Title:
Baseball batter's helmet with adjustable protective padding system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A baseball batter's helmet includes a shell; a protective padding including crown and arcuate pads; an adjustment assembly including a split ring including two elongate end openings, a first toothed section formed on a top edge of one opening, a second toothed section formed on a bottom edge of the other opening, a rear plate including a recess having a toothed member and a transverse channel with the openings inserted thereinto to form a crossing relationship, a disk including a gear meshed with the toothed sections, and two opposite hooks engaged with the toothed member, and a rotatory knob mounted on the shell and secured to the disk, the split ring, and the rear plate; and a knob protector. Clockwise turning the knob to cause the openings to move toward each other by activating the gear mechanism will tighten the crown pad to decrease a diameter of the arcuate pad.



Inventors:
Chiang, Wen-tsai (Dongguan, TW)
Application Number:
11/514367
Publication Date:
04/24/2008
Filing Date:
09/01/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B71/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SUTTON, ANDREW W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Troxell, Law Office Pllc (SUITE 1404, 5205 LEESBURG PIKE, FALLS CHURCH, VA, 22041, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A baseball batter's helmet comprising: a shell including a forwardly projecting visor, one or two ear flaps extending downwardly and forwardly, and a rear first opening, padding means including a crown protective pad extending from a front to a rear, the crown protective pad being adhered to an inner surface of the shell, an arcuate protective pad being open to the rear having its front center interconnecting a front end of the crown protective pad, and a separate rear padding member; an adjustment assembly including a split ring open to the rear and adhered to the arcuate protective pad, the split ring including two elongate second openings at both ends, a first toothed section formed on a top edge of one second opening, a second toothed section formed on a bottom edge of the other second opening, a front plate adhered to the padding member, a rear plate adhered to the front plate and including a circular recess having a toothed member along its inner edge, and a transverse channel with both the first and second openings inserted thereinto to form a front to rear crossing relationship to each other, a disk including a gear formed on its front surface and being in gear mesh with the toothed sections, and two opposite hooks having a projecting latched end engaged with the toothed member as the disk mounted in the recess, and a rotatory knob mounted in the first opening and rotatably secured to the disk, the knob including a front central shaft inserted through the disk and the rear plate into the front plate for fastening the knob, the disk, the split ring, the rear plate, and the front plate together; and a protective member mounted on the first opening for concealing the knob; whereby opening the protective member to expose the knob and either turning the knob in a first direction to cause the second openings to further move toward each other will tighten both the split ring and the crown protective pad to decrease a diameter of the arcuate protective pad or turning the knob in a second direction opposite the first direction to cause the second openings to move away from each other will loosen both the split ring and the crown protective pad to decrease the diameter of the arcuate protective pad.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

The invention relates to protective helmets and more particularly to a baseball batter's helmet having a gear-based mechanism for adjusting a protective padding so as to accommodate different sizes of user's heads.

2. Related Art

Baseball helmets are required for play because a hard thrown baseball striking a batter's head may cause injury and even death. Typically, helmets are available in different sizes and a player may purchase a fit one. However, some players such as Little League players do not have individually sized helmets due to financial cause. Thus, adjustable baseball batter's helmets are needed.

There have been numerous suggestions in prior patents for adjustable baseball batter's helmets. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,815,847 describes an one-size-fits-all helmet. In use, a wearer may pull strap end portions to tighten the entire strap which draws rear, forward, and side protective pad portions firmly against the wearer's head. Next, fold the strap end portions toward each other to bring Velcro type fasteners into overlying fastening relationship to each other. Thus, the wearer not only can comfortably wear the helmet but also does not need to worry the helmet being flopped down over the eyes during base running.

In this regard, continuing improvements in the exploitation of adjustable baseball batter's helmet are constantly being sought.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a baseball batter's helmet having a gear-based mechanism for adjusting an interior protective padding so as to fit comfortably, snugly and securely onto a wearer's head.

To achieve the above and other objects, the present invention provides a baseball batter's helmet comprising a shell including a forwardly projecting visor, one or two ear flaps extending downwardly and forwardly, and a rear first opening, padding means including a crown protective pad extending from a front to a rear, the crown protective pad being adhered to an inner surface of the shell, an arcuate protective pad being open to the rear having its front center interconnecting a front end of the crown protective pad, and a separate rear padding member; an adjustment assembly including a split ring open to the rear and adhered to the arcuate protective pad, the split ring including two elongate second openings at both ends, a first toothed section formed on a top edge of one second opening, a second toothed section formed on a bottom edge of the other second opening, a front plate adhered to the padding member, a rear plate adhered to the front plate and including a circular recess having a toothed member along its inner edge, and a transverse channel with both the first and second openings inserted thereinto to form a front to rear crossing relationship to each other, a disk including a gear formed on its front surface and being in gear mesh with the toothed sections, and two opposite hooks having a projecting latched end engaged with the toothed member as the disk mounted in the recess, and a rotatory knob mounted in the first opening and rotatably secured to the disk, the knob including a front central shaft inserted through the disk and the rear plate into the front plate for fastening the knob, the disk, the split ring, the rear plate, and the front plate together; and a protective member mounted on the first opening for concealing the knob; whereby opening the protective member to expose the knob and either turning the knob in a first direction to cause the second openings to further move toward each other will tighten both the split ring and the crown protective pad to decrease a diameter of the arcuate protective pad or turning the knob in a second direction opposite the first direction to cause the second openings to move away from each other will loosen both the split ring and the crown protective pad to decrease the diameter of the arcuate protective pad.

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a preferred embodiment of baseball batter's helmet according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the assembled baseball batter's helmet;

FIG. 3 is a bottom view of FIG. 2 where the protective padding has not adjusted;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 where the protective padding has adjusted in order to fit a wearer's head;

FIG. 5 is an exploded view of the adjustment assembly;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of some components of the adjustment assembly of FIG. 5 being assembled;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged front view of a central portion of FIG. 6 with the disk mounted therein;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the disk;

FIG. 9 is a front view of the knob; and

FIG. 10 is a side view of FIG. 9.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIGS. 1 to 10, a baseball batter's helmet in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention comprises a relatively rigid shell 10, an interior protective padding 20, an adjustment assembly 30, and a protective member 40. Each component is discussed in detailed below.

The shell 10 is an integral member and comprises a plurality of holes 14 on its crown for ventilation, a forwardly projecting visor, two ear flaps extending downwardly and forwardly to protect the sides of the head, a rear circular first opening 13 for permitting a pigtail to extending therefrom, and a circular second opening 15 below the first opening 13 by a predetermined distance.

The protective padding 20 is formed of a buffer material (e.g., foam or the like) and comprises a crown protective pad 21 extending from the front to the rear, the crown protective pad 21 being adhered to an inner surface of the shell 11, an arcuate protective pad 22 being open to the rear having its front center interconnecting the front end of the crown protective pad 21, and a separate padding member 23 in the rear.

The adjustment assembly 30 comprises a split ring 31 open to the rear and adhered to the arcuate protective pad 22, the split ring 31 including two elongate openings 312 at both ends, and two toothed sections 311 in which one toothed section 311 is formed on a top edge of one opening 312 and the other toothed section 311 is formed on a bottom edge of the other opening 312; and an adjustment unit 32 including a knob 321, a disk 322, and a fastening seat 323. Each component of the adjustment unit 32 is discussed in detailed below.

The elongate fastening seat 323 comprises a front plate 325 adhered to the padding member 23, a rear plate 324 adhered to the front plate 325 and including a circular recess 3241 having a toothed member 3242 along its inner edge, and a transverse channel (not numbered) with both ends including the two openings 312 of the split ring 31 inserted thereinto to form a front to rear crossing relationship to each other. The disk 322 comprises a gear 3221 formed on its front surface and being in gear mesh with the toothed sections 311, and two opposite hooks 3222 having a projecting latched end 3223 engaged with the toothed member 3242 as the disk 322 mounted in the recess 3241. The rotatory knob 321 is mounted in the second opening 15 and comprises four spaced through apertures 3211 around its center, two front projections 3211 each anchored in a space adjacent the hook 322, and a front central shaft 3212 inserted through a center hole of the disk 322 and the rear plate 324 into a center hole 3251 of the front plate 325 for fastening the knob 321, the disk 322, the split ring 31, the rear plate 324, and the front plate 325 together.

The convex protective member 40 is mounted on the adjustment unit 32 which has its outer face about flush with the second opening 15. The provision of the protective member 40 aims at protecting the knob 321.

For adjusting the size of the protective padding 20, a wearer may, after placing the helmet on the head, use one hand to, for example, clockwise turn the knob 321 to cause the openings 312 to further move toward each other by activating the gear mechanism described above. Thus, the split ring 31 tightens and thus the crown protective pad 21 also tightens to decrease a diameter RI of the arcuate protective pad 22 at a position when it is not adjusted to, for example, a diameter R2. The wearer may stop the adjustment once a comfort fit is achieved. To the contrary, the wearer may counterclockwise turn the knob 321 to cause the openings 312 to move away from each other. Thus, the crown protective pad 21 loosens to increase the diameter R2.

It is to be understood that the present invention is by no means limited only to the particular constructions herein disclosed and shown in the drawings, but also comprises any modifications or equivalents within the scope of the claims.