US20090062078A1 - Flexible Enclosure For A Recreational Structure - Google Patents

Flexible Enclosure For A Recreational Structure Download PDF

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Publication number
US20090062078A1
US20090062078A1 US12/201,220 US20122008A US2009062078A1 US 20090062078 A1 US20090062078 A1 US 20090062078A1 US 20122008 A US20122008 A US 20122008A US 2009062078 A1 US2009062078 A1 US 2009062078A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
flexible
end
frame
aperture
rod
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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
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US12/201,220
Inventor
Jeffry L. VanElverdinghe
Original Assignee
Vanelverdinghe Jeffry L
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Publication date
Priority to US96958607P priority Critical
Priority to US11/970,412 priority patent/US7918764B2/en
Application filed by Vanelverdinghe Jeffry L filed Critical Vanelverdinghe Jeffry L
Priority to US12/201,220 priority patent/US20090062078A1/en
Publication of US20090062078A1 publication Critical patent/US20090062078A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B5/00Apparatus for jumping
    • A63B5/11Trampolines
    • 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
    • A63B71/022Backstops, cages, enclosures or the like, e.g. for spectator protection, for arresting balls

Abstract

A safety enclosure structure comprises a plurality of flexible rods and a frame assembly. Each flexible rod comprises a first end and a second end. The frame assembly comprises at least four apertures arranged in a first through fourth sequential arrangement along the frame assembly. Each aperture is capable of receiving an end of a flexible rod. The first end of a first flexible rod is received by the first aperture and the second end of the first flexible rod is received by the third aperture. The first end of the second flexible rod is received by the second aperture and the second end of the second flexible rod being is by the fourth aperture. The first and second flexible rods each form an arch shape between the apertures receiving the respective ends of the first and second flexible rods.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATIONS
  • The present patent application is a continuation-in-part patent application of U.S. Utility patent application Ser. No. 11/970,412, filed Jan. 7, 2008, entitled “Panel-type Frame Structure For A Recreational Structure, invented by Jeffry L. VanElverdinghe, which claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/969,586, filed on Aug. 31, 2007, entitled “Patent-type Trampoline And Trampoline Embodiments,” invented by Jeffry L. VanElverdinghe, the disclosures of both being incorporated herein by reference in their entirety. The present patent application is also related to U.S. Design Patent Application Serial No. (Attorney Docket No. 135.0026), entitled “Flexible Safety Enclosure For A Recreational Structure,” and U.S. Design Patent Application Serial No. (Attorney Docket No. 135.0027), entitled “Connector For Flexible Enclosure For A Recreational Structure,” both of which being filed concurrently herewith and both disclosures being incorporated by reference herein.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The subject matter disclosed herein is illustrated by way of example and not by limitation in the accompanying figures in which like reference numerals indicate similar elements and in which:
  • FIG. 1 depicts an exemplary embodiment of a safety enclosure according to the subject matter disclosed herein;
  • FIGS. 2A-2C depict exemplary embodiments of ferrules that can be used with a flexible rod that forms the safety enclosure of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 depicts a perspective view of another exemplary embodiment of a safety enclosure according to the subject matter disclosed herein;
  • FIG. 4 depicts an exemplary embodiment of a safety enclosure according to the subject matter disclosed herein;
  • FIGS. 5A and 5B respectively depict top and side views of an exemplary embodiment of a portion of recreational structure frame according to the subject matter disclosed herein;
  • FIG. 5C depicts an alternative configuration for coupling a spring member to recreational structure frame according to the subject matter disclosed herein; and
  • FIG. 6 depicts a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a recreational frame T-coupler that is suitable for use with the safety enclosure and recreational structure frame depicted in FIG. 1
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • The word “exemplary” is used herein to mean “serving as an example, instance, or illustration.” Any embodiment described herein as “exemplary” is not to be construed as necessarily preferred or advantageous over other embodiments.
  • FIG. 1 depicts an exemplary embodiment of a safety enclosure 100 according to the subject matter disclosed herein. Safety enclosure 100 is designed to safely stop a user from falling from the rebounding surface of the recreational structure and operates as a fence around the rebounding surface, but does not act as a rebounder. Safety enclosure 100 comprises a plurality of flexible rods 101 that supports and suspends safety netting 102. One suitable flexible rod that could be used for a flexible rod 101 is disclosed by U.S. Pat. No. 6,450,187 A1 to Lin et al., the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein. Safety netting 102 comprises a net or fabric mesh and a plurality of sleeves 303 (see FIG. 3) formed along a top edge of the netting in which a rod 101 can be inserted. When a rod 101 is inserted into a sleeve 303, the two ends of the rod extend out from sleeve 303. In another embodiment, the top of safety netting 102 is fastened to rods 101 in a well-known manner. The ends of each flexible rod 101 are then coupled to a frame 150, such as a standard trampoline frame, by inserting each end into an aperture or a side-sleeve member, such as any of the apertures and/or side-sleeves described in connection with T-coupler devices disclosed herein, so that the rod 101 forms an arch that spans between two apertures (and/or side-sleeve members) that are spaced apart. For example, referring to FIG. 1, a rod 101 forms an arch that spans between two T-coupler devices 151 located at point A and point C. Points A and C are spaced apart, in this case, by two times the length of the span of frame 150 between two T-coupler devices 151 plus the length of one T-coupler device 151 that is located at B. Other exemplary distances are possible for forming an arch by a rod 101.
  • A sleeve 303 (FIG. 3) formed in flexible netting 102 is coupled to an arched flexible rod 101 at least at a top portion of the arch formed by a flexible rod. The arrangement is repeated around the frame 150 so that adjacent flexible rods 101 overlap and provide lateral support to each other. In one exemplary embodiment, the number of flexible rods 101 equals the number of T-coupler devices in frame 150 of the recreational structure. In another exemplary embodiment, the number of flexible rods 101 is a sub-multiple of the number of number of T-coupler devices in frame 150 of the recreational structure. While flexible rods 101 are depicted in FIG. 1 has extending substantially vertically from frame 150, the apertures and/or side-sleeve members that receive flexible rods 101 could be oriented and the size of the top of the safety netting at the sleeves is such that flexible rods 101 bow outward from frame 150 before bowing back in at the top of the safety netting. Additionally, safety netting 102 comprises a door arrangement (not shown) for allowing entry into the area enclosed by safety enclosure 100. Frame 150 is coupled to a trampoline bed (not shown), or a rebounding surface (not shown), in a well-known manner, such as by springs.
  • In one exemplary embodiment, a flexible rod 101 comprises a ferrule 201 disposed at each end of the rod, such as shown in FIG. 2A. The size of ferrule 201 is selected so that it can be inserted into an aperture or a sleeve-sleeve member of a T-coupler device, such as that depicted in FIG. 6. One exemplary embodiment of a ferrule 201 comprises an integrated stop flange 202 for preventing the flexible rod from being inserted too far into an aperture or a side-sleeve member of a T-coupler device. Further, in one exemplary embodiment, flexible rod 101 can be formed from one piece. In an alternative exemplary embodiment, a flexible rod 101 can be formed from a plurality of shorter flexible members 101 a (FIGS. 2B and 2C). When flexible rod 101 is formed from a plurality of flexible members 101 a, the flexible members 101 a can be fastened together using rigid connector ferrules 203 and 204, such as are shown respectively in FIGS. 2B and 2C. FIG. 2B shows one exemplary embodiment of a rigid connector ferrule 202, and FIG. 2C shows an alternative exemplary embodiment of a rigid connector ferrule 204. When flexible rod 101 comprises a coated fiberglass rod, the jacket material of the fiberglass rod forming the coated portion should be removed if ferrule will be crimpled or glued.
  • FIG. 3 depicts a perspective view of another exemplary embodiment of a safety enclosure 300 according to the subject matter disclosed herein. Safety enclosure 300 is depicted as being coupled to a panel-type trampoline frame 350, such as that disclosed in U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/969,586, filed on Aug. 31, 2007, entitled “Patent-type Trampoline And Trampoline Embodiments,” and U.S. Utility patent application Ser. No. 11/970,412, filed Jan. 7, 2008, entitled “Panel-type Frame Structure For A Recreational Structure, the disclosures of both being incorporated herein by reference in their entirety. Frame 350 is coupled to a trampoline bed, or a rebounding surface, 310 in a well-known manner, such as by springs.
  • Safety enclosure 300 comprises a plurality of flexible rods 301 that supports and suspends a safety netting (partially shown). One suitable flexible rod that could be used for a flexible rod 301 is disclosed by U.S. Pat. No. 6,450,187 A1 to Lin et al., the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein. The safety netting comprises a net or fabric mesh (partially shown for clarity) and a plurality of sleeves 303 formed in a well-known manner along a top edge of the netting in which a rod 301 can be inserted. When a rod 301 is inserted into a sleeve 303, the two ends of the rod extend out from sleeve 303. The ends of each flexible rod 301 are then coupled to frame 350 by inserting each end into an aperture or a side-sleeve member, such as any of the apertures and/or side-sleeves described in connection with T-coupler devices disclosed herein, so that the rod 301 forms an arch that spans between two apertures (and/or side-sleeve members) that are spaced apart. Safety enclosure 300 further comprises a plurality of ferrules 304, of which only a few are indicated, that rods 301 pass through in a well-known manner. Ferrules 304 provide additional support between the different rods 301. Rods 301 form arches in a configuration that is similar to the arches formed by rods 101 in FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 4 depicts another exemplary embodiment of a safety enclosure 400 according to the subject matter disclosed herein. Safety enclosure 400 is depicted as being coupled to a panel-type trampoline frame 350, such as that disclosed in U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/969,586, filed on Aug. 31, 2007, entitled “Patent-type Trampoline And Trampoline Embodiments,” and U.S. Utility patent application Ser. No. 11/970,412, filed Jan. 7, 2008, entitled “Panel-type Frame Structure For A Recreational Structure, the disclosures of both being incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.
  • Safety enclosure 400 comprises a plurality of flexible rods 401 that supports and suspends safety netting 402. One suitable flexible rod that could be used for a flexible rod 401 is disclosed by U.S. Pat. No. 6,450,187 A1 to Lin et al., the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein. Safety netting 402 comprises a net or fabric mesh and a plurality of sleeves (see sleeves 303 in FIG. 3) formed along a top edge of the netting in which a rod 401 can be inserted. When a rod 401 is inserted into a sleeve, the two ends of the rod extend out from the sleeve. The ends of each flexible rod 401 are then coupled to frame 450 by inserting each end into an aperture 504 (FIGS. 5A and 5B) of an angled-sleeve-joint coupling 501 so that the rod 401 forms an arch that spans between two angled-sleeve-joint couplings 501 that are spaced about by at least one angled-sleeve-joint coupling. For example, referring to FIG. 4, a rod 401 forms an arch that spans between the angled-sleeve-joint couplings located at point A and point C, while points A and C are spaced apart, in this case, by the single angled-sleeve-joint coupling located at B. The sleeve formed in flexible netting 402 is coupled to an arched flexible rod at least at a top portion of the arch formed by a flexible rod. The arrangement is repeated around the frame 450 so that adjacent flexible rods 401 overlap and provide lateral support to each other. In one exemplary embodiment, the number of flexible rods 401 equals the number of panels 461 forming panel base 460. In another exemplary embodiment, the number of flexible rods 401 is a sub-multiple of the number of panels 461 forming the panel base. While flexible rods 401 are depicted in FIG. 4 has extending substantially vertically from frame 450, apertures 504 could be oriented and the size of the top of the safety netting at the sleeves is such that flexible rods 401 bow outward from frame 450 before bowing back in at the top of the safety netting. Additionally, safety netting 402 comprises a door arrangement (not shown) for allowing entry into the area enclosed by safety enclosure 400.
  • FIGS. 5A and 5B respectively depict top and side views of an exemplary embodiment of a portion of recreational structure frame 450. In particular, FIG. 5A depicts a top view of one exemplary embodiment of an angled-sleeve-joint coupling 501 into which frame members 502 of frame 450 are inserted. The angle φ shown in FIG. 5A varies depending on desired polygonal shape of frame 450. For example, when the desired polygonal shape is an octagon, angle φ is 45°. When the desired polygonal shape is a regular sixteen-sided polygon, angle φ is 22.5°. FIG. 5B depicts a side view of a portion of recreational structure frame 450 and a portion of two adjacent panels 461.
  • In one exemplary embodiment, frame members 502 are fitted together using angled-sleeve-joint couplings 501 to form a frame comprising polygonal shape that corresponds to the polygonal shape formed by a plurality of panels 461. In another exemplary embodiment, frame members 502 are fitted together with angled-sleeve-joint couplings 501 and straight-sleeve-joint couplings (not shown) to form a frame comprising a polygonal shape that corresponds to the polygonal shape formed by a plurality of panels 461.
  • As shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B, angled sleeve-joint coupling 501 comprises apertures 504, which are each configured for accepting an enclosure pole, and an aperture 505, which is configured for accepting a carriage pin 506. Carriage pin 506 extends through an aperture (not shown) formed in each of the tab members (not shown) of a panel 461 when the tab members are interdigitated. A straight sleeve-joint coupling 503 is configured similarly to angled-sleeve-joint coupling, but is straight rather than comprising an angle φ. A washer 507 is positioned and nut 508 is threaded onto carriage pin 505 in a well-known manner. While one carriage pin 506 is shown in FIG. 5B that extends between the top and bottom edges of a panel, it should be understood that a plurality of carriage pins could be used along the joining edges of adjacent panels 461.
  • FIG. 5C depicts an alternative configuration for coupling a spring 505 to recreational structure frame 450. One exemplary embodiment provides apertures 510 that are configured along a top side of frame 450 to accept the hook portion of a spring. An alternative embodiment provides apertures 510 arranged in an alternating manner along the top and bottom sides of a frame 450, such as disclosed by U.S. Pat. No. 7,396,318 B2 to VanElverdinghe to Adams and U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2006/0258510 A1 to McGee et al., the disclosures of each being incorporated by reference herein. Another exemplary embodiment provides spring-attachment members 511 that are attached to a frame member 502 in a well-known manner, such as by welding. Spring-attachment members 511 are configured to accept the hook portion of a spring in the space formed between frame member 502 and the spring-attachment member 511.
  • FIG. 6 depicts a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a recreational frame T-coupler 600 that is suitable for use with the safety enclosure and recreational structure frame depicted in FIG. 1. T-coupler 600 comprises a horizontal portion 601 that is capable of receiving horizontal frame members (not shown) of a recreational frame structure in a well-known manner, and a vertical portion 602 that is capable of receiving a leg member of the recreational frame structure in a well-known manner. T-coupler 600 further comprises side sleeves 603 and 604 that in one exemplary embodiment are arranged directly adjacent to each other. In another exemplary embodiment, sleeves 603 and 604 are arranged to have a spacing between each sleeve. Side sleeves 603 and 604 are capable of receiving an end of a flexible rod 101 (FIG. 1). In one exemplary embodiment, sleeves 603 and 604 each include an aperture that is capable of receiving a spring-locking mechanism form into the end of a flexible rod 101. In another exemplary embodiment, sleeves 603 and 604 do not comprise an aperture that is capable of receiving a spring-locking mechanism of a flexible rod. It should be understood that alternative embodiments of a T-coupler could be used in place of the exemplary embodiment of T-coupler 600 depicted in FIG. 6. For example, exemplary suitable T-couplers are disclosed in U.S. Utility patent application Ser. No. 12/176,407, filed Jul. 20, 2008, entitled “Concentric Arrangement Frame Structure For Recreational Structure,” the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference. It should also be understood that vertical portion 602 of T-coupler 600 could have a length that is sufficient to be a leg of a trampoline structure.
  • Although the foregoing disclosed subject matter has been described in some detail for purposes of clarity of understanding, it will be apparent that certain changes and modifications may be practiced that are within the scope of the appended claims. Accordingly, the present embodiments are to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive, and the subject matter disclosed herein is not to be limited to the details given herein, but may be modified within the scope and equivalents of the appended claims.

Claims (8)

1. A safety enclosure structure, comprising:
a plurality of flexible rods, each flexible rod comprising a first end and a second end; and
a frame assembly comprising at least four apertures arranged in a first through fourth sequential arrangement along the frame assembly, each aperture capable of receiving an end of a flexible rod,
the first end of a first flexible rod being received by the first aperture and the second end of the first flexible rod being received by the third aperture, and the first end of the second flexible rod being received by the second aperture and the second end of the second flexible rod being received by the fourth aperture,
the first and second flexible rods each forming an arch shape between the apertures receiving the respective ends of the first and second flexible rods.
2. The safety enclosure structure according to claim 1, further comprising a net coupled to at least a top arch portion of at least one of the first and second flexible rods.
3. The safety enclosure structure according to claim 2, wherein the first and second flexible rods provide a lateral support to each other.
4. The safety enclosure structure according to claim 3, further comprising at least one ferrule coupled to two adjacent flexible rods.
5. The safety enclosure structure according to claim 3, wherein the frame assembly is part of a standard trampoline frame.
6. The safety enclosure structure according to claim 5, further comprising a rebounding surface coupled to the frame assembly.
7. The safety enclosure structure according to claim 3, wherein the frame assembly is part of a panel-type trampoline frame.
8. The safety enclosure structure according to claim 7, further comprising a rebounding surface coupled to the frame assembly.
US12/201,220 2007-08-31 2008-08-29 Flexible Enclosure For A Recreational Structure Abandoned US20090062078A1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US96958607P true 2007-08-31 2007-08-31
US11/970,412 US7918764B2 (en) 2007-08-31 2008-01-07 Panel-type frame structure for a recreational structure
US12/201,220 US20090062078A1 (en) 2007-08-31 2008-08-29 Flexible Enclosure For A Recreational Structure

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US12/201,220 US20090062078A1 (en) 2007-08-31 2008-08-29 Flexible Enclosure For A Recreational Structure

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US11/970,412 Continuation-In-Part US7918764B2 (en) 2007-08-31 2008-01-07 Panel-type frame structure for a recreational structure

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Cited By (16)

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US20110021322A1 (en) * 2008-01-12 2011-01-27 Jonathan Michael Schaffer Trampoline
US20120252634A1 (en) * 2008-05-06 2012-10-04 Masato Ikegami Trampoline with collapsible enclosure assembly
GB2510193A (en) * 2013-01-29 2014-07-30 Univ Sheffield Hallam Arch or semi-circle shaped net for sporting or other game such as badminton
US8920290B2 (en) 2011-05-13 2014-12-30 Steven G. Stokes Apparatus, system, and method for a trampoline
WO2016015651A1 (en) * 2014-07-30 2016-02-04 杨伟 Frame for trampoline and trampoline
US20160310774A1 (en) * 2009-09-14 2016-10-27 Mark W. Publicover Rebounding apparatus with tensioned elastic cords
WO2017127898A1 (en) * 2016-01-27 2017-08-03 Action Sports Equipment Pty Ltd Trampoline safety enclosure
USD799626S1 (en) * 2016-10-26 2017-10-10 Samuel Chen Trampoline frame
USD813968S1 (en) * 2017-05-26 2018-03-27 Samuel Chen Bowl shaped trampoline
US20180111015A1 (en) * 2016-10-26 2018-04-26 Samuel Chen Trampoline Frame
USD817434S1 (en) * 2017-05-04 2018-05-08 Crowntec (Jiang Xi) Sports Technology Co., Inc. Trampoline
USD818071S1 (en) * 2017-06-19 2018-05-15 Samuel Chen Trampoline
US20180147434A1 (en) * 2016-11-28 2018-05-31 Fuloo, Llc Trampoline with full enclosure system
WO2019028441A1 (en) * 2017-08-04 2019-02-07 Jumpsport, Inc. Low mass trampoline enclosure system
USD843534S1 (en) 2016-12-09 2019-03-19 Action Sports Equipment Pty Ltd. Trampoline
USD845419S1 (en) 2016-12-09 2019-04-09 Action Sports Equipment Pty Ltd. Trampoline enclosure support

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