Bowling ball grip adjustment shim and installation
Kind Code:

To achieve a correlation of an initially slightly oversized diameter of a drilled finger hole in a custom fitted bowling ball to a diameter of the bowler's finger using a shim inserted in a clearance between a liner otherwise, but for the clearance, adhesively secured in place in the drilled finger hole, by using preparatory to the insertion a wedge-shaped tool to delaminate the liner-securing adhesive.

Milo, Stephen (Franklin Square, NY, US)
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B37/00; (IPC1-7): A63B43/00
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MYRON AMER, P.C. (Mineola, NY, US)

What is claimed is:

1. A method of improving the gripping efficacy of a bowling ball comprising the steps of: A. measuring the diameter of a selected finger of a bowler; B. drilling a blind finger hole having a surface approximately bounding that of said measured finger diameter in a bowling ball of plastic construction material; C. positioning a cylindrical elastomeric liner having an exterior surface of a diameter sized to fit in said bowling ball drilled finger hole in adhesive attachment to a surface bounding said drilled finger hole; D. delaminating said adhesive attachment at a selected location to delimit between a liner surface exposed by said delamination and an area on said finger hole surface in facing therewith a clearance therebetween sized to receive a shim in projected relation therein; and E. projecting a shim of plastic construction material and of a selected thickness into said clearance characterized by (1) a rectangular shape causing to the extent of said selected thickness thereof movement of said liner in a radially inward direction against a rear of a central longitudinal area of a finger of a bowler inserted in said drilled finger hole, and (2) correspondingly urging in movement a front of said inserted finger against said liner; and F. establishing gripping contact of said front of said finger against said liner; whereby said shim adjusts by its thickness the diameter of said finger hole to match the diameter of the bowler's finger to contribute to an improved bowling ball delivery.


[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part of my prior application Ser. No. 10/068,730 filed Feb. 11, 2002, now abandoned for “BOWLING BALL GRIP ADJUSTMENT SHIM AND INSTALLATION.”

[0002] The present invention relates generally to improvements in correlating diameters of fingers of a bowler's grip to diameters of drilled finger holes in a bowling ball prepared especially for, i.e. custom fit, for the bowler's use, the improvements more particularly resulting in a size adjustment of the drilled finger holes contributing to maximum control over the rotation of the bowling ball which dictates the path it will travel along and the angle at which it will strike the bowling pins.


[0003] The practice is well documented in the prior patented literature of finishing the drilled finger holes of a custom fit bowling ball with a rubber lining, referred to as an insert, sleeve or the like, which are adhesively secured in place. The configuration of the inner surface which bounds the finger hole used by the bowler of the liner provides a desired size adjustment, such as the shaped arcuate surface in U.S. Pat. No. 5,007,640 for “Finger Insert For A Bowling Ball” issued to Bernhardt on Apr. 16, 1991, a rotatable inner tube in an outer tube in U.S. Pat. No. 4,778,178 for “Adjustable Grip For Bowling Ball” issued to Haza on Oct. 18, 1988, plural inserts of U.S. Pat. No. 5,118,106 issued for “Adjustable Grip Bowling Aid Kit” to Goldman on Jun. 2, 1992, and exposed finger pads and strips in U.S. Pat. No. 5,704,843 issued for “Bowling Accessory” to Oosterlaak et al. on Jan. 6, 1998.

[0004] While generally useful for the purposes intended, what is used to achieve size adjustment is more complicated than need be, since overlooked is the simplest expedient for making a size adjustment which is believed to have been overlooked on the mistaken belief that it is precluded from use once the adhesive has cured completing the attachment of the liner in place.

[0005] Broadly, it is an object of the present invention to greatly simplify the making of a size adjustment thereby overcoming the foregoing and other shortcomings of the prior art.

[0006] More particularly, it is an object to use to achieve size adjustment a shim as defined in Webster‘s’ College Dictionary as “a thin wedge to fill out as by inserting between parts” and functioning in accordance with such definition is out-of-way or hidden, because of its position “between parts” and has a “wedge” function which in its end use urges in movement the back of the boney structure of a bowler's finger which, in turn, urges in movement the front of the finger establishing a firmer grip in the finger hole of the bowling ball, all as will be better understood as the description proceeds.

[0007] The description of the invention which follows, together with the accompanying drawings should not be construed as limiting the invention to the example shown and described, because those skilled in the art to which this invention appertains will be able to devise other forms thereof within the ambit of the appended claims.

[0008] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the shim article of manufacture of the present invention;

[0009] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a bowling ball in which advantageous use is made of the shim of FIG. 1;

[0010] FIGS. 3-7 illustrate, in sequence, the method of the advantageous use in which, more particularly, FIG. 3 is a partial perspective view illustrating a fingersize correlation to a drilled hole in the bowling ball;

[0011] FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 illustrating preparation of the bowling ball drilled hole;

[0012] FIG. 5 is a partial sectional view of the initial shim-positioning installation;

[0013] FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 illustrating the completion of the shim-positioning installation; and

[0014] FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIGS. 5, 6 on an enlarged scale illustrating the functioning of the installed shim during bowling ball use; and

[0015] FIG. 8 is an isolated view of the metatarsal and phalanges bones of a hand.

[0016] it is a generally followed practice in bowling, particularly for those at advanced levels of proficiency, to improve their grip in the drilled finger holes of the bowling ball using inserts to take up any clearance between an inserted finger(s) and the surface bounding the finger drilled hole, one prior patent, among many exemplifying this practice being U.S. Pat. No. 5,769,730 for “Bowling Ball Fingertip Positioner” issued to Roger Haskell on Jun. 23, 1998 which, by this reference, is incorporated herein pursuant to MPEP 2163.07(b) for the disclosed use of a pad or insert to convert a loose finger fit into a snug fit. Among other drawbacks of the '730 patent is that the thickness dimension of the pad is diminished by wear occasioned by rubbing contact of the finger releasing from the finger hole during bowling use which undermines the usefulness of the pad for the size adjustment end use intended.

[0017] Overcoming the foregoing and other shortcomings of the '730 and like patents is the use of a shim for hole size adjustment. In a preferred embodiment, each of a four-shim embodiment, generally designated 10, is injection molded of plastic construction material in a uniform rectangular shape and size, one long side 12 being approximately one inch, the other short side 14 being approximately ⅜ of an inch, and the thickness 16 being approximately {fraction (1/64)} of an inch. As needed, a shim, individually and collectively designated 18 is snapped free at the location 20 from a molding sprue 22, the set 10 being sold and advertised as a kit in a plastic bag 24 along with a plastic positioning tool 26 having a distal end in a wedge shape 28 with an edge 30, and a proximal end serving as a hand-gripped handle 32.

[0018] A bowling ball 34 is tailored to the use of a bowler's hand 36 by the drilling of finger holes at a location appropriate for the size of his hand, as noted at d, in a diameter 38 slightly oversized with respect to the diameter size 40 of a middle finger 42, a procedure duplicated also for the ring finger 44, if a two-finger grip with the thumb 46 is used, as illustrated in FIGS. 3, 4, or not duplicated if only a one finger-thumb grip is used.

[0019] Each drilled finger hole, as exemplified by hole d, is prepared for use by having inserted therein a cylindrical liner 48 of elastomeric construction material having its exterial surface covered by an appropriate commercially available adhesive coating 50 and presenting a smooth interior surface 52 bounding the previously noted oversized diameter 38 of the drilled finger hole. After curing of the adhesive, size adjustment is still possible, and the recognition of this is one of attributes of the present invention.

[0020] More particularly, using the wedge 28 of the tool 26, the adhesive coating 50 is neither scraped from the hole surface 54 nor from the liner external surface 56, but instead the wedge edge 30 is urged in descending movement, as noted at 58, into the thickness of the adhesive coating 50, causing it to delaminate, which delamination serves as an access opening 60 for a shim 18 to be positioned in the strategic location behind the wall portion of the liner 48 opposite from and in facing relation to the thumb drilled hole 62, all as best illustrated in FIG. 7.

[0021] To achieve this strategic positioning of the shim 18, the tool 26 is withdrawn, the shim 18 is positioned in the opening 60 and the positioning stroke 58 repeated, during which the tool edge 30 will engage, without difficulty it having been found in practice, with die cut configurations 64 adjacent the inserted edge 66 of the shim and, thusly engaged, will partake of the descending movement 58 along with the tool 26.

[0022] It is important to note that facilitating the ease in which the descending movement 58 occurs is the shape of the shim 18 as a rectangle, rather than semi-circular in an effort to match the semi-circular shape of the liner 48 behind the finger, a shape that would be extremely difficult to fit into any clearance produced by delamination. The rectangular shape demonstrates an understanding that obviates a common prior art mistake that in addition to the boney content of the fingers the soft tissue of the fingers must also be pushed forward by the shim, and this is not the case. Confining movement to just the boney finger structure, namely the metatarsal bone 70 and phalanges bones 72, the shim 18 in a rectangular shape and contacting just the boney finger structure works very effectively in establishing a firm grip between the front of the fingers and the liner 48.

[0023] In the snug fit illustrated in FIG. 7, bowlers in bowling parlance achieve maximum “lift” during release of the grip of the bowling ball 34, and this contributes to control of the rotation of the ball which in turn dictates the path it will travel along and the angle at which it will strike the bowling pins.

[0024] While the size adjustment kit for practicing the within inventive method, as well as said method herein shown and disclosed in detail is fully capable of attaining the objects and providing the advantages hereinbefore stated, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiment of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the detail of construction or design herein shown other than as defined in the appended claims.