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US20070042843A1 - Portable basketball system - Google Patents

Portable basketball system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070042843A1
US20070042843A1 US11333912 US33391206A US2007042843A1 US 20070042843 A1 US20070042843 A1 US 20070042843A1 US 11333912 US11333912 US 11333912 US 33391206 A US33391206 A US 33391206A US 2007042843 A1 US2007042843 A1 US 2007042843A1
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US
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Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
basketball
support
system
goal
members
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11333912
Inventor
S. Nye
Robert Astle
David Winter
Katie Staples
Brandon Smith
Carl Stanford
Aaron Hill
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Lifetime Products Inc
Original Assignee
Lifetime Products Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B63/00Targets or goals for ball games
    • A63B63/08Targets or goals for ball games with substantially horizontal opening for ball, e.g. for basketball
    • A63B63/083Targets or goals for ball games with substantially horizontal opening for ball, e.g. for basketball for basketball
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B71/00Games or sports accessories not covered in groups A63B1/00 - A63B69/00
    • A63B71/02Games or sports accessories not covered in groups A63B1/00 - A63B69/00 for large-room or outdoor sporting games
    • A63B71/023Supports, e.g. poles
    • A63B2071/025Supports, e.g. poles on rollers or wheels
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B71/00Games or sports accessories not covered in groups A63B1/00 - A63B69/00
    • A63B71/02Games or sports accessories not covered in groups A63B1/00 - A63B69/00 for large-room or outdoor sporting games
    • A63B71/023Supports, e.g. poles
    • A63B2071/026Supports, e.g. poles stabilised by weight
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2208/00Characteristics or parameters related to the user or player
    • A63B2208/12Characteristics or parameters related to the user or player specially adapted for children
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2210/00Space saving
    • A63B2210/50Size reducing arrangements for stowing or transport
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2225/00Other characteristics of sports equipment
    • A63B2225/09Adjustable dimensions
    • A63B2225/093Height

Abstract

A basketball system includes a basketball goal and a support structure that is sized and configured to support the basketball goal above a support surface. The basketball system may include one or more feet that are sized and configured to engage a support surface. The feet may movable among a plurality of positions to facilitate, for example, leveling the basketball system, adjusting the height of the basketball system and/or holding the basketball system in a generally fixed location.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims priority to and the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/643,888, filed Jan. 14, 2005 and entitled PORTABLE BASKETBALL SYSTEM, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety.
  • [0002]
    This application claims priority to and the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/643,887, filed Jan. 14, 2005 and entitled PORTABLE BASKETBALL SYSTEM, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0004]
    The present invention relates to a basketball system and, in particular, to a portable basketball system that is capable of being selectively moved from one location to another location.
  • [0005]
    2. Description of Related Art
  • [0006]
    Basketball is a very popular game and many people desire to play basketball at their home. Many basketball systems designed for home use require the basketball system to be permanently fixed in a particular location. For example, many home basketball systems are permanently positioned on the edge of the driveway. Disadvantageously, mounting a basketball goal adjacent to the driveway of the home may create a risk of damage to cars using the driveway or cars that are parked nearby. Thus, one or more cars may have to be moved before the basketball goal may be used. In addition, the cars and other objects may limit the use of the basketball system, and the cars and other objects may create a risk of injury to the players.
  • [0007]
    Permanent basketball systems designed for use at home may also be difficult to install. For example, concrete or asphalt may be located where it is desired to install the permanent basketball system. Accordingly, the concrete or asphalt may have to be removed and/or replaced to allow the basketball system to be installed. Undesirably, removing and/or replacing the concrete or asphalt may be difficult, time-consuming and expensive. In addition, this would most likely prevent use of the driveway during the period of construction and repair.
  • [0008]
    Permanent basketball systems that are installed at home are usually located outdoors and are exposed to the harsh elements of the weather throughout the entire year. Disadvantageously, when conventional permanent basketball systems are constantly exposed to the elements such as rain, snow, sleet, high temperatures and high humidity, various components of the basketball system may prematurely oxidize, corrode or rust. Premature oxidation, corrosion and rust can be particularly troublesome in basketball goal assemblies that have any moving parts, such as height adjustment mechanisms or breakaway rim assemblies. Moreover, constant exposure to the elements may cause failure of such mechanisms in some known basketball systems.
  • [0009]
    It is also known to use permanent basketball systems indoors. Indoor basketball systems, however, often require a large amount of space and the basketball goal must be located at least a few feet away from other structures to allow basketball to be played. For example, conventional indoor basketball systems must generally be spaced away from the walls so that the walls do not interfere while playing basketball. These permanent basketball systems may limit or prevent the space from being used for other purpose. For example, schools typically have a gymnasium and basketball goals may be located near the ends or sides of the gymnasium. The basketball goals may undesirably preclude or interfere with use of the gymnasium for other purposes. In addition, on formal occasions, objection may be made to the appearance of the permanently mounted basketball goals.
  • [0010]
    Portable basketball systems that are movable from one location to another location are also known. Conventional portable basketball systems typically require a large amount of weight so that the basketball goal remains in a generally rigid, upright position for use when playing basketball or shooting baskets. In particular, many conventional portable basketball systems require a large and heavy base to prevent the basketball system from undesirably moving. The large and heavy base, however, often makes the basketball system very difficult to move and may require the assistance of several people to set up or relocate the basketball goal. Additionally, these known basketball system may be very expensive and that may prohibit people from using these systems at home.
  • [0011]
    Conventional portable basketball systems may use removable weights, such as sand bags or metal weights, which help maintain the basketball system in a fixed position. Disadvantageously, these removable weights can be extremely heavy, difficult to lift and hard to position in the desired location. Accordingly, although these basketball systems using removable weights may be easier to move in relation to permanently mounted goal assemblies, the weights or weighted members are often not easy to move, lift or position.
  • [0012]
    In an attempt to make portable basketball goal assemblies that are better suited for home use, large support bases with a large hollow cavity for receiving ballast material, such as sand or water, have been developed. These conventional portable basketball systems may be moved into the desired location and then the support base may be filled with ballast such as sand or water. The ballast adds weight to the portable basketball system and helps prevent the basketball system from undesirably moving during use. Disadvantageously, the sand or water may have to be removed to allow the portable basketball system to be moved, which may be very difficult and inconvenient. For example, the portable basketball system may have to be tilted or placed on its side to allow the sand or water to be removed. In addition, having to fill and empty the support base with sand or water each time the goal is to be set up or moved may require an undesirable amount of time and effort, which may limit the use and effectiveness of the basketball system.
  • [0013]
    It is known to use portable basketball systems in a wide variety of areas such as in driveways and cul-de-sacs. Disadvantageously, many driveways and cul-de-sacs are not level and may contain uneven or sloped surfaces. Accordingly, the goal of many conventional portable basketball systems may also be uneven or sloped. That is, when these portable basketball systems are used on uneven or sloped surfaces, the basketball goals may not properly positioned in an upright position and the rim may not be located in a horizontal position. In addition, these known portable basketball systems may be more susceptible to undesirable movement when positioned on uneven or sloped surfaces.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION
  • [0014]
    A need therefore exists for a portable basketball system that eliminates or diminishes the disadvantages and problems described above.
  • [0015]
    One aspect is a basketball system that may be selectively moved from one location to another location. Desirably, the basketball system is a portable basketball system that is readily capable of being moved. Advantageously, the basketball system may be quickly and easily moved from one location to another, and the basketball system may be removable by a single person, if desired.
  • [0016]
    Another aspect is a basketball system that may include a support structure and a basketball goal. The basketball goal may include a backboard and a rim, and the support structure may support the basketball goal above a support or playing surface. The support structure may include one or more interconnected support members. For example, the support structure may include two front support members and a rear support member, and the support members may advantageously help construct a strong, stable and/or rigid support structure.
  • [0017]
    Yet another aspect is a basketball system that may include a base. The base may be sized and configured to receive ballast (such as sand, water and the like), which may help prevent the basketball system from undesirably moving. For example, the base may include a hollow interior portion that is sized and configured to receive ballast.
  • [0018]
    Still another aspect is a basketball system that may include one or more wheels, which may facilitate movement of the basketball system. For example, the wheels may be disposed proximate the front portion of the basketball system and the system may be pivoted onto the wheels to facilitate movement.
  • [0019]
    A further aspect is a basketball system that may include engaging members, such as feet, which may be sized and configured to help retain the basketball system in a generally fixed or stationary position. The feet, for example, may be sized and configured to engage a support or playing surface to help retain the basketball system in a generally fixed or stationary position. The feet may also assist in leveling and/or adjusting the position of the basketball system. This may allow, for instance, allow the basketball system to be used on uneven or sloping surfaces.
  • [0020]
    A still further aspect is a basketball system that may include engaging members or feet which may be sized and configured to adjust the orientation of the basketball goal. For example, the feet may be movable between a first position in which the basketball goal is at a first orientation and a second position in which the basketball goal is at a second orientation. Advantageously, this may allow the basketball goal to be disposed in an upright position and/or the rim to be placed in a horizontal position even when the basketball system is placed on a non-planar and/or non-level support surface.
  • [0021]
    Another aspect is a basketball system that may include engaging members or feet which may be sized and configured to adjust the height of the basketball goal. For example, the feet may be movable between a first position in which the basketball goal is at a first height and a second position in which the basketball goal is at a second height.
  • [0022]
    Yet another aspect is a basketball system that may include an adjustment assembly that is sized and configured to adjust the orientation of the basketball goal. For example, the adjustment assembly may be used to position the basketball goal in a desired orientation when the basketball goal is at a particular height. In particular, the adjustment assembly may adjust the orientation of the basketball goal by tilting or moving the basketball goal relative to the support structure. For instance, the adjustment assembly may move the basketball goal forward, backwards and/or sideways. This may allow the basketball goal to be disposed in an upright position and/or the rim to be placed in a horizontal position even when the basketball system is placed on a sloped or uneven surface.
  • [0023]
    Advantageously, the adjustment assembly may be used to connect the basketball goal to the support structure. For example, the adjustment assembly may include a first pair of brackets connected to the basketball goal and a second pair of brackets connected to the support structure. The first and second pairs of brackets may be interconnected in various relative positions to adjust the orientation of the basketball goal.
  • [0024]
    Still another aspect is a basketball system that may include a basketball goal that is adjustable in height, which may allow the basketball system to be used by children and adults. Preferably, the height and orientation of the basketball goal is adjustable to facilitate use of the basketball system in a wide variety of environments, locations and settings.
  • [0025]
    Still yet another aspect is a basketball system may include a barrier, guard and/or rebound device. For example, the basketball system may include a support structure and the barrier may be connected to a front portion of the support structure. The barrier may help prevent damage and/or contact to the basketball system. For instance, the barrier may help prevent damage and/or contact with the support structure and/or the base. In addition, the barrier may act as a rebound device so that when a basketball strikes the barrier, the basketball is rebounded towards the basketball court. Significantly, because the basketball may be rebounded towards the basketball court and not away from the court, a player may not have to chase a loose basketball and that may make playing basketball more enjoyable. Further, the barrier may help to strengthen and/or reinforce the support structure.
  • [0026]
    These and other aspects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments and appended claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0027]
    The appended drawings contain figures of preferred embodiments to further illustrate and clarify the above and other aspects, advantages and features of the present invention. It will be appreciated that these drawings depict only preferred embodiments of the invention and are not intended to limit its scope. The invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings in which:
  • [0028]
    FIG. 1 is a rear perspective view of an exemplary portable basketball system;
  • [0029]
    FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the portable basketball system shown in FIG. 1;
  • [0030]
    FIG. 3 is a front view of the portable basketball system shown in FIG. 1;
  • [0031]
    FIG. 4 is a right side view of the portable basketball system shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0032]
    FIG. 5 is a left side view of the portable basketball system shown in FIG. 1;
  • [0033]
    FIG. 6 is a top view of the portable basketball system shown in FIG. 1;
  • [0034]
    FIG. 7 is an enlarged right side view of a portion of the portable basketball system shown in FIG. 1;
  • [0035]
    FIG. 8 is an enlarged left side view of a portion of the basketball system shown in FIG. 1;
  • [0036]
    FIG. 9 is an enlarged upper perspective view of a portion of the portable basketball system shown in FIG. 1, illustrating a support member connected to the base;
  • [0037]
    FIG. 10 is an enlarged lower perspective view of a portion of the portable basketball system shown in FIG. 1, illustrating a support member connected to the base;
  • [0038]
    FIG. 11 is an enlarged upper perspective view of a portion of the portable basketball system shown in FIG. 1, illustrating a portion of the base; and
  • [0039]
    FIG. 12 is an enlarged upper perspective view of a portion of the portable basketball system shown in FIG. 1, illustrating a portion of a support member.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0040]
    The present invention is generally directed towards a basketball system. The principles of the present invention, however, are not limited to a basketball system. It will be understood that, in light of the present disclosure, the basketball system disclosed herein can be successfully used in connection with other types of structures and devices, such as other types of sporting equipment.
  • [0041]
    Additionally, to assist in the description of the basketball system, words such as top, bottom, front, rear, right and left may be used to describe the accompanying figures, which are not necessarily drawn to scale. It will be appreciated, however, that the basketball system can be located in a variety of desired positions—including various angles, sideways and even upside down. A detailed description of the basketball system now follows.
  • [0042]
    As shown in FIGS. 1-6, an exemplary basketball system 10 may include a support structure 12 and a basketball goal 14. The basketball system 10 shown in the accompanying figures and described in more detail below is preferably a portable basketball system that is sized and configured to be selectively moved from one location to another location. This may allow the basketball system 10 to be quickly and easily moved, and the basketball system may be capable of being moved by a single person, if desired. It will be appreciated, however, that the basketball system 10 does not have to be a portable basketball system and, for example, the basketball system may be a permanent basketball system.
  • [0043]
    The basketball goal 14 may include a backboard 16 and a rim 18, and the support structure 12 may be sized and configured to support the basketball goal above a support or playing surface. For example, the support structure 12 may include one or more elongated support members and these elongated support members may be interconnected to form a strong and sturdy support for the basketball goal. In greater detail, as shown in the accompanying figures, the support structure 12 may include three elongated support members. In particular, the support structure 12 may include two front elongated support members 20, 22 and one rear elongated support member 24. The front elongated support members 20, 22 preferably have about the same length and are preferably disposed at an angle relative to each other. For instance, the lower portions of the front support members are preferably separated by a larger distance than the upper portions of the front support members. Additionally, as best seen in FIGS. 4 and 5, the front elongated support members 20, 22 are preferably disposed in a generally upward configuration in which the front elongated support members are angled slightly rearwardly. For example, the front elongated support members 20, 22 may be angled rearwardly between about 5° and about 15°. It will be appreciated that the front elongated support members 20, 22 may also be disposed at other angles depending, for example, upon the configuration of the support structure 12.
  • [0044]
    The rear elongated support member 24 preferably has a length that is larger than the length of the front elongated support members 20, 22. The rear elongated support member 24 is also preferably disposed in a generally upward configuration, but the rear elongated support member preferably angled forwardly. In particular, as best seen in FIGS. 1, 4 and 5, the rear elongated support member 24 is preferably angled forwardly at an angle between about 15° and about 45°. As shown in the accompanying figures, the rear support member 24 may be angled forwardly at a greater angle than the front support members 20, 22 extend rearwardly. Additionally, the ends of the front elongated support members 20, 22 are preferably spaced apart from the end of the rear elongated support member 24. It will be appreciated that the rear elongated support member 24 may also be disposed at other angles depending, for example, upon the configuration of the support structure 12.
  • [0045]
    The front and rear elongated support members 20, 22, 24 are preferably interconnected to form a three-legged support structure 12. Advantageously, this configuration may help create a strong and sturdy support structure 12. In greater detail, the front elongated support members 20, 22 are preferably connected to the rear elongated support member 24 to form the three-legged support structure with a generally trip-shaped configuration. In particular, the lower ends of the front elongated support members 20, 22 are preferably disposed proximate a front portion of a base 26 and the upper ends of the front elongated support members are preferably attached to an upper portion of the rear elongated support member 24. Preferably, the upper ends of the front elongated support members 20, 22 are attached at approximately two-thirds of the height or length of the rear elongated support member 24, but the front support members could be attached to any suitable portion of the rear elongated support member. Thus, while the front elongated support members 20, 22 preferably have a length that is equal to about two-thirds of the length of the rear support member 24, the front elongated support members could be longer or shorter.
  • [0046]
    As best seen in FIGS. 1, 4 and 5, the upper end of the rear support member 24 is preferably generally vertically aligned with the lower ends of the front support members 20, 22. This may help create a sturdy and stable portable basketball system 10. It will be appreciated that the support structure 12 may also have other suitable shapes, sizes, configurations and arrangements depending, for example, upon the intended use of the basketball system 10. For instance, the support structure 12 may include other suitable numbers of elongated support members and the elongated support members may be connected at other appropriate angles, positions and the like.
  • [0047]
    The support structure 12 is preferably constructed from relatively strong and sturdy materials such as steel. In particular, the support structure 12 may be constructed from metal tubing. Advantageously, the metal tubing may be relatively strong and lightweight. The metal tubing may have a generally circular, square or rectangular cross-section and the metal tubing may be interconnected together to create a strong, stable and/or rigid support structure 12. It will be appreciated that the metal tubing may be connected using fasteners, welding, adhesives and the like. It will also be appreciated that the support structure 12 may be constructed from other materials with suitable characteristics and these portions of the basketball system 10 may have a variety of appropriate shapes, sizes, configurations and arrangements depending, for example, upon the intended use of the basketball system.
  • [0048]
    The basketball system 10 may include a base 26 and the base may be sized and configured to receive ballast (such as sand, water and the like), which may help prevent the basketball system 10 from undesirably moving. For example, the base 26 may include the receiving portion that is sized and configured to receive ballast. If desired, the base 26 may also sized and configured to receive and/or store items such as basketballs, nets and the like.
  • [0049]
    Advantageously, the base 26 may form part of a structural member of the basketball system 10. For example, the base 26 may be sized and configured to receive and retain the support structure 12 in the desired location. In particular, the front elongated support members 20, 22 may be connected to a front portion of the base 26 and the rear elongated support member 24 may be connected to a rear portion of the base. Preferably, the support members 20, 22 and 24 are disposed proximate the edges or perimeter of the base 26, but the support members may be connected to any desired portions of the base. Significantly, no other components may be required to connect the ends of the support members 20, 22 and 24. It will be appreciated, however, that the base 26 does not have to form a structural member of the basketball system 10 and the support members 20, 22 and 24 may be connected using other components and structures.
  • [0050]
    The basketball system 10 may include wheels to facilitate movement of the basketball system. For example, the basketball system 10 may include two wheels 28, 30 that are connected to the base 26, but the wheels may be connected to other suitable portions of the basketball system 10. The wheels 28, 30 are preferably constructed from injection molded plastic and the wheels preferably have a wide, thick and relatively large diameter to create strong and sturdy wheels. The wheels 28, 30 may also include rounded pads that may facilitate removal of the wheels from a mold. In addition, the wheels 28, 30 may include one or more overlapping portions and ribs, which may be used to enhance the appearance of the wheels. It will be appreciated that the basketball system 10 may have any number of wheels with various suitable shapes, sizes and configurations, which may be constructed using any suitable materials and processes. It will also be appreciated that the basketball system 10 does not require any wheels.
  • [0051]
    The wheels 28, 30 may be disposed such that the wheels contact a support surface to facilitate movement of the basketball system 10. The wheels 28, 30 may also be positioned so that the wheels are spaced apart from the support surface. The basketball system 10 may be moved, for example, by tilting or pivoting the system onto the wheels 28, 30. It will be understood that the wheels 28, 30 may have other suitable configurations and arrangements, be attached to other portions of the basketball system 10, and the basketball system may be moved in other appropriate manners.
  • [0052]
    The basketball system 10 may also include one or more engaging members, such feet, stops, contacts or the like, that are sized and configured to engage a support surface, such as the playing surface. The engaging members may also be sized and configured to help maintain the basketball system in a generally fixed or stable position. In greater detail, as shown in FIGS. 2-5, the basketball system 10 may include a first foot 32 and a second foot 34 and the feet may be connected to the support structure 12. In particular, the first foot 32 may be connected to the first elongated support member 20 and the second foot 34 may be connected to the second elongated support member 22. It will be appreciated that the basketball system 10 may include any suitable number of engaging members and the engaging members may be connected to any appropriate portions of the basketball system. It will also be appreciated that the engaging members may have various shapes, sizes configurations and arrangements depending, for example, upon the intended use of the basketball system 10.
  • [0053]
    The base 26 may be sized and configured to allow the feet 32, 34 to engage the support surface. For example, the feet 32, 34 may be connected to the front elongated support members 20, 22 and the feet and/or support members may extend through openings or cutouts in the base 26. This may allow the feet 32, 34 to engage the support surface. Thus, the base 26 and/or feet 32, 34 may engage the support surface, which may help prevent the basketball system 10 from undesirably moving. In addition, if the feet 32, 34 contact the support surface, then the feet may support at least a portion of the weight of the basketball system 10 and that may apply less weight on the base 26, which may help prevent damage to the base. Further, the support members 20, 22 and/or feet 32, 34 may be connected to the base 26 and/or disposed within the openings or cutouts in the base. Preferably, the support members 20, 22 and/or feet 32, 34 are connected to and/or disposed proximate a lower portion of the base 26, but the support members and/or feet may be connected to any suitable portions of the base.
  • [0054]
    The feet 32, 34 may be movable among a plurality of positions relative to the basketball system 10. For example, the feet 32, 34 may include a threaded portion and the support members 20, 22 may include a threaded portion adapted to mate with and receive the threaded portion of the feet. This may allow the feet 32, 34 to be moved relative to the support members 20, 22 to allow the support members and the feet to be connected in various relative positions. Although the threaded portions of the support members 20, 22 and the feet 32, 34 may be used to position the support members and feet in a variety of relative positions, it will be appreciated that the support members and feet do not require any threaded portions and that the support members and feet may be positioned in a variety of relative positions using any other suitable means. As discussed below, moving the feet 32, 34 relative to the support structure 12 may allow the basketball system 10 to be disposed in a desired location, help level or adjust the basketball system, and/or allow the height of the basketball system to be adjusted.
  • [0055]
    In greater detail, the feet 32, 34 may be movable between a position in which the feet engage a support surface and a position in which the feet are spaced apart from the support surface. The feet 32, 34 may also be movable between a position in which the wheels 28, 30 engage the support surface and a position in which the wheels are spaced apart from the support surface. Thus, for instance, the feet 32, 34 may be moved so that the wheels 28, 30 are spaced apart from the support surface and the feet securely engage the support surface so that the basketball system 10 may be held in a generally fixed or stationary position. On the other hand, the basketball system 10 may be configured such that when the feet 32, 34 securely engage the support surface, then the basketball system 10 is held in a generally fixed or stationary position even if the wheels 28, 30 engage the support surface. In addition, the feet 32, 34 may be moved so that the feet are spaced apart from the support surface, which may facilitate movement of the basketball system 10. Therefore, when the feet 32, 34 are spaced apart from the support surface and/or when the wheels 28, 30 engage the support surface, the basketball system 10 may be readily portable and more easily moved to a desired location. In contrast, if the feet 32, 34 engage the support surface and/or the wheels 28, 30 are spaced apart from the support surface, then the basketball system 10 may be held in a generally fixed or stationary position.
  • [0056]
    The feet 32, 34 are preferably moved independently, which may allow the feet to be separately adjusted. Thus, one foot may contact the support surface while the other foot is spaced apart from the support surface. In addition, the feet 32, 34 may be used to locate the basketball goal 14 in various desired positions or orientations. The feet 32, 34 may also be used to adjust the positioning of the basketball goal 14. For example, the feet 32, 34 may be movable between a first position in which the basketball goal 14 is at a first orientation and a second position in which the basketball goal 14 is at a second orientation. This may allow the basketball goal 14 to be disposed in an upright position even when the basketball system 10 is placed on a non-planar and/or non-level support surface. Therefore, the basketball system 10 may be used on uneven or sloped support surface.
  • [0057]
    In greater detail, if the basketball goal 14 is not located in an upright position when resting on a particular support surface, some or all of the feet 32, 34 may be moved to tilt or position the basketball goal 14 in the desired. For example, the first foot 32 may be moved upwardly to tilt the basketball system 10 and the basketball goal 14 in one direction, or the foot may be moved downwardly to tilt the basketball system and the basketball goal in the other direction. Similarly, the second foot 34 may be moved downwardly to tilt the basketball system 10 and the basketball goal 14 in one direction, or the foot may be moved upwardly to tilt the basketball system and the basketball goal in the other direction.
  • [0058]
    Additionally, the feet 32, 34 may be sized and configured to allow the height of the basketball goal 14 to be adjusted. For example, the feet 32, 34 may be movable between a position in which the basketball goal 14 is at a first height and a position in which the basketball goal 14 is at a second height. The basketball system 10 may also include, if desired, a height adjustment mechanism such as disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,120,396; 6,273,834; and 6,699,146, which are incorporated by reference in their entireties.
  • [0059]
    As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 4-8, the basketball system 10 may include an adjustment assembly 36 that may be sized and configured to adjust the positioning or orientation of the basketball goal 14. For example, the adjustment assembly 36 may adjust the positioning or orientation of the basketball goal 14 by, for example, tilting or moving the basketball goal forward, backwards and/or sideways. Desirably, the adjustment assembly 36 may be used to move the basketball goal 14 from a first generally fixed position in which the basketball goal is in one orientation to a second generally fixed position in which the basketball goal is in a different orientation. Consequently, the adjustment assembly 36 may allow a person to properly position the basketball goal 14 in an upright position, even when the basketball system 10 is placed on a non-planar and/or non-level support surface.
  • [0060]
    The adjustment assembly 36 may include a first bracket 38, a second bracket 40, a third bracket 42 and a fourth bracket 44. The brackets 38, 40 may be connected to the support structure 12 or a height adjustment mechanism and the brackets 42, 44 may be connected to the basketball goal 14. In particular, the brackets 42, 44 may be connected to the backboard 16 or a portion of the backboard, such as a backboard bracket or frame, but the brackets could be attached to any suitable portions of the basketball goal 14.
  • [0061]
    The brackets 38, 40, 42, 44 preferably include one or more openings that allow the brackets to be connected. Preferably, the brackets 38, 40, 42, 44 can be connected in various positions or at different angles to allow the position or angle of the basketball goal 14 to be adjusted. For example, the brackets may include openings that are sized and configured to allow the first bracket 38 to be connected to the third bracket 42 and the second bracket 40 to be connected to the fourth bracket 44 by one or more fasteners. In greater detail, the first bracket 38 may include openings 46, 48, 50 and the second bracket 40 may include openings 52, 54, 56. The third and fourth brackets 42, 44 may include corresponding openings so that a fastener may extend through the corresponding openings to allow the brackets to be interconnected. Specifically, a fastener 58 may extend through the opening 46 in the first bracket and a corresponding opening in the third bracket 42 to connect the first and third brackets. Similarly, fasteners 60, 62 may extend through the openings 48, 50 in the first bracket and corresponding openings in the third bracket 42 to connect the first and third brackets. Likewise, fasteners 64, 66, 68 may extend through the openings 52, 54, 56 in the second bracket 40 and corresponding openings in the fourth bracket 44 to connect the second and fourth brackets. It will be appreciated that the brackets 38, 40, 42, 44 may be connected in other suitable configurations and arrangements. For instance, a single fastener may be used to connect all four of the brackets.
  • [0062]
    The openings in the brackets 38, 40, 42, 44 are preferably sized and configured to allow the brackets to be connected in various positions and at different angles. For example, the openings 46, 48, 50 in the first bracket 38 may consist of slots that are disposed at different angles and the slots may have different lengths. Similarly, the openings 52, 54, 56 in the second bracket 40 may also consist of slots that are disposed at different angles and the slots may have different lengths. The slots are preferably sized and configured to allow the brackets 38, 40, 42, 44 to be connected in a variety of suitable arrangements and configurations. In addition, the slots 48, 54 may include a serrated portion with a plurality of projections and recesses. The recesses are preferably sized and configured to receive and retain a fastener in a generally fixed location, which may assist in the positioning of the brackets 38, 40, 42, 44 and the basketball goal 14.
  • [0063]
    In order to adjust the positioning of the brackets 38, 40, 42, 44 and/or the basketball goal 14, some or all of the fasteners 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68 may be loosened and/or detached. The brackets 38, 40, 42, 44 and/or the basketball goal 14 may then be moved into the desired locations and the fasteners 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68 may then be tightened and/or attached to secure the basketball goal in the desired orientation.
  • [0064]
    It will be appreciated that the brackets 38, 40, 42, 44 and openings 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56 may have a wide variety of suitable shapes, sizes, configurations and arrangements depending, for example, upon the intended use of the basketball system 10. For example, the brackets 38, 40, 42, 44 may include a plurality of openings and different openings may be used to connect the brackets in different positions. That is, a first set of openings may be used to connect the brackets 38, 40, 42, 44 in a first position and a second set of openings may be used to connect the brackets in a second position. It will be appreciated that the first and second sets of openings may include some of the same openings and the openings may have any suitable sizes and configurations. Further, it will be appreciate that not all the fasteners may have to be removed or loosened and other suitable types of devices and mechanisms may be used to connect the basketball goal 14 to the support structure 12.
  • [0065]
    The adjustment assembly 36 may be connected to the support structure 12 by one or more connecting members. For example, the support structure 12 may include connecting members 70, 72, 74, 76 that are connected to the rear elongated support member 24 and the adjustment assembly 36. In particular, the connecting members 70, 72 may be pivotally connected to the bracket 38 of the adjustment assembly 36 and the support member 24 of the support structure 12. The connecting members 74, 76 may be pivotally connected to the bracket 40 of the adjustment assembly 36 and the support member 24 of the support structure 12. The connecting members 70, 72, 74, 76 may form a generally parallelogram-shaped connection and the connecting members may allow the basketball goal 14 to be moved relative to the support structure 14, which may allow the height of the rim 18 to be adjusted. For instance, the basketball goal 14 may be positioned so that the rim 18 is ten feet above the playing surface, which is the conventional height for playing basketball. The basketball goal 14 may be moved to other positions in which the rim 18 is disposed at other heights, such as nine feet, eight feet, seven feet, six feet and the like. Advantageously, this may allow children and others to play basketball. The rim 18 may also be disposed at greater heights, if desired.
  • [0066]
    A height adjustment mechanism may be to adjust the height of the basketball goal 14. The height adjustment mechanism may be connected to the connecting members 70, 72, 74, 76 and the support structure 12. Additional information regarding other suitable configurations and aspects of height-adjustable basketball goals and, in general, basketball systems is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,695,417; U.S. Pat. No. 5,879,247; U.S. Pat. No. 6,077,177; U.S. Pat. No. 6,120,396; U.S. Pat. No. 6,155,938; U.S. Pat. No. 6,135,901; U.S. Pat. No. 6,142,891; U.S. Pat. No. 6,273,834; U.S. Pat. No. 6,419,597; U.S. Pat. No. 6,419,598; U.S. Pat. No. 6,402,644; U.S. Pat. No. 6,422,957; U.S. Pat. No. 6,645,095; U.S. Pat. No. 6,699,146; U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/706,637, which was filed on Aug. 8, 2005; and U.S. patent application Ser. No. (unknown), filed concurrently with this application and entitled PORTABLE BASKETBALL SYSTEM, (Attorney Docket No. 15499.699.1). Each of these patents and applications are incorporated by reference in their entireties.
  • [0067]
    As shown in the accompanying figures and shown in the above-listed patents and applications, the support structure 12 and the basketball goal 14 may have a variety of suitable shapes, sizes, configurations and arrangements. In addition, the basketball goal 14 may be connected to the support structure 12 using various suitable structures and various types of structures may be used to adjust the height of the basketball goal 14, if desired. Further, the basketball system 10 may also have a variety of suitable shapes, sizes, configurations and arrangements depending, for example, upon the intended use of the basketball system.
  • [0068]
    As shown in FIGS. 1-6, the basketball system 10 may include a barrier, guard or rebound portion 78, which may be disposed on or near a front portion of the support structure 12. The barrier 78 may help to prevent damage to the base 26 and/or the support structure 12. In addition, the barrier 78 may help prevent players or a basketball from inadvertently contacting the base 26 and/or the support structure 12 during play. The barrier 78 may also help to strengthen and/or reinforce the support structure 12. In addition, the barrier 78 may be sized and configured as a ball return. In particular, when basketball contacts the barrier 78, the barrier may advantageously guide the basketball to a particular position. To help guide the basketball, the barrier 78 may be positioned at an angle at least about 70 degrees relative to the portion of a support surface upon which the basketball system 10 rests. In particular, the barrier 78 is preferably positioned at an angle between about 75 degrees and 85 degrees relative to the support surface upon which the basketball system 10 rests, but the barrier may be positioned at any suitable angle.
  • [0069]
    The barrier 78 may be connected to the support members 20, 22 of the support structure 12 using fasteners; adhesives; a snap fit, a friction fit and/or an interference fit; and/or any other suitable means. In one exemplary embodiment, the barrier 78 may be connected to the support members 20, 22 by releasable connectors, such as clips, to allow the barrier to be detached from the system if sufficient force is applied.
  • [0070]
    The barrier 78 may be constructed from plastic, such as high density polyethylene. Advantageously, the plastic may allow a barrier with increased strength and rigidity to be constructed. The plastic may also allow a strong, sturdy and weather resistant barrier to be created. The barrier 78 may be constructed from blow-molded plastic, but other processes such as injection molding, rotary molding, compression molding and the like may also be used to construct the barrier. The barrier 78 may also be constructed from other materials and processes with suitable characteristics.
  • [0071]
    Advantageously, if the barrier 78 is constructed from blow-molded plastic, the barrier may be rigid, high-strength and capable of withstanding repeated use and wear. The blow-molded plastic barrier may also be easily manufactured and formed into the desired size and shape. In addition, the blow-molded plastic barrier may be strong and lightweight because the barrier may include two opposing walls that are spaced apart by a relatively small and generally constant distance. Further, the blow-molded plastic barrier may be lightweight because the barrier may include a hollow interior portion, which may be formed during the blow-molding process. The blow-molded plastic barrier may also include one or more depressions or tack-offs that may interconnect the opposing walls and these depressions may further increase the strength of the barrier.
  • [0072]
    As shown in FIG. 3, the blow-molded plastic barrier may include one or more openings or cutouts 80, 82 that may interconnect the opposing walls. These cutouts 80, 82 may be sized and configured to increase the strength of the barrier by, for example, interconnecting the opposing walls. The cutouts 80, 82 may be formed by removing a portion of the opposing walls that contact, abut and/or engage each other. It will be appreciated, however, that the cutouts 80, 82 may be formed in any other suitable manner.
  • [0073]
    The barrier 78 could also be constructed from other suitable materials and processes. For example, the barrier 78 may include a net, which may include a relatively fine mesh that allows light to pass through and the net may help to prevent damage to the base and/or support structure. The barrier 78 could have a variety of suitable sizes and configurations, but the basketball system 10 does not require the barrier.
  • [0074]
    As shown in FIGS. 9-12, the basketball system 10 may include one or more locking members, which may be sized and configured to help connect the support structure 12 to the base 26. For example, the basketball system 10 may include locking members 84, 86 that are connected to an axle 88 and the support member 24. Advantageously, the locking members 84, 86 and the support member 24 may be quickly and easily connected to the axle 88. The base 26 may include receiving portions 90, 92 that are sized and configured to receive and/or retain at least a portion of the locking members 84, 86. In particular, the receiving portions 90, 92 may be sized and configured to secure the locking members in a generally fixed position relative to the base. For example, the locking members 84, 86 preferably have a generally wedge-shaped configuration, and the receiving portions 90, 92 preferably have a complementary shaped configuration that is sized and configured to contact, abut and/or engage one or more portions of the locking members to secure the locking members in a generally fixed position relative to the base.
  • [0075]
    The basketball system 10 may include another locking member 94 that may be quickly and easily connected to the support member 24 by inserting the locking member through one or more openings 96 in the support member. With the receiving portions 90, 92 receiving and/or retaining at least a portion of the locking members 84, 86, the support member 24 may be pivoted about the axle 88 to a desired position. The base 26 may include one or more receiving portions 98, 100 sized and configured to receive and/or retain a portion of the locking member 94 to secure the support member 24 in the desired position. For example, the receiving portions 98, 100 may be sized and configured to receive and/or retain the locking member 94 using a snap fit, a friction fit and/or an interference fit.
  • [0076]
    Although this invention has been described in terms of certain preferred embodiments, other embodiments apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art are also within the scope of this invention. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is intended to be defined only by the claims which follow.

Claims (19)

  1. 1. A portable basketball system comprising:
    a basketball goal including a backboard and a rim;
    a support structure;
    a height adjustment mechanism connected to the support structure, the height adjustment mechanism sized and configured to adjust the height of the basketball goal between a plurality of generally fixed heights above a support surface; and
    an adjustment assembly connected to the basketball goal and the height adjustment mechanism, the adjustment assembly being sized and configured to tilt the basketball in a plurality of directions to adjust the orientation of the basketball goal while the basketball goal is at any of the plurality of generally fixed heights.
  2. 2. The portable basketball system as in claim 1, wherein the adjustment assembly comprises:
    a first bracket connected to the basketball goal; and
    a second bracket connected to the first bracket and the support structure, the second bracket being sized and configured to be connected to the first bracket in a plurality of relative positions.
  3. 3. The portable basketball system as in claim 2, wherein the adjustment assembly comprises:
    a third bracket connected to the basketball goal; and
    a fourth bracket connected to the third bracket and the support structure, the fourth bracket being sized and configured to be connected to the third bracket in a plurality of relative positions.
  4. 4. The portable basketball system as in claim 2, wherein the second bracket includes an opening sized and configured to receive a fastener in a plurality of positions to connect the second bracket to the first bracket in a plurality of relative positions.
  5. 5. The portable basketball system as in claim 2, wherein the first bracket includes an opening sized and configured to receive a fastener in a plurality of positions to connect the second bracket to the first bracket in a plurality of relative positions.
  6. 6. The portable basketball system as in claim 2, wherein the backboard comprises a frame portion and a rebound portion connected to the frame portion; and wherein the first bracket is connected to the frame portion of the backboard.
  7. 7. The portable basketball system as in claim 2, wherein the backboard comprises a frame portion and a rebound portion connected to the frame portion; and wherein the first bracket includes a receiving portion sized and configured to receive at least a part of the frame portion of the backboard.
  8. 8. The portable basketball system as in claim 7, wherein the receiving portion comprises a notch.
  9. 9. The portable basketball system as in claim 1, wherein the support structure includes a first front elongated support member, a second front elongated support member and a rear elongated support member disposed in a generally tripod-shaped configuration.
  10. 10. The portable basketball system as in claim 1, wherein the support structure includes a first front elongated support member, a second front elongated support member and a rear elongated support member disposed in a generally tripod-shaped configuration, the first front elongated support member and the second front elongated support member being sized and configured to engage the support surface.
  11. 11. The portable basketball system as in claim 1, wherein the support structure includes a first front elongated support member, a second front elongated support member and a rear elongated support member disposed in a generally tripod-shaped configuration, the first front elongated support member and the second front elongated support member being connected to the rear elongated support member above a midpoint of the rear elongated support member.
  12. 12. The portable basketball system as in claim 1, wherein the adjustment assembly is sized and configured to tilt the basketball goal forward and backwards while the basketball goal is any of the plurality of generally fixed heights.
  13. 13. The portable basketball system as in claim 1, further comprising one or more feet movably connected to the support structure, the feet being sized and configured to be moved between a first position in which the basketball goal is in a first orientation and a second position in which the basketball goal is in a second orientation.
  14. 14. A portable basketball system comprising:
    a basketball goal including a backboard and a rim;
    a support structure sized and configured to support the basketball goal, the support structure including a threaded portion; and
    a foot including a threaded portion sized and configured to couple the threaded portion of the support structure, the foot being sized and configured to be moved between a first position in which the basketball goal is in a first orientation and a second position in which the basketball goal is in a second orientation.
  15. 15. The portable basketball system as in claim 14, further comprising a base sized and configured to at least partially rest against a support surface, the foot being sized and configured to contact the support surface.
  16. 16. The portable basketball system as in claim 14, further comprising an adjustment assembly connected to the basketball goal and the support structure, the adjustment assembly sized and configured to adjust the orientation of the basketball goal.
  17. 17. A portable basketball system comprising:
    a basketball goal including a backboard and a rim;
    support structure is sized and configured to support the basketball goal at any of a plurality of generally fixed heights above a support surface; and
    an adjustment assembly is sized and configured to adjust the orientation of the basketball goal while the basketball goal is at any of the plurality of generally fixed heights.
  18. 18. The portable basketball system as in claim 17, wherein the adjustment assembly comprises:
    a first bracket connected to the basketball goal; and
    a second bracket connected to the first bracket and the support structure, the second bracket being sized and configured to be connected to the first bracket in a plurality of relative positions.
  19. 19. The portable basketball system as in claim 17, further comprising one or more feet movably connected to the support structure, the feet being sized and configured to be moved between a first position in which the basketball goal is in a first orientation and a second position in which the basketball goal is in a second orientation.
US11333912 2005-01-14 2006-01-17 Portable basketball system Abandoned US20070042843A1 (en)

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WO2009021261A1 (en) * 2007-08-13 2009-02-19 Tom Parkinson Innovations Pty Ltd Rebound basketball training device
US8206247B2 (en) 2010-02-23 2012-06-26 Indian Industries, Inc. Basketball backboard and rim mounting system
CN105251190A (en) * 2015-10-22 2016-01-20 嘉善广瑞工贸有限公司 Liftable basketball stand
CN105381580A (en) * 2015-12-17 2016-03-09 湖南师范大学 Safe basketball game system
US20170100657A1 (en) * 2015-07-21 2017-04-13 George Hajnasr Portable, adjustable support structure for a speed bag
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CN105381580A (en) * 2015-12-17 2016-03-09 湖南师范大学 Safe basketball game system

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Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:NYE, S. CURTIS;ASTLE, ROBERT A.;WINTER, DAVID C.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:017552/0395;SIGNING DATES FROM 20060412 TO 20060419