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Publication numberUS2884252 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 28, 1959
Filing dateOct 17, 1957
Priority dateOct 17, 1957
Publication numberUS 2884252 A, US 2884252A, US-A-2884252, US2884252 A, US2884252A
InventorsJames E Thompson
Original AssigneeJames E Thompson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Retractable goal posts
US 2884252 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

J. E. THOMPSON RETxgACTABLE GOAL POSTS l Filed oct. 17, 1957 April 28, 1959 IN VEN TOR.

se 56 2z JAMES E.`THOMP$ON TTO'RNEY y sa FIG l (24 3 az sa V 555m 4 ELM United StatesI Patent O 2,884,252 RETRACTABLE GOAL POSTS James E. Thompson, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Application October 17, 1957, Serial No. 690,787 6 Claims. (Cl. 2'73 -55`) The present invention relates to improvements in goal posts for field games and has reference more particularly to goal post structure as used in football and games of similar character.

Football goal posts normally comprise a pair of spacedapart uprights which support a horizontal cross piece or bar adjacent their upper end portions at opposing ends of a playing field. The entire structure is usually formed of wood. In recent years it has become an almost general practice particularly in college football games for the supporters of the winning team to tear down the goal posts at the termination of the game. The actions of these supporting fans is almost riotous in nature and frequently some of the participants are injured.

' 'It is therefore the principal object of the present invention to provide a retractable football goal post strucof the structure.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a goal post structure of this character which, being substantially flush with the surface of the earth when retracted, permits the use of the playing field for activities other than football without interference of such games by upstanding goal posts.

v Tearing down the goal posts by the action of enthusiastic spectators usually results in partial or complete destruction of the goal posts thus rendering them uniit for further service. This necessitates an added expense for `the school of the home team in purchasing new goals and installing the same after each game.v

Itis therefore a further object of this invention to provide a goal post structure which may be repeatedly used and which needs little if any attention afterwthe initial installation.

Still another object is to provide goal posts of this class which may be raised or lowered as desired from apredetermined remote control position. The present invention accomplishes these and other objects by providing a pair of elongated spaced-apart vertically disposed supports adapted vto beslidablyureceived within co-operating sockets formed in the surface of an end portion of a playing field.

A gear rack is connected longitudinally to the inwardly disposed surface of each support. A cross bar extends between the supports and is slidably carried horizontally by the upper end portions of the gear racks. A recess is formed in the surface of the playing field between the supports for receiving the cross bar therein when the supports are fully retracted into the sockets. Reversible motor means within the recess is drivably connected tothe 2,884,252 Patented Apr. 28, 1959 ICC 2 gear means for raising and lowering the supports and cross bar. l v

Other objects will be apparent from the following de scription when taken in `conjunction with the accompanying single sheet of drawings, herein:

. Figurevl is a fragmentary cross sectional view, partly in elevation, illustrating the device in operating position;

Figure 2 is` a horizontal cross sectionalgview taken substantially along line 2-2 of Fig. 1; and y Figure 3 is a fragmentary exploded rperspective view of the upper end portion of one support and illustrating the manner of connecting the'cross bar thereto. j

Like characters of reference designate likeV parts in those figures of the ,drawings in which they occur.

In the drawings:

The reference numeral 10 indicates the device, asa whole, includinga pair of spaced-apart vertically disposed supports 12 and 14 of a selected length which are adapted to be received within a pair lof casings 16 and 18, respectively. The casings 16 and 18 are sunk into or cast. in drilled holes or sockets 20 and 22, respectively, formed in the end zone of a playing field. The casings are shown in the drawings as formed of metal but obviously lthey may be formed of any desirable material such as plastic or concrete. The uppermost lends of the casings 16 and 18 are preferably substantially ush with the surface 24 of the playing iield.` The depth of thevholes or sockets 20 and 22 is preferably such that `the uppermostl ends 26 and 28 of thev respective supports 12 and 14 will be sub.- stantially flush with the ysurface 24 of the playing yfield when the supports `are fully retracted thereinto. An elongated trench or recess 30 is formed in the surface of the playing ield between the upper end portions of the sockets 26 and 22. An elongated container or housing'32 is placed or formed within the recess 30 with the bottom or base 36 resting on the soil forming the bottom of the recess while the top or upper wall 38 of the housing is disposed below the surface 24 of the playing field for the purposes more fully explained hereinbelow. Obviously the housing top may be removable or provided with a lid, not shown.

Elongated gear racks 40 and 42 are longitudinally secured to the inwardly disposed surface of the posts or supports 12 and 14, respectively, with the teeth of the racks projecting inwardly in cooperating opposed relation. Each side of the upper end portion of each gear rack 40 and 42 is integrally joined to a pair of angular members 44 which extend laterally of the respective gear rack and includes flange portions 46 which project inwardly of the posts in parallel spaced-apart relation. The angular members 44 thus form a U-shaped channel like extension on opposing sides of the upper end portion of the respective gear rack. Each of the anges 46 is provided with a vertical slot 48 intermediate its ends for the purposes which will presently be apparent. l

A cross bar 50 formed of wood or other suitable material and substantially ovate in cross section extends between the supports 12 and 14. The opposing ends of the cross bar 50are adapted to be received between the angular members 44 adjacent the gear rack teeth. The-cross bar 50 is held in place between the angular members 44 by a pair of laterally extending ears 52 adjacent each of its ends. The ears 52 are adapted `for vertical sliding engagement within the slots 48. The angular members 44 extend downwardly from the upper ends of the posts a distance suflicient to place the cross bar 50 at a selected horizontal position below the uppermost ends of the supports as illustrated in Fig. l. Cross sectionally the size ofthe cross bar is such that it substantially fills the remaining portion of the recess30 above the top 38 of the housing when the supports-are assegna d retracted into the casings by the means more' fully dis` closed hereinbelow.

A pair of L-shaped hooks 49 are carried by opposing sides of each gear rack adjacent the lower end of the angular members 44 with the hooks projecting horizontally inward of the respective support. The free ends of the hooks 49 project vertically upward for insertion into co-operating perforations, not shown, in the lower surface of the cross bar 50 as an additional means for lifting the latter when the supports are raised.

A reversible electric motor 56 is mounted within the housing 32 medially its ends. The motor is provided with a pair of oppositely disposed `drive shafts 58 and 60 which project horizontally outward from opposite sides of the motor toward the respective supports 12 and 14. Beveled gears 62 connected with the respective ends of the drive shafts 58 and 60 rotate a stub shaft 64 mounted on the base of the housing which in turn rotates a cogwheel 66 having the teeth thereof in mesh with the teeth of the respective gear racks 40 and 42. Suitable openings 68 are provided in the wall of the casings 16 and 18 adjacent the respective ends of the housing through which the cogwheels 66 project for contacting the gear ra'ck teeth. Suitable wiring, not shown, connects the motor 56 to a source of electrical energy and control switches. Thus, when the motor 56 is run in one direction the supports 12 and 14 will be raised simultaneously to project upwardly out of the casings 14 and 16 while the angular members lift the cross ybar d there with. Actuation of the motor 56 in the opposite direction retracts the supports 12 and 14 into the casings and disposes the cross bar 50 within the recess 30 above the housing 32. During the retracting action of the supports the `cross bar 50 contacts the top 38 of the housing before the upper end portions of the supports are fully retracted into the casings. It is at this' point that the primary function of the slots 48 becomes evident since their sliding contact with the ears 52 permits the cross bar S0 to remain in position within the recess while the upper end portions of the supports are being fully retracted into the casings.

The ears 52 being slidably disposed within the slots 48 further provide a means for preventing rotation of either of the supports 12 and 14 relative to the respective casing and cogwheeL When the supports are fully retracted into the casings the upper ends 26 and 28 thereof and the upper surface of the lcross bar 50 are 'substantially flush with the surface 24 of the playing field.

Obviously the invention is susceptible to some change or alteration without defeating its practicability, and I therefore do not wish to be confined to the preferred 'embodiment shown in the drawings and described herein, further than I am limited by the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

l. A retractable goal post structure for an end zone of a playing field, the surface of said playing field having an elongated recess therein and having a pair of sockets extending vertically therebelow adjacent the respective ends, of the recess, comprising: a casing within each said socket; a pair of vertically disposed spaced-apart parallel supports adapted to be slidably received within said respective casings; a pair of gear racks longitudinally secured in co-operative relation to the inwardly disposed surface of said supports, respectively, the upper end portion of said gear racks each having a pair of vertically 'extending angular members projecting inwardly of the supports in co-operating relation from opposing sides of the gear rack, said angular members each alignedly slotted vertically intermediate their ends; a cross bar extending between said supports and having its respective 'ends disposed between the respective said pairs of angular members, said `cross bar being adapted to be received within the recess in the surface of said playing field; a

4 pair of ears carried by each respective end portion of said cross bar, said pairs of ears being slidably received Within the respective slots in said angular members; a reversible motor within the recess in said field, said motor having a pair of opposing drive shafts projecting toward the respective said supports; and gear means carried by the free end of each said drive shaft and meshing with the teeth of each respective said gear rack, whereby actuation of said motor in one direction raises said supports and said cross bar upwardly and whereby actuation of said motor in the opposite direction retracts said supports into said casings and disposes said lcross bar within the recess.

2. Structure as specified in claim l and a pair of L-shaped hooks carried by each respective said gear rack adjacent the lowermost end of said angular members, said hooks being adapted for engagement with the lowermost surface of the adjacent end portion of said cross bar for lifting the latter when said supports are raised.

3. A retractable goal post stmcture for an end zone of a playing field, the surface of said playing field having an elongated recess therein and having a pair of sockets extending vertically therebelow adjacent the respective ends of the recess, comprising: a pair of vertically disposed spaced-apart parallel supports adapted to be received within the 'sockets in said playing field; a pair of gear racks longitudinally secured in co-operating relation to the inwardly disposed surface of said supports, respectively, the upper end portion of said gear racks each having a pair of vertically extending angular guide members projecting inwardly of the supports in co-operating parallel relation from opposing sides of the gear rack, 'said angular guide members each alignedly slotted vertically intermediate their ends; a cross bar extending between said supports and having its respective ends disposed adjacent and between the respective said pairs of angular members, said cross bar being adapted to be received within the recess in the surface of said playing field; a pair of ears carried by each respective end portion of said cross bar, said pairs of ears being slidably received within the respective slots in said angular guide members; a reversible motor within the recess in said playing field, said motor having a pair of opposing drive shafts projecting toward the respective said supports; and gear means carried by the free end of each said drive shaft and meshing with the teeth of each respective said gear rack, whereby actuation of said motor in one direction raises said supports upward simultaneously to project out of said sockets while said angular members carries said cross bar therewith and whereby reversing the direction of said motor retracts said supports into said sockets and disposes said cross bar within the recess.

4. Structure as specified in claim 3 and a pair of L-shaped hooks carried by each respective said gear rack adjacent the lowermost end of said angular members, said hooks being adapted for engagement with the lowermost vsurface of the adjacent end portion of Isaid cross bar for lifting the latter when said supports are raised.

5. A retractable goal post structure for an end zone of a playing field, the surface of said playing field having an elongated recess therein and having a pair of sockets extending vertically therebelow adjacent the respective ends of the recess, comprising: a casing within each said socket; a pair of vertically disposed spaced-apart parallel supports adapted to be slidably received within lsaid respective casings; a pair of gear racks longitudinally secured in co-operating relationto the inwardly disposed surface of said supports, respectively, the upper end portion of said gear racks each having a pair of vertically extending angular guide flanges projecting inwardly of the supports to form a U-shaped channel, the legs of said U-shaped channels being alignedly slotted vertically intermediate their ends; a cross bar extending between .said supports and having its respective ends disposed within the respective U-shaped channels, said cross bar being adapted to be received within the recess in the surface of said playing field; a pair of laterally projecting ears carried by each end portion of said cross bar, said ears being slidably disposed within the respective slots in said U- shaped channels; an elongated housing horizontally disposed Within the recess in said playing field, said horizontally disposed housing having open ends in communication with the respective `casing in said sockets; a reversible motor within said horizontally disposed casing, said motor y having a pair of opposing drive shafts projecting toward the respective said supports; and gear means carried by the free end of each said drive shaft and meshing with the teeth of each respective said gear rack.

6. Structure as specified in claim 5 and a pair of L- shaped hook members carried by each respective gear rack adjacent the lowermost end of said U-shaped channels, said hooks being adapted for engagement with the lowerrnost surface of the adjacent end portion of said cross bar for lifting the latter when said supports are raised.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US387345 *Jul 2, 1880Aug 7, 1888 Clothes-drier
US2074125 *Apr 2, 1936Mar 16, 1937Lefft JosephGoal post
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3372928 *Aug 13, 1965Mar 12, 1968Showalter Merle RobertExercising machines operable independently of the exercising person's applied force
US3881724 *Oct 19, 1973May 6, 1975James F BeveridgeRetractable basketball goal
US3981501 *Dec 11, 1974Sep 21, 1976Ray GonzalezRetractible goal post
US4026554 *Dec 23, 1974May 31, 1977G.E.K. Enterprises, Inc.Football goal posts with message matrix
US4149712 *Sep 15, 1977Apr 17, 1979Murphy Richard JPhysical exercise apparatus
US4458897 *Aug 23, 1971Jul 10, 1984Tele-Post, Inc.Coin controlled support for game net
US4720099 *Jun 29, 1987Jan 19, 1988The Toro CompanyExercise machine
US4730829 *Jun 26, 1987Mar 15, 1988The Toro CompanyExercise machine
US4776588 *Feb 9, 1987Oct 11, 1988Crowley Joseph RCoin or token-operated tennis net
US5429350 *Apr 5, 1994Jul 4, 1995Meier; GregGoal post inserts
US5813926 *Jun 27, 1997Sep 29, 1998Vance; William A.Basketball free throw shooting training device
US6659467 *Nov 2, 2001Dec 9, 2003B.M.T.L., Inc.Telescoping housing
US6945885Feb 17, 2004Sep 20, 2005Snider James LArticulated football goal post
US7150688 *Jan 31, 2005Dec 19, 2006Wayne CoulbournExtendable retractable barrier
US7252605 *Sep 16, 2004Aug 7, 2007Snider James LArticulated football goal including sacrificial crossbar
US20130053219 *Apr 28, 2011Feb 28, 2013Rantzows Sport AbHurdle with automatic displacement of counterweights
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/477, 273/406, 482/17
International ClassificationA63B63/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2210/58, A63B63/008
European ClassificationA63B63/00R