Title:
LACROSSE CONNECTOR SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system for connecting a sports shaft to a sports head includes a shaft-head connector having a shaft side and a head side. The shaft side has a cavity configured to releasably connect to a sports shaft. The head side is releasably connectable to a sports head.



Inventors:
Devoe, Craig Charles (Loudonville, NY, US)
Schloicka, Steven Charles (Gloversville, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/466961
Publication Date:
02/28/2008
Filing Date:
08/24/2006
Assignee:
CUSTOM-LAX, INC. (Gloversville, NY, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B59/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
CHAMBERS, MICHAEL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HESLIN ROTHENBERG FARLEY & MESITI PC (5 COLUMBIA CIRCLE, ALBANY, NY, 12203, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A system for connecting a sports shaft to a sports head comprising: a shaft-head connector having a shaft side and a head side; said shaft side having a cavity configured to releasably connect to a sports shaft; and said head side releasably connectable to a sports head.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein said shaft side comprises a shaft side longitudinal axis and said head side comprises a head side longitudinal axis, said shaft side axis and said head side axis being inclined at an angle relative to each other.

3. The system of claim 2 wherein said angle comprises at least one of 5 degrees, 7 degrees, and 9 degrees.

4. The system of claim 1 wherein said head side comprises a plurality of projections configured to be received in a plurality of grooves of the sports head to inhibit movement of said head relative to said connector when said head is connected to said connector.

5. The system of claim 4 wherein said head side comprises an outer surface and each of said plurality of projections has a different height relative to said outer surface of said head side.

6. The system of claim 4 wherein each of said plurality of projections is located on an opposite side of a circumference of said head side relative to one another.

7. A lacrosse stick system comprising the system of claim 4 connected to a lacrosse stick head and a lacrosse shaft.

8. The system of claim 7 wherein said head comprises a plurality of grooves and said plurality of projections is received in said plurality of grooves.

9. The system of claim 8 wherein said plurality of grooves is located on an inner surface defining a receiving cavity of said head and each of said grooves has a different depth relative to said inner surface.

10. A kit for connecting a sports shaft to a sports head comprising: a first shaft-head connector having a first shaft side and a first head side; said first shaft side releasably connectable to a sports shaft; said first head side releasably connectable to a sports head; said first shaft side and said first head side inclined at a first angle relative to each other; a second shaft-head connector having a second shaft side and a second head side; said second shaft side connectable to the sports shaft; said second head side connectable to the sports head; said second shaft side and said second head side aligned at a second angle relative to each other; and said first angle being different than said second angle.

11. The kit of claim 10 wherein said first angle comprises zero degrees and said second angle comprises 5 degrees, 7 degrees, or 9 degrees.

12. The kit of claim 10 wherein said first angle comprises zero degrees and said second angle comprises 5 degrees.

13. The kit of claim 12 further comprising a third shaft-head connector having a third shaft side and a third head side; said third shaft side connectable to the support shaft; said third head side connectable to the sports head; and said third shaft side and said third head side aligned at an angle of 7 degrees relative to each other.

14. The kit of claim 12 further comprising a fourth shaft-head connector having a fourth shaft side and a fourth head side; said fourth shaft side connectable to the support shaft; said fourth head side connectable to the sports head; and said fourth shaft side and said fourth head side aligned at an angle of 9 degrees relative to each other.

15. A sports head system comprising: a throat having a receiving cavity connectable to a connector for connecting a sports head to a sports shaft; said throat having an inner surface defining said receiving cavity, and said inner surface comprising at least one groove configured to receive at least one ridge of the connector.

16. The system of claim 15 wherein said at least one groove comprises two grooves opposite one another about said throat and configured to inhibit movement of the connector when the connector is received in the cavity.

17. A lacrosse stick system comprising the system of claim 15 connected to a shaft-head connector connected to a lacrosse shaft.

18. The system of claim 17 wherein said connector comprises at least one ridge received in said at least one groove.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to sports equipment and, more particular, to handles, shafts and heads of sports equipment.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Lacrosse shafts are connected to lacrosse heads and are gripped by a user to allow the user to carry a ball and/or manipulate the shaft to cause the ball to be ejected from the lacrosse head to a desired location away therefrom, e.g., to pass the ball to another player or shoot at a goal. Various alterations to the standard lacrosse shaft-head have been attempted including various offset lacrosse heads connected to their respective shafts. In fact, a lacrosse player may possess several shaft-head combinations at various angles or configurations relative to one another.

Thus, a need exists for improved connector systems for connecting lacrosse shafts and heads to one another such that the lacrosse shafts and heads may be offset relative to each other.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides, in a first aspect, a system for connecting a sports head to a sports shaft which includes a shaft-head connector having a shaft side and a head side. The shaft side has a cavity configured to releasably connect to a sports shaft and the head side is releasably connectable to a sports head.

The present invention provides, in a second aspect, a kit for connecting a sports shaft to a sports head which includes a first shaft-head connector having a shaft side and a head side. The first shaft side is releasably connectable to a sports shaft. The first head side is releasably connectable to a sports head. The first shaft side and the second head side are inclined at a first angle relative to each other. A second shaft-head connector has a second shaft side and a second head side. The second shaft side is connectable to the sports shaft. The second head side is connectable to the sports head. The second shaft side and the second head side are aligned at a second angle relative to each other. The first angle is different from the second angle.

The present invention provides, in a third aspect, a sports head system which includes a throat having a receiving cavity connectable to a connector for connecting a sports head to a sports shaft. The throat has an inner surface defining the receiving cavity and the inner surface includes at least one groove configured to receive at least one ridge of the connector.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of a lacrosse shaft connected to a lacrosse head via a connector in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the connector of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the connector of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is another perspective view of the connector of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a top elevational view of the head of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a side perspective view of the head of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is another perspective view of the head of FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of another connector in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a side perspective view of the connector of FIG. 8; and

FIG. 10 is another side elevational view of the connector of FIG. 8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the principles of the present invention, a system for connecting a sports shaft to a sports head is provided.

In an exemplary embodiment, a sports shaft 10 (e.g., a lacrosse shaft) is connected to a connector 20 which is connected to a sports head 30 (e.g., a lacrosse head) as depicted in FIG. 1.

Connector 20 includes a shaft side 50 and a head side 60 as depicted in FIG. 2. Shaft side 50 includes a shaft side longitudinal axis 55 and head side 60 includes a head side longitudinal axis 65. Shaft side axis 55 and head side axis 65 may be longitudinally aligned (i.e., at about an angle of zero degrees relative to each other) as depicted in FIG. 2. Head side 60 also includes at least one head side ridge 63 which is configured (e.g., shaped and dimensioned) to be received in a groove 210 of a receiving cavity 200 of sports head 30 (FIGS. 5-6). Cavity 200 may be defined by an inner wall 205 of a throat 207 which extends away from a basket 209 (FIG. 1) of head 30. Head side 60 may include other ridges (e.g., a second ridge 67, FIG. 4) at various points around a circumference of head side 60 to inhibit movement of head side 60 within cavity 200 (FIG. 6). As depicted in FIG. 4, the ridges may be located at about 180 degrees from one another, for example.

Further, such ridges and/or grooves may be of different sizes to inhibit the misconnection of shaft side 60 to head 30. For example, a groove (e.g., groove 210, FIG. 6) and ridge (e.g., ridge 63, FIG. 4) may be configured to engage one another while a second groove (e.g., a groove 215, FIG. 6) and second ridge (e.g., ridge 67, FIG. 4) may be configured (e.g., shaped and dimensioned) to engage one another such that it is difficult to mis-engage the ridges and grooves due to non-complimentary sizes and/or shapes. More particularly, a first ridge (e.g., ridge 63) may not be sized or dimensioned to allow it to be received within a second groove (e.g., groove 215) while a second ridge (e.g., ridge 67) may not be sized or dimensioned to be received within a first groove (e.g., groove 210). However, the first ridge may be received within the first groove and the second ridge may be received within the second groove thereby promoting such correct engagement. The engagement of the ridges of shaft side 60 in the grooves of cavity 200 of head 30 inhibit the rotation of connector 20 relative to head 30.

Head 30 may also include an aperture 220 for receiving a screw, pin or other means for inhibiting movement of head 30 relative to head side 60 of connector 20 as depicted in FIGS. 5-7. As depicted in FIG. 3, shaft side 50 of connector 20 may include a cavity 53 configured (e.g., shaped and dimensioned) to receive an end 12 (FIG. 1) of shaft 10. Shaft side 50 also includes an aperture 57 configured (e.g., shaped and dimensioned) to receive a screw, pin or other means (not shown) for holding shaft 10 in cavity 53. Head side 60 may also include an aperture 68 configured (e.g., shaped and dimensioned) to receive a screw, pin, or other means (not shown) for inhibiting movement of head 30 relative to head side 60 of connector 20. For example, a pin or screw may be received in aperture 68 and aperture 220 to inhibit the separation of head 30 and head side 60. Further, in another example, a pin or screw may be received in aperture 57 and may frictionally abut or be received in a cavity (not shown) of shaft 10 to inhibit the separation of shaft side 50 and shaft 10.

FIGS. 8-10 depict a second connector 120 which includes a second head side 160 and a second shaft side 150 configured to attach to shaft 10 and head 30 as described above for connector 20. Shaft side 150 includes a second shaft side longitudinal axis 155 and head side 160 includes a second head side longitudinal axis 165. These axes may be at an angle 180 relative to each other as depicted in FIG. 2. For example, angle 180 may be about five degrees. In other preferred examples, a connector may be formed such that the axes of inclination between such a head side and a shaft side are 7 degrees or 9 degrees. Further, it will be understood by one skilled in the art that a head side connector and shaft side connector may be formed at any angle relative to one another which facilitates use of a sports head and sports shaft by a user.

In another aspect, a shaft (e.g., shaft 10), and head (e.g., head 30), may be packaged with multiple connectors such as connector 20, connector 120, or connectors having axes of inclination relative to their shaft sides and head sides at different angles (e.g., 7 and 9 degrees), to allow a sports head to be selectively offset or angled relative to a shaft at different positions depending on the needs or desires of a user. The different degrees of inclination of the axes allow a player to vary such offset of a head (e.g., a lacrosse head) relative to a shaft based on different styles of play. For example, relative to a lacrosse shaft, head and connector, the higher degree of offset of a head relative to a shaft promotes better ball control, accuracy and velocity of a ball thrown from a shaft and head connected by such a connector. A connector (e.g., connector 20 and connector 120) may be releasably connectable as depicted in the figures such that the selection of an offset of a head relative to a shaft may be performed during a game (e.g., a lacrosse game) or any time when a rapid disconnection and reconnection is desired.

Connector 20 and connector 120 may also include a stopping ridge 90 and a stopping ridge 190, respectively which may abut an end 205 of head 30 when head 30 is correctly attached to connector 20 or connector 120. The stopping ridge therefore aids in the correct positioning of head 30 relative to the connector because a user may merely ensure that end 205 contacts the stopping ridge to ensure such correct positioning. As described above, (e.g. apertures 68 and 220) respective apertures of a head (e.g., head 30) and connector (e.g., connectors 20 and 120) may also be aligned to ensure a correct positioning and to allow a head and connector to be secured by a screw, pin or other attaching means.

Also, connectors (e.g., connectors 20 and 120) and sports heads (e.g., lacrosse head 20) may be connected to one another via grooves and shafts and described above, but such connectors and heads may also be connected in any number of ways such that they are secure when connected, releasable relative to one another and inhibit rotation relative to one another. For example, a throat, such as throat 207, could include ridges and a head side, such as head side 60, could include grooves in contrast to the embodiments depicted in the figures. Other means of attaching heads to connectors may also be employed such that rotation is inhibited therebetween and such that the connectors and heads are releaseably connectable and secure to allow use thereof in typical sports conditions such as a lacrosse game.

In addition to the customization of a sports head and sports shaft configuration as described above by using various connectors (e.g., connectors 20 and 120), a head (e.g., head 30) may also be customized relative to the longitudinal dimension of such head and the shape of the side wall which run in a longitudinal direction opposite one another about a basket (e.g., basket 209). A user may select such customized lacrosse heads along with selected connectors having various angles automatically via user input into a personal computer. Further, such customization could occur on-line via a world wide communications network, such as the World Wide Web. For example, a user could customize a desired sports head, connector, and shaft system, via software which receives information from a user via such a communications network. A computing unit may receive information transmitted from the user and automatically cause the packaging of appropriate connectors, heads, and shafts. Further, such a computing unit could cause a display of the desired set of head, shaft and connectors. A second person viewing such a display could cause the manufacturer of such components and/or their collection which could then be sent to the user who selected such customized components via courier.

Further, the use of a connector (e.g., connector 20) to connect a lacrosse shaft (e.g. shaft 10) to a lacrosse head (head 30) may increase a longitudinal dimension of the combination of such a head and connector relative to a standard sized head. More particularly, such a head (e.g., head 30) may be decreased in longitudinal dimension relative to a standard sized head by an amount equal to a longitudinal dimension of such connector (e.g., connector 20). This relative decrease in longitudinal dimension occurs in the structural portions of the head and not the catch and release portion, such as a basket (e.g., basket 209). In this manner, a standard lacrosse shaft may be utilized to connect to a connector-head-system with increasing the overall longitudinal dimension of the total system, because such a connector-head-system has a longitudinal dimension equivalent to a standard head.

Although preferred embodiments have been depicted and described in detail herein, it will be apparent to those skilled in the relevant art that various modifications, additions, substitutions and the like can be made without departing from the spirit of the invention and these are therefore considered to be within the scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.