US 2061152 A
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Nov. 17, 1936. J. M. GUTHRIE BASKETBALL BASKET Filed July 16, 1934 INVENTOR shall be automatically indicated,
Patented Nov. 17, 1936 PATENT OFFICE BASKETBALL BASKET James M. Guthrie, Pittsburgh, Pa. Application July 16, 1934, Serial No. 735,325
The invention relates to the game of basketball, and consists in means for indicating the scoring of goals or baskets.
The apparatus is essentially electric operated apparatus, and, while I contemplate that the apparatus may embody visual score-indicating means, I am particularly concerned with the provision of audible score-indicating means, to the end that the lure and excitement of the game shall be increased, for both the players and the spectators. I provide automatic means for audibly indicating the scoring of each basket, so that it is unnecessary for the referee to blow his whistle when a score has been made. All scores say by the sounding of a gong-one stroke of the gong for each point scored. When a field goal is scored the gong shall sound twice, and, when a singlepoint foul-goal is scored, the gong shall sound netting 4.
once. Manifestly, the referee's whistle shall not sound so frequently as hitherto; the significance of its sounding will be narrowed, and the game becomes one in which the spectators may more intelligently follow each situation of play. Accordingly, the game will become even more popular than it has been in the past.
Fig. I of the accompanying drawing is a view in side elevation of a basket-ball net or basket, mounted in the usual way upon a backing board, and illustrating apparatus organized therewith in accordance with my invention. Fig. II is a view in axial section of an electric contact device embodied in the apparatus. Fig. III is a view in plan of the electric contact device included in an expansible loop in accordance with the invention. Fig. IV is a diagrammatic view of the apparatus. Fig. V illustrates a modification.
Referring to the drawing the numeral I indicates the usual backing board upon which the net-ring 2 is secured. The backing board is supported rigidly upon a standard 3, or is Supported by other well-known means, such as overhead struts. The net-ring 2 is, of course, circular in plan, and from it depends an open-ended, tubu1ar The ring and netting 2, 4 comprise What is generally" called the basket, and the game consists in the play of the contestants to throw a ball. through such basket. A detailed consideration of the game itself is not essential to fur- "ther an understanding of the present invention;
sufflce it tosay that a basket is located overhead at each end of the playing court, and one team of players shoots for one basket and the other team for the other.
Means are organized with each basket for indicating when a ball has been thrown through it. Advantageously such means comprises a gong 5 mounted upon the rear face of the backing board I, or upon any other convenient support within the sound range of players and spectators.
The gong which is organized with the basket at one end of the playing court (not shown) may be of such structure as to sound in different pitch than the gong which is organized with the basket at the opposite end of the court, whereby the speaking of either gong will indicate not only that a score has been made, but also which team has scored it. As will presently appear, my apparatus is subject to such control (by the timekeeper or oificial scorer) that each gong will speak twice when a field goal has been scored through its associated basket, and only once when a single-point foul-goal has been scored.
Electrically operated means are arranged to cause each gong to speak. In this case, I employ two levers 6 and I as the means for sounding the gong; each lever is pivotally mounted upon a pin 8 secured to any convenient support, say a frame 9; a tension spring I0 is effective between the upper ends of levers 6, 1, tending to swing the bell-striking ends of the lever outward, and normally holding such levers in position against positive steps II on frame 9. Lever 6 is pivotally connected to the armature l2 of an electro-magnet l3, and lever 1 is in like manner connected to the armature I4 of a magnet IS; the organization is such that the energizing of either magnet effects the swinging of its associated lever into gong-striking position.
With the basket 2, 4, I organize means which are adapted to effect energization of said gongstriking means when a basket-ball passes through the basket. Such means include a contact device, denoted in general by the reference numeral [6; the contact device comprises a tubular housing or frame l7, say of aluminum (Fig. II); a lining I8 of insulating material is secured in the housing, and a movable contact member 19 is secured to the end of plunger rod 20 which terminates outward of the housing in an eye 2!. A plug 22 is secured in the otherwise open end of the housing; the plug 22 is formed of insulating material, and through it the plunger rod 20 projects. Manifestly, the contact 19 is insulated from the housing I1, and is free to move axially thereof within a limited range. A contact element 23 is integrated with the housing I! and projects athwart the path of movement of the contact IS. A compression spring 24 is effective between the plug 22 and the movable contact l9, tending to maintain the two contacts I9, 23 out of engagement, These contacts I9, 23 are adapted to comprise the terminals of an electric circuit, and in Fig. II the characters a and b are applied to the lines of such a circuit. An eye 25 is provided at the end of the housing opposite to that from which the plunger 20 projects, and the eyes 2|, 25 comprise attaching means for an expansible loop 26, or an equivalent device, to operate in the manner presently to be described. That is to say, a loop 26, conveniently a flexible loop of twine such as that of which the net 4 is constructed, has its otherwise free ends secured to the eyes 2I, 25, respectively. This loop including the contact device I6 is tied or otherwise secured to the netting 4 of the basket in the manner indicated in Fig. I, and the circuit wires a, I), being light-weight flexible wires, are led up the netting 4 and along the ring 2, whence they may be projected through the backing board I and led to the signalling or score-indicating apparatus.
The loop 26 is of slightly less circular extent than the circumference of the basket-ball, so that when the ball passes through the basket 2, 4 the loop 26 is expanded or dilated, effecting the shifting of the plunger 20 and the movement of the contact I9 into engagement with the contact 23. Thus, it will be perceived that the passage of a ball through the basket is adapted to alter the electric conditions of a circuit-in this case to close the circuit. It will be understood that the loop and contact device 26 and I6 are of such nature that the appearance of the basket 2, 4 is not materially altered, nor is the flexibility of the netting 4 impaired. It will further be observed that the contact device may be struck from any angle by a ball not going through the basket, without danger of closing the contacts I9, 23 electrically; the only way that the circuit a, b is rendered effective is by the passage of the basket-ball through the net 4, in the manner productive of score. The loop 26 is very sensitive to expansion; it produces no tendency for the ball to hang in the basket; indeed I contemplate including a coil spring 21 in the loop (Fig. III), so that, when loop is in such expanded condition as to uni% the contacts I9, 23, still further expansion is possible, to insure that there shall be no objectionable drag against the passage through of the basket-ball.
It is contemplated that the netting of the basket 4 itself may comprise the expansible loop for operating the contact device I6. That is, a tie 26a may secure the eye 2| to the netting, and a tie 261) may secure the eye 25 to the netting, as indicated in Fig. V. The body of the netting in the circumferential region of the dotted line 260 comprises, together with the ties 26a, 26b and device I6, in effect a loop which expands and establishes electric contact in the device I6 when the ball passes through the basket.
Turning to Fig. IV, I shall consider the apparatus in service. A source of electric energy, say a battery TI is included in the wiring a, b which runs from the contact device I6 to the electromagnet I3. When the basket-ball goes through the basket, the loop 26 is dilated, closing the contacts in device I6 and completing the energizing circuit for the magnet I3. Thereupon, the armature I2 is shifted, the lever 6 swings, and the gong is sounded. When a two-point scorea field goal-is made, the gong is sounded twice, and I accomplish this action by energizing the magnet I5 after the magnet I3 has been energized. That is, the magnet I5 is connected in an auxiliary circuit a, b which includes two normally-open contacts 28 adapted to be closed by means of a switch arm 29 carried by lever 6. Thus, when the ball goes through the basket, the lever 6 swings, the gong is sounded, and the circuit a, b is closed. The closing of circuit a, b energizes the magnet I5 and the gong is struck by the lever I. So, two distinct soundings of the gong are produced; the levers 8, I are successively brought into sounding engagement with the gong for an instant, the spring I0 serving to withdraw each lever from the bell when the instantaneous application of energy to the respective magnets is terminated. Such is the operation upon the scoring of a field goal.
In the circuit a, b, I include a switch 30 which as a matter of convenience is located on the timekeepers table 3|. When a single-point foul shot is to be attempted, the switch 30 is thrown open, interrupting the circuit a, b, so that, if the shot be successful, the gong will sound only once; that is, the circuit a, b will be closed, and the lever 6 will swing, but the magnet l5 will not be energized to produce the second sounding of the gong, since the circuit a, b is open at switch 30. When the foul shots have been attempted and play is to resume, the switch 30 is closed, and any score that is made will produce a twin stroke of the gong, as already described. Thus, the objects and advantages of my invention are obtained with apparatus which is economical to construct and operate, and which is dependable and certain in service.
It will be manifest that the magnets I5 of the apparatuses at both ends of the floor may be connected to one and the same switch 36, since never in play are fouls being shot at both baskets simultaneously. Additionally, a switch 32 is included in the circuit a, b, so that neither magnet I3, I5 may be energized by the passage of a ball through the basket; such condition may or may not be desirable during practice. I am aware that electric counters of well-known structure may be connected in parallel to the circuits a, b and a, b in such manner that the score may be automatically totalled, and the total score may be displayed by such counters to the spectators, or may be projected upon a visible screen in known manner. However, it is considered that such elaborations are merely matters for the engineer, and a detailed consideration of them would needlessly involve this specification.
I claim as my invention:
1. In combination with a basket-ball goal, a score-indicating system including an electric make-and-break device organized with said goal and adapted to be operated by the scoring passage of a ball through said goal, a gong, gongsounding mechanism, electric means for normally producing, when energized, a twin operation of said mechanism, an energizing circuit for said electric means controlled by said make-and-break device, and means for occasionally restricting said mechanism to a single gong-sounding operation when said electric means are energized.
2. In combination with a basket-ball goal, a score-indicating system including an electric make-and-break device organized with said goal and adapted. to be operated by the scoring passage of a ball through said goal, a gong, gongsounding mechanism, electric means for normally producing, when energized, a twin operation of said mechanism, an energizing circuit for said electric means controlled by said make-and-break device, and an auxiliary circuit including manually controlled means for occasionally restricting said mechanism to a single gong-sounding operation when said electric means are energized.
JAMES M. GUTHRIE.