US20150024876A1 - Ball hit indicator and method - Google Patents

Ball hit indicator and method Download PDF

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Publication number
US20150024876A1
US20150024876A1 US14/336,412 US201414336412A US2015024876A1 US 20150024876 A1 US20150024876 A1 US 20150024876A1 US 201414336412 A US201414336412 A US 201414336412A US 2015024876 A1 US2015024876 A1 US 2015024876A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
ball
indicator
manner
indicators
tee
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Abandoned
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US14/336,412
Inventor
Darrin B. Farrow
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DBF Properties LLC
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DBF Properties LLC
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Priority to US201361856819P priority Critical
Application filed by DBF Properties LLC filed Critical DBF Properties LLC
Priority to US14/336,412 priority patent/US20150024876A1/en
Assigned to DBF Properties, LLC reassignment DBF Properties, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: FARROW, DARRIN B.
Publication of US20150024876A1 publication Critical patent/US20150024876A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B43/00Balls with special arrangements
    • A63B43/008Balls with special arrangements with means for improving visibility, e.g. special markings or colours
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B69/00Training appliances or apparatus for special sports
    • A63B69/0073Means for releasably holding a ball in position; Balls constrained to move around a fixed point, e.g. by tethering
    • A63B69/0075Means for releasably holding a ball in position prior to kicking, striking or the like
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B69/00Training appliances or apparatus for special sports
    • A63B69/0002Training appliances or apparatus for special sports for baseball
    • A63B2069/0004Training appliances or apparatus for special sports for baseball specially adapted for particular training aspects
    • A63B2069/0008Training appliances or apparatus for special sports for baseball specially adapted for particular training aspects for batting
    • 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
    • A63B71/06Indicating or scoring devices for games or players, or for other sports activities
    • A63B2071/0694Visual indication, e.g. Indicia
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2102/00Application of clubs, bats, rackets or the like to the sporting activity ; particular sports involving the use of balls and clubs, bats, rackets, or the like
    • A63B2102/18Baseball, rounders or similar games
    • A63B2243/0004

Abstract

A ball having colored indicators provided thereon that are positioned in a manner to indicate to a game participant where to hit the ball in order to obtain a desired result.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional application Ser. No. 61/856,819 filed on Jul. 22, 2013 and incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND
  • A number of sports involve the activity of hitting a ball, with a bat (e.g., baseball, T-ball, softball, cricket), a mallet (e.g., croquet, polo), a part of the player's body (e.g., soccer), a club (e.g., golf) or some other mechanism to move a ball some distance. Generally, hitting the ball at different locations on the ball will result in different effects, some of which may be desirable in certain situations, some of which may not. Hence, a means of indicating where it would be desirable to hit the ball to achieve a desired effect would be useful. In particular, such a feature would be useful for training young and inexperienced players.
  • SUMMARY
  • This application relates generally to a ball having indicators provided thereon, and more particular to a ball that is marked in a manner to indicate to a game participant or practice where to hit the ball in order to obtain a desired result.
  • Provided are a plurality of example embodiments, including, but not limited to, a T-ball that has markings provided thereon to indicate a desired location to hit the ball with a bat in order to achieve a desired effect, such as a line drive, a ground ball, or a pop-up, for example.
  • Also provided is using similar markings on other types of balls in order to achieve a desired effect, such as by marking a golf ball, a crocket ball, a polo ball, or some other type of ball.
  • Further provided is a ball for use in a sport, the ball comprising: a first indicator provided on the ball that is positioned at a first location on the ball chosen to launch the ball in a first desired manner when the ball is struck on the first indicator; and a second indicator provided on the ball that is positioned at a second location on the ball chosen to launch the ball in a second desired manner, different than the first desired manner, when the ball is struck on the second indicator.
  • Also provided is a ball and tee for use in playing T-ball, comprising: a ball including: a first indicator of a first color provided on the ball that is positioned in a first location chosen to launch the ball in a first desired manner when the ball is struck on the first indicator by a bat, a second indicator of a second color provided on the ball that is positioned in a second location chosen to launch the ball in a second desired manner, different than the first desired manner, when the ball is struck on the second indicator by the bat, and a location indicator provided on the ball for indicating how the ball should be positioned in the tee to launch the ball in the respective first and second manner.
  • A third indicator is provided that is positioned at a location on the ball or on the tee chosen to launch the ball in a third desired manner, different than the first and second desired manners, when the third indicator is struck by the bat.
  • Also provided is a method of playing a sport, comprising the steps of:
      • providing a ball;
      • providing a plurality of differently colored indicators on the ball, each one of the indicators being positioned on the ball in a manner to achieve a different desired effect on the ball when the ball is struck on the respective indicator; and
      • indicating to a user how to position the ball to properly position the indicators to achieve the desired effect on the ball when the ball is struck on the respective indicator.
  • Further provided is a method of playing T-ball, comprising the steps of:
      • providing a ball;
      • providing a tee;
      • providing a plurality of differently colored indicators on the ball, each one of the indicators being positioned on the ball in a manner to achieve a different desired effect on the ball when the ball is struck on the respective indicator;
      • indicating to a user how to position the ball in the tee to properly position the indicators to achieve the desired effect on the ball when the ball is struck on the respective indicator; and
      • indicating to a user using a bat which indicator will achieve which desired effect when hit by the bat.
  • Also provided are additional example embodiments, some, but not all of which, are described hereinbelow in more detail.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The features and advantages of the example embodiments described herein will become apparent to those skilled in the art to which this disclosure relates upon reading the following description, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
  • FIG. 1 shows an example embodiment of a ball with indicators and a tee for use in a T-Ball game;
  • FIG. 2 is an alternative view of the ball with indicators used in the example embodiment of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 shows an alternative embodiment of a ball with indicators; and
  • FIG. 4 shows another alternative embodiment of a ball with indicators.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS
  • Various sports utilize a ball that is hit with a bat (e.g., baseball, T-ball, softball, cricket), a mallet (e.g., croquet, polo), a part of the player's body (e.g., soccer), a club (e.g., golf) or some other mechanism. These sports generally desire to launch the ball in a desired manner advantageous in the sport. The desired manner may differ based on the game strategy or current game status, for example. Generally, hitting the ball at different locations on the ball will result in different launch effects, some of which may be desirable in certain situations, others of which may not.
  • As an example of one embodiment, FIG. 1 shows features of system 1 comprising a ball 3 and tee 5 with a base 7 for use in T-ball, a sport similar to baseball but that is typically played by young children. The ball 3 is typically placed upon the tee 5, but in this case the ball 3 has various hitting indicators provided on the ball that show the player where to hit the ball with a bat for certain effects. For example, if the player at bat (the “batter”) hits the ball with a bat at or near indicator 10, a ground ball may result. But if the batter hits the ball with the bat at indicator 20, a line drive may result. In contrast, if the batter hits the ball at indicator 30, a deep fly ball that might result in a home run may be the result. However, if the batter hits the tee at indicator 40, an infield pop-up may result.
  • Each of the hitting indicators 10, 20, and 30 can be provided on the ball as a colored dot provided in a different color at the proper location to achieve the desired effect. For example, indicator 10 might be provided in blue at the proper location to result in a ground ball when hit by a bat on the indicator 10. The indicator 20 can be provided in green at the proper location to result in a line drive when hit by a bat on the indicator 20. The indicator 30 can be provided in yellow at the proper location to result in a deep fly ball when hit by a bat on the indicator 30. Similarly, indicator 40 can be provided on the tee in a red color at the proper location to result in a pop-up when hit by a bat on the indicator 40, for example. Any number of indicators can be provided to achieve any number of different effects. For example, more than one indicator could be provided for different types of deep fly balls, or for infield fly balls, etc. In this manner, the ball with indicator can be used for training purposes to teach players where to hit the ball to achieve a desired result, or the ball with indicators could be used for actual games to provide a guide to the players during play of the game.
  • In order to properly line the indicators on the ball with respect to the tee, an additional indicator can be provided on the ball to show where to place the ball on the tee to properly align the other indicators in order to achieve the desired results. For example, FIG. 2 shows an indicator 50 that can be provided on the “bottom” of the ball 3 to show where to place the ball on the tee, i.e., so that the indicator 50 is centered on the depression on the tee which holds the ball (thereby being hidden from view when properly placed). Alternative markings could also be used to indicate how to place the ball on the tee, such as arrows, etc. Clearly, the ball should be placed with the indicators facing the batter so that the batter can see the indicators. Note that indicators may be provided on more than one side of the ball, as shown by indicator 30′ in FIG. 2 representing a duplicate of indicator 30 but provided on the opposite side of the ball, where two sides of the ball are thereby marked by respective indicators. Other potential apparatus holding ball in position to read cues.
  • Similarly, indicators might be provided on three sides of the ball, four sides of the ball, or any portion of the ball, as desired. Furthermore, such indicators might be made of shapes other than round shapes, such as ovals, lines, rectangles, squares, etc.
  • Alternatively, FIG. 3 shows a ball 103 where colored bands 110, 120, and 130 are provided around the entire ball 103 instead of colored dots of FIG. 1. In this manner, the ball can be rotated on an axis through the tee and still provide the batter with the proper indication of where to hit the ball for the desired effect. Note that the ball 103 could also have an indicator that shows where to place the ball on the tee, such as shown in FIG. 3 for the ball 3, although the proper location can be implied by keeping the bands level with the ground as long as the top or bottom of the ball is indicated or otherwise known. Even the height of the batter, or the bat being used, might impact proper placement of the ball, or a choice of tee, to achieve the desired result.
  • The location of the indicators can be determined by any number of methods, and may vary from ball to ball (in particular if the ball size changes), and from tee to tee. One method of determining the proper location for the indicators is to use a trial and error method of testing to determine the proper indicator positioning to see what the path of a particular ball is when hit by batters of different heights, using different bats, on a particular tee, for example. To maintain consistency, the actual indicator position may be chose by using the results for the average height and bat for a particular target audience (e.g., age range, gender, etc.).
  • Generally, it is known that hitting a ball above its center of gravity will cause the ball to stay on the ground or head toward the ground (i.e., a ground ball), whereas hitting a ball at its center of gravity will result in a more horizontal direction (such as a line drive). Hitting a ball below its center of gravity will result in the ball being airborne (e.g., a fly ball). Hence, these guidelines can help determine the proper positioning of the indicators on the ball.
  • The ball and tee marked as described above can be used as follows: The ball is placed on the tee according to the tee placement indicator (e.g., indicator 50 in FIG. 2) so that the hitting indicators properly face the batter. The batter is instructed as to the meaning of each of the indicators, such as by providing the information of Table 1, shown below, for when the color indicators described above are utilized:
  • TABLE 1 BLUE Ground Ball GREEN Line Drive YELLOW Deep Fly RED Pop-Up
  • The coach can instruct the batter to achieve the desired result by hitting the proper indicator as shown by the table. Hence, if the coach (or the child) desires a ground ball (such as in the case where the player can run fast and/or the infielders may not be talented in fielding the ball), the batter can be instructed to hit the ball on the blue indicator. But if a line drive is desired, the batter can be instructed to hit the ball on the green indicator, whereas the batter is instructed to hit the ball on the yellow indicator for a deep fly ball, and hit the tee on the red indicator for a pop-up, as the case may be.
  • Alternatively, the batter can memorize what the various indicators represent, and then hit the proper indicator to achieve the desired effect. This is particularly effective for children who are learning how to hit the ball, and hence even if the ball is not used for actual games, it can prove useful for practice sessions.
  • Such indicators might be useful on balls used in other sports as well, in particular for training activities. For example, a soccer ball for training purposes could be marked in a manner to teach players where to kick the ball for various effects. In particular, training players to hit penalty shots at desired locations in the goal could utilize such indicators. Similarly, balls used for croquet could be marked for training purposes as well, as could golf balls, etc. By using the indicators, the player can train to automatically hit the desired location during actual play, or the indicators could be used on balls used for actual play as well, in particular for younger, less experienced players just learning the sport.
  • For example, FIG. 4 shows a ball 200 with differently colored indicators 210, 215, 220, 225, 230, 240, 245, 250, and 255 positioned at various locations around the ball. Indicators 210, 220, 230, 240, and 250 are provided in a vertical line, and hence will tend to cause the ball 200 to launch in a straight direction, whereas indicators 215, 255 will tend to launch the ball to the right, while indicators 225, 245 will tend to launch the ball to the left. Hence, using such more widely distributed indicators can be used for training in sports requiring more detailed control over ball movement, such as soccer, for example.
  • Balls can be marked with the described indicators at manufacture, or the indicators could be added to the balls and/or tee subsequent to their manufacture, such as by a parent or coach, for example. This may be done by painting the indicators on the ball and tee, using a magic marker, or applying a sticker or decal, for example. Kits for this purpose could be sold, for example, perhaps with a template for applying the indicators to the desired balls, such as retrofits, for example.
  • Many other example embodiments can be provided through various combinations of the above described features. Although the embodiments described hereinabove use specific examples and alternatives, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various additional alternatives may be used and equivalents may be substituted for elements and/or steps described herein, without necessarily deviating from the intended scope of the application. Modifications may be necessary to adapt the embodiments to a particular situation or to particular needs without departing from the intended scope of the application. It is intended that the application not be limited to the particular example implementations and example embodiments described herein, but that the claims be given their broadest reasonable interpretation to cover all novel and non-obvious embodiments, literal or equivalent, disclosed or not, covered thereby.

Claims (16)

What is claimed is:
1. A ball for use in a sport, said ball comprising:
a first indicator provided on the ball that is positioned at a first location on the ball chosen to launch the ball in a first desired manner when the ball is struck on the first indicator; and
a second indicator provided on the ball that is positioned at a second location on the ball chosen to launch the ball in a second desired manner, different than the first desired manner, when the ball is struck on the second indicator.
2. The ball of claim 1, wherein said sport is T-ball, and wherein said ball is configured to be positioned on a tee such that the first and second indicators are properly positioned to launch the ball in the respective first and second manner.
3. The ball of claim 2, further comprising a location indicator for indicating how the ball should be positioned in the tee.
4. The ball of claim 3, further comprising a third indicator provided on the ball that is positioned at a location on the ball chosen to launch the ball in a third desired manner, different than the first and second desired manners, when the ball is struck on the third indicator.
5. The ball of claim 1, further comprising a third indicator provided on the ball that is positioned at a location on the ball chosen to launch the ball in a third desired manner, different than the first and second desired manners, when the ball is struck on the third indicator.
6. The ball of claim 1, wherein said ball is ball is configured to be hit by a bat on the first or second indicator to launch the ball in the respective first and second manner.
7. The ball of claim 1, wherein said ball is ball is configured to be hit by a foot of a user on the first or second indicator to launch the ball in the respective first and second manner.
8. The ball of claim 1, wherein said ball is ball is configured to be hit by a club on the first or second indicator to launch the ball in the respective first and second manner.
9. The ball of claim 1, wherein said ball is ball is configured to be hit by a mallet on the first or second indicator to launch the ball in the respective first and second manner.
10. The ball of claim 1, wherein said first and second indicators are each provided as a differently colored band on the ball.
11. The ball of claim 1, wherein said first and second indicators are each provided as a differently colored mark on the ball.
12. A ball and tee for use in playing T-ball, comprising:
a ball including:
a first indicator of a first color provided on the ball that is positioned in a first location chosen to launch the ball in a first desired manner when the ball is struck on the first indicator by a bat,
a second indicator of a second color provided on the ball that is positioned in a second location chosen to launch the ball in a second desired manner, different than the first desired manner, when the ball is struck on the second indicator by the bat, and
a location indicator provided on the ball for indicating how the ball should be positioned in the tee to launch the ball in the respective first and second manner; and
a third indicator that is positioned at a location on the ball or on the tee chosen to launch the ball in a third desired manner, different than the first and second desired manners, when the third indicator is struck by the bat.
13. The ball and tee of claim 11, wherein the first and second indicators are provided as bands on the ball.
14. A ball and tee for use in playing T-ball, comprising:
the ball including:
a first indicator of a first color provided on the ball that is positioned in a first location chosen to launch the ball in a first desired manner when the ball is struck on the first indicator by a bat,
a second indicator of a second color provided on the ball that is positioned in a second location chosen to launch the ball in a second desired manner, different than the first desired manner, when the ball is struck on the second indicator by the bat,
a third indicator of a third color that is positioned at a location on the ball chosen to launch the ball in a third desired manner, different than the first and second desired manners, when the ball is struck on the third indicator by the bat, and
a location indicator provided on the ball for indicating how the ball should be positioned in the tee to launch the ball in the respective first and second manner; and
the tee including a fourth indicator of a fourth color that is positioned at a location on the tee chosen to launch the ball in a fourth desired manner, different than the first, second, and third desired manners, when the fourth indicator is struck by the bat.
15. A method of playing a sport, comprising the steps of:
providing a ball;
providing a plurality of differently colored indicators on the ball, each one of said indicators being positioned on the ball in a manner to achieve a different desired effect on the ball when the ball is struck on the respective indicator; and
indicating to a user how to position the ball to properly position the indicators to achieve the desired effect on the ball when the ball is struck on the respective indicator.
16. A method of playing T-ball, comprising the steps of:
providing a ball;
providing a tee;
providing a plurality of differently colored indicators on the ball, each one of said indicators being positioned on the ball in a manner to achieve a different desired effect on the ball when the ball is struck on the respective indicator;
indicating to a user how to position the ball in the tee to properly position the indicators to achieve the desired effect on the ball when the ball is struck on the respective indicator; and
indicating to a user using a bat which indicator will achieve which desired effect when hit by the bat.
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USD842401S1 (en) 2017-11-02 2019-03-05 Daniel J. Mueller Baseball

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