Action-responsive basketball backboard

Games using tangible projectile – Playing field or court game; game element or accessory... – Practice or training device

Reexamination Certificate

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Details

C473S480000, C473S481000, C273S317300

Reexamination Certificate

active

06554724

ABSTRACT:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Technical Field
The present invention relates to basketball backboards and, more particularly, to a lighted, action-responsive basketball backboard which includes a plurality of sensing devices mounted on the rim and backboard, a control box operative to receive signals from the sensors and at least one set of lights operatively connected to the control box which are illuminated in response to actions detected by the sensors.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. The high-flying players, the non-stop action and the spectacular athleticism are only a few of the reasons why basketball is such a popular spectator sport, but obviously the millions of amateur players who find excitement and enjoyment in the action and exercise have additional reasons why they play. Although many of the players do enjoy the sport whether or not they are able to play “above the rim,” there are others, particularly young players, who see the amazing exploits of professionals on television and wish that they could duplicate them in their own backyard or on their driveway. Obviously, the vast majority of players cannot dunk like the professionals or college players, so younger players often will drop the basket down to enable dunking of the basketball. After playing on the lower rim for a while, however, the excitement wears off and some players lose interest in the game. For younger players, it is vital to retain their interest in the game and to increase the level of enjoyment if possible. There is therefore a need for a basketball rim and backboard which will increase the level of excitement available during play.
Much of the excitement of a dunk is the sound generated by the power of the dunk. Unfortunately, the vast majority of basketball players cannot generate the necessary height or power to produce the desired sound, thus energizing his or her teammates and the crowd. It is believed that the excitement level would be increased by including a sound-generating device which generates sounds in response to specific activities taking place on the backboard or rim. It is further believed that even greater excitement would be generated by the inclusion of light-generating devices which likewise signal the occurrence of specific events on the backboard or rim, such as dunks or the like. There is therefore a need for an action-responsive basketball backboard which will generate sound and light in response to a dunk or other activity, thereby increasing the excitement and enjoyment of the activity.
Many basketball teams have specific team names or logos associated therewith. The fans of these teams have strong ties to the team and exhibit excitement in response to their team playing well. These fans are the most excited when one of the team's players performs a spectacular dunk or other such outstanding play. However, it is believed that the fans' enjoyment of the specific play will be enhanced by the lighting of the team name or logo in response to such a dunk, and there is therefore a need for an action-responsive basketball backboard which includes an arrangement of lights thereon in the shape of a team's name or logo, the name or logo lighting up in response to specific activity taking place such as a dunk or the like, thus generating additional excitement in fans and spectators.
Therefore, an object of the present invention is to provide an action-responsive basketball backboard.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an action-responsive basketball backboard which includes a backboard having a rim mounted thereon, the backboard including at least one set of indicator lights which will light up in response to specific movements of the rim and backboard.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an action-responsive basketball backboard having a rim movement sensor and a backboard movement sensor for sensing and signaling specific movements of the rim and backboard.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an action-responsive basketball backboard which will provide immediate signaling of an event to provide instantaneous feedback to the player, thus increasing enjoyment and excitement.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an action-responsive basketball backboard which includes a control box which controls the lighting of the indicator lights in response to the specific movements of the rim and backboard.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an action-responsive basketball backboard which adds excitement to the playing of basketball, particularly for younger players.
Finally, an object of the present invention is to provide a action-responsive basketball backboard which is relatively simple to manufacture and which is safe and durable in use.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides an action-responsive basketball backboard which includes a backboard having a rim mounted thereon. Mounted thereon are a rim motion sensor operative to detect specific motions of the rim and output notification signals signaling detection of those specific motions, and a backboard motion sensor operative to detect specific motions of the backboard and output notification signals signaling detection of those specific motions. At least one set of indicator lights is mounted on the backboard and a power supply for supplying electrical power to the set of indicator lights is connected thereto for lighting the lights. A control box having a controllable switch interposed between the power supply and the set of indicator lights is included, the control box in information transmission connection with the rim. motion sensor and. the backboard motion sensor, the control box operative to receive notification signals from the rim and backboard motion sensors and alternatively engage and disengage the controllable switch to light the set of indicator lights in response to motion detection by the rim and backboard motion sensors.
The action-responsive basketball backboard as thus described clearly offers several advantages over those devices found in the prior art. The relatively simple design of the action-responsive basketball backboard ensures that the unit will function properly for an extended lifetime. Also, because the present invention can include a number of different light designs or can also include a sound-emitting device, the present invention can significantly increase the enjoyment and excitement of playing basketball for players of all ages and all skill levels. Furthermore, as the present invention will be relatively inexpensive to manufacture, it will be usable and purchasable by persons of many different income levels. Finally, the action-responsive basketball backboard of the present invention is safe and durable in use, and this makes the backboard safe for use by even small children. The present invention thus provides a substantial improvement over those devices found in the prior art.


REFERENCES:
patent: 4956775 (1990-09-01), Klamer et al.
patent: 5305998 (1994-04-01), Nesbit et al.
patent: 5346207 (1994-09-01), Heinen
patent: 5375103 (1994-12-01), Ulloa
patent: 5762569 (1998-06-01), Hale
patent: 5916048 (1999-06-01), Hurell et al.

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