Title:
Weighted Training Ball
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A weighted training ball for use with a lacrosse stick assembly is provided comprising an inner ball core comprising an inner core density and having an inner core diameter. An outer ball shell surrounds the inner ball core and comprises an outer core density and having an outer shell thickness. The inner core density is greater than the outer core density such that said overall ball weight is approximately triple that of conventional lacrosse balls.



Inventors:
Herman, Craig (Pleasant Ridge, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/848574
Publication Date:
03/13/2008
Filing Date:
08/31/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
264/478
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
BALDORI, JOSEPH B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WARNER NORCROSS + JUDD LLP (INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY GROUP 1500 WARNER BUILDING 150 OTTAWA AVE NW, GRAND RAPIDS, MI, 49503, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A weighted training ball for use with a lacrosse stick assembly comprising: a inner ball core comprising an inner core density and having an inner core diameter; and an outer ball shell surrounding said inner ball core, said outer ball shell comprising an outer shell density and having an outer shell thickness, said inner core density greater than said outer core density such that said overall ball weight is approximately triple that of conventional lacrosse balls.

2. A weighted training ball as described in claim 1, wherein said outer core density and said outer shell thickness are configured such that the overall ball elasticity is approximately that of conventional lacrosse balls.

3. A weighted training ball as described in claim 1, wherein twice said outer shell thickness added to said inner core diameter is approximately equal to a conventional lacrosse ball diameter.

4. A weighted training ball as described in claim 1, wherein said outer shell thickness is approximately ⅙ of said inner core diameter.

5. A weighted training ball as described in claim 1, wherein said outer core density and said inner core density are paired such that the overall ball elasticity is approximately that of conventional lacrosse balls.

6. A weight training ball as described in claim 1, wherein said outer shell thickness and said inner core diameter are paired such that the overall ball elasticity is approximately that of conventional lacrosse balls.

7. A weighted training ball as described in claim 1, wherein said inner ball core comprises a metal inner core.

8. A weighted training ball as described in claim 1, wherein said inner ball core comprises a ceramic inner core.

9. A weighted training ball as described in claim 1, wherein said inner ball core comprises a composite inner core.

10. A weighted training ball as described in claim 9, wherein said composite inner core is configured such that the overall ball elasticity is approximately that of conventional lacrosse balls.

11. A weighted training ball as described in claim 7, wherein said outer ball shell is molded onto said inner ball core.

12. A weighted training ball as described in claim 1, wherein said inner ball core is formed of a first shot of high density injection molding; and said outer ball shell is formed of a second shot of low density injection molding.

13. A weighted training ball as described in claim 1, wherein said overall ball weight is between 15 to 17 oz.

14. A weighted training ball as described in claim 1, wherein twice said outer shell thickness added to said inner core diameter is approximately 2.5 inches.

15. A weighted lacrosse training ball for use with a lacrosse stick assembly comprising: a inner ball core comprising an inner core density and having an inner core diameter; and an outer ball shell surrounding said inner ball core, said outer ball shell comprising an outer shell density and having an outer shell thickness, said inner core density greater than said outer core density such that said overall ball weight is greater than that of conventional lacrosse balls, twice said outer shell thickness added to said inner core diameter is approximately equal to a conventional lacrosse ball diameter.

16. A weighted lacrosse training ball as described in claim 15, wherein the overall ball elasticity is approximately that of conventional lacrosse balls.

17. A weighted lacrosse training ball as described in claim 15, wherein said outer core density is configured such that the overall ball elasticity is approximately that of conventional lacrosse balls.

18. A weighted lacrosse training ball as described in claim 15, wherein said inner core density is configured such that the overall ball elasticity is approximately that of conventional lacrosse balls.

19. A weighted lacrosse training ball as described in claim 15, wherein said outer core density and said inner core density are paired such that the overall ball elasticity is approximately that of conventional lacrosse balls.

20. A weighted lacrosse training ball as described in claim 15, wherein said outer core density and said inner core density are paired such that the overall ball elasticity is approximately that of conventional lacrosse balls.

21. A weight lacrosse training ball as described in claim 15, wherein said outer shell thickness and said inner core diameter are paired such that the overall ball elasticity is approximately that of conventional lacrosse balls.

22. A weighted lacrosse training ball as described in claim 15, wherein said inner ball core comprises a composite inner core configured such that the overall ball elasticity is approximately that of conventional lacrosse balls.

23. A weighted lacrosse training ball as described in claim 15, wherein said inner ball core is formed of a first shot of high density injection molding; and said outer ball shell is formed of a second shot of low density injection molding.

24. A method of forming a weighted lacrosse training ball comprising: forming an inner ball core using a first shot of high density injection molding, said inner ball core comprising an inner core density and having an inner core diameter; and forming an outer ball shell using a second shot of low density injection molding, said outer ball shell comprising outer ball shell surrounding said inner ball core, said outer ball shell comprising an outer shell density and having an outer shell thickness, said inner core density greater than said outer core density such that said overall ball weight is greater than that of conventional lacrosse balls, twice said outer shell thickness added to said inner core diameter is approximately equal to a conventional lacrosse ball diameter.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present invention claims priority from U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/824,386, filed Sep. 1, 2006 and entitled “Weighted Training Ball”.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to a lacrosse training ball and more particular to a lacrosse weighted training ball.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The sport of lacrosse has increased in popularity significantly over the years. Wherein it once had a limited range of collegiate clubs in the east coast, it now ranges throughout the United States and internationally. Lacrosse is a high speed and high energy game requiring significant player speed and agility. Players often spend considerable time and energy training to improve their speed and agility. In addition, player strength also plays a fundamental role in performance.

In sports such as baseball, it is known that weights in the form of rigid rings may be added to the bat to improve strength, act as a stretching routine, and improve agility. These rings are secured by the increasing dimension of a standard bat. Lacrosse, however, is a more complex and demanding game. Lacrosse stick motion during practice involves a plurality of angles and speeds and motions. Therefore, a more complex methodology of increased weight training is required. Rather than adding weight to the stick in a manner similar to a baseball bat, it would be highly desirable to add weight to the lacrosse ball. In this fashion, ball handling, ball speed, and throw distance could all be improved. The additional weight to the lacrosse ball would strengthen the identical training associated with standard ball handling.

It would, therefore, be highly desirable to have a weighted lacrosse training ball. If would further be highly desirable for such a weighted training ball to exhibit characteristics identical to a standard lacrosse ball with the sole exception of weight. Finally, it would be highly desirable to have such a weighted training ball that was simple and cost effective to produce.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the advantages of the present invention, a weighted training ball for use with a lacrosse stick assembly is provided comprising an inner ball core comprising an inner core density and having an inner core diameter. An outer ball shell surrounds the inner ball core and comprises an outer core density and having an outer shell thickness. The inner core density is greater than the outer core density such that said overall ball weight is approximately triple that of conventional lacrosse balls.

Other advantages, objects and features of the present invention will become apparent when viewed in light of the detailed description and preferred embodiment when taken in conjunction with the attached drawings and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an illustration of a weighted training ball in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an illustration of a lacrosse stick assembly for use with the weighted training ball illustrated in FIG. 1 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is an illustration of a lacrosse ball as known in the prior art.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to FIG. 1, which is an illustration of a weighed training ball 10 in accordance with the present invention. The weighted training ball 10 is intended for use with a lacrosse stick assembly 12 (FIG. 2). The lacrosse stick assembly 12 is generally comprised of a lacrosse stick 14, a lacrosse head 16, and a netting element 18 attached thereto. The lacrosse head 16 is typically comprised of a head neck portion 20, a head ball stop position 22, a pair of head sidewalls 24 and a head lip or scoop 26.

The weighted training ball 10 is comprised of a inner ball core 28 having an inner core density 30 and having an inner core diameter 32. It is contemplated that the inner core density 30 be increased such that the overall weight of the ball 34 is approximately equal to triple or three times that of the overall weight of a conventional lacrosse ball 35. Although not intended to be unduly limiting, conventional lacrosse balls weigh approximately 5.29 oz. In one embodiment, it is contemplated that the overall weight of the ball 34, in accordance with the present invention, is approximately 15.84 oz. It is further contemplated that the inner core density 30 may be generated in a variety of fashions. In one embodiment, it is contemplated that the inner ball core 28 can be comprised of a metal ball. In another, it is contemplated that the inner ball core 28 may be comprised of a ceramic center. In still another embodiment, it is contemplated that the inner ball core 28 can be comprised of a composite material configured to generate an increased overall ball weight 34 while retaining conventional lacrosse ball elasticity 36.

It is further contemplated that the weighted training ball 10 include an outer ball shell 38 formed onto an outer core surface 40 of the inner ball core 28. The outer ball shell 38 is comprised of an outer shell density 42 and has an outer shell thickness 44. The outer shell thickness 44 when combined with the inner core diameter 32 (twice the thickness 44 added to the core diameter 32—also referred to as overall ball diameter 45) is preferably configured to be approximately equal to a conventional lacrosse ball diameter 46. In at least one embodiment, the conventional lacrosse ball diameter 46 is approximately 2.5 inches (see FIG. 3). In another embodiment, it is contemplated that the outer shell thickness 44 is approximately ⅙ of the inner core diameter. It is further contemplated that the outer shell thickness 44 and the outer shell density 42 may be configured such that the overall ball elasticity 48 remains approximately equal to conventional lacrosse ball elasticity 36. In these embodiments, a greater range of materials may be utilized for the inner ball core 28 without regard to elasticity. The lack of elasticity of the inner ball core 28 can be compensated for through adjustment of the outer ball shell 38 properties.

The retention of overall ball elasticity 48 while tripling the overall ball weight 34 allows for an increased range of practice. The weighted training ball 10 can therefore be bounced and tossed while providing a reaction similar to conventional lacrosse balls 35 with only the exception of increased weight. This allows the present invention to be utilized over a wider variety of practice exercises.

It should also be understood that the present invention may be manufactured in a variety of fashions. In one embodiment, it is contemplated that the inner ball core 28 is formed from a metal ball core and the outer ball shell 38 is molded onto the outer core surface 40 such as through injection molding. In another embodiment, it is contemplated that the weighted training ball 10 be formed in a two-shot injection molding procedure wherein a first shot of high density material is injection molded to form the inner ball core 28. This is followed by a second shot of injection molding forming the outer ball shell 38. This allows a wide variety of differing weights and densities to be utilized simply by substituting injection mold materials.

While the invention has been described in connection with one or more embodiments, it is to be understood that the specific mechanisms and techniques which have been described are merely illustrative of the principles of the invention, numerous modifications may be made to the methods and apparatus described without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.