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Publication numberUS20020107095 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/176,863
Publication dateAug 8, 2002
Filing dateOct 8, 1999
Priority dateJul 14, 1995
Also published asUS6254502
Publication number09176863, 176863, US 2002/0107095 A1, US 2002/107095 A1, US 20020107095 A1, US 20020107095A1, US 2002107095 A1, US 2002107095A1, US-A1-20020107095, US-A1-2002107095, US2002/0107095A1, US2002/107095A1, US20020107095 A1, US20020107095A1, US2002107095 A1, US2002107095A1
InventorsRoland Becker
Original AssigneeRoland Becker
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Weighting system for sports balls and hitting implements
US 20020107095 A1
Abstract
Closure members are provided at the opposite ends of a hollow casing. Shock absorbers are confined within the casing by the closure members. A weight is disposed within the casing between the shock absorbers. The weight may be defined by a plurality of granules confined within an enclosure in the casing between the shock absorbers. Alternatively, the weight may be defined by a solid member. The casing may be in the shape of a baseball bat. Alternatively, a tube may be disposed within the casing and may be closed by the end caps. The shock absorbers and the weight may be confined within the tube by the end caps. The arrangement described above may also be provided in different types of balls. For example, end caps may be provided at the opposite ends of a hollow main body shaped to define the central portion of a football. Shock absorbers may be disposed with the hollow main body at positions interior to the end caps. A weight may be disposed within the hollow main body between the shock absorbers. The weight may be solid or formed from granules. Stoppers may be disposed in the hollow main body between the shock absorbers and the end caps. The stoppers may be glued at first ends to the shock absorbers and at second ends to the end caps.
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Claims(22)
1. In combination to form an athletic accessory,
a hollow casing,
closure members at the opposite ends of the casing,
shock absorbers within the hollow casing at the opposite ends of the hollow casing in contiguous relationship to the closure members, the shock absorbers being confined within the casing by the closure members, and
a weight disposed within the casing between the shock absorbers.
3. In a combination as set forth in claim 1 wherein
the hollow casing is in the shape of a baseball bat.
4. In a combination as set forth in claim 1 wherein
the weight is defined by a plurality of granules confined within an enclosure in the casing between the shock absorbers.
5. In a combination as set forth in claim 1,
a tube made from a flexible material for holding the closure members and the shock absorbers,
the shock absorbers being made from a resilient material, and
a hitting section made from a flexible material and enveloping the tube.
6. In a combination as set forth in claim 5,
the weight constituting a solid member.
7. In a combination as set forth in claim 1 wherein the athletic accessory is a baseball bat,
the hollow casing including a tube made from a flexible material and holding the shock absorbers and the closure members, and
a hitting section made from a flexible material and enveloping the tube and shaped to define a section where the bat normally meets a ball thrown toward the bat,
the weight being defined by a plurality of granules confined within the tube.
8. In combination in a baseball bat having inner and outer ends,
a hollow casing shaped to provide a first outer diameter at the inner end of the bat and to provide a second outer diameter at the outer end of the bat, the second outer diameter being greater than the first outer diameter,
first and second closure members for respectively closing the opposite ends of the bat,
a first shock absorber within the hollow casing at the inner end of the bat,
a second shock absorber within the hollow casing at the outer end of the bat, and
a weight within the hollow casing at the outer end of the bat, the weight being disposed within the casing between the first and second shock absorbers.
9. In a combination as set forth in claim 8,
a hollow tube made from a flexible material,
the first and second shock absorbers and the weight being disposed within the hollow tube, and
a hitting section enveloping the tube at the outer end of the tube,
the hollow tube and the hitting section defining the casing.
10. In a combination as set forth in claim 9,
the first and second shock absorbers being made from a resilient material, and
the weight being formed from granules and being confined within the tube against movement, and
the first and second shock absorbers being disposed at the opposite ends of the bat in contiguous relationship with the first and second closure members.
11. In a combination as set forth in claim 9,
the first and second closure members being force fitted within the tube, and
the first and second shock absorbers being force fitted within the tube.
12. In a combination as set forth in claim 10,
the first and second closure members means being force fitted within the tube, and
the first and second shock absorbers being force fitted within the tube.
13. In a combination as set forth in claim 8,
the casing constituting a unitary member made from a flexible material and the first and second shock absorbers and the weight being disposed within the unitary member and the casing being made from a flexible material.
14. In a combination as set forth in claim 13,
the first and second shock absorbers being made from a resilient material, and
the weight being formed from granules and being confined within the casing against movement.
15. In a combination as set forth in claim 14,
the first and second closure members being force fitted within the tube, and
the first and second shock absorbers being force fitted within the tube.
21. In combination to form an athletic accessory,
a pair of flexible closure members,
a hollow casing closed at opposite ends by the flexible closure members, and
a weight disposed within the casing at a particular position within the casing,
the closure member at one of the ends being initially separated from the casing, and
flexible shock absorbers at the opposite ends of the hollow casing in contiguous relationship to the closure members.
22. In a combination as set forth in claim 21,
the weight being formed by a plurality of granules confined within the casing to provide flexible properties, and the casing including a flexible tube disposed within the casing,
the weight and the closure members and the shock absorbers being disposed within the tube,
the shock absorbers being disposed in contiguous relationship to the closure members.
23. In a combination as set forth in claim 21,
the weight being provided by a solid material.
24. In a combination as set forth in claim 21,
the hollow casing including a tube made from a flexible material,
the casing enveloping the tube and shaped to define a hitting section of a baseball bat, the casing being made from a flexible material,
the shock absorbers being disposed in contiguous relationship to the closure members.
25. In a combination as set forth in claim 5 wherein,
the hollow casing is in the shape of a baseball bat,
the weight is defined by a plurality of granules confined within an enclosure in the casing between the shock absorbers,
the hollow casing includes a flexible tube, and
a flexible hitting section envelopes the tube and is shaped to define a section where the bat normally meets a ball thrown toward the bat.
26. In a combination as set forth in claim 5,
the shock absorbers being made from a resilient material and the tube being made from a resilient material,
the hollow casing being in the shape of a baseball bat,
the weight [is] being defined by a plurality of granules confined within an enclosure in the casing between the shock absorbers, [and]
the hollow casing including a tube made from a flexible material, and
a hitting section made from a flexible material and enveloping the tube and disposed within the casing and shaped to define a section where the bat normally meets a ball thrown toward the bat.
27. In a combination as set forth in claim 9,
the casing constituting a unitary member and the first and second shock absorbers and the weight being disposed within the unitary member constituting the casing,
the shock absorbers being made from a resilient material and the tube being made from a resilient material.
28. In a combination as set forth in claim 12,
the shock absorbers being made from a resilient material and the tube being made from a resilient material.
Description

[0001] The present invention relates to a ball hitting sports implement or sports ball and relates particularly, though not exclusively, to baseball or cricket bats, golf clubs, hockey sticks, tennis racquets and similar products.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] In view of the expensive nature of ball hitting sports implements or balls it is common practice to provide cheaper alternatives when training. Such implements are usually made of a plastics material, for example, foamed or flexible or rigid polyurethane, polyethylene, neoprene or similar materials. Traditionally, such implements or balls have lacked the necessary weight and/or weight distribution of regulation equipment and thus do not provide a realistic and specific training effect of regulation equipment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0003] It is an object of the present invention to provide a ball hitting sports implement or sports ball made from a plastics material which has the necessary weight and weight distribution to provide a more accurate simulation of the regulation implement or ball.

[0004] With this object in view the present invention may provide in a preferred aspect a ball hitting sports implement or sports ball having an outer body of rubber or plastics material and an internal cavity for reception of a weighting device for said implement or ball.

[0005] In one preferred embodiment said cavity includes at least one shock absorber abutting said weighting device. Preferably said at least one shock absorber comprises a shock absorber abutting opposite ends of said weighting device. In a further preferred embodiment a pair of shock absorbers are provided at opposite ends of said weighting device. In a practical embodiment said weighting device is in granular form.

[0006] In yet a further preferred embodiment said weighting device is formed of a solid or hollow shock absorbing material, e.g. a resilient high density solid rubber.

[0007] In one embodiment of the invention, closure members are provided at the opposite ends of a hollow casing. Shock absorbers are confined within the casing by the closure members. A weight is disposed within the casing between the shock absorbers. The weight may be defined by a plurality of granules confined within an enclosure in the casing between the shock absorbers. Alternatively, the weight may be defined by a solid member. The casing may be in the shape of a baseball bat. Alternatively, a tube may be disposed within the casing and may be closed by the end caps. The shock absorbers and the weight may be confined within the tube by the end caps.

[0008] The arrangement described above may also be provided in different types of balls. For example, end caps may be provided at the opposite ends of a hollow main body shaped to define the central portion of a football. Shock absorbers may be disposed with the hollow main body at positions interior to body between the shock absorbers. The weight may be solid or formed from granules. Stoppers may be disposed in the hollow main body between the shock absorbers and the end caps. The stoppers may be glued at first ends to the shock absorbers and at second ends to the end caps.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] This and other aspects of the present invention will be more fully described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0010]FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of a baseball bat made in accordance with the invention; and

[0011]FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of a football made in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0012] In FIG. 1 there is shown a baseball bat 10 having a hitting section 12 and a handle section 14. A hollow tube 16 extends the length of bat 10. Tube 16 is preferably formed of a flexible plastics material. Tube 16 is surrounded by hitting section 12 which may be formed of a suitable plastic material, for example, foamed, flexible or rigid polyurethane, polyethylene, neoprene or other suitable material. Tube 16 is a force fit in hitting section 12. A grip 18 is applied to tube 16 to form handle section 14. An end cap 20 slides over tube 16 and is force fitted into tube 16 by a stopper 22 integrally formed with end cap 20. At the other end an end plug 24 is forced fitted to tube 16 by stopper 26 integrally formed with end plug 24.

[0013] Inside tube 16 is a shock absorber 28, also force fitted, and which may be formed of any suitable material, e.g. rubber. A weighting device 30 abuts shock absorber 28 and at the other end abuts a further shock absorber 32. To prevent movement of weighting device 30 and shock absorber 32, a stopper 34, e.g. rubber, is force fitted into tube 16. Shock absorber 32 may or may not have the same density or compression as shock absorber 28.

[0014] Although two shock absorbers 28, 32 have been shown, additional shock absorbers (not shown) may be inserted if desired or required.

[0015] Weighting device 30 is preferably formed of granular material, e.g. metal, plastics or other material which is preferably contained in a thin bag or tube. Weighting device 30 can be varied in weight, size and position in tube 16 to allow simulation in balance, centre of percussion and/or centre of gravity of a regulation baseball bat.

[0016] The shock absorber 28 will absorb centrifugal forces exerted by weighting device 30 during a high speed swing by a batter. The shock absorber 28 and stopper 32 will also dampen vibrations caused along bat 10 on impact with a ball (not shown). This dampening will reduce material fatigue from repetitive use and the probability of breakage. In the event of breakage the granular nature of weighting device 30 will provide a harmless explosion of granules rather than the danger of a flying solid mass. The flexible nature of shock absorbers 28 and 32, weighting device 30 and stopper 34 substantially reduces shear stress lines in tube 18 as the whole bat 10 flexes during high speed swing by a batter and ball contact.

[0017] In variations of this embodiment tube 7 can be omitted. Bat 10 can be hollow and the various components secured inside the cavity formed by the hollow nature of the bat. Weighting device 30 can also be replaced by a high density resilient solid rubber tube which is a friction fit within bat 10 or tube 16. Such a rubber tube would not require shock absorbers as the rubber tube would provide shock absorption and dampening. This rubber tube is preferably hollow but could be solid, if required. Although the embodiments have been described with reference to their application to a baseball bat it is clear that the invention can be used in other sporting implements, e.g. cricket balls, golf clubs, tennis rackets, etc.

[0018]FIG. 2 shows a football 50 having a main body 52 and end caps 54, 56. These components can be formed of a plastics or rubber material, e.g. foamed, flexible or rigid polyurethane, polyethylene, neoprene or similar material. Main body 52 is hollow for reception of shock absorbers 58, 60. Abutting shock absorbers 58, 60 is a weighting device 62 similar in construction to the weighting device 30 described with reference to FIG. 1. Stoppers 64, 66 are glued to end caps 54, 56 or integrally formed therewith. End caps 54, 56 are glued to main body 52 to complete assembly of the football 50.

[0019] Football 50 can be constructed to simulate the weight and balance of a regulation football by varying the dampening will be similar in nature to baseball bat 10 in FIG. 1. Although this embodiment has been described with reference to a football the inventive concepts can be used in a range of sports balls, e.g. soccer, tennis, golf and other balls.

[0020] It is believed that the invention and many of its attendant advantages will be understood from the foregoing description and it will be apparent that various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the parts and that changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the ball hitting sports implement or sports ball described without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention or sacrificing all of its material advantages, forms hereinbefore described being merely preferred embodiments hereof.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6929573 *Mar 10, 2004Aug 16, 2005Jung-Shih ChangBat for baseball
US20110111892 *Nov 5, 2010May 12, 2011True Temper Sports, Inc.Bat with handle having internal core member and method of making same
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/564
International ClassificationA63B59/06, A63B43/00, A63B59/00, A63B43/04, A63B49/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B59/06, A63B2059/0003, A63B53/145, A63B43/04, A63B49/00, A63B43/00, A63B59/0096
European ClassificationA63B43/00