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Publication numberUS3658332 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 25, 1972
Filing dateNov 19, 1969
Priority dateNov 19, 1969
Publication numberUS 3658332 A, US 3658332A, US-A-3658332, US3658332 A, US3658332A
InventorsAdduci Nicholas F, Valente Raymond L
Original AssigneeAdduci Nicholas F, Valente Raymond L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Evasive action tackling practice apparatus
US 3658332 A
Abstract
A tackling practice apparatus has a tackling dummy suspended on a trolley for movement along a cantilever type track having a free end section supported for selective pivoting movement about a generally vertical axis to impart evasive lateral movement to the tackling dummy. Track control means enable an operator to select straight, laterally right or laterally left movements for simulating evasive action to improved skill in tackling. Means releasably suspending the dummy from the trolley may be adjusted to vary the tackling force necessary to remove the dummy from the trolley.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Adduciet al.

[151 3,658,332 [4 1 Apr. 25,1972

1541 EVASIVE ACTION TACKLING PRACTICE APPARATUS [22] Filed: Nov. 19,1969

[21] Appl.No.: 878,024

[52] U.S. Cl. ..273/55 R, 273/55 A [51] Int. Cl. ..'....A63b 67/00 [58] Field of Search ..273/55; 104/98 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,466,954 4/1949 King 273/55 A 2,602,666 7/1952 Burke et al...

3,114,549 12/1963 Hooker 3,458,192 7/1969 Trice, Jr ..273/55 R 3,464,696 9/1969 Hooker ....273/55 R 3,516,666 6/1970 Trimble et al ..273/55 R Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Theatrice Brown Anomey-l-lill, Shannan, Meroni, Gross & Simpson [57] ABSTRACT A tackling practice apparatus has a tackling dummy suspended on a trolley for movement along a cantilever type track having a free end section supported for selective pivoting movement about a generally vertical axis to impart evasive lateral movement to the tackling dummy. Track control means enable an operator to select straight, laterally right'or laterally left movements for simulating evasive action to improved skill in tackling. Means releasably suspending the dummy from the trolley may be adjusted to vary the tackling force necessary to remove the dummy from the trolley.

17 Claims, 16 Drawing Figures P/RTENTFMR 25 m2 3, 658 832 sum 5 BF 7 ZQ I! INVENIURS Abe mus F 40000 FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention generally relates to sports equipment and more particularly refers to a football tackling practice apparatus having a movable tackling dummy capable of taking laterally evasive movements to closely simulate game conditions.

SUMMARY OFTHE INVENTION A tackling practice apparatus, constructed in accordance with. the principles of the present invention, has a tackling clnmmy suspended from a trolley or carriage for movement longitudinally along a track having a fixed section and a movable section supported for pivoting movement about a generally vertical axis. Control means for selectively pivoting the movable track section relative to the fixed section enable a coach or operator to select evasive actions, for the dummy. Drive means including a prime mover propel the trolley and suspended tackling dummy. from a starting position on. the fixed track toward the pivoted track section.

A football player in training charges the advancing tackling dummy, and, at a critical time corresponding to a contemplated point of contact, the tackling dummy either continues straight toward the player, moves to the right or moves to the left depending upon actuation of the control means by a coach or operator on the sidelines. Thus, a football player in training is given practice in correct tackling procedures regardless of any evasive action which may be taken by the tackling dummy To test a player's s hitting ability or the accuracy of the tackle the tackling dummy is releasably latched to the movable trolley so that rearward pivoting movement of the dummy against an adjustable biasing force detaches the dummy from the trolley.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a football tackling practice apparatus embodying the features of the present invention and with portions cut-away to show underlying parts, and illustrates a football player and a tackling dummy at their respective starting positions;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the tackling practice apparatus of the present invention with parts removed to illustrate additional details of construction;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary side elevational view of an outer end of the track illustrated in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a view taken generally on line lVIV of FIG. 3, parts being shown in section and with parts broken away for clarity;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken substantially along line V- V of F IG. 3;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged side elevational view of a trolley or carriage with parts removed to illustrate additional details and illustrates releasable latch means suspending the tackling dummy from the trolley shown in a latched position;

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 with the releasable latch means shown in an unlatched position;

FIG. 8 is an end view of the trolley or carriage with parts broken away;

FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken substantially along line lX-- IX of FIG. 6;

FIG. 10 is an elevational view, partly in section, of a tackling dummy of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary, enlarged top plan view of a rear portion of the track illustrated in FIG. 2;

FIG. 12 is a top plan view of trolley drive means and track control means of the present invention;

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary sectional view substantially taken along line XIII-XIII of FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is a fragmentary sectional view substantially taken along line XIV-XIV of FIG. 12;

FIG. 15 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along line XV-XV ofFIG. l2; and

FIG. 16 is an isometric view of a hand-held remote pattern control box for regulating operation of the apparatus.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawings, a football tackling practice apparatus generally indicated at 10 and constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention comprises a fixed track section 11 having a cantilever support at one end on upright support members 12 rising out of a concrete base B which may be submerged in the ground or sod, if desired. A housing H encases a drive mechanism of the apparatus and has a socket S by means of which remote control means may be operatively connected to the drive means. A movable track section 13 is supported at the free end of the fixed track for pivoting movement about a vertical axis. A carriage or trolley 14 having a tackling dummy l6 releasably suspended therefrom moves longitudinally along the fixed track 11 towarda football player generally indicated at 17, who charges the advancing tackling dummy. At a critical point corresponding approximately to the contemplated point of contact, the advancing tackling dummy 16 either travels straight toward the player, moves to the right or moves to the left depending upon a disposition of the pivoted track section 13, which is controlled by an operator from a location affording a vantage point.

To prevent visual detection of the disposition of the movable track section 13, a shroud 18 has a flared portion 19 covering the pivoted track section 13 which permits transverse pivoting movement thereof relative to the fixed track section.

The fixed track section 11 comprises an I-beam having a vertically disposed media] web portion 21 and horizontally extending upper and lower flanges 22 and 23, respectively. The upper surfaces 24 of the lower flange 23 extending laterally outwardly in opposite directions from the web 21 and support a pair or wheels 26, 26 each journaled on the carriage or trolley 14. To stabilize the carriage or trolley 14, for example to prevent tilting of the trolley 14 when the tackling dummy 16 is hit by the football player 17, a second pair of wheels as at 27 are journaled to the trolley 14 and engage the lower surfaces 28 of the lower track flange 23.

The movable track section 13 comprises an l-beam having a vertical media] web portion 29, an upper flange 31 and a lower flange 32 having horizontal upper and lower surfaces 33 and 34, respectively, disposed for engagement by the trolley wheel 26 and 27. A portion of the web 29 adjacent the fixed track section 11 is cut away to receive a journal block 35 characterized by a vertically extending aperture 36 having a sleeve bearing 37 fitted therein. A pivot pin 38 journaled within the sleeve bearing 37 and having opposite end portions fittingly received in apertures 39, 39 formed in a pair of vertically spaced plate members 41, which in turn are secured to the fixed track section 11 supports the pivoted track section 13 at an outer end portion of the fixed track section 11 for pivoting movement about a vertical pivoting axis.

In order to form a continuous support surface for the trolley wheels 26, adjoining end portions of the lower track flanges 23 and 32 have complementarily shaped convex and concave arcuate end edge portions 42 and 43, respectively, formed substantially coaxially of the vertically extending pivot pin 38. Also, the upper flange 31 of the pivoted track section is chamfered as at 44 to avoid interference with a forwardmost end edge 46 of the upper flange 22 of the fixed track section 11.

In accordance with the principles of the present invention, the tackling practice apparatus 10 includes track control means for pivoting the pivoted track section 13 laterally to the right or to the left of the fixed track section in response to signalsfrom an operator or coach thereby to impart evasive lateral movement to the tackling dummy 16 for simulating game conditions.

A pair of control rods 48, 48 respectively attached to the pivoted track section 13 at opposite sides thereof form second class lever arrangements for pivoting the pivoted track section in response to rearward movement of alternative ones of the control rods. A forwardmost end of each of the control rods 48 has a clevis 49 attached thereto and is pinned by a clevis pin 51 to an attachment flange 52. Each of the attachment flanges 52 is secured to the pivoted track section 13 and extends outwardly therefrom in laterally opposite directions. A pair of bell cranks 54 and 55 respectively have rearwardmost end portions of the control rods 48 and 49 pivotally connected thereto by means of separate clevises 57. The bell cranks 54 and 55 are each pivotally supported at a rear portion of the fixed track section 11 at opposite end portions of a pivot pin 58 extending laterally of the track section and are supported in a pair of side plates 59, 59. Each of the bell cranks 54 or 55 has a generally upwardly extending arm portion 61 having one of the clevises 57 pinned thereto and a generally horizontally extending arm portion 62. A pair of control cables 63 and 64 are connected respectively to the horizontally extending arm portions 62 of the bell cranks 54 and 55.

In operation, downward movement of the control cable 63 pivots the bell crank 54 to rearwardly move the rod 48 for pivoting the pivoted track section 13 to the left, as viewed by the player 17, and in a like manner, downward movement of the control cable 64 pivots the track section 13 to the right.

It is contemplated by the present invention to provide powered pivoting means for enabling remote actuation of the control cables 63 and 64, and thus the track control means. A prime mover such as an electric drive motor 66 rotates a line shaft 67 having a driving connection with a pair of drive sprockets 68 and 69. Lower end portions of the control cables 63 and 64 are trained around and dead-ended on the sprockets 68 and 69. Clutch means drivingly connect the sprockets 68 and 69 to rotating line shaft for selectively operating the control cables. The drive sprockets 68 and 69 are keyed to a shaft 71 journaled in a pair of spaced bearing blocks 72 and 73 which extend substantially at right angles to the line shaft 67.

In order that rotation of the drive shaft 71 in opposite directions alternatively pulls the control cables 63 and 64 downwardly for selectively pivoting the track section 13 to the right or to the left, each of the control cables has a section of roller chain 74 (FIG. 13) which is wrapped around an associated one of the drive sprockets 68 or 69 in opposite directions. An end link 76 of each roller chain section 74 is connected to the drive sprocket by a screw 77.

The clutch means comprise a flexible disc 78 having diametrically opposite deformable peripheral edge portions confronting and selectively engageable with a pair of spaced rolls 79 and 81 corotatably connected to the line shaft 67. The flexible disc 78 is clamped in a hub 82 which is, in turn, corotatably connected to the line shaft 71. Thus, frictionally engaging the disc 78 with the roll 79 rotates the line shaft 71 in one direction and alternatively engaging the disc with the roll 81 rotates the drive shaft in an opposite direction, thereby to enable selectively pulling the control cables 63 or 64 to pivot the track section 13.

Remotely controlled means for selectively urging the disc 78 into frictional engagement with one of the rolls 79 or 81 comprise a pair of individually operable, electric solenoid actuated lever means 83 confronting the rolls 79 and 81 and disposed on a side of the disc 78 opposite the rolls. As best illustrated in FIG. 14, each of the lever means 83 include a lever 84 pivoted at a midpoint thereof between a pair of upright supports 86 and having a roller 87 attached at an upper end portion and an electric solenoid 88 operatively attached to a lower end portion for moving the roller into and out ofa discclamping position.

Pivoting movement of the pivoted track section 13 is angularly limited to 45 either side of a centered position by inclined stop surfaces as at 89 formed on a pair offlanges as at 91 extending laterally outwardly of the fixed track section 11 and disposed for engagement with the attachment flanges 52 having the control rods 48 and 49 connected thereto.

It is also contemplated by the present invention to provide centering means for preventing overtravel of the movable track section 13 as it returns from a displaced position toward a centered position in axial alignment with the fixed track section 11. As best illustrated in FIGS. 12 and 15, the centering means comprise a rigid disc member 92 corotatably supported on the drive shaft 71 and having a centering notch 93 formed in a periphery thereof. Detent means generally indicated at 94 enter the notch 93 to stop the movable track section at the centered position. The detent means include a pair of parallel, pivoted lever arms 96 straddling the disc 92 and pivotally mounted on a pin 97. A roller 98 interconnects the levers 96 at one end portion and is pivotally mounted by the levers for movement into and out of engagement with the centering notch 93. A continuous biasing means 99 connected to the levers 96 at an end thereof opposite the roller 98 urges the roller radially inwardly of the disc 92, thereby to urge the roller into engagement with the detent 93 for stopping movement of the drive shaft 71 when the pivoted track section 13 is positioned at the centered position.

In order to withdraw the detent roller 98 from the notch 93 to permit pivoting the track section 13, an electric solenoid 101 is operatively connected to the levers 96 for pivoting the levers against the biasing means 99. Actuation of either one of the electric solenoids 88 to pivot the track section 13 from the centered position simultaneously actuates the electric solenoid 101 for withdrawing the detent 98 from the notch 93. Also, actuation of one of the solenoids 88 to return the movable track section to a centered position releases the solenoid 101 for enabling the detent roller 98 to enter the centering notch 93 under the urging of the biasing means 99.

Further, in accordance with the principles of the present invention, powered means are provided for selectively propelling the trolley 14 and dummy 16 forwardly along the track sections 11 and 13 from a starting position, as illustrated in FIG. 1, toward the contemplated point of contact past the track pivot point. The propelling means may also rearwardly move the trolley 14 to return the tackling dummy 16 to the starting position.

The propelling means comprise a cable 102 clamped to the trolley 14 and drivingly engaged by a drive sprocket 103. A cable run extending longitudinally along the fixed track section 11 and the pivoted track section 13 is defined by a head pulley 104 disposed at an outer end of the pivoted track section 13 and a pair return idler sprockets 106 and 107 disposed at a rear portion of the fixed track section 11 and directing the cable around the drive sprocket 103. A pair of spaced rollers as at 108 are disposed at opposite sides of the track pivot pin 38 (FIG. 5) for directing the cable longitudinally along the pivoted track section 13 irrespective of its angular relationship to the fixed track section 11.

lamping means 109 connect the cable 102 to the trolley 14 and include a body portion 111 having the cable 102 clamped between joined, mating parts 111a and 111b. A depending pin 112 is rotatably received in an aperture 113 formed in the trolley body, thereby to permit rotational movement of the control cable 102 relative to a direction of movement of the trolley 14 as the trolley travels from the fixed track section 11 to the pivoted track section 13. The clamp body portion 111 is laterally sized relative to a spacing between the pair of guide rollers 108 to permit passage of the clamp 109 therebetween.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 12, clutch means generally indicated at 114 and constructed similar to the clutch means for the track control means interconnects a drive shaft 116 and the rotating line shaft 67. The drive shaft 116 is journalcd within a pair of spaced bearing blocks 117 and has a hub 118 connected thereto at an end adjacent the line shaft 67. A flexible disc 119 is carried for corotation by the drive shaft 116. Individually operable, solenoid actuated lever means 121, constructed similar to the lever means 83, selectively urge diam etrically opposite peripheral edge portions of the flexible disc 119 into frictional driving engagement with a pair of spaced rolls 122 and 123. The rolls 122 and 123 are corotatably connected to the line shaft and selectively rotate the sprocket 103 in opposite directions for propelling the carriage or trolley 14 forwardly along the track sections 11 and 13 or rearwardly therealong.

To provide a positive driving engagement between the cable 102 and the cable drive sprocket 103, at least a portion of the cable comprises roller chain 124 trained around the drive sprocket 103.

it is also contemplated by the present invention to releasably suspend the tackling dummy 16 from the carriage or trolley 14 so that rearward pivoting movement of the dummy against an adjustable biasing force releases the dummy, thereby providing means for selectively changing the force necessary to release the dummy. Accordingly, means suspending the, dummy 16 from the carriage or trolley 14 generally comprise a pair of depending support arms 126 connected to the trolley 14 for pivoting movement about a horizontal axis extending generally transversely of the trolley. Releasable latch means 127 connecting the tackling dummy to the pivoted arms and biasing means 128 urging the pivoted arms 126 forwardly against a stop surface 129.

The arms 126 are disposed in a parallel, spaced relationship and each has an aperture 131 formed in an upper end portion for receiving a pivot pin 132. Opposite end portions of the pin 132 are mounted in a pair of transversely spaced trolley side plates as at 133. A block 134 having the clamp receiving aperture 113 formed therein interconnects front portions of the side plates 133 and cross member 135 joins lower portions of the side plates. Spacers 136 and 137 on the pivot pin 132 laterally restrain the pivoted support arms 126 and hold the same in a transversely spaced relationship.

A socket formed in an upper end portion of the tackling dummy 16 slidably receives lower end portions 138 ofthe support arms 126. Means forming the socket comprise a pair of substantially U-shaped members 139, each having a pair of spaced, parallel, upright arm portions 141. One of the U- shaped members 139 is nestled within the other and is arranged relative thereto to form four mutually perpendicular sidewalls. A rod 143 extending longitudinally of the tackling dummy 16 has a lower end portion 144 clamped to a lower end of the dummy and has the U-shaped members 141 clamped to an upper end portion thereof.

As best illustrated in FIG. 9, the upright sidewalls or arm portions 141 of the U-shaped members have a width sized to provide two pairs of parallel, spaced slots 146. The slots 146 fittingly receive the lower end portions 138 of the pivoted support arms 126. A sheath 147 having a rectangular cross section surrounds outer wall portions of the upright sidewalls 141 and closes opposite end portions of the slots 146 for restraining movement of the dummy l6 transversely of the arms 126 when the latter are properly inserted into the slots 146 forming the socket.

To absorb forces directed laterally of the carriage or trolley 14 and caused by a player hitting the dummy 16, the support arms 126 are formed by heavy leaf spring members, similar to automobile leafsprings.

The latch means 127 releasably securing the dummy 16 to the support arms 126, 126 comprise a latch member 148 disposed between the support arms 126, 126 and pivotally supported on a pin 149 having opposite end portions secured to the support arms. The latch member 148 has a depending portion 151 characterized by a forwardly projecting dog 152 engageable with the edges of apertures as at 153 formed in each of the upright sidewall portions 141 of the U-shaped members 139 and providing downwardly projecting latch surfaces as at 155. A generally upwardly extending arm 154 forms an engagement surface 156 confronting a forwardmost end 157 of a latch actuating rod 158 having a rear end portion as at 159 connected to the trolley 14. A trunnion 161 supported between the support arms 126 has a transversely extending bore 162 slidably receiving the forwardmost end 157 of the rod 158. The rear end portion 159 of the rod 158 is threaded and received in a threaded bore 163 extending transversely through a trunnion 164 having opposite reduced end portions as at 165 pivotally supported in the trolley sidewalls 133, thereby to support the rod 158 for adjustable movement toward and away from the support anns 126.

The biasing means 128 include a compression spring 166 having opposite end portions operatively engaging the trunnion 161 supported between the arms 126 and the adjustably movable rod 158, thereby to forwardly bias the support arms against the stop surface 129. The biasing force exerted by the compression spring 166 may be adjusted by threading the rod 158 through the fixed trunnion 164.

Accordingly, rearward pivoting movement of the support arms 126 against the bias of the spring 166 by a player tackling the dummy 16 slides the trunnion 161 rearwardly along the rod 158 to engage the latch actuating surface 156 with the forward end portion 157 of the rod for pivoting the latch member 148 to withdraw the dog 152 from the apertures 153, thereby releasing the dummy 16 from the trolley 14. A rearwardly extending arm 168 on the latch member 148 engages a forwardly projecting surface 169 on the lower cross member for limiting rearward pivoting movement of the support arms 126.

As illustrated in FIG. 16, the powered track control means and trolley propelling means may be electrically interconnected via conductor wires C with a hand held remote control box 171 having push-button switch means as at 172 for controlling the operation of the tackling apparatus 10. A light 173 indicates when the pivoted track section 13 is at the centered position. It will be understood that the conductor wires C may be provided with an appropriate plug for mating reception in the socket S on the housing H.

Although those versed in the art may suggest various minor modificatons it should be understood that we wish to embody within the scope of the patent warranted hereon all such modifications as reasonably and properly come within the scope of our contribution to the art.

1 claim as my invention:

1. An evasive action tackling practice apparatus comprismg:

cantilever means forming a substantially horizontally extending track spaced above the ground,

said track having a movable section supported for pivoting movement about a vertical pivot axis in selected directions;

a tackling dummy;

trolley means supported on said track for linear movement longitudinally therealong and having suspension means for suspending said dummy therefrom;

trolley drive means comprising first selectively operable power operated means for selectively propelling said trolley means and said dummy along said track;

track drive means for selectively pivoting said movable track section to control movement of said traveling dummy and impart an evasive action thereto,

said track control means comprising second selectively operable power operated means,

means operatively connecting said power operated means to at least one side of said movable track section at a position spaced from the pivot axis to form a lever arrangement for pivoting said track section about the axis to move said dummy in directions laterally of its movement along said track; and

manually operated control means controlling the operation of said first and second power operated means, whereby an operator may selectively propel said dummy along said track and simultaneously selectively pivot said track to impart an evasive action to said dummy.

2. An evasive action tackling dummy apparatus as defined in claim 1 and further characterized by:

said track having a straight fixed section supported at one end and having said movable section support at an other end thereof for pivoting movement transversely of said fixed section.

3. An evasive action tackling dummy apparatus as defined in claim 2 and further characterized by:

said cantilever means including upright support members having one end portion of said fixed track section supported thereon; and a motor drive housing between said upright support members forming an enclosure for said drive means. 4. An evasive action tackling apparatus as defined in claim 1 and further characterized by:

said track having a planar, horizontally extending rail portion formed thereon; said trolley means having a pair of wheels journalled thereon for rollably engaging an upper surface of said horizontally extending rail portions; said trolley means having at least one other wheel journaled thereon and engaging a lower surface of said rail portion for restraining vertical movement of said trolley relative to said rail portions. 5. An evasive tackling apparatus as defined in claim 1 and further characterized by:

said trolley means including means forming a body portion; wheel means journaled on said trolley body and engaging said track section; means suspending said dummy from said trolley and includmg support members depending from said trolley body and connected thereto for pivoting movement about a horizontal axis extending transversely of said track sections, biasing means forwardly urging said pivoted support members into a normal vertically extending position; releasable latch means on said pivoted support members for engaging portions of said dummy to vertically support the same, and latch releasing means for releasing said latch means upon rearward pivoting movement of said support members a predetermined distance against said biasing means. 6. An evasive tackling apparatus as defined in claim 5 and further characterized by:

said means suspending said dummy including means resiliently supporting said dummy in directions laterally of said track sections. 7. An evasive tackling apparatus comprising: cantilever means forming a substantially horizontally extending track spaced above the ground, said track having a movable section supported for pivoting movement about a vertical axis in selected directions, a tackling dummy; trolley means supported on said track for linear movement longitudinally along and having suspension means suspending said dummy therefrom; drive means for selectively propelling said trolley means and said dummy along said track; and track control means for selectively pivoting said movable track section to control movement of said travelling dummy and impart an evasive action thereto, said trolley means including means forming a body portion; wheel means journaled on said trolley body and engaging said track section; means suspending said dummy from said trolley and including support members depending from said trolley body and connected thereto for pivoting movement about a horizontal axis extending transversely of said track sections, biasing means forwardly urging said pivoted support members into a normally vertically extending position; releasable latch means of said pivoted members for engaging portions of said dummy to vertically support the same, and said support members including a pair of spaced apart parallel heavy leaf springs, each having an upper end portion pivotally connected to said trolley body; said dummy having an upwardly opening socket formed therein for fittingly receiving lower end portions of said leaf spring for laterally supporting said dummy;

said latch means including a latch member pivoted between said spring members and having a forwardly projecting latch dog for engaging a downwardly projecting latch surface in said socket to vertically support said dummy.

8. An evasive tackling apparatus as defined in claim 7 and further characterized by:

said latch releasing means including a rod having one end portion pivotally supported on said trolley body for pivoting movement about a horizontal axis extending transversely of said track sections,

a trunnion pivoted between said spaced spring members and having an aperture extending transversely therethrough for slidably receiving the other end portion of said rod,

said latch member having an upwardly extending projection disposed adjacent said trunnion for engagement by the other end portion of said rod;

said biasing means including a compression spring surrounding said rod and having opposite end portions operatively engaging said trolley body and said support members, for forwardly urging the latter into the normal, substantially vertical position, whereby rearward pivoting movement of said springs against said biasing spring by a tackler hitting said dummy engages said latch projection against the other end portion of said rod for pivoting said latch member to an unlatched position, thereby to release said dummy.

9. An evasive tackling apparatus as defined in claim 8 and further characterized by means for increasing or decreasing the tension of said biasing spring.

10. An evasive tackling apparatus comprising:

cantilever means forming a substantially horizontally extending track spaced above the ground,

said track having a movable section supported for pivoting movement about a vertical axis in selected directions;

a tackling dummy;

trolley means supported on said track for linear movement longitudinally therealong and having suspension means for suspending said dummy therefrom;

drive means for selectively propelling said trolley means and said dummy along said track, said trolley drive means including a continuous cable trained around a closed path having a run extending longitudinally of said track sections,

clamp means attaching said cable to said trolley means for movement with said cable along said track sections,

a drive sprocket drivingly engaging said cable,

a prime mover,

a line shaft rotated by said prime mover,

clutch means frictionally coupling said drive sprocket to said rotating line shaft for pulling said cable along said track sections to propel said trolley; and

track control means for selectively pivoting said movable track section to control movement of said traveling dummy and impart an evasive action thereto.

11. An evasive action tackling apparatus as defined in claim 10 and further characterized by:

said clutch means including means for rotating said drive sprocket in reverse directions for selectively propelling said trolley forwardly toward said pivoted track section and rearwardly toward a starting position away from said pivoted track section.

12. An evasive action tackling apparatus as defined in claim 10 and further characterized by said clutch means including a rotatably mounted shaft extending transversely at right angles to said rotating line shaft,

said drive sprocket mounted on said shaft for corotation therewith,

a flexible disc mounted at an end portion of said sprocket shaft for corotation therewith and disposed adjacent said line shaft,

a pair of axially spaced rolls on said line shaft and disposed adjacent diametrically opposite. peripheral edge portions of said flexible disc, and

means for selectively urging said disc into frictional driving engagement with alternative ones of said rolls for frictionally coupling said drive sprocket shaft to said line shaft for rotating said drive sprocket in a selected direction for advancing or retracting said trolley along said track section.

13. An evasive action tackling apparatus comprising: cantilever means forming a substantially horizontally extending track spaced above the ground,

said track having a movable section supported for pivoting movement about a vertical axis in selected directions;

a tackling dummy;

trolley means supported on said track for linear movement longitudinally therealong and having suspension means for suspending said dummy therefrom;

drive means for selectively propelling said trolley means and said dummy along said track;

track control means for selectively pivoting said movable track section to control movement of said traveling dummy and impart an evasive action thereto, said track control means including a pair of control rods respectively attached to laterally opposite sides of said pivoted track section in manners to form second class levers for selectively pivoting said pivoted section in opposite directions in response to rearwardly directed movement of a selected one of said pair of control rods, and

means for rearwardly moving a selected one of said control rods.

14, An evasive action tackling apparatus as defined in claim 13 and further characterized by:

said means for moving said control rods including a pair of bell cranks pivotally supported at opposite sides of said fixed track section and each having a generally vertically extending arm portion and a generally horizontally extending arm portion,

a rearward most end of each said control rod respectively connected to said vertically extending end portions of opposite ones ofsaid bell cranks,

a pair of cables each having one end respectively connected to opposite ones of said generally horizontally extending arm portions,

a rotatably mounted shaft disposed beneath said fixed track section,

a pair of axially spaced sprockets mounted on said shaft for corotation therewith, the other end portion of each said cable wrapped around and dead-ended on opposite ones of said sprockets so that rotation of said shaft in reverse directions pulls opposite ones of said pair ofcables to pivot opposite ones of said bell crank in directions to rearwardly move the associated one of said control rods for pivoting said pivoted track section. 15. An evasive action tackling apparatus as defined in claim 14 and further characterized by:

drive means for said rod moving means including a line shaft extending at right angles to said sprocket shaft and disposed adjacent an end thereof,

means including a prime mover for rotating said line shaft,

a flexible disc mounted at an end of said sprocket shaft and disposed adjacent said line shaft,

a pair of axially spaced rolls on said line shaft and disposed adjacent diametrically opposite peripheral edge portions of said flexible disc,

means for selectively urging opposite peripheral edge portions of said flexible disc into frictional driving engagement with alternative ones of said rolls for frictionally coupling said sprocket shaft to said line shaft to ivot said pivoted track section in a selected direction. 16. n a tackling practice apparatus having a horizontally extending track, means for suspending a tackling dummy from said track for movement therealong, and drive means selectively propelling said dummy along said track the improvement comprising:

said horizontally extending track having a pivoted track section mounted for pivoting movement about a vertically extending pivot axis; and track drive means for selectively pivoting said pivoted track section to control lateral movement of a dummy suspended from, and selectively movable along, said track, said track drive means comprising selectively operable power operated means, means operatively connecting said power operated means to at least one side of said movable track section at a position spaced from the pivot axis to form a lever arrangement for pivoting said track section about the axis to move said dummy in directions laterally of its movement along said track; and manually operated control means controlling the operation of said power operated means, whereby an operator may selectively propel said dummy along said track and simultaneously selectively pivot said track to impart an evasive action to said dummy.

17. An evasive action tackling practice apparatus comprismg:

cantilever means forming a substantially horizontally extending track spaced above the ground, said track having a movable section supported for pivoting movement about a vertical axis in selected directions; a tackling dummy; trolley means supported on said track for linear movement longitudinally therealong and having suspension means for suspending said dummy therefrom; drive means for selectively propelling said trolley means and said dummy along said track; and track control means for selectively pivoting said movable track section to control movement of said travelling dummy and impart an evasive action thereto, said track having a straight fixed section supported at one end and having said movable section support at an other end thereof for pivoting movement transversely of sad fixed section, said cantilever means including upright support members having one end portion of said fixed track section supported thereon; and a motor drive housing between said upright support members forming an enclosure for said drive means, said trolley means having wheels journaled thereon; said fixed and said pivoted track sections having coplanar, horizontally disposed rail portions along which said trolley wheels travel, adjoining end portions of said fixed and said pivoted tra'ck sections having complemental arcuately shaped ends formed substantially coaxially of the vertically extending pivoting axis for providing a continuous rail irrespective of the angular position of said pivoted section relative to said fixed section.

Patent Citations
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US2466954 *Sep 5, 1947Apr 12, 1949Grant KingSuspension for tackling dummies
US2602666 *Jun 19, 1950Jul 8, 1952Burke William FFootball practice apparatus
US3114549 *Oct 6, 1961Dec 17, 1963Verne HookerFootball tackling dummy
US3458192 *Oct 22, 1965Jul 29, 1969Trice James Rufus JrPowered football blocking machine
US3464696 *Mar 8, 1967Sep 2, 1969Hooker Verne AFootball tackling dummy apparatus
US3516666 *Oct 24, 1966Jun 23, 1970James W TrimbleTelescopic goal post
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4319748 *Jun 5, 1980Mar 16, 1982Efim AlterSports training device
US4688792 *Jun 5, 1986Aug 25, 1987Efim RivkinTraining and exercising machine for football and wrestling
US6742398 *Apr 11, 2000Jun 1, 2004Chao-Hsun ChenImpulsive propelling system
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/443
International ClassificationA63B69/34
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/345
European ClassificationA63B69/34F