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Publication numberUS3312471 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 4, 1967
Filing dateMar 15, 1965
Priority dateMar 15, 1965
Publication numberUS 3312471 A, US 3312471A, US-A-3312471, US3312471 A, US3312471A
InventorsGeorge P Nissen
Original AssigneeNissen Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Target for trampoline game apparatus
US 3312471 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 4; 1967 G. P. NISSEN TARGET FOR TRAMPOLINE GAME APPARATUS Original Filed May 28, 1962 INVENTOR. George P. Nissen BY /Am Y1 ATTORN EY.

United States Patent 3,312,471 TARGET FOR TRAMPOLINE GAME APPARATUS George P. Nissen, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, assiguor to Nissen Corporation, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Application Jan. 30, 1964, Ser. No. 341,298, now Patent No. 3,201,126, dated Aug. 17, 1965, which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 198,366, May 28, 1962. Divided and this application Mar. 15, 1965, Ser. No.

4 Claims. 01. 273-105 This application is a division of application Ser. No. 341,298, filed Jan. 30, 1964 (now Patent 3,201,126), the latter application in turn being a continuation of application Ser. No. 198,366, filed 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 a 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 to the trampoline to require the player or performer to be suspended in midair 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 object 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 invention 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 embodyin the novel features of the present invention with two trampolines.

FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary side elevation view of the apparatus shown in FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevation view of a part of FIGURE 2.

While there have been sohwn in the drawings and will be described herein one embodiment of the present invention, it is to be understood that the invention is susceptible of 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 all modifications and alternative constructions falling wtihin the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

The present invention 'is especially intended for use other points intermediate their ends.

with one or more trampolines or rebound tumbling units 10 each comprising a horizotual 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 located 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 protect 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 gymnastic maneuvers.

In accordance with the present invention, one or more trampolines 10 are used in combination with a novel guide or target 16 to provide a game requiring the performer or player to be suspended in the air above his normal standing position on the bed 11 in order to achieve the object of the games. ,.For this purpose, the guide defines 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 20 of the guide which are located the same distance vertically above the bed.

In a preferred form of the invention shown, 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 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 10 and joined at their upper ends by a cross member 23 extending 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, each of the uprights 22 and the cross member 23 is formed by a pair of parallel mem- 'bers 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 Also, additional bars 27 may be secured to and extend between 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 27 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 flare or taper outwardly from the center of the target to the circular ends. The net 24 around one end 19 of the target is secured to the adjacent upright and cross member bars in a suitable manner as by ropes or rings (not shown) with a hole in the net to receive the tar-get tube. A similar net 29 extends around the other end 20 of the target and the cross bars at the'lower ends of the upright 22 are fitted with suitable protective feet which engage the ground.

The target 16 and gantry 21 of FIGURE 1 may be used either with one trampoline 10 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 osition across and above the adjacent ends of the trampolines with the target 16 also above the adjacent ends. 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 18 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 may be provided at the junction of the trampo lines.

While the gantry Z1 and the target 16 described thus far may be used alone with two trampolines It) with a player 9 on each trampoline throwing a ball 18 through and receiving .a thrown ballfrom the target, it is desirable in some instances to provide an additional target member 32 spaced horizontally from the primary target. In the form shown in FIGURES l 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 18 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 FIGURES 1 to 3, this takes the form of a bell 37 mounted on the pendulum and engageable by a clapper 38 also mounted on the pendulum through they medium of a spring arm 39, the clapper normally being spaced from the belt but engaging the same to give an audible signal when the pendulum has been struck by a ball. A suitable net 40 may be mounted in a vertical plane on the auxiliary gantry 35 with an opening 41 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.

The additional gantry 35 in the present instance is formed of 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 defining the opening 41 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 secured 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 defining the horizontally elongated pathway 17 for an object 18 either may be the two ends of the main target 16 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.

It will be seen that the invention is characterized by a target pathway 17 defined by parts which are horizontally spaced apart along a line extending 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 mid-air above the bed before he can propel the free object 18 along the pathway. This arrangement is adaptable either to an individual playing the game alone or to more than one individual playing the game either on one or on two trampolines. Where the pathway of the object is defined by the tunnel-like target 16, movement of the ball out of the tunnel is insured by the outward flaring of its opposite conical end portions. Through the use of the auxiliary targets 32, and advancement in the skill of the player may be achieved. By virtue of the various nets, movement of the free objects is controlled so as to reduce the necessity of the player having to dismount from the trampoline.

I claim:

1. A target device for use with a trampoline having a horizontal bed, said device comprising a generally tubular member defining a generally rectilinear, elongated pathway for the passage of an object therethrough, said member having a central section of reduced cross-sectional area, the remaining portions of said member flaring generally outwardly therefrom in opposite directions to the respective outer ends of said member, and supporting means effective, when operatively associated with said trampoline, to position said tubular member with its axis disposed longitudinally of said bed and at a height thereabove greater than the upward reach of a performer standing stationary thereon.

2. A target for use with a trampoline having a horizontal bed, said target comprising a pair of spaced uprights effective when operatively associated with said trampoline to straddle said bed transversely thereof, a generally hori zontal tubular structure defining a generally rectilinear, elongated pathway for the passage of an object therethrough, said tubular structure having a central section of reduced cross-sectional area, the remaining portions of said structure flaring outwardly therefrom in opposite directions to the respective outer ends of said structure, said tubular structure being carried by said uprights and disposed so that, when said uprights are operatively associated as aforesaid, the axis of said tubular structure extends generally longitudinally and centrally of said bed and at a height thereabove greater than the upward reach of a performer standing stationary on said bed so that the performer must be suspended in mid-air above said bed in orderv to propel an object along said pathway.

3. A gantry for use with a trampoline having a horizontal bed, said gantry comprising a generally horizontal, tubular target providing a generally rectilinear, elongated pathway for the passage of an object therethrough, said tubular target having a central section of reduced cross-sectional area, the remaining portions of said tubular target flaring generally outwardly therefrom in opposite directions to the respective outer ends of said target, and a pair of laterally spaced, inverted U-shaped gantry frames supporting the respective ends of said tubular target, each of said frames, when said gantry is operatively associated with said trampoline, being effective to straddle said bed transversely thereof and to support one end of said tubular target at a height above said bed greater than the upward reach of a performer standing stationary on said bed with the axis of said tubular target disposed generally longitudinally and centrally of said bed.

4. The device of claim 3 wherein means are provided carried by each of said frames and surrounding the respective outer ends of said tubular target efiective to prevent passage of an object between the upright members of each of said frames in the vicinity of said tubular target except along said pathway defined there-by, said 6 means additionally providing effective vision therethrough by a performer.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 858,990 7/1907 Kemper 273-405 X 1,393,408 10/1921 Tenney 273-95 1,526,468 2/ 1925 'Fekete 273-47 3,233,896 2/1966 King 2731.5

RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.

DELBERT B. LOWE, M. R. PAGE, Assistant Examiners.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US858990 *Nov 21, 1906Jul 2, 1907William S KemperGame apparatus.
US1393408 *Oct 23, 1919Oct 11, 1921 tenney
US1526468 *Jun 2, 1924Feb 17, 1925Julius FeketeAttachment for bowling alleys
US3233896 *May 14, 1962Feb 8, 1966King Joseph LeeBasketball return device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3635471 *Feb 17, 1969Jan 18, 1972Caron Charles DControlled trampoline structure
US4111422 *Dec 9, 1976Sep 5, 1978Burcenski Michael JLawn game device with swung launching stick
US4569515 *Oct 18, 1982Feb 11, 1986Gordon Donald WExercise structure and ball game
US4697835 *Mar 16, 1982Oct 6, 1987Menzy ScottCombined lawn debris receptacle-target apparatus
US4715603 *Sep 11, 1986Dec 29, 1987Gleason Lawrence CMiniature simulated baseball
US6634966Jun 28, 2002Oct 21, 2003Timer Warner Entertainment Company, L.P.Ball game system including a resiliently suspended floor and elastic ball
US6676546 *May 1, 2001Jan 13, 2004Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P.Game court for elevated goal ball game and game played thereon
US6682444Jun 28, 2002Jan 27, 2004Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P.Ball game method for play on a court including a deformable-elastic surface
US6988967 *Sep 5, 2003Jan 24, 2006Danny Brian AllisonTeam trampoline game and method of playing the same
US7182704 *Dec 10, 2003Feb 27, 2007Avery LevyAutomated ball game training and playing system
US7361104Feb 5, 2007Apr 22, 2008Avery LevyAutomated ball game training and playing system
US7611427 *Aug 14, 2006Nov 3, 2009Michael L. ClineMethod, system, and apparatus for providing multi-player competitive recreation
US8328695Dec 1, 2010Dec 11, 2012Ronan Devin JTrampoline and cage ball game device
WO2005060559A2 *Dec 2, 2004Jul 7, 2005Avery LevyAutomated ball game training and playing system
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/469, 182/139, 273/381
International ClassificationA63B63/00, A63B5/11, A63B67/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2067/005, A63B63/00, A63B67/002, A63B21/0552, A63B5/11
European ClassificationA63B63/00, A63B5/11
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 23, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: COLE, EDWARD W., CEDAR RAPIDS, IO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:NISSEN CORPORATION, AN IO CORP.;REEL/FRAME:003928/0794
Effective date: 19811118