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Title:
TRAMPOLINES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/074097
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A trampoline including: a frame adapted to rest on the ground or be mounted on a plurality of spaced apart legs; a plurality of spaced apart biasing means operatively connected to said frame against undesired relative movement therebetween and extending upwards therefrom; a plurality of spaced apart upper connecting members connected to said biasing means and depending therefrom; a jumping mat operatively connected about its perimeter to said upper connecting members at or towards their lower ends; and a plurality of lower connecting members operatively connected to said frame below said mat at or towards one end and to said mat at or adjacent its perimeter at the other end.

Inventors:
ANDON, Joe (195 Ingleston Road, Wakerley, Queensland 4178, AU)
Application Number:
AU2014/001057
Publication Date:
May 28, 2015
Filing Date:
November 19, 2014
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
VULY PROPERTY PTY LTD (1 95 Ingleston Road, Wakerley, Queensland 4178, AU)
International Classes:
A63B5/11
Domestic Patent References:
WO2012167300A12012-12-13
Foreign References:
JPH0984896A1997-03-31
US20040198507A12004-10-07
US6846271B22005-01-25
US6607468B12003-08-19
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
AHEARN FOX (GPO Box 1149, Brisbane, Queensland 4001, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
THE CLAIMS DEFINING THE INVENTION ARE AS FOLLOWS:

1. A trampoline including:

a frame adapted to rest on the ground or be mounted on a plurality of spaced apart legs;

a plurality of spaced apart biasing means operatively connected to said frame against undesired relative movement therebetween;

a plurality of spaced apart upper connecting members connected to said biasing means and depending therefrom;

a jumping mat operatively connected about its perimeter to said upper connecting members at or towards their lower ends; and

a plurality of lower connecting members operatively connected to said frame at or towards one end and to said mat at or adjacent its perimeter at the other end;

the parts being so made and arranged that said mat is suspended from said biasing means by said upper connecting members which pull on at least one of said biasing means upon a person's weight being applied to said mat and said biasing means pull on said upper connecting members upon the person' s weight being lifted from said mat against said lower connecting members to thereby keep the mat taut.

2. A trampoline including:

a frame adapted to rest on the ground or be mounted on a plurality of spaced apart legs;

a plurality of spaced apart biasing means operatively connected to said frame against relative movement therebetween;

a plurality of spaced apart upper connecting members connected to said biasing means respectively and depending therefrom; a jumping mat operatively connected about its perimeter to said upper connecting members at or towards their lower ends ; and

a plurality of lower connecting members operatively connected to said frame at or towards one end and to said mat at or adjacent its perimeter at the other end;

the parts being so made and arranged that said upper and lower connecting members together with said biasing means keep the mat taut and said biasing means pull on at least one of said biasing means upon a person's weight being applied to said mat and said biasing means pull on said upper connecting members against said lower connecting members upon the person's weight being lifted from said mat.

3. A trampoline including:

a frame adapted to rest on the ground or be mounted on a plurality of spaced apart legs;

a plurality of spaced apart biasing means operatively connected to said frame against undesired relative movement therebetween and extending upwards therefrom;

a plurality of spaced apart upper connecting members connected to said biasing means and depending therefrom;

a jumping mat operatively connected about its perimeter to said upper connecting members at or towards their lower ends; and

a plurality of lower connecting members operatively connected to said frame below said mat at or towards one end and to said mat at or adjacent its perimeter at the other end.

4. A trampoline according to any one of the preceding claims wherein said biasing means include flexible and resilient elongate members which extend upwards from said frame and are adapted to bend elastically along a longitudinal bending axis.

5. A trampoline according to Claim 4 wherein said elongate members are long poles.

6. A trampoline according to Claim 5 or Claim 6 wherein at least a portion of each of said poles is constructed of a flexible and resilient material.

7. A trampoline according to Claim 7 wherein said flexible and resilient material is fibreglass, kevlar, carbon fibre or a mixture including at least one of those materials.

8. A trampoline according to any one of Claims 5 to 8 wherein said poles extend upwards from a part of the frame below said mat.

9. A trampoline according to Claim 5 wherein said frame includes a plurality of spaced apart posts and said poles are connected to said posts at their lower ends.

10. A trampoline according to Claim 9 wherein said posts extend above said mat and said poles extend upwards from said posts .

11. A trampoline according to any one of Claims 1 to 4 wherein said biasing means are leaf springs.

12. A trampoline according to Claim 11 wherein the spring constant of said leaf springs varies over their length.

13. A trampoline according to Claim 11 or Claim 12 wherein said leaf springs include layers of leaves over at least a portion of their length.

14. A trampoline according to any one of Claims 11 to 13 wherein said frame includes a plurality of spaced apart posts or poles which extend above said mat and said leaf springs are connected to said posts at or near their upper ends for movement relative thereto.

15. A trampoline according to Claim 14 wherein said leaf springs extend generally upwards from said posts and curve inwards when the upper and lower connecting members are fitted.

16. A trampoline according to Claim 14 or Claim 15 wherein said leaf springs are substantially straight until tension is applied by the upper and lower connecting members and the tension causes the leaf springs to curve inwards and downwards towards the mat.

17. A trampoline according to any one of the preceding claims wherein said lower connecting members are connected at their upper ends to the upper connecting members by a hook or loop or similar fastening means and to the mat via the same hook, loop or fastening means.

18. A trampoline according to any one of the preceding claims wherein each of said upper connecting members include at least one line member constructed of a non-stretch material such as stainless steel.

19. A trampoline according to Claim 18 wherein each line member is enshrouded by a protective material and/or a cushioning material.

20. A trampoline according to any one of Claims 1 to 3 wherein two upper connecting members depend from each of said biasing means.

21. A trampoline according to Claim 20 wherein said two upper connecting members are constituted by a single line member with two runs depending from said biasing means which diverge downwards and connect to the edge of the mat at spaced apart positions .

22. A trampoline according to Claim 21 wherein one of said spaced apart positions is a predetermined distance in a horizontal clockwise direction from said biasing means and the other is spaced from said one position by twice said predetermined distance in an anti-clockwise direction.

23. A trampoline according to any one of the preceding claims wherein each of said lower connecting members include at least one line member.

24. A trampoline according to Claim 23 wherein said at least one line member is a wire or cable constructed of a non- stretch material such as stainless steel.

25. A trampoline according to any one of the preceding claims including one lower connecting member for each upper connecting member.

26. A trampoline according to Claim 25 wherein the upper and lower connecting members connect to the mat at substantially the same point .

27. A trampoline according to any one of Claims 1 to 3 including a safety net attached to the mat at or adjacent its periphery and extending upwards towards said biasing means.

28. A trampoline according to Claim 27 wherein said safety net connects to said biasing means at or near their upper ends.

29. A trampoline according to Claim 27 wherein said safety net connects to said upper connecting members towards their upper ends .

30. A trampoline according to any one of Claims 27 to 29 wherein the upper end of said safety net is connected to a stabilising ring which in turn is flexibly and resiliently connected to said biasing means and/or said the upper connecting members.

31. A trampoline according to any one Claims 27 to 30 wherein said upper connecting members extend from said biasing means to said mat on the outside of the safety net.

32. A trampoline according to any one of Claims 30 to 34 wherein said upper connecting members pass through loops or sleeves provided on the outside of the net to hold the net in place .

33. A trampoline according to any one of the preceding claims wherein said frame includes two vertically spaced apart horizontal tubular frame members extending around the mat with spaced apart hollow posts connected thereto with the upper horizontal member being substantially within the ring of posts and engaging each post and the lower tube being substantially without the ring of posts and engaging each post.

34. A trampoline according to Claim 33 wherein said biasing means are long flexible and resilient poles and wherein the lower end portions of the poles are slidably mounted in the hollows of the posts.

35. A trampoline according to Claim 34 wherein said posts lean outwards away from said mat.

36. A frame for a trampoline having a jumping mat, the frame including;

a plurality of first tubular segments adapted to be connected together end to end to form a first ring adapted to extend about the jumping mat;

a plurality of second tubular segments adapted to be connected together end to end to form a second ring adapted to extend about the jumping mat above the first ring;

a plurality of post members adapted to be arranged in spaced apart relationship around said first and second rings and to be connected thereto, at least some of said first tubular segments including a connector for said post members and at least some of said second tubular segments including a connector for said post members;

the connectors of said first and second tubular segments being aligned to allow the posts to extend upwards from said first and second rings at a predetermined angle and said posts and said connectors having complementary securing means for securing them together.

37. A mat assembly for a trampoline, the mat assembly including :

a jumping mat having a plurality of spaced apart connection points about its periphery;

a plurality of spaced apart upper connecting members connected at one end to said mat at the respective connection points and adapted to extend upwards therefrom in use to connect to selected predetermined biasing means;

a plurality of spaced apart lower connecting members connected to said mat at one end at the respective connection points and adapted to extend downwards therefrom in use to connect to a selected frame member;

a safety net having an upper end, and a lower end connected to said mat about its periphery, said safety net being adapted to extend upwards from said mat in use and said net including spaced apart sleeves extending upwards from or near said lower end towards said upper end, and said spaced apart upper connecting members being located substantially within said sleeves, said assembly being made and arranged to be packaged in roll up form or fold over form for efficient transport .

38. A mat assembly including a jumping mat and a safety net, the jumping mat having a plurality of spaced apart connection points about its periphery and the safety net being connected to the jumping mat about its periphery but inside said plurality of connection points.

39. A trampoline including:

a frame adapted to rest on the ground or be mounted on a plurality of spaced apart legs;

a plurality of spaced apart flexible and resilient biasing members such as poles operatively connected to said frame against undesired relative movement therebetween and extending upwards therefrom; a plurality of spaced apart upper connecting members operatively connected to said flexible and resilient biasing members at or towards their upper ends respectively and depending therefrom;

a jumping mat operatively connected to said upper connecting members at or towards their lower ends about its perimeter; and

a plurality of lower connecting members operatively connected to said frame at or towards one end and to said mat at or adjacent its perimeter at the other end;

the parts being so made and arranged that said upper and lower connecting members together with said flexible and resilient biasing members keep the mat taut and said biasing members pull on at least one of said upper connecting members upon a person's weight being applied to said mat (for example by standing or jumping on said mat) and said biasing members pull on said upper connecting members against said lower connecting members upon the person' s weight being lifted from said mat.

40. A trampoline assembly including:

a plurality of flexible and resilient poles adapted to be mounted in complementary holes in a foundation or a frame and to stand up therefrom in spaced apart relationship against relative sideways movement relative to said foundation;

a plurality of spaced apart upper connecting members adapted to be operatively connected to said flexible and resilient poles at or towards their upper ends respectively to depend therefrom;

a jumping mat adapted to be operatively connected to said upper connecting members at or towards their lower ends about its perimeter; and

a plurality of lower connecting members adapted to be operatively connected to said plurality of poles respectively at or towards one end and to said mat at or adjacent its perimeter at the other end;

the parts being so made and arranged that in use said upper and lower connecting members together with said flexible and resilient poles keep the mat taut and said poles pull on at least one of said upper connecting members upon a person' s weight being applied to said mat (for example by standing or jumping on said mat) and said poles pull on said upper connecting members against said lower connecting members upon the person's weight being lifted from said mat.

41. A trampoline including:

a plurality of flexible and resilient poles mounted in complementary holes in a foundation or a frame and standing up therefrom in spaced apart relationship against relative sideways movement relative thereto;

a plurality of spaced apart upper connecting members be operatively connected to said flexible and resilient poles at or towards their upper ends respectively and depending therefrom;

a jumping mat operatively connected to said upper connecting members at or towards their lower ends about its perimeter; and

a plurality of lower connecting members operatively connected at one end to said poles towards their lower ends respectively and to said mat at or adjacent its perimeter at the other end;

the parts being so made and arranged that in use said upper and lower connecting members together with said flexible and resilient poles keep the mat taut and said poles pull on at least one of said upper connecting members upon a person' s weight being applied to said mat (for example by standing or jumping on said mat) and said poles pull on said upper connecting members against said lower connecting members upon the person's weight being lifted from said mat.

42. A kit of parts for a trampoline including:

a plurality of posts or poles adapted to be mounted in complementary holes in a foundation or a frame and to stand up therefrom in spaced apart relationship against relative sideways movement relative to said foundation;

a plurality of biasing means adapted to be mounted to the upper ends of said posts or poles against undesired movement relative thereto;

a plurality of spaced apart upper connecting members adapted to be operatively connected to said flexible and resilient poles at or towards their upper ends respectively so as to depend therefrom when said poles are standing up;

a jumping mat adapted to be operatively connected to said upper connecting members at or towards their lower ends about its perimeter; and

a plurality of lower connecting members adapted to be operatively connected to said plurality of posts or poles respectively at or towards one end and to said mat at or adjacent its perimeter at the other end;

the parts being so made and arranged that in use said upper and lower connecting members together with said biasing means will keep the mat taut and said biasing means will pull on at least one of said upper connecting members upon a person's weight being applied to said mat (for example by standing or jumping on said mat) and said biasing means will pull on said upper connecting members against said lower connecting members upon the person' s weight being lifted from said mat.

43. A trampoline including:

a frame including a plurality of upstanding frame members defining a space therebetween; a jumping mat suspended in said space by a plurality of upper connecting members depending from said plurality of upstanding frame members and held down by a plurality of lower connecting members, each of said upstanding frame members including biasing means for biasing said upper connecting members upwards and outwards in said space.

Description:
TRAMPOLINES

This invention relates to trampolines. The invention has particular application to recreational trampolines but it may have application to sporting trampolines as well.

For many years recreational trampolines have typically included a tubular steel frame which is supported on spaced apart legs with a flexible jumping mat secured to the frame by a large number of spaced apart extension springs which extend and contract as a person jumps on the mat in order to give "bounce". The springs are usually connected to the tubular steel frame at one end via radial slots provided therein and to the mat via hooks or the like at the other end. Although trampolines can be made in many shapes, circular is probably the most popular in which case the frame is generally constructed of arcuate segments of round tube which are joined together in a spigot and socket arrangement with the end portion of one segment sliding into the end portion of the adjacent segment.

It will be appreciated that the space between the jumping mat and the frame creates some difficulties for users in getting onto the mat and when jumping on the mat the springs and the spaces therebetween can present some danger for anyone jumping too close to the edge of the mat. Consequently, modern playground trampolines typically include a padded safety barrier (or "padding") extending about the mat and covering the springs and the spaces therebetween. The padding is typically tied to the mat and/or the frame by ribbon ties or the like. Such trampolines typically include a safety barrier (or "net") extending about the mat frame and attached to posts upstanding therefrom to prevent users from falling off the trampoline .

Other forms of trampolines known as "soft edged trampolines" which do not require a frame about the edge of the jumping mat and do not use extension springs to support the mat have been developed in recent years. In such trampolines, the mat is typically supported on a large number of circumferentially spaced fibreglass rods which extend upwards, outwards and forwards around the periphery of the mat from a frame under the mat and are connected to the edge of the mat at their upper ends. The rods are flexible and resilient so as to bend downwards and inwards as a person' s weight comes onto the mat during jumping and to return to the original position as the weight comes off the mat causing a back and forth twisting motion of the mat. Such twisting action gives a different performance feel to users from the traditional extension coil spring type trampolines.

Other trampolines have been developed recently which utilise leaf springs extending upwards and inwards from a frame resting on the ground where they connect to the jumping mat and hold it in tension. Examples of such trampolines are described in International patent application No PCT/AU2012/000651 ("the earlier PCT application") . Those trampolines have been found to have very good performance characteristics .

The present invention is aimed at providing another type of trampoline which will have application in some circumstances and provide advantages in some circumstances.

The invention is also aimed at providing a trampoline which can be efficiently manufactured. The invention is also aimed at providing a trampoline which gives a more traditional feel to users than some soft edge trampolines.

With the foregoing in view, the invention resides broadly in a trampoline including:

a frame adapted to rest on the ground or be mounted on a plurality of spaced apart legs; a plurality of spaced apart biasing means operatively connected to said frame against undesired relative movement therebetween;

a plurality of spaced apart upper connecting members connected to said biasing means respectively and depending therefrom;

a jumping mat operatively connected about its perimeter to said upper connecting members at or towards their lower ends; and

a plurality of lower connecting members operatively connected to said frame at or towards one end and to said mat at or adjacent its perimeter at the other end;

the parts being so made and arranged that said mat is suspended from said biasing means by said upper connecting members which pull on at least one of said biasing means upon a person's weight being applied to said mat (for example by standing or jumping on said mat) and said biasing means pull on said upper connecting members upon the person's weight being lifted from said mat against said lower connecting members to thereby keep the mat taut.

In another aspect, the invention resides broadly in a trampoline including:

a frame adapted to rest on the ground or be mounted on a plurality of spaced apart legs;

a plurality of spaced apart biasing means operatively connected to said frame against undesired relative movement therebetween and extending upwards therefrom;

a plurality of spaced apart upper connecting members connected to said biasing means and depending therefrom;

a jumping mat operatively connected about its perimeter to said upper connecting members at or towards their lower ends ; and a plurality of lower connecting members operatively connected to said frame below said mat at or towards one end and to said mat at or adjacent its perimeter at the other end.

In another aspect, the invention resides broadly in a trampoline including:

a frame adapted to rest on the ground or be mounted on a plurality of spaced apart legs;

a plurality of spaced apart biasing means operatively connected to said frame against relative movement therebetween;

a plurality of spaced apart upper connecting members connected to said biasing means respectively and depending therefrom;

a jumping mat operatively connected about its perimeter to said upper connecting members at or towards their lower ends ; and

a plurality of lower connecting members operatively connected to said frame at or towards one end and to said mat at or adjacent its perimeter at the other end;

the parts being so made and arranged that said upper and lower connecting members together with said biasing means keep the mat taut and said biasing means pull on at least one of said biasing means upon a person's weight being applied to said mat (for example by standing or jumping on said mat) and said biasing means pull on said upper connecting members against said lower connecting members upon the person' s weight being lifted from said mat.

It will be appreciated that the upper and lower connecting members could be flexible members such as cables and could be one cable with a suitable connector secured thereto for connection to the mat whereby the cable acts as two cables, one performing the function of the upper connecting member and one performing the function of the lower connecting member. In this specification such an arrangement is taken to be two connecting members.

In one aspect of the invention the biasing means are flexible and resilient elongate members which extend upwards from the frame and are each adapted to bend along a longitudinal bending axis. In preferred forms, such members are poles or posts constructed of fibreglass, kevlar, carbon fibre or a mixture of those materials. However, various other materials such as spring steel could also be used if desired and the posts or poles could be solid or hollow depending on the particular characteristics required and could be of circular, ovaloid, elliptical or rectangular cross section or any other suitable cross section. However, in some applications the frame includes upwardly extending non flexible elongate members of the same general shape to which flexible and resilient members are fitted. In such case, further non flexible members may be fitted to the upper end of the flexible and resilient members to provide a higher connection point for the upper connecting members.

Thus, in one such aspect, the invention resides broadly in a trampoline including:

a frame adapted to rest on the ground or be mounted on a plurality of spaced apart legs;

a plurality of spaced apart flexible and resilient biasing members such as poles operatively connected to said frame against undesired relative movement therebetween and extending upwards therefrom;

a plurality of spaced apart upper connecting members operatively connected to said flexible and resilient biasing members at or towards their upper ends respectively and depending therefrom; a jumping mat operatively connected to said upper connecting members at or towards their lower ends about its perimeter; and

a plurality of lower connecting members operatively connected to said frame at or towards one end and to said mat at or adjacent its perimeter at the other end;

the parts being so made and arranged that said upper and lower connecting members together with said flexible and resilient biasing members keep the mat taut and said biasing members pull on at least one of said upper connecting members upon a person's weight being applied to said mat (for example by standing or jumping on said mat) and said biasing members pull on said upper connecting members against said lower connecting members upon the person' s weight being lifted from said mat .

In one such preferred form of the invention, the upper connecting members are round poles, that is, poles of circular cross section which allow limited sidewards bending but in another form, poles of rectangular cross section such as leaf springs are used to achieve particular performance characteristics and are selected so as to bend generally inwards towards the mat and outwards away from the mat without any significant sideways bending. In the case of a circular mat, the leaf springs would only bend radially inwards and outwards, while in the case of a square mat the leaf springs would bend directly towards the opposite side of the mat. In one such form each leaf spring comprises laminated elongate layers of spring steel over a substantial portion of its length while in another form, the leaf springs are single leaves having a decreasing spring constant along its length, for example by having a decreasing thickness, a decreasing width or both thickness and width or by being formed of a composite material selected to give a varying spring constant. In a preferred form where the biasing means are flexible and resilient poles, it is also preferred that the poles extend upwards from a part of the frame below the mat. Advantageously, such arrangement allows for relatively inexpensive longer poles to be used while still providing good performance characteristics. The arrangement also allows the frame to be wholly below the mat.

In another form, the frame includes a plurality of spaced apart elongate members or posts which extend upwards from below the mat and the biasing members are connected to such members at or near their upper ends for movement relative thereto. In one such form, the biasing members are leaf springs which extend upwards from the elongate frame members or posts and curve inwards when the upper and lower connecting members are fitted. In one particularly preferred form, the leaf springs are substantially straight until tension is applied by the upper and lower connecting members and such tension causes them to curve inwards and downwards towards the mat .

Preferably, the lower connecting members are connected at their upper ends to the upper connecting members by a hook or loop or similar fastening means and to the mat via another hook.

Preferably, each of said upper connecting members includes at least one line member such as a wire or cable which is connected at its opposite ends to the biasing means and the mat respectively. In one such preferred form, each line member is enshrouded by a cushioning material for added protection of users. In a preferred form, two upper connecting members depend from each of the biasing means, one on each side thereof. In one such form, the two upper connecting members are constituted by a single line member passing through a connector or mount towards the upper end of the biasing means with the two runs of the line member diverging from the biasing means so as to connect to the edge of the mat at spaced apart positions, one being a predetermined distance in a clockwise direction (for any shaped mat) from a vertical line through the biasing means and the other being spaced therefrom in an anti-clockwise direction.

In one such preferred form, the two upper connecting members are connected to the biasing means by a connector assembly which includes a mount adapted to be fitted to the biasing means and a complementary connector adapted to be connected to the upper connecting member and to be releasably connected to the mount with the single line member being supported by a carrier portion of the connector. In such form, it is preferred that the connector be arranged to lock to the mount and be secured thereto by the tension in the upper connecting members. In one such preferred form where the biasing means is a flexible and resilient pole, the mount is a sleeve arranged to be slidably mounted on the pole at or near its upper end and to be secured thereto by a screw or the like or a cap or part cap adapted to engage the upper end of the pole and to have connection means for connecting the complementary connector thereto. In such form, it is preferred that the complementary connector be a hook shaped such that its opposite end portions can be located in two spaced apart openings provided in the mount, by way of a movement in which one end portion is fitted in one opening and then the second end portion is located in the other opening by way of an orbiting movement.

It is also preferred that the trampoline include a safety net attached to the mat at or adjacent its periphery and extending upwards towards the upper end of the biasing means. In one form of the invention, the safety net connects to the biasing means at or near their upper ends while in another form of the invention it connects to the upper connecting members towards their upper ends. In one such preferred form, the upper end of the safety net is connected to a stabilising ring constructed of fibreglass or other suitable material which in turn is flexibly and resiliently connected to the biasing means or the upper connecting members, for example, by elastic ties or rubber bands selected to allow flexing when the upper connecting members bend. In still another form, the safety net is connected to independent rigid poles outside the biasing means by flexible and resilient bands or the like. In one form of the invention where the upper connecting members are connected to the biasing means by a connector assembly as previously described, it is preferred that the complementary connector include locating means for locating a strap or the like therein for securing the safety net thereto.

It is also preferred that the upper connecting members extend from the biasing means to the mat on the outside of the safety net thereby allowing the safety net to protect users from the upper connecting members. In one form of the invention, the upper connecting members pass through loops extending from the net at various places. However, in a preferred form where the upper connecting members are cables, they pass through full length sleeves on the outside of the safety net so that the net is held in place by the upper connecting members and the sleeves protect the cables and the trampoline users from the cables and the net is made such that the cables keep the net taut in its non-use disposition. In such form of the invention, trampoline users can rebound off the net using the tension in the cables to give momentum urging them back towards the centre of the mat.

Preferably, the lower connecting members include at least one line member. In a particularly preferred form non-stretch line members such as stainless steel cables have been found to give very good performance characteristics when used in conjunction with upper connecting members of the same or similar cables. However, in other forms, each lower connecting member includes a flexible and resilient band or strap.

In one preferred form, the trampoline includes one lower connecting member for each upper connecting member. In such form it is preferred that the upper and lower connecting members connect to the mat at substantially the same point. While one upper connecting member may be provided for each biasing means, it is believed that two upper connecting members give better performance characteristics and also provide for better access to the mat. In a much preferred form where the upper and lower connecting members are line members, each upper and lower connecting member together constitute effectively a continuous line member with an intermediate connection point for connecting them jointly to the mat with every aligned upper and lower connecting members constituting a set .

In a preferred form, the mat is connected to each set of upper and lower connecting members by connectors, each of which are releasably secured to the mat via two spaced apart strapping loops stitched thereto with both the upper and lower connecting members being connected to the mid-point of the connector. However, in another form a stabilising ring extends about the jumping mat and is connected thereto via similar strapping loops and in turn the stabilising ring is connected to the upper connecting members and the lower connecting members. In such form, it is preferred that the mat be connected to the ring by load bearing fittings mounted in pockets formed in the mat adjacent its periphery. However, in still yet another form, the mat can be connected directly to the upper connecting members by the load bearing fittings previously mentioned. In one preferred form, the frame comprises two vertically spaced apart horizontal tubular frame members (preferably steel tubes) extending around the mat with spaced apart posts or similar members (preferably steel tubes) connected thereto with the upper horizontal member being substantially within the ring of posts and engaging each post and the lower tube being substantially without the ring of posts and engaging each post.

In one such form of the invention where the biasing means are long flexible and resilient poles, it is preferred that the lower end portions of the poles are slidably mounted in the hollows of the posts thereby being held securely therein. In one such form, it is preferred that the posts lean outwards away from the mat so that the poles can be straight (when not tensioned) and have their upper ends sufficiently outside the mat to allow the upper and lower connecting members to be tensioned to a predetermined desirable tension.

It is also preferred that the frame comprise a plurality of interconnected segments suitably sized for transport of the frame and the other components of the trampoline in knock-down form. Advantageously, such segments are connected in a manner so as to prevent relative rotational or pivoting movement therebetween. In that respect, it is preferred that the frame segments include keying means for keying them together against relative rotational movement.

In a preferred form where the frame comprises two vertically spaced apart horizontal members, it is preferred that both the upper and lower members comprise a plurality of interconnected segments as previously described. However, it is also preferred that the segments of the lower member and the segments of the upper member be releasably connected for easy erection as will be described in more detail later. In another aspect, the invention resides broadly in a frame for a trampoline having a jumping mat, the frame including;

a plurality of first tubular segments adapted to be connected together end to end to form a first ring adapted to extend about the jumping mat;

a plurality of second tubular segments adapted to be connected together end to end to form a second ring adapted to extend about the jumping mat above the first ring;

a plurality of post members adapted to be arranged in spaced apart relationship around said first and second rings and to be connected thereto, at least some of said first tubular segments including a connector for said post members and at least some of said second tubular segments including a connector for said post members;

the connectors of said first and second tubular segments being aligned to allow the posts to extend upwards from said first and second rings at a predetermined angle and said posts and said connectors having complementary securing means for securing them together.

In such form of the invention it is preferred that the trampoline include biasing means as described earlier connected to said post members as well as upper and lower connecting members as described earlier. It is also preferred that in such form the lower connecting members be connected directly to the first or lower ring but it will be appreciated that different performance characteristics may be achieved by connecting the lower connecting members to the upper ring rather than the lower ring. However, while the lower connecting members must be operatively connectyed to the frame it is possible in some circumstances for them to be connected to the biasing means towards their lower ends. This may be advantageous where the biasing means are relatively stiff elongate members which extend upwards from a position below the mat and where there is little movement of the elongate members at that point.

In another aspect, the invention resides broadly in a mat assembly for a trampoline, the assembly including:

a jumping mat having a plurality of spaced apart connection points about its periphery;

a plurality of spaced apart upper connecting members connected at one end to said mat at the respective connection points and adapted to extend upwards therefrom in use to connect to selected predetermined biasing means;

a plurality of spaced apart lower connecting members connected to said mat at one end at the respective connection points and adapted to extend downwards therefrom in use to connect to a selected frame member;

a safety net having an upper end, and a lower end connected to said mat about its periphery, said safety net being adapted to extend upwards from said mat in use and said net including spaced apart sleeves extending upwards from or near said lower end towards said upper end, and said spaced apart upper connecting members being located substantially within said sleeves, said assembly being made and arranged to be packaged in roll up form or fold over form for efficient transport. Preferably, said mat assembly includes releasable connectors and mounts for connecting the upper connecting members to predetermined biasing means as previously described .

In another aspect, the invention resides broadly in a mat assembly including a jumping mat and a safety net, the jumping mat having a plurality of spaced apart connection points about its periphery and the safety net being connected to the jumping mat about its periphery but inside said plurality of connection points. In such form, it is preferred that the safety net be stitched to the mat wherein the mat and the safety net can be supplied as a unit.

In yet another aspect, the invention resides broadly in a trampoline assembly including:

a plurality of flexible and resilient poles adapted to be mounted in complementary holes in a foundation or a frame and to stand up therefrom in spaced apart relationship against relative sideways movement relative to said foundation;

a plurality of spaced apart upper connecting members adapted to be operatively connected to said flexible and resilient poles at or towards their upper ends respectively to depend therefrom;

a jumping mat adapted to be operatively connected to said upper connecting members at or towards their lower ends about its perimeter; and

a plurality of lower connecting members adapted to be operatively connected to said plurality of poles respectively at or towards one end and to said mat at or adjacent its perimeter at the other end;

the parts being so made and arranged that in use said upper and lower connecting members together with said flexible and resilient poles keep the mat taut and said poles pull on at least one of said upper connecting members upon a person' s weight being applied to said mat (for example by standing or jumping on said mat) and said poles pull on said upper connecting members against said lower connecting members upon the person's weight being lifted from said mat.

In yet another aspect, the invention resides broadly in a trampoline including:

a plurality of flexible and resilient poles mounted in complementary holes in a foundation or a frame and standing up therefrom in spaced apart relationship against relative sideways movement relative thereto;

a plurality of spaced apart upper connecting members be operatively connected to said flexible and resilient poles at or towards their upper ends respectively and depending therefrom;

a jumping mat operatively connected to said upper connecting members at or towards their lower ends about its perimeter; and

a plurality of lower connecting members operatively connected at one end to said poles towards their lower ends respectively and to said mat at or adjacent its perimeter at the other end;

the parts being so made and arranged that in use said upper and lower connecting members together with said flexible and resilient poles keep the mat taut and said poles pull on at least one of said upper connecting members upon a person' s weight being applied to said mat (for example by standing or jumping on said mat) and said poles pull on said upper connecting members against said lower connecting members upon the person's weight being lifted from said mat.

In still yet another aspect, the invention resides broadly in a kit of parts for a trampoline including:

a plurality of posts or poles adapted to be mounted in complementary holes in a foundation or a frame and to stand up therefrom in spaced apart relationship against relative sideways movement relative to said foundation;

a plurality of biasing means adapted to be mounted to the upper ends of said posts or poles against undesired movement relative thereto;

a plurality of spaced apart upper connecting members adapted to be operatively connected to said flexible and resilient poles at or towards their upper ends respectively so as to depend therefrom when said poles are standing up;

a jumping mat adapted to be operatively connected to said upper connecting members at or towards their lower ends about its perimeter; and

a plurality of lower connecting members adapted to be operatively connected to said plurality of posts or poles respectively at or towards one end and to said mat at or adjacent its perimeter at the other end;

the parts being so made and arranged that in use said upper and lower connecting members together with said biasing means will keep the mat taut and said biasing means will pull on at least one of said upper connecting members upon a person's weight being applied to said mat {for example by standing or jumping on said mat) and said biasing means will pull on said upper connecting members against said lower connecting members upon the person' s weight being lifted from said mat.

In another aspect, the invention resides broadly in a trampoline including:

a frame including a plurality of upstanding frame members defining a space therebetween;

a jumping mat suspended in said space by a plurality of upper connecting members depending or hanging from said plurality of upstanding frame members and held down by a plurality of lower connecting members, each of said upstanding frame members including biasing means for biasing said upper connecting members upwards and outwards in said space. Preferably, the frame, the jumping mat, the upper and lower connecting members and the biasing means are constructed and arranged as previously described.

Terms such as "horizontal", "vertical", "upwards", "downwards", "above", "below" and similar terms as used herein are for the purpose of describing the invention in its normal in-use orientation and are not intended to limit the invention to any particular orientation.

In order that the invention may be more readily understood and put into practice, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

Fig. 1 is a pictorial representation of a trampoline described and illustrated in the earlier PCT application resting on a floor with a safety enclosure fitted;

Fig. 2 is pictorial representation of the trampoline of

Fig 1 with the safety net and poles removed for clarity;

Fig. 3 is a pictorial representation of the mat hook of the trampoline of Fig. 1;

Fig. 4 is a side elevation of the mat hook shown in Fig. 3;

Fig. 5 is a front elevation of the leaf spring components of the trampoline shown in Fig. 1 with the mat hook attached;

Fig. 6 is a side elevation of the leaf spring component shown in Fig. 5;

Fig. 7 is a blown up view of the upper end of the leaf spring shown in Fig. 5;

Fig. 8 is a pictorial representation of a trampoline according to the present invention resting on a floor without a safety enclosure fitted;

Fig. 9 is a pictorial representation of another trampoline according to the invention resting on a floor without a safety enclosure fitted;

Fig. 10 is a pictorial representation of part of the trampoline of Fig. 9;

Fig. 11 is a close up view of a portion of the periphery of the trampoline of Fig. 9;

Fig. 12 is a close up view of the upper end portion of one of the poles of the trampoline of Fig. 9; Fig. 13 is a close up view of part of the frame of the trampoline of Fig. 9;

Fig.14 is a pictorial representation of part of a connector assembly for use with a modified form of the trampoline of Fig. 9;

Fig.15 is a pictorial representation of the hook component of the connector assembly shown in Fig.14;

Fig.16 is a pictorial representation of part of the mount component of the connector assembly shown in Fig.14;

Fig.17 is a pictorial representation of the partly assembled connector assembly of Fig. 14 showing the action of fitting the hook to the mount;

Fig.18 is a pictorial representation of the hook component shown in Fig. 15 with a loop of the edge strapping fitted therein prior to the hook being fitted to the mount;

Fig.19 is a pictorial representation of a connector for connecting the steel cables forming the upper connecting members to the steel cables forming the lower connecting members;

Fig.20 is a pictorial representation of a segment of a safety net which extends around the mat of the trampoline shown in Fig. 9;

Fig.21 is a pictorial representation of a partially assembled alternative demountable frame for the trampoline of Fig . 9 ;

Fig.22 is an expanded view of part of the partially assembled frame shown in Fig, 21; and

Fig.23 is an expanded view of part of a frame segment of the partially assembled alternative demountable frame shown in Fig. 21.

Fig. 24 is a pictorial representation of another trampoline according to the invention resting on a floor with a safety enclosure fitted; Fig. 25 is another pictorial representation of the trampoline of Fig. 25;

Fig. 26 is an expanded pictorial representation of an upper part of the trampoline of Fig. 24;

Fig. 27 is an expanded pictorial representation of a lower part of the trampoline of Fig. 24;

Fig. 28 is an expanded pictorial representation of another part of the trampoline of Fig. 24;

Fig. 29 is an expanded pictorial representation of another part of the trampoline of Fig. 24;

Fig. 30 is a pictorial representation of another trampoline according to the invention resting on a floor with a safety enclosure fitted;

Fig. 31 is another pictorial representation of the trampoline of Fig. 30;

Fig. 32 is an expanded pictorial representation of a lower part of the trampoline of Fig. 30;

Fig. 33 is an expanded pictorial representation of an edge portion of the mat of the trampoline of Fig. 30 and a mat connector arrangement which could be used on a number of trampolines including those illustrated in Figs. 35 to 39;

Fig. 34 is another expanded pictorial representation of the edge portion of the mat of the trampoline of Fig. 30 and a mat connector arrangement which could be used on a number of trampolines including those illustrated in Figs. 35 to 39;

Fig. 35 is a pictorial representation of another trampoline according to the invention resting on a floor with a safety enclosure fitted;

Fig. 36 is a schematic sectional elevation of the trampoline of Fig. 35 resting on a floor;

Fig. 37 is an expanded pictorial representation of an upper part of the trampoline of Fig. 35; Fig. 38 is a schematic sectional elevation of another trampoline according to the invention resting on a floor; and

Fig. 39 is a pictorial representation of another trampoline according to the invention resting on a floor with a safety enclosure fitted.

The trampoline 10 illustrated in Fig. 1 includes a circular bottom frame 11 constructed of 65mm round steel tube which is supported on eight short angularly spaced legs 12 each of which is connected to the frame by opposed leg mounts 13. Suitably, a jumping mat 14 is operatively connected to the frame 11 via forty equally angularly spaced leaf springs 21 which extend upwardly and curve inwardly from the frame.

The leaf springs 21 fit into spaced apart slots 22 respectively which are formed in the bottom frame 11 and run substantially parallel to the curved longitudinal axis of the frame. The springs are secured therein by virtue of a foot which engages the inner face of the tube. The mat 14 is connected at its periphery to the leaf springs 21 adjacent their upper ends by connector assemblies 31 as can be seen more clearly in Figs 3 and 4. Each connector assembly comprises a load bearing connector block 32 and a hook 33. The connector blocks 32 are adapted to engage in circumferential pockets formed at the periphery of the mat in a manner suitable for carrying the tensile load of the stretched mat. The hook 33 is a twin ended loop hook with the loop 36 hooking to the connector block and the free ends 37 both hooking to the leaf spring in side by side relation through two spaced apart holes 38 in the leaf spring as can be seen more clearly in Fig. 7. The leaf springs are initially straight but during assembly of the mat to the frame, they are pushed inwards at their upper ends to connect to the mat which results in the general curved shape. A safety net 51 extends fully about the mat 14 as can be seen in Fig. 1 and is secured to the mat at its lower edge 52 by circumferentially spaced "D" hooks which connect to the hooks 33 at the periphery of the mat. The net is connected at its upper edge 56 to a circular ring 55 of approximately the same diameter as the bottom frame and is supported by spaced apart posts 54 via clamps 58.

The trampoline 110 according to the present invention which is illustrated in Fig. 8 includes a circular bottom frame 111 constructed of two vertically spaced apart 65mm round steel tubes 111a and 111b connected to each other by twenty angularly spaced posts 112 which act as legs for supporting tubes 111a and 111b and for providing respective mounts for the upstanding flexible and resilient "poles" 121 which are long multi-leave leaf springs similar to those shown in Figs 5 to 7 and which function as the biasing means described earlier in this specification and also as safety net support poles doing a job similar to that done by poles 54 shown in Fig. 1. In the trampoline illustrated the poles extend upwards and curve inwards but in other forms of the invention they curve upwards and outwards.

Suitably, a jumping mat 114 is suspended from the poles 121 via twenty stainless steel cables 160 which depend from (or hang) holes 161 provided adjacent the upper ends 125 of the poles acting as upper connecting members as previously described and which connect to mat connectors 131 which are similar to those shown in Figs. 3 and 4. The jumping mat is also connected to the frame 111 by twenty equally angularly spaced stainless steel cables 170 (some omitted for clarity) which extend upwards and inwards from the frame to the periphery of the mat where they connect to the respective mat connectors 131 to act as lower connecting members as previously described. If desired, flexible and resilient ties with relatively high spring constants could be used instead of cables 170 but they provide different performance characteristics .

The leaf spring poles 121 fit into the hollow posts 112 in the trampoline shown but in other trampolines according to the invention they slide into spaced apart aligned slots formed in the upper and lower tubes 111a and 111b.

A safety net (not shown) extends fully about the mat 114 in much the same manner as mat 51 shown in Fig. 1 and is secured to the mat at its lower edge in the same manner. Suitably, the cables 160 are located outside the safety net and are generally spaced therefrom in the non-operating position .

The trampoline 210 according to the present invention which is illustrated in Fig. 9 is the same as the one illustrated in Fig. 8 in many respects and accordingly the same numbers will be used to reference corresponding components as far as possible except prefaced by a "2" instead of a "1".

In trampoline 210, it can be seen that the stainless steel cables 260 which serve the function of the upper connecting members (which sometimes may be referred to as second connecting members or second support members) hang from an eye bolt 265 fixed to pole 221 near its upper end as can be more clearly seen in Fig.12 on both sides of each pole with the opposite ends being connected to the mat on opposite sides of the pole at spaced apart points 232 and 233.

As with trampoline 110, trampoline 210 includes a circular bottom frame 211 constructed of two vertically spaced apart 65mm round steel tubular rings 211a and 211b which are connected to each other by about fifteen angularly spaced posts 212 which act as legs for supporting tubes 211a and 211b and for providing respective mounts for the fifteen upstanding flexible and resilient "poles" 221 which are fibreglass rods of circular cross section.

The fibreglass poles allow limited sideways movement (in the direction of the periphery of the mat) due to them being of circular cross section and their ability to bend in any direction. The poles function as biasing means as described earlier and also as safety net support poles similar to poles 54 shown in Fig. 1. In the trampoline illustrated the poles are straight before being fitted to the supporting tubes and extend upwards and are forced to curve inwards to connect the cables 260 and which remain curved inwards under the mat tension which pulls the upper ends of the respective poles inwards with a downward component of force.

The jumping mat 214 is suspended from the poles 254 via stainless steel cables which hang from the eye bolts previously mentioned and connect to mat connectors 231 which in this case are double ended steel rods adapted to engage in adjacent pockets or sleeves of the mat with a centre eye section adapted to receive the cable therethrough or a hook on the cable if preferred. The lower connecting members in this trampoline are also stainless steel cables which connect to the same mat connectors as cables 260 and which extend upwards and inwards from the frame to the periphery of the mat.

It will be seen that the posts 212a are bolted to both the bottom frame ring 211a and the top frame ring 211b and engage the face of the bottom frame ring on the inside and the top frame ring on the outside, the top ring thereby bearing the inwardly directed load of the mat tension while the bottom ring bears the outwardly directed reaction force at the lower ends of the posts.

The connector assembly 370 illustrated in Fig. 14 can be used with a trampoline similar to that shown in Fig. 9 and includes a short length of hollow steel tube which forms a mount 371 adapted to slide onto the upper end portion of poles 221 for connecting the upper steel cables 260. To that end, complementary hook 372 is releasably connected to the mount 371 via recess 374 and opening 373. In that respect, it can be seen from Figs. 14 to 17 that the hook can be connected to the mount by first resting the upper end portion 372a in the recess 374 and then pivoting the hook downwards to align the free end 372b with the opening 373 and then pushing the free end into the opening. Advantageously, the mount can be easily fitted to the upper end portion of the pole and secured thereto by a screw or alternatively, a partial cap can be welded to about half the upper end opening 375 so as to engage with the upper end of the pole to prevent it sliding down the pole. It will be appreciated that the cables 260 pass through the trough portion 376 of the hook 372 for supporting the jumping mat and as can be seen in Fig. 18, the upper end of the safety net 351 is connected to the hook by straps 377 which also rest in the trough portion 376.

The stainless steel upper cables 360 which support the mat from the poles 321 and the stainless steel lower cables 370 which hold the mat down to the frame are connected together by a cable connector 380 which has an eye therethrough adapted to receive a "D" hook 381 which is secured to the mat by spaced apart straps 382 and 383 as can be clearly seen in Fig 19.

Advantageously, the upper cables 360 pass through sleeves 386 provided in the safety net 351 so as to secure the safety net to the cables and to pad the cables to some extent for user comfort. Additionally the cables hold the net taut which assists in giving an amount of bounceback to any user or player hitting the safety net.

The demountable frame 311 illustrated in Fig 21 includes a bottom ring 311a and a top ring 311b spaced thereabove which are held together in spaced apart relation by a plurality of angularly spaced apart posts 301. The bottom ring and the top ring are each made up of interconnected arcuate segments 362 which engage end to end in known manner.

As can be seen more clearly in Fig 23, each arcuate segment of the bottom ring has two angularly spaced apart locating rings 302 welded thereto and each segment of the top ring has two similar angularly spaced locating rings welded thereto and aligned almost vertically with the corresponding locating rings on the bottom ring. Advantageously, the bottom ring and the top ring have the same diameter but the locating rings of the bottom ring are on the inside while those on the upper ring are on the outside which results in the posts leaning outwards.

The posts can be easily fitted to the locating rings by sliding them into the rings with the lugs 304a and 304b aligned with the slots 306 and when in the desired position rotating then post through ninety degrees and then sliding the post upwards to lock the lugs 304 and 307 into the recesses 305 and 308 respectively. Advantageously, it can be seen that in the assembled attitude, the weight of the rings and the mat as well as that of the players thereon hold the rings in engagement with the posts to secure the frame components together .

The trampoline 410 which is illustrated in Fig. 24 is the same as the ones illustrated in Figs. 8 and 9 in many respects and accordingly the same numbers will be used to reference corresponding components as far as possible except prefaced by a "4" instead of a "1".

The main difference between trampoline 410 and trampoline

210 is that the poles 421 which extend upwards from the posts 412 to act as biasing means each have a flexible and resilient lower portion 422 which engages in the hollow of their respective posts 412 and a substantially rigid upper portion 423 constructed of steel tube to which the upper connecting cables 460 are connected adjacent their upper ends 425. Thus, while the poles have the same general appearance as the poles 221, only the lower portion of each pole is flexible and resilient and applies the biasing force to the upper connecting cable and thence to the mat. It will be appreciated that the arrangement of the poles with only the lower portion being constructed of a flexible and resilient material provides for lower manufacturing costs. In trampoline 410, the poles are generally ovaloid in horizontal cross section with the longitudinal axis of the cross section being generally parallel to the adjacent side of the mat or to a tangent to the adjacent side of the mat.

In trampoline 410, it can be seen that the stainless steel cables 460 connect to the poles via a hole 466 through which the cable passes and is retained therein by a cable end stop which engages against the inner face of the hollow tube and the cable passes through a sleeve connected to the safety net 451 in the manner previously described in relation to trampoline 210. Another difference is that the poles are located in complementary sleeves 415 which are mounted on the outside of the lower and upper frame rings 411a and 411b respectively. Another difference is that the "D" connectors are different from those used on trampoline 110 and 210 and includes an eye adapted for connection of the upper and lower connecting cables.

The trampoline 510 which is illustrated in Figs. 30 and 31 is the same as the one illustrated in Figs. 24 to 29 in many respects and accordingly the same numbers will be used to reference corresponding components as far as possible except prefaced by a "5" instead of a "4". One difference between the trampoline 410 and the trampoline 510 are that trampoline 510 only has 10 biasing poles so there is a greater angle and greater arc length between poles and another difference is that the mat is connected to the biasing means and the frame by straps 560 constructed of polymeric webbing material instead of steel cables. Advantageously such arrangement provides an opportunity for reduced manufacturing costs. However, if improved performance characteristics are reguired the mat may be supported at its periphery in the manner illustrated in Figs. 32 to 34. As can be seen in Figs. 33 and 34, the mat 514 is connected to the upper and lower connecting straps by disconnected rings, an inner ring 581 and an outer ring 582, and each ring being made up of a plurality of horizontal fibreglass rods or segments 583 and 584 respectively. The segments forming the inner disconnected ring abut each other or have their ends close to each other while the segments of the outer ring are spaced apart. Advantageously, the mat is connected to each inner segment by a plurality of webbing straps 586 in a manner such that each fibreglass segment supports the mat along an arc substantially equal to the length of the arc between two upper connecting straps 560. The outer ring 582 is connected to the inner ring also by webbing straps 587 which are arranged along the inner ring segments so as to support the whole segment and connect it to the upper and lower connecting straps.

As can be seen more clearly in Fig. 34, the upper and lower connecting straps comprise one strap with an intermediate loop 588 which divides it into an upper strap portion and a lower strap portion while the loop is positioned to receive therethrough an outer fibreglass rod segment 584. The trampoline 610 which is illustrated in Figs. 35 to 37 is the same as the one illustrated in Figs. 24 to 29 in many respects and accordingly the same numbers will be used to reference corresponding components as far as possible except prefaced by a "6" instead of a "4".

The main difference between the trampoline of Fig. 24 and that of Fig. 35 is that in the trampoline of Fig. 35, the frame 611 includes a lower tubular ring 611a and an upper tubular ring 611b and a plurality of spaced apart legs 612 connecting the two rings and which extend upwards to a plane which is a substantial distance above the mat and approximately at the same level as the top of the safety net 651. Effectively, the legs or posts 112, 212, 312 or 412 are extended upwards as part of the frame and the biasing means are mounted to the upper ends of the posts respectively. Advantageously, such arrangement allows much shorter flexible and resilient members to be used as the biasing means previously described. If desired, the posts can be provided in one or more segments and as can be seen in Fig. 36 they are provided in two inter-engaging segments .612a and 612b.

As can be seen in Fig 35, the biasing means 621 are leaf springs which are fitted to the upper ends of the posts 612 and extend inwards towards the centre of the mat 614. In the case of rectangular mats, the springs would extend inwards towards the opposite side of the mat.

In the trampoline 610 illustrated, the leaf springs comprise an upper or outer leaf 691 and a lower or inner leaf 692 and the lower ends of the two leaves are fitted into the hollow of the relevant post 612 while the upper ends together form a spring loaded clamp adapted to clamp the upper mat connecting strap therebetween as well as the upper edge portion of the safety net. However, in other similar arrangements the upper connecting strap or cable as the case may be is connected via a "D" connector, a shackle, a hook or the like via a hole in one or both of the leaves in a manner similar to that described earlier.

The upper end of each post has a plate 693 fitted therein diametrally while two spaced apart slots 694a and 694b are provided in the plate. Advantageously, the lower ends of the two leaves are formed in the shape of a "C" channel and the lower end of one leaf is slidably fitted in one slot and the lower end of the other leaf is slidably fitted in the other slot thereby providing easy assembly and at the same time the edges of the "C" engage the inner face of the post spaced from the plate 693 thereby distributing the reaction forces over a larger area of the post.

The trampoline 710 which is illustrated in Fig. 38 is the same as the one illustrated in Figs. 35 to 37 in many respects and accordingly the same numbers will be used to reference corresponding components as far as possible except prefaced by a "7" instead of a "6".

The main difference between trampoline 710 and trampoline 610 is that the leaf springs 691 and 692 are replaced by a coil spring and a rigid arm with the coil spring being connected to the upper portion of the post 712 and the arm 795 extending inwards from the coil spring to connect to the upper connecting strap or cable 760.

The trampoline 810 illustrated in Fig.39 is the same as the previously described trampolines in many respects so only a few of the differences will be described.

Trampoline 810 includes a safety net 851 which has a lower portion 851a with small openings and an upper 851b which has very large openings in a square grid pattern which provide a more open feel for persons jumping on the mat. Further, the double mat arrangement provided by upper mat 814 and lower mat 816 (which are both centred on the same vertical axis) provides different performance characteristics. In that respect, both mats are connected to the upper and lower connecting cables 860 and 870 at spaced apart points 865 and 875 at adjacent points of their peripheries. Consequently it will be appreciated that the portion of each cable between the two mats acts as part of the upper connecting member for the bottom mat and as part of the lower connecting member for the top mat. It will also be appreciated that double mats may provide additional safety for persons jumping on the trampoline .

The foregoing description has been given by way of illustrative example of the invention and many modifications and variations which will be apparent to persons skilled in the art may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.