Title:
Apparatus for temporarily designating player-leaders of a sports team
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A removable apparatus for temporarily designating player-leaders of a sports team. The two part Letter(s) are a Surface Letter made from pliable material (typically some cloth form). The Surface Letter may be a custom embroidered letter(s) with or without matching/complimentary edging. The Surface Letter may be a silk-screened letter(s) with or without matching/complimentary edging. The Surface Letter is attached to the second component, the Letter Underlayment made from pliable material (typically some cloth form) that lays under the Surface Letter. A Backing material which underlies the shirt/jersey top (typically some cloth form) to which the Letters are attached. A Backing Support is attached to the Backing (typically an interfacing with adhesive). Fasteners are attached to the Letter Underlayment(s) and Backing(s) and are used to attach the Letter(s) and Backing(s) together through shirt/jersey top.



Inventors:
Bardy, Christopher Albert (Walled Lake, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/075290
Publication Date:
09/14/2006
Filing Date:
03/08/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
40/299.01
International Classes:
A44C3/00
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Primary Examiner:
DICUS, TAMRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Alex Rhodes (Wixon, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A removable apparatus for temporarily designating the player-leaders (typically the Captain and Assistant/Alternate Captains) of a sports team, comprising: a Letter made in two parts, the Surface Letter is made from pliable material (typically some cloth form, but not restricted to only cloth); said Surface Letter(s) may be a combination comprising custom embroidered letter(s) with or without matching/complimentary edging; said Surface Letter(s) may be a combination comprising silk-screened letter(s) in place of cloth, with or without matching/complimentary edging; said Surface Letter(s) are attached to a second Letter component, the Letter Underlayment which is made from pliable material (typically some cloth form, but not restricted to only cloth) that lays under said Surface Letter(s) providing additional structure, defines matching/complimentary edging and provides a mounting mechanism; a Backing material (typically some cloth form, but not restricted to only cloth) which underlies the shirt/jersey top to which said Letter(s) are attached/connected; a Backing Support (typically an interfacing with adhesive) which is attached to said Backing which may be used to provide support to said Backing; fasteners that are attached to said Letter Underlayment(s) and Backing(s) to attach said Letter(s) and Backing(s) together through shirt/jersey top; further objects and advantages of my invention will become apparent from a consideration of the drawings and preceding description.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

DESCRIPTION OF ATTACHED APPENDIX

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the field of Sports and more specifically to the designation of player-leaders of a sports team (typically Captain and Assistant/Alternate Captains). This apparatus is removable and allows for the temporary designation of player-leaders.

Origins for using a Captain for a sports team can be traced back to 1896, though with some uncertainty, where a Captain Franklyn is mentioned in a news article regarding a hockey “match” (Jones). According to Wikipedia.org, a list of NHL team Captains lists Harvey Pul6b ford as the Ottawa Senators first Captain from 1902-1906 (Wikipedia). In 1927, the NHL instituted a “rule that allows only team captains to address referees” (Hockey Chicas). The Captain and Assistant Captains are on-ice officials of a hockey team and are the only players with “the privledge of discussing with the Referee any questions relating to interpretation of rules that may rise during the progress of a game” (USA Hockey). The Captain and Assistant Captains were permanently assigned, the letters indicating the leadership position were permanently attached to the players “sweater”. The origins and use of a team Captain in youth sports is undetermined.

Prior patents that discuss the use of letters to temporarily designate Captains and Assistant Captains of a sports team have not been found. Initially, prior technology used for designating the Captain and Assistant Captains were respectively upper case “C's” and “A's” sewn onto the “sweaters” that the players wore. More recently, letters were adhered to jersey's with sewing, adhesives or a combination of the two technologies or they are silk-screened designations.

The primary deficiency in the prior technology is that the letters designating team player-leaders are permanently attached to the players uniform. At the professional and other high skill levels of sports, the technology is not limiting in the assignment of player-leaders as the financial abilities of these sports organizations allow for the replacement of the players uniform to facilitate a change in player-leader designations. However, at lower skill levels, such as local community youth sports, financial constraints make is unfeasible to replace a players uniform to change Captains and Assistant Captains. Therefore, either a Captain or Assistant Captain is permanently assigned or not assigned at all. In addition, the use of Captain and Assistant Captain has historically been assigned to the “best” players. The use of a temporary Letter to assign these postitions allow coaches and other athletic staff to encourage other types of player goal setting related to their sports environment or as awards and rewards for behavior achievement goals in such leadership positions.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary object of the invention is that it is removable, the revolving letter system for captain and assistants can be rotated from player to player and from game to game with unique fastening design. Another object of the invention is flexibility, use it as an award, an incentive or a motivator for a wide range of age groups and sports. Another object of the invention is that the team will always have all captains and assistants regardless of who is present or absent. A further object of the invention is that it attaches and detaches easily in seconds. Yet another object of the invention is its high quality professional appearance. Still yet another object of the invention is its high quality hardware for durability to last through a long season. Another object of the invention is that is can be customized to compliment and color match team colors. Another object of the invention is that it stays attached through aggressive, heavy play and body contact. A further object of the invention is that it gives all players an opportunity to be a team captain or assistant. Yet another object of the invention is that it is not easily detected as temporary/detachable/removable. Still yet another object of the invention is it is different from silk screened letters because it is higher quality material & better aesthetics & is not permanent. Another object of the invention is it is different from iron-on/sew-on letters because they are not permanent. Another object of the invention is it is different from arm bands because the appearance is customized to match team colors with a quality look. A further object of the invention is it is different from pins, patches & stickers as awards because these awards are typically used in recognition of a particular game, event, play or level while this system is more flexible in scope (not narrowed to a single event) and is more goal oriented.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following descriptions, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein, by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of the present invention is disclosed.

In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, there is disclosed a removable apparatus for temporarily designating the player-leaders (typically the Captain and Assistant/Alternate Captains) of a sports team. Comprising: A two-part Letter system whose Surface Letter is made from pliable material (typically some cloth form, but not restricted to only cloth). Said Surface Letter(s) may be a combination comprising custom embroidered letter(s) with or without matching/complimentary edging. Said Surface Letter(s) may be a combination comprising silk-screened letter(s) in place of cloth, with or without matching/complimentary edging. Said Letter Surface Letter(s) are attached to the Letter Underlayment, which is made from pliable material (typically some cloth form, but not restricted to only cloth) that lays under said Surface Letter(s) providing additional structure, defines matching/complimentary edging and provides a mounting mechanism. A Backing material (typically some cloth form, but not restricted to only cloth) which underlies the shirt/jersey top to which said Letters are attached. A Backing Support (typically an interfacing with adhesive) which is attached to said Backing which may be used to provide support to said Backing. Fasteners are fixed to said Letter Underlayment and Backing assemblies which allows said Letter(s) and Backing(s) to join together through shirt/jersey top.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments to the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. It is to be understood that in some instances various aspects of the invention may be shown exaggerated or enlarged to facilitate an understanding of the invention.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the individual Letters fabric components of the invention.

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the individual Backings fabric components of the invention.

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of the Letter assembly of the invention.

FIG. 5 is an exploded view of the Backing assembly of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Detailed descriptions of the preferred embodiment are provided herein. It is to be understood, however, that the present invention may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but rather as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed system, structure or manner.

In accordance with the important features of the present invention, there is shown in FIG. 1, illustrations of the appearance of letters used to designate player-leaders of a sports team. In comparing the appearance of the invention to that of letters used by conventional means, there is no difference.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention is a removable functionality for temporarily designating the player-leaders (typically the Captain and Assistant/Alternate Captains) of a sports team. To accomplish this most important function of the invention, removable and temporary designation of player-leaders, there is shown in FIG. 4 and FIG. 5, the detatchable Letter and Backing assemblies that includes a fastening device that allows for attaching and detaching said Letter and Backing assemblies to a shirt/jersey top.

In the preferred construction, as outlined by FIG. 2 and FIG. 3, said Letters (FIG. 2) are made from two parts, said Surface Letter is made from pliable material (typically some cloth form, but not restricted to only cloth). Said Surface Letter(s) may be a combination comprising custom embroidered letter(s) with or without matching/complimentary edging. Said Surface Letter(s) may be a combination comprising silk-screened letter(s) in place of cloth, with or without matching/complimentary edging. Said Letters Surface Letter is attached to a second component, said Letter Underlayment (FIG. 2), which is made from pliable material (typically some cloth form, but not restricted to only cloth) that lays under said Surface Letter(s) providing additional structure, defines matching/complimentary edging and to which fasteners are fixed and is the mounting mechanism for said Letter. Said Backing (FIG. 3) (typically some cloth form, but not restricted to only cloth) underlies the shirt/jersey top to which said Letters are temporarily attached. Said Backing Support (FIG. 3) (typically an interfacing with adhesive) may be attached to said Backing to provide added support. Fasteners are fixed to said Letter Underlayment(s) and Backing(s) to connect said Letter(s) and Backing(s) together through a shirt/jersey top;

In operating the present form of the invention, the fasteners of said Letter and Backing assemblies are seperated and said Backing is placed in a preferred position on the inside of the shirt/jersey top. Said Letter is then placed on the outside of the shirt/jersey top and its fasteners aligned with those of said Backing. The fasteners are connected together through the shirt/jersey top with the material of the shirt/jersey top sandwiched between said Letter and Backing assemblies.

Patentably important is the use of fasteners fixed to said Letter and Backing assemblies allowing for removable of said Letters which allows for temporary designation of player-leaders.

Said Letter is the primary element of the invention defining the player-leader designation and comprised of two parts. Said Surface Letter is the letter indicating the player-leader designation. Said Letter Underlayment is the material used to support said Surface Letter, defines matching/complimentary edging and provides a fasterner fixing mechanism. Said Backing is the supporting element of the invention that provides the structure to which fasteners corresponding to those on said Letter Underlayment(s) are fixed. Said Backing Support is an optional element that may be used to provide support to said Backing.

While the invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular form set forth, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.