Title:
Ball drying pouch
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A ball drying pouch for, e.g., a football or soccer ball has an absorbent interior liner and a water repellent exterior layer. Fasteners permit the pouch to be worn by an official. The top and bottom edges of the pouch are permanently closed. One or both side edges afford an opening for insertion of a ball for drying.



Inventors:
Brown, Chadwick C. (Carson, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/592346
Publication Date:
05/08/2008
Filing Date:
11/02/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/675, 224/677, 224/664
International Classes:
B65D85/07; A45C11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LARSON, JUSTIN MATTHEW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GALLAGHER & KENNEDY, P. A. (PHOENIX, AZ, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A ball drying pouch comprising: (a) an exterior layer of substantially water impervious flexible sheet, (b) an interior lining layer of water absorbent material affixed to the exterior layer, (c) the exterior and interior layers forming a pouch body that has: (i) a closed top and bottom, and (ii) at least one opening at a side edge of the pouch body, and (d) means secured to the pouch for attaching the pouch body to a wearer.

2. The pouch according to claim 1, wherein the pouch body has two openings at two side edges of the pouch body.

3. The pouch according to claim 1, wherein the means for attaching includes a fastening means at each of two locations at or near the top of the pouch body.

4. The pouch according to claim 3, wherein the fastening means are strap loops affixed to the pouch body for receiving a wearer's belt.

5. The pouch according to claim 4, wherein the strap loops carry fastener pairs for opening the strap loops and closing the strap loops about the wearer's belt.

6. The pouch according to claim 1, wherein the interior layer is chamois.

7. The pouch according to claim 1, wherein the interior layer is sewn to the exterior layer.

8. The pouch according to claim 5, wherein the strap loops are sewn to the pouch body.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a ball drying implement for use by an official to dry such game balls as footballs or soccer balls and more particularly to a wearable pouch with an interior of water absorbing material.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A football player or fan will be familiar with an official's use of a towel to dry the game ball when a game is being played in rain or snow.

The use of a pouch for the purpose of drying footballs has been suggested known in the art. One such pouch is shown in a Stephenson U.S. Pat. No. 5,615,769. That pouch has an outer waterproof covering and an interior, removable moisture-absorbent liner. The pouch has at its top an opening closable by a flap and held closed by hook and loop fasteners. In use the pouch's sides are tied closed by laces. Insertion and retrieval of the football is through the upper opening so that it appears one hand would be needed to pull back the closure flap and the remaining hand of the wearer would be needed to insert or retrieve the football. The pouch is supported by a strap hung from the official's neck and shoulders.

In another U.S. patent, U.S. Pat. No. 5,730,287 to Martin, a pair of stretchable bag-like ball carriers are attached by a long cord to be draped over the wearer's shoulders. The ball carriers stretch about the exterior of a pair of footballs to hold extra footballs for a game, and they protect those footballs from the weather. There is no, mention of drying the football once it has been in use. Other patents such as those to Hendren U.S. Pat. No. 5,813,080 and Lamonakis et al. U.S. Pat. No. 5,372,414 relate to towels that can be worn for the purpose of drying a ball and include multiple layers. In the Hendren patent, an outer layer of toweling is separated from an inner chamois layer by a water impervious layer. The Hendren arrangement is not a pouch for holding a ball, but rather a multilayer towel. The Lamonakis et al. patent shows a bell-shaped “skirt” of water repellent material that is placed over a towel to keep dry the towel. Lamonakis et al. contemplate inverting the entire arrangement to expose the towel so that a ball can be wiped. The arrangement is not a pouch that can carry a ball or enclose a ball as it is being dried.

There remains a need, therefore, for a ball drying pouch for use, e.g., with footballs or soccer balls in wet conditions wherein the ball can be inserted easily and one handedly and similarly easily retrieved once the ball has been rubbed dry by an interior water-absorbent liner.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention a ball drying pouch has an exterior layer of substantially water impervious flexible sheet material and an inner lining layer of water absorbent material. The exterior and interior layers are formed, as by sewing or folding, into a pouch capable of containing a ball to be dried. The top and bottom of the pouch so fashioned is closed. One or both side edges of the pouch form openings into which the ball can be inserted. Because the bottom of the pouch is permanently closed, there is little likelihood that an official using the pouch will drop the ball, but only one hand is needed to insert the ball from the side into the pouch to be briefly rubbed, and then retracted, again by a single hand. A busy on-field official can thus readily accomplish drying the ball without diverting his or her attention from other activities on the field.

In a preferred exemplary embodiment the interior layer of the pouch is chamois. Also in the exemplary preferred embodiment the pouch has attachment provisions for securing the pouch to the official's person or clothing. Typically in the preferred embodiment the pouch is secured to the wearer's belt at two locations along the top of the pouch. One preferred attachment arrangement includes strap loops that receive a wearer's belt to hold the pouch in place. The strap loops can have fasteners that open and close to open and close the loops about the wearer's belt. The strap loops are in one exemplary embodiment sewn to the pouch body. Similarly in one exemplary embodiment the interior water absorbent layer is sewn to the exterior water repellent or impervious layer.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary front view of an official wearing a ball drying pouch in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged front view of the pouch of FIG. 1 and shows its side openings and loop fasteners;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view showing the manner of assembly of the pouch and the loop fasteners; and

FIG. 4 is a further fragmentary front view of the official inserting a football into the ball drying pouch of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As seen in FIG. 1, a football official 10 wears a pouch 12 secured to his belt 14 by a pair of strap loops 16 and 18.

As shown in FIG. 2 the pouch has a closed top edge 20, a closed bottom edge 22, and a pair of side edges 24 and 26 at which are formed openings 28 and 30. Fixed to the pouch at or near the top edge 20 are a pair of strap loops 32 and 34 for securing the pouch to an official's belt. A pair of quick fasteners 36 and 38 of a known commercially available kind permit opening and closing of the loops 32 and 34. Other fasteners than those shown can be used as desired. For example Velcro loop and hook fastening patches, snaps, ties or any other known, convenient fastener suitable to bring together the two strap pieces into a loop will suffice. Likewise fastening devices other than the strap loops can hold the pouch 12 in place. For example, hook and loop fastening patches secured to the pouch and the official's uniform could be used to secure the pouch. Clips positioned to clip onto the official's belt loops and attached at or near the top edge 20 of the pouch 12 is a further example alternative.

The construction of the pouch is better illustrated from FIG. 3. In the illustrated exemplary embodiment shown, the pouch is formed by an exterior layer 40 of substantially waterproof or water repellent material such as vinyl or other plastic. An interior layer 42 is of chamois or other water absorbent material. In this exemplary embodiment the chamois layer 42 is sewn to the external water resistant material 40 as indicated at 44, 46 and 48. At the top edge of the pouch 12, several strips of binding material 50, 52 and 54 (seen in FIG. 2) are sewn along the edge. The strips straddle the top edge of the brought-together layers and have down-turned edges. Stitching 48 shown in FIG. 3 stitches together the edges of the strips 50, 52 and 54 and the top four edges of the layers 40 and 42. The straps that form the strap loops 32 and 34 have strap ends sewn into the interior of the pouch as indicated at 56. In this particular exemplary embodiment the bottom of the pouch is formed by a seam 58 where the four layers of material are brought together, turned inward and sewn at 46. It will also be appreciated that, alternatively, a single piece of the multilayer material could be folded at the bottom to form the bottom edge 22.

As illustrated in FIG. 4, because the pouch 12 is open at its sides it is easy for an official to insert a ball, dry the ball and extract the ball with little attention to those operations and without even looking at the pouch and ball. As previously stated this has the advantage of permitting the official to pay more attention to the activities on the field. While stitching has been shown to join the inner and outer layers of the exemplary pouch, it will be appreciated that other means such as hook and loop fastening patches, snaps, laces or other connection means may be used to secure the chamois or other water absorbent layer within the exterior. Also while the joiner of the two layers has been shown in the preferred embodiment as being permanent, the interior lining could be removable if, for example, hook and loop fastening or other easily separable fastening means are used. Also, while both sides of the pouch of the exemplary embodiment have been shown as open, it will be appreciated that just one side could be open without unduly increasing the difficulty of inserting the ball, drying the ball and retrieving the ball for play.

While a particular exemplary and preferred embodiment has been shown, it will be appreciated that many changes, modifications or revisions in the described ball drying pouch may be made as will be appreciated by those skilled in the art and without departure from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.