Title:
METHOD OF CHEERLEADING AND CHEERLEADING GLOVES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of cheerleading includes providing a pair of gloves. The gloves have a palm and a back portion. The palm is made of a material that is made of a thin palm material. The palm material may be made from natural leather or synthetic leather. The gloves are applied to a cheerleader's hands and the cheerleader performs cheerleading activities.



Inventors:
Mclin, Donna Louise (Rockford, MI, US)
Application Number:
10/905720
Publication Date:
07/21/2005
Filing Date:
01/18/2005
Assignee:
KEYSTONE VENTURES, LTD. (Hong Kong, HK)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D19/00; A41D19/015; A63B71/14; (IPC1-7): A63B71/14; A41D19/00
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Primary Examiner:
MORAN, KATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VAN DYKE, GARDNER, LINN & BURKHART, LLP (GRAND RAPIDS, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A method of cheerleading, comprising: providing a pair of gloves, said gloves having a palm and a back portion, said palm made of a material that is made of a thin palm material, said palm material chosen from at least one of natural leather and synthetic leather; applying the gloves to a cheerleader's hands; and performing cheerleading activities.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein said palm material is laminated with a substantially moisture-impervious material to reduce moisture migration to the cheerleader's hands.

3. The method of claim 2 wherein said palm material is embossed to improve grip.

4. The method of claim 1 wherein said palm material is embossed to improve grip.

5. The method of claim 1 including a form-fitting pattern on said palm.

6. The method of claim 1 wherein said back portion is made of a material selected for wind-blocking properties.

7. The method of claim 1 wherein said back portion is made of a material selected for at least one of heat-insulating properties and wind-blocking properties.

8. The method of claim 1 wherein said back portion is made of a stretch fabrication.

9. The method of claim 8 wherein said stretch fabrication comprises at least one of a spandex, a neoprene, a leather and a synthetic leather.

10. The method of claim 1 wherein said back portion is treated with a water-repellant material.

11. The method of claim 1 wherein said back portion defines a display field for displaying indicia.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein said display field is of a size sufficient to display an indicia that can be viewed from a distance.

13. The method of claim 1 including an elastic wristband having a non-metallic closure.

14. The method of claim 1 including a fourchette material between said palm and said back portion.

15. The method of claim 14 wherein said fourchette material is made of a stretch fabrication.

16. A cheerleading glove, comprising: a palm and a back portion; said palm made of a thin palm material, said palm material chosen from at least one of natural leather and synthetic leather; and a form-fitting pattern defined on said palm that is adapted to be taut across a wearer's palm.

17. The cheerleading glove of claim 16 including an elastic wristband having a non-metallic closure.

18. The cheerleading glove of claim 16 wherein said palm material is laminated with a substantially moisture-impervious material to reduce moisture migration to the cheerleader's hands.

19. The cheerleading glove of claim 8 wherein said palm material is embossed to improve grip.

20. The cheerleading glove of claim 16 wherein said palm material is embossed to improve grip.

21. The cheerleading glove of claim 16 wherein said back portion is made of a stretch fabrication.

22. The cheerleading glove of claim 21 wherein said stretch fabrication comprises at least one chosen from a spandex, a neoprene, a leather and a synthetic leather.

23. The cheerleading glove of claim 16 wherein said back portion defines a display field for displaying indicia.

24. The cheerleading glove of claim 23 wherein said display field is of a size sufficient to display an indicia that can be viewed from a distance.

25. The cheerleading glove of claim 16 including a fourchette material between said palm and said back portion.

26. The cheerleading glove of claim 16 wherein said fourchette material is made of a stretch fabrication.

27. The cheerleading glove of claim 16 wherein said back portion is made of a material selected for at least one of wind-blocking properties and heat-insulating properties.

28. The cheerleading glove of claim 16 wherein said palm material extends from said palm to an area on the inside of the thumb.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/481,930, filed on Jan. 21, 2004, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a method of cheerleading including the use of gloves on the hands of the cheerleader. The present invention is directed to such a method utilizing a specialized glove that enhances the ability to maintain an appropriate grip so that cheerleading and spirit squad stunts can be performed in damp and wet conditions as well as minimizing the loss of the audible noise of a clap that otherwise occurs from the use of conventional gloves. The present invention provides a glove worn by spirit squads (cheerleaders) when leading cheers to motivate fan participation and involvement during athletic events and competitive events.

Many athletic events are held in outdoor venues, exposing cheerleading and spirit squads to environmental conditions. When damp or wet environmental conditions occur, such as dew on grassy surfaces and rain, a cheerleader's hands will become wet and slippery. These environmental conditions lead to a halting of athletic stunts that are integral to the sport. Since these environmental conditions occur on a regular basis, there is a large percentage of time that cheerleaders are limited in their activities. Towel drying hands is not a practical solution to the problem since the moisture is often available on an on-going basis, such as in the event of rain.

Delivering a glove whose anti-slip features are not significantly compromised when moisture is present in the environment would provide a tremendous benefit to the cheerleading activity.

Cheerleading may also involve routines during which the cheerleader claps his or her hands. It is well known that most gloves will muffle or reduce the audible sound produced by a handclap, particularly when the material content of the glove is a knit textile product. The ability to produce an audible handclap is an integral part of the cheering activity. The handclap, when combined with vocal activity, serves to motivate both spectators and athletes; the primary goal of the cheerleading activity.

Current items marketed to this consumer leverage the use of “school colors” as the key feature without any consideration to the performance needs of the consumer. Most items marketed as “cheerleading gloves” are knit, loosely fitting versions which cannot be worn during skilled tumbling maneuvers; an integral part of this activity. Currently, cheerleaders avoid the use of gloves for two reasons—loss of the audible sound of the clap and the loosely constructed gloves currently marketed to them are unsafe when performing stunts and tumbling activities.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a method of cheerleading and, in particular, to a method for minimizing the loss of an audible noise of a clap while covering the hands of the cheerleader. The present invention also provides a glove that addresses those concerns and objections; delivering a glove that can be worn during the cheerleading activity without sacrificing the ability to generate an audible applause and overcoming a dramatic change in the coefficient of friction of various materials, including human skin resulting from the introduction of liquids, such as rain, dew, snow and other environmental conditions. Overcoming this environmental drawback with the use of a glove device is a solution to the problem. However, the material selected for the palm area of the glove should provide a significantly greater enhancement in anti-slip feature than is obtainable without the use of a glove.

According to one aspect, the present invention utilizes thin synthetic leather on the palm side of the glove to deliver the performance required. In addition, a digital print on the surface of the material, which provides a slightly uneven surface, will further improve the anti-slip quality. The internal surface of the synthetic leather may be joined with a laminate that minimizes the ability for moisture to migrate from the external side of the glove on to the surface of the hand. This feature helps to keep the hand dry and comfortable.

All embodiments utilize a hand-conforming fit and materials that allow for a full range-of-motion, critical to the cheerleading activity. These materials used for the back of the hand may include, but are not limited to, spandex, neoprene, leather or synthetic leather.

A method of cheerleading includes providing a pair of gloves. The gloves have a palm and a back portion. The palm is made of a material that is sufficiently thin to minimize attenuation of a handclap. The gloves are applied to a cheerleader's hands and the cheerleader claps the cheerleader's hands.

Among the many benefits provided by a glove specifically designed to meet one or more needs of spirit squads (cheerleaders and dance squads) include:

1. providing warmth when the outside temperatures require protection from the cold elements,

2. enhanced protection of the hand when performing tumbling routines,

3. enhanced grip when routines require joining of hands with other squad members.

According to another aspect of the invention, in order to overcome the considerable loss of the audible sound of the clap, a material that is both taut and closely resembles the qualities of skin is utilized for the palm portion of the glove. This is best accomplished with the use of a thin natural leather or synthetic material. In addition to the material selection, a form-fitting pattern is used to allow for a close, hand-conforming fit that keeps the palm material taut across the wearer's palm. It is the material selection and hand-conforming fit that delivers a handclap with minimal loss in the audible sound quality.

The leather or synthetic leather palm side portion of the glove may be combined with the form-fitting back portion of the glove. Another embodiment may continue the use of leather or synthetic leather from the palm portion to the back of the hand. In addition to the palm and back portion, a glove, according to the invention, features an elastic wrist closure with a non-metallic closure apparatus, such as Velcro.

These and other objects, advantages and features of this invention will become apparent upon review of the following specification in conjunction with the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the palm side of a glove, according to the invention, which uses a digital print, or embossed, synthetic leather material;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the backside of the glove in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is the same view as FIG. 2 of an alternative embodiment;

FIG. 4 is the same view as FIG. 1 of another alternative embodiment;

FIG. 5 is the same view as FIG. 2 of yet another alternative embodiment;

FIG. 6 is the same view as FIG. 1 of yet another alternative embodiment; and

FIG. 7 is the same view as FIG. 2 of the glove in FIG. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

For the purposes of this application, the term “cheerleader” is used in a broad sense of the term. Those with knowledge of these activities understand that spirit squad participants may include a broader audience beyond cheerleaders to such groups as dance teams, flag corps, bands, and others whose purpose is to motivate fans and participants in athletic competitions. The need exists for all of these groups to use a glove that allows for a clap without significant reduction in the audible sound quality and level.

Referring now to the drawings and the illustrative embodiments depicted therein, a cheerleading glove 10 includes a palm 12 made of a thin palm material that will be a thin leather, thin synthetic material, or the like. Palm 12 may be formed in a form-fitting configuration with a pattern that will provide for a more natural and hand-conforming fit. The material should be thin, such as 0.8 millimeters (mm) or less, and extend generally along the entire palm side of the glove from a wristband 14 to the tips of the fingers. In one embodiment, the material for palm 12 has a thickness that ranges from approximately 0.5 to 0.6 mm. In another embodiment, the material for palm 12 has a thickness that ranges from 0.6 to 0.7 mm. Palm 12 uses a patterned synthetic leather material. The pattern shown is for illustrative purposes, the actual pattern used could be similar or different from the one shown in this illustration. FIG. 1 illustrates the form-fitting nature of the pattern, which will provide for a more natural and hand-conforming fit. A palm 112 (FIG. 4) that is non-patterned could also be used. The same material used for palm 12 may extend to the inside 24 of the thumb in order to enhance the joining of hands, such as during performances involving more than one cheerleader.

To insure a snug fit of the fingers, a stretch fabrication material may be used in a fourchette area 17 of the glove. A stretch fabrication utilizes at least some yarn with elasticity properties. An example of a stretch fabrication is spandex. The fourchette area runs along the sides of the fingers. Glove 10 further includes a back portion 16 covering the back of the hand of the cheerleader. The material used for the back of the hand should provide a hand-conforming fit and adequate flexibility to perform skills associated with cheerleading. Back portion materials may include, but are not limited to, a stretch fabrication, such as a spandex, neoprene, leather, and synthetic leather. If an elasticized fabric, such as spandex or neoprene, is used for the back of the hand, the fourchette material may be the same or a different material as the back of the glove. The back portion 16 of the glove may utilize various materials to meet the design, performance and aesthetic appeal desired. For example, one embodiment may feature materials with wind blocking or insulating properties, while another embodiment may feature lightweight, breathable fabrications. The configuration of the glove allows for different embodiments particularly in the design and materials of the back portion of the glove. A back portion 116, 316 may be made of a material that covers both the back of the hand as well as the back of the fingers (FIGS. 3 and 5). Back portion 16 may also define a defined display field 22, 122, 222 that is suitable for display of the team's logo, mascot, or other indicia. The display field may be of a size that facilitates a school logo indicia that can be viewed at a distance, such as by the team fans.

To maintain a smooth, close-to-hand fit at the wrist area, glove 10 utilizes an elastic wristband 14 with a non-metallic closure 20. The non-metallic nature of the closure minimizes the risk injury to the wearer or squad mates when performing tumbling or gymnastic-like skills. The elastic wristband and non-metallic closure can take on different embodiments, such as closure 120 (FIG. 5).

Damp and wet environmental conditions significantly alter the way in which cheerleading activities can be conducted. Concerns for safety often results in the halting of the stunt, tumbling and lifting aspects of the sport when the hands become damp or wet. Because of the frequency of these conditions, the need exists for a glove product that will maintain a significant coefficient of friction as to allow for the continuation of these activities. In addition to delivering a glove product that provides an anti-slip feature in damp or wet conditions, the glove should also be designed in such a way as to not interfere with hand movement and flexibility.

FIG. 6 illustrates a glove which provides anti-slip features in damp and wet conditions. Cheerleading glove 130 includes a palm 212 made of a thin palm material, such as a synthetic leather. In the illustrative embodiment, palm 212 uses a polyurethane material, but other synthetic materials that yield the desired coefficient of friction may also be used. The palm material should be thin, such as 0.8 millimeters (mm) or less, and extended along the entire palm side of the glove from the wristband 14 to the tips of the fingers. The material selected should also feature an embossed digital pattern that will provide for a slightly uneven surface area. This feature delivers the needed friction to minimize slipping. The pattern shown is for illustrative purposes, the actual pattern used may be similar or different from the one shown in this illustration. Palm 212 should be constructed in a form-fitting manner that minimizes excess material in the palm area.

FIG. 7 shows that the same material used for the palm 212 may be extended to the inside 24 of the thumb to enhance the anti-slip feature when two hands are joined together, a common occurrence in cheerleading activities. Material selection for the back side 416 should be a material that allows for a hand-conforming fit. Back portion materials may include, but are not limited to, a stretch fabrication such as spandex, neoprene, leather or synthetic leather. The fourchette area 117 of the glove may utilize the same or different material as those used for the back of the hand. The fourchette area runs along the sides of the fingers. The back portion 416 of the glove may utilize various materials to meet the design, performance and aesthetic appeal desired. Also, the back side may be treated with a water-repellant material, such as Scotchgard™, in order to resist penetration by liquids.

Thus, it is seen that the preferred embodiment of this invention provides for a glove to be used by spirit squads comprising a palm and back side, joined along the edges of each material, which utilizes a palm material made of thin leather or synthetic leather material designed in such a manner as to yield a minimal loss to the audible sound of a handclap. The material selected for the back side may vary from embodiment-to-embodiment to meet specific climatic performance or aesthetic needs.

The present invention provides a significantly more advantageous product to the cheerleading or spirit squad market by providing the end-user with an item that has been engineered to enhance grip over the bare hands alone especially in the presence of liquids and which meets the needs of their activity without sacrificing a significant reduction in the audible noise produced by a handclap. This invention provides a glove product that conforms closely to the size and shape of the user's hand in a manner that allows for comfort without loss of flexibility and hand movement. It is the combination of materials selected and the construction that allow for a tight, yet comfortable fit. A performance glove is provided that has minimal, if any, impact on the audible sound produced by a handclap when compared to the sound produced without the use of a glove. A form-fitting design minimizes the bunching or gathering of the palm material when the fingers are curved for a handclap.

Changes and modifications in the specifically described embodiments can be carried out without departing from the principles of the invention which is intended to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims, as interpreted according to the principles of patent law including the doctrine of equivalents.