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Title:
SLEEVE ADAPTED TO BE FITTED AROUND A HOCKEY STICK BLADE
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A sleeve and method of fitting the sleeve around at least a portion of a blade of a hockey stick is provided. The sleeve has an integral tubelike body made of an elastomeric rubber. In addition, the sleeve has an inner surface and an outer surface, as well as a first opening end and a second opening end. The tubelike body is elastically deformable and configured to frictionally fit the inner surface around at least a portion of the blade so that the outer surface of the sleeve is substantially free of superficial interruptions. In addition, the outer surface is free of superficial interruptions and made of an elastomeric rubber to enhance deflection of a puck by the outer surface.


Inventors:
Onodi, Sandor John (Southgate, MI, US)
Application Number:
12/173083
Publication Date:
01/21/2010
Filing Date:
07/15/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B59/14
View Patent Images:
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20090318241GRIP HOOK GOLF BALL RETRIEVERDecember, 2009Quinn
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Brooks, Kushman P. C. (1000 TOWN CENTER, TWENTY-SECOND FLOOR, SOUTHFIELD, MI, 48075, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A sleeve adapted to be fitted around at least a portion of a hockey stick blade, the sleeve comprising: an integral tubelike body made of elastomeric rubber and having an inner surface and an outer surface as well as a first opening end and a second opening end, the body being elastically deformable and configured to fit the inner surface around at least a portion of the hockey stick blade; wherein the outer surface is substantially free of superficial interruptions to enhance deflection of a puck by the outer surface, and the inner surface is configured to frictionally engage at least a portion of the blade.

2. The sleeve of claim 1, wherein a distance between the first opening end and the second opening end is about 6-10 inches.

3. The sleeve of claim 1, wherein the elastomeric rubber comprises ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber.

4. The sleeve of claim 3, wherein the ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber has a Shore A harness between 30 and 90 and an ultimate tensile strength of at least 25 MPa.

5. The sleeve of claim 1, wherein the body can be deformed and revert to a relaxed configuration at a temperature between −25 and 45 degrees Celsius and a distance between the inner surface and the outer surface of the body is between 0.01 and 0.1 of an inch.

6. The sleeve of claim 5, wherein the temperature is between 0 and 30 degrees Celsius and the distance is between 0.03 and 0.05 of an inch.

7. The sleeve of claim 6, wherein the elastomeric rubber comprises ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber and the distance is between 0.035 and 0.045 of an inch.

8. The sleeve of claim 7, wherein a distance between the first opening end and the second opening end is about 6-10 inches, and the ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber has a Shore A harness between 30 and 90 and an ultimate tensile strength of at least 25 MPa.

9. The sleeve of claim 8, wherein the distance is about 8-9 inches.

10. The sleeve of claim 9, wherein the integral tubelike body is configured to be removed from the hockey stick blade.

11. A hockey stick and a sleeve assembly comprising: a hockey stick having a shaft and a blade, wherein the blade has a toe and a heel; an integral tubelike sleeve made of ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber and having an inner surface and an outer surface as well as a first opening end and a second opening end, the sleeve being elastically deformable and configured to fit the inner surface around at least a portion of the blade of the hockey stick when the sleeve is at a temperature between −25 and 45 degrees Celsius; wherein the outer surface is substantially free of superficial interruptions to enhance deflection of a puck by the outer surface, the inner surface being configured to frictionally engage at least a portion of the blade.

12. The assembly of claim 11, wherein the sleeve is configured to be removed from the hockey stick blade.

13. The sleeve of claim 11, wherein a distance between the inner surface and the outer surface of the body is between 0.035 and 0.045 of an inch and a distance between the first opening end and the second opening end is about 8-9 inches.

14. A method of fitting a sleeve around at least a portion of a blade of a hockey stick, the method comprising: providing a blade of a hockey stick, wherein the blade has a toe and a heel; providing a sleeve made of an ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber and having an inner surface and an outer surface as well as a first opening end and a second opening end; elastically deforming the sleeve when the sleeve is at a temperature between −25 and 45 degrees Celsius; moving the toe of the blade into the opening ends of the sleeve; and positioning the blade relative to the sleeve, such that the inner surface frictionally engages at least a portion of the blade between the toe and the heel; so that the sleeve fits around the portion of a blade.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the step of providing the sleeve includes a step of forming the sleeve from an ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber.

16. The method of claim 14, wherein the steps of moving and positioning include a step of sliding the sleeve over the blade.

17. The method of claim 14, the method further comprising a step of cutting away at least a portion of the sleeve.

18. The method of claim 14, the method further comprising a step of cutting away at least a portion of the sleeve, wherein the step of providing the sleeve includes a step of forming the sleeve from an ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber and the steps of moving and positioning include a step of sliding the sleeve over the blade.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a sleeve for a hockey stick blade.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In a first embodiment, a sleeve adapted to be fitted around at least a portion of a hockey stick blade is provided. The sleeve has an integral tubelike body having an inner surface and an outer surface as well as a first opening end and a second opening end. In addition, the sleeve is made of elastomeric rubber and is elastically deformable and configured to fit the inner surface around at least a portion of the hockey stick blade, frictionally engaging the portion of the blade. Furthermore, the outer surface of the sleeve is substantially free of superficial interruptions to enhance deflection of a puck by the outer surface.

In another embodiment, a hockey stick and a sleeve assembly are provided. The hockey stick has a shaft and a blade. The blade has a toe and a heel. The assembly includes an integral tubelike sleeve having an inner surface and an outer surface as well as a first opening end and a second opening end. The sleeve is made of ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber which is elastically deformable and configured to fit the inner surface of the sleeve around at least a portion of the blade of the hockey stick when the sleeve is at a temperature between −25 and 45 degrees Celsius. The inner surface is configured to frictionally engage at least a portion of the blade. In addition, the outer surface of the sleeve is substantially free of superficial interruptions to enhance deflection of a puck by the outer surface.

In another aspect of the invention, a method of fitting the sleeve around at least a portion of a blade of the hockey stick is provided. The method includes providing the blade of the hockey stick, and a sleeve made of rubber. The sleeve has an inner surface and an outer surface as well as a first opening end and a second opening end. The method further includes elastically deforming the sleeve when the sleeve is at a temperature between −25 and 45 degrees Celsius, moving the toe of the blade into the opening ends of the sleeve, and positioning the blade relative to the sleeve, such that the inner surface engages at least a portion of the blade between the toe and the heel so that the sleeve fits around the portion of a blade.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view illustrating a sleeve fitted to a blade of a hockey stick;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view along line 2-2 of FIG. 1 illustrating the blade fitted to the blade; and

FIG. 3 is a flowchart diagram illustrating a method of fitting the sleeve around at least a portion of the blade.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

With reference to FIG. 1, an assembly 10 having a hockey stick 12 and a sleeve 14 are provided. The hockey stick 12 has a shaft 16 and a blade 18. The blade 18 has a toe 20 and a heel 22 and may be curved between the toe 20 and the heel 22. The blade 18 may be generally indicated as the portion of the hockey stick 12 between reference line A and reference line D. The toe 20 may be generally indicated as the portion of the hockey stick 12 between reference line C and reference line D. Furthermore, the heel 22 may be generally indicated as the portion of the hockey stick 12 between reference line A and reference line B.

With continuing reference to FIG. 1, the sleeve 14 may be adapted to fit around at least a portion of the blade 18. The sleeve-covered portion may be generally indicated as the portion of the blade 18 between reference line B and reference line C. Furthermore, the portion of the blade 18 may be considered to lie between reference line A and reference line D.

With reference to FIG. 2, the sleeve 14 has a tubelike body 30. The tubelike body 30 may be a single molded part. For example, the tubelike body 30 may be molded from an elastomeric rubber, such as ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber.

The ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber may be a suitable material due to its strength, durability and cold resistance to −65 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, EPDM rubber may enhance fitting and conformity of the sleeve 14 around the blade 18. Furthermore, the tubelike body 30 made of EPDM rubber may be used to protect the blade 18 of the hockey stick 12 from wear, water, and friction from a surface, such as an ice surface (not illustrated) or from impact with a puck or other objects. In addition, the tubelike body 30, preferably made of EPDM rubber and fitted around the blade 14 of the hockey stick 12 provides a user with increased puck-handling control as well as shock absorption from a puck contacting the sleeve 14. The EPDM rubber may have a Shore A harness between 30 and 90. Furthermore, the EPDM rubber may have an ultimate tensile strength of at least 25 MPa. The elastomeric rubber of the sleeve 14 may be cut away for sizing. A user may manually cut away the elastomeric rubber with scissors, a razor, a knife, or other suitable tool.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, the tubelike body 30 has an inner surface 32 and an outer surface 34. The outer surface 34 of the sleeve 14 may be substantially free of superficial interruptions to enhance deflection of a puck (not shown) by the outer surface 34. Superficial interruptions may disturb the response of the puck to impact with the hockey stick. Therefore, the outer surface 34 of the sleeve 14 may be substantially free of superficial interruptions to help ensure an angle of incidence of the puck contacting the outer surface 34 equals the angle of reflection of the puck, assuming non-rotation (zero angular velocity) of the puck before impact.

With continuing reference to FIG. 2, the inner surface 32 of the sleeve 14 may be configured to frictionally engage at least a portion of the blade 18. The inner surface 32 may frictionally engage the at least a portion of the blade 18 without use of an adhesive, bonding agent, or solvent. Frictional engagement without use of an adhesive, bonding agent, or solvent allows the sleeve 14 to be removed from the blade 18 of the hockey skate 12 without damaging the blade 18 of the hockey stick 12. For example, a user may wish to replace a worn sleeve with a new sleeve without damaging the blade 18 or any other part of the hockey stick 12. If a more permanent engagement is sought, a suitable adhesive, bonding agent or solvent may be used.

As shown in FIG. 2, a distance between the inner surface 32 and the outer surface 34 of the body 30 is generally indicated by thickness T. The thickness T may be anywhere between 0.01 and 0.1 of an inch. For example, the thickness T may be between 0.035 and 0.045 of an inch. The sleeve 14 weighs less and becomes more compact as the thickness T decreases. The thickness T between 0.035 and 0.045 of an inch may provide sufficient fitting and conformity of the sleeve 14 around the blade 18 while still allowing the sleeve 14 to be lightweight and provide sufficient shock absorption.

Referring again to FIG. 1, the tubelike body 30 has a first opening end 36 and a second opening end 38. The tubelike body 30 may be elastically deformable and configured to fit the inner surface 32 around at least a portion of the blade 18 of the hockey stick 12. The inner surface 32 may contact the portion of the blade 18 at any distance between the first opening end 36 and the second opening end 38. For example, the distance between the first opening end 36 and the second opening end 38 may be between 6 inches and 10 inches.

The body 30 of the sleeve 14 being molded from elastomeric rubber may be deformed and allowed revert to a relaxed configuration at a temperature between −25 and 45 degrees Celsius. In addition, the sleeve 14 may be configured to be removed from the blade 18 of the hockey stick 12 at a temperature between −25 and 45 degrees Celsius. The deforming and/or removing of the body 30 of the sleeve 14 may be accomplished either manually by a user or with a hand tool adapted to fit the inner surface 32 of the sleeve 14 around at least the portion of the blade 18.

Mention was made earlier that the tube like body 30 may be molded from an elastomeric rubber, such as EPDM rubber. As used herein, the term “rubber” includes any of a number of natural or synthetic high polymers having suitable properties of deformation (elongation or yield under stress) and elastic recovery. Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, pp. 1016-1018, 11th Ed. (1987). As used herein, the term “rubber” is not restricted to original natural rubber, but also to any material having mechanical properties substantially similar to those of natural rubber, regardless of its chemical constitution. As used herein, the term “elastomer” or “elastomeric” includes synthetic materials having rubber-like properties.

With reference to FIG. 3, a method 40 of fitting the sleeve 14 around at least a portion of the blade 18 of a hockey stick 12 is illustrated. The method 40 includes the steps of providing the blade 18 and the sleeve 14 in blocks 44, 46. Furthermore, the method 40 includes elastically deforming the sleeve 14 in block 50. Deforming the sleeve 14 may occur when the sleeve 14 is at a temperature between −25 and 45 degrees Celsius. In addition, the method 40 may include moving the toe 20 of the blade 18 into the first and second opening ends 36, 38 of the sleeve 14 as illustrated in block 52 and positioning the blade 18 relative to the sleeve 14 as illustrated in block 56. The steps of moving and positioning of the blade 18 may provide that the inner surface 32 of the sleeve 14 frictionally engages at least a portion of the blade 18 between the toe 20 and the heel 22 and that the sleeve 14 fits around the portion of the blade 18.

With continuing reference to FIG. 3, the method 40 may include a step of forming the sleeve 14 from an ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber (block 42). In addition, the method 40 may include a step of sliding the sleeve 14 over the blade 18 (block 54). Furthermore, the method 40 may include a step of cutting away at least a portion of the sleeve 14 (block 48).

While embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it is not intended that these embodiments illustrate and describe all possible forms of the invention. Rather, the words used in the specification are words of description rather than limitation, and it is understood that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.





 
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