US 3268912 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
R E m N m A R L 0 E F H R W 0 T I C H W n O C M E L K N A Aug. W 1966 Filed Jan. 6, 1964 FIG. 5
INVENTOR. CLIFFORD H WHELAN ATTORN EY United States Patent 3,268,912 ANKLE PROTECTGR FOR BOWLER Clifford H. Whelan, llllll Brunswick Drive, .Ieifersorrviile, Ind. Filed Jan. 6, 1964, Ser. No. 335366 3 Claims. (Cl. 222) This invention relates to protective devices for bowlers.
In bowling, it is quite common for a right-handed bowler to strike the inside ankle bone of his left leg with the bowling ball as he swings that ball forwardly in the act of releasing it. Left-handed bowlers. are correspondingly apt to strike the inside ankle bone of the right leg. While this situation may not result in serious injuries, it is objectionable enough to have heretofore received the attention of bowlers. Neverthless, as far as is known, a satisfactory solution to this problem has not yet been found.
The principal object of the present invention is to provide a satisfactory solution for the problem.
More particularly, it is an important object of my invention to provide a simple form of ankle bone protector which may be easily and quickly secured in place, which, when secured, will adequately protect the ankle bone and remain in place without interfering with the free movements of the bowler or distracting his attention from (or otherwise interfering with his concentration on) any phase of the bowling game, and which may be easily and quickly removed and replaced as desired.
The objects of my invention may be satisfactorily accomplished by providing: (A) a body member having (1) a blister-s-l1aped protecting section which fits over the ankle bone of the wearer when operatively positioned and which is composed of a firm outer shield lined with a relatively soft inner pad, and (2) an anchoring section, which extends from the protecting section downwardly along the leg of the wearer into the space between the foot and the shoe of the wearer; and (B) means for removably securing the body member to the leg of the wearer.
In its preferred form, the body member is composed of plastic and arranged to include an upper securing section. Thus, the outer shield may be composed of a layer of a suitably firm plastic such as a stifiiydesilient polyethylene while the relatively soft inner pad or inner layer may be composed of a layer of a spongy plastic such as a yieldably-resilient plastic foam which is adhesively secured to the inner face of the outer shield. The upper securing section, when provided, extends from the protecting section upwardly along the leg of the wearer sufficiently to provide an anchor for the securing means.
A body member of this character is simple to make. It can be easily and quickly positioned operatively upon the leg of the wearer with its lower end anchored in the space between the foot of the wearer and his shoe and it can be easily and quickly secured in such operative postion by an suitable securing means such as an elastic band.
The invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 shows the preferred embodiment of the invention operatively positioned upon the leg of the wearer but not yet secure-d thereto;
FIG. 2 is a face view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 with the securing means not removed; and
FIGS. 3 and 4 are sections taken along lines 3-3 and 4-4 of FIG. 2.
The preferred embodiment of my device for protecting the ankle bone of the leg of a. bowler, as illustrated, comprises: a body member 1 having a blister-shaped protecting section 2, which fits over the ankle bone of the wearer when the body member is operatively positioned on the leg of the wearer, a lower anchoring section 3,
3,2 68,912 Patented August 30, 1966 which extends from said protecting section 2 downwardly along the leg of the wearer into the space between the lfOOt and the shoe of the wearer, and an upper securing section 4, which extends from said protector section 2 up wardly along the leg of the wearer; and means for removably securing said body member to said leg, said means being in the form. of an elastic band. 6 provided with suitable snap fasteners 7.
Preferably, all three sections of the body member 1 comprise: an outer layer .10 providing a firm outer shield it); and an inner layer 11 providing a relatively soft inner pad 11. The outer layer 10 may be composed of any suitable plastic such as a firm somewhat flexible polyethylene. The inner pad 11 may be composed of felt, sponge rubber or the like but it preferably is composed of a foam plastic of a soft resiliently-yielding character thick enough to provide the desired cushioning action. All sections of the shield should be more or less fitted to the contour of the leg and, if desired, the middle protecting section, which is in the form of a blister, may be slightly thickened to give added protection. In this connection, I have obtained excellent results with yieldable plastic foams 11 ranging in thickness from A5" to A1" and with outer polyethylene shields l0 approximating to Ms" in the upper and lower sections and slightly thicker dimensions in the middle section.
While my device preferably includes the upper securing section, it essentially includes only the protecting and anchoring sections. The upper securing section 4 is desirable because it facilitates the use of the anchoring band 6 to secure the device on the leg. However, if the upper section is omitted, the anchoring band 6 may be secured to the protecting section 2 along its front and rear edges. This latter arrangement is not as satisfactory as the arrangement illustrated wherein the upper securing section 4 is provided with a pair of vertically extending slots 14 and 15 which are horizontally spaced by a horizontally narrow vertically arranged friction bar 16 between slots. This bar 16 facilitates the frictional anchoring of the securing band to the body member 1 without at the same time complicating or slowing up its quick removal from the body member or its reatt-achment thereto.
My ankle bone protection has the advantage of causing the impact or striking force of the bowling ball against the shield to be distributed throughout the soft padded inner layer of the protector and absorbed thereby. The shield of the protector may be made of any suitable rigid or flexible material. Iprefer a flexible material which is shaped to fit the contour of the leg because it will accommodate movement in the area of the ankle bone in a highly satisfactory manner. While I prefer a polyethylene shield, it may be made of any of the suitable plastics including molded alkyds, cellulose acetate, ethyl cellulose, the epoxies, the melamines, polyamide, polyesters, polypropylene, rubber hydrochloride, silicones, vinyl chloride and ureas. These plastics are given as examples and not as limitations, the suitable plastics largely being a matter of choice.
Since the blister will receive most if not all of the bowling ball impacts, it may be and preferably is thickened to provide additional protection. For example, a 50 mil shield of polyethylene may be increased to 12 5 mils at the blister. If desired, the blister may be made of a rigid impact-resistant plastic or even metal. Thus, for example, blister materials may include unplasticized polyvinyl chloride, poly-carbonates, glass-filled phenolic or epoxy resins, aluminum, magnesium alloys, etc.
Other suitable pad materials, besides those mentioned, include PEG and polyurethane foams, natural rubber and neoprene foam.
Having described my invention, I claim: 1. A device [for protecting the ankle bone of the leg of a bowler, comprising:
(A) a body member (1) having a protecting section (a) blister-shaped to fit over the ankle bone of a wearer when operatively positioned on a leg of the wearer, and (b) composed of a firm outer shield and a relatively soft yield'able inner pad, and (2) terminating in a lower anchoring section (a) arranged to extend from said protecting section downwardly along a leg of the wearer, and (b) shaped for endwise insertion vertically downward into the space between the foot and shoe of the wearer; and (B) ankle band means for removably securing said body member to the leg of the wearer. 2. The device of claim 1 wherein said lower anchoring section comprises:
(A) a firm outer shield composed of a flexible plastic material; and
(B) an inner pad composed of a relatively soft yieldable material. 3. The device of claim 2 wherein: (A) said protecting and anchoring sections comprise (l) a firm outer shield composed of plastic material of substantially uniform thickness, and (2) an inner pad composed of a relatively soft yieldable material; and (B) said protecting section has the thickness of its blister-shaped shield-forming plastic material increased to provide added impact resistance.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 487,492 12/1892 Pugsley 362.5 X
607,243 7/1898 Huff 128166 1,896,561 2/1933 Ruth 2--24 X 2,784,411 3/1957 Egleston 222 2,830,585 4/1958 Weiss 367.1 X 3,124,919 3/1964 Thompson 224 X IORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner.
I. R. BOLER, Assistant Examiner.