US 3889948 A
A football training apparatus including a pair of vertically mounted, back-to-back dummies with means to adjust the tension thereon so as to provide any desirable tension for opposition. The apparatus also includes a generally rectangular, horizontal frame spaced above the ground, upright supports for the frame, a longitudinal lower guide member at ground level located centrally of said frame and secured to the ground against movement, an upper guide member rigidly connected to said frame and extending longitudinally parallel to the lower guide member, a lower plate on said lower guide member extending directly beneath an upper plate lying parallel and adjacent the upper guide member and a pair of vertical arms in back-to-back relationship extending from the upper plate to the bottom plate and rigidly connected thereto, with the dummies being secured to said arms.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Visco June 17, 1975 1 FOOTBALL BLOCKING TRAINING APPARATUS  Filed: Sept. 6, 1973  Appl. No.: 394,730
Primary ExaminerRichard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-T. Brown Attorney, Agent, or FirmRobert H. Bachman  ABSTRACT A football training apparatus including a pair of vertically mounted, back-to-back dummies with means to adjust the tension thereon so as to provide any desirable tension for opposition. The apparatus also includes a generally rectangular, horizontal frame spaced above the ground, upright supports for the frame, a longitudinal lower guide member at ground level located centrally of said frame and secured to the ground against movement, an upper guide member rigidly connected to said frame and extending longitudinally parallel to the lower guide member, a lower plate on said lower guide member extending directly beneath an upper plate lying parallel and adjacent the upper guide member and a pair of vertical arms in back-to-back relationship extending from the upper plate to the bottom plate and rigidly connected thereto, with the dummies being secured to said arms.
8 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures SHEET PATENTEDJUN 17 19;:
HUGH \N FOOTBALL BLOCKING TRAINING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Football training methods are widely used for developing good habits in athletes. They include the wide use of dummies in various assemblies, such as illustrated by the following U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,556,523; 3,377,064; 3,684,283; and 3,580,574.
It is highly desirable to develop an improved apparatus which is simple in construction and versatile so that it may readily be used for training football athletes in the art of blocking, tackling and cross body blocking and reducing bad habits and form.
Accordingly, it is a principal object of the present invention to provide a novel football training apparatus.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide such an apparatus which serves numerous training goals, such as reminding the athlete to keep his legs and feet apart for a better base and reminding the athlete to keep his body and head down.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will appear from the ensuing specification.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The apparatus of the present invention comprises a horizontal frame spaced above the ground, upright supports for the frame, a base member at ground level located centrally of said frame and secured against movement, a mat on top of said base extending beyond the frame and secured against movement, an upper plate rigidly connected to said frame and extending parallel to the base member, a bottom plate over said mat and extending directly beneath said upper plate, a pair of vertical arms extending in back-to-back relationship from the upper plate to the bottom plate and rigidly connected thereto, a pair of dummies on each arm and means on said bottom plate to adjust the tension thereon.
The apparatus of the present invention has numerous highly desirable features. The mat prevents ground rutting and allows the players to maintain good traction. The bottom plate may be of pre-selected width so as to remind the athletes to keep their legs apart the desired distance. The tensioning means is a particularly desirable feature which allows any desirable tension for opposition and permits the apparatus to be utilized by two players, one against the other at a desired tension level or, if desired, with no tension at all, or by only one player against a pre-selected tension.
Other advantageous features will appear hereinbelow.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the training apparatus of the present invention, with parts in section;
FIG. 2 is a top view of the apparatus of the present invention; and
FIG. 3 is a sectional view along the lines 33 of FIG. 2 showing details of the dummy assembly.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the generally rectangular horizontal frame 10, which may be composed of four pipes, such as longitudinal pipes a and 10b, and transverse pipes 100 and 10d, connected together by brackets 11, is spaced above the ground and supported by upright supports 12 connected thereto at each corner by sleeves 13 in a known manner, The supports 12 may be secured to the ground by tubular sleeves 14 and anchors 15. The frame is typically about 5 feet 6 inches high and surrounded by padding 16 at least centrally of transverse frame members and 10d, so as to train the athletes to assume the proper crouching stance when approaching the training apparatus.
A rigid longitudinal base member 20 is placed at ground level 21 centrally of the frame 10 and secured to the ground against movement, as by stakes 22. The
base member should be flush with the ground level 21,
as clearly shown in FIG. 1, and therefore is preferably located in a groove in the ground. The base member 20 is located centrally of the frame 10, is preferably narrower than the width of the frame and preferably runs the entire length of the frame.
A mat 23 is placed on top of base member 20 extending in the longitudinal direction beyond the frame and secured to the ground against movement as by stakes 24, as clearly shown in FIG.'2. The mat 23 should be at least as wide as the base member and preferably wider, but is generally narrower than the width of the frame. The mat is preferably an all-weather reversible manila or fiber construction which will prevent ground rutting and provide good traction for all types of football foot gear. Naturally, other mat surfaces can be used, such as artificial turf to simulate artificial turf playing fields, or rubber matting.
An upper plate assembly 30 is rigidly connected to transverse frame members 100 and 10d by means of brackets 31 and extends longitudinally parallel to and above base member 20 and mat 23. As shown in FIG. 2, the upper plate is substantially narrower than the width of the frame as defined by the length of transverse frame members 10(' and 10d.
Bottom plate 40 rests on base member 20 and extends longitudinally, parallel to and directly beneath upper plate 30. Means 41 are provided to adjust the tension thereon, such as friction adjustment knobs 42 which adjust the tension on friction pads 43 in a known manner. Friction knobs 42 ride in a aperture 44 in laterally extending pad 45, which is in turn secured to intermediate washer plate 46 and bottom plate 40 by bolts 47 on flange 48 carried on laterally extending pad 45. Knobs 42 are bolted to the washer plate 46 by bolts 49. Optionally, bottom plate 40 may carry casters 50 or other additional support means. The friction pads 43 and casters 50 preferably ride directly on the base member 20 since it provides a rigid supporting surface. Hence the fiber mat 23 may be cut out or slit as shown in FIG. 1 to permit this.
Thus, as knobs 42 are turned downwardly, pressure is exerted on friction pads 43 which elevates bottom plate 40 so that the weight of the assembly is off casters 50 and is exerted on friction pads 43 and thereby creating a frictional drag.
Laterally extending pad 45 extends longitudinally for from 2 4 feet, for example, about 30 inches, and is preferably covered with padding. Pad 45 is desirably about 12 inches in width and the padding provides protection to the athlete if he slips when driving into the dummy, while reminding the athlete to keep his legs apart.
A pair of vertical arms 60 are rigidly bolted between base member 40 and upper plate 30. The vertical arms 60 are in back-to-back relationship and extend from underneath box 71 carried beneath upper plate 30 be tween the two dummies. The hose connects to T 72 which actuates the battery operated bell 73 housed in box 71 in a known manner. The bell can be set to sound a warning when the athlete hits the dummy high, as indicated by belt 74. Alternatively, when two athletes are competing bell 73 can be set to sound a warning when T 72 is moved laterally a given distance.
Thus it can be seen that the training apparatus of the present invention provides numerous advantages, many of which have been referred to hereinabove. The means 41 provided to adjust the tension on the bottom plate 40 provides any desirable tension for a single athlete. The pad 45 helps to develop good training habits while providing protection for the athlete. Similarly, the bell 73 aids in developing good training habits. In addition, the apparatus is suitable for both one and two man competition.
Naturally other variations will readily occur to one skilled in the art. For example, an indoor model may be easily constructed by adding metal floor flanges to the upright support members or by providing suction pads with guide wire supports. Also, several of these apparatus may be connected in tandem.
This invention may be embodied in other forms or carried out in other ways without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiment is therefore to be considered as in all respects illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of..the invention being indicated by the appended claims, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency are intended to be embraced therein.
What is claimed is:
l. A football training apparatus comprising:
a generally rectangular frame member having spaced apart upright supports; upper and lower elongated guide members, said upper guide member being attached at each of its ends to said frame member and extending longitudinally therewith, said lower guide member being attached to the ground against movement relative thereto, said lower guide member also being positioned directly below in the same vertical plane with said upper guide member and being parallel therewith; upper and lower vertically spaced plates, said upper and lower plates being positioned, respectively, adjacent said upper and lower guide members and parallel therewith, said upper and lower plates being rigidly attached to each other by a pair of horizontally spaced vertical arms for maintaining said vertical spacing; friction means provided on said upper and low plates for frictionally engaging respectively, said upper and lower guide members; means provided on said lower plate for adjusting the amount of frictional engagement; a pair of flexible dummies secured to each of said arms for engagement by a player in an attempt to move said dummies against the frictional engagement of said friction means and guide members.
2. An apparatus according to claim 1 including a mat on said lower guide member extending longitudinally beyond the frame and secured to the ground against movement.
3. An apparatus according to claim 2 including a lateral extension of said lower guide member having a width of about 12 inches.
4. An apparatus according to claim 3 wherein said lateral extension is covered with padding.
5. An apparatus according to claim 2 including means on said dummies connected to a bell for sounding an alarm when the dummies are hit out of a predetermined target area.
6. An apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said means to adjust the frictional engagement of said friction means include adjustable friction pads which ride on the base member.
7. An apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said mat is of fiber construction.
8. An apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said mat is constructed of artificial turf.