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Publication numberUS2884250 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 28, 1959
Filing dateMar 23, 1956
Priority dateMar 23, 1956
Publication numberUS 2884250 A, US 2884250A, US-A-2884250, US2884250 A, US2884250A
InventorsPatterson Dale W
Original AssigneePatterson Dale W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Practice tee
US 2884250 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

' April 28, 195 D. W. PATTERSON PRACTICE TEE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 23, 1956 Fig. 3

Dq/e W. Pahersan INVENTOR.

A7r0RNE7 Apl'll 28, 1959 D. w. PATTERSON 8 PRACTICE TEE Filed March 25, 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Fig.8

\\ Dale W Par/arson 2 3a 34 37 INVENTOR.

ATTOI/IE y United States Patent PRACTICE TEE Dale W. Patterson, South Haven, Mich. Application March 23, 1956, Serial No. 573,387

Claims. c1. 273-26) The present invention relates to a practice tee and has for an object the provision of a device of this kind which can be used for developing, correcting and studying the basic fundamentals of the swings, strokes and the like in baseball, tennis and in other similar games.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a practice tee which may serve as primary instructional equipment for coaches, playground and recreation leaders and others for teaching the above mentioned fundamentals.

This tee will also serve as an amusement device or toy for fathers and youngsters.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a device of this character which is readily adaptable to outdoor and indoor use.

The present invention contemplates the provision of a practice tee which is portable, is light in weight yet sturdy, is of simple construction and comprises a minimum of parts.

It is an aim of the present invention to provide a device of this type in which the missile or ball is firmly supported and yet when the ball and its support are struck with the striking implement, the missile support will collapse horizontally and vertically so as not to interfere with the trajectory of the missile.

A further aim of the present invention is to provide a practice tee capable of being adjusted minutely to various heights so as to suit accurately persons of various heights.

With the foregoing and other objects in view, the invention will be hereinafter more fully described and more particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

In the drawings in which the same parts are denoted by the same reference numerals throughout the several views,

Figure 1 is a perspective view of the device constructed in accordance with the present invention and ready for use,

Figure 2 is a view taken substantially on the line 22 of Figure 1 and with parts in section,

Figure 3 is a sectional View on the line 3-3 of Figure 2,

Figure 4 is a fragmentary sectional view showing the missile supporting means in its collapsed condition,

Figure 5 is a perspective view of a supporting structure of the device,

Figure 6 is a similar view of another form of supporting structure,

Figure 7 is asectional view on the line 7--7 of Figure 6, and v Figure 8 is an exploded perspective view of the supporting structure shown in Figures 6 and 7.

Referring more particularly to the drawings, 10 indicates a standard which is illustrated as a tubular member or pipe, but may be solid. The standard 10 may be of any desired length and may be" made of any suitable material, such as aluminum or magnesium alloy, wood, fiber glass. One end portion which is the lower end ice portion of the standard when the tee is placed in its upright position of use, as shown in Figures 1 and 2, is tapered downwardly as indicated at 11 and terminates in a sharply pointed end 12 which facilitates the insertion of the standard into a supporting medium, such as the ground 13, or supporting structures shown in Figures 5 through 8.

In order to effect this insertion of the tapered end portion of the standard, a spud or spur 14 extends through diametrically opposite openings formed in the standard and projects laterally from one side of the standard and outwardly thereof adjacent the tapered end portion of the standard. The spur 14 may be made of the same material as the standard and is secured thereto in any suitable manner, such as by riveting, brazing or welding.

A resilient missile or ball support is indicated generally at 15 and comprises a tube or sleeve 16 and a bellows-like member 17. The sleeve 16 may be made of any suitable resilient material, such as rubber or plastic, and is of such an inside diameter that it has a frictional sliding fit on the outer-face of the wall of the standard so that the support 15 can be adjusted axially on the standard and the frictional engagement between the inner and outer faces of the walls of the sleeve and standard will retain the sleeve in its adjusted position. The bellows 17 may be made of any suitable material, such as rubber or plastic, and the sleeve and bellows may be molded as one piece or as separate pieces and joined together in any suitable manner.

The overall diameter of the bellows 17 is greater than that of the sleeve 16 and the lower end section 17a of the bellows converges downwardly towards the sleeve so that at its juncture with the sleeve it is substantially the same overall diameter as the sleeve. The wall of the section 17a is progressively of increased thickness in the direction of its convergence and terminates in an annular bead 18 formed on the inner face of the bellows wall which bead serves as a stop to engage the upper end of the standard to limit the downward movement of the sleeve on the standard.

The upper end of the bellows 17 is open and is of such internal diameter that the upper portion of the inner face of the downwardly converging wall of the uppermost section of the bellows forms a seat 19 for a missile 20, such as a ball or the like. One end of a flexible element 21, such as a cord or string, is secured to the missile 20 and the opposite end of the element 21 is looped as at 22 about the standard 10 just below the spur 14 so that the missile is held captive to the standard.

In the use of the device, the pointed end 12 ofthe standard 10 will be placed against the ground 13 and the user will place his foot on the spur 14 and press the tapered end portion 11 and the adjacent part of the standard into the ground until the spur 14 engages the surface of the ground. This will afford sufficient purchase for the standard to have the desired rigidity. The fact that the spur engages the ground will augment this rigidity and also hold the looped end 22 of the flexible element 21 captive between the spur and the ground.

The sleeve 16 will be adjusted axially on the standard 10 so that the seat 19 and the missile resting thereon will be brought accurately to the exact height suitable for the user of the device. This minute adjustment is possible since the sleeve has a frictional sliding fit on the standard whereby the sleeve will grip the standard and retain itself in its adjusted position. The bead 18 will limit the downward movement of the sleeve on the standard by engaging the upper end of the standard to prevent the standard from extending upwardly into the bellows 17 and interfering with the action of the aseaaeo 3 bellows when the missile and seat are struck by the striking implement.

The user will now strike the missile or ball 20 with a striking implement, such as a hat or racquet, and the missile will be propelled from its seat 19. The distance the missile travels will depend upon the accuracy and the force of the stroke, but its maximum distance of travel will be limited by the captive flexible element 21 so that the missile cannot become lost and can easily be retrieved.

The force of the stroke and the displacement of the missile from its seat 19 will cause axial collapse of the bellows 17 and a simultaneous arcuate movement of the bellows about the thickened wall of its lower section 17a acting as a hinge, as shown in Figure 4 of the drawings. Such an arrangement will assure that the bellows offers no frictional or other resistance which would interfere with the trajectory of or distance traveled by the missile so that the instructor or the used will have an accurate knowledge of the efficiency and accuracy of the users stroke. The resiliency of the bellows will cause its immediate and automatic restoration to its original condition shown in Figures 1 and 2.

In Figure is illustrated a supporting medium or structure generally indicated at 23 comprising feet 24 and 25 and a cross-piece 26 which may be made of wood or other suitable material. The feet 24 and 25 may be of any desired length to impart the proper stability to the structure. At its opposite ends the crosspiece 26 is undercut as at 27 to provide recesses for the reception of the intermediate portions of the feet. Securing elements 28, such as wood screws, extend through the undercut end portions of the cross-piece 26 and penetrate the feet 24 and 25 to secure the feet to the cross-piece.

A hole 29 is formed in the cross-piece for the reception of the lower end portion of the standard 10. The standard will be inserted into the hole 29 in the same manner as described above in connection with its insertion into the ground. The standard will have a frictional fit in the hole 29 and the spur 14 will engage the upper face of the cross-piece 26 and hold the loop 22 of the element 21 captive between the spur and crosspiece.

In Figures 6 through 8 is illustrated another form of supporting medium or structure, generally indicated at 30, comprising two crossed feet 31 and 32, a substantially L-shaped member or bracket 33 and securing means comprising a threaded bolt 34 and a wing nut 35. The foot 31 has a centrally located recess or socket 36 opening through its underface and through both side faces for receiving the intermediate portion of the foot 32. The bracket 33 has a horizontal leg 37 provided with upwardly extending flanges 38 at its opposite edges and 'a vertical leg 39 having inwardly extending flanges 40 at its opposite edges. These flanges impart rigidity to the bracket 33.

The feet 31 and 32 have holes 41 and 42 formed therethrough and the leg 37 has a hole 43 extending therethrough. When the parts are in their assembled position as shown in Figures 6 and 7 the leg 37 is clamped firmly between the feet 31 and 32 in the socket 36 and the holes in the feet and leg 37 are in registry with the bolt 34 extending therethrough and the wing nut 35 cooperates with the bolt to clamp the parts in their assembled position.

The bottom 44 of the socket 36 is of such a height and the space between the vertical bracket leg 39 and the adjacent wall of the bottom 44 is such that the lower end portion of the standard is wedged firmly therebetween when the standard is inserted therebetween in the same manner as described above in connection with its insertion into the ground. The flanges 40 of the leg 39 will engage opposite side portions of the standard and assist in seating the standard against the leg 39. The point 12 of the standard 10 will tend to bite into the flange 37 to assist in holding the standard rigid. The supporting structures 23 and 30 of Figures 5 and 6 through 8 are adapted for indoor and outdoor use.

It is obvious that various changes and modifications may be made in the details of construction and design of the above specifically described embodiment of this invention without departing from the spirit thereof, such changes and modifications being restricted only by the scope of the following claims.

What I claim is:

1. A practice tee comprising a standard adapted to be placed in an upright operative position, a resilient sleeve mounted for vertical adjustment on the upper end of the standard, a resilient bellows on said sleeve and capable of axial collapse and horizontal deformation and recovery, and a missile supporting seat at the upper end of the bellows.

2. A practice tee as claimed in claim 1 wherein a spud extends laterally from said standard above the lower end portion of the standard for receiving the foot of the user for facilitating the insertion of the lower end into the supporting medium, a missile is provided to be placed on said seat, and a flexible element has one end secured to the missile and its other end looped about the standard below said spud. I

3. A practice tee as claimed in claim 1 wherein the standard has a lower tapered end portion, and a supporting medium is provided for the standard comprising two spaced apart feet and a cross-piece secured to said feet and having a hole therein for the frictional engagement of said tapered end portion of the standard therein.

4. A practice tee as claimed in claim 1 wherein the standard has a lower tapered end portion, and a supporting medium is provided for the standard comprising two crossed supporting feet having interengaging portions, a substantially L-shaped member having a horizontal leg adapted to be clamped between the interengaging portions of the feet and a vertical legv adapted to engage the standard on one side thereof and to force the substantially diametrically opposite side of the tapered end portion against the interengaged portion of one of said feet when the lower end portion of the standard is inserted between the vertical. leg of said member and the interengaged portion of said one foot, and means for rigidly clamping said feet and member together.

5. A practice tee as claimed in claim 1 whereinsaid sleeve has a frictional sliding fit on said standard whereby the sleeve will be automatically retainedin its vertically adjusted position and stop. means are provided on the bellows-for engaging the'zupperrend of the standard to prevent the upper end of the standard from entering the bellows.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 638,920 Grant Dec. 12, 1899 1,527,716 Tippen et a1. Feb. 24, 1925 1,550,483 Wulkop Aug. 18, 1925 1,650,141 Lowell Nov. 22, 1927 2,299,520 Yant Oct. 20, 1942 2,489,277 Faralla Nov. 29, 1949 2,626,150 Karns Jan. 20, 1953 FOREIGN PATENTS 240,652 Great Britain Oct. 8, 1925

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U.S. Classification473/423, 403/50, 473/417, 473/147, D21/719, 428/11, 248/156, 248/164
International ClassificationA63B71/02, A63B69/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/0079, A63B2071/024, A63B69/0075
European ClassificationA63B69/00T2, A63B69/00T1