting training device is prolonged.

Referring to FIGS. 8 and 9, when it is desired to store the batting training device, the ball-supporting tube 36 and the coupler 35 are detached from the prop 3, and the length of the prop 3 is shortened. The blocking portions 621 are then rotated relative to the base 4 from the blocking position to the unblocking position such that the blocking portions 621 permit upward pivoting movement of the support members 5 from the unfolded position to the folded position. Subsequently, the support members 5 are pivoted upwardly relative to the base 4 such that the ground contacting ends 52 are disposed adjacent to the prop 3. The space occupied by the batting training device is reduced to a minimum at this time.

While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiment but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation and equivalent arrangements.