US 3501141 A
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(5. P. NISSEN ETAL TRAMPOLINE AND BACKSTOPS Original Filed July 18 1962 March 17, 1970 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORS GEORGE E NISSEN LAWRENCE H. CON BY g OVER FIG
ATTORNEY March 17, 1970 G. P. NISSEN ETAL TRAMPOLINE AND BACKSTOPS Original Filed July 18, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 R. 5 5 mm R 4 D 0 sN 7 T 0 2 C N N.C w N v 9 FL r .l 1 EH 2 w 6 3 A 5 L Y a m B 2 m M 6 II H 2 W 1 m w v w .2 ,2 g m M I"... B w a 0 B ,l 2 2 w 2 2 7 2 A ATTORNEY Marth 17, 1970 G. P. NISSEN ETAL TRAMPOLINE AND BACKSTOPS Original Filed July 18 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTORS GEORGE F? NISSEN LAWRENCE H. CONOVER 1 ATTORNEY United States Patent O 3,501,141 TRAMPOLINE AND BACKSTOPS George P. Nisseu and Lawrence H. Conover, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, assignors to Nissen Corporation, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a corporation of Iowa Continuation of application Ser. No. 508,881, Oct. 1, 1965, which is a division of application Ser. No. 381,872, July 10, 1964, now Patent No. 3,256,021, June 14, 1966, which in turn is a continuation of application Ser. No. 210,861, July 18, 1962. This application Sept. 5, 1968, Ser. No. 781,647
Int. Cl. A63b /00 US. Cl. 272-65 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A single trampoline is fitted with an inclined backstop adjacent each end of its bed. Each backstop comprises an inverted U-shaped frame within which is disposed a backstop panel resiliently attached to and stretched between the margins of the backstop frame. Each backstop panel is positioned and sufficiently strong and resilient to rebound a performer back onto the trampoline bed as well as to permit him to run thereup. Additionally a piece of material is provided for closing the gap between the lower ends of the backstop panels and the trampoline bed formed when the latter is deflected downwardly.
This application is a continuation of abondoned application Ser. No. 508,881, filed Oct. 1, 1965, which was a division of application Ser. No. 381,872, filed July 10, 1964, now Patent 3,256,021, dated June 14, 1966, the latter application being a continuation of abondoned application Ser. No. 210,861, filed July 18, 1962.
A typical trampoline comprises a horizontal, rebounding bed of generally rectangular shape affixed at its margins within a surrounding frame. The aflixment may be non-resilient if the bed itself is a panel of resilient or stretch-able fabric, or it may be of a resilient nature when the bed itself is non-resilient. In the latter case, which is preferred, the bed is constituted of spaced, interwoven strips of suitable material and the required resiliency is provided by suitable, tensionally resilient supports.
There are two types of trampoline installations: one, where the bed frame is supported by an appropriate base consisting of legs and braces or the like, is used particularly indoors; the other, where no .base support is employed, is adapted to outdoor use over a pit, for example, in which case the bed frame may be supported on wooden bolsters about the margin of the pit, the depth of the latter somewhat exceeding the maximum deflection of the bed. Although equally applicable to both types of installations, the present invention, for concise presentation, is illustrated in the drawings without any supporting base.
Summary of the invention The present invention provides a resilient panel or backstop inclining upwardly from immediately adjacent each end of the bed of a simple trampoline. Each backstop may be constructed to achieve its resiliency in the same manner as the horizontal trampoline bed, except that at the lower end of each backstop panel immediately adjacent its respective end of the bed means are provided which close the gap therebetween while at the same time permitting deflection of either the bed or the backstop independently of the other. One form of such closing means is illustrated in teh accompanying drawings to which reference may now be had.
3,501,141 Patented Mar. 17, 1970 Brief description of the drawings FIGURE 1, consisting of three views, 1a, 1b and 1c, is a perspective view of a typical trampoline with apparatus incorporating the present invention assembled thereon, a plane A-B separating views 1a and 1b, and a plane CD separating the views 1b and 10;
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary view showing the manner in which the bed of the trampoline and the backstop panels may be secured to their respective frames;
FIGURE 3 is a view taken along the lines 33 of FIGURE 1a; and
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary view showing further details of the means by which the backstop panels are secured to their respective ends of the bed.
Description of the preferred embodiment The typical trampoline disclosed in the drawings comprises generally a horizontally disposed rectangular metal frame 11 spacedly surrounding the trampoline bed 12 which in turn is fashioned from interwoven, spaced strips 12a of suitable material. As previously mentioned, bed frame 11 may be supported upon the margins of a pit or upon a suitable base (not shown). Supporting bed 12 within frame 11 are a multitude of laterally spaced, tensionally resilient supports 13, which may be coil springs, rubber cables or otherwise, suitably connected at their outer ends to frame 11 and at their inner ends to the margins of bed 12. The latter connection in the present embodiment utilizes a number of anchors 14, each fashioned integrally from suitable bar stock whose ends are slipped into the looped ends 15 of two adjacent strips 12a of bed 12, the hooked inner end 16 of each tensional support 13 engaging an anchor 14 midway therealong in a saddle 17 bent integrally therein.
Along each side member 18 of frame 11 an additional frame member 19 is provided, cantilevered horizontally outwardly from its side member 18, and equipped midway of its length with a pair of upper and lower hori zontal base plates 20 clamping the adjacent portions of frame members 18 and 19 therebetween. Each pair of plates 20 provides a seat for an upright male insert 21 secured thereto which in turn receives thereover the lower end of a vertical tubular column 22 removably retained thereon by means of a hand locking screw 23. Frustoconical skirts 24 neatly finished the joints between base plates 20 and columns 22. Each of the latter in turn slidably receives a pair of vertical spaced arms 25, 26 extending horizontally from each side of its column 22 longitudinally of bed 12. Arms 25, 26 carry a pair of inverted, U-shaped frames 28, disposed on each side of columns 22 and straddling bed 12. Midway along the horizontal portion 28 of each frame 27 is suspended one end of a horizontal tunnel structure 29 such that its axis extends longitudinally of bed 12 and defines a path for the passage of a missile through tunnel 29. Tunnel 29 may be of the form and structure further illustrated and described in the co-pending application of George P. Nissen, Ser. No. 341,298, filed Jan. 30, 1964, now Patent 3,201,126. The respective areas bounded by frames 27 are closed, except at the ends of tunnel 29, by nets 30 secured thereto, thus providing a barrier assembly 31 carried by coltunns 22 and transversely dividing bed 12 into two playing zones on the opposite sides thereof. As explained in the foregoing Patent 3,201,126 the height of columns 22 must be sufficient so that tunnel 29 is at all times above the reach of a player standing stationary on bed 12. In order to accomplish the latter, the height of barrier assembly 31 above bed 12 is made adjustable by means of locking screws, operated by hand wheels 32, incorporated into each lower arm bracket 25.
Adjacent each end of bed 12, an inverted U-shaped backstop frame 35, secured at its lower ends to side members 18 of bed frame 11, inclines upwardly and outwardly therefrom to just below the height of the axis of tunnel 29. Within each backstop frame 35 a backstop panel 36 of the same character as bed 12 is resiliently suspended along its top and side margins by means of tensionally resilient supports 37 similar to those supporting bed 12 within its frame 11. As is apparent from the drawings, the height an inclination of each backstop frame 35 and its resilient panel 36 is such that a player may run partway thereup in order to intercept a missile thrown through tunnel 29. Panels 36, in turn, have sufficient strength in order to support a player so running thereup since, as mentioned, panels 36 are of a construction similar to that of bed 12. The outer end 38 of each backstop frame 35 is supported by means of a pair of laterally spaced legs 39, the spacing of the latter being substantially less than the width of frames 35, fitted with suitable floor engaging flanges 40 at their lower ends and adjustably telescoped at their upper ends into tubular members 41, the latter being hingedly secured at 42 at their upper ends to the outer end 38 of its backstop frame 35. The legs of an inverted U-shaped frame 43 are adjustably telescoped in turn into the upper ends of each pair of tubular members 41 and the area bounded by each frame 43 and the outer end 38 of its respective backstop frame 35 is closed by a suitable net 44 in order to define a secondary target intersecting the extended axis of tunnel 29. The exposed portions of frame 11 are covered by suitable protective mats 45, those along side members 18 and 19 being carried part way up backstop frames 35, and the outer ends 38 of the latter are likewise provided with similar mats 46.
It is desirable to connect the lower end of each backstop panel 36 to its adjacent end of bed 12 so that neither the players nor the missile or ball used in conjunction with the apparatus can pass between the aforesaid ends during play. The latter event is especially likely when either bed 12 or a backstop panel 36 is deflected relative to the other by the weight of a player rebounding from one or the other, inasmuch as at such time a gap of material size momentarily opens between the two. On the other hand, the connection obviously must be such as not to interfere with the deflection of bed 12 or a backstop panel 36 relative to the other. The requisite connection is achieved by a tuck 50 comprising a length of suitable fabric or other flexible material stitched at one end 51 along the entire lower margin of each backstop panel 36, carried up behind the latter as at 52, folded over on itself as at 53, being suspended from its adjacent backstop frame 35 at the opposite ends of fold 53 by light, extensible coil springs 54, and finally carried down again as at 55 to the adjacent end of bed 12. The remaining end 56 of each tuck 50 is preferably secured to its adjacent end of bed 12 by a number of tapes 57 laterally spaced along and extending from each end 56 down through the adjacent interstices between the webbing 12a of bed 12 and then outwardly toward the adjacent end of frame 11, being removably secured, as by D-rings 58, to the hooks 16 of the adjacent tensional supports 13 (see FIGURES 3 and 4). Accordingly, if the length of tuck 50 is suflicient, any gap between bed 12 and backstop panels 36 is always closed, no matter what deflection of either may occur during play, without substantially impeding the freedom of either to deflect relative to the other since springs 54 need be only strong enough to maintain fold 53 neatly above bed 12 when the latter and panels 36 are stationary. At the same time, panels 36 can be easily and quickly detached from bed 12, if necessary, owing to D-rings 58.
What is claimed is:
1. In recreational apparatus employing a single trampoline having a generally rectangular bouncing bed spacedly surrounded by a bed frame and a pair of backstops inclining upwardly and outwardly from adjacent the respective tranverse ends of said bed, the improvement comprising: each of said backstops having an inverted U-shaped backstop frame and a rectangular backstop panel disposed between the side and top margins thereof, said backstop frame spacedly surrounding said panel margins and being secured at its lower ends to said bed frame adjacent its respective one of said bed ends, and means resiliently connecting said panel margins to the corresponding side and top margins of said backstop frame and stretching said panel therebetween, the lower margin of said panel being disposed immediately adjoining the adjacent end of said bed, the plane of said panel intersecting the plane of said bed at said bed end or inside of said bed end, said lower panel margin being free to deflect independently of said bed end an said backstop and bed frames, said panel being disposed effective to prevent a performer bounding on said bed from falling outwardly from beyond said bed end, and said panel and resilient means having sufficient strength and resiliency both to rebound said performer back onto said bed and to permit said performer to run thereup.
2. The device of claim 1 including a flexible piece of material directly connected to each of said backstops and to the adjacent transverse end of said bed effective to constitute a barrier to passage of a performer through the lower ends of said panels and their respective transverse ends of said bed during downward deflection of the latter relative to said panels, said connections to said backstops and beds additionally rendering said deflection of said bed ends independent of said panels.
3. The device of claim 2 wherein said connection to each of said backstops comprises one of two opposite ends of said material rigidly secured to the entire lower margin of said panel of said backstop, a portion of said material being carried upwardly from said margin and folded back upon itself, the remaining portion of said material being carried downwardly from said fold and secured at its remaining end to said transverse end of said bed and means resiliently maintaining said fold in elevated position when said bed is undefiected.
4. The device of claim 3 wherein said connection to said bed end comprises a plurality of laterally spaced tapes secured along the entire margin of said remaining one of said ends of said material and extending outwardly therefrom, said tape passing through said bed and removably secured thereto adjacent said end thereof.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 428,603 5/1890 Harley l82137 570,908 11/1896 Crawford 182137 3,201,126 8/1965 Nissen 27265 RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner R, W, DIAZ, ]R., Assistant Examiner