US 3868108 A
A headband supported device for partially obstructing the field of view is used for the purpose of training athletic competitors to become accustomed to their sight being partially obstructed by opposing competitors. The illustrated obstruction is in the form of a representation of a hand.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Kirchner Feb. 25, 1975  ATHLETIC TRAINING DEVICE 1,672,342 5/1328 Canto; 2/117 UX 1,77 ,175 91 3O Witte ind 7 10.1 UX 1 Memo KPchner, 544 Klmg 2,796,666 6/1957 Liebowitz... 33/262 Din/1011101110 45419 3,029,517 4/1962 Frey 33/262 3,109,654 ll/l963 C0mitz.... 40/129 A UX  1972 3,626,514 12/1971 $6666 2/14 11 x  Appl. No.: 311,944 3,670,417 6/1972 Rogers 33/262 3 Primary Examiner- Harland S. Skogquist  U.S. Cl. 273/1.5 A, 273/55 R 7 51 161.131 A631) 71/02 Dybvg  Field of Search 35/12 G, 29 R; 40/129 A;
128/1 c; 273/1.5 A, 55 R, DIG. 17; 2/10, 11,  ABSTRACT 14 V, 15, 3 R, 3 A, 3 B, 3 C, 14 H, 14 J, 14 A headband supported device for partially obstructing Q, 14 T, 14 W, 14 XS, 14 UT, 15, 12; 46/1 the field of view is used for the purpose of training F; 33/262 athletic competitors to become accustomed to their sight being partially obstructed by opposing competi-  References Cited tors. The illustrated obstruction is in the form of a rep- UNITED STATES PATENTS resentamn of a hand- 1,526,211 2/1925 l-lirschman 46/1 F 8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 1 ATHLETIC TRAINING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an athletic training device. Although there have been training devices designed to assist athletes, such as basketball players, in aiming at targets and there have been devices designed to be placed in the path of a ball such as a basketball being thrown, I am unaware of any device which will train an athlete to become accustomed to his sight being partially obstructed.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with this invention a device is mounted on the head of an athlete undergoing training which partially obstructs the users vision. Preferably at least parts of the device are flexible or movable so that the portion of the device in the users field of view will move about within the field of view. In contrast to the known devices which are designed to assist the user in aiming at a goal such as a basketkball hoop, the device of this invention is intended to train the user to become accustomed to obstructions in his line of sight. Accordingly, a user undergoing training is presented with a challenge simulating actual competition. A basketball player using the device would learn to adapt to the movement of an opponents hand in front of his face while shooting baskets. A football quarterback would more readily adapt to the presence of opposing linemen.
This invention includes a simple headband or the like which the user may easily put on or take off. A sight obstructing member is preferably detachably mounted on the headband so that it will automatically become detached from theheadband should the user fall. The sight obstructing portion of the device may be in the shape of a human hand, but this feature is optional. Importantly it has non-transparent areas adjacent transparent areas so that the user will become accustomed to sighting through transparent areas of limited size.
The device of this invention can conveniently include a bracket made from sheet plastic or the like material and a depending sight obstructing member with transparent areas cut therein also of plastic sheet material or the like. I have found that plastic sheet materials can be obtained which are sufficiently rigid to maintain the orientation of the sight obstructing member in front of the eyes of the user yet sufficiently flexible that the non-transparent portions of the sight obstructing member move about in the users field of vision in response to normal movements of the user. The sight obstructing member itself may be detachable from the bracket.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a basketball player using a device in accordance with this invention.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of a device made in accordance with this invention and illustrating the manner in which it is worn upon the head.
FIG. 3 is a front elevation al view of the device of FIG. 2 and illustrating the relative position of nontransparent portions of the device relative to the eyes of the user.
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the device again shown worn by a user.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the device.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT bracket 14 and a headband generally designated 16 including a band 18 and a relatively stiff, inelastic mounting plate 20 which, when in use, is positioned across the user's forehead. The headband 16 may optionally include a sweat pad 22 adhered to the rear surface of the mounting plate 20. The band 18 may be a simple elastic band as illustrated or it may be of known adjustable construction.
The organization of parts of the device 10 in accordance with this invention is such that the sight obstructing member'12 partially obstructs the view of the user and, preferably, such that the sight obstructing portions of the member 12 undergo a quivering motion in response to normal movements of the users head. The moving sight obstructing portions of the device are intended to be disconcerting to the user whereby an athlete undergoing training will more readily adapt to competitive situations in which vision is frequently obstructed.
In the illustrated embodiment the sight obstructing member 12 comprises a representation of a human hand formed from a sheet of non-transparent plastic with elongate, spread apart fingers. The fingers designated 12a and 12b are located in front of the eyes of the user. The mounting means for attaching the member 12 to the users forehead is such that the member 12 'is separated by only a few inches from the eyes. Therefore, any small movements of the finger portions 12a and 12b will be reasonably representative of larger movements of, for example, an opponents hand which normally would be farther away from the face. Plastic sheeting which is generally rigid enough to be selfsupporting but having the desired flexibility can readily be obtained. Unfilled polyurethane thousandths of an inch thick is one example of material satisfactory for this purpose.
The illustrated support arm or bracket 14 is in the form of an inverted U or channel member and also may be made from plastic sheet of the like material. The member 12 can be connected to one leg of the bracket 14 in any suitable fashion. Fastener members including parts connected to and projecting through the tip of the elongate, middle finger portion 12c, such as the snap fasteners 24 and 26, are convenient for this. purpose. The other leg of the support bracket 14 may similarly be detachably connected to the center of the mounting plate portion 20 of the headband 16, such as by snap fastener members 28 and 30. The support bracket 14 and the mounting plate 20 may be made from essentially the same plastic material as the member 12, but the bracket 14 should be stiffer than the member 12 in order to provide support therefor.
Because the member 12 and the support arm or bracket 14 are constructed from flexible material, the arm 14 readily twists along its length and the elongate finger portions, at least those designated 12a, 12b and 12c, flex in response to movements of the users head. Accordingly, one using the device 10, such as the basketball player represented in FlG. 1,- readily becomes 7 accustomed to the distractions and vision problems rethe mounting plate 20 so that the member 12 will not interfere with the users hands or the trajectory of a ball which the user is throwing. As previously mentioned,
the close proximity of the member 12 to the face also serves to magnify. the effect of themovements of the non transparentportions of the member 12 relative to the eyes. Thatis, small movements of the finger por- V tions 12a and 12b produce relatively large changes in the unobstructed field of view. it will be obvious, however, that the length of thersupport arm 14 between the mounting plate 2 and the sight obstructing member 12 could be greaterthan that illustrated. ,Also the support arm could project upwardly at anobtuse angle to the V mounting plate 20 if it is desired to provide an obstruc-.
tion for one looking more upwardly than forwardly. In
general, the length of the support arm and theangle that the support arm extends from'the mounting plate will depend upon the obstructing effect desired.
A detachable connection between the mounting;
plate 20 and the support bracket 14 is preferred so that the user may conveniently remove the support'bracket l4 and the sight obstructing member 12 without removing the entire device 10. Also as a matter of safety,
these parts are'readily detachable in the event the user should fall or strike any object. The sight obstructing member 12 may optionally be permanently affixed to V the arm 14 or integral therewith. If plastic material of the type discussed above is used in manufacture of the.
arm 14, the'body, of the arm 14 is effectively hinged to the legs thereof. It is not essential that the various parts of the device 10 be detachable from one another because, if the user should fall face down, the outer end of the mounting bracket 20 and the sight obstructing member 12 would most probably fold harmlessly against the face. Accordingly, this invention contem plates that, if desired, the mounting plate 20, the support arm orrbracket l4 and the sight obstructing member. 12 could be fixedly connected together or integrally formed together. ln such event, as suggested above, there should be a hinging relation between the parts whether made from plastic or other materials As used herein the terminologynon-transparent:'
material" or the like refers to material which is either ing means comprises a sheet of plastic or the like which opaque or sufficiently translucent that the user will be unable to see clearly therethrough and the movement of the material in front of the users eyes will tend to be disconcerting.
Although the presently preferred embodiment of this device has been described, it will be understood that within the purviewof this invention various changes I may be made within the scope of the appended claims. it will, for example; be obvious that the sight obstruct-' ing member 12 could take any convenient form. The
. illustrated member 12 could be mounted by only a singlesnap fastener or otherrmernber which would pro-. 'vide a pivotal connection to the supportbracket i4., The relatively rigid connection such as provided by the two snap fastener members is presently preferred .be-. cause the movements of the memberrl2 tendto be too extreme if the member 12 ispivotally mounted.
Having thus described my invention, i claim:
non-transparent portions, said sight obstructing means comprising a representation of a hand with spread apart fingers, and mounting means for'removably supporting said sight obstructing means on'the head of a user with said non-transparent portions in the field of view of the users eyes.
2. The device of claim lwherein said non transparent portions move in oftheguser. V
3. The deviceof claim response to movements.
fastenermember connected to the free end portion of.
a finger thereof.
6. The device of claim 1 wherein said; mounting I means includes a headband, a support bracket, and
means detachably connecting'said support bracket to said headband, and said mountingmeans further includes means for connecting said, sight. obstructing means to said support bracket.
7 7. The device of claim .1 wherein said mounting.
means includes a headband and means detachably connecting said sight obstructing means to said headband.
8. The device of claim 7 wherein said sightobstructis not transparent and having portions cut away adja cent said fingers to provide transparent areas adjacent: non-transparent areas.
1 wherein said fingersmove about inlresponserto movements of the user.
4.tThe device of'claim I wherein said sight obstructing means comprises a sheet member having flexible