US 3752477 A
A basketball hoop assembly consisting of a cylindrical ring structure having a dependent arcuate wall structure provided with spaced through apertures fitted with suction cup support members the attachment stem portions of which are formed with arcuate abutment faces to matingly overlie and grippingly engage substantial areas of the arcuate wall structure surrounding the through apertures. The gripping engagement effectively secures the ring structure and arcuate wall structure against movement in any direction relative to the stem portions to stabilize the ring structure against impact forces of the ball in use.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ilnite States tnt 1191 Hoyt  inventor: Thomas R. Hoyt, 2380 Shunk Ave.,
Alliance, Ohio 44601 22 Filed: Aug.17,l971 21 Appl.No.:172,395
 U.S. Cl. 273/15 R, 248/206 R  Int. Cl A631) 63/04  Field of Search 273/15 R, 1.5 A, 273/105; 248/362, 206 R  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,244,420 4/ 1966 Poynter 273/ 1.5 A X 2,421,220 5/1947 Robinson 273/105 R X 2,911,758 11/1959 Carson 273/15 R X 954,752 4/1910 Marks 248/206 R X 922,630 5/1909 Reach 273/ 1.5 R 2,588,990 3/1952 Sanchez.... 248/362 X 2,707,104 4/1955 Killick..' 273/l.5 R 2,592,470 7/1971 Breslow 273/1.5 RX
[ Aug. 14, 1973 3,145,992 8/1964 McClong 273/1.5 A x FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 609,364 5/1926 France 273/105 R Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant EmmiwHPau 81191299 Attorney-William A. Strauch, J. Matthews Neale et a1.
 ABSTRACT A basketball hoop assembly consisting of a cylindrical ring'structure having a dependent arcuate wall structure provided with spaced through apertures fitted with suction cup support members the attachment stem portions of which are formed with arcuate abutment faces to matingly overlie and grippingly engage substantial areas of the arcuate wall structure surrounding the through apertures. The gripping engagement effectively secures the ring structure and arcuate wall structure against movement in any direction relative to the stem portions to stabilize the ring structure against impact forces of the ball in use.
5 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures BASKETBALL HOOP FOR TEACHING AND TRAINING CHILDREN BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a device for teaching and training subteen or adolescent children for participating in the game of basketball. Most children, during adolescence, become interested in learning the rudiments of and participating in team sports, such as baseball, football, hockey, basketball and the like. Most of these team sports can be taught and participating as players can readily be provided for younger children utilizing the public playfields and reduced dimensioned balls and equipment which are readily obtainable. 1 In the case of basketball, however, the adult height goal baskets and basketballs pose a physical handicap in that the adolescent children lack the height, strength and hand size to either manage the ball in passing and dribbling it in a proper manner and shooting the basket from the usual vantage points attained in carrying out team play maneuvering on the adult size courts customarily provided for public use. As a consequence, adolescent children have for the most part found basketball to be a game of one frustration after another when attempted with conventionally available equipment and this frustration has been lessened in minor degree only by providing lighter undersized basketballs for their usage.
Furthermore, the usage of the lighter undersized basketballs on adult sized courts provided with adult sized goal baskets mounted at conventional height has done little, if anything, to reduce the frustration in performing and learning shooting techniques. This results since young children still lack the physical ability to propel the ball up to the basket goal from the attained vantage points in team play and the greater disparity in diameter ratio between the lighter undersized ball and the adult size basket goal makes scoring of a basket more easily attainable by those, who by chance and without regard to proper shooting technique, happen to get the ball up to the basket goal.
The present invention is directed to eliminating these frustrations and making the game of basketball more interesting to adolescent children while enabling them to play the game utilizing proper and approved techniques of the game. Aside from mechanical game devices provided for operation by adolescent children, such as that disclosed by United States Letters Patent No. 2,911,758 to F. D. Carson, no efforts appear to have been made to provide any suitable means to encourage and train adolescents in playing the game of basketball.
- SUMMARY OF TI-IE INVENTION A primary object of the present invention is to provide a basketball hoop assembly that is inexpensive and employssuction cup support members adapting it for ready removable mounting at preselected appropriate heights on any wall-like structure at home, indoors or outdoors to provide a basket goal at a height geared to the height of the children participating in a game of basketball or merely practicing shooting techniques.
Another object of the present invention resides in providing a basketball hoop assembly according to the preceding object in which the diameter ratio of the hoop or ring and a lighter undersized basketball provided for use therewith is comparable to that of conventional basketball equipment.
A further object of the present invention resides in providing a basketball hoop assembly according to the primary object in which the hoop structure includes at least a partial dependent wall structure of arcuate configuration in cross-section provided with at least a pair of axially spaced through passages and respective suction cup support members formed with matingly arcuately contoured abutment faces having inset therein respective nut-like attachment members secured in surface abutting engagement over a substantial area of the peripheral wall surface surrounding the through apertures by headed screw fasteners the shanks of which are entered through the respective through passages into threaded engagement with the nut-like attachment members to assure firm abutting engagement between the abutment faces and the substantial areas of the peripheral wall surface to stabilize the hoop structure and resist the shock forces resulting when the ball strikes the hoop assembly.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Still other objects will appear from the following description and appended claims when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 with a portion of the dependent wall structure and the abutting portion of the suction cup support member broken away to better illustrate the abutting connection therebetween; and
FIG. 3 is a fragmental view of an alternate embodiment of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With continued reference to the drawings wherein the same reference numerals are used throughout the several views to indicate the same parts, FIG. 1 illustrates the preferred embodiment of the present invention in which numeral 10 generally designates the basketball hoop assembly. Hoop assembly 10 in this form of the invention comprises a cylindrical ring structure in the form of a tubular member 11 preferably formed of rigid material such as sheet steel, aluminum, other preferably non-corrosive metal or even impact resistant plastic. The principal requirement of the material used is that it shall resist impact blows of a thrown ball or the like without resulting distortion or rupturing. Preferably the length should be about 6 inches, the internal diameter should be 6 inches and the edges should be free of sharp edges that might cut into the ball or the hands of the players should they strike them when jump shooting or jumping in defending the basket. This may be readily accomplished by rolling the edges or rounding them in any other suitable manner.
Tubular member 11 provides a wall structure 12 (FIG. 2) any portion of which at right angles to its longitudinal axis defines an arc of a circle as will be apparent from an inspection of FIG. 1. Wall structure 12 at longitudinally spaced points, preferably in longitudinal alignment, is provided with a pair of through apertures 13 (one only being shown in FIG. 2) provided to freely but closely pass the shank of a respective suitable headed fastener 14. While fasteners 14 may take any suitable form, they are preferably round headed bolts or screws having threaded shanks (FIG. 2) adapted to threadedly engage nut-like attachment members 16 fixedly embedded in the base or stem portion 17 of respective suction sup support members 18. The abutment faces 19 of stem portions 17, as most clearly appears in FIG. 1, are arcuately contoured to matingly abuttingly engage the opposing areas of wall structure 12 surrounding through apertures 13. As a consequence, when screw fasteners 14 are threaded home in nut-like members 16, the contoured faces of stem portions 17 will be drawn into firm surface engagement with the wall structure 12. Since the suction cups 18, including the stern portions 17, are formed of a yieldable composition material such as medium hard rubber, plastic, or like material, the firm surface engagement results in a gripping engagement of the tubular member 11 over substantial arcuate surface areas at longitudinally spaced points. It follows, therefore, that the suction cup support members 18 when applied to wall 22 of a gymnasium, or the exterior wall of a building, such as a home or adjacent garage, at a preselected appropriate height will firmly secure tubular member 11 against movement in any direction relative to the stern portions 17 and limit relative movement of tubular member 11 with respect to wall 12 to that permitted by the resilience of the material of the suction cups. The member 11 is, accordingly, stabilized to resist the impact forces of the ball when in use. Since it is contemplated that suction cups 18, in the six inch by six inch tubular member embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, will be produced with stem portions of approximately 1 It inches diameter merging into cup portion the major diameters of which are of the order of 3 inches, it will be appreciated that the permitted movement is relatively slight, when using a lighter, undersized ball designed, as hereinafter pointed out, correlated to the reduced dimensions of the hoop assembly provided by this invention. Furthermore, the dependent tubular member 11 will control the trajectory of the ball when a basket is scored in much the same way as the dependent net does in conventional equipment. If desired, more closely simulated control could be provided by tapering the wall structure 12 downwardly and inwardly to provide an exit opening at the lower end which only slightly exceeds the ball diameter.
In order to similate the shooting techniques required in using standard adult basketball equipment, the lighter, undersized ball provided for use with the basketball hoop assembly of this invention is preferably produced to assure a ball diameter-to-ring structure diameter ratio like that of the adult equipment. In this connection, the adult equipment provides a ball diameter-toring structure diameter not less than 9 9% to 18 inches. This results in a ratio of l to about 1 .9. To provide this ratio, the present invention contemplates the provision of a ball having a diameterof 3.16 inches. By maintaining this ratio, hoop assembly and ball combinations of varying size can be produced for selected age groups to provide equipment which is best suited to the physical capabilities of each age group. It will be appreciated, therefore, that the present invention makes it possible for children to be provided with basketball equipment when may be used to train and teach them in the proper ball handling and shooting techniques of the game of basketball. At the same time, such equipment will materially reduce, if it does not eliminate, the frustrations resulting from their attempts to practice and learn the game using equipment which exceeds their physical capabilities. Children of all age groups are thereby encouraged in playing basketball correctly, to practice frequently and repeatedly at home thereby getting much needed exercise, essential practice to gain ultimate perfection and cure bad habits that result from use of adult equipment and a release of the tensions which lack of exercise and the frustrations of utilizing equipment beyond their capabilities engender.
DESCRIPTION OF ALTERNATE EMBODIMENT An alternate embodiment of this invention is illustrated in FIG. 3. This embodiment provides a basketball hoop assembly 10a which affords all the advantages of that of FIG. 1 except for controlling the trajectory of the ball when a basket is scored. In this form of the invention, the tubular wall structure of FIGS. 1 and 2 is replaced by a dependent arcuate wall segment 12a integrally formed on a true ring member 21 and provided with longitudinally spaced, laterally centered through apertures 13. Assuming wall segment 12a and ring member 21 to be 6 inches in length and 6 inches in diameter respectively, the suction cup support members 18 previously described would be used. The same ball would also be used and the principal advantages pointed out in describing FIGS. 1 and2 would be obtained.
The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are, therefore, intended to be embraced therein.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. A basketball hoop assembly for adolescent children comprising a cylindrical ring structure formed at least throughout an arcuate length of said ring structure with a dependent arcuate wall structure formed with axially spaced through passages; respective suction cup support members having attachment means fixed thereto and accessible from the rear face thereof; and respective headed fasteners having shank portions extending through said through passages into cooperative engagement with said attachment means thereby adapting said basketball hoop assembly for removable attachment to any wall-like member to be supported thereby at a selected height suitably related to the height of the adolescent users to serve as a basketball goal.
2. The basketball hoop assembly of claim 1 wherein said cylindrical ring structure comprises a tubular member.
3. The basketball hoop assembly of claim 1 wherein said cylindrical ring structure comprises a hoop-like member having a depending wall portion extending throughout a minor segment of said ring structure.
4. The basketball hoop assembly of claim 1 wherein said suctionv cup attachment means comprises respective nut-like threaded members fixedly secured in the rear face of said suction cup support members and said headed fasteners comprise stove bolts the shanks of which are passed through said through apertures and arcuate in contour to matingly overlie the peripheral face of said arcuate wall structure surrounding said through apertures to assure a firm surface abutting engagement therewith to stabilize the cylindrical ring structure in use.
- um'nez) s'm'ms IAIEN'R 0mm: I 4 CER'IIFMIATE 023? QUE- ERECTION Patent No. 3,752,477 Dated August 14, 1973 Inventor(s) Thomas R. Holt It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patefit iffd that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 3, lirre 5, cl xenge "i511 to --cup-. Column 3, rlirre 33, ohenge ""Eiuem fiolumn 3, line 64, cl'range keen to I In the reference listing, last .referen ce, change "2,592,470" to -3,592,470--. v 7
Sigged and sealed thi s 1st day of January- 1974.
(SEAL) Attest: I v
o I R EDWARD M. FLETCHER,JR. RENE TEGTMEYE. v Attesting Officer v,- Acting sioner of Patents POJOSO (o-69) I I uscoMM-DC ooa vmpsa 0,54 GOVERNMENT PRIHTIN OFFICE: I969 0*365'314