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Publication numberUS20070052178 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/223,163
Publication dateMar 8, 2007
Filing dateSep 8, 2005
Priority dateSep 8, 2005
Publication number11223163, 223163, US 2007/0052178 A1, US 2007/052178 A1, US 20070052178 A1, US 20070052178A1, US 2007052178 A1, US 2007052178A1, US-A1-20070052178, US-A1-2007052178, US2007/0052178A1, US2007/052178A1, US20070052178 A1, US20070052178A1, US2007052178 A1, US2007052178A1
InventorsRandall Cottrell
Original AssigneeCottrell Randall F
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable target ring
US 20070052178 A1
Abstract
A companion toy device for flying objects, and more specifically, an adjustable target ring through which objects such as flying discs may be thrown.
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Claims(20)
1. An adjustable target for flying objects, comprising:
a base for stabilizing the target;
an elongate stand connected to the base and having an adjustable orientation; and
a ring rotatably connected to the stand and configured to allow flying objects to pass through.
2. The adjustable target of claim 1, wherein the ring is configured to rotate around a rotation axis substantially coincident with a longitudinal axis of the stand.
3. The adjustable target of claim 1, wherein the base defines a base plane and is configured to rest on a substantially horizontal surface.
4. The adjustable target of claim 3, wherein the base and the stand are constructed from hollow plastic pipe sections, and wherein the base includes a rotatable T-shaped connector for receiving the stand and providing the adjustable orientation.
5. The adjustable target of claim 1, wherein the ring is formed from a section of substantially hollow tubing having first and second ends, and further comprising a plug disposed partially within the first end of the tubing and partially within the second end of the tubing and connecting the first and second ends.
6. The adjustable target of claim 5, wherein the plug includes a plurality of notches, and wherein each end of the tubing is crimped into one of the notches.
7. The adjustable target of claim 1, wherein the base includes a longitudinal body member having an implantable pointed tip, and a foot stomp disposed substantially orthogonal to the body member for assisting in implanting the tip.
8. The adjustable target of claim 7, wherein the body member is hollow, and a filler configured to increase the stability of the base when the tip is implanted is disposed within the body member.
9. The adjustable target of claim 8, wherein the filler is selected from the set of materials consisting of nylon, plastic, rubber, or metal.
10. The adjustable target of claim 1, wherein the stand includes an extension member configured to selectively increase the length of the stand.
11. An adjustable target for flying objects, comprising:
a stabilizing base defining a base plane;
an elongate stand having a first end rotatably connected to the base such that the stand has an adjustable orientation within a plane orthogonal to the base plane; and
a ring constructed from flexible tubing bent into a substantially circular shape and having two ends joined together by a plug, the ring rotatably connected to a second end of the stand such that the ring may be rotated about a rotation axis substantially coincident with a longitudinal axis of the stand;
wherein the base and the stand are formed from sections of substantially rigid cylindrical pipe.
12. The adjustable target of claim 11, wherein the sections of cylindrical pipe forming the base are joined together with T-shaped connectors.
13. The adjustable target of claim 11, wherein the stand is connected to the base with a T-shaped connector.
14. The adjustable target of claim 11, wherein the sections of cylindrical pipe are constructed from a polyvinylchloride material.
15. The adjustable target of claim 11, wherein the plug is substantially cylindrical and includes at least two notches, and wherein the ends of the ring are joined together by crimping each end of the ring into at least one of the notches.
16. The adjustable target of claim 11, wherein the second end of the stand includes an end cap, and wherein the ring is connected to the second end of the stand with a fastener extending through the plug and the end cap.
17. The adjustable target of claim 16, wherein the fastener extends exterior to the ends of the ring, and has a head configured to compress the ends of the ring against the plug.
18. A flying object target kit, comprising:
a plurality of flying objects; and
a plurality of adjustable targets for the flying objects, one or more of the adjustable targets including:
a stabilizing base;
an elongate stand connected to the base and having an adjustable orientation; and
a ring rotatably connected to the stand and defining an aperture configured to allow passage of the flying objects.
19. The kit of claim 18, wherein the flying objects are flying discs.
20. The kit of claim 18, further including at least one extension member for longitudinally extending the elongate stand.
Description
TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates generally to a companion device for flying objects, and more specifically to an adjustable target ring through which objects such as flying discs may be thrown.

BACKGROUND

A variety of games are known that include throwing some sort of object, such as a football, a disc, horse shoes, etc. Some of these games are played competitively, but players also may benefit from practicing throwing between competitions, for example to improve throwing accuracy. Therefore, devices have been created for this purpose, and some of the devices have developed into games themselves, where individuals can compete through a scoring system or the like. For example, a game of disc golf has been developed, in which players compete by aiming discs at a target, and keeping track of the total number of throws (or “strokes”) required to throw their disc to, or through, the target starting from some initial starting point.

However, existing devices may not be sufficiently adjustable to provide a desired range of target positions, sizes, and stability. For example, it may be desirable to change the vertical position, horizontal position, rotation angle, and/or effective size of the target device, in some cases all without moving the base of the device or compromising its stability. Therefore a need exists for a stable, adjustable target device, the position of which may be selectively varied to provide a variety of target positions and cross sections, while the device maintains stability with respect to a mounting surface such as the ground.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of an adjustable target for flying objects, according to aspects of the present disclosure.

FIG. 2 shows a front elevational view of the adjustable target of FIG. 1, showing how the stand of the target may be rotated with respect to its base, and how the ring of the target may be rotated with respect to the stand.

FIG. 3 shows an exploded perspective view of a plug being used to join together the hollow ends of the ring of an adjustable target, and to join the ring to the stand of the target, according to aspects of the present disclosure.

FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of an alternate base for an adjustable target, including a longitudinal body member having an implantable tip, according to aspects of the present disclosure.

FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of a flying object target kit, including a plurality of adjustable targets and a plurality of discs, according to aspects of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present disclosure describes a ring adapted for use with a holder in various configurations. The ring holder may, for example, take the form of a stand and a substantially planar base adapted for indoor or outdoor play, or it may include an implantable base generally suited for outdoor play. In some embodiments, the ring and holder may be capable of rotation and/or other adjustment in multiple directions to accommodate variations in play. The ring and holder may be used for practice or play involving passing flying objects through the ring, and may be used with flying discs or with any other suitable flying objects, including balls.

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of an adjustable target 10 for flying objects. Target 10 includes a base 12 for stabilizing the target, an elongate stand 14 connected to the base and having an adjustable orientation relative to the base, and a ring 16 rotatably connected to the stand and defining an aperture through which a flying object may pass, if thrown or launched sufficiently accurately. As indicated in FIG. 1, in some embodiments, base 12 defines a base plane such that the base is configured to rest on a substantially planar surface. In the case of indoor use, this surface may be the floor, or it may be any other suitable surface such as a table, chair, or the like. In the case of outdoor use, the base may rest on the ground, for example.

In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1, base 12 includes a rotatable T-shaped connector 18 for receiving stand 14, and the stand is connected to base 12 by inserting one end of the stand into connector 18. Base 12 is further constructed from a plurality of hollow pipe sections 20, 22, and 24, which are connected to each other by various other T-shaped connectors 26, and which are similar in construction to connector 18. In some embodiments, T-shaped connector 18 may form a unitary structure with pipe section 20. T-shaped connectors 26 similarly may each form a unitary structure with corresponding pipe sections 22 and 24. Connectors 18 and 26, and pipe sections 20, 22, and 24 may be constructed, for example, from a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material, from another plastic or thermoplastic material, or from any other suitable material including wood, metal, or metal alloy materials, among others.

A filler (not shown) may be disposed within some or all of the pipe sections forming the base, to increase the stability of the base. This filler may take the form, for example, of one or more substantially solid inserts constructed from a metal, vinyl, plastic, or rubber material, or it may take the form of a granular material such as sand or gravel. Regardless of the precise form of the filler, its presence within the base increases the mass of the base, increasing the inertia of the base and thereby making the base more resistant to unwanted tipping, sliding, rotating, or other inadvertent motions.

As FIG. 2 indicates, connectors 18 and 26 are configured such that stand 14 has an adjustable orientation with respect to the plane defined by base 12, typically by allowing relative rotation between connector 18 and central pipe section 20 to which connector 18 is attached, and/or rotation between connectors 26 and the central pipe section. More specifically, the stand may have an adjustable orientation within a plane orthogonal to the base plane of base 12. The orientation of the stand may be adjusted so that the stand is orthogonal to the base plane as shown in FIG. 1, or it may be adjusted so that the stand forms any desired angle with respect to the base plane. For example, the dashed portion of FIG. 2 shows how the stand may be adjusted to form an angle of approximately 75 degrees with respect to the base plane.

Also as depicted in FIGS. 1-3, ring 16 may be rotatably connected to stand 14. More specifically, in the depicted embodiment the stand defines a longitudinal axis S, and the ring is configured to rotate around a rotation axis R that is substantially coincident with the longitudinal axis of the stand. For example, the dashed portion of FIG. 2 shows the ring rotated by approximately 30 degrees with respect to a particular original rotational orientation, to a second rotational orientation. In general, the ring may be freely rotatable around axis R by any desired angle, so that it can be placed in any desired rotational orientation. The attachment of the ring to the stand is described in more detail below.

Referring again to FIG. 1, stand 14 may include various members that fit together to result in a stand of any desired height, which also may be adjustable by a user. For example, the depicted stand includes a primary longitudinal member 28, and a removable connector 30 and longitudinal extension member 32. In some embodiments, longitudinal members 28, 32, and connector 30 each may be constructed from hollow plastic pipe sections, which may be PVC pipe sections. In other embodiments, however, the longitudinal members may be constructed from other materials, such as wood or metal, and may be solid rather than hollow.

Connector 30 may, for example, be a hollow cylindrical segment that fits snugly around both members 28 and 32, allowing them to be connected in a stable manner. The connector and the extension member may be installed to provide a target having a relatively greater height, and may be removed to provide a target having a relatively lesser height. Similarly, in some embodiments, additional connectors and extension members may be included to provide targets having various heights. Furthermore, a plurality of primary longitudinal members having various heights may be provided. All of the stand members may be easily interchangeable by a user, making it convenient to adjust the height of the stand.

An end cap 34 may be installed at the end of the extension member or, if no extension member is used, at the end of the primary longitudinal member. The end cap may be hollow, and may be configured to fit snugly at the end of any of the longitudinal members of the stand. Typically the end cap is open at one end and closed (or capped) at the other end. Although the end cap is depicted as having a substantially flat surface at its closed end, in general the closed end may have any desired shape, such as a convex arcuate shape, to facilitate rotation of ring 16 relative to stand 14 as described in greater detail below. Furthermore, also as described below in more detail, the end cap may have a hole drilled through its closed end to facilitate rotational connection of ring 16 to stand 14.

FIG. 3 is an exploded view showing a mechanism for shaping ring 16 and for rotatably connecting the ring to stand 14. As FIG. 3 indicates, ring 16 may be constructed from a section of flexible, substantially hollow tubing. The tubing may be bent into a substantially circular shape, and two ends 36 and 38 of the tubing forming the ring may be joined together by a plug 40. Plug 40 may be configured to fit snugly within ends 36 and 38 of ring 16, providing some friction between the plug and the interior of the tubing to assist in holding the ends of the ring in place. Ends 36 and 38 of the ring typically are brought together, any may even be touching, when the plug is fully inserted within the tubing of the ring. In other words, when in place, the plug will be disposed partially within first end 36 of the tubing, and partially within second end 38 of the tubing, so as to connect the first and second ends.

Also as indicated in FIG. 3, a pair of ramped notches 42 and 44 may be cut out of the plug, and the ends of the ring may be further secured to the plug by crimping each end of the ring into one of the notches (as indicated generally at C). This may be accomplished simply by providing a compressive force to the ring in the vicinity of each notch. While notches 42 and 44 are depicted as having a particular ramped shape, the precise number and shape of the notches may vary in different embodiments. For example, a plug may be provided having a plurality of notches disposed near each end, configured to allow the hollow tubing of ring 16 to be crimped to the plug at a plurality of locations. Furthermore, the notches may have any suitable cross-sectional profiles, including rectangular or square profiles, among others, configured to secure the ends of the ring to the plug.

FIG. 3 also shows how plug 40, and thus ring 16, may be rotatably secured to stand 14. An aperture 46 may be provided in the plug, to receive a fastener such as a screw 48. Another, similar aperture 50 may be provided in end cap 34, so that the fastener can pass through both the plug and end cap. Connecting hardware such as optional washers 52, 54, and a nut 56, may be provided to attach the plug to the end cap. In some embodiments, washer 52 may be configured to overlap ends 36 and 38 of ring 16 when they are joined together by plug 40. In other embodiments, washer 52 may not be provided, in which case the head of screw 48 still may extend exterior to the ends of the ring, and may overlap the ends of the ring. In other words, the fastener may be configured to compress the ends of the ring against the plug when tightened against nut 56.

To attach the ring to the stand in the depicted embodiment, screw 48 is inserted through washer 52, apertures 46 and 50, washer 54, and nut 56. The screw then may be tightened against the nut to a desired degree, and the end cap may be installed at one end of stand 14 as described previously. The connection may be made such that ring 16 is rotatable relative to end cap 34, and thus relative to stand 14. The rotatable nature of the ring may facilitate a relatively wider variety of games or activities using target 10, for example by allowing a user to adjust the target's rotational orientation without moving the base of the target.

The connection between the ring and the stand may be made in an analogous manner in embodiments where an alternate fastener such as a pin is used, where one or more of the washers are omitted, or where additional washers or connecting hardware are provided. In any case, to facilitate the connection and to allow any suitable compressive force to be applied to plug 40 and ring 16, the plug may be constructed from an appropriately sturdy, incompressible material. For example, in some embodiments, the plug may be constructed from a solid section of relatively incompressible plastic. Alternatively, the plug may be constructed from a solid section of metal, wood, or any other suitable material. Furthermore, the provided plug may in some cases be hollow or partially hollow.

FIG. 4 shows an alternative embodiment of a base 12′ that may be used with target 10. Alternative base 12′ includes a longitudinal body member 58 having a pointed tip 60 that is implantable into the ground, and a foot stomp 62 disposed substantially orthogonal to body member 58 for assisting a user in implanting the tip, by exerting foot pressure onto the foot stomp to push the base into the ground. Base 12′ may be constructed from a T-shaped connector 64 that is similar in construction to connector 18 of base 12, and a pair of end caps 66, 68 that are similar in construction to end cap 34 of stand 14. The connector and end caps may be attached to each other frictionally and/or by gluing, or by any other suitable means.

An insert or filler (not shown) may be provided within connector 64 and/or end caps 66, 68. One purpose of the filler is to increase the weight of base 12′, and thus to increase the stability of the base when tip 60 is implanted into the ground. Another possible purpose of the filler is to provide a secure attachment point for longitudinal body member 58. For example, body member 58 may be threaded at the end opposite tip 60, and screwed into apertures provided in both end cap 66 and the filler within the end cap. One or both of these apertures may be internally threaded in a complementary manner to the external threading of the body member, allowing the body member to be securely attached to the remainder of the base.

The provided filler, if any, may take the form of one or more substantially solid plugs constructed, for example, from nylon, plastic, rubber, or metal, and inserted into connector 64 and/or end caps 66, 68. Alternatively, the filler may take the form of granular material such as sand or gravel. In the latter case, longitudinal body member 58 may be attached to the remainder of base 12′ using hardware such as, for example, washers or nuts disposed within end cap 66 and securely attached to the end of member 58 opposite tip 60.

As illustrated in FIG. 5, to facilitate various types of practice and/or play using the adjustable target disclosed above, a flying object target kit 100 may be provided. The kit may include, for example, a plurality of height-adjustable targets 102, 104, and 106, and a plurality of discs 108, 110, 112, 114, and 116. In the embodiment of FIG. 5, each of the adjustable targets has a structure similar to the structure of target 10 described above. In general, however, the targets provided in the kit may include one or a plurality of interchangeable components, such as rings of various sizes and/or shapes, stands having various heights or including various extension members, and/or various bases, some of which may be similar to bases 12 and 12′ described above. The provided kit also may include additional components, such as one or a plurality of other flying objects, game instructions, a score pad, or a carrying case for conveniently transporting the various components.

It is believed that the disclosure set forth above encompasses multiple distinct inventions with independent utility. While each of these inventions has been disclosed in its preferred form, the specific embodiments thereof as disclosed and illustrated herein are not to be considered in a limiting sense as numerous variations are possible. The subject matter of the inventions includes all novel and non-obvious combinations and subcombinations of the various elements, features, functions and/or properties disclosed herein. Similarly, where the claims recite “a” or “a first” element or the equivalent thereof, such claims should be understood to include incorporation of one or more such elements, neither requiring nor excluding two or more such elements.

Applicant reserves the right to submit claims directed to certain combinations and sub-combinations that are directed to one of the disclosed inventions and are believed to be novel and non-obvious. Inventions embodied in various combinations and sub-combinations of features, functions, elements and/or properties may be claimed in a related application. Such claims, whether they are directed to a different invention or directed to the same invention, whether different, broader, narrower or equal in scope to any original claims, are also regarded as included within the subject matter of the inventions of the present disclosure.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7401785 *May 4, 2007Jul 22, 2008Röckport Recreation, LLCLawn game with upright target and method of play
US7984910 *Oct 13, 2005Jul 26, 2011Nielsen Dana GMobile disc golf target
US8162318Aug 13, 2010Apr 24, 2012Peterson Kevin WArticle tossing game assembly
US8282509 *Mar 9, 2009Oct 9, 2012Golf, Gifts and Gallery, Inc.Collapsible pitching net frame
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/402
International ClassificationA63B63/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B65/10, A63B2071/024, A63B2071/026, A63B63/00, A63B2210/50
European ClassificationA63B63/00