Title:
Lacrosse stick with telescoping handle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is drawn to a lacrosse stick with a main shaft and a secondary shaft that telescopes in and out of the main shaft. The telescopic shaft gives the ability to play offense and defense with one lacrosse stick. A twist of a collar attached to the main shaft attaches to the lacrosse head allows the lacrosse stick and head to increase from a minimum length for offensive play to a maximum length for defensive play. A counter twist of the collar will lock the shaft into the desired position length for play.



Inventors:
Owen, Robert A. (Finksburg, MD, US)
Application Number:
11/617339
Publication Date:
07/05/2007
Filing Date:
12/28/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B59/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAMBERS, MICHAEL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Conwell Law LLC (Crofton, MD, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A lacrosse stick handle comprising: a series of two or more hollow rigid tube assemblies telescopically disposed together so that they are slidably adjustable to form an adjustable shaft; said shaft having a first end for connecting with a throat portion of a lacrosse head and a second distal portion; a connecting locking mechanism attached to each end of each hollow tube assembly, each end of each hollow rigid tube assembly except said first end and said distal end; said connecting locking mechanism being movable from a first position wherein adjacent rigid tube assemblies comprising an inner and outer tube are locked into an immovable relationship to a second position where said adjacent telescoping rigid tube assemblies are movable relative to one another so as to permit adjustment of the length of the shaft.

2. The lacrosse stick handle of claim 2, wherein said locking mechanism comprises a fixing lock using an interrupted screw thread arrangement, said interrupted screw mechanism comprising the inner tube having a male interrupted screw thread that matches a complementary female interrupted screw thread on the outer tube piece.

3. The lacrosse stick handle of claim 1, wherein said locking mechanism comprises a fixing hub comprised of a circular collar fixed to the outer tube containing gripping extensible frictional shoes which would extend and grip the inner tube and is activated by turning the circular collar.

4. The lacrosse stick handle of claim 1, wherein said lacrosse stick handle is manufactured from a material selected from a group consisting of aluminum, titanium, carbon/aramid, graphite, and a combination thereof.

5. The lacrosse stick handle of claim 2, wherein said lacrosse stick handle is manufactured from a material selected from a group consisting of aluminum, titanium, carbon/aramid, graphite, and a combination thereof.

6. The lacrosse stick handle of claim 3, wherein said lacrosse stick handle is manufactured from a material selected from a group consisting of aluminum, titanium, carbon/aramid, graphite, and a combination thereof.

7. A lacrosse stick handle comprising a bottom segment, and a top segment, each of said segments comprising a hollow rigid tube and which includes a tube assembly having inner and outer tube sections that are slidably telescopically disposed together, said hollow tube inner tube having a first end for communicating with a throat portion of a lacrosse head, and a second end opposing the first end; said opposing second end is capable of slidably telescoping into the larger outer tube, said hollow tube outer tube has a first end for communicating with locking mechanism, capable of locking the inner tube and the outer tube into a position, a sleeve assembly to facilitate telescopic movement of said tubes, said sleeve assembly being positioned between said bottom segment and said top segment; an upper sleeve member positionable to abut a top edge of said outer tube segment; and a lower sleeve member positionable to abut a lower edge of said inner tube segment; wherein said upper sleeve member and said lower sleeve member are configured to selectively engage each other such that said lower sleeve member is capable of being maintained in a static position relative to said upper sleeve member, such that rotating said upper sleeve member with respect to said lower sleeve member in a first direction engages said locking mechanism and rotating said upper sleeve member with respect to said lower sleeve member in a second direction disengages said locking mechanism.

8. The lacrosse stick handle of claim 7, wherein said lacrosse stick handle is manufactured from a material selected from a group consisting of aluminum, titanium, carbon/aramid, graphite, and a combination thereof.

9. The lacrosse stick handle of claim 8, wherein the lacrosse stick handle comprises a plurality of ridges and trenches which extend along substantially the entire length of the elongated member and which are substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis.

10. The lacrosse stick handle of claim 8, wherein the lacrosse stick handle has an octagonal cross-section along substantially the entire length of the outer handle segment.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims priority to U.S. Provisional application Ser. No. 60/754,695, filed Dec. 29, 2005 and is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

1.Field of the Invention

This invention relates to lacrosse sticks used by players in the sport of lacrosse.

1.Background of the Invention

A lacrosse stick, also known as a “crosse,” comprises a head used for throwing or catching the ball, which is mounted on the top end of an elongated handle or shaft, which is used for grasping the stick by the player. In the U.S., the crosse must be an overall length of 40-42 inches for attackmen and midfielders, or 52-72 inches for defensemen. The head of the crosse must be 6.5-10 inches wide, except a goalie's crosse which may be 10-12 inches wide. International rules also stipulate that the stick of the designated goalkeeper can be up to 15 inches (38.1 centimeters) and the goalkeeper's stick shall be an overall length of between 40 inches and 72 inches. The pocket of a crosse shall be deemed illegal if the top surface of a lacrosse ball, when placed in the head of the crosse, is below the bottom edge of the side wall. The rules for the size of the lacrosse stick in men's lacrosse in the U.S. is generally the NCAA Lacrosse Rules Book (The NCAA Lacrosse Rules Book (2005), Page 15, Section 17). The boys lacrosse stick dimensions rules are generally governed by the U.S. Lacrosse—Boys Youth Lacrosse Rules (U.S. Lacrosse—Boys Youth Lacrosse Rules, Rule 2, Section 2(b)). For boys, the length of the crosse may be 37 to 42 inches for offensive players, and defensive players in such divisions may use a stick with a length of 37 to 72 inches, depending on the league and the age of the boy. International lacrosse rules allow a head to be from four to ten inches wide. In lacrosse, the stick head is used for throwing the ball and using different stick heads can result in different throws.

Currently, different offensive and defensive sticks are used, requiring the player to leave the playing field to switch sticks when changing from offense to defense. Switching the sticks will also result in the players' throwing accuracy being compromised. Also, some international rules prohibit switching of sticks during the game.

Morrow et al. (US. Patent Application Nos. 2005/0079935 A1 and 2004/0121864 A1) disclose a lacrosse stick with replaceable modular handle sections.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,507,495 is directed to a lacrosse stick comprising a substantially shatter-proof V-shaped head, and some of the claims are directed to a lacrosse stick comprising a substantially shatter-proof V-shaped head, with a handle being detachably connected to the head. U.S. Pat. No. 4,037,841 is directed to a lacrosse stick comprising a head and a tubular metallic handle of elliptical cross-section. U.S. Pat. No. 4,206,918 is directed to a lacrosse stick comprising a head and a tubular metallic handle of circular cross section. The '918 patent also discloses a lacrosse stick comprising a head and a tubular metallic handle of a circular cross section having knurling substantially over the entire surface of the handle. U.S. Pat. No. 4,739,994 is directed to a lacrosse stick comprising a head and a hollow handle, the handle comprising approximately 70 to 97 percent plastic and 3 to 30 percent graphite. U.S. Pat. No. 5,048,843 is directed to a head for a lacrosse stick, a head being connected to a handle, the handle having a cross section with major and minor axis lying generally parallel to the plane of the sidewalls of the head and the minor axis lying normal to the plane. U.S. Pat. No. 5,651,744 is directed to a lacrosse stick having a handle connected to the head by an offset extension having an inclined portion. U.S. Pat. No. 6,500,079 B1 is directed to a lacrosse stick comprising a lacrosse head, shaft and a first and second overlay fixedly disposed on the shaft. U.S. Pat. No. 6,752,730 B1 is directed to a lacrosse stick comprising a rigid elongated member, comprising a plurality of ridges and trenches along the entire length of the elongated member. U.S. Pat. No. 6,951,185 discloses a telescoping pole and locking mechanism. U.S. Pat. No 7,124,985 discloses a geometric pole with telescoping legs and locks which can lock into position. None of the patents or published applications disclose a telescoping lacrosse handle.

STX Lacrosse (Baltimore, Md.) has marketed a children's toy under the trade name FIDDLESTX, which has extendable stick handles, made of plastic and locked together using friction.

The present invention improves on what is available in the art of lacrosse sticks, as having an advantage for the player to allow using the same lacrosse stick head for both offense and defense in game conditions. A further advantage exists of savings of cost of not having to purchase two separate sticks. The present invention will allow for increased opportunity, and expansion of the game of lacrosse throughout the U.S. and internationally, by offering more families of different income levels to experience the sport of lacrosse by the cost effective design of the improved lacrosse stick of the invention. The invention described herein will allow more lacrosse players to practice and learn both offense and defense with the use of only one lacrosse stick.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is drawn to a lacrosse stick with a main shaft and a secondary shaft that telescopes in and out of the main shaft. The telescopic shaft gives the ability to play offense and defense with one lacrosse stick.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1A depicts a lacrosse stick with an extendable handle in the fully collapsed view.

FIG. 1B depicts a lacrosse stick with an extendable handle in the fully-extended view.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is drawn to lacrosse stick with a main shaft and a secondary shaft that telescopes in and out of the main shaft.

In executing game skills in lacrosse, players must be able to grip and control the sports equipment and is referred to as “stick handling.” Effective stick handling requires a player to constantly reposition his hands along the sports equipment handle to move the operational portion of the sports equipment. By “operational portion,” is meant the head of a lacrosse stick and refers to the part or parts of the sports equipment that is/are controlled by the handle. As used herein, “handle” refers to the part of the sports equipment on which a player's hand(s) is/are placed, which does not include the operational portion. The handle is comprised of a shaft and optionally, accessories or overlays to improve a player's grip. A “shaft” is therefore a component of the handle. As used herein, “stick” refers to the sports equipment as a whole, including the operational portion and the handle.

The shaft of the invention can be made of, but not limited to wood, plastic, metals including aluminum or titanium, carbon/aramid, graphite or any other synthetic material, or combination or alloy thereof. The net on the head of the stick includes, but is not limited to leather, cord and nylon. The pocket on the stick may not “sag” to a depth where the top edge of the ball is below the bottom edge of the side of the head.

The shaft of the invention optionally includes a plurality of ridges and trenches which extend along substantially the entire length of the elongated member and which are substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis. Lacrosse stick handles of the invention can be hollow having an octagonal cross-section along substantially the entire length of the handle, from the portion of the handle which is inserted into and attached to the lacrosse stick head, to a plastic or rubber cap at the end of the handle opposite from the head. This octagonal configuration provides improved grip over handles having a round or oval cross-section. Asymmetrical orientation of the ridges and/or trenches of the handle, or asymmetrical thickness of the walls of the shaft may be incorporated to allow the player to more easily orient the stick by feel.

The present invention optionally includes a handle having overlays that improve stick handling. The overlays can be located and structured to provide the shaft with structural and tactile features that correspond to and accommodate the way in which a player moves his hands along the shaft and grips the shaft. The structural and tactile features are located on the shaft to enhance a player's control of the shaft when performing various skills. The overlays are not positioned on the handle so as to impede the function of the telescoping members of the handle.

The overlays can be manufactured from a material that is soft, pliable, deformable, and tacky in places, so as to provide a player with an increased grip friction, and can be deformable to provide cushioning and shock absorption, to alleviate stress and injury caused by the vibration of the stick and contact between the shaft and players'body parts. The overlay can be positioned proximate to the end of the lacrosse stick handle and may have a conical shape that assists a player in gripping the end of the handle, or the lacrosse stick handle may have a continuous overlay applied to the entire length of the lacrosse stick shaft. The overlay is preferably structured with ribs and grooves to increase grip friction and resist the twisting of the shaft, while also enhancing control of the head and thereby, the movement of the shaft and head as one unit. The overlay may have a variable hand placement that improves a player's hold on the handle.

The locking mechanism envisioned aides in the retention of the segments of the handle in their extending positions. By implementing a twist to engage/disengage structure in the locking system, the manual extension and securing of the telescopic handle is significantly enhanced. To this end, the present invention generally comprises a plurality of segments including a bottom segment, and at least a top segment; a plurality of sleeve assemblies each positioned between an associated pairing of a relatively lower segment and a higher segment, toward the head; and optionally, a plurality of biasing means each urging an associate one of the segments toward an extended position. The lacrosse handle may also include a plurality of retaining means. Each one of the plurality of retaining or locking means is associated with one of the segments for selectively securing the segment in a non-extended position. The locking mechanism also secures the handle in the collapsed position to prevent inadvertent extension during a game.

The locking mechanism includes a sleeve assembly to facilitate telescopic movement of said tubes, said sleeve assembly being positioned between said bottom segment and said top segment; an upper sleeve member positionable to abut a top edge of said outer tube segment; and a lower sleeve member positionable to abut a lower edge of said inner tube segment; wherein said upper sleeve member and said lower sleeve member are configured to selectively engage each other such that said lower sleeve member is capable of being maintained in a static position relative to said upper sleeve member, such that rotating said upper sleeve member with respect to said lower sleeve member in a first direction engages said locking mechanism and rotating said upper sleeve member with respect to said lower sleeve member in a second direction disengages said locking mechanism.

A stop ring member may be positioned in a portion of a segment, the stop ring member engaging to prevent uncoupling of the segments of the handle.

The extendable handle is provided with a locking mechanism which can be easily adjusted during play and which will lock the handle into the length desired by the player. The lock will be sturdy to withstand play conditions. The invention does not include a locking mechanism which includes holes in the walls of the stick, as the weakest area of the lacrosse stick is the area surrounding or adjacent to holes in the walls of the stick due to heat generated by the drilling of holes, which during rough play can cause stresses to be set up at the point where the hole is drilled causing the stick to break or bend at the site of the holes.

In an embodiment of the present invention, a fixing lock can be provided using an interrupted screw thread arrangement whereby the distal end would have a male interrupted screw thread that would match a complementary female interrupted screw thread on the upper end piece. The upper end piece would be grooved longitudinally along the inside of the tube to allow the male threads to move inside the upper end piece to a closed position. A stop ring would be provided so that the distal piece would be provided such that the telescoping inner or distal tube would stop at the appropriate position. An additional female interrupted screw thread could be provided adjacent to the stopping ring such that the inner tube could be locked in place by a twisting motion. Alternatively, the outer tube can be the distal tube, with the mechanism of the inner tube and lock adjusted accordingly.

Alternatively, a fixing hub comprised of a circular collar fixed to the outer tube containing gripping extensible frictional shoes which would extend and grip the inner tube and which could be activated by turning the collar. Grooves would be provided on the outer surface of the inner tube at appropriate locations which could lock tube into either an extended or retracted position. Other locking mechanisms well-known to those skilled in the art could be utilized.

EXAMPLE

Extendible Lacrosse Stick

FIG. 1A depicts a lacrosse stick of the invention in the fully-retracted position, which would be used for offense. The invention includes a handle which comprises a hollow tube and which includes a tube assembly having inner and outer tube sections that are slidably telescopically disposed together. The hollow tube inner tube 1 has a first end for communicating with a throat portion of a lacrosse head 2 and a second end opposing the first end. The opposing second end is capable of slidably telescoping into the larger outer tube 3. The hollow metal tube outer tube 3 has a first end for communicating with locking mechanism 4, capable of locking the inner tube and the outer tube into a position desired by the user. The opposing end of the outer tube comprises an end cap 5.

FIG. 1B depicts a lacrosse stick of the invention in the fully-extended position, which would be used for defense. The invention includes a handle which comprises a hollow metal tube and which includes a tube assembly having inner and outer tube sections that are slidably telescopically disposed together. The hollow metal tube inner tube 1 has a first end for communicating with a throat portion of a lacrosse head 2 and a second end opposing the first end. The opposing second end is capable of slidably telescoping into the larger outer tube 3. The hollow metal tube outer tube 3 has a first end for communicating with locking mechanism 4, capable of locking the inner tube and the outer tube into a position desired by the user. The opposing end of the outer tube comprises an end cap 5. The hollow metal tube has a first thickness defined by a distance between the interior surface and the exterior surface at one location along the hollow metal tube and a second thickness defined by a distance between the interior surface and the exterior thickness at another location along the hollow metal tube.

The thickness of the hollow tube may either be uniform along the length of the entire length of either of the inner tube or outer tube or in the alternative, the hollow metal tube may have a first thickness defined by a distance between the interior surface and the exterior surface at one location along the hollow tube and a second thickness defined by a distance between the interior surface and the exterior thickness at another location along the hollow tube, to allow a player to have tactile feedback as to the orientation of the handle.

The lacrosse handle of the invention can be a separate component from the lacrosse head, which could be manufactured separately, so that if either the lacrosse handle or the lacrosse head becomes damaged or broken, each component can be replaced individually. A sectional handle can include a locking top end, the interlocking mechanism serving to interlock a locking bottom end of the head section with the locking top end of the inner tube of the handle section. The head is mounted on the top end of the inner tube section and includes both a closed-loop frame and a net suspended substantially within the confines of the frame. The interlocking mechanism can be unlocked so that either the upper elongate section or the lower elongate section of the sectional handle may be replaced as desired in a modular fashion with a substitutive elongate section. Alternatively, the handle and the head of the lacrosse stick may be manufactured as a single non-interchangeable component.

The present invention includes, but is not limited to a lacrosse stick handle comprising a series of two or more hollow rigid tube assemblies telescopically disposed together so that they are slidably adjustable to form an adjustable shaft; said shaft having a first end for connecting with a throat portion of a lacrosse head and a second distal portion; a connecting locking mechanism attached to each end of each hollow tube assembly, each end of each hollow rigid tube assembly except said first end and said distal end; the connecting locking mechanism being movable from a first position wherein adjacent rigid tube assemblies comprising an inner and outer tube are locked into an immovable relationship to a second position where said adjacent telescoping rigid tube assemblies are movable relative to one another so as to permit adjustment of the length of the shaft.

The lacrosse stick handle of the invention includes, but is not limited to a locking mechanism with a fixing lock using an interrupted screw thread arrangement, the interrupted screw mechanism comprising the inner tube having a male interrupted screw thread that matches a complementary female interrupted screw thread on the outer tube piece. Additionally, the lacrosse stick handle of the invention comprises a fixing hub comprised of a circular collar fixed to the outer tube containing gripping extensible frictional shoes which would extend and grip the inner tube and is activated by turning the circular collar.

The lacrosse stick handle of the invention can be manufactured from a material selected from a group consisting of aluminum, titanium, carbon/aramid, graphite, and a combination thereof.

The invention additionally includes, but is not limited to a lacrosse stick handle comprising a bottom segment, and a top segment, each of said segments comprising a hollow rigid tube and which includes a tube assembly having inner and outer tube sections that are slidably telescopically disposed together, the hollow tube inner tube having a first end for communicating with a throat portion of a lacrosse head, and a second end opposing the first end. The opposing second end is capable of slidably telescoping into the larger outer tube, the hollow tube outer tube having a first end for communicating with locking mechanism, capable of locking the inner tube and the outer tube into a position, a sleeve assembly to facilitate telescopic movement of said tubes, the sleeve assembly being positioned between said bottom segment and said top segment; an upper sleeve member positionable to abut a top edge of said outer tube segment; and a lower sleeve member positionable to abut a lower edge of said inner tube segment. The upper sleeve member and said lower sleeve member can be configured to selectively engage each other such that said lower sleeve member is capable of being maintained in a static position relative to said upper sleeve member, such that rotating said upper sleeve member with respect to said lower sleeve member in a first direction engages said locking mechanism and rotating said upper sleeve member with respect to said lower sleeve member in a second direction disengages said locking mechanism. The lacrosse stick handle of the invention can also include, but is not limited to a plurality of ridges and trenches which extend along substantially the entire length of the elongated member and which are substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis. The lacrosse stick handle of the invention can optionally have an octagonal cross-section along substantially the entire length of the outer handle segment.

Having now fully described this invention, it will be understood to those of ordinary skill in the art that the same can be performed within a wide and equivalent range of conditions, formulations, and other parameters without affecting the scope of the invention or any embodiment thereof. All patents and publications cited herein are incorporated by reference in their entirety.