Title:
ATHLETIC ARTICLE FOR USE IN FLAG FOOTBALL
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An athletic article to be worn while, and used in, playing flag football. The athletic article includes a garment having a waist band adapted to extend about a wearer's waist and a pair of leg members extending from the waist band and adapted to extend along at least a portion of the wearer's legs. A first fastener member is secured to the garment. The athletic article also includes a flag member having an elongate flag portion and a second fastener member secured to the elongate flag portion. The second fastener member releasably mates with the first fastener member to releasably couple the flag member to the garment.



Inventors:
Hitchcock, Roe J. (Carmel, IN, US)
Goldblatt, Shelby Jay (Carmel, IN, US)
Application Number:
11/872209
Publication Date:
04/16/2009
Filing Date:
10/15/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/1, 2/243.1, 2/271
International Classes:
A63B71/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050221922Method for using a home plate tape measureOctober, 2005Rathbun et al.
20090186715Pool Port A ClipJuly, 2009Bush
20050202911Wet-proof ball structureSeptember, 2005Yang
20070232419Fungo batting assistance machineOctober, 2007Kosjer
20100099509Automatic real-time game scoring device and gold club swing analyzerApril, 2010Ahem et al.
20070249426Electronic golf scoring and match competition systemOctober, 2007Gialo
20060073921Method and system for playing a table gameApril, 2006Gast et al.
20070254751A Practice BatNovember, 2007Wilson
20050107187Method for generating lines for dart gamesMay, 2005Yiu et al.
20080108458Quick-Net Lacrosse NetMay, 2008Winningham et al.
20090098959PROGRAMMABLE LIGHTED ARCHERY NOCKApril, 2009Lynch



Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ICE MILLER LLP (ONE AMERICAN SQUARE, SUITE 2900, INDIANAPOLIS, IN, 46282-0200, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An athletic article to be worn while, and used in, playing flag football; the athletic garment comprising: a garment having a waist band adapted to extend about a wearer's waist and a pair of leg members extending from said waist band and adapted to extend along at least a portion of the wearer's legs; a first fastener member secured to said garment; and a flag member having an elongate flag portion and a second fastener member secured to said elongate flag portion; wherein said second fastener member releasably mates with said first fastener member to releasably couple said flag member to said garment.

2. The athletic article of claim 1 wherein said first fastener member is secured to said waist band of said garment.

3. The athletic article of claim 1 wherein said garment further includes a hip region extending between said leg portion and said waist band, and said first fastener member is secured to said hip region.

4. The athletic article of claim 1 wherein said garment further includes a belt loop positioned on said waistband, and said first fastener member is secured to said belt loop.

5. The athletic article of claim 1 wherein said first and second fastener members comprise a hook and loop fastener.

6. The athletic article of claim 1 wherein said first and second fastener members comprise snaps.

7. The athletic article of claim 1 wherein said leg members extend to a point adjacent the wearer's knee, such that said garment is in the form of pants.

8. The athletic article of claim 1 wherein said leg members extend to a point above the wearer's knee, such that said garment is in the form of shorts.

9. The athletic article of claim 1 further including a third fastener member, and wherein said garment further includes a hip region extending between said leg portion and said waist band, said first fastener member being secured to said waist band of said garment and said third fastener member being secured to said hip region, and wherein said second fastener may be selectively mated with either of said first fastener or said third fastener to releasably couple said flag member to garment.

10. An athletic article to be worn while playing flag football; the athletic garment comprising: a garment having a waist region adapted to extend about a wearer's waist, a hip region extending from said waist region, and a pair of leg members extending from said hip region and adapted to extend along at least a portion of the wearer's legs; a first fastener member secured to said hip region of said garment; and a flag member having an elongate flag portion and a second fastener member secured to said elongate flag portion; wherein said second fastener member releasably mates with said first fastener member to releasably couple said flag member to said garment.

11. The athletic article of claim 10 wherein said first and second fastener members comprise a hook and loop fastener.

12. The athletic article of claim 10 wherein said first and second fastener members comprise snaps.

13. The athletic article of claim 10 wherein said leg members extend to at least a point adjacent the wearer's knee, such that said garment is in the form of pants.

14. The athletic article of claim 10 wherein said leg members extend to a point above the wearer's knee, such that said garment is in the form of shorts.

15. The athletic article of claim 10 further including a third fastener member, and wherein said third fastener member being secured to said waist region, and wherein said second fastener may be selectively mated with either of said first fastener or said third fastener to releasably couple said flag member to garment.

16. An athletic article for use with flag football flags while playing flag football; the athletic garment comprising: a garment having a waist region adapted to extend about a wearer's waist, a hip region extending from said waist region, and a leg covering portion extending from said hip region and adapted to extend along at least a portion of the wearer's legs; a first fastener member secured to said garment; wherein said first fastener member is adapted to releasably mate with the flag football flags to releasably couple the flag football flags to the garment.

17. The athletic article of claim 16 wherein said athletic article includes at least one flag member, said flag member comprising an elongate flag portion and a second fastener member secured to said elongate flag portion, said second fastener member adapted to releasably mate with said first fastener member to releasably couple said at least one flag member to said first fastener member.

18. The athletic article of claim 17 wherein said first and second fastener members comprise a hook and loop fastener.

19. The athletic article of claim 17 wherein said first fastener member is secured to said waist region and further including a third fastener member secured to said hip region of said garment, and wherein said second fastener may be selectively mated with either of said first fastener or said third fastener to releasably couple said flag member to garment.

20. The athletic article of claim 16 wherein said leg members extend to a point adjacent the wearer's knee, such that said garment is in the form of pants.

21. An athletic article to be worn while, and used in, playing flag football; the athletic garment comprising: a garment having a body portion adapted to cover at least a portion of the wearer's torso, said body portion having a pair of opposing side regions adapted to cover at least a portion of the lateral sides of the wearer's torso; a first fastener member secured to said garment; and a flag member having an elongate flag portion and a second fastener member secured to said elongate flag portion; wherein said second fastener member releasably mates with said first fastener member to releasably couple said flag member to said garment.

22. The athletic article of claim 21 wherein said garment includes a pair of sleeve members extending from said body portion and adapted to extend along at least a portion of the wearer's arms.

23. The athletic article of claim 21 wherein said first and second fastener members comprise a hook and loop fastener.

Description:

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates to athletic equipment, particularly, athletic equipment and attire used in playing flag football.

Flag football is a sport enjoyed by people of all ages and gender as a safe alternative to tackle football. The sport is played much like the game of American football except that, rather than tackling the carrier of the football, the opposing team attempts to seize a flag dangling from the waist area of the carrier. The flag is secured to the sides of the waist area of each of the players by a belt that is worn around the waist. The belt is worn over the clothing and the flags are secured, by hook and loop fasteners to a location on the belt. The belt typically includes a simple dual ring belt buckle around which the loose end of the belt is looped and pulled tight.

Unfortunately, the belts are often uncomfortable, do not fit, come loose during play or require constant adjustment. Improper fit of the belt can result in improper positioning of the flags on the player's body. For example, when a smaller player pulls the belt tight, the flags may be positioned in front of the body, rather than at each side. This can result in giving the player an unfair advantage because the flags are harder to reach and access to the flags is blocked by the body during forward movement down the field. In addition, the belts often move about the waist thereby causing the flags to migrate from the side of the body to the front and back of the body. Also, when the belt is worn with pants or shorts not having belt loops, the loose end of the belt can be a hazard. The loose end of the belt can dangle from the waist allowing another player to inadvertently grab or step on the loose end of the belt. This can result in a sudden over-tightening of the belt and significant discomfort.

SUMMARY

The present invention provides athletic equipment and attire used in playing flag football. In one embodiment, the invention provides an athletic article to be worn while, and used in, playing flag football. The athletic article includes a garment having a waist band adapted to extend about a wearer's waist and a pair of leg members extending from the waist band and adapted to extend along at least a portion of the wearer's legs. A first fastener member is secured to the garment. The athletic article also includes a flag member having an elongate flag portion and a second fastener member secured to the elongate flag portion. The second fastener member releasably mates with the first fastener member to releasably couple the flag member to the garment.

In another aspect, the athletic article includes a garment having a waist region adapted to extend about a wearer's waist, a hip region extending from the waist region, and a pair of leg members extending from the hip region and adapted to extend along at least a portion of the wearer's legs. A first fastener member is secured to the hip region of the garment. The athletic article also includes a flag member having an elongate flag portion and a second fastener member secured to the elongate flag portion. The second fastener member releasably mates with the first fastener member to releasably couple the flag member to the garment.

In still another aspect, the athletic article includes a garment having a waist region adapted to extend about a wearer's waist, a hip region extending from the waist region, and a pair of leg members extending from the hip region and adapted to extend along at least a portion of the wearer's legs. A first fastener member is secured to the garment. The first fastener member is adapted to releasably mate with the flag football flags to releasably couple the flag football flags to the garment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above mentioned and other features and objects of this invention, and the manner of attaining them, will become more apparent and the invention itself will be better understood by reference to the following description of an embodiment of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front view of an athletic article in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 1A is a side view of the garment member of the athletic article of FIG. 1;

FIG. 2 is side view of the flag member of the athletic article of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front view of an athletic article in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3A is a side view of the garment member of the athletic article of FIG. 3;

FIG. 4 is a front view of an athletic article in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4A is a side view of the garment member of the athletic article of FIG. 4;

FIG. 5 is a front view of an athletic article in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5A is a side view of the garment member of the athletic article of FIG. 5;

FIG. 6 is a front view of an athletic article in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6A is a side view of the garment member of the athletic article of FIG. 6;

FIG. 7 is a side view of the garment member of an athletic article in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7A is a side view of the flag member for use with the garment member of FIG. 7;

FIG. 8 is a front view of an athletic article in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 8A is a side view of the garment of the athletic article of FIG. 8.

Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views. Although the drawings represent embodiments of the present invention, the drawings are not necessarily to scale and certain features may be exaggerated in order to better illustrate and explain the present invention. Although the exemplification set out herein illustrates embodiments of the invention, in several forms, the embodiments disclosed below are not intended to be exhaustive or to be construed as limiting the scope of the invention to the precise forms disclosed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The embodiments hereinafter disclosed are not intended to be exhaustive or limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed in the following description. Rather the embodiments are chosen and described so that others skilled in the art may utilize its teachings.

Referring first to FIGS. 1, 1A and 2, athletic article 8 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention will now be described. Athletic article 8 generally includes garment 10 and flag member 22. Garment 10 includes waist band or waist region 12, which is adapted to extend about a wearer's waist. Waist region 12 is in the form of an elastic reinforced band and includes belt loops 18. Garment 10 also includes hip region 14 extending from waist region 12, and leg covering portion in the form of pair of leg members 16 extending from hip region 14. Hip region 14 is adapted to cover the wearer's hip, while leg members 16 are adapted to extend along at least a portion of the wearer's leg. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 1A, leg members 16 may extend to length LP, which is equal to a length sufficient to extend to a point on wearer's leg at or near the wearer's knee, such that garment 10 is in the form of pants. It should be understood that, although garment 10 is illustrated as having knee-length leg members 16, the present invention contemplates leg members having various different lengths.

Referring still to FIGS. 1 and 1A, garment 10 also includes closure member 28 adapted to close waist region 12 and hip region 14 about the user's waist and hips, and secure garment 10 on the wearer. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 1A, closure member 28 may include holes formed in garment 10 and laces that are received in the holes to lace up and secure garment 10 snugly about the wearer. In addition, or in the alternative, closure member 28 may include snaps, zippers, drawstrings and/or other closure devices. Garment 10 may be formed of any material suitable for wearing including fabrics such as polyester, cotton, rayon, nylon and/or blends thereof. Waist region 12, hip region 14 and leg members 16 may be made of material similar to, or different from, one another.

Still referring to FIGS. 1 and 1A, garment 10 includes first fastener members 20, which are secured to waist region 12. First fastener members 20 are positioned on laterally opposing sides of waist region 12, such that first fastener members 20 are positioned on lateral sides of wearer's waist when wearing garment 10. As described in further detail below, first fastener members 20 may be in the form of any fastener suitable for releasably securing flag member 22 to garment 10.

Turning to FIGS. 1 and 2, flag member 22 includes elongate flag portion 24 and second fastener member 26. Elongate flag portion 24 may be formed of a flexible, relatively lightweight material such as plastic, vinyl, nylon, rayon, cotton, polyester and other synthetic and natural materials. Second fastener member 26 is configured to releasably mate with first fastener member 20 to releasably couple flag member 22 to garment 10. First and second fastener members 20, 26 may be in the form of any fastener suitable for releasably securing flag member 22 to garment 10. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 1, first and second fastener members 20, 26 may be in the form of mating and separable hook and loop fasteners, such as Velcro®.

In use, the participants in a flag football game put on garment 10 and secure closure member 28. With garment 10 on, first fastener members 20 are properly positioned at opposing lateral sides of the wearers' waists. The wearers then couple flag members 24 to each side of waist by coupling second fastener member 26 to first fastener member 20. Accordingly, flag portions 24 are dangling from the proper position on the wearers' waists. During the flag football game, rather than tackling the ball carrier, the opposing team attempts to pull flag member 22 from the ball carrier's waist. Because flag members 22 are coupled to first fastener members 20 directly on garment 10, the erroneous positioning and migrating of flag portions 24 along the waist is avoided, and certainty of fit and flag placement is assured. In addition, the need for a separate belt is avoided, thereby avoiding over-tightening, inadvertent loosening and discomfort associated with the use of traditional flag football belts.

FIGS. 1 and 1A illustrate garment 10 as having first fastener 20 positioned on waist region 12 such that flag members 22 are positioned on the waist area of the wearer. As illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 3A, first fastener may be positioned in alternative locations. For example, athletic article 108 according to another embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 3A. Athletic article 108 generally includes garment 110 and flag member 22. Garment 110 includes waist band or waist region 112, hip region 114 extending from waist region 112, and pair of leg members 116 extending from hip region 114. Garment 110 also includes closure member 128. First fastener members 120 are secured to laterally opposing sides of hip region 114, such that first fastener members 120 are positioned on lateral sides of wearer's hips when wearing garment 110. In use, second fastener member 26 of flag member 22 is configured to releasably mate with first fastener member 120 to releasably couple flag member 22 to hip region 114 of garment 110.

It should also be understood that, although the embodiments of FIGS. 1, 1A, 3 and 3A illustrate garment 10, 110 as being in the form of knee-length pants, garment may be in the form of shorts or pants having various lengths. For example, athletic article 208 according to another embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 4A. Athletic article 208 generally includes garment 210 and flag member 22. Garment 210 includes waist band or waist region 212, hip region 214 extending from waist region 212, and pair of leg members 216 extending from hip region 214. As illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 4A, waist region 212 may be in the form of an elastic, slip-on waist band and garment 210 may exclude a closure member. Leg members 216 may extend to length LS, which is equal to a length sufficient to extend to a point on wearer's leg above the wearer's knee, such that garment 10 is in the form of shorts. First fastener members 220 are secured to laterally opposing sides of hip region 214, such that first fastener members 220 are positioned on lateral sides of wearer's hips when wearing garment 210. In use, second fastener member 26 of flag member 22 is configured to releasably mate with first fastener member 220 to releasably couple flag member 22 to hip region 214 of garment 210.

FIGS. 5 and 5A illustrate athletic article 308 in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention. Athletic article 308 generally includes garment 310 and flag member 22. Garment 310 includes waist band or waist region 312, hip region 314 extending from waist region 312, and pair of leg members 316 extending from hip region 314. Garment 310 also includes closure member 328 in the form of a drawstring, which can serve to tighten and loosen waist region 312 about the wearer's waist. First fastener members 320 are secured to laterally opposing sides of waist region 312, such that first fastener members 320 are positioned on lateral sides of wearer's waist when wearing garment 310. In use, second fastener member 26 of flag member 22 is configured to releasably mate with first fastener member 320 to releasably couple flag member 22 to waist region 312 of garment 310.

FIGS. 6 and 6A show yet another embodiment of the present invention. Athletic article 408 generally includes garment 410 and flag member 22. Garment 410 includes waist band or waist region 412, hip region 414 extending from waist region 412, and pair of leg members 416 extending from hip region 414. Garment 410 also includes closure member 428. First fastener members 420 are secured to laterally opposing sides of waist region 412, such that first fastener members 420 are positioned on lateral sides of wearer's waist when wearing garment 410. Garment 410 also includes third fastener members 430, which are secured to laterally opposing sides of hip region 414, such that third fastener members 430 are positioned on lateral sides of wearer's hips when wearing garment 410. In use, second fastener member 26 of flag member 22 is configured to releasably mate with either of first fastener member 420 or third fastener member 430 to selectively and releasably couple flag member 22 to either waist region 412 or hip region 414, respectively, of garment 410.

Although the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 show first and second fastener members as being hook and loop type fasteners, the present invention contemplates using any fastener capable of releasably coupling flag member 22 to the garment, such that flag member 22 may be pulled off of the garment by the common pull force exerted by a player in flag football. For example, FIGS. 7 and 7A illustrate garment 510 and flag member 122 in accordance with another embodiment of the invention. Garment 510 includes first fastener member 520, which has pair of male snap members 520a. Flag member 122 includes elongate flag portion 124 and second fastener member 126, which is secured to flag portion 124. Second fastener member 126 includes a pair of female snap members 126a configure to mate with male snap members 520a to thereby releasably couple flag member 122 to garment 510.

It should be understood that the first fastener may be positioned at alternative locations on the garment. For instance, if the garment is equipped with belt loops at the appropriate locations, the first fastener may be secured to the belt loop. Alternatively, the first fastener may be positioned anywhere on the leg portion of the garment.

It should also be understood that the garment of the invention need not be in the form of pants, as illustrated in the embodiments shown in FIGS. 8 and 8A. Athletic article 608 includes garment 610 in the form of shirt or jersey. Garment 610 includes body portion 612, which is adapted to cover at least a portion of the wearer's upper torso, and sleeve members 616 extending from body portion 612 and adapted to cover at least a portion of the wearer's arms. Body portion 612 includes laterally opposed side regions 618. Neck/head opening 614 is provided in body portion 612. First fastener 620 is secured to each of side regions 618. Flag member 22 includes flag portion 24 and second fastener 26. Second fastener 26 is adapted to releasably couple to first fastener 620.

While this invention has been described as having an exemplary design, the present invention may be further modified within the spirit and scope of this disclosure. This application is therefore intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention using its general principles. Further, this application is intended to cover such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which this invention pertains.