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Publication numberUS3416795 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 17, 1968
Filing dateJan 12, 1966
Priority dateJan 12, 1966
Publication numberUS 3416795 A, US 3416795A, US-A-3416795, US3416795 A, US3416795A
InventorsLewis Hughie E, Potter Jr Worth
Original AssigneeHughie E. Lewis, Worth Potter Jr.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Collapsible blocking dummy
US 3416795 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 17, 1968 H. E. I Ewls ETAL COLLAPSIBLE BLOCKING DUMMY 2 Sheets-Sheet 'l :"iled Jan. l2, 1966 Fig. 4

,Hugh/ E. Lewis Worf/7 Pof/er, Jn

l /AvI/ENTORS 9 m' ma/M @mm Dec. 17, 196s Filed Jan. l2. 1966 H. E. LEWIS ETAL COLLAPSIBLE BLOCKING DUMMY 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent O 3,416,795 COLLAPSIBLE BLOCKING DUMMY Hughie E. Lewis, P.0. Box 822, Warsaw, N.C. 28398, and Worth Potter, Jr., Rte. 1, BOX 15, Magnolia, N.C. 28453 Filed Jan. 12, 1966, Ser. No. 520,122 Claims. (Cl. 273-55) ABSTRACT 0F THE DISCLOSURE A blocking dummy for football training including a lower section and an upper section pivoted thereto. The

The present invention generally relates to a training device for use in training football players in properly conducting their blocking assignments and more particularly relates to a blocking dummy which incorporates features therein to enable the blocking dummy to collapse or pivot to a horizontal position when -a football player properly engages the dummy when training.

Training and practice devices for use by football players have been used and generally are in the form of tackling dummies or blocking sleds and the like. While these -devices serve their purposes, they do not incorporate any specific arr-angement for introducing a target area on the dummy so that if the football player properly engages the dummy, the dummy will simulate an opposing player and be knocked to the ground. Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide a blocking dummy especially constructed for training football players in conducting their blocking assignments and includes a latch structure which normally retains an upper section of the blocking dummy in upright position but which will be released when a player properly blocks the blocking dummy so that the upper section of the blocking dummy may then pivot about a horizontal axis located generally at ground level so that the upper section thereof may be knocked to the ground thus indicating that the player has properly conducted the block thereby enabling the blocking technique of the football players using this device to be properly developed.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a collapsible blocking dummy having a padded upper section including a padded target element associated therewith and a latch mechanism operatively connected with the target for releasing the collapsible section of the blocking dummy when the target is properly engaged.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a collapsible blocking dummy in which spring mechanism is provided for returning the upper section of the blocking ldummy to an upright position so that it will automatically be normally retained and latched in upright position.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide ya collapsible blocking dummy having a padded upper section with a depending skirt or protector to completely enclose the rigid working components of the dummy thereby preventing any possible injury to persons employing the device.

Yet another important feature of the present invention is to provide a collapsible blocking dummy which is quite rugged in construction, simple in operation, easy Cice to install, effective for training football players and yet relatively inexpensive to manufacture.

These together with other objects and -advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter `described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying -drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the collapsible blocking dummy of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a longitudinal, sectional view taken substantially upon a plane passing along section line 2 2 of FIGURE l illustrating the structural details of the device;

FIGURE 3 is a transverse, sectional view taken substantially upon a plane passing along section line 3 3 of FIGURE 2 illustrating further structural details of the target device;

FIGURE 4 is a transverse, sectional view taken substantially upon a plane passing along section line 4-4 of FIGURE 2 illustrating further structural details of the latch mechanism and other operative structural features;

FIGURE 5 is a fragmental sectional view, on an enlarged scale, illustrating the orientation of the target member when it is moved inwardly to release the latch member; and

FIGURE 6 is a fragmental sectional view illustrating the lower section of the dummy and a portion of the upper section and illustrating the protective skirt and hinge structure together with the resilient mechanism for returning the upper section of the dummy to upright position.

Referring now specifically to the drawings, the coll'apsible blocking dummy 10 of the present invention includes an elongated upper section 12 and a relatively short lower Isection 14. The upper section 12 is disposed above the ground surface 16 while the lower section 14' is recessed into the `ground surface and may be disposed `within a suitable concrete base 18 `or the like so that the upper end of tlhe lower section 14 and the lower end of the upper section 12 ymeet at ground level as illustrated in lFIGURES 1, 2 and 6. The specic manner of installation of lower section 14 in the ground surface 16 may vary but it should be rather securely and more or less premanently anchored in place inasmuch as it will be necessary that it withstand considerable forces eX- erted on the upper section 12. Normally, as illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2, the upper section 2 is in vertical alignment with the lower section 14 and defines an upstanding blocking dummy so that football players may approach the dummy 10 in a normal blocking stance or position.

The upper section 12 includes an inner rigid framework 20 which includes a plurality of vertically disposed corner members 22 of angle iron construction or the like which are rigidly interconnected by a plurality of vertically spaced horizontally disposed braces 24 or the like thus forming a vertically elongated rigid framework 20 which is generally square in cross-sectional configuration. The uppermost horizontal braces rnay yalso be in the form of angle iron members 26 and the lower- Inost braces 24 may be in the form of angle iron members 28 with all of the flanges of the corner members, 22, upper braces 26 and lower braces 28 facing inwardly to define `a smooth exterior surface.

The lower section 14 includes a similar frame 30 including corner angle iron members 32, intermediate brace members 34 and upper and lower angle iron braces 36 and 38 with the lower frame 30 generally forming an extension of the upper frame 20` when the frame sections are orientated in alignment.

One side edge of t'he upper frame 20 has the lower end Patented Dec. 17, 1968- thereof hingedly connected to the upper end of a corresponding side edge of the lower frame by a hinge structure including hinge straps fixedly attached to the frame sections with the hinge straps 40 being pivotally interconnected by a hinge pin 42. The hinge structure is of conventional construction and the pivotal axis defined by the hinge pin 42 is substantially coincidental with the ground surface 16 as illustrated in FIGURES 2 yand 6 thereby enabling the upper section 12 of the dummy to pivot from a vertical position illustrated in FIGUR-E 2 to a substantially horizontal position as illutrated in FIGURE 6 which simulates an opposing player being knocked over or blocked out of a play.

A cushioning pad 44 encompasses the upper frame 20 and generally is in the form of an envelope enclosing all of the frame 20 except Ifor the lower end. rl`he cushioning pad 44 includes an inner sleeve-like member 46, an outer sleeve-like member 48 and cushioning material 50 spaced between the members 46 and 48. rPhe members 46 and 48 may be conveniently heavy duty canvas material, plastic or the like and the cushioning or padding 50 may be of any suitable material such as currently employed in tackling dummies and the like.

To facilitate removal and placement of the cushion 44 on the upper frame 20, the longitudinal wall of the cushion which is in alignment with the hinge pin 42 is provided with an elongated slide fastener assembly 52 which may be a conventional zipper to enable the cushion to be easily removed for replacement, repair and the like. The location of the slide fastener 52 in alignment with the hinge assures that the persons using the blocking dummy of this invention will not damage the slide fastener due to contact therewith since the football players will contact the dummy from the side thereof opposite to the side having the hinge thereon. The shape and configuration of the cushion 44 generally conforms with the shape and configuration of the upper frame 20.

The lower end of the upper frame 20 is provided with a depending latch plate 54 having a latch receiving opening 56 therein with the latch plate 54 being rigidly fixed to the lower brace 28 or the like in any suitable manner such as by welding. The latch plate or keeper plate 54 is disposed in opposed relation to the pivot pin 42 and when the upper frame20 is in alignment with the lower frame 30, the lower end portion of the latch plate 54 extends downwardly 'alongside of the corresponding side area of the lower frame 30 as illustrated in FIG- URE 2.

A horizontally reciprocal latch bolt 58 is slidably mounted in a guide sleeve 60 flxedly welded to a depending extension 62 on the upper brace member 36 forming a part of the lower frame 30 in opposite relation to the hinge pin 42. rPhe outer end of the latch bolt 58 is beveled as at 64 so that when the upper section 12 of the dummy 10 is pivoted to an upright position, the lower edge of the late'h plate 54 will cam the latch bolt 58 inwardly to enable it to be retracted until such time as the lhole 56 becomes aligned with the latch bolt 58 at which time the latch bolt 58 moves into the hole S6 thus latching the upper section 12 in upright position.

The latch bolt 58 includes a flange or abutment 66 adjacent the inner end thereof which has one end of a coil compression spring 68 engaged therewith. Also the inner end of the latch bolt 58 has a loop or eye 70 thereon to which a tension line or cable 72 is tied. The other end of the spring 68 abuts with an abutment member 74 that is rigidly fixed to the upper braces 36 of the lower frame 30 as illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 6 thus spring biasing the latch bolt 58 outwardly towards its latched position with the tension cable 72 being ernployed for withdrawing the latch bolt 58 in a manner described hereinafter.

The tension cable 72 is entrained over a pulley 76 mounted on a suitable bracket 78 supported from the lower frame 30 and the cable 72 then extends upwardly into the upper section 12 at a point adjacent the hinge axis. A lower idler pulley 80 is provided for the cable 72 adjacent the lower end of the upper frame 20 and the pulley 80 is supported on a suitable bracket 82 so that the pulleys 76 and 80 generally are in vertical alignment when the frames 20 and 30 are in vertical alignment as illustrated in FIGURE 2. A turnbuckle adjustment 84 is incorporated in the tension cable 72 to adjust the effective length thereof. The upper end portion of the tension cable 72 is entrained over a pulley 86 supported from a bracket 88 on a transverse mounting plate 90 secured to the upper frame 20 adjacent to but spaced below the upper end thereof as illustrated in FIGURE 2.

The mounting plate 90 includes an inwardly extending guide tube 92 slidably receiving an elongated operating rod 94 which has an eye 96 on the inner end thereof to which the upper end of the tension cable 72 is tied as illustrated in FIGURE 5. The outer end of the operating rod 94 `is fixed to a pressure plate 98 in the form of a target member which is disposed exteriorly of and spaced from the surface of the upper frame 20 in opposed relation to the hinge axis defined by the hinge pin 42. The pressure plate 98 is provided with a plurality of guide rods 100 fixed to the inner surface thereof with each of the guide rods 100 having a compression coil spring 102 disposed thereon with one end of the spring 102 engaging the pressure plate 98 and the other end thereof engaging the mounting plate 90 as illustrated in FIGURE 2. The ends of the guide rods 100 extend through apertures in the mounting plate 90 and are provided with retaining nuts 104 thereon which limit the outward movement of the pressure plate 98 and serve to retain the pressure plate 9S in position.

As illustrated in FIGURE 5, when inward pressure is exerted on the pressure plate 98, it moves inwardly towards the frame thus compressing the springs 102 and moving the operating rod 94 inwardly thus causing linear movement of the tension cable 72. As the tension cable 72 is moved linearly, it will retract the lock bolt 58 to disengage it from the keeper hole 56 in the keeper plate 54 thereby releasing the upper section 12 of the dummy so that it can pivot downwardly about hinge pin 42 `to substantially a horizontal position as illustrated in FIG- URE 6. Where the edges of the cushion 44 are joined by slide fastener 52, it may be provided with a recessed area 106 to provide easy connection of the slide fastener elements.

A cushion or pad 106 is disposed in overlying relation to the pressure plate 98 and both the pressure plate 98 and the pad 106 are normally disposed beyond the surface of the pad 44 as illustrated in FIGURE 1. The pressurev pad 106 is independent of the pad 44 and includes cushioning material 108 provided with a cover 110 and an inner member 112. The cover 110 extends inwardly beyond the pressure plate 98 in the form of an extension 114 provided with an outwardly extending inner edge flange 116 for retaining the pressure pad 106 within the opening 118 formed in the pad 44 for receiving the pad 106 and the pressure plate 98 and enabling inward and outward movenient thereof in relation to the pad 44 from the position illustrated in FIGURE 2 to the position illustrated in FIGURE 5 Without restricting such movement and at the same time providing adequate padding for the pressure plate 98.

For returning the upper section 12 of the dummy 10 to an upright position, there is provided a calibrated tension coil spring 120 disposed within the hollow interior of the lower frame 30 as illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 6. The lower end of the coil spring 120 is provided with a hook 122 anchored to a suitable eye 124 or other suitable bracket orientated centrally in the bottom of the lower frame 30. The upper end of the spring 120 is provided' with a corresponding hook 126 engaged with the center of a transverse bar 128 which is in the form of a conneutor plate to which the terminal ends of a pair of cables 130 are attached in any suitable manner such as by a cable clamp or the like. The cables are entrained over a pair of pulleys 132 journaled on a transverse shaft 134 carried by the brace members 34. The tension cables 130 then extend forwardly and downwardly under a pair of pulleys 136 journaled on shaft '138 also carried by the brace members 34. The pulleys 132 may actually be interconnected and formed on the periphery of a sleeve journaled on the shaft 134 and this may also be true of the pulleys 136. Any suitable type of pulley construction may be used to enable movement of the tension cables 130. The upper ends of the cables 130 are interconnected by a connecting bar 140 or the like by any suitable means such as a cable clamp or the like and the center of the connecting bar 140 is attached to the frame 20 by a suitable hook or bolt-type fastener 142. The length of the cables 130 may be initially adjusted by suitable cable clamps or by providing a small turnbuckle in each cable so that the length of the cables will be equalized and the tension exerted by the spring may Ibe varied to make certain that the tension of the spring will be adequate to return the upper section 12 to the upright position and also resist downward pivotal movement thereof even after the latch bolt 58 has |been released.

All of the slidable and rotatable elements may be provided with lubrication providing facilities if desired and all of the pulleys over which -cables are entrained may be provided with conventional mechanisms for retaining the cables on the pulleys so that even if slack occurs in the cables such as when the upper section is Ipivoted to a horizontal position, the cable will still be retained properly on its respective pulleys.

To prevent injury to the players, a depending skirt or panel 144 is provided for bridging the space between the upper section 12 and the lower section 14 when the upper section is pivoted to the horizontal position illustrated in FIGURE 6. The skirt 144 is preferably constructed of canvas material or the like and has an upper edge thereof secured to the upper frame 20 as by bolt-type fasteners 146 or the like. The lower edge may be anchored to the lower frame 20 as by positioning grommets 148 over projecting fastener elements 150 secured to the lower frame 30 in the space surrounding the frame at least at the two side edges thereof and the edge remote from the hinge pin 42. Thus, the skirt 144 will normally be folded outwardly generally in the position illustrated in FIGURE 2 when the upper section 12 is upright but when the upper section 12 pivots downwardly to its horizontal position, the skirt 144 will assume the position illustrated in FIGURE 6 thus preventing contact with and injury from engagement with the frame components, cables, keeper plate and the like. As illustrated in FIG. 6, the skirt 144 will also keep the bolt 58 retracted when taut with spring 70 biasing bolt 5S outwardly as the upper section 12 returns to upright position.

While the dimensional characteristics of the device may vary, it has been found practical to construct the upper section of the frame having a height of approximately 42 inches while the lower section is approximately 18 inches long and of the same cross-sectional size. T he hinge at the back side of the frame sections may be approximately four inches long and the pad is preferably approximately four inches thick and other means may be provided for securing the pad in place such as lacing, hooks or the like. The canvas skirt may be attached to the lower edge of the pad such as by sewing or the like rather than being attached to the frame and may be attached to at least the front side of the lower section of the frame and possibly also the side edges thereof to prevent exposure of t-he hole and rigid components when the upper section is pivoted to its lower position.

The target member defined by the pressure plate and the pad 106 thereon requires that the players using the blocking dummy come into contact with the dummy at the pressure pad in order to release the latch. As the pressure plate moves inwardly, the latch bolt 58 will be retracted. Generally, the pressure plate is disposed approximately eight inches from the top of the frame and is in the form of a flat plate approximately four inches Wide and five inches long and which projects out approximately two inches from the frame. As the plate is moved inwardly, the operating rod is moved inwardly thus pulling the tension cable for retracting the latch bolt. The spring which returns the upper section to its upright position also will require that the blocker exert enough force to expand the spring as the dummy is being collapsed or pivoted downwardly. After the blocker releases the dummy, the spring will pull it back to its upright position and the latch will automatically lock it in place.

The blocking dummy of the vpresent invention not only incorporates the exertion of force against the pad but also requires that the blocker bring his shoulder or other area of his body directly into contact with the target pad 106 in order to actuate the pressure plate 98 thus requiring that the point of force applied to an opposing player will be taught to the blocker inasmuch as the target pad forms a target for the blocker. This enables football players to be more effectively trained in the proper orientation and position in order to block an opposing player by exerting a blocking force thereon with the blocking force being exerted at a particular optimum position.

- The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.

What is claimed as new is as follows:

1. A football blocking dummy comprising a lower section adapted to be stationarily supported in the ground surface, an upper section disposed above the lower section, hinge means pivotally connecting the upper section to the lower section with the hinge means being disposed at substantially ground level so that the point of separation of the sections is substantially at ground level, said upper section including a cushioning pad mounted thereon, latch means releasably retaining the upper section in aligned relation to the lower section, spring means interconnecting the upper section and lower section for biasing the upper section to upright position, and latch operating means connected to the latch means and including a target member on the upper section exposed to the peripheral surface of the dummy for engagement by a player to release the latch means when the player properly engages the dummy, said upper section including a rigid frame, said cushioning pad enclosing said frame, said target member including a rigid pressure plate disposed outwardly of ysaid frame and movably supported therefrom for movement toward said frame when pressure is applied thereto, spring means biasing said pressure plate outwardly of said frame, a cushioning pad on said pressure plate disposed outwardly of the cushioning pad on the frame to provide a projection target for application of force, and means interconnecting the pressure plate and the latch means for releasing the latch means when the pressure plate is moved inwardly.

2. A football blocking dummy comprising a lower section adapted to be stationarily supported in the ground surface, an upper section disposed above the lower section, hinge means pivotally connecting the upper section to the lower section with the hinge means being disposed at substantially ground level so that the point of separation of the sections is substantially at ground level, said upper section including a cushioning pad mounted thereon, latch means releasably retaining the upper section in aligned relation to the lower section, spring means interconnecting the upper section and lower section for biasing the upper section to upright position, and latch operating means connected to the latch means and including a target member on the upper section exposed to the peripheral surface of the dummy for engagement by a player to release the latch means when the player properly engages the dummy, said upper section including a frame, said cushioning pad enclosing said frame, said target member including a pressure plate disposed outwardly of said frame and movably supported therefrom for movement toward said frame when pressure is applied thereto, a cushioning pad on said pressure plate disposed outwardly of the cushioning pad on the frame to provide a projecting target for application of force, and means interconnecting the pressure plate and the latch means for releasing the latch means when the pressure plate is moved inwardly, spring means resiliently supporting the pressure plate from the frame for normally biasing the pressure plate outwardly of the frame, said means interconnecting the pressure plate and the latch means including a tension cable having one end thereof operatively connected with the pressure plate and the other end thereof operatively connected to the latch means for releasing the latch means in reseponse to inward movement of the pressure plate toward the frame.

3. The structure as defined in claim 2 wherein said latch means includes a reciprocable latch bolt disposed horizontally in the lower section, said upper section having a latch plate rigid therewith and depending therefrom for engaging the latch bolt when the upper section is in upright position, said latch plate having a hole therein for receiving the latch bolt, spring means biasing the latch bolt into operative position, the upper edge of the latch bolt having a cam surface for engagement by the lower edge of the lock plate when it moves toward the lower section for automatically retracting the latch bolt and enabling it to snap into the opening in the latch plate.

4. The structure as defined in claim 2 wherein the means connecting the upper section to the lower section includes a hinge structure orientated at one side of the sections, a depending skirt attached to the other side of the upper section and bridging the 'space between the upper section and lower section when the upper section is pivoted to a horizontal position thereby protecting football players from injury due to contact with the components of the device.

5. The structure as defined in claim 2 wherein said spring means interconnecting the upper and lower sections includes a tension coil spring having one end achored to the lower section, and cable means connecting the upper end of the spring to the upper section adjacent the side thereof remote from the pivotal connection between the upper and lower sections for urging the upper section to an upright position.

References Cited STATES PATENTS ANTON o. OECHSLE, Primary Examiner.

T. ZACK, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1204017 *Feb 29, 1916Nov 7, 1916Frank A HinkeyTackling-dummy.
US1250905 *Nov 11, 1916Dec 18, 1917Ernest W LiljegranExercising device.
US2197545 *Oct 31, 1938Apr 16, 1940Michigan State Board Of AgricuFootball dummy
US2558081 *Jan 23, 1946Jun 26, 1951Gardenhour Allen JFootball sled with signals
US2904337 *Oct 30, 1957Sep 15, 1959Canning James RFootball dummy
US2913245 *Sep 1, 1955Nov 17, 1959Landis Peter HAthletic tackling bags and the like
US3114549 *Oct 6, 1961Dec 17, 1963Verne HookerFootball tackling dummy
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3576323 *Jun 13, 1968Apr 27, 1971Pellicer Emil StanleySilhouette fencing target with adjustable arm
US3599975 *May 17, 1968Aug 17, 1971Pellicer Emil StanleySilhouette fencing target
US5026048 *Aug 20, 1990Jun 25, 1991Jones Thomas GMartial arts 360 degree striking target
US5090696 *Feb 8, 1991Feb 25, 1992Charles P. Forrest, Jr.Pop-up tackling practice machine
US5280905 *Apr 12, 1993Jan 25, 1994James MiccoElectronic football blocking and tackling dummy
US5462272 *Oct 12, 1994Oct 31, 1995Rogers Athletic CompanyFootball training sled
US6736738 *Apr 26, 2002May 18, 2004Bermie A. TaaFootball target practice apparatus
US7131917 *Nov 10, 2004Nov 7, 2006Jimmy SpencerFootball training apparatus
US20060100040 *Nov 10, 2004May 11, 2006Jimmy SpencerFootball training apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/444
International ClassificationA63B69/22, A63B69/20, A63B69/34
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/345
European ClassificationA63B69/34F