|Publication number||US20060217027 A1|
|Application number||US 11/090,804|
|Publication date||Sep 28, 2006|
|Filing date||Mar 25, 2005|
|Priority date||Mar 25, 2005|
|Publication number||090804, 11090804, US 2006/0217027 A1, US 2006/217027 A1, US 20060217027 A1, US 20060217027A1, US 2006217027 A1, US 2006217027A1, US-A1-20060217027, US-A1-2006217027, US2006/0217027A1, US2006/217027A1, US20060217027 A1, US20060217027A1, US2006217027 A1, US2006217027A1|
|Original Assignee||Martuccio Michael C|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (8), Classifications (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
A. Field of Invention
This invention pertains to methods and apparatuses associated with facilitating spectator participation in sporting events and devices that spectators and fans can display at such events to visually express a response to a referee's action.
B. Description of the Related Art
It is well known in the art for spectators of a sporting event to display memorabilia and apparel, such as pennants, sweatshirts and jackets, and signs, in support of particular teams and players. Ordinarily these items include indicia, such as logos, jersey numbers, or commentary, associated with one or more teams or players and are intended to convey support for the team's or player's endeavors on the field. The ability of spectators to be vocally and visually involved with the play on the field adds not only to the spectator's enjoyment of the event, but it encourages the home team toward success and frustrates opposing teams. Fans are routinely encouraged during the course of a sporting event to show support for their team both visibly, by means of dressing in team colors and apparel and waving pennants, and audibly.
While it is well known for spectators to bring items to a stadium having an immediately recognizable correlation to one or more teams or players on the field, it is not known for spectators to have items having a recognizable correlation to the referees on the field—items that give spectators a visual means of supporting or objecting to a referee or referee's call or non-call, for example, a penalty. Currently, when a referee makes a call on the field that the spectator wishes to express agreement or disagreement with, the spectator may cheer or boo loudly, or visually display objects on their person, which are typically objects that were intended to be used in support of teams and players. Thus, display of these items to dispute or support a referee's call or non-call does not fully effectuate the intent of the spectator in visibly directing his or her expression toward the referee, as well as, the other spectators. This display of team or player associated items does not adequately distinguish support for the team from support (or frustration) with a referee or a referee's call.
It would be desirable, therefore, to provide spectators with an object that can be visually displayed by those who wish to express a response toward a referee, an action taken by a referee or a non-action taken by a referee. It would be desirable that the object have associated indicia, such as color or shape that are associated with referees and devices used by referees in the course of judging a sporting event. Additionally, it would be preferable that the process of displaying the object reflect and emulate the actions of the referee in making a call on the field. In these ways, spectators may better direct their response, through a visual display, toward the referee or judge, as distinct from the team or player. The device of the present invention addresses these issues by providing a colored flag-like device that may be thrown by a spectator in response to a called penalty or failure to call a penalty or other disagreement with a referee. The flag member may be colored to emulate a referee's flag or other device used in announcing a penalty. In order to allow the object to be used repeatedly, it may be provided with means for retrieving the device after it has been thrown. Also taught herein is a method of expressing a response toward a referee's conduct or acts that involves throwing a selectively colored flag-like device
According to one aspect of the present invention, a flag like member is provided for throwing by a spectator in response to an action by a referee of a sporting event.
According to another aspect of the present invention, the flag like member is retrievable by means of a cord attached thereto.
According to anther aspect of the invention, the flag like member may include a fabric membrane.
According to another aspect of the present invention, the flag like member may include a weight received by the fabric membrane to assist in throwing.
According to yet anther aspect of the present invention, the weight may be a textile.
According to yet another aspect of the present invention, the flag like member may be substantially the same color as the penalty indicator used by the referee of a sporting event.
According to another aspect of the present invention, the flag like member may be substantially the same shape as the penalty indicator used by the referee of a sporting event.
According to another aspect of the present invention, the flag like member may be provided with logos or advertisements.
According to another aspect of the present invention, the device may include a tethering band for tethering the cord to an associated user.
According to another aspect of the present invention, the cord may be adapted to be removably attached to the flag like member.
According to yet another aspect of the present invention, the fabric membrane may be weather resistant material.
Still other benefits and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art to which it pertains upon a reading and understanding of the following detailed specification.
The invention may take physical form in certain parts and arrangement of parts, a preferred embodiment of which will be described in detail in this specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof and wherein:
Referring now to the drawings wherein the showings are for purposes of illustrating a preferred embodiment of the invention only and not for purposes of limiting the same, FIGS. 1-3 depict one embodiment of the throwing apparatus 1 according to the present invention. The throwing apparatus 1 may include a flag member 10 and a flexible cord member 20, which may be adapted at a first end 22 to securely engage the flag member 10. The flag member 10 may be tossed or thrown, while the associated user retains the second end 24 of the flexible cord member 20. In this way the flag member 10 may be easily retrieved so that it may be thrown again at a later time.
As shown in
The characteristic of weather resistance is particularly important when the fabric membrane 12 is used in open air stadiums, where spectators may be exposed to rain or snow. Absorption of water into the material of the fabric membrane 12 may add significant undesirable weight to the flag member 12, making the flag member 12 drop more rapidly after being thrown. Additionally, absorption of water or other liquid into the fabric of the flag membrane 12 may lead to more rapid deterioration of the flag membrane 12.
As shown in
In one embodiment, the fabric that is selected for the fabric membrane 12 may be substantially the same color as the indicator used by a referee to indicate a penalty or infraction at a sporting event. For example, in football, referees typically use yellow colored flags to indicate a penalty or rules infraction. In soccer, a referee may use yellow or red cards to indicate a penalty or rules infraction. As discussed below, the flag member 10 of the present invention preferably emulates in color the penalty indicator used by the referee of a sporting event and accordingly, it is anticipated that the color of the flag membrane 12 be substantially the same color as the referee's penalty indicator. In one embodiment, wherein the throwing apparatus 1 is to be used in conjunction with a football event, the flag membrane 12 may be yellow. In an alternate embodiment, wherein the throwing apparatus 1 is to be used in conjunction with a soccer event, the flag membrane 12 may be either yellow or red. The penalty indicators of other sporting events may dictate the color selected for the fabric membrane 12 of the throwing apparatus 1 associated with that sport. In order to better visually display the color of the flag member 10, at least 50% of the area of the fabric membrane 12 may be colored as discussed above. In yet another embodiment, the fabric membrane 12 may be substantially the same color as the uniform of an associated referee. Thus, for example, the fabric membrane 12 may be black and white striped to reflect the colors of a football referee's uniform. In still yet another embodiment, the fabric membrane 12 may be black and white checked similar to a flag used in car racing events.
As discussed above and shown in
The weight 15 may be a deformable mass. Alternatively, the weight 15 may define a substantially fixed shape. By “substantially fixed” it is meant that the weight 15 may resist deforming or may return to an original shape after being deformed. The weight 15 may be substantially spherical. In one embodiment, the weight 15 is a round foam ball, having a diameter of between approximately 1.0 inches and 2.0 inches.
The weight 15 may serve to improve the distance that the flag member 10 may be thrown. The use of a light weight, such as cotton batting, has the advantage of allowing the flag member 10 to drop more slowly after being thrown, so that the flag member 10 is visible in the air longer. Additionally, the weight 15 may be selected so that significant injury does not result in the event that the flag member 10 hits another person. In this respect, the material of the weight 15 may be selected based on the amount of weight that is desirable to incorporated into the flag member 10. The weight of the weight 15 may be between approximately 0.5 grams and 500 grams. However, more weight or less weight may be incorporated into the flag member 10 as selected with sound engineering judgment.
The weight 15 may be incorporated into the fabric membrane 12 a variety of ways. In one embodiment, shown in
The weight retaining pouch 45 may be adapted with means for accessing the weight 15 therein. In the embodiment described above, the pouch 45 may be uncinched to access the weight 15. In this way, the weight 15 may be selectively removable from the flag member 10. Where the throwing apparatus 1 is to be used in a highly populated stadium, it may be desirable to replace a heavier weight 15 with a lighter weight 15, or even, to remove the weight 15 completely so that that the flag member 10 may be thrown with less force. Additionally, the weight 15 may be removed so that the fabric membrane 10 may be washed.
As shown in
The cord member 20 may be constructed of a variety of materials. The cord member 20 may be flexible. The cord member 20 may be a natural fiber or a synthetic fiber, such as nylon. The cord member 20 may also be elastic. The flexibility of the cord member 20 allows for a smoother trajectory once the flag member 10 has been thrown. The cord member 20 should be sufficiently strong to adequately restrain the flag member 10 after it is thrown and to allow the associated user to retrieve the flag member 10 by pulling on the cord member 20. The length of the cord member 20 may be between approximately 18 inches and 72 inches, though longer and shorter lengths may be incorporated.
The first end 22 of the cord member 20 may be engages to the flag member 10 in a variety of ways. In one embodiment (shown in
With reference now to
In accordance with the present invention and depicted in
The flag member 10 thrown by the spectator may emulate, in its color, the flag or other penalty indicator used by the referees at the associated sporting event. In this way, referees will be able to associate the flag member with their actions. In another embodiment, the flag member 10 that is thrown by the spectator may be provided with a retrieving means for retrieving the flag member 10 after it is thrown. Referees typically call penalties numerous times throughout a game. Accordingly, there are numerous opportunities for a spectator to toss his flag during a game, and it is beneficial to be able to retrieve the flag member 10 without having to travel to the spot where the flag member 10 has been thrown.
It is noted that other aspects of the apparatus described herein, may be incorporated in accordance with the method taught herein, including the colors and shapes of the selected flag member 10 and components thereto as well as means for retrieving the flag member 10.
Having thus described the invention, it is now claimed:
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US8079910 *||Dec 12, 2008||Dec 20, 2011||Russell Acree||System and method of penalty data compilation, analysis and report generation|
|US8118634 *||Apr 29, 2008||Feb 21, 2012||William Mark Corporation||Method and apparatus for near-invisible tethers|
|US8398449 *||Nov 23, 2011||Mar 19, 2013||William Mark Corporation||Method and apparatus for body-worn entertainment devices|
|US8715086 *||Dec 16, 2011||May 6, 2014||Rusty Acree Llc||System and method of penalty data compilation, analysis and report generation|
|US20120066883 *||Nov 23, 2011||Mar 22, 2012||William Mark Corporation||Method and Apparatus for Body-Worn Entertainment Devices|
|US20120089440 *||Dec 16, 2011||Apr 12, 2012||Russell Acree||System and Method of Penalty Data Compilation, Analysis and Report Generation|
|US20130178312 *||Jan 4, 2013||Jul 11, 2013||Steven L. Marks||System and methods for indicating a referee penalty flag|
|US20140290557 *||Mar 27, 2013||Oct 2, 2014||Paul Hickey||Sports Spectator Officiating Device|
|Cooperative Classification||G09F17/00, A63H33/18, G09F21/02, A41D13/0015|
|European Classification||A63H33/18, G09F21/02, G09F17/00, A41D13/00R|