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Publication numberUS3884467 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 20, 1975
Filing dateMar 31, 1972
Priority dateApr 7, 1971
Also published asDE2116920A1
Publication numberUS 3884467 A, US 3884467A, US-A-3884467, US3884467 A, US3884467A
InventorsSommer Reinhold
Original AssigneeSommer Reinhold
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for hitting a ball, shuttlecock or the like
US 3884467 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Sommer 1451 May 20, 1975 DEVICE FOR HITTING A BALL,

SI-IUTTLECOCK OR THE LIKE [22] Filed: Mar. 31, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 240,115

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data Apr. 7, 1971 Germany 2116920 [52] US. Cl 273/73 D [51] Int. Cl A63b 51/00 [58] Field of Search... 273/73 R, 73 C, 73 D, 73 E, 273/73 H, 73 L [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 240,183 4/1881 Richardson 273/73 L UX 1,523,865 1/1925 Craig 273/73 D 1,526,734 2/1925 Andrews et a1. 273/73 D 1,558,507 10/1925 Ryder 273/73 L UX 1,559,986 11/1925 Quick 273/73 E 2,171,223 8/1939 Robinson 273/73 I-l 3,545,756 12/1970 Nash 273/73 D 3,642,283 2/1972 Wilkens 273/73 D X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 5/1925 United Kingdom 273/73 E 788,772 8/1935 France 273/73 D 873,589 3/1942 France 309,238 4/1929 United Kingdom 273/73 D Primary Examiner-Richard J. Apley v Attorney, Agent, or FirmWalter Becker [57] ABSTRACT A striking device for striking a ball or shuttlecock or the like includes a striking means, preferably in the form of an arrayof string elements supported in a frame. The frame has connected thereto a handle. There are resilient means interposed between the striking means and the handle. In this manner the striking means is normally held in a predetermined'positionrelative to the handle. The striking means is yieldable in a direction perpendicular to the plane occupied by the striking means when a ball or shuttlecock or the like impacts against the striking means. Modifications include helical springs provided outside the frame and movable segment members are used outside of spring means. Tube projections of segments are thickened at inner ends and are pressed into bores of the frame. Rotatably mounted pins optionally are mounted in a heart piece between the frame and handle.

8 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures DEVICE FOR HITTING A BALL, SHUTTLECOCK OR THE LIKE The present invention relates to a device for hitting a ball, shuttlecock, or the like. Such a device may be used for example in playing tennis, badminton or other similar games.

With devices, such as rackets of this kind, the hitting surface normally is made up of strings possessing a certain inherent elasticity. This elasticity enables a ball to be hit by the racket to bounce off elastically, but since the inclination of the hitting surface to the handle varies during impact it may be difficult to achieve an exact aim using the racket.

It is an object of this invention to provide a device of the above mentioned character, which will make it possible to determine the direction of travel of a ball hit by the device of the invention by the direction of movement of the handle only.

It is another object of this invention to provide a device as set forth in the preceding paragraph, which will permit adjusting the resiliency of the hitting surface in conformity with the desire of the respective player.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will appear more clearly from the following specification in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates in plan view of the racket according to the invention.

FIG. 2 shows a section taken along the line 22 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 represents a section taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a section taken along the line 44 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 shows a detail view of a frame of another embodiment of the invention, mainly in front elevation, but partly in section, the movable members and springs having been withdrawn from the frame.

FIG. 6 shows a detailed plan view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 5, one movable member and spring having been entirely removed.

FIG. 7 shows a part of a different frame in front elevation, the movable member and springs having been withdrawn from the frame.

FIG. 8 shows a detail of a region of the cross-piece of another embodiment of the invention.

The device for hitting a ball according to the present invention, the hitting surface of which is formed by strings fastened in a frame while the device has elastic means permitting a nearly frictionless movement of the hitting surface relative to the handle of the device, is characterized primarily in that the elastic means are so arranged and designed that the hitting surface during its movements will not change its position relative to the said handle.

According to one embodiment of the invention, a plurality of retainers are provided on the support. These retainers are segments retaining the resilient mounting means or springs of steel, rubber or other material against the support. In this instance, the hitting means is preferably defined by a frame, while the resilient mounting means are arranged to act between the frame and the support, while alternately the retainers comprise members mounted to be movable relative to the support. The resilient mounting means are arranged to act between the support and said movable members.

The resilient mounting means may be received in apertures in the support, each movable member being provided with an individual projection engaging the or each respective mounting means arranged to act between the support and the respective movable member, and being provided with a groove on the side of the movable member opposite the or each projection, the groove receiving a string connecting portion joining adjacent strings of the hitting means. i

The hitting means may comprise an array of strings, the ends of the strings being provided with retainers retaining the mounting means against the support.

FIGS. 1 to 4 show a racket in which resilient mounting means or helical springs 2.3 are inserted in recesses 25 provided on a frame 24 and cushion the center strings in each direction to provide a control resiliently cushioned area of the striking surface. Outside the springs 23, there are provided movable members in the form of retainers, holding means, segmental members or segments 26 which have projections 27 on their inner side, the projections 27 extending into the springs 23. The projections 27 may, if desired, be of hollow construction. On their outer side the retainers or segments 26 are provided with a groove 28 to receive a connecting portion between two of the strings 29 forming a part of the hitting means and defining a portion of the hitting surface. The segments 26 are further pro vided with tube-like extensions 30 (FIG. 4) through which the strings 29 are passed. The individual strings of the racket may, in this embodiment and in the other described embodiments all be integral with one another, or alternatively some or all of them may be constructed of separate lengths of material. The segments 26 are arranged in a groove 31 of the frame 24. A clearance f is provided between a base surface 32 of the groove 31 and a flange of the segments 26. The clearance f determines the maximum length which the springs are permitted to adopt.

From FIGS. 5 and 6 it is evident that the segments 26 are captive in the frame, this being a preferable feature of the racket. In this embodiment, for this purpose the tube-like projections 33 of the segments 34 are at their inner ends provided with thickened portions 35, the outer diameter of which is somewhat greater than the diameter of the bores 37 provided in the frame 36. The segments 34 may consist of thermoplastic material so that for the insertion of the segments 34 into the frame 36 the tube-like projections 3.3 need to be heated only slightly in order to permit the thickened portions 35 to yield sufficiently to enable the projections 33 to be pressed into the bores 37. Alternatively, the segments 34 may be constructed of an elastic material.

The frame 36 is also provided with bores 38, to receive the helical springs 39. When a sufficiently short spring 39 and a corresponding design of the segments 34 are employed, a construction can be realized according to which the segments 34 do not project outwardly beyond the outer edge region of the frame 36. With this arrangement, damage to the segments 34 during a possible impact of the racket with the ground can be avoided.

The segments 34 are provided on their outer side with a groove 40 to receive the connecting portions between pairs of strings 41.

Referring now to FIG. 7, there is shown a part of a frame 42 into which a different segment 43 can be inserted. The segment 43 can receive three helical springs 44.

With reference to FIG. 8, there is shown a part of a cross-piece 45 of a different racket. In this embodiment, strings 46 run approximately perpendicularly with regard to the local periphery ofa frame part 47 adjacent the cross-piece 45 and thus also perpendicularly with regard to the segments 48 inserted into the frame part 47. This is achieved by the provision of pins 49 secured in the cross-piece 45, the strings 46 being guided around the pins 49. In order to assure that the friction occurring during the elastic movement of the strings 46 relatively to the pins 49 will be at a low value, the pins 49 may be rotatably mounted. In order that the curvature of the strings 46 at the deflecting position where the strings bend into the string holes has a sufficiently large radius, pins 50 may be provided, the crosssectional shape of which is that of a segment of a circle. In the embodiment of retainers shown in FIG. 8 the segment 48 is captive on the frame part 47, the segment 48 being connected to the frame part by means of screws 51.

Where the segments are captive on the frame (FIGS. to 8), during a possible tearing of one of the strings forming the hitting means, the helical springs also cannot become lost since these are held on their part by the segments.

With the described embodiments of the device according to the invention the direction of travel of a ball hit properly by string of the device may be determined only by the direction of movement of the handle.

Where the resilient mounting means are adjustable as to their resiliency, it is possible to set the resiliency of the hitting surface at a value which may be most convenient or suitable to the respective player using the device.

With heretofore known ball hitting devices, the resiliency of the hitting surface may be determined only by the inherent elasticity of the strings, in which case the resiliency decreases considerably toward the edge regions of the device so that the center of the hitting surface has a great resiliency than the edge regions. This is due to the fact that the strings can yield in a direction perpendicular with regard to the plane of the hitting surface to a greater extent in the center than at the edge regions. However, with the described embodiments of the device according to the invention, in which the effective resiliency of the hitting surface is based upon the resiliency of the mounting means which mount the hitting means on the support, the resiliency of the whole hitting surface may be equal.

Where movable members in the form of segments are used, it is possible to equip existing ball hitting devices so that they will operate in a manner similar to that of the described embodiments provided with segments. The segments may be so constructed that each one cooperates with one or more springs or other resilient mounting means. Expediently, however, at least two mounting means are received by each segment.

The mounting means may comprise springs constructed of steel, rubber or other material. Helical springs are a convenient form of spring for use in the described embodiments. However, springs of other shapes than cylindrical may be used. Furthermore, either tension springs or compression springs may be em ployed.

The describedembodiments may permit low-friction movement of the hitting surface relative to the handle thereby maintaining the stress applied to the arm of a player at a low value. 4

It is, of course, to be understood that the present invention is, by no means, limited to the particular showing in the drawings but also comprises any modifications within the sceope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A racket comprising an open, peripheral head frame having its ends extended beyond one side at its throat portion and continuing parallel to each other to form a handle for said racket, and a cross-piece extending between the sides of said head frame at said throat portion and complementary to the opposite side of said head frame, thereby forming a closed loop head frame, at least said head frame and throat portion having an external channel formed therein, said head frame and throat portion being formed with string holes therethrough, an array of strings extending in longitudinal and transverse directions across said peripheral head frame to form a striking surface, a plurality of the centrally located strings in at least the longitudinal direction extending from said throat portion to said opposite side of said head frame, said centrally located strings being connected to said head frame by first string connecting means, said first string connecting means connecting said centrally located strings to said frame comprising resiliently cushioned segments in said channel forming connections for said strings, said segments having inner surfaces and outer surfaces, coil springs seated in said channel between said frame and the inner surfaces of said segments to cushion movement of said segments and resiliently tension said centrally located strings, tubular string guide means in said channel through which said strings pass and are guided around the outer surfaces of said segments, the centrally located strings on the side adjacent said throat portion passing through said cross-piece and outwardly through said frame and connected to second string connecting means, said second string connecting means comprising spring-pressed segments seated in the channel of said frame at said throat portion and coil springs in said channel between said frame and the inner surfaces of said segments, the remaining strings in the longitudinal direction passing through the string holes in the frame and being connected directly to the frame.

2. A racket comprising an open, peripheral head frame with an integral handle formed by the ends of said head frame at its throat portion extending from one side, at least said head frame and throat portion having an external channel formed therein, said head frame and throat portion being formed with string holes therethrough, an array of strings extending across said head frame in longitudinal and transverse directions to form a striking surface, a plurality of centrally located strings in each of said directions being resiliently connected to said frame by resilient cushioning means, the strings in eachof said directions on both sides of the center strings being connected directly to said head frame, sid cushioning means comprising a plurality of segments fitting in said channel, said segments having inner and outer-surfaces, one of said segments being located on the side opposite said handle and two other segments being located along the transverse axis on the diametrically oppositesides, each of said segments having a length equal to the width of said centrally located strings which pass through said segment and are retained thereby, a plurality of coil springs seated in said channel between the inner surface of each segment and frame to resist movement of said segment and tension the springs connected thereto, said one segment on the side of the frame opposite the handle receiving and connecting the center strings extending from the handle side, the other two segments on the diametrically opposite sides receiving and connecting the center strings in the other direction to the opposite sides of said frame, a cross-piece located across the two sides of said frame at said throat portion complementary to the opposite side of said frame and through which the center strings in the longitudinal direction pass, the center strings in said longitudinal direction also passing through the sides of the frame at the side portions of said cross-piece at said throat portion by additional segments seated in said channel at said side portions for connecting said longitudinal centrally located strings to said frame, and coil springs seated in said channel between said additional segments and said frame.

3. A device according to claim 2, in which said crosspiece includes deflecting means for changing direction of said strings to extend outwardly normal to said frame.

4. A device according to claim 3 in which said deflecting means comprises pins.

5. A device according to claim 4 in which at least some of said pins are rotatable in the transition region.

6. A device according to claim 4 in which at least some of said pins are cross sectionally in the form of segments of a circle with the curved side facing said centrally located strings passing through said crosspiece.

7. A device according to claim 2 in which said segments and said additional segments include grooves on their outer surfaces for receiving said strings.

8. A device according to claim 2, in which tubular string guiding means are positioned in said channel through which said strings pass and are guided around the outer surfaces of said segments and said additional segments.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3958805 *Jul 22, 1975May 25, 1976The Babcock & Wilcox CompanyRacket yoke
US4013289 *Apr 8, 1976Mar 22, 1977Bernard KaminsteinTennis racket
US4138109 *Mar 14, 1977Feb 6, 1979Nobbs John WRacket and throat piece therefor
US4278251 *Mar 5, 1979Jul 14, 1981Paul LafourcadeRacket frame for ball games
US4340225 *Apr 13, 1979Jul 20, 1982Wilson Craig RGame racket and apparatus for adjusting the tension in the strings of a game racket
US4462592 *Jul 21, 1982Jul 31, 1984Roberto LeggerMetallic frame for tennis rackets
US4570933 *May 23, 1984Feb 18, 1986Michiels Hugo RRacket with knotting blocks for mounting strings
US4786055 *Jun 19, 1986Nov 22, 1988Darling James PSports racquet
US4930782 *May 24, 1989Jun 5, 1990Karakal Corp. Of The AmericasString tension transmitting apparatus
US5022651 *May 24, 1989Jun 11, 1991Barone Michael AExercise and training tensioning device for sporting racquets
US5251895 *Feb 5, 1993Oct 12, 1993Darling James PSports racquet
US5257781 *Jan 19, 1993Nov 2, 1993Mitt Usa CorporationRetained rocker string sports racket
US5435550 *Jan 25, 1995Jul 25, 1995You; Chin-SanGame racket
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US5980403 *May 8, 1998Nov 9, 1999Simidian, Ii; VahanDevices and method for maintaining string tension
US6336877Nov 2, 1999Jan 8, 2002Babolat VsRacket stringing guide recessed on the frame side
US6503161 *Feb 11, 1999Jan 7, 2003Brett Peter BothwellGame racket including a string suspension system
US6506133 *Jan 7, 2002Jan 14, 2003Arthur HongRacket with apparatus for enhancing elasticity of network
US6530851 *Mar 13, 2001Mar 11, 2003Volkl Tennis GmbhBall racket with damped two part profile
US6811502Apr 30, 2003Nov 2, 2004Wilson Sporting Goods Co.Racquet with elongated peripheral main string segments and enlarged sweet spot
US6935975Apr 10, 2003Aug 30, 2005Wilson Sporting Goods Co.Racquet with channeled handle for receiving racquet string
US8206248 *Jun 29, 2010Jun 26, 2012Yonex Kabushiki KaishaRacket
US8834306Jul 20, 2011Sep 16, 2014Ef Composite Technologies, L.P.Racquet with elongated grommet barrels
US9132321Sep 23, 2011Sep 15, 2015Brett BothwellSystem and method for an inflation bladder composite game racket
US9320946Jun 15, 2014Apr 26, 2016Brett BothwellSystem and method for a game racquet including an actuator
US20060166767 *Jul 15, 2002Jul 27, 2006Hiroo YanaharaSporting racket
US20100331126 *Jun 29, 2010Dec 30, 2010Yonex Kabushiki KaishaRacket
USRE34420 *Nov 21, 1990Oct 26, 1993Darling James PSports racquet
EP0109087A1 *Nov 15, 1983May 23, 1984Philipp Friedrich Wilhelm WagnerTensioning arrangement
WO2000025870A1 *Nov 2, 1999May 11, 2000Babolat VsRacket string pattern guide, frame side groove
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/539
International ClassificationA63B49/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B49/002, A63B49/007, A63B49/00
European ClassificationA63B49/00, A63B49/00F