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Publication numberUS3458192 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 29, 1969
Filing dateOct 22, 1965
Priority dateOct 22, 1965
Publication numberUS 3458192 A, US 3458192A, US-A-3458192, US3458192 A, US3458192A
InventorsTrice James Rufus Jr
Original AssigneeTrice James Rufus Jr
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Powered football blocking machine
US 3458192 A
Abstract  available in
Images(6)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 29, 1969 J. R. mics, JR

POWERED FOOTBALL BLOCKING MACHINE Filed Oct. 22, 1965 6 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR ATTORNEY S July 29, 1969 J, R. T c JR 3,458,192

I POWERED FOOTBALL BLOCKING MACHINE Filed Oct. 22, 1965 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 5| l L?- Y 1.. 55 58 62 MIHIIII ll lmllllll 5'1 I H k 62 M I e?- w INVENTOR I ismfewui fi ialmma ATTORNEYS J. R. TRICE, JR

POWERED FOOTBALL BLOCKING MACHINE July 29, 1969 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Oct. 22, 1965 5'1 INVENTOR 3AM es I2.T|2\ce, *2.

BY f asaw, wwm2 CuxHwcL ATTORNEYS July 29, 1969 J. R. TRICE, JR

POWERED FOOTBALL BLOCKING MACHINE 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Oct. 22, 1965 I NVENTOR JAMES E .TIZIcE, I2. m svu if/uur&%fifwwce a 1 z W 6 w /5 2 us n s a 1 1 9 k 21 H H mm 3 34 9 H a v a 9 2 8 5 91.. w 9 9 4 .5 I I 5 1b} 0/ u a a i 0 1 3 4% 4 & 7 1 4 7 1 n!- ATTORNEY 3 J. R. TRICE, JR

POWERED FOOTBALL BLOCKING MACHINE July 29, 1969 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Oct. 22, 1965 INVENTOR J'AMEs E.T2\ce,.T|z-

93 we, ilgm BY g W ATTORNEYS (fmmmc July 29, 1969 .1. R. TRICE, JR

POWERED FOOTBALL BLOCKING MACHINE 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 Filed Oct. 22. 1965 I NVENTOR JAME s R.Trz lceflz.

BY Wascwfem man An me.

ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,458,192 POWERED FOOTBALL BLOCKING MACHINE James Rufus Trice, .Ir., 824 S. Glehe Road, Arlington, Va. 22204 Filed Oct. 22, 1965, Ser. No. 502,234 Int. Cl. A63b 69/00 US. Cl. 273-55 18 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A training apparatus for football players including a supporting member, a charging station supported by the supporting member and extending toward a player positioned to contact the charging station, an impact sensing means such as a push switch located in the charging station for sensing the initial or threshold impact pressure applied to the charging station by a player, this impact sensing means being selectively controlled by the trainer or coach to respond to a preselected impact threshold pressure, a two-position switch responsive to the maintaining of a predetermined sustained pressure against the charging station, which sustained pressure may be less than the initial or threshold impact pressure, a powered motor responsive to the obtaining of the preselected impact threshold pressure by the player and to the maintaining of at least the sustained pressure to actively drive the charging station away from the player, this powered motor being also responsive to the failure to maintain the predetermined sustained pressure against the charging station to actively move the charging station toward the player, optionally an additional sensor may be included which detects pressure applied in a direction which departs from a previously determined reference direction and a motor which is rseponsive to such reference direction departure to move the charging station relative to the player.

This invention relates in general to improvements in football practice apparatus for use in teaching, training, and developing football players and more particularly to a device for teaching correct blocking procedures to football players.

Therefore, an object of this invention is the provision of training equipment that reflects as nearly as possible conditions which may occur in a football game so that during training the coach has an opportunity to correct mistakes made by the players.

Another object of this invention is the provision of certain control structure which forces the player to assume certain positions and follow certain practices in order to correctly use the apparatus.

A further object of this invention is to provide structure for increasing or decreasing the resistance in the movable portion of the apparatus so that the player in making his offensive and defensive charges will be subjected to varied opposing reactions by the apparatus which are controlled by the coach.

A still further object of this invention is the provision of a football training apparatus for developing athletes muscles and reflexes particularly suitable for football.

And yet a still further object of this invention is the provision of a football blocking apparatus so constructed that, when the player does not follow the proper prescribed method of utilization, the machine reacts in the manner of an opposing player and offers the proper counter resistance to overcome the players improper blocking procedures.

Generally the present football training apparatus has a pedestal supporting base at one end of a horizontally extending boom arm, or radius arm, and a second hori- "ice zontally extending transverse boom arm, or thrust arm, located at the remaining end of the first mentioned arm. At the free end of the thrust arm there is a pivotally mounted blocking pad so mounted that the player occupying the offensive position upon charging the blocking pad will have the sensation of an opponent trying to elude him or, at times, counter blocking. In addition the coach, from a position adjacent the pivotal point of the apparatus, can increase or decrease the resistance offered by the boom arms depending upon the conditions existing between the player and the machine. This arrangement has the additional advantage of remaining in substantially the same area so that other team players can observe and hear the instructions given by the coach without having to follow the training apparatus down the field.

Other objects, advantages and capabilities of the invention will become apparent from the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings showing only a preferred embodiment of the invention.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a top plan view of the football blocking machine of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a vertical section view taken along lines 22 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a vertical section view of the main axle support and coachs station taken along lines 3-3 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 4 is a vertical section view taken along lines 44 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is a horizontal section view taken along lines 55 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 6 is a horizontal section view taken along lines 66 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 7 is a vertical section view showing the transverse boom arm assembly and blocking pad taken along lines 77 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 8 is an exploded perspective view of the components of the blocking pad;

FIGURE 9 is a vertical section view taken along lines 9-9 of FIGURE 7;

FIGURE 10 is a vertical section view taken along lines 10-10 of FIGURE 9;

FIGURE 11 is a horizontal section view taken along lines 1111 of FIGURE 10;

FIGURE 12 is a horizontal section view similar to that shown in FIGURE 11 however, showing the blocking pad being pivoted to activate certain of the mechanisms; and

FIGURE 13 is a schematic diagram of the electrical and hydraulic systems which control the operation of the machine.

Referring to the drawings wherein like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several figures, the football blocking machine of the present invention is designated generally by the numeral 20. Comprising the blocking machine 20 are four components generally indicated as the coachs control station and associated controls 21, the main boom arm assembly, or radius arm 22, the transvere boom arm assembly, or thrust arm 23 and the blocking pad 24. The blocking machine 20 is pivotally mounted about a main vertical axle 25 which is set into the ground in a pedestal mount 26.

The coachs control station 21 comprises a main boom arm lower support plate 27 and a main boom arm upper support plate 28 to which is attached in a fixed manner, the main boom arm assembly 22. Strut members 29 maintain the support plates 27 and 28 in a proper spaced relationship and the support plate 27 acts as a platform to carry the various control equipment for the present invention. Mounted generally upon the lower support plate 27 is an electric motor 31 which is suitably energized from a current source to be later described. The output shaft 32 of the electric motor is coupled with an input shaft 33 of a hydraulic pump 34. Upon energization, the hydraulic pump 34 receives the hydraulic fluid from the reservoir tank 35 and dispenses it to the various parts of the present invention which require the fluid for operation. A portion of the pressurized hydraulic fluid is transmitted through lines 36, 36a and 36b to a well-known type of reversible hydraulic motor 37 which is driven by the pressurized fluid upon a previously given command signal. The flow of the pressurized fluid to the hydraulic motor 37 is controlled by the motor control valve 38, a pair of solenoids 39 and 41, and a hydraulic motor control switch 42. The latter components will be later described.

The hydraulic pump 34 also supplies pressurized fluid to the transverse boom control cylinder 43 which functions to position the transverse boom arm 23 relative to the main boom arm assembly 22. The flow of the fluid to the transverse boom arm cylinder 43 is accomplished in a manner similar to that of the hydraulic motor in that pressurized fluid is passed to a cylinder control valve 44 which is controlled by a pair of solenoids 45, 46 which are under control of a cylinder control switch 47.

The coachs control station 21 pivots about the main axle 25 by means of bearing structures 48 and 49. Therefore, it can readily be seen, especially in FIGURE 3, that the main boom arm support plates 27, 28 are suitably connected to the bearings 48, 49 by means of fasteners 51 projecting through the horizontally extending flange portion of each bearing. A plurality of slip ring brushes 52a supply power to the various electrical portions of the invention. The brushes 52a project through the bearing flange and rest against the slip rings mounted upon the slip ring platform 53. The platform 53 is secured by means of fasteners 53a to a large toothed movable sprocket 54 that is concentric with, but not mounted to, main axle 25. The movable sprocket 54 rests upon a fixed spring support plate 55 which is securely mounted for non-rotative movement to the axle 25. In order that the sprocket 54 should have limited rotative movement with respect to the axle 25 and to the spring support plate 55, there is a suitable bearing surface 56 interposed therebetween. Mounted securely underneath to the movable sprocket 54 are a pair of sprocket arms 57, 58 which are interposed in the coils of springs 61, 63. The fixed spring support plate 55 is so designed as to have a pair of projecting spring supports 59 which lie parallel to the sprocket arms 57, 58 when the football blocking machine is in a rest position. Compressed between the spring supports 59 of the fixed spring support plate 55 are two springs 61, 63 secured thereto by means of spring holders 62 affixed to spring pressure plate 64.

Since the sprocket 54 has connected to it the arms 57, 58, and since the fixed spring support plate 55 is secured to the main axle 25, it is seen that the sprocket 54 has only limited movement and this movement is controlled by the amount of compression the springs 61, 63 are able to achieve. If the main boom arm assembly 22 is given a sudden push in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIGURE 1, this sudden shock is taken up by the springs 61, 63 when the motion is transmitted through the hydraulic motor sprocket 65 to the sprocket chain 66 and the sprocket 54. The sprocket will tend to rotate clockwise thereby compressing one half of each of the springs 61, 63 and tensioning the other half of the coils of springs 61, 63 by movement of the sprocket arms 57, 58. Since the fixed spring support plate 55 is unable to move, sprocket 54 will be prevented from further rotation when springs 61, 63 reach maximum compression. The sprocket 54 never moves more than the limited amount allowed by the springs. In order that correct tension may be maintained upon sprocket chain 66, there is mounted on the underneath of the coachs control station 21 an idler pulley 67 which is adjustable to accomplish the required purpose.

The main boom arm assembly 22 comprises generally, laterally extending support tubing 68 which is fixed to the respective main boom arm upper support plate 28 and the main boom arm lower support plate 27. The plurality of struts 69 provide the required cross-bracing to tubing 68 for structural rigidity. At the remote end of the main boom arm assembly 22 is a vertical transverse boom pivot axle 71 suitably aflixed between the main support tubing members 68. Pivoted about the pivot axle 71 is the transverse boom arm assembly 23. Generally, the longitudinal centerlines of the boom arm assemblies 22, 23 intersect the pivot axle 71 at right angles to one another. The transverse boom arm control cylinder 43 lies across the included angle of the two boom assemblies and is pivotally affixed to main boom arm assembly 22. The piston rod 72 of the control cylinder 43 is pivotally attached to the transverse boom arm assembly 23. The control cylinder 43 is suitably connected to the cylinder control valve 44 by means of liquid lines 36c, 36d.

The transverse boom arm assembly 23 is structurally similar to the main boom arm assembly and also has a plurality of main support tubing members 68 and struts 69. The support tubing members of arm 23 are suitably pivoted about the boom pivot axle 71. Attached to the remote end of the transverse boom arm assembly 23 is the blocking pad 24.

The blocking pad 24 comprises an outer cover 73 of suitable material overlying a quantity of padding 74 which is sandwiched in between the outer cover 73 and the padding 74 is preformed to the inner pad equipment cover 75 and is attached to cover 75 by rope and eyelets. Cover 75 is made from a rigid material. Within the upper concave portion of the equipment cover 75 are a pair of rearwardly extending pivot arms 76, 77, a switch pressure plate 78 and a lower cover support 79. The equipment cover 75 is designed to house all of the integral parts of the blocking pad within the concave portion of the cover.

The pivot arms 76, 77 are pivotally mounted to the pivot support arms 81, 82 located near the top of the blocking pad pressure plate 83. The pressure plate 83 is generally an elongated member having a channel shaped body 84 to which there is attached at the upper part thereof a mounting plate 85. In the lower extremity of the body 84 extending toward the equipment cover 75 is a systems push switch 86. The push switch arm 87 is adapted to project into the switch pressure plate 78 which activates the push switch 86 by a minimum of pressure exerted upon the pad 24. The lower cover support 79 projects through an aperture 88 at the lowerlmost extremity of the body 84 thereby providing lateral support to the equipment cover 75. Within the aperture 89 on mounting there is mounted a hydraulic cylinder control switch 47 that operatively controls the position of transverse boom arm 23 with respect to the main boom arm 22. The mounting plate 85 also includes a pair of pressure contact rollers 92, 93 facing rearwardly. The entire pressure plate 83 and its associated mechanisms is adapted to pivot relative to reaction plate 98 while remaining vertical upon upper pivot 94 and lower pivot 95. Pivots 94 and 95 are pivotally interconnected with pivot support arms 97, 96 of the blocking pad reaction plate 98. L

The reaction plate 98 is generally an elongated member whose lower portion has an aperture 99 in which is mounted a hydraulic motor control switch 42. Located above the aperture 99 is a switch linkage pivot 102 which interconnects, by means of switch linkage 103, the reaction plate 98 to the switch Contact arm 91 of the cylinder control switch 47. It should be noted that the control switch 47 and linkage pivot point 102 are mounted to one side of the longitudinal centerlines of their respective points 83 and 98. Therefore, the cylinder control switch 47 is responsive to pivotal movement between pressure plate 83 and reaction plate 98; however, this relative movement must be that of pressure plate 83 rotating about pivots 94 and 95. Near the upper portion of the reaction plate 98 are a pair of horizontally disposed apertures 104, 105 through which project pressure blocks 106, 107 which are adapted to coact with the contact rollers 92, 93. The pressure blocks 106, 107 are aflixed to a connecting plate 108 which is maintained in proper position between upper and lower guides 109. The pressure exerted by the pressure blocks 106, 107 upon the contact rollers is controlled by the resiliently mounted control rod 111. The control rod 111 comprises a threaded screw 112 about which is positioned a coil spring 113 that exerts a compressive force upon the connecting plate 108 as the threaded screw 112 is engaged with the reaction plate aperture 114. The degree to which the spring 113 is compressed determines the relative pressure between the pressure blocks and the contact rollers'thereby determining the amount of relative pressure required to pivot the pressure plate 83 in one direction or the other. As the pressure plate 83 is pivoted, it will be apparent that more pressure will be applied by one or the other of the contact rollers to their respective pressure blocks thereby displacing rearwardly the connecting plate 108. To the rear of the reaction plate 98, and fixed to transverse boom arm 23, is a support plate 115 to which the roller pivots 116, 117 of the reaction plate 98 are pivotally connected at pivot support arms 118 and 119. The hydraulic motor control switch 42 is interconnected between reaction plate 98 and fixed support plate 115 by a switch linkage 121 pivotally connected at pivot 122 of the fixed support plate and upon the switch arm 123 of the switch 42. Therefore, as the reaction plate pivots vertically about horizontal pivot supports 118, 119 the position of arm 1-23 of switch 42 will be changed. The reaction plate 98 and the fixed support plate 115 are maintained relative to one another with the maximum distance being controlled by the threaded bolt 124 extending from the reaction plate 98 through the fixed support plate 115 and terminating in a nut 125. In order to control the pressure required to operate switch 42 a pressure control device 126 is provided which includes a threaded screw 127 engaging the screw housing 128 and projecting through aperture 129 of the fixed support plate 115 and thence through receiving aperture 131 within the reaction plate. Encircling the cut-down shaft of the screw 127 between the reaction plate 98 and the shoulder 127a of screw 127 is a compression spring 132. When compressing spring 132 by means of the screw 127, the pressure required to move reaction plate 98 relatively closer to fixed support plate 115 will be increased thereby making it possible to determine what minimum amount of pressure upon the blocking pad is required to operate switch 42 which in turn controls the hydraulic motor.

In order to control the required amount of threshold or initial impact pressure which the football player is to exert on the blocking pad 24 so that the mechanisms of the instant invention are properly energized, the coachs station has an impact control selector switch 133 which generally contains a plurality of contacts 134a, 134b, 1340, 134d, and 134e. A second set of corresponding contact points are located in the impact switch 135 and are denoted by numerals 136a, 136b, 1360, 136a and 136a. The impact switch 135 is controlled by the activator 137. The various contacts from the impact switch 135 are interconnected with the contact points of the coachs selector 133. Connecting the activator 137 to the switch 135 is a connecting rod 138. Since the activator is pivotally mounted upon movable spring support plate 58 and biased by a pair of springs 139, it is noted that when the player charges the blocking pad with enough initial impact or threshold pressure to turn the main boom arm assembly 22 so as to compress springs 61 and 63, the activator 137 will be forced to move in the same direction as the sprocket 54. The amount of movement of the activator 137 will determine which contact point the contact arm 141 will move to. If the player has charged the blocking pad with suflicient force then the contact arm 141 will move to a corresponding contact point in the impact switch that matches the setting upon the coachs control selector switch 133. Upon such an event occurring the mechanisms of the invention are activated and that player may carry out the proper blocking procedures. If insufiicient pressure has been applied then the mechanisms will not be activated. If the player does not maintain sutficient sustaining pressure against pad 24 then switch 86 will open causing holding relay 143 to also open as that the mechanisms of the invention will shut down.

In operation of the present invention it will be assumed that the blocking apparatus is initially at rest until the main power switch 142 is closed thereby energizing the system. In FIGURE 13 it can be seen that upon the closing of switch 142 the power is supplied to the motor 31 which in turn drives the hydraulic pump 34 thereby supplying pressurized hydraulic fluid through lines 36 to both of the control valves 38 and 44. However, since these valves are in a neutral position, the pressurized hydraulic fluid flows through them and back into the reservoir tank without doing any work. The operator at the coachs control station 21 will then determine the setting upon the coachs selector switch 133 depending upon the physical characteristics of each particular football player. If the player is relatively inexperienced and of light-weight, the selector could well be placed upon switch contact point 134a. Such a position of selection would allow the blocking apparatus to be easily controlled by the player. However, assuming the player to be of relatively large size and of more than average experience, the selector switch 133 might be placed at contact point'134d as shown in FIGURE 13.

Until the systems switch 86 is closed upon the first impact of the player against the blocking pad, no current is flowing through the control circuitry. When the player charges the blocking pad properly he closes the relatively easy to close systems switch which allows power to flow to slip ring d and, if the player has impacted against blocking pad 24 with the required energy, the transverse boom arm assembly 23 and the main boom arm assembly 22 are caused to initially rotate clockwise about the main axle 25. This motion is imparted to the sprocket 54 and the activator 137 which will move the contact arm 141 to contact point 136d. When the contact arm 141 strikes this contact point, current is allowed to flow through the coachs selector switch 133 and its contact point 134d thereby energizing the holding relay 143 which closes switch 144. Since contact arm 141 makes only momentary contact with the required contact point before it is returned to a zero position, holding relay 143 is required to maintain switch 144 in a closed position. This accomplished by current flowing through switch 144 thereby maintaining energization of the holding relay.

Upon the closing of switch 144 current is supplied to slip ring 602 and through the hydraulic motor control switch 42 which energizes either solenoid 39 or 41, depending upon the amount of impact force the player gives to the blocking pad. The hydraulic motor control switch 42 is normally in a position shown by FIGURE 13 which would allow current to energize solenoid 39 thereby reciprocating the valve body 145 in such a manner as to open fluid line 36a thereby supplying hydraulic fluid to the motor 37 and driving the output shaft in a clockwise manner when viewed in FIGURE 6, which in turn drives sprocket along chain 66 to force the blocking pad against the player and causing him to retreat. However,

if the player has impacted against the blocking pad with sufficient force to meet the threshold or initial impact pressure and thereby to cause switch 42 to close in the alternate position, as shown by FIGURE 13, and solenoid 41 is energized, then valve body 145 reciprocates to allow the pressurized fluid to flow through line 36b to drive the hydraulic motor in the opposite counter-clockwise direction. This allows the player to push the blocking apparatus in a clockwise manner without any back pressure other than the built in resistance force, as long as the sufiicient sustaining pressure is maintained to keep switch 42 closed in the alternate position. If, however, the player during his charge fails to maintain sufficient pressure to keep switch 42 in the alternate position it will reclose to its normal position thereby shifting valve body 145 and causing the blocking pad to force the player to retreat.

In order to teach the player the principles of either straight ahead blocking or cross blocking, the hydraulic cylinder control switch 47 comes into play. If the player is to be blocking in a straight ahead manner which corresponds to a line of direction along the longitudinal centerline of boom arm 23 then it is desired that switch 47 should not close to make contact with either of the points 47a, 47b, 47c or 47d. If the player does not maintain his straight ahead blocking pressure and tends to apply more pressure to force the pad 24 to the right (when observing the pad from head-on), then switch 47 will be forced to make contact with position 47a to energize solenoid 45 causing valve body 146 to be reciprocated to allow pressurized fluid through line 360 which causes the control cylinder 43 to suddenly move the transverse boom arm assembly 23 inwardly into the players left side in the same manner as would be encountered if an opposing player was fighting off the block. In addition, if the player also failed to maintain the required pressure upon the switch 42 then he could find himself not only losing the proper blocking stance against the pad, but also find himself being counterblocked from the front and side. If, because of improper blocking procedure, switch 47 is forced to a position shown as 47b, then solenoid 46 is energized to reciprocate valve body 146 to supply pressurized fluid through line 36d which would cause the transverse boom arm assembly 23 to pivot into the players right side. In the same manner as previously described the player would lose the proper blocking stance. However, if the player supplies sufiicient force to blocking pad 24 at an angle to the longitudinal centerline of the transverse boom arm 23 so that switch 47 makes through either contact 470 or 47d, then the reverse operation of that explained for contacts 47a and 47b will occur. That is, the transverse boom arm 23 will succumb to the players charge and will move in a manner to simulate the condition present when a cross-block or the like is being properly performed. However, if the contact is not continued through either 470 or 4717, as the case may be, then the boom arm 23 will oppose the players charge.

The present invention has shown a blocking apparatus which will teach the proper fundamentals to football players of all experience and sizes and will react in exactly the same manner as might be expected of an opposing player if improper blocking procedures are used. The present invention allows a coach to more effectively train the players by utilizing a mechanical device which reacts much like an opposing player during training sessions thereby eliminating the need for a player on the same team to be used as a blocking dummy. This allows a much more efiicient organization and further allows the individual players to be schooled in the specialties of their particular position.

While I have particularly shown and described one particular embodiment of the invention, it is distinctly understood that the invention is not limited thereto but that modifications may be made within the scope of the invention and such variations as are covered by the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a powered training apparatus, a supporting member, a charging station supported by the supporting member and extending toward a player positioned to contact the charging station, impact sensing means for sensing the initial impact pressure applied to the charging station by a player, said impact sensing means being selectively controllable to respond to a preselected impact threshold pressure, powered means responsive to the obtaining of said preselected impact threshold pressure and to the maintaining of at least a predetermined sustained pressure to actively drive the charging station away from the player.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 including means to sense the direction of applied pressure upon the charging station by the player and to sense the departure from a predetermined reference direction of the applied pressure.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 including powered means responsive to the obtaining of said preselected impact threshold pressure and to the maintaining of a pressure less than a preselected sustained pressure to actively drive the charging station toward the player.

4. The apparatus of claim 3 including means to sense the direction of applied pressure upon the charging station by the player and to sense the departure from a predetermined reference direction of the applied pressure.

5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein the sensed direc tion is angularly disposed to the reference direction by a predetermined amount.

6. In a powered training apparatus, a supporting member, a charging station supported by the supporting member and extending toward a player positioned to contact the charging station, an impact sensing means for sensing the initial impact pressure applied to the charging station by the player, said impact sensing means being selectively controllable to respond to a preselected initial impact threshold pressure, said sensing means being positioned within said charging station, means responsive to the maintaining of a predetermined sustained pressure against said charging station, powered means responsive to the obtaining of said preselected impact pressure and to the maintaining of less than said predetermined sus tained pressure for actively moving said charging station toward the player.

7. In a powered training apparatus, a supporting member having a free end and a supported end, a thrust arm having a supported end and a free end, the supported end of the thrust arm being pivotally supported at the free end of the supporting member, a charging station supported by the free end of the thrust arm and extending outwardly toward a player positioned to contact the charging station, sensing means to sense an initial impact or threshold pressure applied to the charging station by the player, power means separate from said sensing means operatively connected to said charging station to drive said charging station, said power means being operatively controlled by said sensing means to actively and continuously drive said charging station relative to said player upon an initial threshold pressure being applied.

8. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein said power means actively and continuously drives said charging station away from said player after said player applies said initial impact pressure.

9. In a powered training apparatus, a radius arm having a free end and a pivotally supported end, a thrust arm having a supported end and a free end, the supported end of the thrust arm being pivotally supported at the free end of the radius arm, a charging station supported by the free end of the thrust arm and extending outwardly toward a player positioned to contact the charging station, impact sensing means for sensing the initial impact pressure applied to the charging station by a player, said impact sensing means being selectively controllable to respond to a preselected impact threshold pressure, powered means responsive to the obtaining of said preselected impact threshold pressure and to the maintaining of at least said sustained pressure to actively drive the charging station away from the player.

10. In a powered training apparatus, a supporting member having a free end and a supported end, a thrust arm having a supported end and a free end, the supported end of the thrust arm being pivotally supported in an initial position at the free end of the supporting member, a charging station supported by the free end of the thrust arm and extending outwardly toward a player positioned to contact the charging station, impact sensing means for sensing the initial impact pressure applied to the charging station by a player, said impact sensing means being selectively controllable to respond to a preselected impact threshold pressure, said sensing means being positioned within said charging station, powered means ressponsive to the obtaining of said preselected impact threshold pressure and to be the maintaining of at least said substained pressure to actively drive the charging station away from the player.

11. In a powered training apparatus as described in claim 10, wherein upon an angular pressure being applied upon the thrust arm which is substantially greater than said predetermined amount of pressure, the thrust arm is passively moved in a direction corresponding to the pressure applied to the thrust arm.

12. In a powered training apparatus, a movable supporting member having a free end and a supported end, a thrust arm having a supported end and a free end, the supported end of the thrust arm being pivotally supported at the free end of the supporting member on a pivot point, a charging station supported by the free end of the thrust arm, sensing means to sense an initial impact or threshold pressure applied to the charging station by the player, power means operatively connected to said charging station to drive said charging station, said power means being operatively controlled by said sensing means to actively and continuously drive said charging station relative to said player upon an initial threshold pressure being applied, second sensing means to sense a sustained pressure to be continuously applied by said player to said charging station, said second sensing means operatively controlling said power means to reverse the direction of driven movement of said charging station upon failure of the player to maintain said sustained pressure.

13. The powered training apparatus as defined in claim 12, wherein the charging station comprises a blocking pad extending outwardly toward a player positioned to contact the charging station, the blocking pad comprising pivotal command means which activates the means for controlling the pivotal movement of the thrust arm relative to the supporting member upon pressure of at least a predetermined amount being applied to the charging station angularly' to the longitudinal centerline of the thrust arm by the player contacting the blocking pad.

14. The powered training apparatus as defined in claim 13, wherein the means for moving the supporting member and thrust arm comprises a reversible motive means mounted on the control station.

15. In a powered training apparatus, a supporting member, a charging station supported by the supporting member and extending toward a player positioned to contact the charging station, sensing means to sense an initial impact or threshold pressure applied to the charging station by the player, power means separate from said sensing means operatively connected to said charging station to drive said charging station, said power means being operatively controlled by said sensing means to actively and continuously drive said charging station relative to said player upon an initial threshold pressure being applied.

16. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein said power means actively and continuously drives said charging station away from said player after said player applies said initial impact pressure.

17. The apparatus of claim 15 including second sensing means to sense a sustained pressure to be continuously applied by said player to said charging station, said second sensing means operatively controlling said power means to reverse the direction of driven movement of said charging station upon failure of the player to maintain said sustained pressure.

18. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein said sensing means is positioned within said charging station.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,436,846 11/1922 Willimann 273-55 2,234,364 3/1941 Carberry 273-55 2,390,336 12/1945 Spearman 73-379 2,602,666 7/1952 Burke et al. 273-55 2,967,709 1/ 1961 Stahley 27355 3,281,148 10/1966 Cummins 27355 RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner T. ZACK, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1436846 *Jan 5, 1922Nov 28, 1922Edwin WillimannTraining apparatus
US2234364 *Aug 11, 1939Mar 11, 1941Francis J CarberryMechanical football dummy
US2390336 *Aug 21, 1944Dec 4, 1945Spearman Lawrence AAthlete training apparatus
US2602666 *Jun 19, 1950Jul 8, 1952Burke William FFootball practice apparatus
US2967709 *Nov 12, 1959Jan 10, 1961Stahley Jacob NAthletic training apparatus
US3281148 *Jun 4, 1963Oct 25, 1966Cummins Alfred BTackling dummy suspension
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3578324 *Dec 2, 1968May 11, 1971Alvey George HFootball blocking apparatus
US3658332 *Nov 19, 1969Apr 25, 1972Adduci Nicholas FEvasive action tackling practice apparatus
US3942796 *Oct 15, 1973Mar 9, 1976Bowen Ronald SFootball practice blocking and tackling reaction machine
US4573680 *Mar 14, 1984Mar 4, 1986Mcnally James CFootball training apparatus and methods of using same
US5013039 *Aug 9, 1989May 7, 1991Cole Danny RSports training apparatus
US5143372 *Oct 16, 1990Sep 1, 1992Power Performance, Inc.Football training device
US5462272 *Oct 12, 1994Oct 31, 1995Rogers Athletic CompanyFootball training sled
US5743821 *May 28, 1996Apr 28, 1998Wirachowski; KevinScrum machine
US5888152 *Aug 27, 1997Mar 30, 1999Rogers Athletic CompanyGauntlet athletic training sled and methods of using and constructing it
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/441
International ClassificationA63B69/34
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/345
European ClassificationA63B69/34F