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Title:
TRAMPOLINE BARRIER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/112431
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A trampoline barrier, and a trampoline having such a barrier, wherein the barrier extends below the mat to cover and protect the frame and inhibit access to the space below the trampoline mat. The barrier has a mat connection edge and a frame connection with a barrier material located therebetween. The mat connection edge defines an upper opening and the frame connection edge defines a lower opening that is larger than the upper opening.

Inventors:
ANDON, Jack (C/- Vuly Property Pty Ltd, 1/95 Ingleston RoadWakerley, Queensland 4154, 4154, AU)
Application Number:
AU2016/050010
Publication Date:
July 21, 2016
Filing Date:
January 12, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
VULY PROPERTY PTY LTD (1/95 Ingleston Road, Wakerley, Queensland 4154, 4154, AU)
International Classes:
A63B5/11
Domestic Patent References:
WO2015009173A12015-01-22
WO2015157828A12015-10-22
Foreign References:
GB2496313A2013-05-08
US20060270525A12006-11-30
US20050148433A12005-07-07
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FISHER ADAMS KELLY CALLINANS (Level 6, 175 Eagle StreetBrisbane, Queensland 4000, 4000, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1 . A trampoline barrier comprising:

a mat connection edge adapted to connect to the periphery of a trampoline mat;

a frame connection edge adapted to connect to a trampoline frame; and a barrier material between the mat connection edge and the frame connection edge;

wherein the mat connection edge defines an upper opening and the frame connection edge defines a lower opening that is larger than the upper opening.

2. The trampoline barrier of claim 1 , wherein barrier is in the form of a skirt.

3. The trampoline barrier of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the barrier material is elastic.

4. The trampoline barrier of any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the barrier material is an elastic mesh.

5. The trampoline barrier of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein in use the barrier material is resiliently flexible between the mat and the frame.

6. The trampoline barrier of any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the upper opening substantially forms a substantially circular shape.

7. The trampoline barrier of any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the lower opening forms a substantially circular shape.

8. The trampoline barrier of any one of claims 6, wherein the lower opening forms a substantially circular shape and the upper opening has a smaller diameter than the lower opening.

9. The trampoline barrier of any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the barrier forms a generally frustoconical shape with inwardly curved sides.

10. The trampoline barrier of any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the barrier has reinforcement portions.

1 1 . The trampoline barrier of claim 10, wherein the reinforcement portions are substantially inelastic.

12. The trampoline barrier of claim 10 or 1 1 , wherein the reinforcement portions extend between the upper opening and the lower opening.

13. The trampoline barrier of any one of claims 10 to 12, wherein the reinforcement portions comprise webbing.

14. The trampoline barrier of any one of claims 1 to 15, wherein the frame connection edge has cut-outs.

15. The trampoline barrier of any one of claims 1 to 14, wherein the mat connection edge and the frame connection edge have fasteners to connect to the periphery of a trampoline mat and a trampoline frame, respectively.

16. A trampoline, the trampoline comprising:

a frame;

a mat supported above at least a portion of the frame via spring members; and

a barrier connected between an outer periphery of the mat and a portion of the frame below the mat.

17. The trampoline of claim 16, wherein the barrier is a trampoline barrier as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 15.

18. The trampoline of claim 16 or 17, wherein the frame has a lower ring and the barrier is connected between an outer periphery of the mat and the lower ring.

19. The trampoline of claim 18, wherein the lower ring is located at or near feet of the frame.

20. The trampoline of any one of claims 16 to 19, wherein the barrier is located substantially inside the frame.

21 . The trampoline of any one of claims 16 to 20, wherein the barrier is under tension between the mat and the frame.

22. The trampoline of any one of claims 16 to 21 , wherein the trampoline further comprises a safety net extending upwardly from the mat.

Description:
TRAMPOLINE BARRIER

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001 ] The invention relates to a trampoline barrier. In particular, the invention relates, but is not limited, to a trampoline skirt that provides a barrier to prevent access to the space beneath a mat of a trampoline.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

[0002] Reference to background art herein is not to be construed as an admission that such art constitutes common general knowledge.

[0003] Trampolines have been around for recreational and sporting purposes for a number of years. More recently, particularly in relation to recreational trampolines, safety nets have been incorporated to contain a user in a space above the trampoline and to prevent injury from that user falling off the trampoline or landing on the frame of the trampoline.

[0004] Trampoline skirts which enclose the space beneath a trampoline have also arisen. Such skirts hang from a rigid frame of the trampoline, enclosing not only the space below the mat but also the space below the springs. They improve safety by preventing, or at least hindering, access to the space beneath the trampoline where injury can occur, particularly if a user is jumping on the trampoline which causes the mat to deflect into that space. This risk not only applies to users, but can also apply to animals such as pets. For example, a pet dog may inadvertently run underneath a trampoline and be struck from above by a user jumping on the mat. This can result in injury to both the animal and the user.

[0005] Such trampoline skirts not only prevent users from accessing the space beneath the trampoline, but as the skirt hangs from the frame it also prevents access to the frame and springs. This can make servicing and safety inspections of the frame and springs more difficult. In some cases it may be necessary to remove the skirt in order to service or inspect the frame or springs. In some cases, particularly where the skirt is retrofitted to an existing frame, the skirt may clash with, or get in the way of, a trampoline ladder, extending from the frame, that enables easy access to the trampoline mat.

[0006] Furthermore, trampoline skirts are generally considered unsightly. They usually appear as a plain curtain or wall that hangs substantially vertically from the frame. As more trampoline options become available on the marketplace it is becoming increasingly more important to provide aesthetically pleasing products. As trampolines are relatively large pieces of equipment often in plain view from a house, many consumers are now choosing to purchase products which look modern with clean lines to complement their back or front yard.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

[0007] It is an aim of this invention to provide a trampoline barrier which overcomes or ameliorates one or more of the disadvantages or problems described above, or which at least provides a useful alternative. [0008] Other preferred objects of the present invention will become apparent from the following description.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0009] In one form, although it need not be the only or indeed the broadest form, there is provided a trampoline barrier comprising:

a mat connection edge adapted to connect to the periphery of a trampoline mat;

a frame connection edge adapted to connect to a trampoline frame; and

a barrier material between the mat connection edge and the frame connection edge;

wherein the mat connection edge defines an upper opening and the frame connection edge defines a lower opening that is larger than the upper opening.

[0010] Preferably the barrier is in the form of a skirt. Preferably the barrier material is elastic. Preferably the barrier material is an elastic mesh. Preferably in use the barrier material is resiliently flexible between the mat and the frame.

[001 1 ] Preferably the upper opening substantially forms a substantially circular shape. Preferably the lower opening forms a substantially circular shape. Preferably when forming circular shapes the upper opening has a smaller diameter than the lower opening. Preferably the barrier forms a generally frustoconical shape. Preferably the generally frustoconical shape has inwardly curved sides [0012] Preferably the barrier has reinforcement portions. Preferably the reinforcement portions are substantially inelastic. Preferably the reinforcement portions extend between the upper opening and the lower opening. Preferably the reinforcement portions are spaced apart along the barrier material. Preferably the reinforcement portions correspond to reinforcement portions of the net. Preferably the reinforcement portions also, or instead, correspond to frame support members of the frame. Preferably the reinforcement portions comprise webbing.

[0013] Preferably the frame connection edge has cut-outs. Preferably the cut-outs are spaced apart along the frame connection edge. Preferably each cut-out corresponds to a reinforcement portion. Preferably the cut-outs are adapted to allow passage of frame support members of the frame.

[0014] Preferably the mat connection edge and the frame connection edge have fasteners to connect to the periphery of a trampoline mat and a trampoline frame, respectively. Preferably the mat connection edge comprises at least one mat fastener that connects the mat connection edge to the periphery of the trampoline mat. Preferably, a plurality of mat fasteners are provided. The number of mat fasteners may correspond to the number of springs the mat is configured to engage with.

[0015] Preferably the mat fastener is adapted to connect to a mat connector located on a periphery of the mat. Preferably the mat fastener comprises an aperture that receives at least a portion of the mat connector. Preferably the aperture is an elongate aperture. Preferably the aperture is sized to allow passage of the mat connector.

[0016] Alternatively, the mat fastener may be adapted to connect to an end of a spring member that connects to a periphery of the mat. The mat fastener may comprise an aperture adapted to receive an end of the spring member. In this embodiment, the aperture may be sized to prevent passage of the mat connector. The mat fastener preferably indirectly couples with the mat via an end of the spring member.

[0017] Preferably the frame connection edge comprises at least one frame fastener that connects the frame connection edge to the frame. Preferably a plurality of frame fasteners are provided. Preferably the frame fasteners are adapted to connect to a bar of the frame. Preferably the bar of the frame is a lower ring of the frame. Preferably the frame connection edge and/or the frame fasteners are adapted to at least partially enclose the lower ring of the frame.

[0018] Preferably the frame fasteners comprise a strap. Preferably the strap is adapted to receive the lower ring of the frame. Preferably the frame fasteners comprise a closing mechanism. Preferably the closing mechanism connects two portions of the frame fastener together. Preferably the closing mechanism comprises a catch and an aperture that can receive the catch. Preferably the catch is elongate and can pass through the aperture longitudinally. Other closing mechanisms could be utilised as well, or instead, including, for example, a hook and eye, hook and loop portions (e.g. Velcro), a button, a dome, or the like. [0019] In another form, there is provided a trampoline, the trampoline comprising:

a frame;

a mat supported above at least a portion of the frame via spring members; and

a barrier connected between an outer periphery of the mat and a portion of the frame below the mat.

[0020] Preferably the barrier is a trampoline barrier as hereinbefore described.

[0021 ] Preferably the frame has a lower ring and the barrier is connected between an outer periphery of the mat and the lower ring. Preferably the lower ring is located at or near feet of the frame. Preferably the lower ring is located adjacent feet of the frame. Preferably the lower ring connects a plurality of frame support members. Preferably the barrier is located substantially inside the frame. Preferably the barrier is under tension between the mat and the frame.

[0022] Preferably the trampoline further comprises a safety net. Preferably the safety net extends upwardly from the mat. Preferably the safety net is connected between an outer periphery of the mat and a plurality of support poles that extend above and around the mat. Preferably the plurality of support poles are connected to, or integral with, the plurality of frame support members. Preferably the barrier and the net collectively create a substantially continuous wall that curves inwards between an upper end of the support poles and the lower ring of the portion of the frame below the mat.

[0023] The barrier may be made of the same material as the safety net. The safety net and barrier may be integral. However, in a preferred form the safety net and barrier are separate. The barrier and safety net preferably connect to the periphery of the mat at the same points. Preferably the barrier and/or the safety net have fasteners to attach to the mat.

[0024] Preferably the fasteners are apertures which receive a mat connector. Preferably the mat connector extends radially from the mat. Preferably the mat connector connects the spring members to the mat. Preferably the spring members are connected between the mat connectors and the frame. Preferably the spring members are connected between the mat connectors and an upper ring of the frame.

[0025] Preferably the spring members are helical coil springs. Preferably the helical coil springs extend radially around the mat. Preferably the helical coil springs are arranged in a substantially horizontal plane. Preferably the trampoline further comprises a frame cover that covers at least an upper portion of the springs. Preferably the barrier is connected to the outer periphery of the mat where the spring members connect to the mat. Preferably the spring members are accessible from outside the barrier. Preferably the frame is accessible from outside the barrier.

[0026] Further features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0027] By way of example only, preferred embodiments of the invention will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying figures, wherein:

[0028] Figure 1 illustrates a perspective view of an example trampoline with a trampoline barrier;

[0029] Figure 2 illustrates a close up view of a portion of a trampoline showing a mat connection edge of a barrier;

[0030] Figure 3 illustrates a close up view of a portion of a trampoline showing a mat connection edge of a barrier connected in a different manner;

[0031 ] Figure 4 illustrates a close up view of a portion of a trampoline showing a frame connection edge and a reinforcement portion; and

[0032] Figure 5 illustrates a close up view of a portion of a frame connection edge of the barrier.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0033] Figure 1 illustrates a trampoline 10 having a barrier in the form of a skirt 100, a frame 200, a plurality of spring members 300 (illustrated with an optional cover in figure 1 ), and a safety net 400. The trampoline 10 also comprises a trampoline mat that is obstructed from view. The trampoline mat is connected to the frame 200 via the spring members 300.

[0034] The illustrated trampoline 10 is based on a standard helical coil trampoline design, with the mat suspended by helical coil springs connected to the frame 200. The barrier 100 is well suited to this design of trampoline 10, but it is envisaged that it could also be utilised in relation to other forms of trampolines, such as 'springless' or 'soft edged' trampoline designs as are known in the art.

[0035] The skirt 100 has a mat connection edge 1 10 (obstructed in figure 1 ) and a frame connection edge 120 on opposite sides of a barrier material 130. The barrier material 130 is an elastic mesh. Typically the barrier material 130 is made of the same as the material as the safety net 400. The mat connection edge 1 10 defines an upper opening in the form of a circle which substantially corresponds to the shape and size of the mat. The frame connection edge 120 defines a lower opening in the form of a circle which substantially corresponds to the shape and size of a lower ring 210 of the frame 200.

[0036] The skirt 100 is located inside the frame 200. The skirt 100 is also located below the mat and plurality of spring members 300. The skirt 100 is a generally frustoconical shape with inwardly curved sides. The skirt 100 has reinforcement portions 140 which correspond to similar reinforcement portions of the net 400 and to frame support members 220 of the frame 200.

[0037] The frame support members 220 of the frame each have a foot 222 and a net support pole 224 which extends up above the mat and supports the net 400. In the illustrated embodiment the foot 222 and net support pole 224 are integral with the frame support members 220, but it will be appreciated that they could be separate components connected to each other.

[0038] Figure 2 illustrates an upper portion of the skirt 100, showing spring members 300, in the form of helical coil springs, connected to mat connectors 310. The mat connectors 310 are in turn connected to the mat with mat loops 312. The mat loop 312, and hence mat connectors 310, are spaced around the periphery of the mat. The spring members 300 connect to the mat connectors 310 by receiving a portion of the mat connectors 310 in a hook 314 at an end of each spring member 300.

[0039] In the embodiment illustrated in figure 2, the skirt 100 and net 400 are both connected to the periphery of the mat in the same manner. The mat connection edge 1 10 of the skirt 100 has apertures 1 12 which receive the mat connector 310 therein. The net 400 connects in the same manner with a corresponding aligned aperture. Although the skirt 100 and net 400 are separate, which is preferred, it is envisaged that they could be integral with each other.

[0040] Figure 3 illustrates and alternative connection system, wherein mat connection edge 1 10 connects to an end of the spring member 300 instead. In this regard, the aperture 1 12, which is typically smaller in this embodiment, receives the hook 314 of the spring member 300 and connects indirectly to the mat connector 310, and hence the mat, via the spring member 300.

[0041 ] Figure 4 illustrates a lower portion of the skirt 100, showing the frame connection edge 120 connected to the lower ring 210 of the frame 200. The frame connection edge 120 is wrapped around, and partially encloses, a portion of the lower ring 210. A cut-out 150 is provided to allow passage of a frame support member 220 of the frame 200. As illustrated in figure 5, the frame connection edge 120 has frame fasteners including a strap 122 adapted to extend around the lower ring 210 of the frame 200. A fastening aperture 124 is provided that receives a catch in the form of an elongate toggle 126. The elongate toggle 126 can pass through the fastening aperture 124 longitudinally, but not when its longitudinal axis is perpendicular to the aperture as illustrated.

[0042] In use, the skirt 100 prevents access to underneath the mat. As a user jumps on the mat, the skirt 100 contracts and expands to cater for movement between the mat and the frame.

[0043] Advantageously the skirt 100, and a trampoline 10 utilising the skirt 100, prevents access to underneath the mat of a trampoline 10 to prevent injury and improve safety. Furthermore, the skirt 100 does not impede access to the springs members 300 or to the frame 200. The skirt 100 can also be configured to provide different jumping characteristics but changing its elasticity. A more rigid skirt 100 is more restrictive in allowing the mat to travel upwards. The skirt 100 provides a reliable, tidy solution which is not only simple and effective, but also provides an aesthetically pleasing appearance that continues the curved lines of the net 400 below the mat 100 without any unsightly discontinuities.

[0044] In this specification, adjectives such as first and second, left and right, top and bottom, and the like may be used solely to distinguish one element or action from another element or action without necessarily requiring or implying any actual such relationship or order. Where the context permits, reference to an integer or a component or step (or the like) is not to be interpreted as being limited to only one of that integer, component, or step, but rather could be one or more of that integer, component, or step etc. [0045] The above description of various embodiments of the present invention is provided for purposes of description to one of ordinary skill in the related art. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to a single disclosed embodiment. As mentioned above, numerous alternatives and variations to the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art of the above teaching. Accordingly, while some alternative embodiments have been discussed specifically, other embodiments will be apparent or relatively easily developed by those of ordinary skill in the art. The invention is intended to embrace all alternatives, modifications, and variations of the present invention that have been discussed herein, and other embodiments that fall within the spirit and scope of the above described invention.

[0046] In this specification, the terms 'comprises', 'comprising', 'includes', 'including', or similar terms are intended to mean a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a method, system or apparatus that comprises a list of elements does not include those elements solely, but may well include other elements not listed.