US 3512776 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 19, 1970 E. J. THOMAS, SR
WRIST SUPPORTING, DEVICE-FOR BOWLERS 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 18, 1968 INVENTOR. EDWARD J. THOMAS 5R.
film-4 JMM 1 A TTORNE Y May 19, 1970 E. J. THOMAS, sR 12,
WRIST SUPPORTING DEVICE FOR BOWLERS Filed Jan. 18, 1968 4 Shets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
EDWARD J. THOMAS 52.
A 7 TORNE Y y 1970 E. J. THOMAS, SR 3,512,776
WRIST SUPPORTING DEVICE FOR BOWLERS Filed Jan. 18, 1968 I 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 -D0 WN INVENTOR.
EDWARD J. THO/V45 5 iWTORNEY' y 1970' E. J. THOMAS,ISR 3,512,776
WRIST SUPPORTING DEVICE FOR BOWLERS Filed'Jan. 18, 1968 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR.
EDWARD J. THOMAS 5R.
ATTQRNEY United States Patent 3,512,776 WRIST SUPPORTING DEVICE FOR BOWLERS Edward J. Thomas, Sr., 797 Kingston Ave. Grove City, Ohio 43123 Filed Jan. 18, 1968, Ser. No. 698,772 Int. Cl. A61f 13/10 US. Cl. 273-54 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A wrist supporting device for bowlers for positioning the hand and forearm in a predetermined relationship as the ball is released which includes a piece of flexible material adapted to overlie the back of a users hand, forearm and wrist. A rigid strip of material of suflicient length to extend over portions of the back of the users hand and forearm and across the wrist joint is removably mounted on the piece of flexible material and is securely held in position to brace the wrist by a plurality of leg portions extending outwardly from said body of flexible material and which are adapted to encircle the users wrist and forearm and the back of a users hand. The leg portions are of suflicient length to overlap themselves to provide additional support to the users wrist joint and are provided with means for remova bly fastening them in position upon the bowlers hand and forearm.
The present invention relates generally to bowling accessory devices and particularly to a novel improved wrist supporting device.
In general, the present invention comprises a main body of flexible material adapted to overlie portions of the back of a users hand and forearm and across the wrist. A rigid bracing member is removably disposed in a pocket provided on said body portion and extends below and above the wrist joint. The main body portion includes a plurality of outwardly extending leg portion which are adapted to encircle the entire wrist joint and a portion of the back of the users hand. These leg portions function to secure the rigid bracing members against the hand and forearm portions to dispose the hand and forearm at a predetermined angle relative to the degree of bend of the bowlers wrist and to provide additional support and comfort to the bowler in aiding him to prevent backward bending of the wrist while delivering a bowling ball.
In the sport of bowling, the relative position of the hand with respect to the forearm is one of the more important determining factors upon the degree of spin and the resulting, normally desired, curved path of the delivered ball. Among those skilled in the art, it is Wellknown that by maintaining the relationship between the hand and forearm in a more or less straight position, whereby the fingers are disposed under the ball, the thumb tends to leave the ball before the fingers more consistently and therefore the fingers lift or turn the ball as it is released. Although the degree of lift or spin one applies to the ball varies from individual to individual, it is known that generally there is more lift applied to the ball as the hand is disposed more or less underneath the ball as it is delivered. And conversely, there is less lift when the hand is disposed more or less toward the top of the ball as it is delivered.
Maintaining a consistent relationship between the hand and arm during each deliverly, which is governed by the degree of inward or outward bending of the wrist, is one of the more difficult aspects of the sport of bowling. And further, particularly among the more advanced bowlers, it would be desirable to be able to change this relationship depending upon the conditions of the particular lanes upon which one is competing if the variance could be controlled to maintain a consistent relationship on each delivery.
There are prior art devices presently available which attempt to prohibit backward bending of the wrist joint.
However, these prior devices are not completely efficient in maintaining rigidity of the wrist because there is a relatively large degree of play or freedom in bending the wrist while wearing these devices.
Further, in attempting to maintain the bowling ball in this desired position, a great deal of bowlers, particularly women, experience fatigue even while wearing these prior art supporting devices since there is a considerable amount of strain upon the wrist joint due to the relatively heavy weight of the bowling ball.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a device of the type described which not only inhibits the backward bending of the bowlers Wrist, but also functions to give added support to the wrist to aid the bowler in maintaining the desired release position with less strain on the wrist joint.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a device of the type described wherein a bowler may adjust the desired angle of the bend in his wrist by interchanging rigid brace portions provided with different shapes conforming to a particular desired hand and forearm relationship.
It is another object of the present invention to provide an apparatus of the type described wherein the structure includes novel means for securing the device to the bowlers hand to improve the anchoring of the rigid material over the wrist joint.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a device of the type described which incorporates all of the aforementioned features and yet is relatively inexpensive to manufacture and fabricate.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings wherein a preferred form of embodiment of the invention is clearly shown.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view illustrating a wrist supporting device for bowlers constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the device shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a partial perspective view of a portion of the device shown in FIG. 1 illustrating the novel pocket for removably mounting interchangeable rigid bracing strips of various configurations;
FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 are side elevational views of a portion of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1, illustrating typical examples of configurations for rigid bracing strips forming a portion of the present invention;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the device shown in FIG. 1 illustrating the device on the hand of a user;
FIG. 8 is a side view of the device as shown in FIG. 7 illustrating the device on the hand of a user; and
FIG. 9 is a bottom view of the device as shown in FIG. 7 illustrating the device on the hand of a user.
Referring in detail to the drawings, a wrist supporting device for bowlers is illustrated in FIG. 1 and includes a piece of flexible material, such as leather or light plastic for example, which comprises a main body portion, indicated generally at 20, and leg portions 22, 24 and 26.
Preferably, main body portion 20 and leg portions 22, 24 and 26 are formed from a single piece of flexible material and may be rapidly manufactured by die stamping or the like.
Main body portion 20 is provided with a pocket 28 formed by a separate piece of flexible material firmly attached to body portion 20 by stitching or the like.
As best seen in FIG. 3, pocket 28 includes an opening 30 for removably receiving the entire length of a strip of rigid material 32 which is of sufficient length to extend over a portion of the back of a users hand and forearm and in bracing relationship across the users wrist.
Referring now to FIG. 2, a piece of relatively soft resilient material 34 is firmly attached to the underside of main body portion 20 in alignment with pocket 28, and functions as a pad to protect the users hand and forearm from any discomfort from rigid bracing strip 32.
Referring again to FIGS. 1 and 2, leg portion 22 includes an opening 36 adapted to receive a users thumb and is provided with fastening means .38 and 40.
Leg portion 24 includes a fastening means 42 disposed on its upper side and fastening means 44 and 46 disposed on its under side.
Leg portion 26 is also provided with fastening means 48 and 50 on its upper side and fastening means 52, 54 and 56 on its under side.
Preferably the fastening means are formed from conventional nylon type fastening material consisting of mating pieces of a brush-like patch and a wool-like patch which are securely fastened by stitching for example, to the respective leg portion 22, 24 and 26.
Referring now to FIGS. 1, 2 and 7-9, main body portion 20 is adapted to be placed over portions of the back of a users hand and forearm. The user places his thumb through opening 36 and properly positions pocket 28, in which rigid bracing strip 32 has been inserted, by pulling leg portion 22 until the users thumb is against the right hand side as viewed in FIG. 1, of opening 36. Leg portion 22 is then wound across the rear portion of the palm and under and around the wrist, with the extreme end portion being disposed on the top of the wrist and under pocket 28.
Next, while applying downward pressure on main body portion 20, to hold leg portion 22 in place, leg portion 26 is wound tightly under and around the wrist and a portion of the forearm of the user until fastening means 52 is secured to its mate 38. Then the remainder of leg portion 42 is wrapped around the wrist and forearm again to cover the rearward half of pocket 28 and bracing strip 32, and is held firmly in position by fastening means 54 which mates with fastening means 48 and fastening means 56 which mates with fastening means 50.
Leg portion 24 is next wound tightly under the hand until attaching means 44 is secured to fastening means 40. Then the remainder of leg portion 24 is wound around the back of the users hand across the front portion of pocket 28 and rigid bracing strip 32 and is wound around the hand again until fastening means 46 may be secured to its mate, fastening means 42.
It is important to point out that leg portions 24 and 26 should be of sutficient length to completely encircle the users hand and forearm and preferably overlap upon themselves to achieve the optimum in both firmly anchoring rigid bracing strip 32 across the users wrist and in providing increased support of the users wrist. Fatigue is greatly reduced because the construction of the leg portions function to support the wrist joint.
It should be noted that strip 32 is not only anchored by firmly stretching leg portion 24 until it is fastened to the opposite side of body portion 20, but also is held firmly in place against the back of the hand and forearm by the overlapping of leg portions 24 and 26. In this manner, any give or play in the movement of rigid strip 32 away from the users forearm or the back of the hand is reduced to a minimum.
Referring now to FIGS. 3 through 6, rigid bracing strip 32 may be removed from pocket 28 and replaced with a bracing strip of a different configuration, such as for example, the bracing strips 32-A and 32-B shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 It is important to note that since the ability of individual bowlers to deliver the ball in a curved path differs and since the conditions of the individual bowling lanes differ in a manner which either increases or decreases the distance that the ball will curve for a given degree of lift, it is desirable for a bowler to be able to adjust a part of his delivery in a controlled manner which will increase or decrease this amount of lift.
For example, a bowler wearing the device of the present invention may find that under the usual conditions of the lanes upon which he bowls and for his given delivery, a relatively straight bracing strip 32-B, gives him the amount of curve he desires with a sufiicient amount of the proper spin to obtain good action when coming into contact with the pins.
However, on any given night, he may discover the lanes are quite different than usual. If the ball is curving more than usual for him, assuming all other factors of his delivery are the same, he may change from strip 32-B, for example, to strip 32-A. Wearing the device of the present invention with strip 32-A in pocket 28, permits the user to break his wrist backward a predetermined amount which will tend to apply less lift and therefore less curve to the ball as it is delivered. The advantage of the present invention is that the bowler can control the amount of backward bend in his wrist such that this factor of his delivery is constant. Therefore he will tend to throw the'ball with more control since one element of possible inconsistency is eliminated. Further, he has adjusted his delivery in a manner to lessen the excessive curved path so as to obtain a path which is more familiar to him.
The converse situation may arise and a rigid strip such as strip 32 may be used to position the fingers and hand more underneath the ball as it is delivered which tends to apply more lift on the ball and tends to make the amount of curve greater. Therefore on lanes upon which the ball curves less than usual, he again may adjust his delivery so as to deliver the ball which curves approximately the same as he experiences under the more usual conditions.
Further, a bowler whose delivery materially changes over a period of time and who finds that he desires either more or less hook may readily obtain aid by merely purchasing diiferent bracing strips rather than purchasing a completely new wrist supporting device, since the strip 32 is removably mounted in a simple manner.
While the form of embodiment of the present invention as herein disclosed constitutes a preferred form, it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted, all coming within the scope of the claims which follow.
1. A wrist supporting device for bowlers comprising, in combination, a piece of flexible material including a main body portion so configured as to extend over a portion of the back of a users hand and a portion of a users forearm and provided with a pocket for removably receiving an elongated strip of rigid material extending across the users wrist in bracing relationship, said body portion including integrally formed first, second and third leg portions, said first leg portion extending from the opposite side of said pocket from said second and third leg portions and including an opening for the users thumb and being so disposed relative to said main body portion and of sufficient extent so as to partially encircle the users wrist and a portion of the users palm, said second leg portion being so disposed relative to said main body portion and of sufficient extent so as to completely encircle the users wrist joint and a portion of the forearm in overlapping relationship with a portion of said first leg portion and to extend over the rearward end portion of said strip of rigid material, said third leg portion being so disposed relative to said main body portion and of sufficient extent so as to completely encircle the back of a users hand and a portion of the palm of the hand and to extend over the forward end portion of said strip of rigid material; and fastening means on at least said second and third leg portions to firmly secure said leg portions and said strip of rigid material in position over the users hand and forearm.
2. A wrist supporting device for bowlers comprising, in combination, a body of flexible material including a main portion so configured as to extend over a portion of the back of a users hand and forearm and including a pocket having at least three closed sides for removably receiving an elongated strip of rigid material of sufficient dimension to extend over a portion of the back of the users hand and forearm in bracing relationship with the users wrist, said main portion being provided with first, second and third leg portions integrally formed witl said main portion, said first leg portion including an opening for receiving the users thumb and being so disposed relative to said main body portion and of suflicient extent so as to substantially encircle the users wrist joint and to cover a portion of the users palm, said second leg portion comprising a relatively wide elongated strip being so disposed relative to said main body portion and of suflicient extent so as to encircle the users wrist joint and a portion of the forearm to firmly anchor one end of said strip of rigid material, said third leg portion comprising a relatively thin elongated strip extending from the same side of said main body portion as said second leg portion and being so disposed relative to said main body portion and of sufiicient extent so as to encircle the back of the users hand to firmly anchor the other end of said strip of rigid material, each of said leg portions being provided with means for removably securing said portions in position upon the users hand and forearm.
3. The device defined in claim 1, wherein said fastening means includes a plurality of nylon type strips of material attached to upper and lower surfaces of said leg portions and so disposed as to removably adhere to certain other strips of nylon material attached to the upper and lower surfaces of said leg portions for securely positioning said leg portions and said strip of rigid material on the users hand and forearm.
4. The device defined in claim 2 wherein said pocket is disposed on said main body portion between the thumb opening in said first leg portion and opposing side from which said second and third portions extend.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,794,638 6/1957 Risher et a1. 27354 2,924,458 2/1960 Barry 27354 3,229,306 1/1966 Bazar. 3,238,939 3/1966 Stubbs 128-165 3,369,258 2/1968 Smith.
ANTON O. OECHSLE, Primary 'Examiner US. Cl. X.R.