Title:
Prewoven string for sports racquet
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A new and improved method and apparatus for prewoven strings for sports racquets is described herein. Generally, the inventive apparatus and process allows a sports racquet to be strung or restrung quickly. The racquet comprises a handle and a head extending therefrom. A string for the racquet is prewoven so that it can be quickly attached to the racquet head. The racquet head may have a plurality of grooves defined in its inner perimeter. Alternatively, apertures may be defined within the perimeter of the racquet head. In one embodiment of the invention, prewoven string bed is disposed between a first frame member and a second frame member. In another embodiment, each string end is connected to a spindle, which rests in a groove defined in the racquet head. To replace a string, the spindle can be easily removed, and a new string can be attached.



Inventors:
Martin, David A. (Bentleyville, OH, US)
Application Number:
10/115202
Publication Date:
11/07/2002
Filing Date:
04/01/2002
Assignee:
MARTIN DAVID A.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B51/00; (IPC1-7): A63B51/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIU, RALEIGH W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Emerson, Thomson & Bennett, LLC (Akron, OH, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A racquet, comprising: a first frame member having a handle and a head extending therefrom; a second frame member operatively connected to the head of the first frame member; and, a prewoven string bed disposed between the first and second frame members.

2. The racquet of claim 1, wherein the prewoven string bed is comprised of one string.

3. The racquet of claim 1, wherein the prewoven string bed is comprises of a plurality of strings.

4. The racquet of claim 3, wherein the prewoven string bed comprises between two and four strings.

5. The racquet of claim 1, wherein the head of the first frame member further comprises a groove defined in the head perimeter such that said prewoven string bed may rest within the groove.

6. The racquet of claim 1, wherein the head of the first frame member has a plurality of apertures disposed about the head perimeter, the prewoven string bed being comprised of at least one string having first and second ends, the first and second ends adapted to be selectively tightenable through the apertures.

7. A method of stringing a racquet, comprising the steps of: providing a first frame member having a handle and a head extending therefrom, a second frame member, and a prewoven string bed; positioning the prewoven string bed on the head of the first frame member; and, securing the second frame member to the head of the first frame member.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein the prewoven string bed is comprised of a plurality of strings.

9. The method of claim 8, further comprising the step of: tightening at least one of the strings of the prewoven string bed.

10. A string bed for adapted to be used with a sport racquet, the string bed comprising: a frame; and, strings, the strings having tension before being inserted into the racquet.

11. A racquet comprising: a frame; a handle; a head, the head having a top and a bottom; and, a string bed receiving groove.

12. The racquet of claim 11, wherein the string bed receiving groove is located on the top of the head.

13. The racquet of claim 1 1, wherein the groove is located on the side of the head.

14. The racquet of claim 12, wherein the groove extends the width of an associated string bed.

15. The racquet of claim 13, wherein the groove extends the length of an associated string bed.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] A. Field of the Invention

[0002] This application claims priority to U.S. Ser. No. 60/280,173, entitled Pre-Woven Racquet Strings and Method For Stringing Them, filed Mar. 30, 2001. This invention relates to the art of sports equipment, and more particularly to the art of sports racquets, and even more particularly to prewoven strings for sports racquets.

[0003] B. Description of the Related Art

[0004] It is well known that stringing of tennis racquets, as well as other sports racquets, is a recurring need, in order for string wear and tension to remain within acceptable parameters. Currently, restringing racquets is a time consuming and tedious task. Prefabricated string assemblies, which define a string bed comprised of individual transverse and longitudinal strings are known in the art. In those known devices, a stringing pattern is fixed by means of an alignment device, which retains the crossed transverse and longitudinal strings in predetermined positions relative to one another. In order to restring a tennis racquet or other sporting racquet, such a prewoven string bed, in theory, needs merely to be placed in the racquet head and the free end of the strings fastened in the appropriate holes provided therefore in the racquet frame.

[0005] Until now, attaching and tightening of the strings of the prewoven string bed has not resulted in optimal results. As such, the present invention comprises an improved apparatus and method for attaching and tightening the strings of a prewoven string bed to a sports racquet.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, prewoven strings are used to string the racquet.

[0007] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the racquet head is specifically designed for easy insertion of the prewoven strings.

[0008] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a string tension measurement device that maintains measurement of the tension on the strings.

[0009] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the racquet head is comprised of two or more framing parts designed for easy insertion of the prewoven strings.

[0010] Another object of the present invention is to provide a racquet, comprising a frame having a handle and a head extending therefrom, where the head has a plurality of grooves disposed about its inner perimeter; at least one prewoven string is operatively connected to the head, and the prewoven string is operatively connected to a spindle, where the spindle is operatively connected to the racquet by being partially received within one of the grooves of the head.

[0011] Still, another object of the present invention is to provide a racquet, wherein the width, of the spindle is substantially equal to the string spacing of the racquet.

[0012] Further, another object of the present invention is to provide a racquet, wherein the spindle is removable from the groove.

[0013] Further yet, another object of the present invention is to provide a racquet, wherein the spindle is hingedly attached to the groove so that only one end of the spindle disengages from the racquet.

[0014] Another object of the present invention is to provide a racquet, wherein the spindle further comprises at least one ball bearing operatively connected thereto.

[0015] It is yet another object of the present invention is to provide a racquet, wherein the ball bearing is adapted to allow for spinning of the spindle.

[0016] Further, another object of the present invention is to provide a racquet, wherein the string does not contact the frame.

[0017] Further yet, another object of the present invention is to provide a racquet, further comprising a string tension measurement device integrated into the racquet.

[0018] Still yet, another object of the present invention is to provide a racquet, wherein the prewoven string forms a string bed, the racquet further comprises a string tension measurement device integrated into the string bed.

[0019] Another object of the present invention is to provide a racquet, wherein the prewoven string is attached over the spindle.

[0020] It is yet another object of the present invention is to provide a racquet, comprising a first frame member having a handle and a head extending therefrom, a second frame member operatively connected to the head of the first frame member, and a prewoven string bed disposed between the first and second frame members.

[0021] Still, another object of the present invention is to provide a racquet, wherein the prewoven string bed is comprised of one string.

[0022] Further, another object of the present invention is to provide a racquet, wherein the prewoven string bed is comprises of a plurality of strings.

[0023] Yet, another object of the present invention is to provide a racquet, wherein the prewoven string bed comprises between two and four strings.

[0024] Further yet, another object of the present invention is to provide a racquet, wherein the head of the first frame member further comprises a groove defined in the head perimeter such that said prewoven string bed may rest within the groove.

[0025] Still, another object of the present invention is to provide a racquet, wherein the head of the first frame member has a plurality of apertures disposed about the head perimeter, the prewoven string bed being comprised of at least one string having first and second ends, the first and second ends adapted to be selectively tightenable through the apertures.

[0026] It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a method of stringing a racquet, including providing a first frame member having a handle and a head extending therefrom, a second frame member, and a prewoven string bed, positioning the prewoven string bed on the head of the first frame member, and securing the second frame member to the head of the first frame member.

[0027] Still other benefits and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading and understanding of the following detailed specification.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0028] The invention may take physical form in certain parts and arrangement of parts, several embodiments of which will be described in detail in this specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof and wherein:

[0029] FIG. 1A is a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention;

[0030] FIG. 1B is a perspective view of a separate embodiment of the present invention;

[0031] FIG. 1C is a perspective view of another embodiment of the present invention, showing the framing parts of the racquet head;

[0032] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a separate embodiment of the present invention;

[0033] FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the racquet head, showing a pivoting or removable spindle;

[0034] FIG. 4 is a pre-tensioned string bed;

[0035] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the pre-tensioned string bed being inserted into the racquet;

[0036] FIG. 6 is a side view of the racquet, showing the opening for inserting the pre-tensioned string bed; and,

[0037] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a racquet with a removable head.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0038] Referring now to the drawings wherein the showings are for purposes of illustrating at least one embodiment of the invention only and not for purposes of limiting the same, FIGS. 1A-3 illustrate the present invention. Generally, the inventive apparatus and process enables a tennis racquet 10 to be strung or restrung quickly. The racquet 10 comprises a handle 14 and a head 16 extending therefrom. A string 24 for the racquet 10 is prewoven so that it can be quickly attached to the racquet head 16. The racquet head 16 may have a plurality of grooves 32 defined in its inner perimeter. Alternatively, apertures 34 may be defined within the perimeter of the racquet head 16.

[0039] FIG. 1B shows one embodiment of the invention wherein a prewoven string bed 30 is made of one individual string 24. The string 24 is woven such that it can be looped through the apertures 34 of the racquet head 16. The string 24 is tied off at a first end 18 of the racquet head 16, and when the string 24 has been looped through all the apertures 34 in the racquet head 16, it is tied off at a second end 20. In this embodiment, it is also possible to have one or more additional tie off points in order to make the stringing process easier, as well as the maintenance of tension.

[0040] With reference to FIG. 1C, another embodiment of the present invention is shown. In this embodiment, the racquet 10 comprises a second frame member 22, which is operatively connected to the racquet head 16 of the first frame member 12. The prewoven string bed 30 is disposed between the first and second racquet members 12, 22. The prewoven string bed 30 may be comprised of a single string 24 or a plurality of strings 24. The first frame member 12 may further comprise a groove on which the prewoven string bed 30 may rest. When the second frame member 22 is positioned over the prewoven string bed 30, it contacts the first frame member 12. At this point, the second frame member 22 may be secured to the first frame member 12 with screws, rivets, or any other means chosen in accordance with sound engineering judgment. As such, the prewoven string bed 30 is secured in place. It is also contemplated to be within the scope of the present invention that the string 24 or strings 24 of the prewoven string bed 30 may be selectively tightenable through the apertures 34 of the racquet head 16.

[0041] FIG. 2 shows another embodiment of the present invention, wherein the apertures 34 in the racquet head 16 have at least one loop 46 positioned within each aperture 34. The string 24 of the prewoven string bed 30 is then attached to each individual loop 46, and the loops 46 are tightened appropriately to maintain the proper tension. Any means for attaching the string 24 of the prewoven string bed 30 to the loops 46 could be used, as long as chosen using sound engineering judgment. It is to be understood that this embodiment is not limited to using circular loops 46 in the racquet head 16, but the loops 46 can be horseshoe shaped, or any other design for receiving the string 24 of the prewoven string bed 30, as long as chosen using sound engineering judgment.

[0042] In another embodiment of this invention, a separate string 24 could be woven through the head 16 of the racquet 10 and the prewoven string bed 30 could be looped through the separate string. In this particular embodiment, two to four strings 24 could be used to create the proper tension. It is to be understood that this invention can be used with any number of strings 24 in the prewoven string bed 30, as long as the number of strings 24 is chosen using sound engineering judgment.

[0043] With reference now to FIG. 3, the racquet head 16 has at least one groove 32 for receiving at least one spindle 36. Each spindle 36 has a first end 38 and a second end 40. The spindle 36 is operatively connected to the racquet 10 by being at least partially received within the groove 32. The connection of the spindle 36 to the racquet head 16 may be done by any means chosen in accordance with sound engineering judgment. As shown in FIG. 3, the spindle 36 rests in the groove 32. The string 24 is adapted to operatively connect to the spindle 36. Again, the connection can be through any means chosen with sound engineering judgment. In one embodiment, the string 24 may go over the spindle 36, or the string 24 may be tied to the spindle 36. It is also contemplated that an adhesive may be utilized to attached the string 24 to the spindle 36. The spindle 36 allows for easy tightening of the string 24. Also, in order to restring the racquet 10, the individual simply removes the spindles 36 and replaces the string 24. The number of spindles 36 of the racquet head 16 can be any number chosen using sound engineering judgment. Further, as shown in FIG. 3, the height of the spindle 36 is substantially equal to the string spacing. As such, it is contemplated that two strings 24 from the prewoven string bed 30 may be connected to the same spindle 36.

[0044] In yet another embodiment of the present invention, a ball bearing 42 is operatively connected to the spindle 36. The ball bearing 42 enables the spindle 36 to spin.

[0045] In another embodiment of this invention, a string tension measurement device 44 is integrated into the racquet 10, the prewoven string bed 30, or both. The string tension measurement device 44 can be any tension measuring device chosen using sound engineering judgment.

[0046] With reference now to FIGS. 4-6, another embodiment of this invention is shown. This embodiment includes a pre-tensioned string bed 48 (by “pre-tensioned” it is meant that the strings already have the necessary tension for play), strings 50, racquet 60, frame 52, string opening 56, handle 54, and string bed opening 62. The string bed 48 has received tension by any method known in the art, and the tension is maintained by a frame 72. The string bed 48 is inserted into the frame 52 via opening 62. Once the string bed 48 is in place, it is connected to the frame 52 and racquet 60 by any known connecting means. The opening 62 is then closed so the racquet 60 is ready for play. It is to be understood that the shape of the string bed 48 is only limited by the type and shape of racquet 60 used. The string bed 48 can also be given any amount of tension, as long as chosen using sound engineering judgment.

[0047] With reference now to FIG. 7, another embodiment of this invention is shown, wherein the racquet head 64 is replaceable. The racquet head 64, along with strings 72 can be detached from handle 66 so that a new head 64 can be attached. In this embodiment, the head 64 is connected to the handle 66 via a screw 68 and receiving means 70 mechanism, but it is understood that any means, using sound engineering judgment, can used to attach the head 64 to the handle 66.

[0048] Multiple embodiments have been described, hereinabove. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the above methods may incorporate changes and modifications without departing from the general scope of this invention. It is intended to include all such modifications and alterations in so far as they come within the scope of the appended claims or the equivalents thereof.

[0049] Having thus described the invention, it is now claimed: