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Publication numberUS3904193 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 9, 1975
Filing dateJul 2, 1974
Priority dateJul 2, 1974
Publication numberUS 3904193 A, US 3904193A, US-A-3904193, US3904193 A, US3904193A
InventorsJames W Patterson
Original AssigneeAmerican Platform Tennis Syste
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Platform tennis court
US 3904193 A
Abstract
The platform tennis court includes a plurality of concrete piers anchored in the ground in a rectangular array. A plurality of elongated, C-shaped channels are secured to the piers, arranged such that the vertically extending bight sections of the channels define the outer perimeter of the playing surface of the court. A concrete slab is cast within the rectangular array abutting the bight sections of the channel members. A plurality of upright members are each secured to the piers. Cross girts are secured to and between upper ends of the uprights, wherein the cross girts support the wire screen panels which form the ends and sidewalls of the court. A tensioning member is operably connected between the lower portions of the wire screen panels and the upper flanges of the C-channels to permit vertical tensioning of the wire screen panels. So that movement of the concrete slab, as caused by freezing and thawing weather conditions, does not result in uneven tensioning or misalignment of the screen panels, the concrete slab is not structurally fastened to the screen panels. The court also preferably includes an all-weather, thermoplastic playing surface disposed on the concrete slab.
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United States Patent 11 1 Patterson Sept. 9, 1975 1 PLATFORM TENNIS COURT Primary ExaminerRichard C. Pinkham Assistant E.mminerR. T. Stouffer [75) Inventor: James Panerson Butler Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Webb, Burden, Robinson & [73] Assignee: American Platform Tennis Systems, Webb Butler, Pa.

[22) Filed: July 2, 1974 [57] ABSTRACT [2l] Appl. No: 485,114 The platfonn tennis court includes a plurality of concrete piers anchored in the ground in a rectangular ar- 52 us. 01 272/3; 52/169 A p'urality P elmgated, c-shaped Channel? 51 Int. Cl A63b 61/00 F persgamnged such that vemcally 581 Field of Search 272/3- 273/29 R, 95 H; extendmg. seams define 52/169 295 404/7 outer perimeter of the playing surface of the court. A

concrete slab is cast within the rectangular array abut- [56] References Cited ting the bight sections of the channel members. A plurality of upright members are each secured to the pi- UNITED STATES PATENTS ers. Cross girts are secured to and between upper ends 2,205,398 6/1940 Eaton 272/3 f th u right wherein the cross girts support the 1 2958 Bingham, 273/29 R X wire screen panels which form the ends and sidewalls 3920b"; 2/1962 Eward of the court. A tensioning member is operably con- 31 13522 53169 X nected between the lower portions of the wire screen 5H968 Remy l i I H 272/3 panels and the upper flanges of the C-channels to per- 343s'3lz 4/1969 Becker ct alum 273/29 R X mlt vertical tensionmg of the wire screen panels. So 3:727:70? 4 1973 Machala 52/169 x that movement of the Concrete Slab, as Caused by 3,745,729 7/!973 Vaughn ct 11]... 273/29 R X freezing and thawing weather conditions, does not re- .77 .7 7 ll/l973 Wood, .lr. 273/2 R sult in uneven tensioning or misalignment of the 3.7791547 12/1973 PP 272/3 screen panels, the concrete slab is not structurally fastened to the screen panels. The court also preferably includes an all-weather. thermoplastic playing surface disposed on the concrete slab.

ll Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEU SEP 9 75 MEET 2 [1F 2 PLATFORM TENNIS COURT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION My invention relates generally to platform tennis courts and more specifically to a platform tennis court which includes a concrete deck construction surrounded by a structurally independent sidewall and endwall support and tensioning system.

Platform or paddle tennis. as it is commonly referred to, is played on a raised platform having screened side and endwalls. The game is played in much the same way as conventional tennis, except that in the game of paddle tennis, the ball may be played off the screened end and sidewalls. Since the screened end and sidewalls form part of the playing area in paddle tennis, it is, therefore, desirable to maintain the screens under tension so as to achieve a true and uniform bounce when the ball is played thereagainst. At the same time, it is also desirable to maintain the screens in a perpendicular and square alignment around the perimeter of the court so that uniform play can be achieved.

Paddle tennis has developed over the years as a popular out-of-doors, winter sport, particularly in northern areas of the country. Due to the variable winter weather conditions which prevail in the north, paddle tennis courts are constructed on a raised platform to allow for water drainage and to permit the easy removal of snow and ice therefrom. Heretofore, it has been common in the art to build platform tennis courts from wood and, more recently, of a rigid aluminum construction. In constructing such courts, it is desirable to provide a flat playing surface or deck which is easy to maintain and repair. It is also desirable to provide screened endwalls and sidewalls which will remain square and perpendicular and which may be periodically tensionally adjusted to maintain a uniform bounce when a ball is hit thereagainst. While the platform tennis courts of the prior art have attempted to achieve these desired objectives. none have been completely successful without being correspondingly very costly.

My invention solves many of the problems heretofore encountered in the prior art by providing a platform tennis court which is easily constructed on site with a minimum oflabor and expense. My court utilizes a concrete deck construction and a side and endwall system which is less expensive and yet more durable than the wooden or metal constructions of the prior art.

My invention further provides a platform tennis court construction in which the side and endwall support and tensioning system is structurally free of any fastening to the concrete deck, permitting slight movement of the deck due to freezing and thawing without adverse re ciprocal movement of the screened side and endwall system. Due to the fact that the end and sidewall system is structurally free of fastening to the concrete deck, my invention further eliminates the need for expensive footers which are commonly used in the art of concrete construction.

My invention still further provides a platform tennis court construction which also preferably includes a thermoplastic playing surface positioned on the concrete slab suitable for all-weather use and requiring little, if any, maintenance.

Briefly, my invention provides a platform tennis court which includes a plurality of concrete piers unchored in the ground in a rectangular array. preferably having their upper surfaces lying in a common horizontal plane. A plurality of elongated, C-shaped channels are secured to the piers and arranged such that the vertically extending bight sections of the channels define the outer perimeter of the playing surface of the court. A concrete slab construction, preferably comprising a lower layer of granular stone and an upper layer of concrete material, is cast within the rectangular array adjacent the bight sections of the channel members and flush with the upper flanges of the channel members. A plurality of elongated upright members are each secured to the concrete piers. Cross girts are secured to and between the upper ends of the upright members, said cross girts supporting the wire screen panels which form the end and sidewalls of the court. A tensioning means is operably connected between the lower portion of the wire screen panels and the upper flange of the C-channels to permit in-line, vertical tensioning of the wire screen panels. A thermoplastic playing surface is also preferably positioned on the concrete slab to provide an all-weather playing surface for the court. In use, the concrete slab construction is free to move relative to the piers and the C-shaped channels. Due to the fact that the screened endwalls and sidewalls are structurally supported and tensioned by the concrete piers, upright members and the C-shaped channel members, they will remain perpendicular and square even though there may be some movement in the concrete deck as a result of fluctuating weather conditions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a plan view of the platform tennis court showing the rectangular array of the piers and the channel members secured thereto;

FIG. 2 is a detailed partial view showing two piers and the C-shaped channel members positioned thereon;

FIG. 3 is a partial side view of the platform tennis court;

FIG. 4 is a more detailed, partial side view showing a screened side or endwall, a pier with an upright member secured thereto; and

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line VV of FIG. 4.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The platform tennis court of my invention, generally designated 1, includes a playing deck which is structurally independent of the sidewall and endwall support and tensioning system. Referring to the specific details of the drawings, a plurality of cylindrical supports or piers 5, preferably of concrete, are positioned in the ground 2 in a spaced apart rectangular array, preferably on 10 to 12 foot center spacings. Concrete piers 5 may have a diameter ranging between 12 feet, preferably about I8 inches, so as to afford proper structural integrity. Piers 5 may be cast directly into holes dug in the ground 2 or they may be cast into cylindrically shaped cardboard forms which are sunk into the ground prior to casting. Upper surfaces 6 of piers 5 (FIGS. 4 and 5) preferably lie in a common horizontal plane so as to eliminate unnecessary shimming of subsequent structural components. A plurality of C-shaped channels 8, preferably of steel, are positioned on piers 5. C-shaped channel members 8 each include upper flange 9 and lower flange ll interconnected by an upstanding vertical bight section 10. Channels 8 are preferably of a length equal to the spacing between piers (10-12 feet) to permit manual assembly on the job site with a minimum of labor. A plurality of anchor bolts 12 are cast within piers 5 and extend outwardly therefrom through base plates 7. Base plates 7 rest on upper surfaces 6 of piers (FIG. 5) and provide a level bearing surface for mounting channels 8 and uprights l6. Channel members 8 are secured to piers 5 along lower flange 11. Lower flange ll contains elongated slots 14 (FIG. 2) through which anchor bolts I2 extend and upon which nut 13 is threadably secured. The C-shaped channel members 8 are secured to pier members 5 in a rectangular array with vertical bight sections 10 facing the interior of the court. As can be seen in FIG. 1, channel members 8 define the rectangular outer perimeter of playing surface 25 of court 1.

A concrete slab or pad construction generally designated 15 is cast within the rectangular array defined by channel members 8. The bight sections 10 of channels 8 act as a form for pouring the concrete slab. A regulation platform tennis court is generally 60 feet long by 30 feet wide. The slab construction 15 is preferably east in four 30 by l5 foot sections, each section forming a quarter court. Referring to FIG. 5, slab construction 15 preferably comprises a first layer of granular stone 18 which extends from ground 2 to a point along bight section 10 approximately 2 inches above lower flange ll of channel members 8. Bight section It) is preferably 6 inches in vertical width, which leaves about 4 inches of the bight section extending above the granular stone 18. A plastic membrane 38 is preferably laid over granular stone 18 to act as a vapor barrier. Concrete slab 20, preferably 4 inches in thickness, is then poured over stone base 18 to a point flush with upper flanges 9 of channel member 8. Concrete slab 20 preferably contains conventional reinforcing wire mesh and is separated along the mid-court line and center lines defining the quarter courts by expansion joints 21 of a conventional asphalt base material. The interface between concrete slab 20 and bight 10 also preferably contains expansion joints 2!. Hence, it can be appreciated that pad construction 15 may move or float independently of piers 5 and channels 8 since channels 8 merely act as a form retaining concrete 20 and are not structurally fastened thereto. Concrete pad 20 is preferably finished at a higher elevation along the mid court, center line and sloped outwardly toward channels 8 to permit water run-off from the center of the court to its outer perimeter at channels 8. Since the outer perimeter of concrete slab 20 is flush with upper flanges 9 of chin nels 8, water is free to flow outwardly from slab 20 and drain over flanges 9 to ground 2.

A thermoplastic playing deck is preferably positioned on concrete slab 20 to permit greater traction in various weather conditionsv Thermoplastic deck 25 is of a known design and comprises a plurality of interlocking, honey-combed modules having holes 37 through the upper surface and a plurality of legs 36 ex' tending downwardly therefrom which space the upper surface from concrete slab 20 permitting continuous water drainage thercthrough (FIG. 5 Water will drain through holes 37 in deck 25 onto the upper surface of concrete slab 20 and. due to the camber built into slab 20, the water will naturally flow outwardly to channel members 8. The cambered concrete slab construction 20 and thermoplastic deck 25 affords an all-weather playing surface which is virtually maintenance-free.

A plurality of upright members 16 having integral base plates 17 are each mounted to plates 7 of piers S by way of anchor bolts 12 and nuts 13. A plurality of cross girts 22 are boltably secured to and between the upper end portions of upright members 16. Hook members 24 are secured to cross girts 22 and supportably engage the ends of wire screen panels 23 which form the end and sidewalls of the court. The lower ends of wire screen panels 23 are secured to mounting bars 26 by way of hooks 24'. A plurality of tensioning rods 27 having threaded portions at their ends are attached to mounting bar 26 and to upper flanges 9 of channel members 8 by way of nuts 39 and 28, respectively. It can be noted that the upper end of rod 27 may be modified by replacing the threads and nut 39 with a headed portion (not shown). The in-line tensioning of screen panels 23 is selectively regulated by nut 28 positioned on the lower end of tensioning rod 27 below upper flange 9 (FIGS. 4-5). Conventional snow gates 29 are pivotally attached to mounting bar 26 by way of hooks 30 to permit snow to be swept outwardly from playing surface 15. Court 1 also is provided with a conventional door assembly 33 to permit entry therein (FIG. 3). The court is, likewise, provided with net poles 32 and conventional net 31 as shown in FIG. 1. Anchor bolts and base plates (not shown) for mounting net poles 32 may be conveniently placed into the wet concrete shortly after slab 20 has been cast.

Uprights 16 which help support wire screen panels 23 are about 12 feet in length. In conventional platform tennis courts of the prior art, the uprights supporting the screens are generally attached to the playing deck. Any small warpage or movement of the deck causes a magnified movement in the uprights due to their great length resulting in screen misalignment and uneven tensioning. This problem is solved by my invention since my platform tennis court 1 provides a system wherein the support piers 5, upright members 16, side and endwalls 23 and channel members 8 are structurally free of any fastenings to deck 15. Since the end and sidewall support and tensioning system is not fastened to the deck, any movement of the deck as a result of fluctuations in temperature and/or freezing and thawing does not cause movement or misalignment of the side and endwalls. Hence, my construction provides a court in which the screened side and endwalls remain perpendicular and square relative to piers 5 and channel members 8 eliminating the need for expensive concrete footers or structural Outriggers.

I claim:

1. A platform tennis court comprising:

A. a plurality of piers anchored in the ground in a spaced-apart, rectangular array;

B. a plurality of elongated channel members rigidly secured to and extending between said piers, said channel members defining the rectangular outer perimeter of the playing surface of the court;

C. a concrete slab construction cast within and retained by the rectangular array defined by the channel members, said slab construction including means on the edge of said slab construction abutting said channel members which enables said slab construction to be free to move relative to said channel members;

D. a plurality of upright members each secured to a pier;

E. wire screen panels forming end and sidewalls of the tennis court; i

F7 means for mounting said wire upright members; and

G. tcnsioning means operable between said wire screen panels and said channel members to permit vertical tcnsioning of the wire the wire screen pan els.

2. The platform tennis court of claim 1 wherein said channel members are generally C-shaped having upper and lower horizontal flanges outwardly extending from a vertical bight section, said bight sections positioned adjacent the concrete slab, construction said lower flanges secured to said piers, and said tcnsioning means being operably connected to the upper flanges of said channel members.

3. The platform tennis court of claim 2 wherein the concrete slab construction includes a layer of granular stone extending from the ground to a point along the bight sections of said channel members, a plastic membrane positioned on said granular stone, a layer of concrete cast on said plastic membrane and said granular stone, said layer of concrete being substantially flush with the upper flanges of said channel members around the outer perimeter of said slab construction, said abutting means of said slab construction being comprised of an expansion joint positioned between the bight sections of said channel members and the cast concrete layerv 4. The platform tennis court of claim 3 wherein the upper surface of the concrete is cambercd outwardly from the center of the concrete slab construction toward the outer perimeter of said slab construction to permit water drainage therefrom.

5. The platform tennis court of claim 1 wherein said piers include a plurality of anchor bolts extending out wardly therefrom for securing said channel members and said upright members thereto.

6. The platform tennis court of claim I including a thermoplastic playing deck positioned on the concrete slab construction, said plastic deck including an upper surface having a plurality of holes therethrough and a plurality of legs extending downwardly therefrom for spacing said upper surface from the concrete slab construction.

7. The platform tennis court of claim 1 wherein the means for mounting the wire screen panels comprises a plurality of cross girts secured to and between upper ends of the upright members, said cross girts carrying a plurality of mounting hooks for attaching the upper ends of the wire screen panels thereto and said tensioning means comprising a mounting bar secured to the lower ends of the wire screen panels and a plurality of tcnsioning rods connected at their upper ends to the mounting bar and extending through said channel members at their lower ends, said rods each being threaded at least at their lower end for engagement with a nut to permit vertical movement of the rod and the connected mounting bar relative to the channel members. whereby. the wire screen panels may be vertically tcnsioned by rotativc movement of the nuts carried by said tcnsioning rods.

8. A platform tennis court comprising:

A. a plurality of concrete piers cast in the ground in a spaced-apart. rectangular array, the upper sur screen panels to said faces of said piers lying in a common horizontal plane, each of said piersincluding a plurality of threaded anchor bolts extending outwardly from the upper surface thereof;

B. a plurality of metallic base plates having bolt receiving holes therethrough, each of said base plates positioned on the upper surface of a pier with said anchor bolts extending upwardly therethrough;

C. a plurality of elongated, rigid, C-shaped channel members of a length substantially equal to the spacing between adjacent piers, said channel members having upper and lower horizontal flanges interconnected at one end by a vertical bight section, the lower flanges having elongated anchor bolt receiving holes therethrough for securing said channel members to pairs of adjacent piers, the bight sections of the secured channel members defining the rectangular outer perimeter of the playing surface of the court;

D. a concrete slab construction cast within the rectangular array defined by the bight sections of said channel members, the outer perimeter of said slab construction being substantially flush with the upper flanges of the channel members, said slab construction including means on the edge of said slab construction abutting said channel members which enables said slab construction to be free to move relative to said rigid channel members;

E. a thermoplastic playing deck positioned on the concrete slab construction, said deck including an upper surface having a plurality of holes therethrough and a plurality of legs extending downwardly therefrom for spacing the upper surface from the concrete slab construction;

F. a plurality of upright members each having a mounting plate at their lower end for rigid securement to the anchor bolts on each of said piers;

G. wire screen panels forming end and sidewalls of the tennis court;

H. means for mounting said wire screen panels to said upright members; and

l. tcnsioning means operable between said wire screen panels and the upper flanges of said channel members to permit vertical tcnsioning of each of the wire screen panels.

9. The platform tennis court of claim 8 wherein the concrete slab construction includes a layer of granular stone extending from the ground to a level abutting the bight sections of said channel members, a plastic mem brane positioned on said layer of granular stone, a layer of concrete having steel mesh reinforcement therein cast on said plastic membrane, a plurality of expansion joints positioned between the bight sections of said channel members and the cast concrete layer and along the longitudinal and mid-court centerlines of the court, said concrete layer having a cambercd upper surface sloping outwardly from the center of said court toward the outer perimeter thereof to permit water drainage therefrom.

10. The platform tennis court of claim 8 wherein the means for mounting the wire screen panels comprises a plurality of cross girts secured to and between upper ends of the upright members, said cross girts carrying a plurality of mounting hooks for attaching the upper ends of the wire screen panels thereto and said tension ing means comprising a mounting bar secured to the lower ends of the wire screen panels and a plurality of nuts carried by said tensioning rods.

1]. The platform tennis court of claim 10 including a plurality of snow gates pivotally hung on said mounting bars below said wire screen panels adapted for outward pivotal movement to permit the removal of snow from the playing surface of the court.

Patent Citations
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US2205398 *Feb 20, 1935Jun 25, 1940Church E Gates And CompanyCourt
US2823034 *Aug 29, 1956Feb 11, 1958Jr Hiram BinghamRecreation enclosure
US3020618 *Jan 20, 1958Feb 13, 1962Eward Lee EConcrete form
US3216163 *Mar 21, 1963Nov 9, 1965Carew Howard JIntegrated building framing and floor therefor
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US3438312 *Oct 22, 1965Apr 15, 1969Mennessier Andre H FGround covering capable for use in playing tennis in the open air or under cover
US3727707 *Aug 9, 1971Apr 17, 1973Machala JConcrete pit and deck construction for platform scales and method of making the same
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4078795 *Sep 8, 1976Mar 14, 1978Porter Douglas MTension cable enclosure
US4146221 *Apr 28, 1977Mar 27, 1979Newquist Barbara LPlatform paddle tennis court deck and associated equipment
US4229004 *Aug 4, 1978Oct 21, 1980Stokes Alvin RFloor type pool game apparatus
US4918891 *Apr 18, 1989Apr 24, 1990U.M.C., Inc.Precast concrete foundation elements and system and method of using same
US5312109 *Jun 21, 1991May 17, 1994Cagle David GSoccer court
US5338244 *Jun 15, 1993Aug 16, 1994Full-Zone CorporationHoop toy
Classifications
U.S. Classification472/94, 52/169.5, 52/169.9
International ClassificationE01C13/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63C2019/085, E01C13/045
European ClassificationE01C13/04B