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Publication numberUS3814421 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 4, 1974
Filing dateDec 7, 1972
Priority dateDec 7, 1972
Publication numberUS 3814421 A, US 3814421A, US-A-3814421, US3814421 A, US3814421A
InventorsW Spier
Original AssigneeW Spier
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Basketball return device
US 3814421 A
Abstract
In a basketball goal assembly, a ball return chute positioned beneath a hoop in ball-receiving relation thereto, the ball return chute being formed of a lightweight, substantially shape-retentive material. The chute has an upper ball-receiving opening, a lower ball discharge opening, and a curved body portion, the body portion being of a length such that the ball discharge opening is at a height substantially above the playing surface above which the basketball goal assembly is positioned, whereby the ball may be returned on a bounce to the player. The chute is held in position beneath the hoop by nesting in a circumferentially notched ring. The chute has a tooth mating with the one of the notches at a time, and the angular position of the chute is adjustable by fitting the tooth into different notches. The ring may be attached to the backboard or suspended by hooks from the hoop.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ 1 June4,-1974 [22] Filed:

[ 1 BASKETBALL RETURN DEVICE [76] Inventor: .William Spier, Jr., 1747 Maryland Ave., Charlotte, NC. 28209 Dec. 7, 1972 [2]] Appl. No.: 313,142

[52] US. Cl. 273/].5 A, 273/103 [51 Int. Cl A63b 63/04 [58] Field of Search 273/15 R, 1.5 A, 103, 273/125, 182. 120

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 435,237 8/1890 McClure 273/120 R 1,765,269 6/1930 Hatley...... 273/1.5 A 2,596,439 5/1952 Rose 273/120 R X 2,658,495 11/1953 Elliott t 273/15 R X 2,808,264 10/1957 Scalf t 273/].5 A 2.889.149 6/1959 Williams .1 273/1.5 R X 3,233,896 2/1966 King 273/15 A 3,599,978 8/1971 Sondergaard 273/103 X FOREIGN PATENTS'OR APPLICATIONS 330,613 6/1930 Great Britain 273/182 R Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant ExaminerPaul E. Shapiro Attorney, Agent, or FirmParrot, Bell, Seltzer, Park & Gibson 1571 ABSTRACT In a basketball goal assembly, a ball return chute positioned beneath a hoop in ball-receiving relation thereto, the ball return chute being formed of a lightweight, substantially shape-retentive material. The chute has an upper ball-receiving opening, a lower ball discharge opening, and a curved body portion, the

body portion being of a length such that the ball discharge opening is at a height substantially above the playing surface above which the basketball goal assembly is positioned, whereby the ball may be returned on a bounce to the player. The chute is held in position beneath the hoop by nesting in a circumferentially notched ring. The chute has a tooth mating with the one of the notches at a time, and the angular position of the chute is adjustable by fitting the tooth into different notches. The ring may be attached to the backboard or suspended by hooks from the hoop.

5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures BASKETBALL RETURN DEVICE This invention relates to a lightweight, easily adjustable basketball return device adapted particularly for enabling a basketball player taking practice shots to have the ball returned on a bounce to him. There have been numerous attempts in the past to devise a lightweight and compact basketball return device. Heretofore, such devices, including primarily various types of troughs, deflectors, or nets, have been so heavy and bulky as to make assembly difficult and adjustment time-consuming. Furthermore, most of the prior art devices are of such a length that in order to be in a position to receive the ball from the ball return device, the player must either take relatively long practice shots, or run back to the opening of the ball return device after taking a short shot.

It is therefore the object of this invention to provide a basketball return device which eliminates the problems set forth above.

More specifically, it is an object of this invention to provide a basketball ball return device which is relatively short, and positioned at a height substantially above the playing'level, so that the ball may be returned to the player on a bounce.

It is another object of this invention to provide a basketball return device which is quickly and easily adjustable in order to allow a player to practice shots from any direction.

Some of the objects of the invention having been stated, other objects will become evident as the description proceeds, when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of a basketball court, with a basketball return device according to the present invention in position on a typical basketball goal assembly, and showing the adjustability of the basketball return device, and the return of the basketball to the player on a bounce;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the basketball return device according to a preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary, perspective view of the adjustment tooth, shown in dotted lines in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the basketball return device according to a preferred embodiment thereof in position on a basketball goal assembly;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the basketball return device according to another embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 6 is a side view of the basketball return device according to FIG. 5 in position on a basketball goal assembly.

Referring now more specifically to the drawings, a preferred embodiment of the basketball return device according to the present invention is shown in FlG. 2,

flange or lip 14, having a substantially triangular, outwardly pointing adjustment tooth 15 connected thereto at the junction of the walls of tube 11 and annular lip 14 the purpose of tooth 15 to be set forth in detail hereinafter. Ball return chute 10 is intended to be carried in ball-receiving relation to a standard basketball hoop, indicated by reference letter H, normally carried by a backboard, indicated by reference letter B. Ball return chute 10 is carried in ball-receiving relation to hoop H by means of the annular frame 20, preferably having substantially the same outer diameter as the outer diameter of annular lip 14. As is best shown in FIG. 4, frame 20 is carried in an offset, spaced relation to backboard B, and in concentric relation beneath hoop H by means of a bracket 21, adapted to fit in place on backboard B in partial surrounding relation to a standard rectangular bracket by which hoop H is carried in spaced relation to the backboard B, the rectangular bracket fitting in the rectangular cut-out portion 22 in bracket 21. Frame 20 is stabilized by means of a pair of support anns 23', fixedly secured to and interconnecting opposing sides of bracket 21 and corresponding sides of frame 20.

Ball return chute 10 is carried in frame 20 by means of lip 14 resting on top of in overlapping relation to, and being supportively carried by, the circumference of frame 20. To adjust the direction of ball return, chute 10 is rotated axially in relation to frame 20, so that the discharge opening 13 is pointed'in the desired direction. In order to maintain this directional adjustment, a plurality of notches 24 is formed around the circumference of frame 20 at spaced intervals for matingly receiving tooth 15 on chute 10. When tooth 15 is positioned in the desired notch 24, axial rotation of chute 10 is prevented. It will be understood that because chute 10 will normally be rotated only about the notches 24 need only extend around the circumference of approximately one-half of frame 20.

A basketball return device according to another embodirnent of the invention is shown in FIG. 5, and comprises a ball return chute substantially as in FIG. 2. Therefore, prime notation has been added to the reference numerals in FIG. 5 which identify elements of the invention identical to the embodiment set forth in FIGS. 2 and 4. As will be noted, frame 20, as is best shown in FIG. 6, is suspended directly from hoop H by means of a plurality of hooks 26, fixedly secured to the outer axial surface of frame 20 and extending upwardly therefrom for being hooked over hoop H. As is evident from FIGS. 5 and 6, ball return chute 10' is carried in exactly the same manner in frame 20' as is ball return chute 10 in frame 20, in FIGS. 2 and 4.

It will thus be seen that there has been described above two embodiments of a basketball return device which is compact, lightweight, and easy to adjust. As is evident from the foregoing, and as illustrated in FIG. 1, a player may take practice shots from any point on a basketball court by merely adjusting the ball return chute 10 in frame 20 so that the ball is returned in the players direction. Furthermore, since the entire basketball return device is relatively short, a player may take shots at the basket from a very short distance, and catch the ball as it rolls out of the chute, instead of waiting for the ball to return to him on a bounce.

It will be understood that various details of the invention may be changed without departing from the scope of the invention. Furthermore, the foregoing description is for the purposes of illustration only, and not for purposes of limitation 'the invention being defined by the claims.

That which is claimed is: I

1. In a basketball goal assembly, including a backboard and a hoop, the combination therewith of a basketball return device, comprising: a circular frame connected to said basketball goal assembly and having a plurality of spaced notches around at least a portion of the circumference thereof, and a ball return chute carried by said frame in ball-receiving relation beneath the hoop of said basketball goal assembly, said ball return chute comprising a tapered cylindrical arcuate tube formed of a lightweight, substantially shape-retentive material, the outer diameter of the upper portion of said ball return chute corresponding substantially to the diameter of said circular frame, said ball return chute having an upper ball receiving opening and a lower ball discharge opening, and a curved body portion, said body portion being of a length such that said ball discharge opening is at a height substantially above the playing surface above which said basketball goal assembly is positioned, whereby the ball may be returned on a bounce along a predetermined path to the player, and wherein said ball return chute has fixedly attached on the circumference of the upper portion thereof at least one tooth for being positioned in one of said notches on said frame for maintaining the desired directional adjustment of said ball return chute.

2. In a basketball goal assembly according to claim 1, wherein said notches extend continuously around approximately one-half the circumference of said frame.

3. In a basketball goal assembly including a backboard and a hoop, and means mounting the basketball goal assembly at. a predetermined height above a playing surface, the combination therewith of a basketball return device comprising: a frame connected to said basketball goal assembly for controlling the angular direction of ball return from said basketball return device, the body portion of said ball return chute being of a length suchv that said ball discharge opening is at a height substantially above the playing surface above which said, basketball goal assembly is positioned,

whereby the ball may be returned on a bounce along a predetermined path to the player.

. 4. In a basketball goal assembly according to claim 3, wherein said frame is carried by said backboard for maintaining said frame and said ball return chute carried thereby, in ball-receiving relation to said hoop.

5. In a basketball goal assembly according to claim 3, wherein said frame is connected to the basketball goal assembly by means of a plurality of hooks connected to and extending substantially upward from the periphery of said frame and being carried by said hoop for suspending the basketball return device from said hoop.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3917263 *Oct 29, 1974Nov 4, 1975William D WileyFree throw basketball return
US3945638 *Feb 14, 1975Mar 23, 1976Luebkeman Hart HBasketball practice net
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Classifications
U.S. Classification473/433, 273/396
International ClassificationA63B63/08, A63B63/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/0071, A63B2063/001, A63B63/083
European ClassificationA63B63/08B, A63B69/00S