|20030119596||Putting stroke grooving aid||June, 2003||Matthews|
|20070219023||C-shaped disk holder||September, 2007||Stanley|
|20060025228||Telescoping pool and billiard cue bridge||February, 2006||Light|
|20070238543||Golfing equipment||October, 2007||Cooper et al.|
|20080009361||Sweetheart putter||January, 2008||Johnson|
|20100041495||GOLF DRIVER HEAD WITH EXCHANGEABLE REAR SECTIONS||February, 2010||North III et al.|
|20020013186||Break-away, low resistance golf tee||January, 2002||Webb|
|20090062042||LIGHTED NOCK FOR ARCHERY ARROW||March, 2009||Huang et al.|
|20030186762||Introduced in tennis racket||October, 2003||Silva|
|20040142780||Disposition introduced in sports ball||July, 2004||Estefano|
|20060223653||Golf driver having titanium alloy head and flexible shaft||October, 2006||Iizuka|
 The present invention relates generally to baseball and softball bats. In particular, the present invention relates to an attachment to a ball bat that adjusts the performance of the bat.
 Baseball and softball bats were originally made of wood. In recent years, ball bats produced from different materials have emerged, including bats produced from metals, composite materials and combinations thereof. These recently produced ball bats generally provide improved performance including improved impact response and power transfer from the bat to a batted ball. This improved response typically results in greater slugging distances and greater batted ball speeds.
 Ball bats used in competitive play are typically subjected to the requirements of one or more industry associations, such as, for example, the Amateur Softball Association (“ASA”). Such associations typically establish standards, guidelines, rules or requirements, which are used to determine if equipment, such as a ball bat, is acceptable for use in competitive play. If an association approves a bat for use in competitive play, the association typically will allow its certification mark to be added to the outer surface of the bat. The certification mark indicates to the Industry, including players and umpires, that the bat complies with the association's standards for competitive play. Conversely, if a bat fails to meet an association's bat performance standards, the association may temporarily or permanently suspend or revoke its approval and the bat may be excluded from competitive play.
 The performance characteristics of a bat typically are not precisely determined until the bat is actually tested. Additionally, performance characteristics of the bat can change if the configuration or design of the bat is altered. For example, a design change that shifts the center of mass of a bat closer or further from one end of the bat can affect the bat performance characteristics, such as, for example, “batted ball speed,” the center of mass and the center of percussion. It is not uncommon for a new or modified bat to fail to meet the bat performance standards, rules or requirements of an association.
 Thus, a need exists for an efficient and reliable approach for effectively adjusting the performance characteristics of a bat that fails to fully comply with the standards or requirements of an association, without requiring significant reconstruction, remanufacturing or reworking of the bat, and without requiring recall of bats existing in the market. There is also a need for an efficient means for adjusting the performance of the bat that can be readily identified by participants including players and umpires. What is also needed is an apparatus or method of easily and efficiently adjusting the performance of a bat that can be easily implemented by the users and retailers of such bats.
 The present invention provides an attachment for a ball bat having a proximal knob end. The attachment includes a member having first and second opposing surfaces. The first surface is configured to be fixedly attached to the knob end of the bat. The member has a predetermined weight that is sufficient to adjust the performance of the bat.
 According to a principal aspect of the invention, a ball bat includes an elongate body and a member. The body extends along a longitudinal axis and has a handle portion and a primary hitting portion. The handle portion includes a knob having a knob end surface. At least a portion of the knob end surface is generally perpendicular to the longitudinal axis. The member has first and second opposing surfaces. The first surface of the member is fixedly coupled to the knob end surface. The member has a predetermined weight that is sufficient to adjust the performance of the bat.
 The present invention also contemplates a method of adjusting the performance of a ball bat. The method includes obtaining a bat having a handle portion and a primary hitting portion. The handle portion includes a knob having a knob end surface. The method further includes obtaining a member having first and second opposing surfaces, and fixedly coupling the first surface of the member to the knob end surface of the bat. The member has a predetermined weight for adjusting a performance characteristic of the bat.
 This invention will become more fully understood from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings described herein below, and wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts.
 Referring to
 Referring to
 Referring to
 Referring to
 Referring to
 The attachment
 The attachment
 The layer of adhesive tape
 The present invention provides a fast, reliable and permanent means of adjusting the performance characteristics of a bat. Ease of implementation and the effectiveness of the present invention enables the attachment to be readily installed by players, retailers, dealers, and bat producers. The durability and effectiveness of the attachment along with its ease of installation, allows the attachment to be effectively used by players, dealers, retailers and bat producers to quickly adjust the performance of a bat without requiring the bats to be recalled, and reworked or remanufactured. The configuration of the attachment is also well suited for receiving a certification mark, or other marking, which provides a highly visible and easily detectable means of differentiating a bat with an attachment from one without an attachment. Additionally, the attachment can be sized to match the desired performance adjustment for a specific bat, specific bat model or specific bat line.
 The performance adjusting attributes of the present invention are further illustrated by the following example. The present invention is not limited to the following example, and various changes and modifications may be made in the invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof.
 A single bat, a DeMarini® Doublewall™ Classic™, was tested on three separate dates by an independent testing facility, Sports Science Center of New York, N.Y. Sports Science Center is an approved testing facility of the ASA, and the tests were performed in accordance with the ASA Bat Performance Standards. The tests include a determination of the term “Batted Ball Speed” (“BBS”), which refers to the velocity derived from the bat performace factor calculations set forth in Section 4.3.10 of ASTM Standard F1890-01 (hereby incorporated by reference). The BBS calculation uses the following variables.
 (1) V=Bat Swing Speed (mph)=the greater of 70 mph*(30 oz./W)
 (2) v=Pitch Speed (mph)=10 mph
 (3) W=Bat Weight (oz.)=actual bat weight
 (4) w=Bat Weight (oz.)=6.5 oz.
 (5) I=Moment of Inertia=as calculated by ASTM F1890-01
 (6) e=Bat-Ball COR=as calculated by Section 6.1 of ASTM F1890-01
 (7) a=Distance from pivot to center of mass=as calculated per the ASTM Standard
 (8) R=Distance from pivot to center of percussion=as calculated per the ASTM Standard
 (9) k=Bat-Ball Inertia Ratio=the value drived from performing the calculations described in Section 4.3.9 of ASTM F1890-01
 A ball COR of 0.47 ±0.01 is used in lieu of Section 188.8.131.52 of ASTM F1890-01.
 Each of the three tests of the single bat included measurement of the bat's center of mass, center of percussion and BBS. The first test was performed on the bat without an attachment. The second test was performed the bat with a first attachment having a weight of 1.0 ounces. The third test was performed on the bat with a second attachment having a weight of 2.0 ounces. The results of each test are shown in the following table.
RESULTS OF THE TESTS OF A DEMARINI DOUBLEWALL CLASSIC BAT ATTACH- MENT CENTER ATTACH- WEIGHT CENTER OF PER- BBS DATE MENT (Ounces) OF MASS CUSSION (fps) Jul. 30, 2002 NONE N/A 15.82 21.56 129.1 Aug. 13, 2002 YES 1.0 15.23 22.18 126.4 Aug. 17, 2002 YES 2.0 14.66 22.53 124.6
 The test results indicate that with an attachment of 1.0 ounces the BBS dropped by 2.7 feet per second, and with an attachment of 2.0 ounces the BBS dropped by a total of 4.5 feet per second. Additionally, the attachment also draws the center of mass closer to the handle portion of the bat, and moves the center of percussion toward the distal or barrel end of the bat. The tests illustrate that bat performance characteristics of a bat, including, for example, BBS, center of mass, and center of percussion, can be adjusted by attaching the attachment to the knob of the bat.
 Referring to FIGS.
 Referring to
 While the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described and illustrated, numerous departures therefrom can be contemplated by persons skilled in the art, for example, the attachment can be a multi-piece attachment. Therefore, the present invention is not limited to the foregoing description but only by the scope and spirit of the appended claims.