US 20020132686 A1
A cover for insertion into a poolside goal receiving hole is disclosed. The hole is the type for receiving basketball goal poles and/or volleyball net poles. The cover includes a table surface member having a generally flat top surface. The table surface member also includes a side skirt surface extending downwardly from the top surface. A central shank member is located beneath the table surface member. The shank member fits down into the goal receiving hole.
1. A cover for insertion into a basketball goal/volleyball net pole receiving hole located alongside a swimming pool, comprising:
a table surface member having a generally flat top surface and having a side skirt surface extending downwardly from said top surface a first distance, said side skirt surface defining a perimeter of said flat top surface;
said top surface member having a diameter distance which is greater than 1.9 inches and which is less than 16 inches;
a central shank member located beneath said table surface member and centrally located thereunder, said central shank member being integrally formed with said table surface member;
said central shank member having a transverse profile taken in a plan direction which is less than or equal to 1.9 inches, said central shank member having transverse dimensions taken in a plan direction to fit securely in the pole receiving hole comprising a cylindrical hole having a diameter of 1.9 inches;
wherein said central shank has a vertical length extending from said table surface member which is at least three times greater than said first distance of said side skirt surface.
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15. A kit, comprising:
a poolside sports event goal selected from the group consisting of: a basketball goal and a volleyball net, and including a pole adapted to be inserted into a hole located alongside a swimming pool;
a removable cover for insertion into a basketball goal/volleyball net pole receiving hole located alongside a swimming pool table, said cover including a surface member having a generally flat top surface;
a central shank member located beneath said table surface member and centrally located thereunder, said central shank member being integrally formed with said table surface.
 This invention relates to covers, and more particularly to a cover for a poolside hole adapted to receive a basketball goal pole and/or a volleyball net pole.
 Swimming pool recreation is popular. Such fun is enhanced by poolside basketball goals, and other such sporting goods equipment. An example of such equipment is shown in my earlier U.S. Pat. No. 5,037,093 entitled POOLSIDE BASKETBALL GOAL, which is incorporated by reference herein.
 It is desirable to provide a cover for the hole left when the poolside basketball/volleyball pole is removed, as well as an ornamental design cover. The present invention satisfies that need.
 Although the claims set forth the invention, it relates generally to a retrofit cover for a hole located alongside a swimming pool for receiving a basketball goal and/or a volleyball net pole or the like. It includes a table surface member having a generally flat top surface with a diameter that is greater than 1.9 inches and less than 16 inches. It also includes a central shank member beneath the table surface and having a transverse profile in a plan direction which is less than or equal to 1.9 inches to fit in the goal receiving hole.
 One object of the present invention is to provide the cover for a poolside hole. This and other objects and advantages which optionally may be included or may be discerned from the present disclosure.
FIG. 1 is a bottom perspective view of the cover insert in isolation;
FIG. 2 is a side cut-away view of the cover of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the cover of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a side view of the cover of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the cover of FIG. 1; and,
FIG. 6 is a side cut-away view of the cover of FIG. 1 inserted into a hole alongside a swimming pool.
 For the purposes of promoting an understanding of the principles of the invention, reference will now be made to the embodiments illustrated in the drawings and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended, and alterations and modifications in the illustrated device and method, and further applications of the principles of the invention as illustrated therein are herein contemplated as would normally occur to one skilled in the art to which the invention relates.
 Referring to FIGS. 1-6, one example of the present invention is shown in isolation. In FIG. 6, this exemplary version of the present invention is shown in place inside a poolside hole. More specifically, a retrofit cover 20 is provided for insertion in the hole 24 in tube 50. Hole 24 preferably is formed of a metal tubular sleeve 50 placed in concrete 36 defining the perimeter of the swimming pool. When the present cover is not being used, the hole is adapted to receive a pole, such as the type used to support a basketball goal, volleyball net or other equipment, such as, for example, pole segment 40 in U.S. Pat. No. 5,037,093.
 Cover 20 preferably includes the table surface member 28 having a generally flat top surface 30. The table surface member preferably also has a side skirt 32 having a surface extending downwardly from top surface 28. Preferably, this side skirt extends downwardly a first distance H (see FIG. 2). Optionally, table 30 maybe flat (with or without bevelled edges) with no side skirt. Preferably the side skirt member provides a perimeter, preferably a circular perimeter, around part or all of the perimeter of the table surface. Preferably, the skirt is blended into surface 30 in a convex curvature. It is optional, although not preferred, to have the side skirt member have interruptions in it. Preferably, distance H is generally a low profile, and the most preferred embodiment is 0.625 inches, although this may be varied according to design choice. Although the table surface and side skirt surface may be formed from a solid member, preferably they are hollow, forming a hollow chamber 38 underneath the table surface and diametrically within the side skirt surface.
 The top surface 30 preferably has a diameter which is greater that 1.9 inches, the preferred size of the opening to be covered, and preferably less than about 16 inches, although this may be varied somewhat. In the most preferred embodiment by way of example only, the diameter distance D is 6 inches. Note that the top surface 30 preferably is circular in shape, although it may be oval, square or otherwise, with the diameter distance being the smallest diametric distance for a given shape.
 A central shank member 34 is located beneath the table surface member in a general central location to allow the hole 24 to be covered. Although shank member 34 may be separately formed, preferably it is integrally formed with the table surface member 28. More preferably, both the shank member and the table surface member are integrally formed from molded plastic which is suitably tough to withstand pedestrian traffic and other wear and tear along a poolside. The shank member has a transverse profile T (see FIG. 2) which is less than or equal to 1.9 inches. Such transverse profile is the greatest effective diameter dictating whether the shank will fit into hole 24. Although in the most preferred embodiment, shank 34 is a hollow tubular member, with a diameter at or slightly under 1.9 inches, it may be other shapes as well. For example, it could be a four-flanged or three-flanged projection, square tube, solid shank or otherwise. Central shank has a vertical length L (see FIG. 2) extending from the table surface 28 downwardly which is preferably at least about two (2) and more preferably at least about three (3) times as great as the side skirt surface distance H. In the most preferred embodiment, by way of example only, length L is 3 inches, although this may be varied considerably according to design. Preferably, the central shank is hollow at 40, and preferably has an outer diameter between 1.8 and 1.9 inches. Preferably, the overall shape of cover 20 allows for single piece molding thereof using 2 mold halves moveable with respect to each other along a direction set forth by axis A (see FIG. 2) without substantial voids. In this regard, the 2 mold halves and their respective mold cavities engage with a part plane normal to axis A forming cover 20 without any substantial voids other than the hollow center of shank 34 and the cavity 38.
 For cosmetic enhancement, cover 20 is preferably coated with a polished chrome coating 66 on all, or at least the table surface 30 and side skirt 32 surface portions of the unit.
 Another aspect of the present invention is that the cover 20 may be sold in a kit which includes the cover 20 as well as a poolside basketball goal pole and/or a poolside volleyball net pole of the type generally disclosed in my U.S. Pat. No. 5,037,093 and incorporated by reference. In this way, the user may use the recreational equipment at poolside, and upon removal will replace it with cover 20 as previously described herein.
 As used herein, and particularly in the claims, the article “a” and the article “and” are not limited to the singular, and include one or more of the elements introduced by the article. While the invention has been illustrated and described in detail in the drawings and foregoing description, the same is to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive in character, it being understood that only the preferred embodiment have been shown and described and that all changes and modifications that come within the spirit of the invention are desired to be protected.