US 3497212 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 24, 1970 c.GoTcHER 3,497,212
"HIGH'DIVE" DIVING'HURDLE Filed April 25, 1968 INVENTOR. EE C'. 60723451? #@Am am? Afro/@M96 United States Patent O 3,497,212 HIGH DIVE DIVING HURDLE Lee C. Gotcher, 126 S. Yale Ave., Fullerton, Calif. 92632 Filed Apr. 25, 1968, Ser. No. 723,984 Int. Cl. A631: 5/10, 5/08, 69/00 U.S. Cl. 272-59 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A diving hurdle having a crossbar break-away supported between a pair of adjustable height standards. The crossbar comprises a rope extending through, in order, a ball, an elongate plastic tube and another ball. Each standard is provided with a spring wire clip having a coil surrounding the standard and a pair of parallel loops extending from the standard, the loops adapted to grasp one of the crossbar balls. An appropriate base supports each standard on a poolside deck.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention The present invention relates to a diving hurdle and more particularly to a diving hurdle comprising a rope crossbar suspended between a pair of standards and attached thereto by novel break-away supports.
Description of the prior art As many a pool owner will attest, children greatly enjoy either jumping or diving over a horizontal hurdle into a pool. Such sport taxes ones skill and provides a basis for competition as each child tries to clear a hurdle higher than that which his friend just cleared. Diving hurdles also may play a training role, since by appropriately positioning the hurdle forward of a diving board the hurdle encourages proper diving skills by forcing the student to arc his body over the hurdle after springing from the board.
In the past, a variety of hurdles of various sophistication have been available. For example, children occasionally have resorted to holding a broomstick across a pool while another child tried to dive over it. While such a broomstick provided an expedient hurdle, the game had obvious shortcomings. First, two children were required to support the hurdle. Moreover, should the diver not clear the hurdle, typically, he would pull the broomstick down into the water with him, risking injury to himself as well as to the children previously holding the broomstick.
While various athletic hurdles such as those used for high jumping are available and could be utilized as a diving hurdle, these offer the disadvantage, not unlike the broomstick, of comprising a solid crossbar supported between vertical standards. Such a device is described, for example, in U.S. :Patent No. 1,737,108 entitled Athletic Standard. This device, typical of high jump hurdles, comprises a pair of standards of adjustable height. Extending perpendicularly from adjacent the top of each standard is a horizontal platform, the solid crossbar being supported between the platforms. Should the athlete not clear the hurdle, the crossbar merely slides off of the horizontal platforms.
While several devices for teaching good diving form have been suggested in the prior art, these are directed primarily toward providing a hurdle slightly above and forward of a springboard, rather than providing a game to test high diving skills. Typical of such training devices is the Diving Barrier set forth in U.S. Patent 3,096,980. This device uses a substantially U-shaped tubular diving frame, the generally parallel legs of which terminate in Patented Feb. 24, 1970 ICC clamps adapted to be attached adjacent the free end of a diving board. The bight portion of the U-shaped barrier thus is supported above and slightly forward the diving board; the relative position of the bight portion and the springboard remains constant as the board flexes up and down. This constant position of the barrier forces the student diver to leave the springboard at a constant minimum altitude.
Yet another prior art diving hurdle adapted for training use exclusively is suggested by U.S. Patent No. 1,808,- 371. That device utilizes a rope supported between pulleys mounted to the extremities of a pair of inclined spars projecting over the water from the base of the diving board. While providing a hurdle of adjustable height, the device included clumsy bifurcated vertical supports for holding the center of the inclined spars, and required a modified springboard base to support the lower ends of the spars. Further, there was hte danger that should the diver not clear the rope hurdle, that the rope may bind on the pulleys, causing severe injury.
In contradistinction to the prior art, the present invention provides a safe and inexpensive adjustable diving hurdle adapted for suspension across a swimming pool, and well suited to provide hours of enjoyment and exercise for young athletes.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention there is provided a novel diving hurdle adapted for suspension across a swimming pool. The hurdle comprises a rope extending through an elongate plastic tube, the tube forming the crossbar. The rope also extends through a pair of balls, each ball being spaced apart from a respective end of the plastic tube.
A pair of vertical standards of adjustable height are provided for mounting on either side of a pool. In a preferred embodiment, the standards are supported by a novel suction cup and tripod support mechanism which may be readily set up or removed from the pool area. The top of each standard is provided with a double armed spring clip adapted to grasp one of the balls 011 the crossbar rope. Should the diver fail to clear the crossbar, his weight will pull the balls from the grasp of the spring arms thereby permitting the diving hurdle to fall freely into the water. By attaching the rope ends to the base of the standards, the hurdle may be readily retrieved from the water. Thus, it is the primary object of the invention to provide a novel diving hurdle.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a diving hurdle having a crossbar of adjustable height and break-away type supports.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a diving hurdle comprising a tubular plastic crossbar suspended by a rope passing through a pair of balls adapted to be supported by spring-type clips.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a diving hurdle comprising a pair of standards of adjustable height and adapted for rapid poolside installation and removal.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a diving hurdle including a pair of horizontal standards and a rope supported horizontal crossbar attached to the top of the standards by a novel break-away mountmg.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Still other objects, features, and attendant advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from a reading of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments constructed in accordance therewith, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein like numerals designate like parts in the several figures and wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the inventive diving hurdle suspended across a swimming pool.
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the crossbar portion of the inventive diving hurdle, the crossbar comprising a rope extending in order through a first ball, an elongate tube, and a second ball.
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary perspective view of the spring-clip adapted to receive one of the balls at the end of the crossbar of FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of the spring-clip, also shown in FIGURE 3, the crossbar support ball being grasped by the clamp, as shown generally within circle 4 of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary elevation view of a preferred embodiment of a support for the standards utilized in conjunction with the inventive diving hurdle.
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary perspective break-away view of the height adjustment mechanism for the standard, as seen generally in circle 6 of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary plan view of an alternative embodiment of the height adjusting mechanism for the diving hurdle standards.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now in the drawings and particularly to FIG- URE l thereof, the inventive High Dive diving hurdle 10 is shown mounted on the deck 11 of a swimming pool 12. As illustrated, the horizontal hurdle portion 13 is suspended across pool 12 forward of a diving board 14. This orientation permits a diver to spring from board 14, and high dive over hurdle 13 into pool 12.
Referring still to FIGURE 1, the inventive diving hurdle comprises a pair of identical standards 15 which preferably are adjustable in height. Each of standards 15 is supported atop deck 11 by an appropriate base 16 which may simply comprise a concrete weight (an alternative embodiment of the support base for standards 15 is described hereinbelow in conjunction with FIGURE 5). Each base 16 is provided with a hook 17 to which may be secured an end of a rope 18.
As best illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2, rope 18 is threaded through a tubular member 19, preferably of colored plastic. Rope 18 also passes through a first ball spaced apart from end 19a of tubular member 19, and through a second ball 20" spaced apart from the other end 19b of tubular member 19.
As evident in FIGURES l, 3 and 4, the top of each standard 15 is provided with a spring clip 21 adapted t0 receive ball 20 or 20. Spring clip 21 is fashioned from a single piece of spring wire, the center portion of which is coiled to form a cQil 22 having a diameter slightly less than standard 15. This permits coil 22 to be slid over standard 15, thereby supporting clamp 21 by the spring tension of coil 22. Each end of clamp 21 includes a loop 23 the plane of which is parallel to the axis of coil 22. The diameter of each loop 23 is slightly smaller than the diameter of ball 20 or 20. A dip or bend 24 is provided in clamp 21 between each of loops 23 and coil 22.
As best illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 4, balls 20 and 20 normally are grasped between loops 23 of clamps 21, which loops normally are spaced apart by a distance less than the diameter of ball 20 or 20'. This permits suspension of crossbar 13 between standards 15, as shown in FIGURE 1. Bends 24 permit sufficient flexibility of clamp 21 to insure that balls 20 will not be released from loops 23 should rope 18 and tubular member 19 swing back and forth in the wind. However, should a diver not clear horizontal crossbar 13, the weight of the divers body against tubular member 19 will cause balls 20 and 20r to pop out from between loops 23; thus, balls 20 and 20 and clamps 21 together provide a break-away support for crossbar 13. When the crossbar falls in the water, the ends of rope 18 still will be secured to the loops 17 on bases 16, and the rope and crossbar readily may be pulled from the water.
An alternative embodiment of the supporting base for each standard 15 is illustrated in FIGURE 5. As seen therein, support 25 comprises a suction cup 26 attached by means of a screw 27 to an interiorly threaded receptacle 28. The lower end 15 of standard 15 is threaded, so as to threadingly engage receptacle 28. Should deck 11 comprise concrete, a plate 29 of Formica or other non-porous material may be bonded to deck 11 to provide a surface to which suction cup 26 may be applied. By pressing cup 26 against plate 29, the resulting suction will secure the bottom of standard 15 to deck 11.
Still referring to FIGURE 5, base support 25 also includes a tripod 30 having legs 31 commonly terminating in an annulus 32, the inner diameter of which is slightly larger than that of standard 15. A thumbscrew 33 extends through a threaded hole in annulus 32, and may be tightened against standard 15 to maintain tripod 30 in the desired position with the bottom of legs 31 firmly seated on plate 29. Thus, suction cup 26 connects the bottom of standard 15 to deck 11, while tripod 30 insures that standard 15 is vertically oriented.
Referring now to FIGURE 6, there is shown a first embodiment of a height adjusting mechanism for standard 15. As illustrated therein, standard 15 comprises a lower tubular pole 15a terminating in a coupling 34 and an upper pole 15b, the end 15b of which is solid. The outer surfaces of pole 15b adjacent 15b' contains a plurality of grooves 15b. End 15b is provided with a threaded hole 35 offset of center. A circular cam 36 having a diameter equal to that of pole 15b is provided with a clearance hole 37 offset of center. A screw 38 is inserted through hole 37 and threadingly engages hole 35, thereby connecting cam 36 to end 15b' of pole 15b. Screw 38 preferably is attached sufiiciently loosely to permit relative rotational motion of cam 36 with respect to pole 15b about the axis defined by the shaft of screw 38.
To adjust the height of standard 15, pole 15b (see FIGURE 6) is inserted into tubular pole 15a far enough to achieve the desired height for standard 15. Pole 15b then is rotated with respect to pole 15a; because of the action of cam 36, pole 15b does not rotate about its axis but rather about an axis defined by offset holes 35 and 37. This forces grooves 15b on the outer surface of pole 15b to grip the inner surface 15a of tubular pole 15a, thereby locking pole 15b at the desired height.
An alternative embodiment of a height adjusting mechanism for standard 15 is illustrated in FIGURE 7. As shown therein, standard 15 comprises a lower tubular pole 15C the upper end 15C' of which is inclined. Upper pole 15d of standard 15 has an outer diameter slightly smaller than the inside diameter of tubular pole 15C, and is adapted for sliding insertion therewithin. A washer 39 having an inside diameter larger than the outside diameter of pole 15d surrounds pole 15d.
To adjust the height of standard 15 using the mechanism of FIGURE 7, pole 15d is withdrawn slightly from within tubular pole 15C, thereby releasing washer 39. By holding washer 39 substantially horizontally, pole 15d may be freely slidably inserted within tubular pole 15a` until the desired height for standard 15 is achieved. Washer 39 then is released, so that it drops into the inclined position shown, flush with incline end 15C' of tubular pole 15C. The edge 39' of washer 39 bites into pole 15d, locking pole 15d in the desired position, and preventing it from sliding downward into tubular pole 15e.
While the invention has been described with respect to several embodiments constructed in accordance therewith, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and improvements may be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Accordingly it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited by the specific illustrative embodiments, but only by the scope of the appended claims.
1. A diving hurdle comprising, in combination a pair of standards,
base means for supporting said standards on the deck of a pool,
an elongate tubular member having an inside diameter slightly larger than the diameter of said rope,
first and second balls, each ball having a hole therethrough, the diameter of said hole being slightly smaller than the said diameter of said rope, said rope passing through, in order, said first ball, said tubular member and said second ball,
a pair of clips each fashioned of a unitary piece of spring wire, the middle of said Wire forming a coil having a diameter slightly less than the diameter of said standard, said coil being adapted for Snug fit around said standard adjacent the top thereof, the ends of said wire extending substantially perpendicular to the axis of said coil and terminating in curved regions disposed substantially parallel to each other and adapted to grasp one of said balls.
2. A diving hurdle as defined in claim 1 wherein said tubular member comprises a colored plastic tube.
3. A diving hurdle as defined in claim 1 wherein said base means comprises concrete and includes hook means for attachment thereto of an end of said rope.
4. A diving hurdle as defined in claim 1 wherein said base means comprises a suction cup attached to the bottom of said standard, and means for maintaining Said standard vertical.
5. A diving hurdle as defined in claim 4 wherein said means for maintaining comprises a tripod, the legs of said tripod commonly terminating in an annulus surrounding said standard, and means for selectively maintaining the position of said annulus longitudinal of said standard.
6. A diving hurdle as defined in claim 4 wherein said standards each comprise a first tubular pole and a second pole, one end of said second being insertable within said first pole, and further comprising:
means for adjusting selectively the height of said standards.
7. A diving hurdle as defined in claim 6 wherein the outer surface of said second pole is grooved, and wherein said means for adjusting comprises,
a circular cam having an off-center axis, and
means for attaching said cam to the said one end of said second pole along the said off-center axis, whereby relative rotation of said first and second poles causes said grooves to engage the interior wall of said first tubular pole.
8. A diving hurdle as defined in claim 6 wherein said ends of said wire each include a substantially U-shaped bend between said coil and said curved region.
9. A diving hurdle as defined in claim 8 wherein said curved regions each are substantially circular, having a diameter slightly less than the diameter of said balls.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 6/1931 Oertel 272-59 7/1963 Gauer 272-66 U.S. C1. X.R. 272-66