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Publication numberUS3608199 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 28, 1971
Filing dateDec 4, 1969
Priority dateDec 4, 1969
Publication numberUS 3608199 A, US 3608199A, US-A-3608199, US3608199 A, US3608199A
InventorsHunt John C
Original AssigneeHunt John C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Locating and measuring device for a football playing field
US 3608199 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

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Sept. 28, 1971 J. c. HUNT LOCATING AND MEASURING DEVICE FOR A FOOTBALL PLAYING FIELD Filed Dec. 4. 1969 Sept. 28, 1971 T 3,fi08,199

LOCATING AND MEASURING DEVICE FOR A FOOTBALL PLAYING FIELD Filed D80. 4. 1969 INVI'JNI'UH. JOHN C. Hum-r ATTORNEYS Sept. 28, 1971 c, T LOCATING AND MEASURING DEVICE FOR A FOOTBALL PLAYING FIELD Filed Dec. 4. 1969 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 i awm United States Patent c" 3,608,199 LOCATING AND MEASURING DEVICE FOR A FOOTBALL PLAYING FIELD John C. Hunt, 1306 Holcomb, San Angelo, Tex. 76901 Filed Dec. 4, 1969, Ser. No. 881,995 Int. Cl. G01c 15/12 US. Cl. 3346F Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A locating and measuring device adapted for use with a football playing field generally including a pair of guide means disposed parallel to a side line of the playing field, a yardage scale disposed parallel and between the guide means, a first carrier member mounted on one of the guide means and freely movable therealong, a sighting device mounted on such carrier means, having a sighting axis disposed in a vertical plane disposed perpendicular to the guide means, a pointer disposed on the carrier means having a marker cooperable with the scale for indicating the location of the ball on the playing field viewed through the sighting means, a second carrier means mounted on the second guide means and freely movable therealong independently of the first carrier means, and the second carrier means having a pair of longitudinally spaced pointers with markers cooperable with the scale, the markers being spaced ten yards apart.

This invention relates to the game of football, and more particularly to a device for precisely locating the position of a football on a playing field, and measuring distances along the length of the playing field.

In the prior art, there are numerous devices which have been developed for locating a football on a playing field, indicating the position on the field to which a team on offense must move the football to attain a first down, and indicating the necessary yardage which must be attained by the team on ofiense to attain a first down. It has been found, however, that most of such prior art devices have not been found to be entirely satisfactory either in performance or construction. It particularly has been found that such prior art devices often are complicated to operate, and comparatively expensive to manufacture and install.

Accordingly, it is the principal object of the present invention to provide a locating and measuring device for a football playing field.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a device for locating the precise position of a football on a playing field While the game is in progress.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a device for precisely locating the position of a football on a. playing field, without causing delaying the game in progress.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a device for rapidly and precisely locating a position on a playing field beyond which a team on offense must move the football to attain a first down.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a novel device for rapidly and accurately measuring the specific distance a team on oifense must carry the football to attain a first down, particularly in instances where the amount of yardage required exceeds ten yards.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a novel device for locating a football and measuring distances on a football playing field which is comparatively simple in construction; relatively inexpensive to manufacture, and easy to install.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent to those persons having skill 3,608,199 Patented Sept. 28, 1971 in the art to which the invention pertains, from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of a component of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, having portions thereof broken away; and

FIG. 4 is an enlarged side elevational view of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1.

Briefly described, the present invention relates to a locating and measuring device adapted for use with a football playing field generally including first and second guide means disposed parallel to a side line of the playing field, a yardage scale disposed parallel and between the guide means, a first carrier means mounted on the first guide means and freely movable therealong, a sighting device mounted on the first carrier means, having a sighting axis disposed in a vertical plane disposed perpendicular to the guide means, a pointer disposed on the carrier means having a marker cooperable With the scale for indicating the location of the ball on the playing field viewed through the sighting means, a second carrier means mounted on the second guide means and freely movable therealong independently of the first carrier means, and a second carrier means having a pair of longitudinally spaced pointers with markers cooperable with the scale, the markers being spaced ten yards apart.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the sighting means consists of a telescopic device which is mounted for pivotal movement in a vertical plane, the second carrier means is provided with a yardage scale between the markers and a plurality of vertical posts disposed in a common plane, spaced in five yard, one yard, and one foot increments, and the guide means comprises longitudinally disposed tracks. In addition, the carrier means include rollers mounted on the tracks, and the tracks include a pair of inwardly opening channel shaped members and an I-beam member spaced parallel between the channel shaped members so that the rollers of the carrier members ride on the upper flange portions thereof.

Referring to the drawings, there is illustrated an embodiment of the invention which is adapted to be installed along a football playing field 10, having end zones '11 and 12, a side line 13, a pair of goal lines 14 and 15, and a plurality of yardage lines 16 spaced between the goal lines and disposed perpendicular to the side line 13. Specifically, the embodiment includes a track assembly 17, a measuring assembly 18 mounted on the track assembly for movement along the length thereof, and a locating assembly 19 which also is mounted on the track assembly for movement along the track assembly independently of the measuring assembly 18.

As best illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the track assembly 18 includes a concrete strip 20 which extends the entire length of the field 10, in spaced parallel relation and approximately thirty yards therefrom. The strip 20 is embedded in the ground and has an upper surface 21 which is disposed at ground level. Formed in the surface 21 of the strip, are longitudinally extending channels 22, 23 and 24 in which there are located track members 25 and 26 consisting of a pair of inwardly opening channel beams, and an intermediate track member 27 which consists of an I-beam. The lower ends of the track members 25, 26 and 27 are embedded in the concrete strip 20, and the upper surfaces of the upper flanges of the track members lie in the plane of the upper surface 21 of concrete strip 20. As shown in FIG. 3, the upper surface of the track member 27 is provided with a scale 28 along the entire length thereof which is divided into yard, foot and inch increments with appropriate markings.

The measuring assembly 18 comprises a carrier including a pair of transversely disposed, end support sertions 29 and 30, a plurality of transversely disposed intermediate support sections 31 which are disposed in spaced relation between the end support sections 29 and 3t}, and a longitudinally disposed section 32, which is supported on the sections 29, 30 and 31. Each of the support sections 29, 30 and 31 lie in planes disposed substantially perpendicular to the tracks 25, 26 and 27, and are substantially similar in construction. As best illustrated in FIG. 4, the support section 30 consists of a pair of transversely spaced, vertical leg members 32 and 33, interconnected at the upper ends thereof by a transversely disposed member 34, and further connected together by a diagonal brace member 35. The upper end of the section is provided with a pair of inwardly inclined members 35 and 36 which are secured at the upper ends thereof to an end of the longitudinal section 32.

Mounted on the lower ends of the leg members 32 and 33 are horizontally disposed rollers 37 and 38 which are provided with circumferentially disposed grooves for receiving opposed edges of the upper flanges of track members 27 and 26, to mount the support section on the tracks 27 and 26 for rolling movement along the lengths thereof. As shown in FIG. 4, the support section 30 further is provided with a transversely disposed sleeve 39 secured at one end to the leg member 33 and having the opposite end thereof received within an opening 40 within a bracket 41 secured to the lower portion of leg member 32. Disposed within the sleeve 39 and the opening 40 in the bracket 41, is a compression spring 42 which functions to urge the lower portions of the leg members 32 and 33 apart, and, correspondingly, the rollers 37 and 38 into engagement with the upper flanges of track members 27 and 26.

The longitudinal section 32 of the measuring assembly includes a lower spanning member 43 secured to the transversely disposed members 34 of the support sections, and an upper spanning member 44 which lies in the same vertical plane as the lower spanning member 43 and is connected to the upper ends of the members 35 and 36 of the support sections. The spanning members 43 and 44 support a first set of post members 45 and 46 which are spaced ten yards apart, an intermediate post member 47 having a height less than the post members 45 and 46, which is spaced five yards from the post members 45 and 46, a set of post members 48 which have heights less than the height of the post member 47 and are spaced one yard apart between the post member 47 and a post member 45 or 46, and a set of post members 49 having heights less than the height of the post members 48, which are spaced one foot apart between successive one yard markers.

The section 32 including the spanning members 43 and 44, and the yard markers 45 through 49, lies in a vertical plane which is disposed perpendicular to the transversely disposed planes of the support sections 29, 30 and 31. As shown in FIG. 3, the section 32 is further secured to the support sections 29, 30 and 31 by a plurality of bracing members 59 which interconnect the lower ends of the leg members 32 and 33 and the lower spanning member 43. In addition, as best illustrated in FIG. 2, the end support sections 29 and 30 are provided with pointers 51 and 52 having markers lying in the same vertical planes as the post members 45 and 46, and cooperating with the scale 28 provided along the center track 27.

The locating assembly 19 consists of a carrier 53 mounted on the tracks 25 and 27 for movement along the length thereof, and a Sighting device 54 mounted on the carrier device. Specifically, the carrier device includes four vertical leg members 55, 56, 57 and 58 which are interconnected at their upper ends by transversely disposed members 59 and 6t) and longitudinally disposed members 61 and 62. The leg members further are interconnected by a pair of longitudinally disposed members 63 and 64 and a pair of transversely disposed diagonal members 65 and 66.

Projecting upwardly and inwardly from the upper ends of the leg members 55 through 58 is a set of support members 67 through 70 which support a platform 71 at the upper end thereof. Successive support members 67 through 70 are provided with cross brace members 72 and 73, which further enhance the rigidity of the entire structure.

The sighting device 54 consists of a telescope 74 mounted on a fixture 75 which is secured on the platform 71 to permit the sighting axis of the telescope to be pivoted in a. vertical plane disposed perpendicular to the side line 13 of the playing field and, correspondingly, to the tracks 25, 26 and 27. The telescope further is provided with a hairline to precisely locate the position of a football on the playing field. The precise position of the ball on the field can be indicated on the scale 28 on the track 27 by means of a pointer 76 which has a marker lying in the same vertical plane as the sighting axis of the telescope 74, and which cooperates with the scale 28. The assembly 19 is adapted to ride freely along the length of the tracks 25 and 27 by means of horizontally disposed rollers 77 mounted on the lower ends of the leg members 55 through 58, and which are provided with circumferential grooves cooperating with the upper, inwardly projecting flanges of the tracks 25'and 27, similar to the rollers 37 and 33 of the measuring device. As best shown in FIG. 4, each of the sets of leg members 55 and 56, and 57 and 58, is provided with a transversely disposed sleeve '78 secured at one end thereof to one leg member and having the opposite end thereof received within an opening 79 of a bracket 80 secured to the opposite leg member, and a compression spring 81 disposed therein for urging opposed leg members apart and, correspondingly, urging the rollers 77 into engagement with the upper flange portion of the tracks 25 and 27.

Referring to FIG. 4, it will be noted that all of the rollers 37, 38 and 77 lie in substantially the same horizontal plane and the pointers 51, 52 and 76 cooperate with the scale 28 as the measuring assembly 18 and the locating assembly 19 are moved along the tracks independently of each other to designate a ten yard distance on the scale 28 and also to designate the position of the ball on the field on the same scale.

In the use of the embodiment of the invention as described, after the football has been put in play, the locating assembly 19 is moved by a sideline official along the track assembly to a position whereby the football on the field may be sighted through the telescope 54 along the line of sight 82, as illustrated in FIG. 1. When the the ball is thus precisely located on the field, the pointer 76 on the carrier 19 will indicate the position of the ball on the scale 28. A second ofiicial then will align either the pointer 51 or the pointer 52 of the measuring device 18, depending on the direction in which the offensive team is moving the football, with the pointer 76 of the carrier device, to designate the ten yard distance which the offensive team must attain in a series of four attempts or downs to achieve a first down. Each time the ball is moved following either a play by the offensive team or perhaps a penalty assessed either against the offensive or defensive team, a first sideline ofiicial will move the 10- eating assembly 19 to precisely locate the football on the playing field with the telescope 54 and correspondingly indicate the position of the ball with respect to the scale 28 by means of the pointer 76. In each instance the 0thcial will be able to determine rapidly and accurately whether or not a first down has been achieved by the offensive team, or the distance in terms of yards, feet and inches which the offensive team must gain in order to obtain a first down! The scale consisting of the post members 45 through 49 will easily permit the sideline official, officials on the playing field, the offensive or defensive teams and the coaching staff on the sidelines, to determine the yardage to be gained by the offensive team in making a first down. When the ball on the playing field is close to either of the post members 45 and 46, thus denoting the possibility that there may be a first down, the determination can be made rapidly and accurately by the use of the sighting device 54. In any event, the distance between the pointer 76 and either of the pointers 51 and 52, again depending on the direction in which the offensive team is moving the ball, will indicate the distance which the ball must be moved to attain a first down.

The measuring assembly 18 and the locating assembly 19 may be constructed of any suitable rigid material, although a material such as aluminum bar stock is preferred, which will permit either of the assemblies to be moved easily along the track assembly. In addition, it is contemplated that the rollers 37, 38 and 77 be mounted on suitable bearings and be constructed of a suitable wear resistant material such as bronze, which will permit a free rolling action of the rollers. It will be appreciated that the compression springs 42 and 81 provided in the sleeve members 39 and 78 will provide a sufficient biasing action to maintain the rollers in rolling engagement with the track members 25, 26 and 27, yet will permit the rollers to yield relative to the engaging tracks, thereby preventing either of the assemblies 18 and 19 binding on the tracks.

It is contemplated that the invention as described, will permit the rapid and precise locating of the football on the playing field and the measurement of distance along the length of the field while a game is in progress, which will eliminate the exercise of judgment of the game officials which might be inaccurate. The invention thus permits the players, the coaching staffs of the teams and the officials to be quickly apprised of the posture of the game, in order to assist them in their strategy planning and officiating.

It further is contemplated that a camera may be mounted in place of the sighting device 54, so that the position of the ball on the playing field can be continuously monitored. Furthermore, each of the assemblies 18 and 19 may be provided with means for releasably locking the assemblies to the track assembly, thus preventing the inadvertent displacement of either of the assemblies relative to the scale 28 between plays on the field.

From the foregoing detailed description, it will be evident that there are a number of changes, adaptations and modifications of the present invention which come within the province of those skilled in the art. However, it is intended that all such variations not departing from the spirit of the invention be considered as within the scope thereof as limited solely by the appended claims.

I claim:

'1. A locating and measuring device adapted for use with a football playing field comprising first and second guide means disposed parallel to a side line of said playing field, a yardage scale disposed parallel and between said guide means, a first carrier means mounted on said first guide means and freely movable therealong, a sighting device mounted on said first carrier means, having a sighting axis disposed in a vertical plane disposed perpendicular to said guide means, a pointer disposed on said carrier means having a marker cooperable with said scale for indicating the location of the ball on the playing field viewed through said sighting means, a second carrier means mounted on said second guide means and freely movable therealong independently of said first carrier means, and said second carrier means having a pair of longitudinally spaced pointers with markers cooperable with said scale, said markers being spaced ten yards apart.

2. A locating and measuring device adapted for use with a football playing field according to claim 1, wherein said sighting means consists of a telescopic device.

3. A locating and measuring device adapted for use with a football playing field according to claim 1, wherein said sighting device is mounted for pivotal movement in a vertical plane.

4. A locating and measuring device adapted for use with a football playing field according to claim 1, including means for releasably locking at least one of said carrier means in a selected position relative to said scale.

5. A locating and measuring device adapted for use with a football playing field according to claim. 1, wherein said second carrier means is provided with a yardage scale between said markers.

6. A locating and measuring device adapted for use with a football playing field according to claim 1, wherein said second carrier means is provided with a plurality of vertical posts disposed in a common plane, spaced in five yard, one yard and one foot increments.

7. A locating and measuring device adapted for use with a football playing field according to claim 1, wherein said carrier means are mounted on rollers.

8. A locating and measuring device adapted for use with a football playing field according to claim 1, wherein said guide means comprises longitudinally disposed tracks and said carrier means include rollers mounted on said tracks.

9. A locating and measuring device adapted for use with a football playing field according to claim 1, wherein said tracks include a pair of inwardly opening channel shaped members and an -I-bearn member spaced parallel between said channel shaped members, and said rollers ride on upper flange portions thereof.

10. A locating and measuring device adapted for use with a football playing field according to claim 1, wherein said sighting means consists of a telescopic device and is mounted for pivotal movement in a vertical plane, said second carrier means is provided with a yardage scale between said markers and a plurality of vertical posts disposed in a common plane spaced in five yard, one yard and one foot increments, said guide means comprises longitudinally disposed tracks, said carrier means include rollers mounted on said tracks, and said tracks include a pair of inwardly opening channel shaped members and an I-beam member spaced parallel between said channel shaped members, and said rollers ride on upper flange portions thereof, and including means for releasably locking at least one of said carrier means in a selected position relative to said scale.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,539,560 1/1951 Wilson 33-46F 2,795,853 6/1957 Benfield et a1. 3346F 3,181,241 5/1965 Middleton 3346F 3,512,260 5/1970 Tomlinson et al. 33-4615 WILLIAM D. MARTIN, 111., Primary Examiner

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3985356 *Jul 25, 1974Oct 12, 1976Carlock Charles RApparatus for locating and positioning a football on a football playing field
US5113589 *Feb 11, 1991May 19, 1992Philip RandolphFootball exact yard marker and method for use
Classifications
U.S. Classification33/289
International ClassificationG01B5/02, G01B11/02, G01B3/02
Cooperative ClassificationG01B5/02, G01B11/02, G01B3/02
European ClassificationG01B11/02, G01B5/02, G01B3/02