Title:
Football glove
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention is a glove designed for football quarterbacks. The glove protects his fingers against injury, and enhances his ability to grip and throw a football with accuracy and distance in inclement weather. It has three principal features: (1) It is made of a thin, supple, tacky, water-resistant leather-like material (thickness range 0.008 to 0.024 inches) which fits tightly to the player's hand similar to a golf glove; (2) The four fingers of the glove contain hollow fingertip inserts molded from semi-rigid rubber-like material. These inserts lengthen the fingers slightly and are contoured to conform to the rounded shape of a football so that the fingertips make complete contact with its surface. The inserts enable the quarterback to put firm pressure on the ball when gripping and throwing, and also protect his fingers from injuries caused by striking his hand against the helmet of a defender; and (3) The glove has a pocket sewn into its back to retain a slim package of air-activated chemical which the player can insert to warm his hand in extremely cold weather.



Inventors:
Mcgough, Charles Brownell (Savannah, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/291277
Publication Date:
08/24/2006
Filing Date:
12/01/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MORAN, KATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHARLES B. MCGOUGH (SAVANNAH, GA, US)
Claims:
1. 1.-4. (canceled)

5. A glove for football players which is constructed of thin, supple leather or synthetic leather-like material having a thickness in the range 0.008 inches to 0.020 inches, said material being selected to conform closely to the hand of a football player in a manner similar to the close fit of a golf glove to the hand of a golfer; said football player's glove containing contoured semi-rigid elastomer fingertip inserts in each of the four fingers (excluding the thumb) of said football player's glove, which completely enclose, support, and protect the glove wearer's four fingers from the tip of each finger up to, but not beyond, the first knuckle of each finger, and which said inserts increase the effective length of each finger of the glove wearer, and which said inserts are shaped so that the wearer's gloved fingers make full contact with the rounded surface of a football, so that when wearing said glove the football player can grip and throw a football effectively, including during play in inclement weather conditions.

6. A glove for football players which is constructed of thin, supple leather or synthetic leather-like material having a thickness in the range 0.008 inches to 0.020 inches, said material being selected to conform closely to the hand of a football player in a manner similar to the close fit of a golf glove to the hand of a golfer, so that when wearing said glove the football player can grip and throw a football effectively, including during play in inclement weather conditions

7. A glove for football players which containing contoured semi-rigid elastomer fingertip inserts in each of the four fingers (excluding the thumb) of the football glove, which completely enclose, support, and protect the glove wearer's four fingers from the tip of each finger up to, but not beyond, the first knuckle of each finger, and which said inserts increase the effective length of each finger of the glove wearer, and which said inserts are shaped so that the wearer's gloved fingers make full contact with the rounded surface of a football, so that when wearing said glove the football player can grip and throw a football effectively, including during play in inclement weather conditions.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to, and the benefits of, U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/650,456 filed on Feb. 7, 2005.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING

Not applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Endeavor

The field of endeavor of this invention is athletic (or sports) gloves, specifically gloves used by participants in the game of football as played primarily in the United States and Canada.

2. Prior Art

The players of almost all sports use various types of gloves to protect their hands and improve their performance, and literally dozens of patents have been applied for or issued in this field.

For example, U.S. Patent Application 20050251078 (Fleishmann; Nov. 10, 2005) describes two-piece finger protectors containing webs and straps designed to protect the hands of soccer goal keepers. USPAs 20040199978 and 2004002522 (Cass; Oct. 14 and Feb. 12, 2004) disclose an athletic glove having holes in the gripping surfaces of three or more fingers and the palm to allow, primarily, for better gripping and handling of a basketball.

USPA 20040107476 (Goldwitz; Jun. 10, 2004) describes a glove in which two or three of the finger sections are truncated so that, when the glove is worn, the tips of these fingers are exposed. USPA 20040021330 (Percell; Feb. 5, 2004) describes an adhesive film for rubber adhesive tips which, when bonded to fingertips, supposedly enhance the player's ability to grip and throw a ball.

USPA 20030037364 (Albert; Feb. 27, 2003) is an application for a patent on a “grip-enhancing glove”, which contains a plurality of recesses or suction cups on the palm of a bowling glove to enhance control.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,983,397 (Seminara; Nov. 16, 1999) describes a “Batting Glove”, which consists of leather wrist, palm, and finger positions, hook-and-loop fasteners, a raised rubber pad, and other features all designed to enable the batter to cradle a baseball bat handle. U.S. Pat. No. 4,691,387 (Lopez; Sep. 8, 1987) describes a glove apparatus consisting of a non-slip grip and padding on various parts of the hand, which is claimed to provide the wearer advantages in water sports, baseball, weight lifting, golf, cycling, and other sports.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,624,016 (Luevano, Nov. 25, 1986) claims that its laminated cushion “athletic glove with built-in cushioning” provides protection to the user's hand without interfering with flexing of the hand, thumb, and fingers.

All of the above patents and applications describe gloves and features of gloves which are intended to protect the athlete's hand and/or improve his/her ability to catch, grip, and/or throw a ball, bat, or other athletic equipment item.

None of these devices, however, employ any of the three major features of the invention disclosed herein, which are described in detail in the following sections of this application.

It should also be noted that a number of American sporting goods companies sell gloves designed to improve the performance of football players, including quarterbacks. These gloves are generally made of tacky rubber-like synthetic material which helps the player grip the football, especially under adverse playing conditions such as rain, snow, mud, or cold. In theory, the quarterback is thus able to pass the football with greater length and accuracy than he otherwise could if he were handling the football with his bare hands under these difficult conditions.

However, these gloves, while popular with almost all football position players, are not widely used by quarterbacks at any level (high school, college, or professional). The reason for this is that the current football gloves are constructed of a relatively stiff and thick (approximately 0.035 inch) material which does not conform perfectly to the quarterback's hand and fingers. The gloves are designed for ruggedness so that they can be used over and over again in many football games. Their relatively heavy construction causes the quarterbacks to lose sensory tactile “feel” in their throwing hand, which causes them to pass the football with less accuracy and consistency than they normally would with their bare hand. Therefore even in cold, wet conditions, when a glove could provide warmth and improved gripping ability, very few quarterbacks at any level use the current generation of gloves.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

The football glove described herein has three unique and advantageous features which improve upon, and distinguish it from, all gloves which are currently available to football players, including those playing the quarterback position.

These features are: (1) The glove is made of a very thin (typically less than one-third the thickness of a standard football glove) leather or synthetic leather-like material, fitted tightly to the player's hand; (2) the fingers of the glove enclose rubber or synthetic rubber-like hollow fingertip inserts which protect the player's fingertips against impact injuries, and which are shaped so that the player's fingertips fit tightly against the contour of the football when he/she grips the ball in a throwing position, and (3) a small pocket on the back of the glove designed to hold a slim package of air-activated hand warmer chemicals, which the player can insert in the glove to warm his/her hands in very cold playing conditions. These handwarmer/footwarmer packages are widely available, and are used primarily by outdoor sportsmen.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an overall view of the football glove, showing the molded semi-rigid hollow fingertip extension inserts inside the four glove fingers of the player's hand; the thin, flexible leather or leather-like glove material of which the glove is constructed; and the pocket on the back of the glove into which an air-activated chemical hand warmer package may be inserted during very cold-weather playing conditions. FIG. 1a is a cutaway side view of one finger, which shows the molded hollow finger insert in more detail.

FIG. 2 is a cutaway side view of one finger, showing a semi-rigid, hollow fingertip extension inserted inside the thin glove material. This view also illustrates how the contoured shape of the semi-rigid hollow fingertip insert allows the player's fingertip to make complete contact with the surface of the football to aid the player in gripping and throwing. This view also illustrates how the fingertip inserts protect the tips of the player's fingers against impact injury

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The device consists of a tight-fitting glove 1 made of thin, supple leather or leather-like synthetic material which has been treated to provide resistance to water and a surface tackiness 2, and having semi-rigid molded rubber or synthetic rubber-like hollow finger inserts 3 in each of its four fingers (excluding the thumb) which effectively extend the length of each finger by a predetermined amount (typically 0.25 inches), and which are contoured so that the fingertips of the wearer make complete contact with the rounded surface of a football. The glove will be made in several hand sizes to accommodate all football quarterbacks or other position players. The glove will normally have a closure flap with a standard hook-and-eye (Velcro) pad 4 so that it can be tightly closed on the hand. The glove will also have a small pocket 5 on its back surface, located under the closure flap, which will enable it to retain a thin packet of air-activated chemicals which can be inserted to warm the player's hand in very cold weather conditions.

The added finger length and contoured shape of the inserts 6 allow the players get a firm grip on the ball, especially under inclement weather conditions, thus enabling them to improve both the distance and accuracy of their forward passes. The hollow finger inserts are molded from a rubber or rubber-like synthetic material which is stiff enough to allow the player to put throwing pressure on the ball through the inserts, but flexible enough to yield and not cause injury if the fingers are bent or struck during play. In fact, the fingertip inserts will protect the quarterback against a common injury which results from striking his hand against a defensive player's helmet while in the act of throwing a forward pass. Gloves with such inserts are not prohibited under Rules 1-4.m and 1-4-5.b. of the 2004 Football Rules and Interpretations published by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

As previously noted, the improved glove is made from a thin, supple leather or leather-like synthetic material (typically 0.010 inch thick) which enables the gloves to conform tightly to the quarterback's hand, in a manner similar to gloves worn by almost all golfers. These football gloves, which are approximately one-third the thickness of standard football quarterback gloves, will greatly improve the sensory “feel” the quarterback has in his/her throwing hand, therefore encouraging the player to use the gloves under all playing conditions. These thin supple gloves are less rugged than the thick-walled football gloves now on the market, and are intended to be replaced more often. It is likely that more than one glove will be used in a single game, depending on conditions. This is not seen as a disadvantage in the world of big-time sports, where millions of dollars are riding on the performance of the athletes, especially the key quarterback position. In golf, by analogy, it is not uncommon for a professional or top amateur golfer to use three or four golf gloves in a single 18-hole round in even normal weather, so that he/she can maintain a perfect grip on the clubs.

Although football quarterbacks are expected to be the main users of these gloves, other so-called “skill” position players (receivers, running backs, centers, “long-snappers”) may also find that the gloves enhance their gripping and throwing ability, hence improve performance.