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Publication numberUS3809392 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 7, 1974
Filing dateJan 4, 1971
Priority dateJan 4, 1971
Publication numberUS 3809392 A, US 3809392A, US-A-3809392, US3809392 A, US3809392A
InventorsE Kral
Original AssigneeE Kral
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Swim starting block with adjustable handle
US 3809392 A
Abstract
A swim starting block has a handle attached thereto by means of a base in which the handle is pivotally mounted. The attached handle has both a vertical and horizontal component of position adjustment with respect to the block to accommodate the stance of a swimmer and support the swimmer while assuming a starting position for a swim race. The handle and its attaching base may be a portable assembly attachable to the block.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Kill 1 E0 .[19]

14 1 May 7, 1974 SWIM STARTING BLOCK WITH ADJUSTABLE HANDLE Edward F. Kral, Jr., 217 Wehrli Rd., Naperville, 111. 60540 22 Filed: 1811.4,1971 1211 Appl. Nos 103,468

[76] Inventor:

52 us. 01. 272/57 R, 272/1 B, 272/66 51 int. c1 A63!) 5/10 58 Field of Search 272/1 B, 57 R, 59 A, 71,

272/79 R, 60, 65, 66, 67, 68, 72, 73, 83; 35/29 B; 73/37938l [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,145,940 2/1939 Marlowe 272/72 2,251,120 7/1941 Davis 272/72 2,320,489 6/1943 Turner et.al...j.... 272/73 X 2,642,288 6/1953 Bell 272/79 R 2,921,791 1/1960 Borne 272/79 R 3,112,928 12/1963 Oswald 272/71 3,285,070 11/1966 McDonoughm. 272/79 R UX 3,373,991 3/1968 Smalley 272/7l,

745,154 11/1903 Chlada 272/57 R 618,990 2/1899 Lubben 272/57 R 2,906,532 9/1959 Echols 1 272/57 R 3,096,980 7/1963 Gauer 272/71 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 2,003,598 11/1969 France 272/73 Primary ExaminerRichard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Richard J. Apley Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Fitch, Even, Tabin, & Luedeka [5 7] ABSTRACT A swim starting block has a handle attached thereto by means of a base in which the handle is pivotally mounted. The attached handle has both a vertical and 9 horizontal component of position adjustment with respect to the block to accommodate the stance of a swimmer and support the swimmer while assuming a starting position for a swim race. The handle and its attaching base may be a portable assembly attachable to the block.

5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures swim srxarruc BLOCK WITH ADJUSTABLE HANDLE This invention relates generally to aids to swimming and more particularly concerns a swim starting block having an adjustable handle. A swim meet contestant undertakes a starting position preparatory to executing his diving entry into the water by mounting the swim starting block and bending over the edge of the block toward the water. He holds this starting position until the discharge of the starting gun, at which time his motion is revitalized into the execution of his dive. The position held just prior to the discharge of the gun issomewhat unstable, and, if balance is lost, the swimmer, being unable to grasp-something for support, dives into the water. In the anxiety that accompanies a race, this loss of balance may occur very easily and result in false starts. Races are thereby delayed and emotions are further quickened. Although such is more probable with young, inexperienced swimmers, it may occur at all levels of experience.

A swimming coach who has the responsibility of teaching beginning racers the art of executing a smooth, fast dive at the startof a race may help the beginner get the feel of a proper position preparatory to a racing dive by standing next to him and giving personal assistance. While doing this, the coach is distracted from the general observance of other swimmers, possibly to their disadvantage.

Further, it is believed'that many coaches, as well as others, are interested in aids to assist swimmers in swimming faster races.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide apparatus to aid swimmers in eliminating false starts in swim meets.

. utilized, as illustrated in the outline form in FIG. 1,

It is a further object of the present invention to provide apparatus to aid coaches in teaching the racing start to beginning swim racers.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide apparatus to aid swimmersin getting a faster start, thereby reducing the overall time of a race.

These and other objects of the invention are more particularly set forthin the following detailed. description and in the accompanyingdrawings of which:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a swim starting block with adjustable handle according to a preferred embodiment of the invention along with an illustration in outline form of a swimmer in his starting positionof the block gripping the adjustable handle for. support;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the swim starting block with adjustable handle;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the swim starting block with a portable adjustable handle assembly attached thereto according to a second embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of only the portable adjustable handle assembly and attaching means of FIG. 3.

A swim starting block has attached'to it, through appropriate means, a handle for a swimmer tograsp while on the block. Simple adjustments accommodate the handle to the swimmer. The handle may be an integral part of the swim block as illustrated in the preferred.

embodiment of the invention, or it may comprise a portable assembly, adaptedfor attachment to various blocks not already having the handle, as illustrated in the second embodiment of the invention. The handle is where there is a swimmer 11 in a starting position on a swim starting block 15 preparatory to executing a racing dive. To assist in maintaining his position before the discharge of the starting gun, the swimmer grips the adjustable handle 17, having adjusted its position with respect to the block 15 by adjusting the angle of an arm 19 and the height of a cross member 45 (FIG. 2) prior to his assuming the starting position. At the discharge of the starting gun, theswimmer releases his grip of the handle 17 and executes his diving entry into the water.

More particularly, as seen in FIGS. 1 and 4, in the preferred embodiment the adjustable handle assembly 13 has a base 21, which is generally U-shaped. Base 21 comprises parallel sides 23 spaced apart by a closing member 25, which aligns and joins the parallel sides to form a unit. Fastening means, such as angle mounting brackets 49, are utilized to securely attach base 21 to the underside of the platform 53 of the swim starting block 15. The base may be of any suitable material, and may be formed of one piece from a mold, or may comprise separate pieces affixed to one another by suitable glue or cement. The dimensions of the base. are not critical. In the illustrated embodiments of the invention, the sides of the base are approximately 9 inches square and one-half of an inch thick. The space intermediate the two sides is approximately three-quarters of an inch; Each side 23 has transversely therethrough a pivot pin hole 27; This hole is located near the base mounting edge 28 at the approximate front-to-rear center of the sides 23. The pivot pin 29 is long enough to span the outside surfaces of the sides 23. This pivot pin is the lower attaching means of the arm 19. The pivot pin may be of any suitable form, such as a threaded bolt having a head at one end and a lock nut at the threaded end. Above the pivot pin hole 27 are a plurality of lock pin holes 31, equally spaced along an arc of a circle of which the pivot pin 29 is center. The lock pin 33, which may be any suitable T pin, is easily insertable in any one of the lock pin holes. Each side 23 has lock pin holes matched with the opposing side so that when the lock pin 33 is inserted through a selected hole from one side, it is inserted also in a hole on the other side: corresponding to the first hole. A single hole (not shown) near the proximal end of the arm 19 and a second single hole not shown) through the arm 119 at a spaced apart distance from thefirst hole equal to the radius of the circle of which the pivot pin 29 is the center are both transverse to the longitudinal axis of the arm 19. All of these holes are clearance holes for their respective pins to permit the pins to be easily inserted therethrough. Consecutive numerals or other suitable indicia, one adjacent each lock pin hole 31, are provided to specifically identify each hole so that'a swimmer'may quickly adjust the support prior to a race by knowing from previous experience the position best suited for him. For this reason, uniformity in the apparatus is important.

The arm .19, attached to the base 21 by the pivot pin 29 extends upwardly through the slot 51 of the platform 53 (FIG. 2). The arm 19 has a circular cross section and at the distal end thereof has a longitudinal passage therethrough to accept the insertion of the vertical member 42 of the handle 17 into internal engagement therewith, the vertical member 42 also being of circular cross section. It is necessary, of course, that the outside diameter of the vertical member 42 be less than the inside diameterof the longitudinal passage at the distal end of arm 19. The vertical member 42 should engage the arm 19 with a snug, but not binding, fit. The outside surface of the distal end of the arm 19 is threaded for the operation of a tightening meansthereon, such as the lock nut 43. This lock nut when tightened holds a selected position of the handle 17. Suitable indicia 44 for determining height of the cross member 45 of the handle 17 with respect to the distal end of the arm 19 is on the outside surface of the vertical member 42 of the handle 17. In the preferred embodiment, the length of the vertical member 42 and the arm 19 conjointly is such as to locate the cross member 45 of the handle 17 approximately 36 inches above the platform 53 of the swim starting block 15. The arm 19 must be short enough and the vertical member 42 long enough to allow adjustment to accommodate swimmers of various heights. The telescoping action of vertical member 42 in the arm 19 and held in a given position by the lock nut 43 is similar to that of a conventional microphone stand. Other means of the handle 17 height adjustment may be used, such as transverse holes spaced apart from each other adjacent the lower end of the vertical member 42 of the handle 17 with a removable pin through the distal end of the arm 19 to hold the selected position of handle 17. Once the swimmer has selected the appropriate angle of the arm 19, has inserted the T pin 33 in the appropriate lock pin hole 31, and has adjusted. the height of the handle 17, he grasps the cross member .45 of the handle 17 at the grips 47, located at either end of the cross member. In the'preferre'd embodiment, the grips 47 are spaced apart the approximate width of a mans body. These grips may be common rubber or plastic handle bar grips as used on bicycles, lawn mowers and the like. The arm 19, vertical member 42, and cross member 45, may be of tubular construction to help reduce the overall weight of the handle assembly 13. Although the preferred embodiment illustrates these three parts as having a circular cross section, their cross section could be in another form, such as rectangular or oval.

Because it is believed desirable for existing swim starting blocks also to incorporate an adjustable handle so that there is no need to purchase new blocks to obtain the handle, a second embodiment of the present invention includes a swim starting block having a portable adjustable handle assembly attached to it. The portable adjustable handle assembly comprises the adjustable handle assembly 13, described earlier, with means for attaching the assembly to various swim starting blocks. FIG. 3 illustrates this embodiment of the present invention. The portable adjustable handle assembly 14 thereshown includes the adjustable handle assembly 13 having the side mounting straps 37 and the back mounting strap 38 attached to the base 21. Each of these straps has attached at the free end thereof a clamp 39 having a means, such as a thumb screw 40, for binding the clamp to an object. The portable handle assemblyv 14 is attached by means of the straps and the clamps to the platform 53 of the swim starting block 15(Adjustment buckles 41, one in each mounting strap, are used to take up the slack and secure the base 21 to the swim starting block 15. A more detailed view of the portable adjustable handle assembly can be seen in FIG. 4.

It is recognized that not all swim starting blocks are constructed of a platform having legs and acessible platform edges as illustrated in FIG. 3. Some swim starting blocks may be shell-type having open bottoms and a solid top and sides of plastic, wood, or other material. One of the possible ways of accommodating the portable assembly 14 to such blocks is to provide mounting straps long enough for the clamps 39 to hook around the bottom edges of the sides. Another of the possible ways of accommodating the portable assembly 14 to such blocks is to cut slots in the sides through which the clamps 39 can fit. The thumb screws 40 can be tightened from the inside of the blocks in either instance by access thereto through the open bottoms of the shell-type blocks. Once the assembly is securely attached, the starting blocks can be anchored at a pools edge in the normal manner for a swim meet. The handle l7 adjustment is accomplished independently from the means for attaching the portableassembly to the swim starting block. Therefore, once the portable assembly is attached to the swim starting block, the mounting of the assembly need not be disturbed for the remainder of the meet. 9

To assist in uniformly positioning the portable adjustable handle assembly 14 when attaching it to the swim starting block 15, a permanently attached locating guide 35 is provided on the front (pool side) of base 21. This locating guide permits a quick installation of the portable assembly 14 on the swim starting block 15 (FIG. 3) without the need for a separate measuring stick to determine the proper position of the portable assembly 14 with respect to the pool edge of the swim starting block 15, which is used as a reference. In this way, even though the portable assembly is attached from time to time to blocks having platform dimensions varying from one another, the attached position of the portable assembly will be uniform with respect to the edge of the block used by the swimmer.

From the foregoing it will be seen that the flexibility given the portable assembly 14 by its features allows a quick and easy installation of the portable assembly on various swim starting blocks in the fulfillment of the second embodiment of the present invention.

When a swimmer grips the adjustable handle 17 of the swim starting block 15 having the portable adjust-,

able handle assembly 14 attached thereto as illustrated in FIG. 3, a force is exerted which tends to rotate base 21 in a counterclockwise manner around corner A, lifting corner B from the swim starting block. For this reason, the back strap 38 is attached to the closing mem ber 25 at the rear and top of the base 21. When the clamp 39 associated with the back strap 38 is clamped to the rear of the swim starting block 15 and the strap is tightened by means of its buckle 41, a counter force at B stabilizes the base 21 against the force exerted by the swimmer.

It will be seen that movement of the arm 19 is in a singleplane lying intermediate of and parallel to the inner surfaces of sides 23. A swimmer can quickly pull lock pin 33 and reposition arm 19 to an angle more suitable for his purpose. He also may easily and quickly adjust the height of handle 17 at lock nut 43. Since the portable adjustable handle assembly 14 is adaptable for uniform application to various swim starting blocks, a swimmer may learn the angular position and height which he needs and easily make the appropriate adjustment at an away swimming pool. Therefore, between slightly modified so that the angle of the arm 19 for a given lock pin hole, which a swimmer becomes used to, will place the handle at approximately the same relative position on either type of block.

Although two embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it is recognized that the present invention may take the form of other embodiments. For example, other means for attaching and adjusting the handle 17 to the swim starting block may be used, such as the platform 53 having a plurality of holes at differing angles therethrough along a section of a front-to-rear center line thereof. Each hole could have subtending thereto a tubular member. When the arm 19, or the like, would be inserted in a given hole, the arm 19 would be supported at-the angle of the given hole and its tubular member. Still another possible means of support and adjustment of handle 17 is for cross member. 45 to be V-shaped or U-shaped and be attached in a movable manner at the distal end of an upright standard attached as anintegral part, or otherwise, of the swim starting block 15. Adjustment of handle 17 would then be similar to that of a handle bar adjustment on a bicycle.

When a swimmer assumes the position illustrated in FIG. 1, it can be seen that he is able to bend over the edge of the starting block and yet maintain his balance and hold his position by grasping the adjustable handle 17 at the grips 47. Hence, the aid in eliminating a false racing start. Eliminating individual false starts tends to equalize the start for all swimmers, in a given race. Since he is already in a forward position, at the discharge of the starting gun it is only necessary for the swimmer to push off from that position, eliminating the time spent in swinging his arms rearward in preparation for a forward dive. Hence, the aid in getting a faster start, tending to reduce the total time of a race. Because beginning swim racers have something to grasp while on the starting blocks, a coach can give instructions from the side of the pool to more than one at a time. Hence, the aid to coaches in teaching the racing start to beginning swim racers. Thus, it is believed that the swim block with adjustable handle is a benefit to the sport of swimming as a whole.

It is apparent that there has been provided, in accordance with the present invention, a swim starting block with adjustable handle-that fully satisfies the objects,

aims and advantages set forth above. Although the invention has been described in conjunction with specific embodiments thereof, it is evident that alternatives, modifications and variations other than those mentioned will be apparent to those skilled in the art in view of the foregoing description. Accordingly, it is hereby intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variations as fall within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

Various of the features of the invention-are set forth in the following claims.

What is claimed is: I

l. Apparatusto support a swimmer in a starting position on a swim starting block for a swim race, comprising: a portable handle assembly for said swimmer to grasp and means for removably attaching said handle assembly to said block so that when said handle assembly is so attached the position of said handle is adjustable with respect to said block to accommodate said swimmer for support in said starting position on said block; said attaching means comprising an arm, means for engaging said handle with one end of said arm so that said handle is adjustable with respect to said arm, and means for attaching the other end of said arm to said swim starting block; said means for engaging said handle with one end of said arm further comprising a longitudinal passage through said arm at said end thereof, a handle having two members joiningvat substantially right angles to each other, one of said members dimensioned to permit insertion thereof snugly in said longitudinal passage in a telescoping manner so that said handle is movable in relation to said arm and the other of said members having a grip on either end thereof for said swimmer, and means for tightening to hold a selected position of said handle with respect to said arm; and said means for attaching the other end of said arm to said swim starting block further including a base comprising a pair of spaced apart parallel sides having a plurality of spaced apart holes transversely therethrough, the holes in one side aligned with the holes in the opposing side when said sides are, aligned, and an enclosing member aligning and joining said sides forming a unit, said arm being pivotally attached intermediate of and movable in a single plane parallel to said sides to a selected angular position and held in said angular position by a pin spanning said sides through any of said spaced apart holes and through an opening in said arm transversely of said arm, and said base also having a plurality of straps attached to said base for attaching said base to said starting block, each of said straps having means for adjusting and securing the length thereof and a clamping means on the free end thereof for engaging said starting block, whereby said handle and said means for attaching said handle are removably attachable to said swim starting block.

2. Apparatus for supporting a swimmer in a starting position for a swim race, comprising:

a swim startingblock to undergird the swimmer in assuming the starting position;

a handle for the swimmer .to grasp;

and means for attaching said handle to said block so that the position of said handle is adjustable both horizontally and vertically with respect to said block to accommodate the swimmer for support in the starting position on said block; said handle attaching means comprising a base having a pair of spaced apart parallel sides, the sides having a plurality of spaced apart holes transversely therethrough, the holes in one side corresponding to and being aligned with the holes in the opposing side when the sides are aligned, and an enclosing member aligning and joining said sides forming a unit; said handle attaching means further comprising means for attaching said base to said swim starting block, an arm pivotally attached to said base intermediate of and movable in a single plane parallel to the sides of said base, means for engaging said handle with the distal end of said arm so that said handle is movable in relation to said arm, and

a pin spanning said sides through any given aligned pair of said spaced apart holes in said opposing sides and through an opening in said arm transversely of said arm intermediate said sides for determining and holding said arm in a selected angular position with respect to said swim starting block.

3. The apparatus asrecited in claim 2 wherein said means for attaching said base to said starting block comprises a plurality of straps attached to said base,

- each of said straps having means for adjusting and securing the length thereof and a clamping means on the free end thereof for engaging said starting block, whereby said handle and said means for attaching said handle are portable and removably attachable to said swim starting block.

4. The apparatus as recited in claim 2 wherein said means for engaging said handle with the distal end of said arm comprises an arm having a longitudinal passage therethrough at the distal end thereof; a handle having two members joining at substantially right angles to each other, one of said members being dimensioned to permit insertion thereof snugly in said longitudinal passage in a telescoping manner so that said handle is movable in relation to said arm and the other of said membershaving a grip on either end thereof for said swimmer; and means for tightening to hold a selected position of said handle with respect to said arm; and said means for attaching said base to said starting block comprises fastening means to couple said base to said starting block, whereby said handle and said means for attaching said handle are integrated with said swim starting block as a unit.

5. The apparatus as recited in claim 2 wherein said means for engaging said handle with the distal end of said arm comprises an arm having a longitudinal passage therethrough at the distal end thereof; a handle having two-members joining at substantially right angles to each other, one of said members being dimensioned to permit insertion thereof snugly in said longitudinal passage in a telescoping manner so that said handle is movable in relation to said arm and the other of said members having a grip on either end thereof for said swimmer; and means for tightening to hold'a selected position of said handle with respect to said arm; and said means for attaching said base to said starting block comprises a plurality of straps attached to said base, each of said straps having a means for adjusting and securing the length thereof and a clamping means on the free end thereof for engaging said starting block, whereby said handle and said means for attaching said handle are portable and removably attachable to said swim starting block.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3942198 *Dec 16, 1974Mar 9, 1976Jewett Harold ASafety baffling and related equipment for swimming pools
US3956779 *Jul 15, 1975May 18, 1976Jewett Harold ATippable sunken baffles for diver protection in pools
US4134583 *Mar 30, 1977Jan 16, 1979Davidson James JStarting assist device for swimmers
US5916031 *Aug 5, 1997Jun 29, 1999Casillan; RamoncitoDiving platform cover
US7058994Oct 15, 2003Jun 13, 2006Spectrum Products, LlcStarting platform and anchor system
US9623272Jan 8, 2014Apr 18, 2017Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc.Adjustable plate for starting block
US20040063545 *Sep 27, 2002Apr 1, 2004Rosenberg Arthur A.Portable diving platform
US20040199990 *Oct 15, 2003Oct 14, 2004Spectrum Products, LlcStarting platform and anchor system
US20130252788 *Mar 23, 2012Sep 26, 2013S.R. Smith, LlcStarting block
US20160144214 *Nov 24, 2014May 26, 2016Darryl Edward LESLIEShock absorbing exercise board
USD742984Jan 8, 2014Nov 10, 2015Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc.Swimmer starting platform
USD784475Oct 16, 2015Apr 18, 2017Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc.Swimmer starting platform
USD791261Oct 16, 2015Jul 4, 2017Pentair Water Pool And Spa, Inc.Swimmer starting platform
EP2740518A3 *Dec 4, 2013May 25, 2016A & T Europe S.p.A.Starting block for swimming pools
WO1999007454A1 *Jul 31, 1998Feb 18, 1999Ramoncito CasillanDiving platform cover
WO2011012261A3 *Jul 22, 2010Apr 14, 2011John MesStarting device for swimmers
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/56, 482/30
International ClassificationA63B31/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B31/00, A63B5/10
European ClassificationA63B5/10, A63B31/00