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Publication numberUS20080313785 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/767,376
Publication dateDec 25, 2008
Filing dateJun 22, 2007
Priority dateJun 22, 2007
Also published asCA2635324A1
Publication number11767376, 767376, US 2008/0313785 A1, US 2008/313785 A1, US 20080313785 A1, US 20080313785A1, US 2008313785 A1, US 2008313785A1, US-A1-20080313785, US-A1-2008313785, US2008/0313785A1, US2008/313785A1, US20080313785 A1, US20080313785A1, US2008313785 A1, US2008313785A1
InventorsDavid H. Rudd, Ricky G. Paquette
Original AssigneeMission Itech Hockey, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Protective glove with angular articulated locking thumb
US 20080313785 A1
Abstract
A protective glove system is disclosed wherein each glove has an articulated thumb skeleton disposed in the thumb member. The thumb skeleton comprises a plurality of sections pivotably joined together to enable the thumb to articulate between open and closed positions. At least one pivot axis is not perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the second section of the skeleton. A locking mechanism is provided for preventing the thumb skeleton sections from bending backwards, thereby preventing hyperextension of the wearer's thumb.
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Claims(18)
1. A protective sports glove, comprising:
a plurality of finger gussets adapted to accommodate a wearer's fingers;
a thumb member adapted to accommodate a wearer's thumb, the thumb member comprising an articulating skeleton having a first section and a second section that are pivotably connected about a pivot axis, the second section defining a longitudinal axis;
wherein the pivot axis is not perpendicular to the longitudinal axis.
2. The protective sports glove of claim 1, wherein the first and second sections of the articulating skeleton are substantially rigid.
3. The protective sports glove of claim 2, wherein an acute angle exists between the pivot axis and the longitudinal axis.
4. The protective sports glove of claim 3, wherein the acute angle is between about 70 degrees and about 80 degrees.
5. The protective sports glove of claim 2, wherein the first section and the second section are adapted to be rotatable relative to each other to allow the skeleton to rotate between a closed position and an open position.
6. The protective sports glove of claim 5, wherein the skeleton further comprises a stopping mechanism to prevent rotation in an open direction beyond a predetermined position.
7. The protective sports glove of claim 6, wherein the stopping mechanism comprises overlapping a distal portion of the first section with a proximal portion of the second section.
8. The protective sports glove of claim 2, wherein the articulating skeleton further comprises:
a third section pivotably connected to the second section about a second pivot axis, the second and third sections being adapted to be rotatable relative to each other between a closed position and an open position;
a stopping mechanism to prevent rotation in the open direction of the third section relative to the second section beyond a predetermined position.
9. The protective sports glove of claim 8, wherein the second pivot axis intersects the longitudinal axis of the second section at a substantially perpendicular angle.
10. A protective sports glove, comprising:
a plurality of finger gussets adapted to accommodate a wearer's fingers;
a thumb member adapted to accommodate a wearer's thumb, the thumb member comprising an articulating skeleton having a first section pivotably connected to a second section along a pivot axis, the second section having a distal end, a longitudinal axis, and opposing first and second edges,
wherein a distance along the longitudinal axis between the distal end and a point at which the pivot axis cross the first side edge is greater than the distance along the longitudinal axis between the distal end and a point at which the pivot axis crosses the second edge.
11. The protective sports glove of claim 10 wherein the difference between (a) the distance along the longitudinal axis between the distal end and a point at which the pivot axis cross the first side edge, and (b) the distance along the longitudinal axis between the distal end and a point at which the pivot axis crosses the second edge, is between about 15 mm and about 20 mm.
12. The protective sports glove of claim 11 wherein the difference between (a) the distance along the longitudinal axis between the distal end and a point at which the pivot axis cross the first side edge, and (b) the distance along the longitudinal axis between the distal end and a point at which the pivot axis crosses the second edge, is between about 18 mm.
13. The protective sports glove of claim 10, wherein the first and second sections are substantially rigid.
14. The protective sports glove of claim 13, wherein the first and second sections of the articulating skeleton are adapted to pivot relative to each other to allow the skeleton to rotate between a closed position and an open position, the articulating skeleton further comprising a stopping mechanism to prevent rotation in an open direction beyond a predetermined position.
15. The protective sports glove of claim 14, wherein the stopping mechanism comprises overlapping a distal portion of the first section with a proximal portion of the second section.
16. The protective sports glove of claim 13, wherein the articulating skeleton further comprises a third section rotatably connected to the second section along a second pivot axis, the second pivot axis being substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the second section, wherein the articulating skeleton is adapted to prevent the third section from rotating in an open direction relative to the second section beyond a predetermined position.
17. The protective sports glove of claim 16, wherein a proximal portion of the third section overlaps a distal portion of the second section, thereby preventing the third section from rotating in an open direction relative to the second section beyond a predetermined position.
18. The protective sports glove of claim 17, wherein the second section comprises a bend.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to the field of protective outer gear, and more particularly to protective sports gloves.

2. Description of the Related Art

Hockey is a fast-moving, competitive game involving extensive contact between players and implements. Thus, hockey players wear padding and protective gloves while playing. Because of the padding required to absorb repeated impact with sticks, players and walls, hockey gloves tend to be bulky and cumbersome and can restrict desired finger and hand movement.

For example, a hockey player's thumb tends to receive physical contact from opposing players, sticks, boards, etc. Accordingly, the thumb of a hockey glove is heavily padded. Also, during play, impact may tend to hyperextend the player's thumb. Accordingly, hockey gloves usually have a stiffened member provided in the thumb padding in order to prevent such hyperextension. However, the stiffened member usually substantially restricts normal articulated movement of the player's thumb. Thus, the thumb tends to have awkward and uncomfortable movement during play because of the glove. In particular, such gloves prevent the player from being able to tightly grasp objects in the player's hands, such as a hockey stick. The inability to articulate the player's thumbs to tightly grasp the hockey stick may significantly affect a player's performance.

To facilitate thumb movement, some gloves have a loop formed on the palm side to create a thumb pocket for alternative placement of the wearer's thumb in the glove. This thumb pocket allows the thumb to move with more freedom, being less connected to the padding and the stiffened member. However, such an arrangement provides less complete padding protection and exposes the thumb to dangerous impact from sticks, etc. Also, since the thumb pocket is still joined to the thumb padding, the stiffened member still restricts movement of the thumb even when the wearer's thumb is in the pocket.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, there is a need in the art for protective sports gloves, such as hockey gloves, that facilitate articulated movement of the thumb. Therefore, some embodiments described herein provide a hockey glove having an articulated thumb which is less restrictive to natural movement of the wearer's thumb, but still protects the wearer's thumb from impact and hyperextension.

Some embodiments provide a protective sports glove, comprising a plurality of finger gussets adapted to accommodate a wearer's fingers and a thumb member adapted to accommodate a wearer's thumb, the thumb member comprising an articulating skeleton having a first section and a second section that are pivotably connected about a pivot axis, the second section defining a longitudinal axis, wherein the pivot axis is not perpendicular to the longitudinal axis. In some embodiments, an acute angle exists between the pivot axis and the longitudinal axis. In some embodiments, the skeleton further comprises a stopping mechanism to prevent the skeleton from rotating in an open direction beyond a predetermined position.

In some embodiments, the articulating skeleton further comprises a third section pivotably connected to the second section about a second pivot axis, the second and third sections being adapted to be rotatable relative to each other between a closed position and an open position, and a stopping mechanism to prevent rotation in the open direction of the third section relative to the second section beyond a predetermined position.

Some embodiments provide a protective sports glove, comprising a plurality of finger gussets adapted to accommodate a wearer's fingers, a thumb member adapted to accommodate a wearer's thumb, the thumb member comprising an articulating skeleton having a first section connected to a second section along a pivot axis, the second section having a distal end, a longitudinal axis, and opposing first and second edges, wherein a distance along the longitudinal axis between the distal end and a point at which the pivot axis cross the first side edge is greater than the distance along the longitudinal axis between the distal end and a point at which the pivot axis crosses the second edge. In some embodiments, the first and second sections of the articulating skeleton are adapted to be rotatable relative to each other to allow the skeleton to rotate between a closed position and an open position, the articulating skeleton further comprising a stopping mechanism to prevent rotation in an open direction beyond a predetermined position. In some embodiments, the articulating skeleton further comprises a third section rotatably connected to the second section along a second pivot axis, the second pivot axis being substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the second section, wherein the articulating skeleton is adapted to prevent the third section from rotating in an open direction relative to the second section beyond a predetermined position.

Some embodiments provide a pair of protective sports gloves comprising a first glove adapted to be worn over an athlete's left hand and a second glove adapted to be worn over an athlete's right hand, each glove comprising a plurality of finger gussets adapted to accommodate a wearer's fingers and a thumb member adapted to accommodate a wearer's thumb, the thumb member comprising an articulating skeleton having a first section and a second section, the first section and second sections being pivotably connected about a pivot axis, a longitudinal axis defined by the second section, and an acute angle defined by the intersection of the pivot axis and the longitudinal axis, wherein the acute angle defined by the articulating skeleton of the left hand glove is substantially equal to an acute angle defined by the articulating skeleton of the right hand glove. In some embodiments, the first section and the second section of each articulating skeleton is adapted to prevent rotation in an open direction of the second section relative to the first section beyond a predetermined position. In some embodiments, each articulating skeleton further comprises a third section pivotably connected to the second section along a pivot axis, wherein each pivot axis is substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the second section of each articulating skeleton.

For purposes of summarizing the invention and the advantages achieved over the prior art, certain objects and advantages of the invention have been described herein above. Of course, it is to be understood that not necessarily all such objects or advantages may be achieved in accordance with any particular embodiment. Thus, for example, those skilled in the art will recognize that one embodiment may achieve or optimize one advantage or group of advantages as taught herein without necessarily achieving other objects or advantages as may be taught or suggested herein. All of these embodiments are intended to be within the scope of the invention herein disclosed. These and other embodiments of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments having reference to the attached figures, the claims not being limited to any particular preferred embodiment(s) disclosed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a hockey glove disclosed herein.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a hockey glove disclosed herein.

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of a finger portion of a hockey glove disclosed herein.

FIG. 4 is a schematic perspective view of an embodiment of an articulated thumb skeleton disposed about a wearer's thumb.

FIG. 5 is a schematic top view of an articulating thumb skeleton as disclosed herein.

FIG. 6 is a schematic side view of an articulating thumb skeleton as disclosed herein.

FIG. 7 is a schematic top view of an articulating thumb skeleton as disclosed herein.

FIGS. 8A and 8B are exploded top and side views, respectively, of one embodiment of an articulating thumb skeleton as disclosed herein.

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of a joint between the first member and the second member of an articulating thumb skeleton as disclosed herein.

FIG. 10 is an exploded top view of one embodiment of an articulating thumb skeleton as disclosed herein.

FIG. 11 is an exploded side view of one embodiment of an articulating thumb skeleton as disclosed herein.

FIG. 12 is a schematic side view of an articulating thumb skeleton as disclosed herein.

FIGS. 13A and 13B are exploded top views of a pair of articulating thumb skeletons as disclosed herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate one embodiment of the sports glove disclosed herein. A hockey glove 10 comprises a body 12 and a cuff 14. The body 12 has a palm portion 16, fingers 20, a thumb 30, and a back 40. Finger gussets 22 are formed in the fingers 20 for receiving the wearer's fingers therein.

The palm portion 16 of the body 12 extends to cover the fronts of the thumb and fingers of the wearer's hand. The palm 16 is preferably formed of split leather or a synthetic material selected for durability and comfort. Preferably, reinforcing gripping sections 18 of material, such as textured synthetic leather, are provided on the palm to improve gripping ability and provide reinforcement.

A reinforcing strip 17 of material is preferably provided in the locations of the palm 16 which may wear more rapidly. For example, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, reinforcing material extends generally diagonally across the palm from about the index finger to the heel of the palm 16 on the pinky finger side of the glove. The orientation and positioning of the reinforcing member 17 may be customized for the typical positioning of the wearer's hand on the hockey stick. During play, the hand typically grasps the stick at an angle. In one embodiment, the reinforcing member 17 is oriented to run generally parallel to the stick during this angular grasping. This orientation aids grip and reduces fatigue by reducing the glove's resistance to grasping the stick at such an angle. In other embodiments, the reinforcing member can be shaped or directed differently.

The thumb member 30 of the glove 10 may have a loop 32 formed at the palm-facing side. The loop 32 creates a pocket for alternative placement of the wearer's thumb. However, one preferred embodiment employs no such loop.

The padded cuff 14 of the glove 10 preferably has back, side, and palm portions 14 a, 14 b, 14 c. The back and side portions 14 a, 14 b may be wider than the palm portion 14 c. Thus, bending of the wearer's wrist forwardly, at the palm portion 14 c of the cuff, is less restricted than bending of the wearer's wrist backwardly.

A padded cuff roll 15 may be disposed about the cuff 14. The cuff roll 15 may be wider along the back 40 of the glove 10 than on the palm side. Preferably, the cuff roll 15 along the back 40 of the glove 10 has a rigid insert disposed therein, such as a polyethylene plate or another suitable material.

The above-described padding arrangement focuses padding on areas of the hand most likely to be exposed to impacts during hockey play. However, forming the cuff smaller on the palm side facilitates the forward wrist pivoting action required by the wearer's hand during play. It is to be understood that padding may be added to this glove 10 in other areas made vulnerable by its position when gripping a hockey stick. For example, extra padding may be desirably added to the side portion of the pinky finger of the glove 10. Further, it is to be understood that many padding configurations may be employed, as desired.

The finger gussets 22 are preferably formed of leather or another natural or synthetic material selected for softness and durability and may also include holes for ventilation. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,787,506, titled HOCKEY GLOVE WITH VENTILATION HOLES, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. FIG. 3 presents a cross sectional view of one of the fingers 20 of the glove 10 of FIG. 1. As shown, tabs 24 of flexible material are preferably provided over the tips of the finger gussets 22 and may be adapted for abrasion resistance, improved gripping ability, and extended wear of the glove 10. Alternatively, the material of the finger gussets 22 may extend about the finger tips.

With continuing reference to FIG. 3, the fingers 20 include foam segments 42 formed of foam or other suitable material, which may be sandwiched between an inner liner 44 and an outer cover 46. These segments 42 preferably comprise an expanded foam material. The foam segments 42 are preferably of sufficient thickness to provide adequate protection of the hand. Preferably, the outer cover 46 is leather, or a suitable synthetic material such as woven nylon cordura.

The foam segments 42 are formed and grouped to substantially conform to the shape of the back of the hand and fingers of a wearer. The segments 42 on the fingers 20 are preferably formed to curve slightly to imitate a relaxed position of the wearer's hand. The segments 42, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3, may pivot with respect to each other, such that the fingers 20 of the glove 10 more closely approximate the shape of the wearer's fingers when the wearer's fingers are bent. Thus, the foam segments 42 are pivotably connected by a joint 43.

As illustrated in FIG. 4, the thumb member of the glove preferably comprises a substantially rigid articulated skeleton 50. As described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,813,781, which is incorporated herein in its entirety, the articulated skeleton 50 is arranged within the glove and adapted to fit over the wearer's thumb to protect the thumb from impacts and/or hyperextension. In order to follow the natural anatomy of the user's hand, the thumb skeleton 50 may be oriented at an angle θ relative to the wearer's palm. In some embodiments, the angle θ is about 30-40°. In a preferred embodiment, angle θ is about 35°.

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate an embodiment of an articulated thumb skeleton, wherein the articulated thumb skeleton 50 is in its “open” state. The illustrated skeleton 50 is intended for a left-handed glove. The skeleton comprises a first section 60 having a proximal end 62 and a distal end 64, and a second section 70 having a proximal end 72 and a distal end 74. The first section 60 is pivotably connected to the second section 70 at a joint 80. Therefore, the first section 60 can pivot in relation to the second section 70 about a pivot axis 82, as illustrated in FIG. 7. The second section 70 further comprises a first side edge 76 and a second side edge 78. As illustrated in FIG. 6, in some embodiments a joint 80 may exist at each side 76, 78. In such embodiments, the pivot axis 82 will be the axis that extends between the two joints 80, and about which the first and second sections 60, 70 are pivotably connected.

The first section 60 defines a first longitudinal axis 69, and the second section 70 defines a second longitudinal axis 79, as shown in FIG. 5. In the open state, the first longitudinal axis 69 and second longitudinal axis 79 are generally collinear. As can be seen, the longitudinal axes 69, 79 are not perpendicular to the pivot axis 82. In preferred embodiments, the pivot axis 82 forms an acute angle α with the second longitudinal axis 79. Preferably, the acute angle α between the pivot axis 82 and the second longitudinal axis 79 is between about 70 and about 80 degrees. In some embodiments, the acute angle α is about 75 degrees.

With continued reference to FIGS. 5 and 6, it can be seen that a distance (d1) along the longitudinal axis from the distal end 74 to the point at which the pivot axis 82 crosses the first side edge 76 is greater than the distance (d2) along the longitudinal axis from the distal end 74 to the point at which the pivot axis 82 crosses the second side edge 78. The difference between d1 and d2 is represented in FIG. 5 by the symbol A. In some embodiments, A is between about 15 mm and about 20 mm. In some embodiments, A is about 18 mm.

As illustrated in FIG. 5, the distal end 74 of the second section 70 may be curved to generally correspond to the tip of the wearer's thumb. Also, the skeleton 50 may comprise numerous holes or cut-outs, thereby reducing the weight of the skeleton while maintaining its rigid structure. In addition, other ridges, grooves, and the like may be included as a part of the skeleton 50 to reinforce the structure, provide shape, etc.

FIG. 7 illustrates the articulating skeleton 50 of FIG. 5 in the partially “closed” state. As can be seen, the second longitudinal axis 79 is no longer collinear to the first longitudinal axis 69, and the second skeleton 70 is tilted relative the first skeleton 60 in a direction generally away from the fingers of the glove.

Providing an articulating skeleton 50 in the thumb of a sports glove allows the padded, rigid thumb portion of the glove to more closely approximate the natural movement of the thumb. An articulating skeleton having the angular articulation of the embodiments as described herein more closely approximates how the thumb moves when grasping certain objects, such as a hockey stick, and thus reduces the glove's resistance to a wearer's thumb when grasping, holding, or adjusting grip on such objects. Thus, the illustrated configuration helps a wearer to more easily hold such objects, especially in a dynamic sporting environment.

In some embodiments, including the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6, the articulating skeleton 50 may extend beyond a horizontal axis 84 as viewed from the side when the skeleton 50 is in the open position. Such a configuration allows the wearer to experience an increased range of natural thumb motion while using the protective glove. In other embodiments, the range of thumb motion in the open position may be limited to such that the skeleton is prevented from extending beyond the horizontal axis, or another predetermined position.

In some embodiments, the articulating skeleton 50 may be configured to prevent the wearer's thumb from hyperextending. FIGS. 8A and 8B provide exploded top and side views of the embodiment of the articulating skeleton 50 and provide examples of how the skeleton 50 may be configured to prevent the first and second sections 60, 70 from rotating in an open direction beyond a predetermined position. As illustrated, the proximal end 72 of the second section 70 may be pivotably connected to the distal end 64 of the first section 60. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 8A and 8B, the joint 80 is created by overlapping holes 81, through which pins, rods, rivets, or the like may be placed. Any of a number of various pivoting mechanisms may be utilized to allow the first section 60 and the second section 70 to pivot with respect to each other.

To prevent the skeleton 50 from rotating in the open direction beyond a predetermined position, a portion of the proximal end 72 of the second section 70 and a portion of the distal end 64 of the first section 60 overlap. The overlapping of these rigid structures acts as a stopping mechanism, and prevents the skeleton from hyperextending. It is to be understood that other methods of preventing hyperextension are known in the art depending on the type of pivot mechanism utilized. Any appropriate pivot mechanism, and corresponding stopping mechanism to prevent hyperextension, are intended to be encompassed within this disclosure, including the mechanisms described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,813,781. In addition, one of skill in the art will recognize that the entire distal portion of the first section need not overlap with the entire proximal portion of the second section. For example, in some embodiments, only a small portion of the two sections might overlap.

FIG. 9 illustrates a cross-section of a portion of the skeleton 50 in accordance with one embodiment. In some embodiments, the skeleton 50 has an arcuate cross section, allowing the skeleton 50 to more closely fit at least partially around the wearer's thumb to provide protection. Optionally, the first section 60 has less of an arc than does the second section 70. In some embodiments, the skeleton 50 may have no arc, providing protection only to the top of the thumb. In some embodiments where the skeleton 50 is used primarily to prevent hyperextension, the width of the skeleton 50 may be narrower than the thumb itself when viewed from above. As illustrated, a distal portion 64 of the first section may overlap a proximal portion 72 of the second section.

FIG. 10 illustrates an exploded view of another embodiment of the articulating skeleton disclosed herein. In this embodiment, the skeleton 50 comprises a third section 90 having a proximal end 92 and a distal end 94. The third section 90 may be pivotably connected to the second section 70 about a second pivot axis 86; however, in the illustrated embodiment the second pivot axis 86 is substantially perpendicular to the second longitudinal axis 79. Having a third section 90 that is pivotably connected to second section 70 allows the skeleton 50 to even more closely approximate the natural movement of the wearer's thumb when gripping an object, such as a hockey stick. The second pivot axis 86 allows the skeleton to pivot as the wearer's knuckle closest to the finger tip is rotated. As described above, the distal end may be rounded to more closely approximate the shape of the wearer's thumb, and the skeleton 50 may include holes to reduce its weight and/or provide ventilation.

FIG. 11 provides a side view of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 10. As can be seen, while the pivot joints 80 on the proximal end 72 of the second section 70 are offset, the pivot joints 96 near the distal end 74 of the second section 70 are not. Thus, the longitudinal axis 99 of the third section 90 and the second longitudinal axis 79 are substantially parallel or collinear, so that the pivot axis 86 between the pivot joints 96 is substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axes 79, 99. In another embodiment, the second pivot axis 86 may also be angled at an acute angle relative to the longitudinal axis 99. In a still further embodiment, the second pivot axis 86 is angled, but the first pivot axis 82 is perpendicular to axis 79.

Although the second section 70 and third section 90 are rotatable with respect to each other, a stopping mechanism may be utilized to prevent these sections from extending beyond a predetermined position. Thus, the skeleton 50 preferably has a stopping mechanism to prevent hyperextension of the wearer's thumb, as described previously in connection with the pivot mechanism joining the first section 60 and the second section 70. As illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 11, the stop may be provided by an overlap of the distal portion 74 of the second section 70 with the proximal portion 92 of the third section 90. However, the stop may be provided by any of a number of mechanisms known in the art. For example, a post, wall, or ridge near the distal end of each section may prevent rotation beyond the desired open position.

In some embodiments, one or more of the sections 60, 70, 90 may comprise a bend, to allow the skeleton 50 to more closely approximate the normal position of the wearer's thumb within the glove in a relaxed position. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 12, the second section 70 has a bend 75 formed therein. The bend 75 may be located at any point along the second section 70. However, as with other features disclosed herein, the bend 75 is not necessarily employed in all embodiments.

The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 12 utilizes notches to prevent the skeleton's components from rotating beyond a predetermined point, thereby preventing the wearer's thumb from hyperextending. As illustrated, a notch 66 is located at the distal end 64 of the first section 60. This notch prevents the first section 60 from rotating in an “open” direction beyond a predetermined position. As illustrated, the rotation of the first section 60 in the “open” direction will be prevented when the distal edge of the first section 60 (i.e. where the notch is located) contacts the proximal end 72 of second section 70. In a similar manner, the third section is rotatably connected to the second section, but a notch 77 prevents rotation beyond a predetermined point in the “open” direction.

FIGS. 13A and 13B illustrate one embodiment of a pair of articulating skeletons as disclosed herein. FIG. 13A illustrates an embodiment of the articulating skeleton disclosed herein, adapted to provide protection to the wearer's left thumb. FIG. 13B illustrates an embodiment of the articulating skeleton disclosed herein, adapted to provide protection to the wearer's right thumb. The skeletons of FIGS. 13A and 13B are adapted to be used in left and right gloves, respectively, of a pair of protective gloves. As can be seen, for both articulating skeletons, the first pivot axis is not perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the second section. In the illustrated embodiment, the articulating skeleton of the right thumb is a mirror image of the articulating skeleton for the left thumb.

As illustrated in FIG. 13A, which represents the articulating skeleton for the left thumb, the intersection of the first pivot axis and the second longitudinal axis 79 defines an acute angle A. B represents the corresponding angle in FIG. 13B, which is the articulating skeleton that protects the right thumb of the wearer. As can be seen, in this embodiment, A and B are the same. In some embodiments, a pair of gloves comprising the rigid articulating skeletons illustrated in FIGS. 13A and 13B would have a value of A of between about 70 and about 80, and a value of B of between about 70 and about 80.

However, in some embodiments the value of B may not be equal to A. For example, when a right handed hockey player is in a typical hockey position, the player's right hand grasps the hockey stick in the middle of the shaft of the stick, whereas the left hand grasps the top (also referred to as the “butt-end”) of the hockey stick. Therefore, the stick is often grasped at different angles by each hand. As a result, the thumbs of the player's hand may close around the hockey stick in a different manner for each hand. In such a situation, some players may prefer to have angle B be greater (or less) than A.

Although particular embodiments are described above in connection with a hockey glove or pair of hockey gloves, these embodiments are intended for illustrative purposes only. The features and designs disclosed herein apply equally to other sports in which it is important to protect the player's thumb, either from impact or from hyperextension. For example, a baseball player may use a glove comprising a rigid articulating skeleton as disclosed herein in order to protect the player's thumb from impact with a baseball. The use of a rigid articulating skeleton as disclosed herein would provide protection to the baseball player's hand while allowing the player's thumb to grasp the baseball bat in a more natural manner.

Similarly, the articulating rigid skeleton disclosed herein may be used in sports gloves for which the prevention of hyperextension of the thumb is the primary consideration. For example, a glove comprising an articulating skeleton as disclosed herein may be used in a thinly padded glove for skateboarding or rollerblading. Such embodiments may have little, or no, soft padding. Similarly, placement of a rigid articulating skeleton as disclosed herein in a baseball catching glove, such as a catcher's glove, would help prevent hyperextension of the player's thumb when catching the ball.

In various embodiments disclosed herein, the articulating skeleton may be rigid or substantially rigid. In other embodiments, the sports gloves may be padded, but not rigid. In such embodiments, the sections of the articulating skeletons described above may be replaced by padding and/or non-rigid structures. In such embodiments, any of the first, second, and/or third sections 60, 70, 90 may comprise padded portions that are not rigid. The padded portions may be pivotably connected to each other through various means, including but not limited to material connections, similar to those described in connection with the joint 43 illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3. In such embodiments, the first pivot axis, which is the axis at the joint of the first and second sections, will not be substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the second section.

All references cited herein are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety. To the extent publications and patents or patent applications incorporated by reference contradict the disclosure contained in the specification, the specification is intended to supersede and/or take precedence over any such contradictory material.

The term “comprising” as used herein is synonymous with “including,”“containing,” or “characterized by,” and is inclusive or open-ended and does not exclude additional, unrecited elements or method steps.

All numbers expressing sizes used in the specification and claims are to be understood as being modified in all instances by the term “about.” Accordingly, unless indicated to the contrary, the numerical parameters set forth in the specification and attached claims are approximations that may vary depending upon the desired properties sought to be obtained by the present invention. At the very least, and not as an attempt to limit the application of the doctrine of equivalents to the scope of the claims, each numerical parameter should be construed in light of the number of significant digits and ordinary rounding approaches.

Although this invention has been disclosed in the context of certain preferred embodiments and examples, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the present invention extends beyond the specifically disclosed embodiments to other alternative embodiments and/or uses of the invention and obvious modifications and equivalents thereof. In addition, while a number of variations of the invention have been shown and described in detail, other modifications, which are within the scope of this invention, will be readily apparent to those of skill in the art based upon this disclosure. It is also contemplated that various combinations or subcombinations of the specific features and aspects of the embodiments may be made and still fall within the scope of the invention. Accordingly, it should be understood that various features and aspects of the disclosed embodiments can be combined with or substituted for one another in order to form varying modes of the disclosed invention. Thus, it is intended that the scope of the present invention herein disclosed should not be limited by the particular disclosed embodiments described above, but should be determined only by a fair reading of the claims that follow.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US20120054937 *Sep 2, 2010Mar 8, 2012Reebok International Ltd.Protective Sports Glove Having a Segmented Cuff Roll
Classifications
U.S. Classification2/16, 2/163, 2/161.1
International ClassificationA41D19/015, A41D13/08, A41D19/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B71/143
European ClassificationA63B71/14G2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 16, 2014ASAssignment
Effective date: 20140415
Owner name: BAUER HOCKEY, INC., NEW HAMPSHIRE
Owner name: BAUER HOCKEY CORP., CANADA
Owner name: BPS DIAMOND SPORTS CORP., CANADA
Owner name: MAVERIK LACROSSE LLC, NEW YORK
Free format text: RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST ON PATENTS;ASSIGNORS:GENERAL ELECTRIC CAPITAL CORPORATION;GE CANADA FINANCE HOLDING COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:032789/0699
Owner name: MISSION ITECH HOCKEY, INC., CALIFORNIA
Owner name: NIKE BAUER HOCKEY U.S.A., INC., NEW HAMPSHIRE
Owner name: SPORT HELMETS, INC., NEW YORK
Owner name: MISSION ITECH HOCKEY LTD., CANADA
Jun 26, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: MISSION ITECH HOCKEY, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:RUDD, DAVID H.;PAQUETTE, RICKY G.;REEL/FRAME:019483/0412
Effective date: 20070619