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Publication numberUS3563544 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 16, 1971
Filing dateJul 15, 1968
Priority dateJul 15, 1968
Publication numberUS 3563544 A, US 3563544A, US-A-3563544, US3563544 A, US3563544A
InventorsAndrew J Hedrick
Original AssigneeAndrew J Hedrick
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable tennis instruction and practice board
US 3563544 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor Andrew J. Hedrick [56] References Cited 5 339 Jackmvlue UNITED STATES PATENTS [2|] APPLNQ 744844 1,322,754 11/1919 Blair 273/29.2 22 Filed Julyl5,l968 FOREIGN PATENTS [45] Patented Feb. 16,197] 400,850 11/1933 England 273/29 473,665 10/1937 England 273/30 [54] PORTABLE TENNIS INSTRUCTION AND PRACTICE BOARD 3 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl 273/29 [51] Int. Cl A63b 69/00 [50] Field of Search 273/29,

Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Theatrice Brown Attorneys-A. Yates Dowell and A. Yates Dowell, .lr.

PORTABLE TENNIS INSTRUCTION AND PRACTICE BOARD BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The invention is in the class of educational, athletic, and physical education equipment employed to teach, to improve skill, to develop the body physically and to afford pleasure. 2. Description of the Prior Art Prior devices have been expensive, complicated, cumbersome, and having required excessive time and effort in the use of the same as well as were otherwise impractical.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention is an instruction and practice device having a rectangular board with nets located along the upper and lower edges thereof, and the board being relatively flat and pivotally supported on vertical columns attached to the board by pipe straps. Pins are provided for securing the pipe columns in substantially fixed relation to the board. Also the pins can be used for securing the legs in operative and inoperative or collapsed position. Each vertical column is attached at its lower end to the central portion of a horizontal support bar with such bar supported at each end by a roller.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the invention to provide a tennis instruction and practice device of simple and inexpensive construction, which can be readily installed for use and collapsed for storage by a novice, as well as a tennis instruction and practice device of a constructionand incorporating sufficient characteristics of a tennis court to motivate activity, to include learning the game, to improve skill, afford exercise for the proper development of the body, and provide amusement to the user.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. I is a front elevation illustrating one application of the invention; FIG. 2, a rear elevation;

FIG. 3, an end elevation; v FIG. 4, a rear elevation of the device folded for storage with the supporting legs located in parallel relation to the board or at right angles to the position in which they are located when the board is in use;

FIG. 5, an enlarged fragmentary horizontal section on the line -5 ofFlG. 2; and

FIG. 6, an enlarged fragmentary section similar to FIG. 5 of a modified form.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS With continued reference to the drawing, the instruction and practice device of the present invention includes a relatively flat generally rectangular board or body supported by a pair of spaced generally upright posts or columns 11 each of which is attached at its lower end to a support member or base 12. The support member or base may rest directly on the earth or other surface, or such base may be provided with ground-engaging castor type wheels 13 preferably of the type which can be locked against rotation.

In order to amount the board 10 on the columns 11 two or more pipe straps I4 at least partially encircle each of the columns 11 and are attached by fasteners 15 to the rear surface of the board I0. The pipe straps l4 snugly engage the columns 11 to support the board while permitting relatively free rotation of the columns. Each of such columns is provided with upper and lower collars 16 and 17, respectively, for mounting the board 10 thereon. The upper collar 16 is located closely adjacent to the upper pipe strap, while the lower collar 17 forms a support for the lower pipe strap. With this construction it will be clear that the columns are freely rotatably mounted on the rear surface of the board 10. If desired, the collars 16 and 17 may be omitted and the columns 11 con structed of multiple sections joined together by a pipe coupling which supports the lower pipe strap 14.

As illustrated in FIGS. 2, 4, 5 and 6, either or both of the columns 11 may be secured in fixed nonrotatable position relative to the board so that the base 12 may be disposed lengthwise of the board for storage or perpendicular to the board and locked against rotation to prevent accidentally collapsing the same when in use. When either of the columns It is locked with the base normal to the playing surface of the board 10, the device cannot be collapsed readily; however, if both bases are locked, the device will be more stable.

With reference to FIG. 5, a locking mechanism 18 may include a U-shaped mounting bracket 19 fixed to the rear surface of the board by fasteners 20 with the outwardly extending flanges thereof disposed on opposite sides of the column 11. A pin 21 is connected to one end of a chain or other flexible connector 22, the opposite end of which is secured to the rear surface of the board so that the pin cannot become accidentally displaced. Each of the outwardly extending flanges of the mounting bracket 19 is provided with an opening 23 which is alignable with an opening 24 in the column 11 so that when the openings are in alignment the pin 21 can be inserted through the same to lock the column and the board in fixed position.

With reference to FIG. 6 a modified form of locking device is provided in which the U-shaped mounting bracket is eliminated and a bolt 26 passes directly through the opening 24 in the column. Preferably the bolt is provided with an enlarged washer 27 on each side of the column 11 with such washer being held in position by one or more nuts 28. This construction permits limited rotation of the column 11 before one of the washers 27 engages the rear surface of the board to prevent further rotation thereof. A metal strip 29 may fasten to the rear surface of the board in the area of the bolt 26 so that the washers 27 will not gouge the board It).

On the front of the board 10 a net 30 is fastened in any desired manner, as by screws or other fasteners 31 passing through the upper binding 32 of the net and into the board 10. The upper binding 32 is positioned at the correct distance above the playing surface in order to represent the net of a conventional tennis court. The net 30 preferably extends downwardly below the bottom of the board 10 to a position slightly above the base members 12 and in order to support the net a pair of downwardly extending arms 33 are attached to opposite ends of the board 10 and the lower ends of such arms are connected by a crossmember 34. The net 30 is connected to the arms 33 and crossmember 34 in any desired manner so as to maintain a taut condition similar to a conventional tennis net.

In order to reduce the amount of retrieving of the ball that a player would have to do if the ball should miss the board 10, an upper net 35 is provided mounted on upwardly extending arms 36. It is desirable to collapse the upper net 35 when not in use and to do this the lower portion of each of the arms 36 is mounted on the rear surface of the board 10 by a pivot 37. A

bolt and wingnut 38 is removably mounted in openings in the board 10 and the arms 36 and such openings are in spaced relation with the pivot 37 to hold the arms in fixed vertical position when in use.

To collapse the upper net 35 for storage the bolts 38 are removed after which the arms are pivoted downwardly and inwardly, as illustrated in FIg. 4, until such arms engage pegs 39 which support the arms in collapsed position. The central portion of the upper net 35 is supported by a line or cable 40 which passes through eyes 41 adjacent the upper extremity of the arms 36 and extending downwardly to a cleat 42 on opposite sides of the board 10.

If desired, in order to make the device more realistic, and in order to practice a serve, the front surface of the board may be provided with a generally vertical line 43 which represents the enter of the court and generally horizontal line 44 located a short distance above the net 30 which represents the service line. When practicing the serve any ball striking the board I0 between the net 30 and the horizontal line 44 would be considered as landing within the service area, and any ball striking the board above the horizontal line 44 would be considered as a fault.

When not in use the device is normally stored in a garage or other area with the base of each column disposed generally parallel with the board and with the upper net 35 collapsed so that a minimum of space would be occupied. When the board is removed from the storage area the base of each column is turned at right angles to the board and at least one of the columns is locked in position so that the board cannot accidentally collapse during use. After the bases have been positioned, the upper arms 36 are pivoted upwardly to a generally vertical position and locked by bolts 38, after which the device is ready for use. The player will then move to a position corresponding to the base line of a conventional tennis court and strike the ball in such a manner that the ball will hit the board 10 and rebound to the player. The player will continue to volley against the board until he accidentally hits the ball into one of the nets 30 or 35.

I claim:

1. A portable tennis instruction and practice device comprising a relatively flat body, multiple upright columns rotatably attached to said body, support means on said columns for supporting said body, each of said columns being mounted on a base, lock means on at least one of said columns to limit rotation of said column relative to said body, a first net means secured to the lower portion of said body and extending downwardly therefrom, a pair of arms swingably mounted on the upper portion of said body, means selectively securing said arms in generally upright position, and a second net means carried by said arms and having positions located above said body.

2.. A portable tennis instruction and practice board for use by one or more persons comprising a relatively flat body having front and rear surfaces and disposed in a substantially vertical plane when in use, spaced upright columns rotatably attached to the rear surface of said body, each of said columns being fixed on an elongated base member, said columns being rotatable to move said base members from a plane generally perpendicular to said body to a plane generally parallel with said body, means for selectively fastening said rotatable columns in fixed position relative to said body in at least said perpendicular plane, a first net means mounted on the front surface of said body and extending downwardly substantially to said base members, collapsible means carried by said body and extending upwardly therefrom, and a second net means attached to said collapsible means above said body.

3. The structure of claim 2 in which said means for fastening said columns includes an elongated pin selectively extending through openings in said columns.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1322754 *Feb 23, 1916Nov 25, 1919 Suspension fob tennis-nets
GB400850A * Title not available
GB473665A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3989245 *Mar 1, 1974Nov 2, 1976Augustine Jr PaulTennis practice device having pneumatic ball projector
US4065126 *Jun 30, 1975Dec 27, 1977David MantzPractice tennis ball and apparatus
US4082271 *Apr 29, 1976Apr 4, 1978Arthur Lee MartinTennis practice and teaching rebounder
US4204679 *Oct 25, 1978May 27, 1980Kreuzman Harry ETennis practice serving net
US4243221 *Feb 7, 1979Jan 6, 1981Ferreira Godinho ManuelTraining device for practicing the service in tennis
US4718668 *Apr 14, 1986Jan 12, 1988Donald SchipskeUniversal tennis training means
US5062646 *Jan 3, 1991Nov 5, 1991Crist Michael AVolleyball training apparatus
US5354051 *May 6, 1993Oct 11, 1994Fehrenbach Donald EBall return practice device
US5472212 *Jan 4, 1994Dec 5, 1995Bercaw; Robert H.Auxiliary practice net apparatus for attaching to a volleyball net
US6422956 *Sep 1, 1998Jul 23, 2002John H. KusmissApparatus for practicing a ball-propelling sport using a ball-returning device in conjunction with an imaging device
US6802789Mar 14, 2002Oct 12, 2004Edmund S. IshinoVolleyball practice system
US6991566 *Nov 21, 2003Jan 31, 2006Mckinney Sr ArnoldPortable sports assembly
US9433841 *Apr 7, 2014Sep 6, 2016Zero Nine Products, LlcHybrid goal shot training systems and devices
US20150283441 *Apr 7, 2014Oct 8, 2015Aaron Glenn SiefkerHybrid goal shot training systems and devices
EP0029821A1 *Nov 26, 1980Jun 3, 1981Freizeit 2000 Spielwaren und Freizeitartikel Handelsges.m.b.H.Training appliance for tennis
EP0130999A1 *Dec 22, 1983Jan 16, 1985DRANSFIELD, Charles WilliamRebound screen for ball games
EP0130999A4 *Dec 22, 1983Jan 10, 1987Charles William DransfieldRebound screen for ball games.
WO2009147499A2 *May 28, 2009Dec 10, 2009Giovanni NeroniItem of sports equipment
WO2009147499A3 *May 28, 2009Jan 28, 2010Giovanni NeroniItem of sports equipment
U.S. Classification473/435
International ClassificationA63B69/00, A63B63/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B63/00, A63B2024/005, A63B69/0097
European ClassificationA63B63/00, A63B69/00W