US 3465365 A
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SePt- 9, 1969 B. .1.JoNEs ETAL KNEEPAD Filed Dec. 15, 1967 United States Patent O 3,465,365 KNEEPAD Billy J. Jones, 6306 W. 77th Terrace, Overland Park, Kans. 66204, and Rodney 'Cameron Berry, 824 N.
70th St., Kansas City, Kans. 66112 Filed Dec. 15, 1967, Ser. No. 690,975
Int. Cl. A41d 13/ 06 U.S. Cl. 2-24 2 Claims ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE A kneepad having a pair of spaced-apart, opposed, relatively hard plates with a cushion on the inner face of each plate in position to engage the sides of a wearers knee. The plates are interconnected by an elongated, U- shaped band of spring material which passes around the front of the kneecap and biases the plates toward the knee. The plates are concavo-convex to conform to the shape of the knee and to cooperate with the band in presenting a convex outer surface to a covering of resilient material. The convex outer surface serves to shield the knee from direct blows.
This invention relates to protective equipment, and more particularly to a kneepad such as may be used by athletes to prevent injuries to the knees.
Considerable improvement has taken place in recent years in the protective equipment for participants in athletic contests such as football games and the like. The improved equipment has reduced the danger of injury to certain parts of the body. However, there has been very little change in the padding available for protecting against knee injuries and such injuries constitute one of the major hazards for all who participate in this sport. Restriction on the flexibility of the knees must be kept to a minimum and kneepads provided for football players have remained little more than relatively soft pads of material carried in the pants in position to cushion the shock of blows directed toward the front of the knees. No provision has been made to protect against blows to the sides of the knees.
Accordingly, it is a primary object of this invention to provide a kneepad for athletes such as football players or the like which is of improved construction for protecting the knees from side, as well as frontal blows.
It is another object of the invention to provide an improved kneepad which is capable of adding support to the members of the knee joint.
Still a further object of the invention is to provide protective equipment which surrounds the front and sides of the knee joint to present a relatively hard, convex outer surface for deflecting blows directed toward the knees.
A yet further object of the invention is to provide equipment capable of attaining the foregoing objects without sacrificing the inherent flexibility of the knee necessary for the athlete while participating in athletic events.
Still a further object of the present invention is to provide an improved kneepad which may be readily incorporated into conventional football uniforms with a minimum of modification of the uniforms.
These and other objects of the invention will be more fully explained or will become apparent from the following specification and drawings, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a side and rear perspective view of a kneepad embodying the principles of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary, side elevational view on a reduced scale of an athletes leg showing the positioning of the kneepad in the football uniform pants;
FIG. 3 is a detailed, vertical, cross-sectional View through the kneepad, parts being broken away to reveal details of construction; and
FIG. 4 is a horizontal, cross-sectional view through the kneepad, an athletes leg appearing in phantom to illustrate the positioning of the kneepad with respect to the knee joint.
A kneepad embodying the principles of this invention is broadly designated by the numeral 10 and includes a pair of spaced-apart, opposed, relatively hard, concavo-convex plates 12 which may be formed from fiber or similar material. Each plate 12 has a relatively thick cushion 14 of sponge rubber or similar resilient material adhesively secured to the inner-most concave surface thereof. The plates 12 are interconnected by an elongated, U-shaped, yieldable band 16 which may be formed from spring steel or the like for biasing the cushions 14 toward opposed sides of an athletes knee 18 illustrated in phantom in FIG. 4.
The opposite ends of band 16 are secured to the respective plates 12 with means such as rivets 20. It should be noted that the innermost concave faces of plates 12 generally conform to the outer convex configuration of knee 18.
Band 16 is relatively wide and is disposed across the kneecap 22 of the wearer, and an outer covering of pliable material 24, such as sponge rubber or the like, is disposed over band 16 and the plates 12 as illustrated in the drawing. It should be noted that material 24 is initially shaped generally in the configuration of a cross presenting a pair of side portions 26 bent back at opposed sides of kneepad 10 in covering relationship to the plates 12 whereby the outer surface of the entire kneepad 10 is generally convex by virtue of the congurationof the outer convex surfaces of plates 12 and the convexity irnparted by the outer surface of the U-shaped band 16. A portion 28 of material 24 extends substantally upwardly from sidepieces 30 of kneepad 10 or covering the upper front portion of the knee joint. Similarly, a portion 32 of material 24 extends below sidepieces 30 to protect the lower front portion of the knee joint. Material 24 is not only convex in a transverse direction, but has a longitudinal convexity whereby the entire outer surface of kneepad 10 is substantially convex for deflecting blows which might be directed against the knee joint.
Plates 12 and their associated cushions 14, as well as band 16, are entirely enclosed by material 24 and an inner sheet 34 of sponge rubber or the like, which is shaped substantially identically with material 24 and is glued or otherwise secured to the inner surfaces of matelrial 24, band 16 and cushions 14 with the band, plates and cushion sandwiched therebetween. The edges of material 24 and sheet 34 are bound in a peripherally extending binding 36 stitched to inner and outer layers of covering material 38 and 40 respectively. The covering material may desirably be nylon or vinyl for the purposes of rendering the entire kneepad 10 waterproof.
fiat, hard plates 12 which serve to distribute the force of the blows over a substantial area. Further, the layers of resilient material absorb the shock of the blows and prevent injury to the knee. In similar fashion, the relatively wide lband 16 of hard material distributes the force of the blows which are directed to the front as well as to the sides of the knee and protect the latter. The blows are also deflected by the convexity of the outer surface of kneepad to further eliminate the possibility of injury to the wearer of the kneepad.
It is contemplated that kneepad 10 will have particular utility in protecting the football players, and the kneepad 10 may be installed in the pocket provided for kneepads in conventional football pants 42. Since conventional kneepads are not provided with the sidepieces 30 for protecting the sides of the knee, an opening (not shown) in the side seam 44 of the football pants may be provided to permit the extension of the sidepieces 30 rearwardly of the same 44 as illustrated in FIG. 2.
It should be noted that the increased protection which is provided by kneepad 10 for the knee joints and particularly for the sides thereof, is achieved without any substantial reduction in the freedom of movement available at the knee joint. Even though the sidepieces 30 are yieldably biased toward the sides of the knee joint by the resilient material of band 16, the normal hinge movement of the knee joint is not impaired in any way. The position of band 16 across the kneecap permits flexing of the upper and lower portions 28 and 32 of material 24 to accommodate the bending action which occurs at the knee joint.
Although kneepad 10 may be utilized by football players, it is also contemplated that it will be particularly advantageous in protecting the vulnerable knee joints of any one who may be engaged in activities which are calculated to produce blows directed toward the knee joints. Accordingly, the reference specifically to football players made in this description should not be taken as limiting the applicability of this invention in any way.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. A unitary kneepad comprising:
a pair of spaced-apart, opposed, concavo-convex, relatively hard plates each provided with a concave inner face having a cushion thereon for engagement with opposite sides of a wearers knee, said plates having convex outer faces for dellecting blows directed toward the knee, said plates being suciently large to completely cover the sides of said knee;
a resilient band rigidly secured to each of said plates and interconnecting said plates for clamping the cushions against said sides of the knee;
said band being adapted for disposition across the kneecap; and
a unitary outer pad of yieldable material completely covering said plates and extending therebetween over said band, said pad extending upwardly and downwardly beyond the band for disposition above and below the kneecap, whereby to shield the knee from frontal blows.
2. A pad for protecting the knee of an athlete, said pad comprising:
a unitary member of pliable material, said member being generally shaped in the form of a cross and having a central portion and a pair of wing portions integral with the central portion and projecting from opposite sides thereof, said wing portions being bent back substantially normal to the main plane of said central portion rendering said material generally U- shaped in tranverse cross-sectional configuration;
a pair of concavo-convex, rigid plates, each plate being secured to the inner surface of a corresponding one of said wing portions with the concave surface of each of said plates being disposed in spaced, facing relationship to the other of said plates;
a cushion of resilient material for each plate respectively, each cushion being rmly secured to the concave surface of its corresponding plate;
means interconnecting said plates for urging the plates toward one another;
a unitary lining of yieldable material covering said plates, said cushions and said yieldable means, said lining having a shape similar to said member;
stitching interconnecting said member and said lining, said stitching extending substantially along the entire periphery of said pad; and
means securing the yieldable means to said member and to said lining for preventing relative movement between said plates and said yieldable means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,138,973 5/1915 Prince 2-24 1,896,561 2/1933 Ruth 2-24 2,031,622 2/ 1936 Walker 2-24 2,270,685 1/1942 Miller 2--24 XR 3,259,910 7/1966 Daignault 2-24 FOREIGN PATENTS 28,418 5/ 1907 Germany. 97,158 10/1939 Sweden.
JAMES R. BOLER, Primary Examiner