Title:
Lacrosse stick string configuration
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lacrosse stick string arrangement for receiving and manipulating a ball, the lacrosse stick having a head frame including a top wall portion, a bottom wall portion, and a pair of sidewalls which connect the top wall portion and the bottom wall portion. The string arrangement includes at least two longitudinal thongs extending in a spaced apart substantially parallel relation relative to the central longitudinal axis of the head frame, the longitudinal thongs being coupled to the top and bottom portions of the head frame, a plurality of flexible netting material extending between and intertwined with the longitudinal thongs, and a sidewall connection mechanism for connecting the flexible netting material to the head frame at the outer periphery of each sidewall.



Inventors:
O'banion, Van William (Owings Mills, MD, US)
Dohm, Dustin Robert (Owings Mills, MD, US)
Application Number:
10/340661
Publication Date:
08/28/2003
Filing Date:
01/13/2003
Assignee:
O'BANION VAN WILLIAM
DOHM DUSTIN ROBERT
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B59/02; (IPC1-7): A63B59/02; A63B65/12
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAMBERS, MICHAEL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BRENEMAN & GEORGES (3150 Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandria, VA, 22305, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A lacrosse stick string arrangement for receiving and manipulating a ball, the lacrosse stick having a head frame including a top wall portion, a bottom wall portion, and a pair of sidewalls which connect the top wall portion and the bottom wall portion, said string arrangement comprising at least two longitudinal thongs extending in a spaced apart substantially parallel relation relative to the central longitudinal axis of the head frame, said longitudinal thongs being coupled to said top portion and said bottom portion of said head frame; a plurality of flexible netting material surrounding said longitudinal thongs; and a sidewall coupling mechanism for coupling said plurality of flexible netting material to said head frame at the outer periphery of said sidewalls.

2. A lacrosse stick string arrangement for receiving and manipulating a ball, the lacrosse stick having a head frame including a top wall portion, a bottom wall portion, and a pair of sidewalls which connect the top wall portion and the bottom wall portion, said string arrangement comprising: first and second longitudinal thongs extending in a spaced apart substantially parallel relation relative to the central longitudinal axis of the head frame, said longitudinal thongs being coupled to said top portion and said bottom portion of said head frame; first and second arrays of lacing positioned between a respective longitudinal thong and sidewall, each array including a length of string which is twisted about itself so as to extend longitudinally between said top portion and said bottom portion of said head frame, a portion of said string including a first plurality of coils which extend transversely to interconnect a respective longitudinal thong to said sidewall; and a sidewall coupling mechanism for connecting said first and second arrays to said head frame at the outer periphery of each sidewall.

3. The string arrangement as claimed in claim 2, further comprising a third array of lacing centrally disposed between said longitudinal thongs so as to interconnect said longitudinal thongs.

4. The string arrangement as claimed in claim 3, wherein said third array includes a length of string which is twisted about itself so as to extend longitudinally between said top portion and said bottom portion of said head frame, a portion of said string including a second plurality of coils extending transversely so as to interconnect said longitudinal thongs.

5. The string arrangement as claimed in claim 4, wherein said second plurality of coils includes a first coil segment which extends from said string and is coupled to said first longitudinal thong, and a second coil segment which extends from said string and is couple to said second longitudinal thong.

6. The string arrangement as claimed in claim 2, wherein said sidewall coupling mechanism comprises a length of string which is attached to and extends along the outer periphery of each respective sidewall.

7. The string arrangement as claimed in claim 2, wherein said plurality of coils includes a first coil segment which extends from said string and is coupled to a respective sidewall, and a second coil segment which extends from said string and is coupled to a respective longitudinal thong.

8. The string arrangement as claimed in claim 2, wherein said string portion being attached at a first end to said top portion of said head frame and at a second end to said connection mechanism, and said second end of said first plurality of transverse coils being attached to said connection mechanism.

9. The string arrangement as claimed in claim 2, further comprising a mesh portion extending between and attached to each longitudinal thong.

10. A string arrangement for a lacrosse stick having a head frame including a top wall portion, a bottom wall portion, and a pair of sidewalls which connect the top wall portion and the bottom wall portion, said string arrangement comprising: a pair of inner longitudinal thongs and a pair of outer longitudinal things each extending in a spaced apart substantially parallel relation relative to the central longitudinal axis of the head frame, said longitudinal thongs being coupled to said top portion and said bottom portion of said head frame; a plurality of symmetrical transverse coils extending between a respective one of said sidewalls and a respective outer longitudinal coil; a sidewall connection mechanism for connecting said first and second plurality of transverse coils to said head frame at the outer periphery of said sidewalls, wherein said connection mechanism includes a length of string secured to the outer periphery of said sidewalls and said second end of said first plurality of transverse coils being attached to said connection mechanism.

11. The string arrangement as in claim 10, further comprising a mesh portion extending between and coupled to said inner longitudinal thongs.

12. The string arrangement as in claim 10, further comprising a length of string transversely extending in a plurality of criss-cross patterns so as to interconnect an outer longitudinal thong to a respective inner longitudinal thong.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of the filing date of provisional application Ser. No. 60/346,902, filed Jan. 11, 2002.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention is directed generally to a lacrosse stick head, and particularly, to a lacrosse stick head string configuration that permits enhanced ball control and shooting accuracy.

DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART

[0003] Lacrosse sticks having a net and a head frame with sidewalls generally configured to catch, carry and throw a lacrosse ball are well known in the art. As shown in FIG. 5, U.S. Pat. No. 5,080,372 to Brine, III et al. provides a traditional stringing configuration for a head frame of a lacrosse stick generally include four longitudinal leather thong elements which extend between an upper portion of the head frame of the lacrosse stick and the lower base portion of the head frame. An open weave cross lacing or threading extends transversely to interconnect leather thong elements to the head frame and maintain the same in a predetermined space relation. The lacing is coupled to the head frame of the lacrosse stick by stringing cords. Unfortunately, the coupling of the lacing is coupled to the head frame at the inner periphery of the head frame, and thus, minimizes the depth of the pocket and results in a more tightly wound pocket design. This is disadvantageous in that it results in poor ball handling and less accuracy when shooting or passing the ball during play. This is further disadvantageous when used in combination with the four longitudinal thong arrangement because it further limits accurate passing and shooting of the ball.

[0004] U.S. Pat. No. 6,213,901 B1 to Collinson discloses a lacrosse stick string configuration which utilizes a plurality of longitudinally extending thongs, a plurality of longitudinally extending twisted chords positioned between the thongs, whereby portions of the twisted chords extend transversely of the head frame to interconnect the longitudinal thongs. However, the transverse lacing is peripherally coupled to the side walls of the head frame at an inner periphery of the head frame, and also leads to the aforementioned disadvantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to overcome the foregoing disadvantages in providing a string arrangement for a lacrosse stick that forms a pocket that has more depth to facilitate greater ease in catching and retaining the lacrosse ball in the lacrosse head during play.

[0006] It is another object of the present invention to provide such a string arrangement that forms a pocket which helps channel the lacrosse ball towards the center of the head frame when received therein.

[0007] It is a further object of the present invention to provide such a string arrangement with a symmetrical design that creates a channel that forms a pocket having a channel which permits the handler of the lacrosse stick to have greater throwing accuracy and speed by minimizing the amount of pocket area in which the ball actually touches.

[0008] These, as well as other objects, are achieved in accordance with the invention including a string configuration which forms a flexible pocket for manipulating a lacrosse ball received therein, the string configuration including a pair of thongs which longitudinally extend in a spaced apart, yet substantially parallel relation relative to the central longitudinal axis of the head frame. The string configuration also includes symmetrical first and second arrays of netting material which are positioned between the sidewalls and longitudinal thongs that help facilitate the funneling of the lacrosse ball towards the center of the head frame. A third array of netting material is positioned in the channel created between the longitudinal thongs to complete the pocket.

[0009] In order to connect the first and second arrays to the head frame, a coupling mechanism is provided that includes an individual length of sidewall string which is looped through holes or apertures on the sidewalls and is affixed thereto by knotting at distal ends thereof The first and second arrays are connected to the head frame at the outer periphery of each sidewall by way of their attachment to the sidewall string.

[0010] In accordance with another embodiment of the invention, the third array is coupled to the head frame by way of a coupling mechanism that attaches at the inner periphery of the head frame, and permits the third array to become essentially suspending between the longitudinal coils. This creates a more flexible channel in which to receive the ball, thereby providing enhanced passing and shooting accuracy and ball control.

[0011] In accordance with yet another embodiment of the invention, the string arrangement includes the combination of the coupling mechanism with a traditional four longitudinal thong approach that creates a channel in the central longitudinal axis of the head frame in which a piece of mesh material or the like may be positioned.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] FIG. 1 shows a rear elevational view of a string arrangement for a lacrosse stick in a first embodiment of the invention,

[0013] FIG. 2 shows a rear elevational view of a string arrangement for a lacrosse stick in a second embodiment of the invention;

[0014] FIG. 3 shows a rear elevational view of a string arrangement for a lacrosse stick in a third embodiment of the invention; and

[0015] FIG. 4 is a side view showing the connection of a transverse coil to the sidewall in as shown in FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0016] Turning now to FIGS. 1 and 2, which illustrate in string configurations for a lacrosse stick 9 including a head frame 10 having an upper or top wall portion 11, a lower or bottom wall portion 12 which attaches to the throat (not shown) of the head frame, and a pair of sidewalls 13, 14 defining a plane which is substantially perpendicular to the plane of the head frame 10.

[0017] The string configuration of FIG. 1 forms a flexible pocket for manipulating a lacrosse ball received therein, the string configuration including first and second thongs 15, 16 extending longitudinally in a spaced apart, yet substantially parallel relation relative to the central longitudinal axis of the head frame 10. The thongs 15, 16 are preferably composed of a suitable inelastic material, such as leather. The thongs 15, 16 are secured, coupled or attached to the top wall portion 11 and the bottom wall portion 12 of the head frame 10 in any conventional manner known in the art.

[0018] First and second symmetrical arrays 17, 18 of flexible netting material, each preferably composed of nylon string, are positioned between each sidewall 13, 14 and a respective longitudinal thong 15, 16 for facilitating the funneling of a lacrosse ball towards the center of the head frame 10. The first and second arrays 17, 18 each include a length of string 20, 21 which is spirally wound or twisted about itself so as to extend longitudinally between the top wall portion 11 and the bottom portion 12 of the head frame 10, a portion of each string 20, 21 including a plurality of transverse coils including a first coil segment 23 having a first end which extends from its respective spirally twisted string 20, 21, and a second end which is coupled to a respective sidewall 13, 14, and a second coil segment 24 having a first end which extends from its respective spirally twisted string 20, 21 and a second end which is coupled to its respective longitudinal thong 15, 16 by way of a loop arrangement. In other words, the first and second arrays 17, 18 are designed so as to form consecutive and repeating twist-to-coil patterns from the top wall portion 11 to the bottom wall portion 12 of the head frame 10.

[0019] A third array 19 of netting material, also preferably composed of nylon string, is positioned in the channel created between the longitudinal thongs 15, 16. The third array of netting material includes a length of string 22 which is spirally wound or twisted about itself so as to extend longitudinally between the top wall portion 11 and the bottom portion 12 of the head frame 10, a portion of the string 22 including a plurality of coils which extend transversely to interconnect the longitudinal thongs 15, 16. The plurality of coils includes coil segments 25, 26 each having a first end which extends from the spirally twisted string 22 and a second end which is coupled to the longitudinal thongs 15, 16.

[0020] The third array is coupled to the head frame 10 by way of first and second individual lengths of string 31, 32. Each length of string 31, 32 is coupled to the upper wall portion 11 and extends downwardly within the channel between the longitudinal thongs 15, 16, looping around each longitudinal thong 15, 16 at predetermined points. At distal ends thereof, the strings 31, 32 are coupled at lower portions of the longitudinal thongs 15, 16 at a point adjacent to the lower wall portion 12. This design permits the coil segments 25, 26 to become essentially suspended within the channel, thereby creating a more flexible channel in which to manipulate the ball. The pocket is completed by the addition of transverse lacing or shooting strings 27, 28 and 29 adjacent the top wall portion 11.

[0021] In order to connect the first and second arrays 17, 18 to the head frame 10, second coupling mechanism is provided. Preferably the second coupling mechanism includes an individual length of sidewall string 27 composed of a material such as nylon. The length of sidewall string 27 is looped through holes or apertures (not shown) on the sidewalls 13, 14 and is affixed thereto by knotting at distal ends thereof

[0022] Once the sidewall string 27 is affixed to each sidewall 13, 14, the first and second arrays 17, 18 are connected to the head frame 10, in particular, at the outer periphery of each sidewall 13, 14 by way of the sidewall string 30. Each spirally twisted string 20, 21 is attached at a first end to the top portion of the head frame 10 and at a second end to the sidewall string 30 at a point adjacent to the bottom section 12 of the head frame 10. The second end of each one of the first plurality of transverse coils 23 is attached to the sidewall string 30 at a point adjacent to its respective sidewall 13, 14.

[0023] FIG. 2 shows a string configuration which includes first and second thongs 115, 116 extending longitudinally in a spaced apart, yet substantially parallel relation relative to the central longitudinal axis of the head frame 110. The thongs 115, 116 are preferably composed of a suitable inelastic material, such as leather. The thongs 115, 116 are secured, coupled or attached to the top wall portion 111 and the bottom wall portion 112 of the head frame 110 in any conventional manner known in the art. Transverse lacing, or shooting strings 127, 128 and 129 are provided adjacent the top wall portion 111.

[0024] First and second symmetrical arrays 117, 118 of netting material, each one preferably composed of a nylon string material, are positioned between each sidewall 113, 114 and a respective longitudinal thong 115, 116 that permits the funneling of the ball towards the center of the head frame 110. The first and second arrays 117, 118 each include an individual length of string 120, 121 which is spirally wound or twisted about itself so as to extend longitudinally between the top wall portion 111 and the bottom portion 112 of the head frame 110. A portion of each string 120, 121 includes a plurality of coils extending transversely therefrom including a first coil segment 123 having a first end which extends from its respective spirally twisted string 120, 121 and a second end which is coupled to a respective sidewall 113, 114 and a second coil segment 124 having a first end which extends from its respective spirally twisted string 121 and a second end which is coupled to its respective longitudinal thong 115, 116 by way of a loop arrangement. In other words, the first and second arrays 117, 118 are designed to form consecutive and repeating twist-to-coil patterns from the top wall portion 111 to the bottom wall portion 112 of the head frame 110.

[0025] A third array 119 of netting material, preferably composed of nylon string, is positioned in the channel created between the longitudinal thongs 115, 116. The third array of netting material includes a length of string 122 which is spirally wound or twisted about itself so as to extend longitudinally between the top wall portion 111 and the bottom portion 112 of the head frame 110, a portion of the string 122 including a plurality of coils which extend transversely to interconnect the longitudinal thongs 115, 116. The plurality of coils includes coil segments 25, 26 each having a first end which extends from the spirally twisted string 22 and a second end which is directly coupled to the longitudinal thongs 115, 116.

[0026] The embodiment shown in FIG. 2 also utilizes the aforementioned coupling mechanism concept, i.e., an individual length of sidewall string 130, for connecting the first and second arrays to the head frame 110. However, the string arrangement illustrated in FIG. 2 differs from the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 in that the third array of netting material does not require a separate coupling arrangement to the head frame 110, i.e., the third array is coupled directly to the longitudinal thongs 115, 116.

[0027] The string arrangement illustrated in FIG. 3 includes a pair of inner thongs 216, 217 and a pair of outer tongs 215, 218 which each extend longitudinally in a spaced apart, yet substantially parallel relation relative to the central longitudinal axis of the head frame 210. The inner thongs 216, 217 and outer thongs 215, 218 are preferably composed of a suitable inelastic material, such as leather. The inner thongs 216, 217 and outer thongs 215, 218 may be secured, coupled or attached to the top wall portion 211 and the bottom wall portion 212 of the head frame 210 in any conventional manner known in the art. Shooting strings 227, 28, 229 and 230 are provided adjacent the top wall portion 211.

[0028] The inner longitudinal thongs 216, 217 create a channel in the central axis of the head frame 210 in which a flexible mesh material 219 is positioned between each sidewall 213, 214. Positioned in a space between the bottom wall portion 212 and the flexible mesh material 219 are a pair of coils 220, 221 that criss-cross in an X-shaped pattern so as to force the ball towards the center of the head frame 210 when received therein.

[0029] As shown in FIG. 4, a coupling mechanism including an individual length of sidewall string 226 composed of a material such as nylon is provided and is looped through holes or apertures (not shown) on the sidewalls 213, 214 and affixed thereto by knotting at distal ends thereof The outer longitudinal thongs 215, 218 are connected to the sidewalls 213, 214 through a plurality of transverse coils 222, 223 which are connected at one end to a respective outer longitudinal thong 215, 218 and at another end to the sidewall string 226. The inner longitudinal thongs 216, 217 and outer longitudinal thongs 215, 218 are interconnected by way of a length of nylon string 224, 225 which extends from a respective transverse coil 222, 223 in a series of symmetrical X-shaped patterns.

[0030] Accordingly, the string arrangement shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 employs a two-thong approach that creates a more open and spacious pocket design when compared to conventional stringing arrangement. In particular, the use of a twist-to-coil arrangement obviates the need for a four-thong approach since it facilitates movement of the ball towards the center of the head frame. This is advantageous in that it results in greater shooting and passing accuracy while also permitting greater ball handling.

[0031] Additionally, unlike conventional string arrangements whereby the pocket is connected to the sidewall of the head frame at the inner periphery thereof, the sidewall coupling mechanism of the invention increases the depth in which to receive the ball, and thus, permits the handler of the lacrosse stick to have greater control of the ball once received therein. This also results in increased throwing accuracy and trajectory when passing or shooting. Moreover, the string arrangement shown in FIG. 3 utilizes a conventional four-thong approach but includes the advantageous sidewall string design to maximize pocket depth for enhancing passing and shooting.