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Publication numberUS3201126 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 17, 1965
Filing dateJan 30, 1964
Priority dateJan 30, 1964
Publication numberUS 3201126 A, US 3201126A, US-A-3201126, US3201126 A, US3201126A
InventorsGeorge P Nissen
Original AssigneeNissen Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Game apparatus with target and trampoline
US 3201126 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 17, 1965 G. P. NlssEN GAME APPARATUS WITH TARGET AND TRAMPOLINE 3 Sheets-Sheet Jl Original Filed May 28, 1962 Aug. 17, 1965 G. P. NlssEN GAME APPARATUS WITH TARGET AND TRAMPOLINE 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Original Filed May 28, 1962 Img/@rean ym;

/bw f Aug. 17, 1965 G. P. NlssEN GAME APPARATUS WITH TARGET AND TRAMPOLINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Original Filed May 28, 1962 wm \w nw www RN Imc/Aime@ go/aye 3,291,126 GAME APPARATUS WIII-I TARGET AND TRAMIIJINII George P. Nissen, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, assigner to Nissen Corporation, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a corporation of owa Continuation of appiication Eer. No. 198,366, May 23,

1962. This applieation Ian. 30, 1964, Ser. No. 341,298

14 (Claims. (Cl. 273-95) This application is a continuation of an application of the same inventor and title, Serial No. 198,366, led May 28, 1962, and now abandoned.

This invention relates generally to recreational and physical conditioning apparatus including at least one trampoline or rebound tumbling unit having a bed in the form of a sheet of fabric or interwoven strips of webbing stretched within a horizontal frame by resilient tension elements such as springs or rubber cable loops connected at opposite ends to the sheet and the frame. With such a unit, an individual performer bouncing on the bed is propelled upwardly above the bed to a height substantially greater than la person jumping from a rigid surface without the assistance of the resilience of the tension elements and the bed.

`The primary object of the present invention is to utilize one or more trampolines in combination with a novel target device to form a game in which the player must be suspended in mid-air above the trampoline bed in order to achieve the object of the game.

Another object is to combine a trampoline with a novel guide which defines an elongated pathway and is supported in a novel manner with respect t-o the trampoline to require the player or performer to be suspended in mid-air above a standing position on the trampoline bed in order to propel an object along the pathway.

A more detailed object is to support the guide with its pathway extending horizontally across the trampoline bed at a height above the reach of a player standing on the bed.

A further yobject is to provide novel apparatus for supporting the target in proper relation to the bed and to control and confine the movement of a free object thrown by a player toward the target.

The inventi-on also resides in the novel construction of the target to provide different games to be played by one or more players using one or two trampolines at a time.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of novel recreational apparatus embodying the novel features of the present invention with two trampolines.`

FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the apparatus shown in FIGURE l.

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevational View of a part of FIGURE 2.

`FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of modified game apparatus including a single trampoline.

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the apparatus of the modification of FIGURE 4.

FIGURE 6 is a perspective view of another modification utilizing a single trampoline.

While there have been shown in the drawings and will be described herein several embodiments of the present invention, it is to be understood that the invention is susceptibleof various other modifications and alternative constructions. It is to be understood further that there is no intention to limit the invention by the specific disclosures, but that the aim is to cover lall modifications and alternative constructions falling within the spirit and gli).

3,291,126 Fatenteel Aug. 17, 1955 scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

The present invention is especially intended for use with one or more trampolines or rebound tumbling units 11i each comprising a horizontal bed 11 which, as is well known in the art, may comprise a sheet of fabric material or interwoven strips of webbing. The sheet is the same shape as but smaller in size than an encircling frame 12 and is suspended in the plane of the frame by resilient tension elements 13 which are connected at opposite ends to the frame and to the` periphery of the bed at spaced points `around the bed. In the present instance, the frame and bed are of rectangular shape and the tension elements are rubber cable loops.

While each frame 12 may be supported on the ground and at ground level with a hole loc-ated beneath the bed 11 to permit depression of the bed below the horizontal plane of the frame, the frames in this instance are supported above the ground on an underlying leg assembly 14 also well known in the art. Suitable yieldable pads 15 cover the upper horizontal surfaces of each frame to pr-otect the performer from injury which might otherwise result from bodily contact with the frame. Due to the resilience of the cables 13, a performer 9 bouncing on the bed is propelled upwardly to a height greater than he would be `able to achieve by jumping from a rigid horizontal surface. In the normal use of the trampoline and while he is suspended above the bed, the performer executes various gymnnastic maneuvers.

In accordance with the present invention, one or more trampolines Iii are used in combination with a novel guide or target 16 to provide a game requiring the performer or playerto be suspended in the air above his normal standing position on the bed 11 in order to achieve the object of the game. For this purpose, the guide denes a horizontally elongated pathway indicated by a line 17 of arrows (FIGURE 2) and is mounted above the bed with a longitudinal axis of the pathway extending across the bed at a height above the reach of the player standing on the bed. An object such as a ball 18 is moved along such pathway by a force applied by the player 9 who must be above his normal standing position on the bed in order to propel the object along the pathway. Elongation of the guide horizontally results from the horizontal spacing of portions 19 and 21) of the guide which are located the same distance vertically above the bed.

In a preferred form of the invention shown in FIG- URES 1 to 3, the guide `16 is an elongated tube and the horizontally spaced portions 19 and 20 defining the pathway are circular ends of the tube. A gantry 21 supports this target in .a horizontal position above the bed with i the axes of the ends aligned horizontally. The gantry is of inverted U-shape with uprights 22 spaced apart far enough to straddle the beds 11 of the trampolines 11i and joined at their upper ends by .a cross member 23 extend- Y ing transversely of the longitudinal axis of the bed. The

ball 18 propelled by the player 9 through the target in this instance is a free ball. In order to control the movement of the ball and return it to the player in the event he fails to propel it through the target, a net or other masking device 24 is supported in a vertical position on the gantry around the target.

In the gantry 21 shown in FIGURES 1 to 5, each of the uprights 22 and the cross member 23 is formed by a pair of parallel members spanned by` and connected at their respective ends by horizontal bars 25. One material found suitable for these parts is a hollow tubing of light weight material such as aluminum. If desired, additional cross bars 26 may connect the parallel members of the gantry 21 at other points intermediate their ends. Also, additional bars 27 may be secured to and extend be- Vwith the target i6 also above the adjacent ends.

tween the bars of the uprights 22 parallel to the cross member 23. The target tube 16 rests on and is secured to these intermediate bars Z7 and is connected to the parallel bars of the member 23 by two vertical bars 28 at the center of the cross member. in order to insure that the ball will not become lodged and remain within the target, the end portions of the target are of conical shape and llare or t-aper -outwardly from the ecnter ot the target to the circular ends.. The net 24 around one end 19 of the target is secured to the adjacent upright and cross Vmember bars in a suitable manner as by ropes or rings (not shown) with a hole in the net to receive the target tube. A similar net 29 extends around the other end 2t) of the target and the cross bars 25 at the lower ends of the uprights 22 are fitted with suitable protective feet 30which engage the ground.

The target 16 and gantry Zll of FIGURE 1 may be `used either with one trampoline l@ or with two trampolines as shown in this figure. Where two are used, they are arranged end to end with their longitudinal axes aligned and the gantry is disposed in a vertical position across and above the adjacent ends of the trampolines The target arranged in this manner is intended for use with at least two players 9, one of whom bounces on each trampoline and receives a ball 1S thrown through the target by the person on the other trampoline or throws the ball through the target to such other person. When a player misses the target, the ball engages the adjacent one of the nets 24 and 29 and is directed back onto the trampoline of that player. If desired, additional protective padding 31 rnay be provided at the junction of the trampolines.

While the gantry 21 and the target 16 described thus far may be used'alone with two trampolines l() with a player 9 on each trampoline throwing a ball 18 through and receiving a thrown ball from the target, it is diserable in some instances to provide an additional target member 32 spaced horizontally from the primary target. In the form shown in FIGURES 1 to 3, an additional target provided for each trampoline is located adjacent the end of the trampoline remote from the gantry. The particular target shown in this instance is the lower end of a pendulum suspended in a vertical position from a center bar 33 normal to and projecting horizontally from the horizontal cross member 34 of an auxiliary gantry 35 and swingable in a vertical plane extending longitudinally of the aligned trampolines, the general movement of the pendulum being indicated by arrows numbered 36 in FIGURE 3. The lower end portion of the pendulum is aligned horizontally with the target on the pathway 17 so that a ball 13 thrown from one trampoline accurately through the target -as indicated and along the pathway will strike the lower end portion of the pendulum.

Suitable indicator mechanism preferably is provided to signal that the target has been hit. In the modication of FIGURES l to 3, this takes the form of a bell 37 mounted on the pendulum and engageable by a clapper 38 lalso mounted on the pendulum through the medium of a spring arm 39, the clapper normally being spaced from the bell but engaging the same to give an audible signal when the pendulum has been struck by a ball. A suitable net 4t) may be mounted in a vertical plane on the auxiliary gantry 3S with an opening 4E to permit movement of the ball 18 into engagement with the pendulum. A back up net or backstop 42 also is mounted on the gantry behind the pendulum in the direction of movement of the ball to stop the ball and direct it back onto the adjacent trampoline bed after it passes through the opening. p

The additional gantry in the present instance is formed Vof a light metal tubing of inverted U-shape With horizontal cross legs 43 secured to the lower end portions of the upright members 44 to engage a horizontal surface and locate the upright members in a vertical plane.

A cross piece 45 secured at opposite ends to the uprights parallels but is spaced below the upper cross member 34 and cooperates with the latter to support a hoop 46 dening the opening 4l in the net nearest the performers. The back up net 42 is suspended from horizontal bar 47 parallel to member 34 and connected thereto by the center bar 33 and from spaced bars 48 parallel to the center bar. The lower end portions of the net are selcured to the uprights 44 so that the net is inclined away from the vertical and toward the adjacent trampoline bed.

It will be seen that the spaced portions delining the horizontally elongated pathway 17 for an object 18 either may be the two ends of the main target le of FIGS. 1 and 2 or may be only one end of some other part such as the reduced center section of the main target plus another part such as the pendulum providing an auxiliary target spaced horizontally from the gantry. The auxiliary target spaced from the main gantry and its target may take various forms other than the pendulum. Such another form is shown in a modiication in FGURES 4 and 5, the parts of this construction which correspond Y to parts in FIGURES l to 3 bearing similar reference characters with the sutlix a.

Referring to the modification of FIGURES 4 and 5, the auxiliary target 32a is one of a plurality of sets of ten pins. These are mounted on an endless belt 49 in a novel manner enabling one person 50 to assist the player 9a by arranging the sets of pins on the belt and moving them successively into the target position in alignment ywith the longitudinal axis of the main target tube 16a and on the target pathway 17a. To this end, the belt extends around and is supported by four drum rollers 5l and 52 which are mounted on a Wheeled framework 53 lior rotation about parallel horizontal axes and three of Awhich are located on the interior of the belt with the fourth on the exterior.

The location of the4 drum rollers 51 and 52 of the modiiied auxiliary target of FIGURES 4 and 5 is such that the belt 49 is movable first upwardly along an outer vertical run 54, around one of the interior rollers 51 and onto an upper horizontal run 55, around a second interior roller 51 and onto a lower horizontal run 56, next around the exterior drum 52 and onto the inner vertical run 57, and finally around the third interior drum 51 and onto the outer vertical run. The wheeled framework 53 is of generally rectangular box-like construction with various uprights and cross pieces connected rigidly together. The pins 32a are held releasably on the outer surface of the endless belt for travel successively along the outer vertical run, the upper horizontal run and the lower horizontal run, the pins being inverted on the latter run and disposed on the path 17a and in horizontal alignment with the longitudinal axis of the target 16a so that a ball 18a thrown horizontally through the target as shown in FIGURE 5 will strike the inverted pins and detach them from the belt for gravitation to a loading position adjacent the outer side of the lower end portion of the outer vertical run 54.

The pins 32a are guided to the loading position in their gravitation by a downwardly inclined net 5S and side nets 59 straddling the belt 49 and cooperating'with the inclined net to guide the balls 18a as well as the pins to the loading position. A plurality of balls may be used and these are stored in a rack 60 along one side of the trampoline frame 19a until they are picked up one by one for throwing through the main target 16a. Any pins left on the belt after the player has thrown aV ball toward the pins areV removed from the belt to gravitate to the loading position by engagement with the exterior roller 52 as the pins advance with the belt from the target position toward and into engagement with that roller.`

While the pins 32a ot FIGURES 4 and 5 may be secured detachably to the exterior of the belt 49 in various ways, it is preferred to use a so-called nap type ofy fastening element having barbs or loops on either the exterior of the belt or the bottoms of the pins with a raised nap on the other of these parts. The hooks interengage with the nap to hold the parts together but ilex to permit separation of the parts when a sufiicient separating force is applied to the parts. Fastening material of this type is sold under the trademark Velcro by American Velcro, Inc. having sales offices at 681 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York. With a raised nap on the exterior of the belt and a multiplicity of outwardly projecting loops or barbs on the bottoms of the pins, the pins may be fastened releasably on the belt by bringing the hooks or barbs into engagement with the nap on the belt, the force of the ball striking the pins being suiiicient to release the barbs from the nap material. The pins are made light enough to remain on the belt during their movement from the loading position around the rollers 51 and into the target position along the target pathway 17a, light weight plastic material having been found suitable for the pins.

Another modified target construction is shown in `FIG- URE 6, the parts there which correspond to parts in FIG- URE l having the same reference characters with a sufx b added. In that modification, the portions of the target 16h defining the pathway 17h and horizontally spaced longitudinally of the trampoline are diderent sections of one or more straight continuous guides such as wires or ropes. The object 18b propelled in the game is coniined in its movement by a connection 61 with the `guides so as to be moveable back and forth lalong and with respect to the guides. This moditication is intended for use by two players who bounce on opposite end porftions of a single trampoline 1lb. Thus, each player must rise above the one end portion of the bed to strike the :ball and move it along the guides to the opposite end portion where it is struck by the other player to return 4it along the guides to a position above the first player.

In the modification of FIGURE 6, there are two parallel guide ropes 16h extending longitudinally of the bed 1lb and stretched between the upper corners of two upright rectangular frames 62. The propelled object 18h is a ball and its connection 6l with the ropes comprises two ropes 63 and 64. One of these is a cross rope stretched horizontally between rings 65 encircling the parallel guide ropes and the second rope 64 is secured at one end to the ball and at its other end to a ring 66 encircling the cross rope. The ball thus is movable with the second rope 1ongitudinally of the cross rope and transversely of the guide ropes and is movable with the cross rope and its rings longitudinally of the guide ropes. Suitable stops 67 secured to and encircling the guide ropes limit the movement of the ball and its connecting ropes longitudinally of the bed.

To coniine the movement of the players 9b to their respective end portions of the trampoline bed 11b of the modification of FIGURE 6, a dividing gantry 68 of inverted U-shape is mounted in a suitable manner on the trampoline frame 12b to lie in a vertical plane bisecting the frame. To protect the players, suitable nets 69 are mounted within the end frames 62 for the guide ropes 16h and" other nets 70 are mounted within the gantry. Also, suitable protective mats 71 cover the respective ends of the frame and extend upwardly along supporting frameworks '72 secured rigidly to the end frames 62. Each of these frameworks is secured to the adjacent end of the trampoline frame and to legs 73 which are pivoted on the framework and are movable between a collapsed position alongside the framework and extended positions determined by limiting chains 74 as shown in FIGURE 6.

It will be seen that each of the various forms of the invention is characterized by a target pathway 1'7 deiined by parts which are horizontally yspaced apart along a line Aextending longitudinally of the longitudinal axis of the trampoline bed 11 In each instance, this pathway is located above the reach of a player 9 standing on the trampoline bed so that the player must be suspended in midair above the bed before he can propel either the free object 18 or 18a of FIGURES 1 to 5 or the tethered or captive object 1812 of FIGURE 6 along the pathway This arrangement is adaptable either to an individual playing the game alone orto more than Vone individual playing the game either on one trampoline as shown in FIGURE 6 or on two trampolines as shown in FIGURE l Where the pathway of the object is deiined bythe tunnel-like target 16 of FIGURES l to 5, movement of the ball out of the tunnel is insured by the outward Haring of its opposite conical end portions Through the use of the auxiliary targets 32 and 32a of FIGURES l and 5, an advancement in the skill of the player may be achieved By virtue oft the various nets, movement of the free objects isl controlled so as to reduce the necessity of the player having to dismount from the trampoline I claim:

l. Recreational apparatus having, in combination, a trampoline having a horizontal bed with a longitudinal axis, a gantry having uprights spaced apart far enough to straddle said bed and joined at their upper ends by a crosspiece extending transversely of said axis above the bed, a guide defining an elongated pathway with a central axis and mounted to said crosspiece with the central axis extending horizontally and longitudinally of said bed axis and spaced above the bed at a height greater than the reach of a performer standing on the bed so that the performer must be suspended in mid-air above the bed in order to throw an object along the pathway, and a vertically disposed net mounted on said gantry and surrounding said guide to intercept an object thrown toward but to one side of the guide and thereby prevent movement of the object past the guide while permitting the object to gravitate onto the bed.

2. Recreational apparatus having, in combination, a trampoline having a horizontal bed, a gantly extending above and transversely of said bed, and a guide deiining an elongated pathway with a central axis and supported by said gant-ry with said axis extending horizontally and longitudinally of said bed, said guide being spaced above the bed at a height greater than the reach of .a performer standing on the bed so that the performer must be suspended in mid-air above the bed in order to throw an object along the pathway.

3. Recreational `apparatus comprising, in combination, a trampoline having a horizontal bed, an elongated generally straight target pathway having horizontally spaced target portions deiining said pathway, and means mounting said portions above said bed with said pathway extending generally horizontally across said bed at a height greater than the reach of a performer standing on the bed so that the performer must be suspended in mid-air above a standing position on the bed in order to propel an object along said pathway.

4. The combination of claim 3 in which protective members extend upwardly from adjacent a pair of opposite margins of said bed to protect performers from falling outwardly therebeyond, and a vertical dividing member is disposed centrally and transversely of the distance between said protect-ive members effective to define a pair of separate performing sections on said bed, each of said sections having a pair of its opposite margins bounded by said dividing member and one of said protective members.

5. The apparatus 'of claiml 3 in which said pathway includes an open ended tubular member, said spaced target portions constituting the opposite ends of said member.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 in which said tubular member is provided with a transverse section of reduced area, centrally disposed along the axis of said member, said member flaring outwardly from said section to its respective ends.

'7. The apparatus of claim 3 in which said target portions comprise a main target and an auxiliary target, said auxiliary target being disposed more remote from a section of said bed upon which a performer bounces than said main target.

'3. The apparatus of claim 7 in which said main target comprises an open` ended tubular member axially dispose along said target pathway. Y

9. The apparatus of claim 8 in which said tubular member is provided with a transverse section of reduced area, centrally disposed along the axis of said member, said member flaring outwardly from sai-d section to its respective ends.

10. The apparatus of claim 9 in which said auxiliary target includes a backstop elevated above the level of said bed effective to stop 'the flight of an object along said pathway which has moved through said tubular member.

11. The apparatus of claim 9 in which said auxiliary target includes a set of ten pins releasably secured to the underside of a horizontal belt elective to gravitate from said belt upon being struck by an object thrown along said pathway and through -said main target.

12. Recreational apparatus having, in combination, a trampoline having a horizontal bed with a longitudinal axis, support members disposed above said bed, and a guide mounted to said support members defining a pathway extending longitudinally of said bed axis at a height above said bed greater than the reach of a performer standmember while permitting movement of the object longi-Y tudinally of said guide member.

14. The combination of claim 12 including said object and wherein said guide comprises a pair of parallel wirelike members and said object is a ball connected to said members for limited movement both longitudinally and transversely of said guide members.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,556,046 1'0/ 25 Taylor V273---95 2,607,591 8/52 Tilley 273--95V '2,932,516 4/60 Penner 273-105 DELBERT B. LOWE, Primary Examiner.

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WO1998002215A1 *Apr 14, 1997Jan 22, 1998Winkelhorn Karin Maria KutnzoNovel sport game and field
WO1998058706A1 *Jun 19, 1998Dec 30, 1998Publicover Mark WTrampoline or the like with enclosure
U.S. Classification273/393, 273/402, 473/478, 273/389, 182/139, 473/492, 473/574, 473/588, 482/29, 273/382
International ClassificationA63B67/00, A63B5/11
Cooperative ClassificationA63B5/11, A63B21/0552, A63B67/002, A63B2067/005
European ClassificationA63B5/11
Legal Events
Nov 23, 1981ASAssignment
Effective date: 19811118