US 2270553 A
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Jan. 20, 1942. R. J. POTITO PLAYING BALL COVER Filed Dec. 17, 1940 Patented Jan. 20, 1942 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE PLAYING BALL COVER Ralph J. Potito, Revere, Mass.
Application December 17, 1940, Serial No. 370,505
This invention relates to playing balls. More particularly it relates to a new and improved anti-skid means snugly, but detachably, fitted to a football or the like.
The conventional football may be described as a prolate spheroid comprising an internal inflatable bladder and an external leather casing having longitudinal seams. As is well known, one of the seams is interrupted for a substantial portion of its length, providing a longitudinal opening for insertion of the bladder, and this opening is adapted to be closed up tightly usually by means of a rawhide thong lacing. The bladder is provided with an inflating valve adapted to be reached by and connected to a suitable source of compressed air either through the laced opening or more desirably through a small reenforced auxiliary opening in the casing provided for the purpose. In the latter case, the lacing may be tightened and made fast before the ball is inflated.
In passing and handling the ball the players are accustomed to make use of the seams and, particularly, the lacing as aids in achieving a higher measure of control and preventing fumbles. Where the ball is passed from one player to another the passer will, ordinarily, in the interest of greater accuracy, place his fingers over the lacing so that in throwing the ball he may impart to it a spin about its longer axis such as to prevent its tumbling or wobbling in flight. The effect may be compared to that produced by the rifling in the barrel of a weapon from which a bullet is fired. In wet weather the conventional ball becomes very slippery and diflicult to handle, and often acquires a coating of mud. Due to the increased difficulties in these circumstances of carrying out an aerial offensive, the game usually reverts to the more conservative of running plays so as to minimize the risk of fumbles and interception. Much of the games spectator-appeal is thus sacrificed.
The main object of my invention is to provide a simple and readily detachable reticular anti-skid covering for a standard football, which takes the form of an all-over lacing-like covering, so that even in the most adverse weather conditions the ball may be readily grasped, passed and manipulated by the players without any increased danger of fumbling or loss of control and without the necessity of a player first orienting the ball in his hand with respect to the casing lacing.
To this end, my invention comprises a reticular cover accessory of strand material fitted over the ball. Such strand material should, to insure a firm fit, be inelastic and the covering preferably takes the form of a sturdy net, comparable to a fish net, made of strong inelastic cord.
Such a net may be laced tightly over the outer surface of the ball and I have found that in addition to improving the firmness of the fit, the anti-skid characteristics are enhanced if the net includes knots in the strand material at each intersection, except where the net is laced. I have illustrated a preferred embodiment in the accompanying drawing wherein like numbers represent like parts in the several figures.
Figure 1 is a View of my net prior to attachment, portions of the same and the ball being represented by broken lines.
Figure 2 is a side elevation of a conventional football equipped with my netlike device; and
Figure 3 is an end view of the same.
As shown in Fig. 1, prior to application my net is substantially rectangular in form and is formed of cords l which are securely knotted together, as by square knots 2, at their intersections. A cord 3 of substantial length is provided for the pur- ,pose of taking up the loops 4 at each end 5 of the net so that when the net is applied the cord 3 assumes substantially a circular form through which the nose 6 of the ball 1 projects for a short distance at each end. An extension 8 of one of the cords 3, or an additional cord, is provided for the purpose of lacing together the two sides 9 of the net lengthwise of the ball after the net has been wrapped around the ball. Preferably, as shown, the net is shorter than the length of the ball and the nets other dimension is appreciably less than the circumference of the ball midway between its ends, so that the lacings will act to draw edges of the net firmly together in a snug fit about the ball.
I prefer to put my netted covering in place before the bladder has been completely inflated. To this end, the net is wrapped around the ball after substantial but incomplete inflation, and the loops 4 at the ends 5 taken up by the cords 3, which act as draw strings. Next, the longitudinal sides of the net'are tightly laced'together by means of the extension 8 so that the covering will fit snugly around the outer surface. The ends I0 and II of the cords 3 and of the extension 8, respectively, are securely tied and the ball may then be further and completely inflated. By this procedure, the covering Will be found to fit so tightly that there is no danger of its working loose or catching in the players clothing, footwear or the like. The structural knots 2' at the intersections of the cords throughout the major portion of the net are provided not only for the purpose of furnishing a better frictional surface but also to prevent slippage of the strands relative to one another.
It is evident that nets of various forms and materials may be used in the practice of this invention. I have found that good results may be obtained by using a relatively fine but strong inelastic cord or twine of say size #18 and with meshes of the net of approximately one inch on a side. In the embodiment shown, I have used a single cord to gather the loops at one end of the ball and to lace together the sides of the net,
while a distinct cord gathers up the loops at the other end. The loose ends of these two cords may be tied together or to the net as convenient. Other means for retaining the net in place may be used without departing from the spirit and scope of my invention.
My covering may be adapted for use with other types of playing balls as well as with footballs, and, indeed, it may be used advantageously wherever it is desired to provide a ball with an anti-skid surface whether the ball be of round or of elongated shape.
Having described my invention, what I claim 1. In combination with an inflated conventional football, an anti-skid covering detachably positioned around said ball, and comprising a tubular net of intermeshed inelastic strand material of a length less than the length of said ball, positioned around said ball, and drawstrings gathering edges of said net at each end of said ball and firmly drawing said net into a snug fit with relation to the surface of said ball.
2. In combination with a playing ball of prolate spheroidal shape having an inflated bladder and a casing, a rectangularly shaped net of intermeshed inelastic cord material knotted at each intersection positioned around said ball and strand lacing means gathering edges of said net at the ends of said ball and interlacing edges of said net along one side of said ball and drawin said net into a snug fit with relation to the S111".- face of said ball.
3. In combination with an inflated playing ball of prolate spheroidal shape, a net of inelastic strand material having one dimension less than the length of said ball and another dimension less than the circumference of said ball midway between its ends, said net being positioned about said ball, and drawstring means gathering an edge of said net at each end of said ball and interlacing edges of said net along one side of said ball, and firmly drawing said edges together to provide a snug fit of said net with relation to the surface of said ball.
4. An anti-skid covering for a conventional football, comprising a rectangularly shaped knotted cord net, and lacing means including a drawstring adapted to gather two edges of said net around ends of a football and interlace the other edges of said net longitudinally of said ball to draw said net into a snug fit over the surface of said ball.
5. An anti-skid covering for a conventional playing ball, comprising a knotted net of inelastic strand material having a dimension in one direction less than the length of said ball, and a dimension in the other direction less than the circumference of said ball midway between its ends, and drawstring means adapted to gather an edge of said net at each end of said ball and interlace two edges of said net longitudinally of said ball to draw said net into a snug fit over the surface of said ball and retain said net tightly positioned with relation thereto RALPH J. POTITO.