Title:
Hand placement indicia for sports balls
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sports ball that includes a hand placement guide disposed thereon for indicating proper hand placement for a person's hands for effecting a release of the ball. The guide has a first image of a release hand including a representation of the hand's palm and fingers, where the representation of the palm has first indicia indicating that the person's palm should not touch the ball. The representation of the fingers also has indicia indicating that the person should release the ball with the three middle fingertips of the release hand.



Inventors:
Carbonero, Kurt K. (Rochester, MI, US)
Application Number:
10/719581
Publication Date:
05/26/2005
Filing Date:
11/21/2003
Assignee:
CARBONERO KURT K.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00; G09B19/00; A63B43/00; (IPC1-7): A63B43/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Andrew M. Grove (Troy, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A sports ball including a hand placement guide disposed thereon for indicating proper hand placement for a person's hands for effecting a release of the ball, the guide including: a first image of a release hand including a representation of the hand's palm and fingers; the representation of the palm having first indicia indicating that the person's palm should not touch the ball.

2. The sports ball of claim 1 wherein the representation of the fingers has second indicia indicating that the person should release the ball with the three middle fingers of the release hand.

3. The sports ball of claim 2 wherein the representation of the fingers has third indicia indicating that one of the fingers should be the last of the three middle fingers touching the ball at the end of the release.

4. The sports ball of claim 1 wherein the representation of the fingers has indicia indicating that the person should control the ball with the tips and pads of the finger.

5. The sports ball of claim 2 wherein the second indicia includes markings disposed on the representation of the three middle fingers, and a legend also disposed on the ball explaining the markings.

6. The sports ball of claim 3 wherein the third indicia includes a marking on the representation of the one finger, and a legend also disposed on the ball explaining the marking.

7. The sports ball of claim 1 where the ball is a football and the representation of the fingers contacts the lacing of the football.

8. The sports ball of claim 1 where the ball is a round ball, and the round ball further includes a second image of a guide hand, the second image being spaced apart from the first hand.

9. The sports ball of claim 8 wherein the image of the guide hand includes three middle fingers and a universal finger on each side of the three middle fingers, where each universal finger can be either a thumb or a pinkie finger, whereby the image of the guide hand represents either a left hand or a right hand.

10. A sports ball including a hand placement guide disposed thereon for indicating proper hand placement for a person's hands for effecting a release of the ball, the guide including: a first image of a release hand including a representation of the hand's palm and fingers; the representation of the fingers having indicia indicating that the person should release the ball with the three middle fingertips of the release hand.

11. The sports ball of claim 10 further including indicia indicating that one of the fingertips should be the last of the three middle fingertips touching the ball at the end of the release.

12. The sports ball of claim 11 wherein the ball is a basketball and the indicia indicates that the middle finger is the last of the three middle fingers to contact the ball.

13. The sports ball of claim 11 wherein the ball is a football and the indicia indicates that the index finger is the last of the three middle fingers to contact the ball.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The subject invention relates to sporting goods, and more specifically to sporting goods having instructive indicia disposed on the goods themselves for instructing people in the use of the goods.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

By now skilled artisans in the field of sporting goods have recognized the benefit of very simple indicia disposed on the sporting goods to provide some instruction as to the use of the goods. For example, U.S. Des. Pat. No. 375,129 shows a very simple hand placement indicia on a football. U.S. Des. Pat. No. 329,674 and U.S. Pat. No. 3,858,876 show very simple hand placement indicia on basketballs. This prior art shows where to place the hands on a ball, but it does not include additional helpful indicia that would assist people in using the balls. For example, there is little or no prior art with indicia showing how to place hands on a ball while the person is holding or controlling the ball; nor is there any prior art showing the manner in which the person should release a ball. One existing ball, the Hands-On™ ball marketed by Sportime,® has more detailed hand placement indicia. But the indicia on this ball teaches a hand placement strategy different from the present strategy, one which involves placing the release hand in flat-handed contact with the ball, and fingertip-only contact with the support hand.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION AND ADVANTAGES

According to one aspect of the invention, a sports ball includes a hand placement guide disposed thereon for indicating proper hand placement for a person's hands for effecting a release of the ball. The guide has a first image of a release hand including a representation of the hand's palm and fingers, where the representation of the palm has first indicia indicating that the person's palm should not touch the ball.

According to another aspect of the invention, a sports ball includes a hand placement guide disposed thereon for indicating proper hand placement for a person's hands for effecting a release of the ball. The guide includes a first image of a release hand including a representation of the hand's palm and fingers, where the representation of the fingers has indicia indicating that the person should release the ball with the three middle fingertips of the release hand.

According to this hand placement strategy, the user has better control over the release of the ball with the release hand for effecting a shot, a pass, a dribble, or the like.

FIGURES IN THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front view of a basketball showing the image of a release hand;

FIG. 2 is a side view of a basketball showing the image of a guide hand;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a football showing a right release hand; and

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the same football rotated to show an image of the left release hand.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which a sports ball having a hand placement guide is generally shown at 10.

Generally, the hand placement guide 10 indicates proper hand placement for a person's hands for effecting a release of the ball. The guide includes a first image 12 of a release hand including a representation of the hand's palm and fingers. The representation of the palm has a first indicia 14 indicating that the person's palm should not touch the ball. As shown in FIG. 1, the indicia 14 includes the words, “NO TOUCH ZONE” together with the symbol for “No,” and also red coloring. The representation of the fingers has second indicia generally shown at 16 indicating that the person should release the ball with the three middle fingers of the release hand. The representation of the fingers also has a third indicia 18 indicating that one of the fingers should be the last of the three middle fingers touching the ball at the end of the release.

The term “release” means the action of forcing the ball out of the hand in the context of some sporting activity. In football, the release is a passing or snapping of the ball, for example. In basketball, the release can be shooting, passing, or dribbling the ball, for example.

The second indicia 16 includes markings 20 disposed on the representation of the three middle fingers, and a legend 22 explaining the markings. The markings 20 are colored circles disposed at the tips of the three middle fingers. But any coloring, shading, or other marking may suffice. The legend 22 shown in the figures says, “3-Tip Release Points,” but similar variations could also communicate the concept that the tips of the three middle fingers are important in handling and releasing the ball.

The third indicia 18 includes a marking on the representation of one of the fingers, and a legend explaining the marking. In the case of a basketball, the marking 18 is a star in the colored circle 20 on the middle finger, though variations on the marking could suffice. The legend 22 shown in the figures says, “Feel The Middle Last,” though other similar legends could be used, as long as they communicate the concept that the person should release the ball in a manner where the tip of the middle finger is the last part of the hand to contact the ball before the release. In the case of a football, the marking 18 is a star in the colored circle on the index finger, and the corresponding legend 22 says, “Feel The Index Last.”

The representation of the fingers may also include indicia generally shown at 21 indicating that the person should control the ball with the tips and pads of the fingers. The pad of the finger is the portion at the base of the finger adjacent the palm. The pads are indicated in the figures with oval indicia 23 at the base of each finger, and the oval indicia 23 are part of the indicia 21. The indicia 21 may also include the legend 24 saying “Pad & Tip Control” or the like, possibly supplemented with the arrows as shown. The purpose of this indicia 21 is to teach that the person should control the ball while holding and releasing it with the tips and pads of the fingers. The rest of the fingers should not contact the ball.

In one embodiment, shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the ball is a football and the representation of the fingers contacts the lacing of the football. FIGS. 3 and 4 show right and left release hands, respectively.

In another embodiment, shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the ball is a round ball such as a basketball, and the round ball further includes a second image of a guide hand 26, the second image being spaced apart from the image of the first hand. FIG. 1 shows a right-handed release hand at 12. But the typical ball would also include a left-handed release hand, and indeed this is shown in FIG. 2 at 12′.

The image of the guide hand 26 includes three middle fingers 28 and a universal finger 30 on each side of the three middle fingers, where each universal finger can be either a thumb or a pinkie finger. In this manner, the image of the guide hand 26 represents either a left hand or a right hand.

If a person follows the directions printed by the hand placement guide, including the various indicia, the person will be able to control and release the ball in the proper way, which includes initiating a spin on the ball when the ball is released.

The invention has been described in an illustrative manner, and it is to be understood that the terminology that has been used is intended to be in the nature of words of description rather than of limitation.

Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. Therefore, it is to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described. Moreover, the reference numerals are merely for convenience and are not intended to be in any way limiting.