FIELD OF THE INVENTION
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention generally relates to a batting apparatus, and more specifically to an apparatus using suction disk to hold the ball for batting practice.
There are a variety of batting apparatus for batting practice. The conventional batting apparatus is usually designed as a vertically standing position. FIG. 1 shows a schematic view of a vertically standing batting apparatus, including a base 11, a supporting rod 12, and a ball holder 13. Supporting rod 12 stands on the top of base 11. The upper part of supporting rod 12 is made of soft and resilient material. Ball holder 13 is placed on the topmost part of supporting rod 12. When batting, a baseball or softball 14 is placed on ball holder 13 for the batter to hit.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
This type of batting apparatus only provides static batting practice; namely, the ball stays still for the batter to hit. Although the practice may be useful in some aspect, the practice is too monotonic. Furthermore, at the instant the ball is hit, the friction between the ball and ball holder 13 will affect the trajectory of the ball. Therefore, the present invention provides a batting apparatus to enable the batter to practice batting in various manners to improve the batting capability.
The primary object of the present invention is to provide a batting apparatus using a suction disk temporarily hanging a ball for the batter to hit. As the surface of the baseball or softball is usually made of leather or PVC, neither is smooth, while the suction disk uses air compression for suction, which requires a smooth surface, and the ball is heavy with an arc surface, therefore, the suction disk can only temporarily hold the ball due to the aforementioned factors. The present invention utilizes the phenomenon to hold the ball with a suction disk. When the ball is hit, the ball will be disengaged immediately from the suction disk. When the ball falls from the suction disk, the batter can still practice to hit a falling ball.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a batting apparatus to enhance the eye-hand coordination and the focus of the batter. In addition to hitting the still ball held by the suction disk, the batter can also hit a ball falling from the suction disk. The latter practice requires the batter to be more focused and to work on the eye-hand coordination. Furthermore, in the latter practice, the trajectory of the hit ball is free of the friction between the ball holder and the ball, as in conventional batting apparatus.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a batting apparatus for dynamic batting. The batter can practice batting the ball falling from the suction disk or batting the ball hanging and swinging. Therefore, the batter can practice dynamic batting in addition to the static batting practice of the conventional batting apparatus.
To achieve the above objects, the present invention provides a batting apparatus, including a supporting unit, at least a linking unit, and a suction disk. The supporting unit includes a base, a supporting rod, and a hanging arm. The bottom of the supporting rod is engaged to the base, and the top of the supporting rod is connected to the hanging arm. The linking unit is a soft and long object, with one end fixed to the hanging arm, and the other end attached to the suction disk.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The foregoing and other objects, features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood from a careful reading of a detailed description provided herein below with appropriate reference to the accompanying drawings.
The present invention can be understood in more detail by reading the subsequent detailed description in conjunction with the examples and references made to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 shows a schematic view of a conventional vertically standing batting apparatus;
FIG. 2 shows a schematic view of the first embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 3A shows a schematic view of the second embodiment of the present invention; and
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
FIG. 3B shows a schematic view of the third embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 shows a schematic view of the present invention. A batting apparatus of the present invention includes a supporting unit 2, at least a linking unit 3, and a suction disk 4.
Supporting unit 2 includes a base 21, a supporting rod 22, and a hanging arm 23. The bottom of supporting rod 22 is fixed to base 21. Hanging arm 23 is engaged to the upper part of supporting rod 22 and extends outward. In the present embodiment, hanging arm 23 is engaged to the top of supporting rod 22. Supporting rod 22 is retractable in the present embodiment so that the height of supporting rod 22 is adjustable. Hanging arm 23 at least includes a fixing point 231.
Linking unit 3 is a soft and long object, such as rope, string, soft rubber stripe, link, and so on. In the present embodiment, linking unit 3 is a soft string. Linking unit 3 is fixed to hanging arm 23. That is, the top end of linking unit 3 is fixed to fixing point 231 of hanging arm 23, and the bottom end is engaged to suction disk 4.
Suction disk 4 can be made of thermoplastic elastomer, TPR, PVC, and so on. Suction disk 4 is for temporarily holding a ball 5. Ball 5 can be a baseball or a softball. The size and the shape of suction disk 4 can be designed to match the ball used. The suction disk requires a smooth surface for the suction to be effective. The present invention explore the weakened suction caused by the non-smooth surface of ball 5, which is usually made of leather or PVC, and ball 5 is heavy with an arc surface. Therefore, suction disk 4 can only temporarily hold ball 5 for a small period of time due to the aforementioned factors. The present invention can further change the shape and the material of suction disk 4 so that the holding can last for about 5-10 seconds, which is sufficient for the batter to attach ball 5 to suction disk 4, pick up the bat, and prepare for batting.
When the present invention is in use, ball 5 is attached to the bottom of suction disk 4. Ball 5 is therefore, hanging below hanging arm 23 of supporting unit 2 through linking unit 3. The batter can practice hitting ball 5. When ball 5 is hit, ball 5 will be disengaged from suction disk 4, and flies along the trajectory. Another manner to practice batting is to wait for ball 5 to fall from suction disk 4, and the batter can hit ball 5 either at the disengaging instant or in the falling trajectory. This batting practice require the batter to be more focused and to work on eye-hand coordination, which is different from the conventional batting with a conventional batting apparatus.
FIG. 3A and FIG. 3B show the second and third embodiments of the present invention, respectively. As shown in FIGS. 3A & 3B, linking unit 3 form a Y-shape, or near V-shape, with the bottom attached to suction disk 4. The top of linking unit 3 is fixed to hanging arm 23 at two different fixing points 231. Suction disk 4 is for attaching ball 5, as in previous embodiment.
In these embodiments, supporting rod 22 and hanging arm 23 are separate elements. However, supporting rod 22 and hanging arm 23 can also be a monolithic L-shape element.
Although the present invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiments, it will be understood that the invention is not limited to the details described thereof. Various substitutions and modifications have been suggested in the foregoing description, and others will occur to those of ordinary skill in the art. Therefore, all such substitutions and modifications are intended to be embraced within the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.