Title:
Accessory for a ball game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An accessory (30) for a ball game includes hand engaging means or a hand receptor (32, 34) for receiving a hand of a user of the accessory, and a ball striking formation (14, 16) defining spaced, opposed outwardly facing ball striking surfaces (18, 20) on opposed sides of the hand receptor.



Inventors:
Fourie, Louis Johannes Brendan (Pretoria, ZA)
Application Number:
10/547819
Publication Date:
01/25/2007
Filing Date:
03/04/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/529
International Classes:
A63B59/00; A41D19/015; A63B59/04; A63B67/00; A63B71/14; A63B
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAMBERS, MICHAEL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WARE, FRESSOLA, MAGUIRE & BARBER LLP (BRADFORD GREEN, BUILDING 5 755 MAIN STREET, MONROE, CT, 06468, US)
Claims:
1. An accessory for a ball game, the accessory including a hand receptor for receiving a hand of a user of the accessory; and a ball striking formation defining spaced, opposed outwardly facing ball striking surfaces on opposed sides of the hand receptor; the ball striking surfaces being deformed outwardly away from each other in a wrist area thereby to allow for flexing of the wrist of the hand of a user.

2. The accessory as claimed in claim 1, in which the hand receptor includes spaced cushions or cushion portions between which the hand of a user is receivable.

3. The accessory as claimed in claim 2, in which at least one of the cushions or cushion portions defines a bulge to fit into the palm of an open hand of a user.

4. The accessory as claimed in claim 2, in which the cushions or cushion portions are of a resilient material.

5. The accessory as claimed in claim 4, in which the cushions or cushion portions are of foam rubber.

6. The accessory as claimed in claim 2, in which the cushions or cushion portions are adhesively attached to the ball striking formation.

7. The accessory as claimed in claim 1, in which a major portion of each ball striking surface is planar.

8. The accessory as claimed in claim 7, in which the planar portions of the opposed ball striking surfaces are not parallel.

9. The accessory as claimed in claim 1, in which the ball striking formation includes two opposed panels, each panel defining one ball striking surface.

10. The accessory as claimed in claim 9, in which the panels are releasably connected to one another along peripheries of the panels.

11. The accessory as claimed in claim 10, in which the panels are connected to one another by snap connectors.

12. The accessory as claimed in claim 9, in which openings are defined along a periphery of the ball striking formation, between the panels.

13. The accessory as claimed in claim 1, in which the ball striking surfaces have peripheries in the wrist area which curve inwardly towards a finger end of the accessory.

14. The accessory as claimed in claim 1, which includes a fastener to releasably fasten the accessory to the hand or wrist of a user.

15. The accessory as claimed in claim 1, in which the hand receptor is in the form of a glove.

16. The accessory as claimed in claim 15, in which the glove defines apertures or passages for ventilation of the hand of a user.

Description:

THIS INVENTION relates to an accessory for a ball game.

According to the invention, there is provided an accessory for a ball game, the accessory including hand engaging means or a hand receptor for receiving a hand of a user of the accessory; and

a ball striking formation defining spaced, opposed outwardly facing ball striking surfaces on opposed sides of the hand receptor.

Thus, the hand engaging means or hand receptor is located or sandwiched between the ball striking surfaces.

The hand receptor may include spaced cushions or cushion portions between which the hand of a user is receivable. At least one of the cushions or cushion portions may define a bulge or raised portion to fit into the palm of an open hand of a user. Typically, the cushions or cushion portions are of a resilient material. In one embodiment of the invention the cushions or cushion portions are of foam rubber. The cushions or cushion portions may be adhesively attached to the ball striking formation.

At least a major portion of each ball striking surface may be planar. Although the planar portions of the opposed ball striking surfaces may be parallel, if desired, they are not parallel in an envisaged preferred embodiment of the invention. If desired, the ball striking surfaces may be apertured.

The ball striking formation may include two opposed spaced panels, each panel defining one ball striking surface. The panels may be of wood, plywood, perspex, or another synthetic plastics or polymeric material, or a laminate of more than one material. Typically, each panel is an injection moulded panel of a synthetic plastics or polymeric material.

The panels may be releasably connected to one another along peripheries of the panels. Preferably, the panels are connected to one another by snap connectors.

Openings may be defined along a periphery of the ball striking formation, between the panels.

The accessory may be configured to allow for flexing of the wrist of the hand of a user inserted into the hand receptor or hand engaging means. Thus, the ball striking surfaces may be deformed outwardly away from each other in a wrist area. Instead, or in addition, the ball striking surfaces may have peripheries in the wrist area which curve inwardly towards a finger end of the accessory.

The accessory may include a fastener to releasably fasten the accessory to the hand or wrist of a user.

The hand receptor may be in the form of a glove for snugly receiving the hand of a user.

The invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying diagrammatic drawings, in which

FIG. 1 shows a three dimensional view of one embodiment of an accessory in accordance with the invention for a ball game;

FIG. 2 shows a three dimensional view of another embodiment of an accessory in accordance with the invention for a ball game;

FIG. 3 shows a top plan view of the accessory of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 shows a bottom plan view of the accessory of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 shows a left side view of the accessory of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 shows a right side view of the accessory of FIG. 2;

FIG. 7 shows a wrist end view of the accessory of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 8 shows a finger end view of the accessory of FIG. 2.

Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawings, reference numeral 10 generally indicates an accessory in accordance with the invention for a ball game.

The accessory 10 includes hand engaging means or a hand receptor, in the form of a glove 12, and ball striking surface defining means or a ball striking formation, comprising two spaced planar panels 14, 16, defining two spaced, opposed outwardly facing ball striking surfaces 18, 20 respectively on opposed sides of the glove 12. The panels 14, 16 can be attached to the glove 12 by any suitable means, e.g. by means of an adhesive.

The glove 12 is of foam rubber and defines a cavity to receive the hand of a user snugly. The glove 12 thus defines receiving volumes for receiving the five fingers of the hand of a user. Walls 21 of the glove 12 are relatively thick, providing the glove 12 with some shock absorption capabilities.

A plurality of ventilation apertures 22 are provided in a periphery of the glove 12, between the planar panels 14, 16.

The ball striking surfaces 18, 20 are planar and parallel to each other.

The planar panels 14, 16 are of wood. Each planar panel 14, 16 has a convexly shaped outline or periphery 24 where an opening or mouth 26 in the glove is provided through which the hand of a user can be inserted. The panels 14, 16 are in register with each other and cover the glove 12 such that the glove 12 does not project beyond peripheries of the panels 14, 16.

In use, a user inserts one hand into the glove 12. The accessory 10 can then be used to strike an object, such as a ball in order to play a game.

Referring to FIGS. 2 to 8 of the drawings, reference numeral 30 generally indicates another embodiment of an accessory in accordance with the invention for a ball game. The accessory 30 is similar to the accessory 10 and, unless otherwise indicated, the same reference numerals are used to indicate the same or similar parts or features.

Unlike the accessory 10, in which the hand engaging means or hand receptor is in the form of a glove 12, the hand engaging means or hand receptor of the accessory 30 comprises two spaced cushions or pads 32, 34. The cushion 34 is planar and is adhesively attached to a lower surface of the panel 14. The pad or cushion 32 is adhesively attached to an upper surface of the panel 16 and defines a bulge or raised portion 36 which in use fits into the palm of an open hand of a user inserted between the cushions 32, 34. In the emodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 2 to 8, the cushion 34 has a smooth or untextured lower surface which in use faces and touches the rear of a user's hand. The cushion or pad 32 has transversely extending channels 38 increasing the friction between the cushion 32 and the open palm of a user's hand and facilitating the overlaying of a foam rubber insert (not shown) underneath the cushion 32 by means of the cushion 32, in order to define the bulge 36. Both of the cushions 32, 34 are of foam rubber.

A major portion of the ball striking surfaces 18, 20 are planar, as can be clearly seen in the drawings. FIGS. 5 and 6 also clearly show that the ball striking surfaces 18, 20 are not parallel, gradually converging towards a finger end or leading end 40 of the accessory 30. The panel 14 includes or defines a downwardly depending skirt 42 and the panel 16 includes or defines an upwardly projecting wall or rim 44. Between the skirt 42 and the rim 44, openings or apertures 46 are defined. These apertures 46 are thus arranged along a periphery of the ball striking formation comprising the panels 14, 16. The panels 14, 16 are connected to one another by six snap connectors 48 located between adjacent apertures 46 arranged along the sides of the accessory 30. Keyways 50 are provided in the panels 14, 16 to provide access to the snap connectors, in case it is necessary or desired to separate the panels 14, 16.

Portions of the ball striking surfaces 18, 20 in a wrist area of the accessory 30 are deformed outwardly and are indicated by reference numerals 52, 54. Peripheries or edges of these portions 52, 54 of the ball striking surfaces 18, 20 curve inwardly or are deformed inwardly towards the finger end 40 of the accessory 30, as can be clearly seen in FIGS. 3 and 4 of the drawings. The configuration of the portions 52, 54 of the ball striking surfaces 16, 18 allows for flexing of the wrist of the hand of a user inserted between the cushions 32, 34, whilst at the same time providing some protection to the wrist.

In use, a user inserts his or her hand inbetween the cushions 32, 34, with his or her fingers slightly spread apart and with the bulge 36 being covered by the palm and fingers of the user's hand. The accessory 30 is used, like the accessory 10, to strike an object, such as a ball in order to play a game. The openings or apertures 46 provide for the ventilation of the user's hand and the cushions 32, 34 will in use absorb some of the shock of hitting or striking an object, such as a ball.

The Applicant believes that many ball games, such as tennis, table tennis, squash or the like, can be adapted to be played with the accessory 10, 30, as illustrated. By means of the ball striking surfaces 18, 20, a user can play fore hand and back hand strokes with the accessory 10, 30 fitted to his or her hand.