US 3762706 A
A football kicking tee comprising a lever arm pivotally mounted to a support base and adapted to retain a football in place-kicking orientation, and adjustable release means associated with the lever arm to flip it away from the ball subsequent to impact of a kicker's foot with the ball.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
I Unlted States Patent 1 11H 3,762,706
Cavett 1 Oct. 2, I973 FOOTBALL KICKING TEE  Inventor: Marvin R. Cavett, 3407 W. Main, 'f f B'. Pmkhum Houma La 70360 Amman! bxammer-lhcutncc Brown Altorney-Harvcy B. Jacobson ct :al.  Filed: Mar. 29, 1972 ] Appl. NOJ 239,198 7 ABSTRACT A football kicking tee comprising a lever arm pivotally  US. Cl. 273/55 B mounted to a support base and adapted to reain a foot [5 i place kicking i i and adjustable release Fl d Of Search B means associated the lever arm to i y from the ball subsequent to impact ofa kicker's foot with the  References Cited ba|| UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,462,145 8/1969 Shirley et al. 273/55 B Clam, 5 D'awmg F'gures PAIENTED 2 75 Fig. 3
mini mm EJI FOOTBALL KICKING TEE The present invention is generally related to athletic devices and, more particularly, to an improved football place-kicking tee which permits a kicker to practice without the assistance of another player to hold the ball on the ground as it is being kicked.
In the past, various football kicking tees have been provided. More recently, the art of field goal kicking has played an increasingly important role in the game of football, such that the accuracy of a kicker is often critical in the outcome of a game. As such, it is essential that field goal kickers adhere to regular practice schedules in order to maintain the utmost proficiency in their kicking skills. However, it is often impractical to have the services of another player to hold the ball in place during each practice session.
While many conventional kicking tee constructions have been provided, such, for the most part, have not effectively released the ball in such a manner as to not hinder its path of travel. More recently proposed kicking tees have been capable of releasing the football in a manner which does not adversely affect its travel. However, these constructions do not provide sufficient forces to hold the football in place under windy conditions, or the like, and are susceptible to being damaged easily during use.
Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide a novel place-kicking tee which simulates a player holding the ball against the ground and which automatically releases the ball subsequent to impact with a kickers foot, whereby the travel of the ball is not adversely affected.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a unique football kicking tee which is adjustable to compensate for minor variations in ball size in order to assure both proper holding and release of the ball subsequent to kicking.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a versatile football kicking tee which includes a lever arm with biasing means to normally hold the ball in position and to pivot the lever arm away from the ball after impact with a kickers foot.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a novel football kicking tee comprised of a minimum number of moving parts and which is rugged, durable, and relatively economical to manufacture and maintain.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the football kicking tee of the present invention with a typical football mounted thereon.
FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the kicking tee illustrated in FIG. I with a phantom view of the lever arm in a retracted position.
FIG. 3 isan enlarged elevational view of the adjustable fastening means associated with the present inventron.
FIG. 4 is a partial exploded perspective view of the removable mounting pad associated with the present invention. a
FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic illustrationof the forces acting upon the lever arm associated with the present invention.
Referring now, more particularly, to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, the football kicking tee of the present invention is generally'indicated by the numeral and includes a relatively rigid base member 12 formed of rubber materials or the like and adapted to rest upon the ground or similar playing surface. Preferably, the base is provided with an arrow 14 on its upper surface to aid the kicker in completing his kick in the desired direction. A rigid plate 16 of metal or similar material is fastened to the upper surfaces of base member 12 and is provided with a carrying handle 18 to aid in the moving and positioning of the kicking tee. In addition, a removable mounting pad 20 is provided in a suitable corner recess in the base member to provide a relatively flat surface upon which a football, such as that indicated at 22 may be positioned for kicking.
A rigid support bracket 24 is fastened to base member 12 by way of screws 26, or similar fastening means, and is provided with a cantilever support arm 28 adjustably secured in position by way of screw members 30 and mounting holes 32. A lever arm 34 is pivotally mounted to support arm 28 by way of a hinge member 36, whereby the lever arm may pivot about a substantially horizontal axis. The outer portion of leverarm 34 is provided with a retaining member 38 adapted to engage the top surfaces of the ball positioned on the kicking tee. Preferably, the retaining member is made of relatively rigid rubber material and is provided with a downwardly extending flange 40 which is slightly tapered and positioned in front of the top of the ball, whereby it is effective to sense initial movement of the ball subsequent to impact of a kickers foot.
As mentioned above, one of the objects of the present invention is to maintain the football in its desired orientation until impact by a kickers foot, and to effectively release the football in a manner which does not adversely affect its path of travel. This is accomplished by way of elongated elastic members 42 and 44 which are normally in tension and which extend between lever arm 34 and support bracket 24. Elastic members 42 are secured to the lever arm by way of eyelets 46, or similar fastening means, and the opposite end of each of these elastic members is connected to the support bracket by way of adjustable thumbscrews 48 which may be rotated to adjust the effective tension of the associated elastic member. The lower elastic members 44 are mounted in a similar manner with thumbscrews 50 providing a means of tension adjustment. The biasing forces of the elastic members are such that when proper adjustment is made, the end portion of lever arm 34 provides the desired downwardly directed forces on the top of the ball in order to maintain it in a kicking position. However, when the lever arm is displaced upwardly slightly due to forward movement of the ball immediately subsequent to impact, the forces of elastic members 42 come into play to flip the lever arm upwardly to a position indicated in phantom in FIG. 2, as hereinafter explained.
With reference to FIG. 3, it will be observed that sup port bracket 24 is provided with a plurality of vertically spaced mounting apertures 52 adapted to accomodate thumbscrews 48, such that the angular positions of elastic members 42 may be adjusted to the most desirable setting. In addition, each thumbscrew is provided with a slot 54, through which the associated elastic member passes such that the elastic member may be wound onto the shank portion of the thumbscrew in order to achieve the desired tension setting. It will also be appreciated that the vertical position of support arm 28 may be adjusted by mounting by way of the appropriate vertically spaced holes 32, spaced from each other by approximately one-half inch. This adjustment may be utilized to accommodate footballs of different dimensions and at the same time assure proper release of the lever arm subsequent to impact.
FIG. 4 illustrates the fastening of mounting pad 20 to the base member 12. Preferably, this is achieved by way ofa set of upwardly extending fingers 56 which are integral with the base member and are adapted to retentatively engage mounting apertures 58 of similar configuration formed in the bottom of the mounting pad 20. The snug engagement between the fingers and mounting apertures is sufficient to maintain the mounting pad in position during normal kicking procedures. The mounting pad may be easily removed or replaced due to wear after a period of time. The mounting pads may be made of various materials and may be provided with surfaces having desired frictional characteristics to aid in maintaining the ball in a proper orientation.
With reference to FIG. of the drawings, an analysis of the forces acting upon lever arm 34 may be understood. If the weight of the lever member is neglected and the ball is maintained in a place-kicking orientation, the moments about the axis P of the hinge member 36 may be expressed as follows:
EM =F,1,sinA+F l,sinC-F l sinB=0 F, 1, sin c: F, 1 sin A F, 1 sin B,
where F and F are the tension forces of the elastic members and F corresponds to the reaction forces of the ball pressing against the bottom of the lever arm. Thus, it can be seen that the retaining forces of the lever arm against the top of the ball are a function of the tension forces of the elastic members and the angular directions in which they act relative to the lever arm. As long as F 1 sin A is less than F 1, sin B a downwardly directed retaining force will be exerted on the top of the football.
Assuming that the football is held in kicking position by the lever arm, impact of the ball with a kickers foot will be effective to displace the ball in a forward direction such that flange 40 will be struck in a manner which influences the lever arm upwardly past a neutral position. At the neutral position, the forces acting upon the lever arm may be expressed as:
F 1, sin A F 1 sin B.
As the lever arm is influenced slightly above the neutral position, A is increased, while there is a corresponding decrease in B, such that F 1, sin becomes greater in magnitude than F 1 sin B, whereby the forces of elastic members 42 overcome those of elastic members 44 and the lever arm is accelerated upwardly out of the path of travel of the ball and the kickers foot. It is this rapid response which minimizes the effects of the lever arm upon the path of travel of the ball subsequent to kicking. By adjusting the tension forces of the elastic members, and the angular positions of their forces relative to the lever arm, the most desired response of the kicking tee may be achieved. Furthermore, vertical adjustment of support arm 28 may be made to accomodate balls of different vertical dimension.
From the foregoing description, it will be appreciated that the kicking tee of the present invention provides a versatile means of maintaining a football in a desired place-kicking orientation and releasing such in a manner which does not adversely affect the path of ball travel. It is not intended that the invention be limited to the use of elastic members made of rubber materials of conventional elastic bands," and other biasing means, such as coil springs may be utilized, if desired. Furthermore, the size and configuration of the lever arm and associated mounting member and flange may be modified, as desired.
It will also be appreciated that by moving the thumbscrews 48 to their lowermost positions the angles of elastic members 42 may be nearly zero or downward from the lever arm. This has the effect of increasing the ball retaining forces and decreasing the speed with which the lever arm is retracted, such a setting being desirable for windy conditions, or the like.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. A tee device for holding a football in a desired orientation, said device comprising a stationary frame work adapted to rest upon a playing surface, an elongated lever arm pivotally mounted at one end thereof to said frame work for pivotal movement about a generally horizontal axis, the opposite end of said lever arm being adapted to engage the top portion of a football in a desired kicking orientation, said lever arm being in a first angular position relative to said framework when retaining the football in said desired orientation, first biasing means associated with said framework for influencing the opposite end of said lever arm downwardly into engagement with the football, and second biasing means associated with said framework for influencing the opposite end of said lever arm upwardly away from the football in response to movement of the football from said desired orientation.
2. The structure set forth in claim 1 wherein said first and second biasing means include first and second elastic members, respectively, said elastic members being in tension and extending between said lever arm and said framework.
3. The structure set forth in claim 2 wherein said first elastic member extends upwardly and away from said lever arm when said lever arm is in said first angular position and said second elongated member extends downwardly and away from said lever arm when said lever arm is in said first angular position.
4. The structure set forth in claim 1 wherein said first biasing means overcomes said second biasing means when said lever arm is in said first angular position and yielding to said second biasing means when said lever arm is pivoted upwardly beyond a predetermined angular position.
5. The structure set forth in claim 4 wherein said first and second biasing means include first and second elastic members, respectively, said elastic members being in tension and extending between said lever arm and said framework.
6. The structure set forth in claim 5 wherein said device includes adjustable fastening means for securing at least one of said elastic members in place and permitting selective adjustment of the tension thereof.
7. A ball positioning device comprising a base adapted to rest upon a playing surface, a support bracket connected to said base and extending upwardly therefrom, a lever arm pivotally connected to said support bracket at a point above said base for pivotal movement about a generally horizontal axis, a portion of said lever arm being adapted to engage the top of an underlying ball to retain such in position when said lever is in a first angular position, and biasing means normally biasing said lever arm portion downwardly toward the ball when said lever arm is in said first angular position and biasing said lever arm portion upwardly when said lever arm is moved upwardly beyond a predetermined neutral angular position.
8. The structure set forth in claim 7 wherein said device includes means for sensing movement of the ball in a predetermined direction and cooperating with the movement of a ball for displacing said lever arm upwardly beyond said neutral angular position.
9. The structure set forth in claim 8 wherein said sensing means includes a flange member extending downwardly from said lever arm portion for engagement with the ball when it is moved in said predetermined direction.
10. The structure set forth in claim 7 wherein said biasing means includes elongated elastic tension members extending between said lever arm and said support bracket.
11. The structure set forth in claim 10 wherein said device includes fastening meansfor securing said elastic members to said lever arm and support bracket and selectively adjusting the tension of each elastic member.