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Publication numberUS20030054906 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/957,582
Publication dateMar 20, 2003
Filing dateSep 20, 2001
Priority dateSep 20, 2001
Publication number09957582, 957582, US 2003/0054906 A1, US 2003/054906 A1, US 20030054906 A1, US 20030054906A1, US 2003054906 A1, US 2003054906A1, US-A1-20030054906, US-A1-2003054906, US2003/0054906A1, US2003/054906A1, US20030054906 A1, US20030054906A1, US2003054906 A1, US2003054906A1
InventorsJames Allshouse, Scott Flowers
Original AssigneeAllshouse James R., Scott Flowers
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Breakaway basketball goal
US 20030054906 A1
Abstract
A preferred embodiment of the present invention provides a basketball goal assembly. The goal assembly includes a mounting bracket having opposing side plates. A first pair of opposing pivot holes are co-axially defined in the side plates to define a pivot axis. A rim assembly has a basketball goal rim and an attachment bracket. The attachment bracket also includes opposing side plates. A second pair of opposing pivot holes is defined in the attachment bracket side plates. The second pair of pivot holes are co-axially aligned first pair of pivot holes along the pivot axis. A pivot bar extends through the first and second pairs of pivot holes. The first end of the pivot bar terminates in a portion with a diameter larger than the diameter of the pivot holes, and the second end of said pivot bar terminates in a portion with a diameter larger than the diameter of the pivot holes. Preferably, at least one end of the pivot bar is cold forged in place. In an alternate embodiment, both the first end and the second end are cold forged to connect the goal assembly.
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Claims(14)
What is claimed is:
1. A basketball goal assembly, comprising:
a) a mounting bracket, wherein a first pair of opposing pivot holes is defined in said mounting bracket, wherein said first pair of pivot holes are co-axial and define a pivot axis;
b) a rim assembly having a basketball goal rim and an attachment bracket, wherein a second pair of opposing pivot holes is defined in said attachment bracket, and wherein said second pair of pivot holes are co-axial and aligned with said pivot axis;
c) a pivot bar extending through said first pair of pivot holes and said second said of pivot holes along said pivot axis, wherein said pivot bar has a first end and a second end; and,
d) wherein said first end of said pivot bar terminates in a portion with a diameter larger than the diameter of said pivot holes, and wherein said second end of said pivot bar terminates in a portion with a diameter larger than the diameter of said pivot holes.
2. The basketball goal assembly of claim 1 wherein said mounting bracket has a first pair of opposing side plates wherein said first pair of opposing pivot holes is defined in said first pair of side plates, and wherein said attachment bracket has a second pair of side plates wherein said second pair of opposing pivot holes is defined in said second pair of side plates.
3. The basketball goal assembly of claim 2 wherein at least one end of said pivot bar is cold forged into a shape with a diameter larger than the diameter of said pivot holes while said pivot bar is in place through said pivot holes.
4. The basketball goal assembly of claim 3 wherein said first end and said second end of said pivot bar are cold forged into a shape with a diameter larger than the diameter of said pivot holes while said pivot bar is in place through said pivot holes.
5. The basketball goal assembly of claim 4 wherein said first end and said second end of said pivot bar are solid.
6. The basketball goal assembly of claim 3 further comprising a spring assembly extending between said mounting bracket and said rim attachment bracket and oriented to resist pivotal motion of said rim assembly when downward pressure is exerted on said rim.
7. The basketball goal assembly of claim 6 furthering comprising:
a) a crossbar mounted to said rim attachment bracket;
b) a transverse plate rigidly mounted horizontally between said side walls of said mounting bracket and defining a vertical opening therethrough;
c) an eyebolt defining an eye opening encircling said crossbar and having a shaft extending through said vertical opening, wherein said shaft terminates in a threaded end;
d) a nut mounted on said threaded end of said shaft; and,
e) a spring mounted around said eyebolt between said nut and said transverse plate.
8. The basketball goal assembly of claim 6 furthering comprising:
a) an attachment section defined on said rim attachment bracket;
b) a stationary section formed on said mounting bracket;
c) a pull rod defining a first end and a second end wherein said first end is attached to said attachment section; and,
d) a spring resiliently mounted between said stationary member and said second end of said pull rod, wherein said spring is oriented to resist pivotal motion of said rim assembly in relation to said mounting bracket.
9. The basketball goal assembly of claim 2 wherein the side plates of said rim attachment bracket are nested between the side plates of said mounting bracket.
10. A pivot point for a basketball goal assembly, consisting essentially of:
a) a first pair of co-axial pivot holes defined in the side walls of a mounting bracket and defining a pivot axis;
b) a second pair of pivot holes defined in the side walls of a rim attachment bracket, wherein said second pair of pivot holes are co-axial with said pivot axis, and;
c) a pivot bar extending through said first pair of pivot holes and said second pair of pivot holes, wherein said pivot bar has a first end terminating in a portion with a diameter larger than the diameter of said pivot holes, and wherein said pivot bar has a second end terminating in a portion with a diameter larger than the diameter of said pivot holes.
11. The pivot mechanism of claim 10 wherein at least one end of said pivot bar is cold forged.
12. The pivot mechanism of claim 11 wherein said first end and said second end of said pivot bar are cold forged.
13. A method for pivotally attaching a basketball rim assembly to a mounting bracket, comprising the steps of:
a) providing a mounting bracket defining a first pair of co-axially aligned pivot holes;
b) providing a rim attachment bracket defining a second pair of pivot holes co-axially aligned with said first pair of pivot holes;
c) placing a pivot bar though said first and second pairs of pivot holes;
d) mounting said pivot bar in a press;
e) cold forging at least one end of said pivot bar with said press to shape said end into a portion with a diameter larger than the diameter of said pivot holes.
14. The method of claim 13 further comprising the step of cold forging the second end of said pivot bar to shape said end into a portion with a diameter larger than the diameter of said pivot holes.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention deals with basketball goals, and specifically deals with a pivot mechanism used in breakaway goals.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] With the rise in popularity of the sport of basketball and the frequency of larger players, it has become a well-known and sensational shot to “slam dunk” or dunk the ball. When a player dunks the ball, the player jumps to a position adjacent to and preferably above the basketball rim, stuffs the ball through the net, and may impact, hold or hang from the basketball rim. In such a situation, the sudden impact force combined with a rigid rim structure can lead to injury of the player or damage to the rim and/or backboard. As a result, resilient breakaway basketball rims have become popular.

[0003] A typical breakaway basketball goal includes a rim assembly including a rim and an attachment bracket. The attachment bracket is connected to a separate mounting bracket which is attached to the backboard. The mounting bracket is pivotally attached to the rim attachment bracket. Typical pivot connections take a number of forms, such as two co-axial bolts with nuts or one pivot bar extending through both brackets and held in place by friction, cotter pins or a threaded nut. When such pivot mechanisms are used, frequent impacts and/or sudden shear pressures can wear on the pivot mechanisms, leading to breakage of the pivot member and/or loosening of the connection, allowing the pivot member to slide out of position. Accordingly, there is a need for a safer pivot mechanism with higher strength and elimination of the risk of loosening or slippage of the pivot bar. The present invention addresses these needs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] A preferred embodiment of the present invention provides a basketball goal assembly. The assembly includes a mounting bracket having opposing side plates. A first pair of opposing pivot holes are co-axially defined in the side plates to define a pivot axis. A rim assembly has a basketball goal rim and an attachment bracket, where the attachment bracket also includes opposing side plates. A second pair of opposing pivot holes is defined in the attachment bracket side plates. The second pair of pivot holes are co-axially aligned with the pivot axis. A pivot bar, having a first end and a second end, extends through the first pair of pivot holes and the second pair of pivot holes along the pivot axis. The first end of the pivot bar terminates in a portion with a diameter larger than the diameter of the pivot holes, and the second end of said pivot bar terminates in a portion with a diameter larger than the diameter of the pivot holes.

[0005] In a preferred form of manufacturing the goal assembly, at least one end of the pivot bar is cold forged in place. Specifically, after the pivot openings are aligned, a pivot bar is placed through the pivot holes. The pivot bar has a sufficient length to extend beyond the pivot openings, and preferably at least the second end of the pivot bar has a diameter sized to fit through the pivot openings. The goal assembly is then placed in a cold forging press.

[0006] Once the assembly is mounted in the forging press, the forging press exerts pressure on the ends of the pivot bar to shape at least the second end by blunting and widening it so that the resulting diameter is greater than the diameter of the pivot openings. The cold forging press is then released and the goal assembly is dismounted and ready for shipment and use. In an alternate embodiment, both the first end and the second end of the pivot bar are cold forged to connect the goal assembly.

[0007] It is a preferred object of the present invention to provide an improved apparatus and method to form a pivot mechanism for a basketball goal assembly.

[0008] Further objects, features and advantages of the present invention shall become apparent from the detailed drawings and descriptions provided herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009]FIG. 1 is a perspective cut-away view of a breakaway basketball assembly according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0010]FIG. 2 is a side view of a rim assembly according to one preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0011]FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a mounting bracket according to one preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0012]FIG. 4 is a side view of a rim assembly, mounting bracket and backboard illustrating one preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0013]FIG. 5 is a bottom view showing a basketball rim assembly and mounting bracket in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0014]FIGS. 6A and 6B illustrate a process for forming a pivot mechanism according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0015] For the purposes of promoting an understanding of the principles of the invention, reference will now be made to the embodiments illustrated 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, such alterations, modifications, and further applications of the principles of the invention being contemplated as would normally occur to one skilled in the art to which the invention relates.

[0016] Breakaway basketball goal assemblies are frequently used to allow a player to dunk the ball and impact the rim. The breakaway feature allows the rim to slightly move in order to minimize injury to the player and/or damage to the mounting mechanism or backboard. Such breakaway assemblies frequently include a rim assembly pivotally mounted to a mounting bracket, where the mounting bracket is attached to a backboard. Preferred embodiments of the present invention provide an improved pivot point assembly for safely mounting the rim assembly to the mounting bracket to allow pivotal motion while preventing unintended movement of the pivot bar or unintended disassembly. Moreover, the present invention provides an improved pivot shaft with a higher resistance to damage such as by wear or rust.

[0017] One preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 1-5. FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of breakaway basketball goal 10. Basketball goal 10 includes rim assembly 20 which includes a standard basketball rim 22 welded to an attachment bracket 24. Attachment bracket 24 preferably includes a top plate 25 and opposing parallel side plates 27. Side plates 27 define a first pair of opposing, co-axial pivot openings 32. In one preferred embodiment, rim assembly 20 includes a crossbar or mounting point 28 transversely mounted between side plates 27 or to top plate 25. Crossbar 28 may be mounted by standard methods such as welding.

[0018] Goal assembly 10 further includes mounting bracket 40, which is illustrated in a perspective view in FIG. 3. Mounting bracket 40 preferably includes a rear plate 45 mountable to a basketball goal backboard and extending between opposing parallel side plates 47. Side plates 47 define a second pair of opposing, co-axial pivot openings 52. In one preferred embodiment, a transverse bracing plate or mounting point 48 extends between side walls 47 and rear plate 45 and is rigidly attached in place, for example by welding.

[0019] For assembly, as shown in detail in FIGS. 4-5, rim assembly 20 is placed adjacent to mounting bracket 40, with pivot opening pairs 32 and 52 co-axially aligned along pivot axis P. Pivot bar 60 is placed through the pairs of pivot points 32 and 52 with its first end and second end each extending beyond the mounting bracket and rim assembly. In a preferred embodiment, side plates 27 of attachment bracket 24 are nested between side plates 47 of mounting bracket 40. Pivot bar 60 is then secured in position.

[0020] Also illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 5 is a spring assembly 50 mounted between the attachment bracket 24 of rim assembly 20 and mounting bracket 40. The spring assembly 50 includes an eyebolt 54 defining an eye portion encircling mounting point or crossbar 28 of attachment bracket 24. Eyebolt 54 includes a shaft which extends through a vertical opening defined through transverse bracing plate 48 of mounting bracket 40. Eyebolt 54 terminates in a threaded end upon which is mounted a stop member or nut 57. A spring 55 is resiliently mounted between stop member 57 and stationary plate 48 and may optionally be held with a washer 56.

[0021] Spring assembly 50 is mounted in a line to resist pivotal downward movement of the front of rim 22. Crossbar 28 is mounted to side walls 27 of bracket 24 so that downward pivotal movement of rim 22 around pivot bar 60 lifts bar 28. Lifting bar 28 pulls the eyebolt 54, acting as a pull rod, causing the stop member 57 to compress spring 55 and creating increasing resistance. Upon release of the downward pressure on the rim, spring 55 expands, pushing the eyebolt 54 and returning the goal assembly to normal alignment. Excess return movement of bracket 24 is prevented when side walls 27 impact and rest against bracing plate 48.

[0022]FIG. 5 illustrates a preferred embodiment of the pivot bar in the present invention. Pivot bar 60 includes a shaft with a first end 62 and second end 65. First end 62 preferably has a terminating portion larger in diameter than the diameter of the pivot openings. This can be pre-made, for example with a solid cap or head as is standard for screws or bolts. Second end 65 initially fits through the co-axial openings 32 and 52. Once pivot bar 60 is in place, second end 65 is shaped by a cold forging process to have a terminating portion also larger in diameter than the diameter of the pivot holes.

[0023]FIGS. 6A and 6B illustrate one process for cold forging pivot bar 60. FIG. 6A illustrates an upward view of rim assembly 20 with mounting bracket 40. Pivot bar 60 is placed through the pivot holes in rim assembly 20 and mounting bracket 40. The entire goal assembly 10 is then placed in a cold forging press 80. Cold forging press 80 includes a first side having a formed recess 82 to receive the first end 62 of pivot bar 60. Recess 82 may be configured to match a pre-formed shape of first end 62 such as a cap. Pivot bar 60 extends through assembly 10 into the opposing side 85 of cold forge press 80. When initially placed, second end 65 of pivot bar 60 is relatively straight and has a diameter sized to fit through the pivot openings. Second side 85 of press 80 includes a formed recess 87 to receive and shape second end 65 of pivot bar 60.

[0024] Once the assembly is mounted, forging press 80 exerts pressure on the opposing ends of pivot bar 60 wherein at least recess 87 shapes second end 65 to blunt it and widen it so that the resulting diameter is greater than the diameter of the pivot openings. Press 80 is preferably closed until the length of pivot bar 60 is shortened to a length which allows the goal assembly 10 to pivot without allowing longitudinal movement of the pivot bar. Cold forging press 80 is then removed and goal assembly 10 is dismounted from the press. FIG. 6B illustrates a completed assembly with a cap on first end 62 of pivot bar 60 and a blunted second end 65.

[0025] First end 62 of pivot bar 60 can also be cold forged in press 80. To cold forge first end 62, recess 82 is shaped to receive and to then blunt and widen first end 62 when press 80 is closed. In this embodiment, first end 62 and second end 65 are preferably cold forged simultaneously.

[0026] Cold forging of at least one end of pivot bar 60 permanently connects the rim assembly to the mounting bracket so that the pivot mechanism cannot be disassembled. Cold forging further strengthens the material of the pivot bar to prevent wear and/or shattering upon a sudden impact. In a preferred embodiment, pivot bar 60 is made from stainless steel to minimize rust and wear on the shaft.

[0027] In accordance with preferred embodiments, goal assembly 10 is pre-assembled at the factory where the cold forging press may be used and spring assembly 50 installed. After shipment to the user, the goal assembly may be mounted to backboard 15 and a standard net 23 hung from rim 22. The goal assembly 10 is then ready for use.

[0028] As is commonly understood, the goal assembly may be made from standard materials such as steel or stainless steel and is customarily painted a red or orange color for distinctiveness and to protect the metal of the goal assembly.

[0029] 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 has been shown and described and that all changes and modifications that come within the spirit of the invention are desired to be protected.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7175551 *Nov 22, 2004Feb 13, 2007Scott HamiltonRemovable basketball rim assembly
US7604555 *Feb 27, 2007Oct 20, 2009Lifetime Products, Inc.Basketball rim assembly
US7628718Jan 17, 2006Dec 8, 2009Gared Holdings, LlcMulti-directional break-away goal
US7798921 *Oct 16, 2009Sep 21, 2010Gared Holdings, LlcMulti-directional break-away goal
US8454460 *Mar 23, 2011Jun 4, 2013Gared Holdings, LlcBreakaway basketball rim assembly
US20120244965 *Mar 23, 2011Sep 27, 2012Connerley James JBreakaway basketball rim assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/486
International ClassificationA63B63/08
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2063/086, A63B63/083
European ClassificationA63B63/08B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 20, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: INDIAN INDUSTRIES, INC., INDIANA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:ALLSHOUSE, JAMES R.;FLOWERS, SCOTT;REEL/FRAME:012196/0993
Effective date: 20010918