Having Projectile Return Means Patents (Class 473/431)
  • Patent number: 10398965
    Abstract: An apparatus and a method to locate a three dimensional object and to execute a predetermined operation on said object, such as playing carom is disclosed. The apparatus includes a robot (200) having an end effect or (202) mounted on a gantry frame. The apparatus further includes a plurality of imaging sensors mounted at predetermined positions in said gantry frame. A data processing system (computer) (214) is provided in communication with said robot (200) and said imaging sensors. Further a controller 216 connected to said data processing system (214) to regulate the functions of said data processing system. The end-effect or (202) provided in the robot (200) consists of at least two degrees of freedom, one for rotational (302) and other for transmitting force (306a).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2019
    Inventor: Srinivasan Viswesh
  • Patent number: 9039547
    Abstract: A sports simulation robot for playing games and drills on a standard court or field during which the robot will simulate the competitive play of a human opponent with specific playing characteristics such as strategy, physicality, playing style and skill level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Inventor: Michael Yeager
  • Patent number: 8894511
    Abstract: A portable and easily foldable sport net 50 includes a ball return system wherein balls 930 or other projectiles are stopped and gently rolled back to the user. A frame system 200 may include spring steel or fiberglass and may further includes front frame members 210, rear frame members 220 and lower lateral frame members 230. An inside net 100 is attached or integrated into the front frame members 210 and the inside net 100 has little contact or attachment to the rear frame members 220. The judicious use of netting material and other components result in a lightweight and easy to assemble sport net. Embodiments feature two lateral voids 250 and a rear void 240 which provide an economy of construction and efficiency of use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Inventors: Renan Lore, Huaimian Zhang
  • Publication number: 20140274481
    Abstract: One aspect of the invention provides a sports equipment collection and return device including: a vacuum tube terminating in an opening; a return adapted and configured to return the sports equipment to a user; and a vacuum source adapted and configured to apply vacuum to the vacuum tube to draw the sports equipment from the inlet to the return.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 12, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Inventor: Muntala M. Harruna
  • Publication number: 20140038751
    Abstract: A sports simulation robot for playing games and drills on a standard court or field during which the robot will simulate the competitive play of a human opponent with specific playing characteristics such as strategy, physicality, playing style and skill level.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 2, 2013
    Publication date: February 6, 2014
    Inventor: Michael Yeager
  • Publication number: 20130296079
    Abstract: A lacrosse training and competitive game installation includes an elongated enclosed space having side walls and a goal area adjacent one end thereof and a player area at an opposite end thereof. The goal area includes a rear wall and one or more forward projecting side baffle regions projecting forward from the rear wall of the goal area. Each of the one or more side baffle regions has one or more throwing apertures through which lacrosse balls are hurled into the enclosed space in sequence. A ball projector assembly is mounted behind each baffle adjacent each of the throwing apertures for hurling the lacrosse balls into the enclosed space simulating passed balls between players. A simulated goal is preferably rotatable in the goal area for throwing and shooting of balls at various angles to a goal. Balls are collected from the goal area and delivered to each ball projector assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 24, 2013
    Publication date: November 7, 2013
    Inventor: Ralph Schwartz
  • Patent number: 8540592
    Abstract: A ball target assembly includes a support that includes a front wall having a front side, a back side and a perimeter edge extending between the front and back sides. The front wall has an opening therein extending into the front side and outwardly of the back side. A rear wall is hingedly coupled to the front wall along an upper edge of the front wall and an upper edge of the rear wall. A ball catch is mounted to the back side and covers the opening. The ball catch is formed of a loose material configured to catch and retain a ball thrown through the opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2013
    Inventor: Joshua C. Coppenrath
  • Publication number: 20130210556
    Abstract: An automatic collection method for collecting one or more spherical game elements that may be struck by a striking element is disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 10, 2011
    Publication date: August 15, 2013
    Inventors: Javier Simón Vilar, Fernando González Minguez
  • Patent number: 8460128
    Abstract: A ball sports practice device is disclosed having a forward facing ball capture enclosure and a rear facing rebound structure. The angle between the ball capture enclosure and the rebound structure may be adjusted to support the device to a plurality of use positions on a support surface. An optional support arm may be included to maintain or limit the angle between the capture enclosure and the rebound structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Assignee: Indian Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Philip Elpers
  • Publication number: 20130095959
    Abstract: A disclosed device provides a trajectory detection and feedback system. The system is capable of detecting one or more moving objects in free flight, analyzing a trajectory of each object and providing immediate feedback information to a human that has launched the object into flight, and/or one or more observers in the area. In a particular embodiment, a non-intrusive machine vision system that remotely detects trajectories of moving objects may be used to evaluate trajectory parameters for a basketball shot at a basketball hoop by a player. The feedback information, such as a trajectory entry angle into the basketball hoop and/or an entry velocity into the hoop for the shot, may be output to the player in an auditory format using a sound projection device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 4, 2012
    Publication date: April 18, 2013
    Applicant: PILLAR VISION, INC.
    Inventor: PILLAR VISION, INC.
  • Publication number: 20130005512
    Abstract: A system and method for improving a player's efficiency in shooting by providing a player with various shooting challenge routines at which a player makes either a total number of shots or a total number shots in a row. Statistics regarding the player's performance are stored, printed and/or evaluated and the player can use the information to improve his or her efficiency at one or more of the plurality of different locations where the player shoots the basketball. In another embodiment, a measuring or detection system is used in combination with or separate from a ball launcher. The system is adapted to measure at least one of a distance of a player from the a launcher, height of a shot made by the player after catching a basketball, release angle, release time, or arc of a shot; entry angle of the basketball into a goal; hold or release time; or shot arc.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 21, 2012
    Publication date: January 3, 2013
    Applicant: SHOOT-A-WAY, INC.
    Inventors: John G. Joseph, Troy David Geiser, Albert Charles Abnett
  • Patent number: 8257204
    Abstract: The automatic ball collection system contains a blower sub-system and a collection device. The blower sub-system drives the balls on the ground towards the collection device, and the balls are then automatically collected by the collection device. The blower sub-system contains a number of blowing devices configured at the corners capable of producing air flow substantially along ground surface so as to push the balls to roll towards the collection device. As such, the players' time and effort in constant bending and picking up balls, and the possible injury resulted as such are avoided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2012
    Inventors: Shu-Hua Liu, Po-Heng Liu
  • Publication number: 20120190482
    Abstract: A sports training device to practice shooting, kicking, throwing, launching or hitting a sports projectile such as a baseball, golf ball or ice hockey puck; comprising of a tether attached to the projectile, and an electromechanical drive mechanism to act on the tether to return the projectile. In the case of baseball hitting practice, a batter would hit a ball attached to the tether; the ball would travel the length of the tether. The other end of the tether would be secured to the device body. The batter would activate the device to return the ball. The drive mechanism consists of a drive roller attached to a motor, and an idler roller attached to a lever. After the tether is let out the user depresses the lever, pinching the tether between the rollers and activating the motor simultaneously, thus hauling the tether. The tether coils upon itself when it returns.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 20, 2012
    Publication date: July 26, 2012
    Inventors: Blair R. Cottreau, Alexander S. Gonzalez
  • Publication number: 20120142454
    Abstract: A basketball return apparatus for collecting and returning basketballs includes a ball collector, with a top opening and a bottom opening, and a ball returner. The ball returner is connected to a base for receiving balls from the bottom opening of the ball collector and returning the balls to a user. A rotatable support mechanism connects the ball collector to the base so that the ball collector is rotatable with respect to the base and the ball returner.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 2, 2011
    Publication date: June 7, 2012
    Inventors: Douglas Brad Campbell, Jeffrey Jon Campbell
  • Patent number: 8133137
    Abstract: A pitching machine configured for adjustment by a user, and including a pitching head, a first macro-adjustment device and a first micro-adjustment device. The pitching head is situated atop a stand. The pitching head includes a first wheel spaced apart from an opposing surface and a first motor for driving the first wheel. The first macro-adjustment device is coupled to the pitching head and includes a first locking assembly that, when loosened, allows manual rotation of the pitching head about a first pivot axis. The first micro-adjustment device is coupled to the pitching head, and includes a first adjusting element that, when repositioned, incrementally rotates the pitching head about the first pivot axis. The first micro-adjustment device configured for operation by a single hand of a user, and the first macro-adjustment device retaining the pitching head in a secure position during adjustment of the first micro-adjustment device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2012
    Assignee: Wilson Sporting Goods Co.
    Inventors: Eugene Grant, William R. Woessner, Ian Fettes
  • Patent number: 8016699
    Abstract: An air driven ball return pitching apparatus that is unique in that the motor, when activated creates a vacuum zone on part of the system and a pressurized zone on the remainder of the system. The motor housing is equipped with a blower that acts upon the system through a Y connection in the pipe. When activated the blower forces air into the pressurized zone and creates the vacuum in that zone. The ball is pitched at the target of the back stop; the ball falls to the bottom which is graded to direct the ball to the return system. The vacuum acts upon the ball causing it to enter the return system and travel to the motor housing where it switches zones into the pressurized zone returning the ball to the pitching position for reuse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2011
    Inventor: Rodney Swartzendruber
  • Patent number: 7927237
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a basketball return machine which may be utilized with either a goal unit or a stand-alone basketball goal. Either or both of the basketball return machine and goal unit may be fixed in location or transportable. The machine collects basketballs that are shot in the direction of a basketball goal and returns them to the user at one or more locations around the return machine's perimeter. The present disclosure eliminates the need for persons or other means being deployed to capture and return balls to persons practicing or playing a game of basketball. The present disclosure also contemplates features that permit its use in low level light or even unlighted environments. Lastly, the present disclosure contemplates a fully functional basketball system that is adaptable to varying user skill levels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2011
    Inventors: Craig D. Jenkins, Foster Brashear
  • Publication number: 20110070978
    Abstract: A ball travel-modifying device comprising a sail and a strikeable object modifies a travel distance and a rate of travel of a struck or thrown object and returns the strikeable object to an initial rest position after each hit or throw. Devices built in accordance with the invention are particularly suited for use with strikeable objects which are various kinds of balls. A separation distance between the strikeable object and the sail is adjustable. A separation distance between the strikeable object and a surface upon which a player stands may also be adjustable. In some embodiments, the strikeable object may be replaced with a strikeable object having a different size or weight. The shape of the sail is triangular, quadrilateral, or other shapes and may be symmetric or asymmetric. The sail may alternatively be formed with a flat or curved surface and straight or curved edges.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 24, 2010
    Publication date: March 24, 2011
    Inventor: Steven Glen Chandless
  • Patent number: 7892116
    Abstract: A baseball training aid is provided which includes an audio or visual pitch indicator for simulating a baseball pitcher's pitch. The training aid further includes an impact sensor, preferably in the form of a microphone, for detecting whether a practicing batter's swing is timely, premature or late. The audio signals produced by the microphone are processed by a processor to determine the timeliness of the batter's swing. The results are then communicated to the batter using an audio or visual feedback indicator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2011
    Inventor: Norman Kellogg
  • Publication number: 20100292033
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods for receiving and returning objects such as sport balls. In one embodiment, the apparatus is used for training players such as baseball players. Exemplary apparatus are adapted to catch an item thrown, pitched or hit towards a target located on the apparatus. In the context of baseball, a player may pitch a ball to the target which indicates a “strike zone”. In another embodiment, the apparatus is further adapted to return the item in a way that simulates the various ways the item may be returned during game-play. A user interface adapted to provide trainer with the ability to track a player's practice progress and skill level is also described. The user interface further enables a user to establish one or more rules for practice sessions using the apparatus in order to ensure an appropriate amount of time is spent training players requiring particular types of training.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 15, 2010
    Publication date: November 18, 2010
    Inventor: Guy Daniel Sarver
  • Patent number: 7794338
    Abstract: A pivoting frame assembly for use with a pitching machine. The pitching machine for pitching balls. The pivoting frame assembly for supporting the pitching machine above a ground surface. The pivoting frame assembly having a first portion for supporting the pitching machine and a second portion configured for contacting a ground surface, these first and second portions pivotally connected to one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Inventor: Kim N. Cherry
  • Publication number: 20100120557
    Abstract: A rebounder for use with a sport goal that receives a scoring object. The sport goal includes a goal frame having a left upright member, a right upright member and a crossbar extending between the left upright member and the right upright member. The goal frame further includes an open area for receiving a scoring object. The rebounder includes a rebound member for returning a scoring object to a player when the scoring object impacts the rebound member. The rebound member has a tension member. The tension member is configured to return a scoring object to a player when the scoring object impacts the tension member. The rebound member further includes at least one connector for connecting the rebound member to the sports goal such that the position of the rebound member relative to the sports goal can be adjusted while the rebound member is attached to the sports goal. Preferably, the rebounder can be readily collapsed and moved to a storage position while connected to the sport goal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 7, 2008
    Publication date: May 13, 2010
    Inventors: Kent Randall Klein, Neil Elmoe Brown
  • Patent number: 7662053
    Abstract: A ball returning backstop assembly includes a backstop that collects a thrown ball and a ball return assembly that returns the collected ball. The ball return assembly includes a housing that supports a linkage for propelling the collected ball and a motor for driving the linkage. The housing includes a tube that receives the collected ball, with the linkage having a piston that is slidable within the tube to propel the ball out of the tube. The motor is electrically connected to switches that control when the motor drives the linkage. One switch being configured to turn the motor on when the collected ball is ready to be returned and the other switch being configured to turn the motor off after the ball is propelled out of the tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2010
    Inventors: Dustin Summers, Erik Perez, Kenneth G. Heinz, Jr., John Kaduk, Justin Tobin
  • Patent number: 7648431
    Abstract: A target receptacle, for use in practicing baseball, softball, and the like, having a main part and a base plate. The base plate is secured to a ground surface. The main part is rotatably mounted to the base, has an intake opening, and exit port, and a fully enclosed conduit connecting the intake opening and exit port. When a ball is thrown into the intake opening, it travels through the conduit and exits through the exit port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2010
    Inventor: Roy Kinkead
  • Patent number: 7553244
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a football receiving and launching machine that receives thrown footballs into a ball collector, orients the football and transfers the football into a ball accelerator that launches the football into the air automatically, enabling the user to practice catching and throwing footballs without the assistance of another player.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2009
    Inventor: Michael Timothy York
  • Publication number: 20090029805
    Abstract: A multi-sports ball/disk return net system and a method thereof that consistently returns a ball/disk hit, kick, thrown or struck into it back toward a user and that is portable and easy to assemble and disassemble. The multi-sports ball/disk return net system has a frame and a net mounted on or across the frame. The net forms an upper U-shape forward bulging pillow having a square net pattern and a lower U-shape channel or hammock with the square pattern at the opposite ends of the U-shape channel being skewed to become diamond shapes. The net is configured to cause a projectile propelled into the U-shape pillow to drop down to the U-shape channel, which funnels the ball to the lowest and central point of the U-shape channel for discharge toward the user.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 25, 2008
    Publication date: January 29, 2009
    Inventors: Paul A. Crawley, Matthew J. Crawley
  • Patent number: 7458907
    Abstract: An artificial pitcher for practicing the hitting skill of baseball includes an artificial pitcher on a support and having a ball holder on top, a main spring biased a stroke which are held by a hook on a hollow interior cylindrical main body, and a control device positioned remote from the pitcher having a rope to control the hook to release the stroke to hit a baseball from the ball holder flying to a batter. In order to pitch a transforming ball, an angular adjustment plate is positioned beside the main body to help the main body to adjust its angle of elevation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2008
    Inventor: Chi-Sung Wang
  • Patent number: 7393290
    Abstract: A combination of a ball storage rack and a ball feeder track provide an apparatus for basketball storage and consistent position retrieval of sport balls, such as basketballs and volleyballs, by a player. The apparatus comprises a frame configured with an upper portion along the length of the frame capable of holding a plurality of sport balls with a lower rack configured to hold a plurality of sport balls and an extendable feeder track capable of receiving a sport ball and facilitating movement of the sport ball down the track for retrieval of the sport ball by a player. Feeder track may be extended for use in active sports drills or sport games, or folded or retracted for convenient storage of the apparatus when not in use. Apparatus may be configured to hold and display signage such as advertisements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2008
    Assignee: Swishy, LLC
    Inventors: Aloysius Ignatlus Martin, David Charles Curry
  • Patent number: 7344457
    Abstract: Apparatus to add weight to an athletic ball striking bat, having a taper along the bat length, comprising in combination a sleeve sized to extend about the bat at the taper location, the sleeve having associated retention means to engage the bat at a zone along said taper to resist lengthwise removal of the sleeve off the bat during bat swinging, a weight or weights carried by the sleeve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2008
    Inventor: Raymond A. Liberatore
  • Patent number: 7278934
    Abstract: A baseball training device includes a target net from which balls will be fed to a unit that will throw the balls back to a player. The unit can be set to throw the balls in the air or on the ground so a variety of situations can be practiced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2007
    Inventors: Kevin S. McBride, Francis P. Mullenbach
  • Patent number: 7273428
    Abstract: An apparatus for supporting a tethered baseball in position for batting practice and automatically retrieving the ball after it has been hit with a bat, which includes an adjustable height stand, a fishing reel and a variable speed motor connected thereto. Tethered by a small gauge fishing line which is attached to the reel, the ball, prior to being hit, rests atop the adjustable strand. When the ball is hit, the line is released nearly effortlessly from the reel; and the ball is allowed to travel virtually unobstructed during its flight. When the ball has traveled its full distance, the batter, by pushing a switch with a foot pedal, starts the motor, causing the reel to rewind the line. A control on the switch allows the batter to vary the speed of the motor from fast when the ball is at a distance to slow when the ball approaches the batter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2007
    Inventor: Barry D. James
  • Patent number: 7226372
    Abstract: The present invention provides a batting tee comprising a hollow tubular vertical stand having a first end through which at least one ball can be loaded inside said tubular vertical stand, and a second end, a means for pushing the ball upwardly just above the first end, the pushing means housed within said hollow tubular stand, and a horizontal base plate affixed to the second end portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2007
    Inventor: George R. Flanigan
  • Patent number: 7175548
    Abstract: A multiple sports, universally positionable, adjustable net-type backstop system mounted to a pole, such as a basketball hoop pole, comprising an outrigger assembly that is vertically and horizontally adjustable and rotatable 360° on a vertical axis, so that the net can be selectively positioned in front, behind or to either side of a basketball backboard. The outrigger assembly is mounted on the support pole via a horizontally pivotable bracket assembly which permits a net assembly retainer bracket to be pivoted down to a convenient height, such as from chest height down to as low as ground level, for ease and safety in mounting and removing the net assembly. The vertical and horizontal adjustability, 360° rotation, and pivoting functionalities are very important safety features, in that the user need not use a tall step ladder to mount and adjust the position of the net, or remove it for storage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2007
    Inventor: John M. McNulty
  • Patent number: 7156761
    Abstract: The instant invention relates to a training device for batting practice. More specifically, the instant invention provides a catch net in combination with an air powered ball return assembly. The ball return assembly delivers a lightweight polymeric ball to a batter in the form of a soft-toss. A hit ball is caught by the net and recycled to the batter. The ball may be hit and recycled back to the batter for a player specified length of time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2007
    Inventor: Jose Mesa
  • Patent number: 7137910
    Abstract: A practice machine for receiving a thrown ball and returning it to a user is generally provided with a backstop for stopping the thrown ball, a pan disposed below the backstop for collecting the ball, a ball return adjacent the backstop for expelling the ball, and a trough disposed between the pan and the ball return for feeding the ball from the pan to the ball return. The ball return can adjust between ball sizes and vary the trajectory of expelled balls. Moreover, the ball return can be equipped with safety features including a proximity sensor, audible alerts, speed adjustment and tamper resistant controls. Further, the ball return can alternate between a MANUAL mode and an AUTOMATIC mode. The backstop of the practice machine can be collapsible to permit convenient storage and ease of transportation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2006
    Assignee: Grand Slam Sports, LLC
    Inventors: James A. Ktson, Frederick M. Allor
  • Patent number: 7066845
    Abstract: A baseball training system and method for training a player is shown. The baseball system and method includes a collector for collecting thrown balls and directing them to a throwback unit which has multiple adjusters for adjusting various characteristics of a ball being thrown back. The throwback unit can be adjusted to accommodate different ball sizes to change a trajectory of a ball being thrown back by the throwback unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2006
    Assignee: Shoot-A-Way, Inc.
    Inventor: John G Joseph
  • Patent number: 6776732
    Abstract: A tennis training simulation system is disclosed that improves both reaction time and ground stroke techniques within a limited physical training environment. This training system combines simulated service of a tennis ball from a service line over a virtual net, and delivery of real tennis ball to an awaiting tennis student. In the system of this invention, the tennis ball delivery system includes an automatic tennis ball machine equipped with an array of lights or LED's that simulate the service of a tennis ball from a service line, a simulated trajectory of the tennis ball over a virtual net, and a simulated first bounce of a tennis ball coupled immediately thereafter with real in-flight delivery of an actual tennis ball to an awaiting tennis student.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2004
    Inventors: Paul Parkinson, Peter Daniel
  • Patent number: 6746348
    Abstract: The present invention provides a backstop net assembly and kit for use in combination with a basketball hoop assembly, which comprises a multi-socketed mounting block, a plurality of net extension rods, and a ball-gathering net assembly. In a basketball playground, one can find an upright support post, a backboard mounted on the post, and a basketball rim and net structure mounted on the backboard. The present invention provides a basketball backstop net assembly to gather errant basketball shots launched by a basketball shooter to minimize basketball retrieval time and possible damage to surrounding valuables. The ball-gathering net is a reticulated having a size and width, which extends vertically and laterally via the net extension rods a sufficient distance to capture errant shots and to assist in keeping the basketball in play. Additionally, a perimeter cord bounds the reticulated portion of the net to provide added strength to the ball-gathering net.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2004
    Inventors: Richard J. Barnes, James P. Fieberg
  • Patent number: 6733403
    Abstract: A basketball return apparatus designed to return a thrown basketball substantially in the direction of the player shooting the ball is mounted beneath a basketball goal assembly and includes a resilient rebound panel, a panel retainer assembly, and a panel support assembly. The resilient rebound panel, in multiple embodiments, is provided with flexible and adjustable tensile connections to the goal assembly that allows a limited degree of rotation when the resilient rebound panel is impacted by a thrown basketball. The rotational motion of the rebound panel and the resilience of the rebound panel, combined with the tension and untensioning of the flexible and adjustable tensile connections to the goal assembly, tends to return a thrown basketball substantially back towards the player shooting the ball. The basketball return apparatus is adjustable for a plurality of heights and angles of return, and is easily removable from the field of play.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2004
    Assignee: Fast Break Sporting Goods
    Inventor: Gary B. Courtright
  • Patent number: 6729978
    Abstract: A ball hitting practice apparatus for use by a hitter is provided. The ball hitting practice apparatus includes a substantially rigid member having a first end and a second end, a hinge capable of suspension from a frame and attached near the first end of the rigid member such that the rigid member rotates about a substantially horizontal axis, and a ball mounting assembly suspended from the second end of the rigid member. Methods for using and making the ball hitting practice are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Assignee: Solid Contact Baseball, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Allen Moss, Hawthon Smith, Gediminas Campe
  • Publication number: 20030220159
    Abstract: An enclosed play area comprises a front wall, a back wall, side walls, and a ceiling which define an enclosed area. The front, back, and side walls, and the ceiling are formed from intersecting frame members which define an area having a geometric shape. One or more activity stations are mounted to the frame members in the enclosure. Each activity station comprises at least one tub in which one or more hoops are mounted, the hoops being sized to allow a ball to be thrown through the hoops. The tub has a rim defining a mouth, wall surfaces extending rearwardly from the rim, and a back. The rim has a geometric shape corresponding to the geometric shape of the area defined by the frame members. The tub is mounted to the frame members such that the mouth of the tub does not protrude substantially into the play area. Preferably, the front, back, and side walls, and the ceiling are covered by a transparent or see-through material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 24, 2002
    Publication date: November 27, 2003
    Inventors: Scott Hamons, Jonathan Brooks, Donald Cattoni, Keith Nagelski
  • Patent number: 6620064
    Abstract: A portable return net device for receiving, arresting and returning a ball to a central collection point for pitched, thrown or batted balls in a ball practice system. The return net apparatus comprises; a net supporting frame, a net for receiving a projected ball, an inclined collection tray operatively associated with the net, and an exit chute, wherein the net is hung untensioned on the supporting frame, on the diagonal, and wherein flaps extending transversely across the base of the hanging net are pivotally connected thereto. The net absorbs the impact of a ball in conjunction with the flaps which trap a ball impacting a tensile zone of the net. The tensile zone comprises that portion of the hanging net below which there is insufficient net weight to arrest a ball in a triangular portion of the net below the point of impact. The arrested ball is conveyed by the collection tray to the exit chute for reuse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2003
    Assignee: Batterup Sports Tech Ltd.
    Inventor: Andrew S. Nickerson
  • Patent number: 6595877
    Abstract: A basketball return net assembly is attachable to a basketball hoop support having a post extending upwardly from the ground and carrying a basketball hoop adjacent an upper end thereof. The return net assembly includes a flexible foldable return net and an elongated rigid net-carrying member extending along the upper end of the net to enable the net to be supported in a latterly-extending configuration. The upper end of the net and the net-carrying member can be suspended from an upper portion of the hoop support behind the hoop, and an attachment bracket is connected to opposite lower corner portions of the net and is adjustably securable to the post to enable the bracket to be adjusted relative thereto.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2003
    Assignee: Dicon Rose Inc.
    Inventor: Malcolm Pearson
  • Publication number: 20030132574
    Abstract: Current technology exists to record baseballs or softballs thrown in miles per hour. What is new about The Pitching Coach is the ability to record balls and strikes for each pitch thrown. This gives the opportunity to monitor every pitch thrown for speed and accuracy thereby enabling users to improve their pitching skills as if they were working with a pitching coach.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 16, 2002
    Publication date: July 17, 2003
    Inventors: Robert Lee McDonald, Charles Edward Sloop, Michael Ray Furr, Joseph Paul Zajac
  • Patent number: 6585610
    Abstract: A portable stoopball playing device comprising a playing panel and a support panel connected to said playing panel. The playing panel and the support panel are moveable relative to each other between at least one open deployed position and a closed storage position. The playing panel includes a plurality of sheer surfaces and protrusions on its playing surface, which allow for random and unpredictable rebounding of a ball thrown at the playing panel. The playing panel further includes a vertical curvature and a horizontal curvature, which may be convex, thereby increasing the rebounding angle of the thrown ball, thereby increasing the number of players able to participate in a single game. The horizontal curvature alternatively may be concave, thereby permitting the player to control and direct the rebounding angle of the thrown ball. The playing panel also includes a weighting channel which may be filled with a ballast substance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2003
    Inventor: Mark Sompolinsky
  • Patent number: 6565460
    Abstract: A foldable basketball frame assembly includes a backboard having four flanges extending from four sides of the backboard and a cover is connected to the bottom flange of the backboard. A ring is connected to the top flange. A first transverse bar is connected to the flange on the lower end of the backboard and two two-way connection members are respectively connected to two ends of the first transverse bar. Two foldable siderails are respectively connected the two two-way connection members and a three-way connection member is connected to a distal end of each siderail. A second transverse bar is connected between the two three-way connection members. Two legs are respectively connected to the three-way connection members. All the parts of the assembly can be folded and received in a bag formed by connecting the cover to the flanges on four sides of the backboard.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2003
    Inventor: Cheng-Liang Wang
  • Publication number: 20030087712
    Abstract: A portable return net device for receiving, arresting and returning a ball to a central collection point for pitched, thrown or batted balls in a ball practice system. The return net apparatus comprises; a net supporting frame, a net for receiving a projected ball, an inclined collection tray operatively associated with the net, and an exit chute, wherein the net is hung untensioned on the supporting frame, on the diagonal, and wherein flaps extending transversely across the base of the hanging net are pivotally connected thereto. The net absorbs the impact of a ball in conjunction with the flaps which trap a ball impacting a tensile zone of the net. The tensile zone comprises that portion of the hanging net below which there is insufficient net weight to arrest a ball in a triangular portion of the net below the point of impact. The arrested ball is conveyed by the collection tray to the exit chute for reuse.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 3, 2001
    Publication date: May 8, 2003
    Inventor: Andrew S. Nickerson
  • Publication number: 20030060309
    Abstract: Ball rebounder for rebounding a ball, including a first frame, a resilient member mounted in the first frame, a second frame mounted pivotally to the first frame and provided with a plurality of stops, and a third frame mounted pivotally to the first frame and for engaging different ones of the stops to incline the first frame and resilient member at different angles with respect to the second frame to cause the resilient member to rebound balls thrown thereagainst at different angles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 25, 2001
    Publication date: March 27, 2003
    Inventor: Christopher J.B. Smith
  • Patent number: 6537161
    Abstract: A portable basketball return apparatus adapted to be attached to a rim attached to a backboard by a bracket, comprising, a holding clamp for attachment of the apparatus to the bracket, a spine attached to said holding clamp, a return panel attached to said spine, said holding clamp comprising an upper plate and a lower plate adapted to fit over said bracket, a screw passing through said lower plate, pole means to lift the apparatus, from the ground onto the bracket and to rotate the screw to tighten the holding clamp onto the bracket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2003
    Inventors: Paul D. Manix, Mary D. Manix
  • Patent number: 6458037
    Abstract: A self-training batting practice machine includes an upright support member, lower and upper support members, flexible ball suspension rod and at least one elastic member. The lower support member is attached to the upright support member close to a lower end thereof and extends horizontally outwardly therefrom. The upper support is supported on an upper end of the upright support member such that the upper support member is rotatable about a vertical pivot axis. The ball suspension rod is secured at an inner end to and rotatable with the upper support member and extends substantially horizontally outwardly therefrom and at an outer end has a ball-shaped object thereon for a player to swing a bat at and to hit in order to practice batting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2002
    Inventor: Nicholas E. Dixon, Jr.