Easy To Use Patents Search & Patent Lawyer Directory

At Patents you can conduct a Patent Search, File a Patent Application, find a Patent Attorney, or search available technology through our Patent Exchange. Patents are available using simple keyword or date criteria. If you are looking to hire a patent attorney, you've come to the right place. Protect your idea and hire a patent lawyer.


Search All Patents:



  This Patent May Be For Sale or Lease. Contact Us

  Is This Your Patent? Claim This Patent Now.



Register or Login To Download This Patent As A PDF




United States Patent Application 20180161651
Kind Code A1
Jennings; Stuart June 14, 2018

GOALIE TRAINING DEVICE AND METHOD

Abstract

A goalie training apparatus comprised of multiple catchment voids for receiving balls. Catchment voids are oriented on a grid, and connected to a goal frame by a support matrix. Each catchment void is pyramidal in shape, having an open base for receiving a ball with an initial cross sectional area and tapering to a smaller cross sectional area. The support matrix may be woven through internal sleeves in the catchment voids and connected to the goal frame by fasteners. An anchor support may be used to help anchor the support matrix and keep the goalie training apparatus in place across the opening of a goal during use.


Inventors: Jennings; Stuart; (Hilliard, OH)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Jennings; Stuart

Hilliard

OH

US
Family ID: 1000003067452
Appl. No.: 15/839355
Filed: December 12, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62433047Dec 12, 2016

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A63B 63/004 20130101; A63B 63/003 20130101; A63B 2063/005 20130101
International Class: A63B 63/00 20060101 A63B063/00

Claims



1. A goalie training apparatus comprising: a plurality of catchment voids, each of said plurality of catchment void comprised of: a square pyramid with an open base and a top, said pyramid having sides comprised of net material, said pyramid having a first cross-sectional area at said open base, a height, and a second cross-sectional area at said top, wherein said first cross-sectional area is larger than said second cross-sectional area; at least one fastening means for connecting said goalie training apparatus to at least one side of a goal frame; wherein when said goalie training apparatus is positioned across the opening of a goal frame, said plurality of catchment voids are capable of forming a grid across said opening of said goal frame.

2. The goalie training apparatus of claim 1, wherein said tops of said catchment voids are closed.

3. The goalie training apparatus of claim 1, wherein said plurality of catchment voids are positioned in a 3.times.3 grid.

4. The goalie training apparatus of claim 1, wherein each of said plurality of catchment voids has the same height;

5. The goalie training apparatus of claim 1, wherein at least one of said plurality of catchment voids has a different height than another one of said plurality of catchment voids.

6. The goalie training apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: a plurality of apertures; a support matrix threaded through said apertures.

7. The goalie training apparatus of claim 3, wherein the 3.times.3 grid is comprised of a bottom row, a middle row, and a top row, said catchment voids of said top row have larger heights than said catchment voids of said middle row, and said catchment voids of said middle row have larger heights than said catchment voids of said bottom row.

8. A goalie training apparatus comprising: a catchment void, said catchment void comprised of: a square pyramid with an open base and a top, said pyramid having a first cross-sectional area at said open base and a second cross-sectional area at said top, wherein said first cross-sectional area is larger than said second cross-sectional area; at least one fastening means for connecting said goalie training apparatus to at least one side of a goal frame; wherein when said goalie training apparatus is positioned across the opening of a goal frame, said catchment void is capable of receiving an object passed through said open base.

9. The goalie training apparatus of claim 8, wherein said top of said catchment void is closed.

10. The goalie training apparatus of claim 8, further comprising: a square border located around said open base; at least two apertures located on said square border; and at least one internal sleeve located inside said square border, said internal sleeve accessible through at least one of said at least two apertures;

11. The goalie training apparatus of claim 10, further comprising: a support matrix, said support matrix comprising at least one strap, said at least one strap removably inserted through said at least one internal sleeve; wherein said support matrix is capable of holding said open base of said catchment void in a particular position relative to the goal frame.

12. A system for training a goalie, said system comprising: a training apparatus, said training apparatus comprising a plurality of catchment voids, wherein each catchment void is comprised of a square pyramid with an open base and a top, said top located at a height above said open base, said pyramid having a first cross-sectional area at said open base, and a second cross-sectional area at said top, wherein said first cross-sectional area is larger than said second cross-sectional area; a support matrix, said support matrix capable of holding said training apparatus in a pre-determined position relative to the opening of a goal frame; a support pole, said support pole adapted to be inserted into the ground; at least one support cable having a first end and a second end, said at least one support cable adapted to be connected to at least one of said plurality of catchment voids at said first end, and said support cable connected to said support pole at said second end; wherein when said support pole is inserted into the ground near the goal frame and said at least one support cable is connected to said at least one plurality of catchment voids and said support pole, said catchment voids may be held in an extended position.

13. The system of claim 12, wherein said plurality of catchment voids is comprised of nine catchment voids arranged in a 3.times.3 matrix.

14. The system of claim 12, wherein said tops of said plurality of catchment voids are closed.

15. The system of claim 12, wherein said plurality of catchment voids each have the same height.

16. The system of claim 12, wherein said training apparatus comprises a plurality of apertures in associated with a plurality of internal sleeves, and said support matrix is removably inserted through at least some of said plurality of internal sleeves.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/433,047, filed on Dec. 12, 2016, and incorporates said application by reference as if fully rewritten herein.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] Exemplary systems, devices, and methods are directed to training goalies, including lacrosse goalies.

BACKGROUND

[0003] In many sports, such as ice, field, floor and roller hockey, ringette, lacrosse or soccer, a goalie is present and tending to an area in order to prevent an opposing team from passing a sport projectile into a goal and scoring. Preventing scoring events is a goalie's main objective and adequate coverage of the goal is desirable in preventing and opposing team from scoring.

[0004] The present invention and method relates to an athletic training devices, and more particularly to a device for assisting in the training of a goalie tending a goal. The athletic training device in the present invention is releasably attached to a ridged sport goal frame whereby the device conforms to the entire front planar space with a plethora of open voids for the receiving of/and aggregating of sport projectiles. This invention may be used to train goalies in order to improve their "Saved Shot" percentage in addition of other strategic defense maneuvers.

[0005] Other "front-planar-space-like-devices" fail to train the goalie and instead focus on the shooting skills training of the team members who are making shots on the goalie. Other "sport-projectile-aggregating-type-devices" are often affixed to the perimeter of the goal frame and do not conform to the entire front planar surface of the goal. There is therefore a need for training devices that focus on improving a goalie's "Shots Saved" percentages that can also passively provide data feedback allowing goalies and their coaches to finely tune training regimen designed to improve a specific goalies strength, reactions, and muscle memory to better arrest sport projectiles from entering a goal.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] In exemplary embodiments there is provided an apparatus for assisting goaltenders in improving their Shots Saved percentage through repetitive statistical analysis of how and where sport projectiles get past a goalie. This is achieved by counting the number of sport projectiles that aggregate within the plethora of catchment voids arranged on a lattice and affixed to the front planar surface of a goal and erected behind the goalie.

[0007] Goaltending, as in lacrosse, requires extensive training on part of the Goalie to achieve lightning quick reflexes within a small area in response to various stimuli, ball, puck, or other sport projectile hurling toward them. Achieving muscle memory responses to such stimuli takes years of conditioning; let alone overcoming an innate autonomic response, flinching, ducking, or getting out of the way, of a fast moving projectile hurling at one's self. Thousands of shots at a goalie over time may result in improving a goalie's shots saved percentage and confidence in goal. Shots saved is a unique metric for goalies used to convey prowess and ability to stop a certain percentage of shots; a very coveted metric by all goalies.

[0008] In an exemplary embodiment, a goalie training apparatus is comprised of a plurality of catchment voids, where each of the plurality of catchment voids is a square pyramid. The square pyramids have an open base which can receive an item, and a top located at a certain height from the open base. The open base has a first cross-sectional are and the top has a second cross-sectional area that is smaller than the first. At least one fastening means is used to connect the apparatus to at least one side of a goal frame. The apparatus may be fastened such that it is positioned across the opening of a goal frame, and the catchment voids form a grid across the goal frame opening. When objects such as balls cross the opening of the goal frame they may pass into one of the catchment voids. In some embodiments, the tops of the catchment voids are closed or reversibly closed such that balls or other items can be manually retrieved from the catchment voids. In other embodiments, the tops of the catchment voids are open. The catchment voids may be arranged in a 3.times.3 grid (if there are nine total) or any other grid or pattern desired. In some embodiments, there may only be three catchment voids arranged in a 1.times.3 column down the center of the goal frame opening. The catchment voids may have the same heights, or they may have differing heights as desired.

[0009] In some exemplary embodiments, a support matrix may be used to aid in holding the apparatus in a desired location and keep it from moving during use. The catchment voids may have square borders around their open bases that contain internal sleeves. Straps may be inserted into the internal sleeves through apertures located on the face of the catchment voids. The straps may weave in an and out through the catchment voids and be secured to the goal frame on either end. Because some goal frames such as lacrosse goal frames do not have a bottom rail on their open side, a support anchor may be used in conjunction with the support matrix to hold the apparatus in place. The support anchor may be a rectangular object with a planar top that can be held under the weight of two opposing goal frame legs. The support anchor may have one or more hooks protruding through apertures located in the body of the support anchor. The hooks may connect with loops or other fasteners on the straps of the support matrix and help hold the apparatus in place during use.

[0010] In some exemplary embodiments, the apparatus may be comprised of a single catchment void, or multiple catchment voids that can be oriented as desired. The catchment voids may be modular, allowing a user to alter the size of the apparatus and orientation of catchment voids as desired. For example, a user may use nine catchment voids to create a 3.times.3 grid that covers the entire opening of a goal frame, and then remove six catchment voids to have a 1.times.3 grid down the middle of the goal.

[0011] In exemplary embodiments of a system, the catchment voids may be held in an extended position by being connected to a support pole by cables. A support pole may be inserted into the ground in near proximity to the tops of the catchment voids. Straps connected to the support pole may be fastened to the tops of the catchment voids in a variety of ways, allowing the catchment voids to be extended as desired.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] The advantages and other characteristics of the disclosed embodiments will be better understood when attention is directed to the accompanying drawings, wherein identical elements are identified with identical reference numerals and wherein:

[0013] FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of an exemplary embodiment of a goalie training apparatus shown attached to a goal;

[0014] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the exemplary embodiment of the goalie training apparatus of FIG. 1;

[0015] FIG. 3 is a perspective cut-away view of three catchment voids;

[0016] FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of an exemplary embodiment of a support matrix;

[0017] FIG. 5 is a perspective cut-away view of an exemplary embodiment of a training apparatus anchor in use;

[0018] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a training apparatus anchor;

[0019] FIG. 7 is a front elevational view of an exemplary embodiment of a single catchment void associated with a support matrix;

[0020] FIG. 8 is a front elevational view of multiple catchment voids of an exemplary embodiment associated with a support matrix;

[0021] FIG. 9 is an exemplary embodiment of a support matrix;

[0022] FIG. 10 is a front elevational view of an exemplary embodiment of a goalie training apparatus;

[0023] FIG. 11 is a perspective cut-away view of three catchment voids according the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 11;

[0024] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a goalie training apparatus;

[0025] FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the apparatus of FIG. 12, shown in use with a support pole; and

[0026] FIG. 14 is a front elevational view of an exemplary embodiment of a goalie training apparatus for use with a hockey goal.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0027] Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, an exemplary embodiment of a goalie training device 10 is shown in use on a goal frame 200. The device 10 is comprised of nine catchment voids 12 interconnected and arranged in a three by three grid. Each catchment void 12 has a square open base 14, with a height of L1 and a width of L2. In this embodiment the device 10 is sized to span the entire opening of the goal frame 200 with the device 10 having an overall height of L3 and an overall width of L4. As such, each catchment void may be sized to approximately one ninth of the area of a goal opening. In a lacrosse application, the open face of the goal is typically 6 ft.times.6 ft, and in such an application each catchment void may have a L1 of 2 ft and a L2 of 2 ft.

[0028] In this embodiment, the device is removably connected to the goal frame 200 through the use of multiple fasteners 16. The fasteners may be bungee cords, ball bungees, Velcro/hook and loop straps, couplings, fabric ties, or anything else that can removably secure the device to the goal frame. Apertures in the device may allow the fasteners to be threaded through the device to help achieve a secure connection with the goal frame that will last while the device is being used.

[0029] When in an extended position, each catchment void 12 may be shaped like a horizontally-oriented square pyramid. The open base 14 of each pyramid has a first cross-sectional area (L1.times.L2) defined by a perimeter 18. The cross-sectional area of each pyramid decreases along the height L5 of the pyramid until the top end of the pyramid 20, which has a second, and smaller cross-sectional area. In an exemplary embodiment, the height of the pyramids may be 3 ft., although the height may vary as desired. In the exemplary embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2 the top ends 20 of the catchment voids are open. However, in other exemplary embodiments the top ends of the catchment voids may be closed. The closed end may be closed by way of a closure device such as a zipper, snaps, pull string, or buttons, that allows the closed end to be manually opened.

[0030] The catchment voids 12 may be used to receive one or more objects such as a lacrosse ball, a hockey puck, a soccer ball, field hockey ball that is projected through their open bases 14.

[0031] While the exemplary embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2 comprises uniform catchment voids 10 of uniform shape and size, in alternative embodiments the catchment voids may vary from one another in size and/or shape. Referring to FIG. 3, an exemplary embodiment of a device 30 is shown (outer rows transparent) where the height of the catchment voids decreases from the top of the device to the bottom. That is, the catchment voids in the top row 32 have a height of L8, which is greater than the height L9 of the catchment voids in the bottom row 34. The catchment void in the middle row 36 has a height in between L8 and L9. In other embodiments the relative height of the catchment voids may vary in a variety of ways as desired. Furthermore, in some embodiments the cross-sectional area of the open bases of the catchment voids may vary.

[0032] The catchment voids may be made from netting or mesh made from a variety of materials, including cotton, nylon, polypropylene, or other plastics, or rubber. The netting or mesh may be knotted or knotless, and various mesh sizes may be used as desired. In some embodiments canvas or other fabrics may be used. In some embodiments, the catchment voids may be made from stiff or rigid materials that can hold the pyramidal shape without the need of supports. In other embodiments, the materials used for the catchment voids may not be stiff or rigid enough to hold the pyramidal shape without support. Support may be structural supports located within the catchment voids, or external supports such as cables attached to a nearby support pole or other support structure that can be adjusted to pull the catchment voids in to an extended pyramidal position.

[0033] In some embodiments, the goalie training device may be supported across a goal frame through the use of an internal support matrix. Referring to FIG. 4, an exemplary embodiment of a support matrix 40 for a 3.times.3 grid catchment void grid is shown separated from a goalie training device. The support matrix 40 is comprised of intersecting horizontal 41 and vertical straps 42 with support loops 44 on the ends of the straps 41, 42. The support loops 44 may be used by a user in connection with ball bungees or other fasteners to hold the goalie training device in a desires position over a goal frame. That is, a ball bungee or other fastener (Velcro/hook and loop straps, fabric ties, couplings, bungee cords, etc.) may be inserted through each of the support loops and wrapped around a goal frame to securely hold the goalie training device in place during use. When in use, the support matrix permits the catchment voids to remain open, ready and able, to receive a projectile.

[0034] In this exemplary embodiment of a support matrix 40 there are no support loops 44 located on the bottoms of the two middle vertical straps 42 because there is no corresponding bar on a typical lacrosse goal in this location that the support matrix 40 can be connected to. Of course, in other embodiments where different goals may be used, a support matrix 40 may have support loops 44 located on the bottom as well. It will also be appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art that in other embodiments the support matrix 40 may be adjusted to accommodate different sizes of goalie training devices and different grids such as 2.times.2 or 4.times.4 grids.

[0035] The support matrix 40 may be comprised of cable, wire, rope, or chains. In an exemplary embodiment the support matrix 40 is comprised of 1/16 inch cable and the support loops 44 are comprised of the same cable. Cable or wire used may be coated with a vinyl coating or other type of coating to withstand rusting, so that the goalie training device can be used in damp, wet, or inclement weather without compromising the integrity of the support matrix. Although in some embodiments the support matrix may not have any elasticity, in other embodiments the support matrix may have elasticity to aid in providing a taught front face for the goalie training device. In alternative embodiments a variety of other materials may be used as desired for the support matrix 40. In some alternative embodiments the support loops 44 may be separate, pre-formed loops made of metal, rubber, or plastic that are connected to the ends of the horizontal and vertical straps 41, 42.

[0036] Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, in some embodiments a rigid anchor support 46 may be used to help keep the support matrix, and the overall goalie training device, in a desired position across the opening of a goal frame. The anchor support 46 may be a generally planar board, bar, or half pipe that is sized to span the width of a goal frame 200 plus some additional distance so that it can be held in place by the weight of two opposing legs 220 of a goal frame. The anchor support 46 may have two apertures 48 on its upper surface. From each aperture 48 extends an anchor hook 50 that can be used to secure corresponding support loops 44 on a support matrix 40. In FIG. 5 the support matrix 40 is secured to the legs of the goal frame 220 with ball bungees 54. The anchor hooks 50 may be held in place on the anchor supports 46 through the use of a wide nut 52 associated with the base of the anchor hook 50 that is oriented on the bottom side of the anchor support 46 and prevents the anchor hooks 50 from being pulled through their corresponding aperture 48. The anchor hooks 50 may allow the support matrix 40 to have an increased tension, providing for a taut front face of the goalie training device.

[0037] While in the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 5 the anchor support 46 has two apertures 48 and corresponding anchor hooks 50, it will be appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art that the number of apertures and corresponding anchor hooks, as well as overall size and orientation of anchor hooks, may be varied as necessary to accommodate different grids. For example, a goalie training device exhibiting a 4.times.4 grid may be used with an anchor support that has three sets of anchor hooks on its upper surface. It will also be appreciated that the anchor hooks may not extend from apertures, but may be glued or otherwise attached to the upper surface, and that in still other embodiments there may not be hooks on the anchor support but other features that can achieve the same function of securing corresponding support loops.

[0038] Referring to FIG. 6, in some embodiments an anchor support 56 may have a slight curve, although in other embodiments, such as the embodiment of FIG. 5, the anchor support 56 may be planar. As shown in FIG. 6, in some embodiments the anchor support may have a reinforced plate 57 surrounding the apertures 58 and hooks 59.

[0039] Referring to FIG. 7, an illustration of an exemplary embodiment of a single catchment void 60 with integrated support matrix 62 is shown. In this embodiment the support matrix 62 is comprised of horizontal straps 64 and vertical straps 66. The straps 64, 66 are threaded through internal sleeves formed in the square border 68 of the open base 70 of the catchment void 60. The straps access the internal sleeves via apertures in the outer surface of the border, which are reinforced by grommets 72. The internal sleeves may be located on all sides of the square border 68. In the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 7, certain grommets 72 are dedicated to weaving the horizontal straps 64 through the internal sleeves of the catchment void border 68, while other grommets 72 are dedicated to weaving the vertical straps 66 through the internal sleeves of the catchment void border 68. In alternative embodiments where multiple catchment voids are connected, internal sleeves may run through two or more adjoining catchment voids such that the straps can largely remain internal across the front of the device.

[0040] Referring to FIG. 8, an alternative embodiment showing multiple catchment voids 80 with an integrated support matrix 82 is shown. The catchment voids 80 may be separate and combined in a modular fashion through the use of the support matrix (allowing a user to adjust the overall size and dimensions of the goalie training device), or may be connected. In this embodiment the horizontal straps 84 and vertical straps 86 do not have dedicated grommets 88, but rather are weaved through the internal sleeves of the catchment voids 80 using the same grommets 88.

[0041] Referring to FIG. 9, an exemplary embodiment of a support matrix 90 is illustrated. The location of Zip-tie anchors 92 for securing separate catchment voids to the support matrix 90 and/or one another to create an overall grid is illustrated. In alternative embodiments, a variety of fasteners may be used.

[0042] Referring to FIGS. 10 and 11, an exemplary embodiment of a 3.times.1 goalie training device is shown where the catchment voids 94 have square open bases 96, but taper to a circular perimeter on their top ends 98. As shown in the cut-away illustration of FIG. 11 (goalie frame and support matrix transparent), in this embodiment the catchment voids 98 have equal heights to one another. While the embodiment of FIGS. 10 and 11 is a 3.times.1 goalie training device, it will be appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art that similar catchment voids with circular perimeters on their top ends could comprise a 3.times.3 grid, or any other type of grid desired.

[0043] Referring to FIG. 12, an alternative exemplary embodiment of a 3.times.3 goalie training device 100 as connected to a goal frame 200 is shown, where the height of the catchment voids 110 is substantially shorter than the height of the catchment voids as shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 11. The height may be 1.5 ft. or any other height desired. In this exemplary embodiment, the catchment voids 110 have square open bases 112 and tapered, closed top ends 112.

[0044] The catchment voids of the exemplary embodiments are displayed in an extended position, which may be achieved through the use of cords, ropes, cables, support racks, or other means of pulling the top ends of the catchment voids into extended positions. Referring to FIG. 13, the training device of 100 is show in association with a support pole 114 and support cables 116 that extend from the support pole 114 and hold the catchment voids 110 in extended positions through the use of releasable clamps 118. This allows the support pole 114 to be put into a desired position before the straps can be connected to the catchment voids. The support pole 114 may be inserted into the ground and may have a pointed bottom end to aid in such insertion. The support cables 116 may be elastic and/or adjustable in order to provide for a taut connection with the catchment voids. The support cables may be tied to, or permanently connected to, the support pole on one end.

[0045] In various embodiments, other forms of supports may be used to keep the catchment voids extended. In some embodiments, the top ends of the catchment voids may have hooks or loops or other features to allow engagement with the end of a strap or cable that is connected to a support pole.

[0046] In use, the various catchment voids catch and aggregate balls or any other objects that a goalie in-training is unable to block. In lacrosse settings the catchment voids receive lacrosse balls. Based on how many balls are located in which catchment voids, the goalie, coach, or other trainer can determine how proficient the goalie is at blocking shots made on different areas of the goal. For example, based on a high number of lacrosse balls located in an upper right catchment void, a goalie, coach, or trainer may discover that the goalie is not blocking many shots to the upper right corner of the goal, and needs to focus on that area of the goal more. Or, after a training session a goalie, coach, or trainer may find that the goalie is having difficulty blocking shots coming into the lower part of the goal based on a comparatively large amount of lacrosse balls in the lower row of catchment voids. The goalie, coach, and trainer, can then focus on building up skills that focus the goalie on specific catching drills and skills on those areas, and continue to monitor their progress by counting the balls in various catchment voids during subsequent training sessions. Because the catchment voids allow for the balls to be counted after training sessions in relation to specific areas of the goal, real statistics on "Shots Saved" can be recorded and compared over time. This is beneficial to a coach who may have two or three goalies on a team. Knowing the specific strengths and weaknesses of team goalies may help shape how a coach runs a particular defense at and during a game.

[0047] Although in exemplary embodiments the device may be used on lacrosse goals and used to train lacrosse goalies, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that in various embodiments the devices may be adapted for use on hockey goals, soccer goals, and other types of sports devices without departing from the inventive concept.

[0048] Referring to FIG. 14, an exemplary embodiment of a goalie training device 120 for a hockey goal 240 is illustrated. In an exemplary embodiment, the training device 120 is sized to fit a 24 sq. ft. opening of a hockey goal. The training device of this embodiment 120 is comprised of three catchment voids 122 in a single column, although in other embodiments a 3.times.3 matrix of catchment voids or any other grid could be used as well. In this embodiment, there is no anchor support as it would impede the ability of a puck to slide across the ice into the goal. Instead, to aid in support, the training device 120 is comprised of two semi-rigid vertical supports 124 that engage with the ice on their lower ends 126 and hold the catchment voids 122 in place with minimal amount of obstruction to a hockey puck sliding on the ice. In this embodiment, the vertical supports 124 are inserted into sleeves on the catchment voids 122. These sleeves may be the same sleeves used for the support matrix, or may be separate sleeves designated for the vertical supports. In other embodiments the vertical supports may be attached by Velcro/hook and loop straps or a variety of other types of fasteners, ties, or other means for connecting the vertical supports to the catchment voids and/or the top of the hockey goal frame 240.

[0049] In alternative embodiments intended for use with hockey goals, there may be a weighted include plane at the base of the bottom of some or all of the catchment voids.

[0050] One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that a variety of adaptations can be made to the exemplary embodiments herein disclosed without departing from the inventive concept. For example, a Field Hockey embodiment of the apparatus, may be very similar to those used for lacrosse applications as mentioned above, with the exception that a field hockey goal has a front planar surface of approximately 84 square feet. A soccer embodiment of the apparatus, would be very similar to that of the lacrosse goal embodiment, mentioned above, with the exception that a soccer goal has a front planar surface of approximately 192 square feet.

[0051] Any embodiment of the present invention may include any of the optional or preferred features of the other embodiments of the present invention. The exemplary embodiments herein disclosed are not intended to be exhaustive or to unnecessarily limit the scope of the invention. The exemplary embodiments were chosen and described in order to explain the principles of the present invention so that others skilled in the art may practice the invention. Having shown and described exemplary embodiments of the present invention, those skilled in the art will realize that many variations and modifications may be made to the described invention. Many of those variations and modifications will provide the same result and fall within the spirit of the claimed invention. It is the intention, therefore, to limit the invention only as indicated by the scope of the claims.

* * * * *

File A Patent Application

  • Protect your idea -- Don't let someone else file first. Learn more.

  • 3 Easy Steps -- Complete Form, application Review, and File. See our process.

  • Attorney Review -- Have your application reviewed by a Patent Attorney. See what's included.