US20080039242A1 - Basketball system - Google Patents

Basketball system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080039242A1
US20080039242A1 US11836121 US83612107A US2008039242A1 US 20080039242 A1 US20080039242 A1 US 20080039242A1 US 11836121 US11836121 US 11836121 US 83612107 A US83612107 A US 83612107A US 2008039242 A1 US2008039242 A1 US 2008039242A1
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Prior art keywords
biasing member
basketball
basketball goal
height
support
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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
US11836121
Inventor
S. Curtis Nye
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Lifetime Products Inc
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Lifetime Products Inc
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    • 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
    • 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
    • A63B2063/086Targets or goals for ball games with substantially horizontal opening for ball, e.g. for basketball for basketball deflectable under excessive loads
    • 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 may include a basketball goal and a support structure that may be sized and configured to support the basketball goal. The support structure may include one or more support members. The basketball system may include an adjustment mechanism, which may be sized and configured to move at least a portion of the support members to adjust the height of the basketball goal. The basketball system may include a biasing member sized and configured to absorb energy when a force is applied to the basketball goal and to release the energy when the force is removed from the basketball goal.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority to and the benefit of U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/836,270, which was filed on Aug. 8, 2006 and entitled BASKETBALL SYSTEM, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention generally relates to basketball systems and, in particular, to basketball goals and support structures.
  • 2. Description of Related Art
  • The game of basketball is frequently played by many people throughout the world. Briefly, the game of basketball typically includes a flat and level playing surface with a basketball goal at each end of the court. The basketball goal, which may include a backboard and a rim or hoop, is typically attached to the top of a support pole. The rim or hoop is normally located ten feet above the playing surface and the backboard may be constructed from materials such as wood, plastic or tempered glass.
  • Conventional basketball goals typically include a backboard that is positioned perpendicular to the playing surface and a hoop that is positioned parallel to the playing surface. The hoop of many conventional basketball goals is rigidly mounted to the basketball backboard, but the hoop may also be pivotally mounted to the backboard to create a break-away type rim.
  • The support pole of conventional basketball systems may be permanently secured in a fixed location. For example, the end of the support pole may be inserted into the ground. Conventional basketball systems may also be part of a portable basketball system in which the system may be selectively moved from one location to another.
  • It is known for the height of the goal above the playing surface to be adjustable and the adjustable height basketball system may allow the system to be used by a wide variety of persons. For instance, the adjustable height basketball system may be used by relatively tall players for some games and by shorter players during other games. The adjustable height basketball system may also be used by players of different strengths or skill levels. In addition, the adjustable height basketball system may be used by adults or children. Further, the adjustable height basketball system may also be used to play a regulation game of basketball or for practicing skills such as dunking the basketball.
  • Many conventional basketball systems experience significant stresses and forces while being used. For example, a significant amount of stress and force may be applied to the basketball system when a player dunks the basketball or hangs onto the rim. Over time, these stresses and forces may damage the rim, backboard and/or other portions of the basketball system. It may be very difficult, time consuming and costly to repair or replace the damaged portions of the basketball system.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION
  • A need therefore exists for a basketball system that eliminates or diminishes the disadvantages and problems described above.
  • One aspect is a basketball system that may include a basketball goal, which may include a backboard, a rim and a net connected to the rim. The basketball system may also include a support structure that is sized and configured to support the basketball goal at a desired height above a playing surface. The support structure is preferably sized and configured to selectively support the basketball goal at a plurality of different heights. For example, the support structure may support the rim ten feet above the playing surface, which is the conventional height for a basketball goal. The support structure may also support the rim at other heights, if desired. For example, the support structure may support the rim at lower heights, such as nine feet, eight feet, seven feet, six feet or other desired height. The support structure may also support the rim at a greater height, if desired, such as eleven or twelve feet above the playing surface. Advantageously, the height adjustable support structure may allow children and others to play basketball. In addition, the height adjustable support structure may be used in connection with basketball systems that are located in fixed or permanent positions, and portable basketball systems that are readily capable of being moved between different locations. The height-adjustable support structure may also be used in connection with different types of basketball systems and it may be used in connection with various parts and components, such as a variety of backboards, rims and the like.
  • Another aspect is a basketball system that may include a support structure which includes one or more support members. The support members are preferably movable or adjustable to allow the height of the basketball goal to be adjusted. For example, the basketball system may include a height-adjustable support structure and the support members may allow the height of the basketball goal to be adjusted. In greater detail, the support members may fit and slide one within another in a telescoping manner. The support members could also be connected in other suitable manners, such as rotatably connected.
  • Yet another aspect is a basketball system that may include an adjustment mechanism that is sized and configured to adjust the height of basketball goal. For example, the basketball system may include a support structure with one or more support members and the adjustment mechanism may be sized and configured to move at least a portion of one or more of the support members. By moving at least a portion of one or more of the support members, the height of the basketball goal may be adjusted. The adjustment mechanism may include a crank or handle that is preferably movable into different positions, which may move the support members into different positions.
  • A further aspect is a basketball system that may include an adjustment mechanism and the adjustment mechanism may include a biasing mechanism, such as a compression spring, an extension spring, a gas spring and/or other suitable type of spring or biasing member. For example, the basketball system may include a support structure with one or more support members and the biasing mechanism may be sized and configured to bias at least a portion of at least one of the support members into a desired position. The biasing mechanism may also be sized and configured to move at least a portion of at least one of the support members.
  • A still further aspect is a basketball system that may include one or more biasing members that are sized and configured to help absorb forces or impacts on the basketball system. For example, if a force is applied to the rim and/or basketball goal, then the biasing member may help absorb at least a portion of the force applied to the rim or goal. Advantageously, this may help prevent the rim and/or basketball goal from being bent or damaged. It may also help prevent other portions of the basketball system from being damaged. The biasing member may also be sized and configured to support at least a portion of the weight of the basketball goal. For instance, the biasing member may be positioned so that it helps support at least a portion of the weight of the basketball goal, which may help reduce the amount of weight that other portions of the basketball goal may have to support.
  • Yet another further aspect is a basketball system that may include an adjustment mechanism which includes a tension adjustment mechanism. The tension adjustment mechanism may be used to increase and/or decrease the tension in the biasing member, which may facilitate movement of the adjustment mechanism and/or assist in adjusting the height of the basketball goal. For example, the tension adjustment mechanism may include a crank and the crank may be rotated in a first direction to help compress the biasing member, and that may move the adjustment mechanism and raise the basketball goal. In addition, the crank may be rotated in a second direction to help decompress the biasing member, and that may move the adjustment mechanism and lower the basketball goal. It will be appreciated that the tension adjustment mechanism is not required and it is not necessary to raise or lower the basketball goal. It will also be appreciated that the tension adjustment mechanism may include other components and may be disposed in other suitable configurations and arrangements.
  • Another aspect is basketball system that may include a biasing mechanism that is sized and configured to absorb energy or force applied to the basketball goal, for example, when players hang onto the rim when dunking. When such a force is applied to the basketball goal, the basketball goal may move to a new position and the biasing mechanism may absorb at least a portion of that force. When the force applied to the basketball goal is removed, the biasing mechanism may return the basketball goal to its original position. Desirably, the biasing mechanism may be sized and configured to permit the basketball goal to move within a range when a force is applied to the basketball goal. For example, the biasing mechanism could include a helical compression spring that is compressed when a force is applied to the basketball goal. The biasing mechanism could also include a helical extension spring that is extended when a force is applied to the basketball goal. It will be appreciated that the biasing mechanism may include a compression spring, an extension spring, a gas spring and/or other suitable type of spring or biasing member. The basketball system may include multiple biasing mechanisms. For example, the basketball system may include a first biasing mechanism, such as a compression spring, that is sized and configured to absorb forces applied to the basketball goal and a second biasing mechanism, such as a gas spring, that is sized and configured to adjust the height of the basketball goal.
  • Yet another aspect is basketball system that may include a biasing mechanism as and a support structure that is sized and configured to transfer energy to the biasing mechanism when a force is applied to the basketball goal. The support structure may also be sized and configured to transfer energy from the biasing mechanism to the basketball goal to return the basketball goal to a desired position when the force is removed from the basketball goal. In addition, the biasing member may be sized and configured to help support the basketball goal in a desired position. For example, the biasing member may be sized and configured to help retain the basketball goal in a desired position and, when a force exceeds a certain amount, the biasing member may allow the basketball goal to move into a different position. The biasing member may then be sized and configured to return the basketball goal to the desired position.
  • Still another aspect is basketball system that may include a basketball backboard, which may include a frame, and a support structure connected to the frame of the backboard. The support structure preferably includes an elongated support member and one or more connecting members. The connecting members are preferably pivotally connected to the support member and the frame of the backboard to allow the basketball goal to be positioned among a plurality of heights. For example, the support structure may include a first pair of connecting members connected to the frame and a second pair of connecting mechanisms connected to the frame. The support structure may also include a first pair of connecting arms connected to the frame, a second pair of arms connected to the frame and/or the basketball goal, and a third pair of arms connected from the basketball goal. It will be appreciated that the support structure could include any suitable number of connecting members and the connecting members could be disposed in a variety of suitable configurations and arrangements. In addition, it will be appreciated that the connecting members may be connected to any appropriate portions of the support structure, backboard, backboard frame, basketball goal or other portions of the basketball system.
  • A further aspect is a basketball system that may include a basketball goal which is sized and configured to facilitate connection of the basketball goal to the support structure. For example, the backboard may include a rebound portion with at least one opening that is sized and configured to allow the basketball goal to be connected to the support structure. In particular, a bracket may be connected to the support structure and at least a portion of the bracket may be disposed in the opening in the rebound portion of the backboard. The bracket may also be connected to the rim to allow the rim to be directly connected to the support structure.
  • A still further aspect is basketball system that may include a basketball goal and a support structure connected to the basketball goal. The support structure may include an elongated support member and three pairs of connecting members that are sized and configured to connect the basketball goal to the elongated support member. The three pairs of connecting members are preferably pivotally connected to the support member and the basketball goal to allow the basketball goal to be positioned among a plurality of heights. The support structure may include a first pair of connecting members pivotally connected to the backboard, a second pair of connecting members pivotally connected to the backboard and/or the rim support structure, and a third pair of connecting members pivotally connected to the rim support structure. This may allow forces or stresses on the rim, for example, to be applied more directly to the support structure and less to the backboard frame and/or the rebound portion of the backboard, which may help avoid damage to the backboard.
  • Another further aspect is a basketball system that may include a support structure with a support pole, a first connecting member and a second connecting member. The first connecting member is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the basketball goal, the support pole and the second connecting member. The second connecting member is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the first connecting member and the support pole. In particular, the first and second connecting members may include openings that are sized and configured to receive a fastener that may pivotally or movably interconnect the connecting members. For example, the openings in the second connecting member may be elongated slots along which the fastener may slide. The movement of the fastener within the slots may compress a biasing member when, for example, a force is applied to the basketball goal. When the force is removed from the basketball goal, the biasing member may return the first and/or second connecting members to their previous positions.
  • Still another further aspect is a basketball system that may include a support structure with a support pole, a first connecting member and a second connecting member. The first connecting member is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the basketball goal, the support pole and the second connecting member. The second connecting member is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the first connecting member and the support pole. In particular, the second connecting member preferably includes a first portion and a second portion. The first portion is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the first connecting member and the second portion is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the support pole. The first and second portions of the second at connecting member may be interconnected. For example, the first and second portions may be telescopically connected so that the second connecting member is adjustable in length. In greater detail, the first and/or second portions may include openings, such as elongated slots, that are sized and configured to receive a fastener that may interconnect the portions. The movement of the fastener within the slots may compress a biasing member when, for example, a force is applied to the basketball goal and this may cause the length of the second connecting member to change. When the force is removed from the basketball goal, the biasing member may return the first and/or second connecting members to their previous positions.
  • Another aspect is a basketball system that may include a support structure with a support pole, a first connecting member and a second connecting member. The first connecting member is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the basketball goal, the support pole and to the second connecting member. The second connecting member is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the first connecting member and the support pole. In particular, the second connecting member preferably includes a first portion and a second portion. The first portion is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the first connecting member and the second portion is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the support pole. The first and second portions of the second connecting member may be interconnected and a biasing member may be connected to the first and second portions of the second connecting member. When a force is applied to the basketball goal, the first connecting member and the first and second portions of the second connecting member may move, and that movement may be resisted by a biasing member. When the force is removed from the basketball goal, the biasing member may return the basketball goal to its previous position.
  • Still another aspect is a basketball goal that may include a support structure with a support pole, a first connecting member, a second connecting member and a bracket which may be connected to the second connecting member and the support pole. The first connecting member is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the basketball goal, the support pole and to the second connecting member. The second connecting member is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the first connecting member and the bracket. The bracket is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the second connecting member and the support pole. When a force is applied to the basketball goal, the first connecting member, the second connecting member and/or the bracket may move. This movement, however, may be resisted by a biasing member. When the force is removed from the basketball goal, the biasing member may return the bracket, the first connecting member and/or the second connecting member to their previous positions.
  • Yet another aspect is a basketball goal that may include a support structure with a support pole, a first connecting member, a second connecting member and a bracket connected to the first and second connecting members. The first connecting member is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the basketball goal, the support pole and to the bracket. The second connecting member is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the bracket and the support pole. The bracket is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the first and second connecting members, and a biasing member may be connected to the bracket and the first connecting member. When a force is applied to the basketball goal, the first connecting member, the second connecting member and the bracket may move. The movement of the bracket may compress the biasing member. When the force is removed from the basketball goal, the biasing member may decompress, which may bias the bracket, the first connecting member and/or the second connecting member into their previous positions.
  • A further aspect is a basketball goal system that may include a support structure with a support pole, a first connecting member, a second connecting member and a bracket connected to the second connecting member and the support pole. The first connecting member is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the basketball goal, the support pole and to the second connecting member. The second connecting member is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the first connecting member and the bracket. The bracket and the second connecting member may include openings that are sized and configured to receive a fastener that may pivotally or movably interconnect the bracket and the second connecting member. In greater detail, the openings formed in the bracket may be elongated slots and the fastener may slide within the slots. The movement of the fastener within the slots may compress a biasing member when, for example, a force is applied to the basketball goal. When the force is removed from the basketball goal, the biasing member may bias the first and/or second connecting members of the basketball goal into their previous positions.
  • A still further aspect is a basketball system that may include a support structure with a support pole, a first connecting member and a second connecting member. The first connecting member is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the basketball goal, the support pole and to the second connecting member. The second connecting member is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the first connecting member and the support pole. In particular, the second connecting member preferably includes a first portion and a second portion that are movably interconnected. In particular, the first and second portions are preferably telescopically connected, which may provide the second connecting member with an adjustable length. The first portion is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the support pole and the second portion is preferably pivotally or movably connected to the first connecting member. When a force is applied to the basketball goal, the first connecting member and the first and second portions of the second connecting member may move to decrease the length of the second connecting member and compress a biasing member. When the force is removed from the basketball goal, the biasing member may decompress and the length of the second connecting member may increase. In addition, the biasing member may bias the basketball goal to its previous position. Advantageously, the second connecting member may be connected to various portions of the basketball system. For example, the second connecting member may be connected to a lower portion of the first connecting member and a front portion of the support pole. Also, the second connecting member may be connected to an upper portion of the first connecting member and a rear portion of the support pole. Moreover, the support pole may include a hollow interior portion and at least a portion of the second connecting member may be disposed within and be connected to the hollow interior portion. Of course, the second connecting member may be connected to other portions of the first connecting member and/or the support pole. Consequently, the biasing member may be positioned in front of or behind the support pole. In addition, the biasing member may be positioned in front of or behind a connection of the first connecting member to the support pole. Of course, the biasing member may be other suitable locations.
  • Another aspect is a basketball system that may include a cover which covers a portion of the basketball system. The cover, for example, may include one or more generally helical portions. The helical portions may form part of a biasing member, such as a spring, or the helical portions may be sized and configured to have the appearance of a spring. It will be appreciated that the cover could have other suitable shapes, sizes, configurations and arrangements depending, for example, upon the intended use of the basketball system. In greater detail, the cover may be disposed around and/or may cover at portion of a height adjustment mechanism. The generally helical portions of the cover may advantageously indicate to the user that the height adjustment mechanism is configured to absorb energy or force applied to the basketball goal. For example, the height adjustment mechanism may include a biasing member that is sized and configured to absorb energy or force applied to the basketball goal. If desired, the cover may at least partially enclose the biasing member. The cover could also be a separate and distinct component from the biasing member or other portions of the basketball system.
  • Yet another aspect is a basketball system that may include an adjustment mechanism with a biasing member and an enclosure. Desirably, the biasing member may be removable from the enclosure, which may allow the biasing member to be replaced when worn or damaged. The adjustment mechanism may also be sized and configured to use different types of springs or biasing members having different properties (such as, compressibility, extendibility, resilience, etc.) and that may allow the adjustment mechanism to be used with basketball systems having different sizes and configurations.
  • Still another aspect is a basketball system that may include a height adjustment mechanism and a biasing member that may be sized and configured to at least help absorb forces applied to the basketball goal. For example, the height adjustment mechanism may include an adjustment mechanism, such as a crank, that allows the height of the basketball goal to be changed. In particular, the height adjustment mechanism may include two telescoping members and the crank may be used to vary the length of the telescoping members. In addition, a biasing member is preferably connected to the height adjustment mechanism and that may allow the telescoping members and/or the crank to move if a force greater than a certain amount is applied to the basketball goal. Advantageously, this may help prevent damage to the basketball system.
  • 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
  • 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:
  • FIG. 1 is a rear perspective view of an exemplary basketball system;
  • FIG. 2 is another rear perspective view of the basketball system shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of a portion of the basketball system shown in FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 4 is an exploded view of a portion of the basketball system shown in FIG. 3;
  • FIG. 5 is perspective view of a portion of the basketball system shown in FIG. 4;
  • FIG. 6 is an exploded view of the portion of the basketball system shown in FIG. 5;
  • FIG. 7 is perspective view of a portion of the basketball system shown in FIG. 6;
  • FIG. 8 is an exploded view of the portion of the basketball system shown in FIG. 7;
  • FIG. 9 is side view of a portion of another exemplary basketball system;
  • FIG. 10 is side view of a portion of yet another exemplary basketball system;
  • FIG. 11 is side view of a portion of still another exemplary basketball system;
  • FIG. 12 is side view of a portion of a further exemplary basketball system;
  • FIG. 13 is side view of a portion of a still further exemplary basketball system;
  • FIG. 14 is side view of a portion of still another exemplary basketball system;
  • FIG. 15 is side view of a portion of still yet another exemplary basketball system; and
  • FIG. 16 is side view of a portion of another exemplary basketball system.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • The present invention is generally directed towards basketball systems. The principles of the present invention, however, are not limited to basketball systems. 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 sporting equipment and/or support structures.
  • 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 and/or orientations. A detailed description of the basketball system now follows.
  • As shown in FIGS. 1-2, a basketball system 10 may include a basketball goal 12, which may include a backboard 14, a rim 16 and a net connected to the rim. The basketball system 10 may also include a support structure 18, which may be sized and configured to support the basketball goal 12 at a desired height above a playing surface.
  • The support structure 18 is preferably sized and configured to selectively support the basketball goal 12 at a plurality of different heights. For example, the support structure 18 may support the rim ten feet above the playing surface, which is the conventional height for a basketball goal 12, and the support structure may support the rim at other heights. In particular, the support structure 18 may support the rim at lower heights, such as nine feet, eight feet, seven feet, six feet, or any other desired height. The support structure 18 may also support the rim at a greater height, if desired. Advantageously, the support structure 18 may allow children and others to play basketball. The support structure 18 may also be used in connection with permanent and portable basketball systems. In addition, the support structure 18 may be used with different types of basketball systems and components such as various types of backboards, rims and the like.
  • The support structure 18 may include one or more support members, such as a support pole, connecting members and/or other support members. For example, the support structure 18 may include a support pole 20 and one or more connecting members (such as connecting members 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32) that may be sized and configured to help interconnect the support pole and the basketball goal 12. The connecting members 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32 are preferably pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the support pole 12 and the basketball goal 12 to help the basketball goal move between a plurality of heights. If desired, the connecting members 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32 may be pivotally or otherwise movably connected to any suitable portion of the basketball goal 12, such as the rim 16, the backboard 14, a frame of the backboard and/or any other suitable portion of the basketball goal 12. The connecting members may be connected to the support pole 12 and the basketball goal 12 using one or more connectors (such as brackets), fasteners, welds, adhesives and/or any other suitable means.
  • The support members of the support structure 18 may have an elongated shape and may be constructed from metal tubes. It will be appreciated, however, that the support members need not be constructed from metal tubes and that the support members may be constructed from other suitable materials and may have other shapes and/or configurations.
  • The support members of the support structure 18 may be movable or adjustable and the basketball system 10 that may include an adjustment mechanism 34 that is sized and configured to adjust the height of basketball goal 12 by moving at least a portion of at least one of the support members. In particular, the adjustment mechanism 34 is preferably movable into different positions, which may move the support members into different positions.
  • For example, as shown in FIGS. 3-5, the adjustment mechanism 34 may include a first adjustment member 36 and a second adjustment member 38 and the first and second adjustment members may be movable among a plurality of relative positions. Desirably, this relative movement of the adjustment members 36, 38 may move the support members of the support structure 18 into different positions to adjust the height of the basketball goal 12. The adjustment members 36, 38 preferably include metal tubes sized and configured to slidably, telescopically and/or otherwise movably couple each other. It will be appreciated, however, that the adjustment members 36, 38 need not be constructed from metal tubes and that the adjustment members may be constructed from other suitable materials and may have other shapes and/or configurations.
  • In further detail, as shown in FIGS. 3-4, the adjustment members 36, 38 may be connected to the support structure 18 using one or more connectors, such as brackets, links and/or other connectors. For example, the adjustment member 36 may be pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the support pole 20 of the support structure 18 using a bracket 40. In addition, the adjustment member 38 may be pivotally or otherwise movably a connected to the support pole 20 and the connecting members 30, 32 of the support structure using a bracket 42 and links 44, 46, 48, 50. In particular, the bracket 40 may be connected to the support pole 20, and the adjustment member 38 may be pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the bracket. In addition, the bracket 42, which may be connected to the adjustment member 38, may be pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the links 44, 46, 48, 50. The links 44, 46 and the links 48, 50 may be pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the support pole 20 and the connecting members 30, 32, respectively.
  • When the adjustment members 36, 38 are moved away from each other, the bracket 42 may pull the links 48, 50 downwardly, which may create torque that pivots the connecting members 30, 32 about the fastener 52 to raise the basketball goal 12. When the adjustment members 36, 38 are moved towards each other, the bracket 42 may move upwardly, which may allow the links 48, 50 to move upwardly and thus allow gravity to cause the connecting members 30, 32 to pivot about the fastener 52 to lower the basketball goal 12. It will be appreciated that the adjustment members 36, 38 may be connected to other suitable portions of the support structure 18 using one or more connectors, fasteners, welds, adhesives and/or any other suitable means. It will be also appreciated that no particular relative movement of the adjustment members 36, 38 is required to raise or lower the basketball goal 12. It will be further appreciated that the adjustment mechanism 34 does not require any adjustment members 36, 38 and may include other components having other suitable features.
  • As shown FIGS. 6-8, the adjustment mechanism 34 may also include a crank 54, which may be sized and configured to move the adjustment members 36, 38 among a plurality of relative positions. For example, the crank 40 may be rotated in a first direction to move the adjustment members 36, 38 in away from each other and the crank may be rotated in an opposing second direction to move the adjustment members towards other. As mentioned above, moving the adjustment members 36, 38 in this fashion may help move the support members of the support structure 18 into different positions to raise and/or lower the basketball goal 12.
  • In further detail, as shown in FIGS. 6-8, the adjustment mechanism 34 may include a shaft 56, a guide 58 and a biasing member 60. The guide 58 may be connected to the adjustment member 36 and the shaft 56 may be movably coupled to the guide. The guide 58 may, for example, include a receiving portion 62, which may be sized and configured to threadably receive a portion of the shaft 56. In particular, a portion of the shaft 56 may extend through the receiving portion 62, and the shaft and the receiving portion may include generally complementary threaded portions that may threadably couple each other.
  • The crank 54 may be connected to a lower portion 64 of the shaft 56 and the crank may be rotated to rotate the shaft. As the shaft 56 is rotated, the threaded portions of the shaft and the guide 58 may engage each other to move the guide relative to the shaft. For example, when in the shaft 56 is rotated in a first direction, the guide 58 may move in a direction 66 along the shaft, and when the shaft is rotated in an opposing second direction, the guide may move in a direction 68 along the shaft. As discussed below, the guide's movement along the shaft 56 may help raise and/or lower the basketball goal 12.
  • When the guide 58 moves along the shaft 56 in the direction 66, the adjustment members 36, 38 may move away from each other to raise the basketball goal. In greater detail, the biasing member 60 shown in FIG. 6 may be at least partially positioned between a lower portion 70 of the adjustment member 38 and a washer 72. For example, to position the biasing member 60 between the lower portion 70 and the washer 72, the lower portion 64 of the shaft 56 may be inserted through passageways formed in the washer 72, the biasing member 60, a bearing assembly 74 and the lower portion 70 of the adjustment member 38, after which the lower portion 64 of the shaft may be connected to the crank 54, as shown in FIG. 3. When the shaft 56 is rotated and causes the guide 58 moves along the shaft in the direction 66, the shaft may move away from the adjustment member 36, which may help push the adjustment member 38 away from the adjustment member 36. In particular, when the guide 58 moves along the shaft 56 in the direction 66, the shaft may move away from the adjustment member 36 and may contact and/or exert a force against the washer 72, which may contact and/or exert a force against the biasing member 60, which may contact and/or exert a force against the bearing assembly 74, which may contact and/or exert a force against the lower portion 70 of the adjustment member 38 to push the adjustment members 36, 38 away from each other. As the adjustment members 36, 38 are pushed away from each other, the bracket 42 may pull the links 48, 50 downwardly, which may create torque that pivots the connecting members 30, 32 about the fastener 52 to raise the basketball goal 12.
  • When the shaft 56 is rotated and causes the guide 58 move along the shaft in the direction 68, the adjustment members 36, 38 may move towards each other to lower the basketball goal 12. In greater detail, when the guide 58 moves along the shaft 56 in the direction 68, the shaft 56 may move towards the adjustment member 36, which may allow the lower portion of the adjustment member 38 and, thus also the bracket 42, to move upwardly. The bracket 42 moving upwardly may allow the links 48, 50 to move upwardly and thus allow gravity to cause the connecting members 30, 32 to pivot about the fastener 52 to lower the basketball goal 12.
  • As shown in FIG. 6, the bearing assembly 74 may be positioned between the biasing member 60 and the lower portion 70 of the adjustment member 38. This may help prevent friction between the biasing member 60 and the adjustment member 38 when, for example, the crank 54 and/or the shaft 56 are rotated.
  • Significantly, the biasing member 60 may be sized and configured to absorb energy or force applied to the basketball goal 12, for example, when players hang onto the rim 16 when dunking. When such energy or force is applied to the basketball goal 12, the basketball goal may move to a new position and the biasing member 60 may absorb at least a portion of that energy or force. When the energy or force applied to the basketball goal 12 is removed, the biasing member 60 may return the basketball goal to its original position. Desirably, the biasing member 60 may be sized and configured to permit the basketball goal 12 to move within a range when energy or force is applied to the basketball goal. This may advantageously help avoid damage to the rim 16, backboard 14 and/or other portions of the basketball system 10. The biasing member 60 may include, for example, a compression spring, an extension spring, a leaf spring, a helical compression spring, a helical extension spring, a torsion spring, a bushing or washer, a gas spring, a hydraulic spring and/or other suitable biasing members that may be sized and configured to absorb and release energy or force. The biasing member 60 may also be constructed from metal, plastic, rubber, elastomeric materials and/or other suitable materials having suitable characteristics. As discussed below, the support structure 18 may be sized and configured to transfer energy to the biasing member 60 when a force is applied to the basketball goal 12, and the support structure 18 may also be sized and configured to transfer energy from the biasing mechanism to the basketball goal to raise the basketball goal when the force is removed from the basketball goal.
  • In further detail, the force applied to the basketball goal 12 may create torque that may pivot the connecting members 30, 32 about the fastener 52, which may pull the links 48, 50 and the bracket 42 upward and thus move the adjustment members 36, 38 of the adjustment mechanism 34 towards each other. As the adjustment members 36, 38 are moved together, the biasing member 60 may absorb energy, and the basketball goal 12 may move to from a higher initial position to a displaced lower position. When the force is removed from the basketball goal, the biasing member 60 may resiliently release the energy, which may move the adjustment members 36, 38 away from each other. As the adjustment members 36, 38 move away from each other, the bracket 42 may pull the links 48, 50 downwardly, which may create torque that may pivot the connecting members 30, 32 about the fastener 52 to return the basketball goal 12 to its higher initial position.
  • To absorb the energy, the biasing member 60 may be compressed and/or deformed. In particular, when the adjustment members 36, 38 are moved together, the lower portion 64 of the shaft 56 may extend an additional distance past the lower portion 70 of the adjustment member 38, which may allow the washer 72 and the lower portion 70 to move closer together to compress and/or deform the biasing member 60. To release the energy, the biasing member 60 may resiliently decompress and/or reform. As the biasing member 60 decompresses and/or reforms, the biasing member may exert a force against the lower portion 70 of the adjustment member 38 and the washer 72, which may move the adjustment members 36, 38 away from each other and, as discussed above, return the basketball goal to its higher initial position. It will be appreciated, however, that the biasing member 60 need not be compressed, decompressed, deformed or reformed to absorb or release energy and that the biasing member 60 may absorb and/or release energy in a variety of other suitable ways. It will also be appreciated that the biasing member 60 may be positioned in other suitable locations and/or orientations and may contact, abut, engage and/or be connected to other suitable portions of the adjustment mechanism 34, the support structure 18 and/or the basketball system 10.
  • Significantly, the biasing member 60 may be sized and configured to permit a particular range of basketball goal movement when a force is applied to the basketball goal 12. For example, the biasing member 60 may be sized and configured to permit the basketball goal to move downwardly about 2 inches, about 4 inches, about 6 inches and/or about 8 inches in response to 200, 300, 400 and/or 500 pounds of force. The biasing member 60 may also be customizable to permit a variety of different amounts of basketball goal movement when a force is applied to the basketball goal 12. For example, the biasing member 60 may comprise a spring and the tension in the spring may be increased or decreased to affect the manner in which the spring absorbs energy and thus how much the basketball goal 12 moves when a force is applied to the basketball goal. It will be appreciated that the biasing member 60 may be sized and configured to permit greater or lesser downward movement in response to other amounts of force, if desired. It will also be appreciated that the biasing member 60 need not be customizable.
  • It will be further appreciated that the adjustment mechanism 34 does not require a crank 54 to rotate the shaft 56. For example, the adjustment mechanism 34 may include a motor configured to rotate the shaft 56. Moreover, the adjustment mechanism 34 does not require the shaft 56 or the guide 58 to move the adjustment members 36, 38 among a 2, plurality of relative positions.
  • For instance, the adjustment mechanism 34 may include a gas or hydraulic spring that may include the adjustment members 36, 38. As part of the gas or hydraulic spring, the adjustment members 36, 38 may advantageously be configured to be moved among various generally fixed relative positions. For instance, the gas or hydraulic spring may be moved to a locked configuration to secure the adjustment members 36, 38 in a first generally fixed relative position; then moved to an unlocked configuration to permit the adjustment members to be moved among other relative positions which may, as discussed above, adjust the height of the basketball goal 12; and then back to a locked configuration to secure the adjustment members 36, 38 in a second generally fixed relative position.
  • Desirably, the biasing member 60 may contact, abut, engage and/or be connected to the adjustment members 36, 38, other portions of the gas spring or hydraulic spring, other portions of the adjustment mechanism 34, the support structure 18 and/or other portions of the basketball system 10 such that, when a force is applied to the basketball goal, the biasing member 60 may absorb energy. The biasing member 60 may absorb energy, for instance, when the gas or hydraulic spring is in a locked configuration that secures the adjustment members 36, 38 in a generally fixed relative position. As the biasing member 60 absorbs the energy, the basketball goal 12 may move from an initial position to a displaced position. When the force is removed from the basketball goal, the biasing member may resiliently release the energy. As biasing member 60 resiliently releases the energy, the biasing member may help bias the basketball goal from its displaced position to its initial position. This may advantageously help avoid damage to the gas spring or hydraulic spring and/or other portions of the basketball system 10.
  • As shown in FIGS. 9-16, a biasing member 60 may be positioned in other suitable locations in which, when a force is applied to the basketball goal 12, the biasing member may absorb energy and subsequently release that energy to return the basketball goal to its initial position.
  • As shown in FIG. 9, a connecting member 76 may be pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the connecting member 30 and the support pole 20. The connecting members 30, 76 may include openings sized and configured to receive a fastener 78 that may pivotally or otherwise movably interconnect the connecting members. For example, the openings in the connecting member 76 may be elongated slots 80 along which the fastener 78 may slide. The movement of the fastener 78 within the slots 80 may compress a biasing member 60 when, for example, a force is applied to the basketball goal 12. When the force is removed from the basketball goal 12, the biasing member 60 may return the connecting members 30, 76 to their previous positions and thus return the basketball goal 12 to its previous position.
  • As shown in FIG. 10, a connecting member 82 may be pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the connecting member 30 and the support pole 20. The connecting member 82 preferably includes a first portion 84 and a second portion 86. The first portion 84 is preferably pivotally or otherwise movably connected the connecting member 30 and the second portion 86 is preferably pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the support pole 20. The first and second portions 84, 86 may be interconnected. For example, the first and second portions 84, 86 may be telescopically connected so that the a connecting member 82 is adjustable in length. In greater detail, the first and second portions 84, 86 may include openings, such as elongated slots 88, along which the fastener 90 may slide. The movement of the fastener 90 within the slots 88 may compress a biasing member 60 when, for example, a force is applied to the basketball goal 12. This may cause the length of the connecting member 82 to increase. When the force is removed from the basketball goal 12, the biasing member 60 may return the connecting members 30, 82 to their previous positions and thus return the basketball goal 12 to its previous position.
  • As shown in FIG. 11, a connecting member 92 may be pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the connecting member 30 and the support pole 20. The connecting member 90 preferably includes a first portion 94 and a second portion 96. The first portion 94 is preferably pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the connecting member 30 and the second portion 96 is preferably pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the support pole 20. The first and second portions 94, 96 may be interconnected and a biasing member 60 may be connected to the first and second portions. When a force is applied to the basketball goal 12, the connecting member 30 and the first and second portions 94, 96 of the connecting member 92 may move, which may be resisted by the biasing member 60. When the force is removed from the basketball goal 12, the biasing member may return the connecting member 30 and the first and second portions 94, 96 of the connecting member 92 to their previous positions and thus return the basketball goal 12 to its previous position.
  • As shown in FIG. 12, a connecting member 98 may be pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the connecting member 30 and a bracket 100. The bracket 100 is preferably pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the support pole 20. A biasing member 60 may be connected to the bracket 100 and the support pole 20 using a fastener, a washer and/or other suitable means. When a force is applied to the basketball goal 12, the connecting member 30, the connecting member 98 and the bracket 100 may move, which may be resisted by the biasing member 60. When the force is removed from the basketball goal 12, the biasing member 60 may return the connecting members 30, 98 and the bracket 100 to their previous positions and thus return the basketball goal 12 to its previous position.
  • As shown in FIG. 13, a connecting member 102 may be pivotally or otherwise movably connected to a bracket 104 and the support pole 20. The bracket 104 is preferably pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the connecting member 30, and a biasing member 60 may be connected to the bracket and the connecting member 30 using a fastener, a washer and/or other suitable means. When a force is applied to the basketball goal 12, the connecting member 30, the connecting member 102 and the bracket 104 may move, which may be resisted by the biasing member 60. When the force is removed from the basketball goal 12, the biasing member 60 may return the connecting members 30, 102 and the bracket 104 to their previous positions and thus return the basketball goal 12 to its previous position.
  • As shown in FIG. 14, a connecting member 106 may be pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the connecting member 30 and a bracket 108. The bracket 108 may be connected to the support pole 20. The bracket 102 and the connecting member 106 may include openings sized and configured to receive a fastener 110 that may pivotally or otherwise movably interconnect the bracket and the connecting member. In greater detail, the openings formed in the bracket may be elongated slots 112 and the fastener 110 may slide within the slots. The movement of the fastener within the slots may compress a biasing member 60 when, for example, a force is applied to the basketball goal 12. When the force is removed from the basketball goal 12, the biasing member 60 may return the connecting members 30, 106 to their previous positions and thus return the basketball goal 12 to its previous position.
  • As shown in FIG. 15, a connecting member 114 may be pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the connecting member 30 and the support pole 20. The connecting member 114 preferably includes a first portion 116 and a second portion 118 that are movably interconnected. In particular, the first and second portions 116, 118 are preferably telescopically connected, which may provide the connecting member 114 with an adjustable length. The first portion 116 is preferably pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the support pole 20 and the second portion 118 is preferably pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the connecting member 30. When a force is applied to the basketball goal 12, the connecting member 30 and the first and second portions 116, 118 of the connecting member 114 may move to decrease the length of the connecting member 114 and compress a biasing member 60. When the force is removed from the basketball goal 12, the biasing member 60 may decompress, which may increase the length of the connecting member 114 and return the connecting members 30, 114 to their previous positions and thus return the basketball goal 12 to its previous position. As shown in FIG. 15, the connecting member 114 may be connected to an upper portion of the connecting member 30 and a rear portion of the support pole 20. It will be appreciated, however, that the connecting member 114 may be connected in any suitable fashion to any other suitable portion of the support pole 20 and/or the connecting member 30.
  • As shown in FIG. 16, a connecting member 120 may be pivotally or Z E otherwise movably connected to the connecting member 30 and the support pole 20. The connecting member 120 preferably includes a first portion 122 and a second portion 124 that are movably interconnected. In particular, the first and second portions 122, 124 are preferably telescopically connected, which may provide the connecting member 120 with an adjustable length. The first portion 122 is preferably pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the support pole 20 and the second portion 124 is preferably pivotally or otherwise movably connected to the connecting member 30. When a force is applied to the basketball goal 12, the connecting member 30 and the first and second portions 122, 124 of the connecting member 120 may move to decrease the length of the connecting member 120 and compress a biasing member 60. When the force is removed from the basketball goal 12, the biasing member 60 may decompress, which may increase the length of the connecting member 120 and return the connecting members 30, 120 to their previous positions and thus return the basketball goal 12 to its previous position. As shown in FIG. 16, the connecting member 120 may be connected to a lower portion of the connecting member 30 and a front portion of the support pole 20. It will be appreciated, however, that the connecting member 120 may be connected in any suitable fashion to any other suitable portion of the support pole 20 and/or the connecting member 30.
  • In some embodiments, the connecting members 76, 82, 92, 98, 102, 106, 114, 120 shown in FIGS. 9-16 may form a part of an adjustment mechanism, such as the adjustment mechanism 34. For example, the adjustment mechanism 34 may include a gas or hydraulic spring that may include the connecting members 76, 82, 92, 98, 102, 106, 114, 120. Thus, the adjustment mechanism 34 and/or the gas or hydraulic spring leverage the features of the connecting members 76, 82, 92, 98, 102, 106, 114, 120 and/or the other features shown in FIGS. 9-16 to facilitate utilize a biasing member 60 configured to absorb energy and subsequently release that energy as discussed above.
  • As shown in the accompanying figures, the biasing member 60 may be disposed within enclosures at least partially formed by the adjustment members 36, 38 and/or the connecting members 76, 82, 114, 120. It will be appreciated, however, that the biasing member 60 may be fully or at least partially within or outside the adjustment members 36, 38; the connecting members 76, 82, 114, 120; the support pole 20; other portions of the support structure and/or other portions of the basketball system 10.
  • As shown in FIG. 4, the basketball system 10 may include a cover 126 which covers a portion of the basketball system 10. The cover 126 may include, for example, one or more generally helical portions 128. In greater detail, the cover 126 may be disposed around and/or may cover at portion of the adjustment mechanism 34. The generally helical portions 128 may advantageously indicate to the user that the adjustment mechanism 34 is configured to absorb energy or force applied to the basketball goal 12. For example, the adjustment mechanism 34 may include a biasing member 60 that is preferably sized and configured to absorb energy or force when a force is applied to the basketball goal 12. If desired, the cover 126 may at least partially enclose the biasing member 60. The cover 126 could also be a separate and distinct component from the biasing member 60 or other portions of the basketball system 10.
  • Additional information regarding other suitable configurations and aspects of height-adjustable basketball goals and basketball systems in general 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; and U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/706,637, which was filed on Aug. 8, 2005. These patents and application are incorporated by reference in their entireties.
  • 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 (18)

  1. 1. A 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 comprising:
    a support pole; and
    at least one connecting member movably connected to the basketball goal and the support pole;
    an adjustment mechanism comprising a first biasing member sized and configured to move between a locked configuration and an unlocked configuration, the first biasing member including a first portion and a second portion, the first and second portions being secured in a generally fixed relative position when the first biasing member is in the locked configuration, the first and second portions being movable relative to each other to adjust the height of the basketball goal when the first biasing member is in the unlocked configuration; and
    a second biasing member sized and configured to, when the first biasing member is in the locked configuration and a force is applied to the basketball goal, absorb energy at least partially via the support structure to permit the basketball goal to move from a first height to a second height and, when the force is removed from the basketball goal, release the energy at least partially via the support structure to return the basketball goal back to the first height.
  2. 2. The basketball system as in claim 1, wherein the second biasing member is sized and configured to, when the first biasing member is in the locked configuration and a force is applied to the basketball goal, absorb energy at least partially via the at least one connecting member to permit the basketball goal to move from the first height to the second height and, when the force is removed from the basketball goal, release the energy at least partially via the at least one connecting member to return the basketball goal back to the first height.
  3. 3. The basketball system as in claim 2, wherein the first biasing member comprises a gas spring; and wherein the second biasing member comprises a compression spring.
  4. 4. The basketball system as in claim 2, wherein the first biasing member comprises a gas spring; and wherein the second biasing member comprises an extension spring.
  5. 5. The basketball system as in claim 2, wherein the first biasing member comprises a gas spring; and wherein the second biasing member comprises a torsion spring.
  6. 6. The basketball system as in claim 2, wherein the first biasing member comprises a gas spring; and wherein the second biasing member comprises a helical spring.
  7. 7. A 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 plurality of support members;
    an adjustment mechanism comprising a first biasing member sized and configured to move between a locked configuration and an unlocked configuration, the first biasing member including a first portion and a second portion, the first and second portions being secured in a generally fixed relative position when the first biasing member is in the locked configuration, the first and second portions being movable relative to each other to move at least one of the support members to adjust the height of the basketball goal when the first biasing member is in the unlocked configuration; and
    a second biasing member sized and configured to, when the first biasing member is in the locked configuration and a force is applied to the basketball goal, absorb energy at least partially via the support structure to permit the basketball goal to move from a first height to a second height and, when the force is removed from the basketball goal, release the energy at least partially via the support structure to return the basketball goal back to the first height.
  8. 8. The basketball system as in claim 7, wherein the second biasing member is sized and configured to, when the first biasing member is in the locked configuration and a force is applied to the basketball goal, absorb energy at least partially via the at least one of the support members to permit the basketball goal to move from the first height to the second height and, when the force is removed from the basketball goal, release the energy at least partially via the at least one of the support members to return the basketball goal back to the first height.
  9. 9. The basketball system as in claim 8, wherein the first biasing member comprises a gas spring; and wherein the second biasing member comprises a compression spring.
  10. 10. The basketball system as in claim 8, wherein the first biasing member comprises a gas spring; and wherein the second biasing member comprises an extension spring.
  11. 11. The basketball system as in claim 8, wherein the first biasing member comprises a gas spring; and wherein the second biasing member comprises a torsion spring.
  12. 12. The basketball system as in claim 8, wherein the first biasing member comprises a gas spring; and wherein the second biasing member comprises a helical spring.
  13. 13. A 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 plurality of support members; and
    an adjustment mechanism comprising
    a first adjustment member;
    a second adjustment member, the first and second adjustment members being movable relative to each other to adjust the height of the basketball goal; and
    a biasing member sized and configured to, when a force is applied to the basketball goal, absorb energy at least partially via the support structure to permit the basketball goal to move from a first height to a second height and, when the force is removed from the basketball goal, release the energy at least partially via the support structure to return the basketball goal back to the first height.
  14. 14. The basketball system as in claim 13, wherein the biasing member is at least partially disposed within the first adjustment member.
  15. 15. The basketball system as in claim 13, wherein the biasing member is partially disposed within the first adjustment member; and wherein the biasing member is partially disposed within the second adjustment member.
  16. 16. The basketball system as in claim 13, wherein the first and second adjustment members are slidably coupled.
  17. 17. The basketball system as in claim 16, wherein the biasing member is partially disposed within the first adjustment member; and wherein the biasing member is partially disposed within the second adjustment member.
  18. 18. The basketball system as in claim 13, further comprising a crank sized and configured to move the first and second adjustment members relative to each other.
US11836121 2006-08-08 2007-08-08 Basketball system Abandoned US20080039242A1 (en)

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