US 3820787 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 91 Heinbigner 1 FOOTBALL PRACTICE TARGET  Inventor: Leonard F. I-Ieinbigner, 934 Pierce Ave., Oshkosh, Wis. 54901  Filed: Feb. 11, 1972 ] Appl. No.: 225,561
Related U.S. Application Data  Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 15,072, Feb, 27,
U.S. C1 273/55 B, 273/102 S, 273/105 R Int. Cl A63b 67/00 Field of Search 273/26 AR, 181 F, 55 RB,
273/102 SR, 102.4, 105 R  References Cited UNITED STATESPATENTS 3,039,770 6/1962 Ferretti 273/26 A 3.467388 9/1969 Weiler 273/181 A FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 945,760 l/l964 Great Britain 273/127 R 51 June 28, 1974 Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant ExaminerTheatrice Brown Attorney, Agent, or FirmStan Binish 5 7 ABSTRACT A flexible bag having its mouth end portion secured to a rim for retaining the bag in open mouth position, said rim being disposed in a vertical plane and mounted on resilient support means for rotation about a vertical axis and for movement vertically, and avoid excess package pollution, said rim being comprised of a pair of substantially identical U-shaped rodular members, the U-shaped members being secured together by a pair of substantially identical tubular members telescopically receiving the legs of the U- shaped members in a press fit manner to form a substantially rectangular frame, said frame having a rectangular base also being formed from a pair of U- shaped rods joined by a pair of tubular members, said base and said frame being joined together by a pair of tubular members receiving rods extending from said base and said frame, said frame being supported in a vertical plane and being substantially perpendicular to said base.
1 Claim, 13 Drawing Figures FOOTBALL PRACTICE TARGET This is a continuation-in-part of copending application Ser. No. 15,072 filed Feb. 27, I970 (since abandoned on Feb. 17, 1972). This invention relates generally to the game of football, particularly to the kicking phase of the game, and more specifically to a football receiving target to aid in the practise of the kick-off kick or the placement-kick of the game.
In order for a kicker to practise the above type kicks, it is the usual custom to provide a companion catcher who can receive and return the kicked balls prompty to the practise kicker, thereby to obtain the maximum kicking practise for the kicker, as meausred by the greatest number of kicks accomplished in the shortest possible time.
The purpose of this invention is to eliminate the need for such companion catcher who can better be released to devote his time and effort toward improving his own talents in other phases of the game.
A further purpose of this invention is to provide a football receiving target that will allow the kicker to retrieve his own kicked footballs with a minimum of ballreturn time, and to practise his kicking art in a studious isolated enviornment, away from the usual practise crowd, alone, and undisturbed by any others around him.
Such concentrated, intense and solitary kicking practise allows the kicker to focus his attention on the study and analysis of his kicking form and to experientally develop and improve his kicking technique and skill.
An object of this invention is the provision of football practise target means for receiving, containing and retaining a kicked football.
Another object is to provide a football receiving target that is angularly displaceable about a vertical axis thereby to simulate a reduced or foreshortened-inwidth target as when a kicker is kicking a placement kick from an angle to the right or left of the longitudinal centerline of the football field.
Yet a further object is to provide an improved football receiving target of knockdown construction for packaging in a minimum size box for convenience of handling and transporation.
Other specific features and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals designate like parts throughout the figures thereof and wherein:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the invention, absent a mesh bag;
FIG. 2 illustrates a fractional modification of FIG. 1, absent the platform base thereof, and showing a circu-. lar weighty base for supporting the target means and operative to be rolled from place to place;
FIG. 3 illustrates a fractional modification, patterned after FIG. 2, but showing a disc-like weighty base;
FIG. 4 is a fractional modification showing a leaf spring for supporting the football receiving target means;
FIG. 5 is a fractional modification showing a helical coil spring for supporting the football receiving target means;
FIG. 6 is a fractional modification showing a combination helical spring mounted on telescopic post means for resiliently supporting football receiving target means, and a receiving target means that is expandable sidewise and vertically;
FIG. 7 is an isometric fragmentary view showing the mouth of the loosely hung receiving net bag secured around the frame or rim of the target basket;
FIG. 8 is a fractional modification of FIG. 1 showing the lower end of the tubular support post provided with a tapered point element in lieu of a base plate;
FIG. 9 is a fractional modification of FIG. 1 showing the lower end of the tubular support post receivable in a ground support sleeve in lieu of a base plate;
FIG. 10 is an isometric schematic view showing the angular projection relation from a point to the target frame and thence to the goal post structure; and
FIG. II is a front elevation view of a modification showing a knockdown version of the invention adapted to be taken apart for packing and packaging in a minimum size box or case for convenience of handling and transportation;
FIG. 12 is a side elevation view of FIG. 11; and
FIG. 13 is an isometric exploded view showing the relationship of assembly of the various parts of the invention shown in FIG. 11.
Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals designate like or corresponding parts throughout the several views, there is shown in FIG. 1 a football practise target apparatus generally indicated at 9, a basket or target means generally indicated at 10 mounted on telescopic support means generally indicated at 11, a base plate 12 for said telescopic support means, and a platform 13 on which said base plate 12 is mounted.
The football receiving target or basket 10 comprises a rectangular rim or framework 14 disposed in a vertical plane and having a pair of vertical spaced upright side arms 15 and 16, a lower horizontal cross bar 17 connecting said upright arms at the lower ends thereof, and an upper tie bar 18 connecting the upright arms at the upper ends thereof. The target frame 14 is preferably made of rodular or tubular members, and of either rigid or resilient material, resilient material being preferred to absorb the impact of a kicked football. The dimensions or area of the frame opening is suitable for the intended purpose as hereinafter described.
A flexible bag such as net 10' or the like, see FIG. 7, formed of textile fabric or the like, has its mouth opening secured to the rim or frame 14 by any conventional means. Said net is preferred to be of a length to loosely depend from the rim and operative to receive and retain a football and to absorb some of the impact of a football kicked therein. An elongated bag having a length allowing the bottom thereof to hang at an elevation from about 12 to 30 inches below lower horizontal bar 17 has been found satisfactory. However, the invention is not limited to said dimensions.
The frame 14 is supported, at the mid-point of the cross bar 17, by the telescopic post 11. The telescopic post 11 comprises a vertical tubular post 19, rigidly mounted on base plate 12 as by welding, and a rod 21 telescopically received in said hollow post 19 for rotational and axial movement therein. The frame 14 is mounted on said telescopic rod 21 as by welding.
A thumb screw 22 threadedly engaged in tubular post 19 is engageable with telescopic rod 21, and operable as a set screw to fix the position of rod 21 relative to the post 19, that is, to lock the position of the attached target frame 15 in a raised or lowered position or in a rotated or angular position with respect to fixed post 19, as adjustably desired.
The rod 21 and tubular post 19 can be rigid, but are preferably made of resilient material and deflectable as shown by dotted lines 14, to absorb the impact of a kicked football kicked thereagainst.
The spaced upright arms 15 and 16, the cross bar 17, and the post 11, correspond to the members of a conventional football goal post structure.
The base plate 12 is secured to the platform 13, or the like, by means of screws such as indicated at 23 passing through apertures 20, see FIG. 4, in the corners of said base plate 12. Said platform 13 can comprise a board approximately one inch thick, two feet wide, and eight feet long, but is not limited to such dimensions as any platform suitable for the intended purpose and the needs of the individual kicker will suffice. In some instances, in lieu of a separate platform, it has been found practical to secure the base 12 directly to a wood or concrete floor, or even to a firm earthen floor with suitable stakes or pins, or the like.
In other instances, one can secure the tubular support post in the ground or earth as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, absent the base plate, as hereinafter described.
FIG. 2 shows a modification wherein a heavy massive base 24 is provided, and in which tubular post 19 is threadedly received and engaged as at 25. This massive base serves in lieu of the base plate 12 and the platform 13 shown in FIG. 1. The massive base 24 has a circular configured bottom portion as at 26 to allow the heavy target apparatus to be tilted and rolled from place to place, thereby avoiding the pnysical stress and strain and possible personal injury attendant to the bodily carrying of such a heavy apparatus. Such a heavy base obviates the need for fixation of the target to a platform as shown in FIG. 1. The mass of the base 24 should be of a measure to provide inertial stability to counteract the force of impact from a football kicked against the supported receiving target.
FIG. 3 is a modification somewhat similar to the modification of- FIG. 2, wherein the heavy massive base 27 is of disc configuration, and of sufficient inertia to counteract the effects of a football kicked against the associated receiving target.
FIG. 4 is a modification wherein the support post for the receiving target is a blade or leaf spring 28, deflectable fore-and-aft as indicated by dotted lines 29, and also torsionally deflectable.
FIG. 5 is a modification wherein the support means for the receiving target is a helical coil spring 31, de flectable fore-and-aft, sidewise, up-and-down, and torsionally.
FIG. 6 is a modification of FIG. 1 wherein the telescopic support rod 21, see FIG. 1, is provided with an extension helical coil spring 32 thereby providing a deflectable arrangement similar to the apparatus of FIG. 5; however, the coil spring in FIG. 6 introduces an element having a different and additional vibration frequency thereby tending to dampen the vibration frequency of the apparatus system of FIG. 1.
Furthermore, the modification of FIG. 6 is provided with a height and width telescopically adjustable and expansible target frame comprising right angular corner elements, such as indicated at telescopically related with side sleeves such as indicated at 16, l7
and 18, positionally fixed by means of thumb or set screws such as indicated at 30, for varying the dimensions of the frame and for other reasons as hereinafter described. Obviously the bag 10 should be adapted for accommodation to such extensible frame.
The modification of FIG. 8 shows the post 19 pro vided with a pointed extension 12, in lieu of base plate 12, for driving into the ground 13 for support.
The modification of FIG. 9 shows the post 19 received and supported in a sleeve 12" inserted in the ground 13. In this case, the ground sleeve serves in lieu of base plate 12.
The dimensions of the rim of rectangular frame 14 can vary to suit the practise requirements of the kicker; generally, a frame about three to four feet square has been found satisfactory, however the invention is not limited to such dimensions.
The knockdown modification shown in FIGS. ll, 12 and 13 comprises an open base generally indicated at 43, post support means generally indicated at 44 extending from said base, and a receiving target or basket generally indicated at 45.
The base comprises a pair spaced and substantially identical shallow U-shaped rodular base members 46 and 47, oppositely disposed, and with the arms 48 and 49, and 51 and 52, thereof confronting each other, respectively, said U-shaped members being disposed lying on their sides.
A pair of substantially identical tubular base members 53 and 54 telescopically receive the corresponding arms 48 and 51, and 49 and 52, respectively, in press-fit engagement and securement.
Intermediate the ends of said U-shaped members 46 and 47 are provided a pair of substantially identical and oppositely disposed base pin members 55 and 56 projecting vertically from said U-shaped base members, respectively.
A pair of substantially identical tubular post members 57 and 58 telescopically receiving the base pin members 55 and 56, respectively, in press-fit engagement and securement.
The target or basket generally indicated at 45 comprises a rectangular open frame means generally indicated at 59, and a flexible bag 61 having its open mouth margin secured around said open frame by any conventional means, such as being tied thereto as indicated at 62, see FIG. 11, said flexible bag being substantially similar to net 10 see FIG. 7.
The vertically disposed open frame means, generally indicated at 59, comprises a lower shallow U-shaped rodular frame member 63, having its arms 64 and 65 extending vertically upwardly.
A pair of spaced frame pins 66 and 67 depend vertically downwardly from the underside of said U-shaped frame member 63, said depending pins being spaced so as to be telescopically received in the upper end portions of tubular posts 57 and 58, respectfully, in pressfit engagement and securement. The U-shaped frame member 63 is thus supported on tubular posts 57 and 58.
A pair of substantially identical tubular side frame members 68 and 69 telescopically receive said arms 64 and 65, respectively, in press-fit engagement and securement, and are thus vertically mounted on such arms.
An upper shallow U-shaped rodular frame member 71, substantially identical to the corresponding lower frame member 63, except for the omission of pins 66 and 67, has its arms 72 and 73 telescopically received in the upper end portions of said side frame members 68 and 69, respectively, in press-fit engagement and securement, and is thus mounted on and across said frame members, to complete the rectangular open frame member 59.
Flexible bag or net 61 has its open mouth margin secured to said open frame member 59 by means hereinbefore described.
The shallow U-shaped members are described as shallow in that the arms thereof are considerably shorter than the connecting body portion, to accommodate packing and packaging in a minimum size box, an arm length of about four inches has been found suitable for a target having a thirty inch square basket frame. However, the invention is not limited to such dimensions.
In operation, for mere general kicking practise, and for a straight-on kick, one disposes the plane of the receiving target transversely to the path or line of advance of the kicker such as indicated at 33, see FIG. I. The kicker then places a tee 34 on such path or line, on the platform 13, a suitable distance from the receiving target, and places football 35 on said tee in a kicking position. He then adjusts the height of the receiving target 10, as indicated by vertical double arrow 36 and dotted frame lines 36', see FIG. 1, to a suitable elevation dictated by the selection of the kick to be practised, such as one with a short hightrajectory or one with a long low trajectory. The kicker then stands back of the ball, a suitable distance, and advances toward the ball, and endeavors to kick the ball into the rimmed mouth 14 of the net bag In the event one wishes to simulate an angle kick, such as from one side of the field of play to the goal post, one merely loosens thumb screw 22, rotates the receiving target frame a measure of angular displacement consistant with the simulated angular field position, see rotational arrow 37, and then tightens thumb screw 22 to fix such simulated angular position. Such angular dispositionment of the frame 14 presents a frame of foreshortened width, as would be seen by a kicker positoned for an actual angle kick from the field of play, such foreshortened width is indicated by dotted lines 38, see FIG. 1.
Furthermore, the projection angle for a straight-on kick to the goal post uprights is smaller for a long kick situation then for a short kick situation. To compensate for such foreshortening effects the target frame can be likwise rotated and angularly displaced correspondingly to effectuate such foreshortening.
For a more accurate and precise kicking practise, the adjustable frame width modification as shown in FIG. 6 may be used. In this situation, for a straight-on kick from the longitudinal centerline of the field of play, see FIG. 10, one disposes the football practice target 9 on said centerline between the football disposed on said centerline, ready to be kicked, and the distant goal post structure 39. One then adjusts the width of the target frame 14 so that the telescopic side members 15 and 16 line up and conform with the angular projection from the football to the corresponding upright arms of the goal post structure 39. The angular projection is determined and defined by the divergent dotted lines 41 and 42 diverging from the common point on the ground 34' where the football is placed and extending to the upright arms, respectively, of said goal post structure 39. If desired, the horizontal member 17' can be height adjusted accordingly and fixed by means of thumb screw 22. A football kicked into the target basket will have had a flight direction accuracy within the limits of said angular projection and consequently between the goal post upright arms extended downwardly and upwardly.
Some characteristic features of this invention are the provision of a football practise receiving target having the receiving basket whose mouth comprises a rim disposed in a vertical plane and said rim being mounted for rotation about a vertical axis; the provision of a football practise receiving target that is adjustable vertically; the provision of a football receiving target that is resiliently mounted for one or more degrees of freedom of movement; the provision of an improved football receiving target of knockdown construction; the provision of a football receiving target having a rimmed mouth that is telescopically expandable sidewise; and the provision of a football receiving target having a flexible bag or net secured to the rim or mouth of said receiving target, the bag being elongated and depending loosely from said rim, operative to receive in the folds thereof and absorb the impact. of a forcefully kicked football directed therein; and avoid package pollution.
Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood, that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
What is claimed and desired to be protected by United States Letters Patent is:
I. A football receiving target, comprising:
a. a base comprising a pair of substantially identical spaced shallow U-shaped rodular base members, the arms of which are disposed confronting each other, respectively, and in the same horizontal plane;
b. a pair of substantially identical base pins, oppositely disposed, projecting vertically from the central portion of said U-shaped base members, respectively;
c. a pair of substantially identical tubular base members telescopically receiving said confronting arms, respectively, in press-fit securement;
d. a pair of substantially identical tubular post members telescopicallyv receiving said pins, respectively, in press-fit securement.
e. a lower shallow U-shaped rodular frame member having its arms extending vertically upwardly;
f. a pair of spaced substantially identical frame pins depending vertically downwardly from the underside of said lower U-shaped rodular frame member, said spaced frame pins being disposed in the central portion of said lower U-shaped frame member, and said frame pins being telescopically received in the upper end portions of said tubular post members, respectively, in press-fit securement;
g. a pair of substantially identical tubular side frame members telescopically receiving the upwardly extending arms of said lower U-shaped rodular frame member, respectively, in press-fit securement;
h. an upper shallow U-shaped rodular frame member,
substantially identical to said lower shallow U- shaped rodular frame member, having its arms telescopically received in the upper portions of said tusembled upper and lower U-shaped rodular frame bular svlde frame members respect'vely m press'fit members and said pair of tubular side frame memsec'urement; and b ers.
i. a flexible bag, the mouth margin of said bag being secured around the open frame comprising said as-