Title:
LACROSSE POCKET INCLUDING THONGS HAVING VARIABLE THICKNESS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lacrosse stick is disclosed that allows a player to have improved handling of the ball. The present invention discloses a lacrosse stick having a head including at least two thongs wherein the thickness dimensions of the two thongs are different. The present invention also discloses a lacrosse stick having a head including at least one thong having a variable thickness dimension.



Inventors:
Lamson, Kyle (CHELMSFORD, MA, US)
Ontso, Suzanne (BOYLSTON, MA, US)
Reynolds, Alexander (WAYLAND, MA, US)
Application Number:
12/039978
Publication Date:
09/04/2008
Filing Date:
02/29/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/510
International Classes:
A63B59/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAMBERS, MICHAEL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WARNER NORCROSS + JUDD LLP (GRAND RAPIDS, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A lacrosse head pocket comprising: at least two thongs generally vertically positioned, wherein each thong has a first attachment region at a first end, a second attachment region at a second end, and a ball contacting region that extends between said first attachment region and said second attachment region; multiple pocket cords for attachment to said at least two thongs and generally horizontally positioned with respect to said thongs; and wherein a first thong of said at least two thongs has a first thickness dimension within said ball contacting region and a second thong of said at least two thongs has a second thickness dimension within said ball contacting region, wherein said first thickness dimension is different from said second thickness dimension.

2. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 1 wherein there are three thongs, a first thong, a second thong, and a third thong.

3. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 2 wherein said first thong has said first thickness dimension and said second thong and said third thong each has said second thickness dimension and said first thickness dimension is greater than said second thickness dimension.

4. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 2 wherein said first thong has said first thickness dimension and said second thong and said third thong each has said second thickness dimension, said first thickness is less than said second thickness dimension.

5. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 2 wherein said first thong has a first thickness dimension, said second thong has a second thickness dimension, and said third thong has a third thickness dimension wherein said first thickness dimension, said second thickness dimension and said third thickness dimension are all different from each other.

6. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 1 wherein there are four thongs, a first outer thong, a second outer thong, a first inner thong and a second inner thong.

7. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 6 wherein said first outer thong and said second outer thong each has a first thickness dimension and said first inner thong and said second inner thong each has a second thickness dimension.

8. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 7 wherein said first thickness dimension is greater than said second thickness dimension.

9. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 7 wherein said first thickness dimension is less than said second thickness dimension.

10. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 6 said first outer thong and said first inner thong each has a first thickness dimension and said second outer thong and said second inner thong each has a second thickness dimension.

11. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 10 wherein said first thickness dimension is greater than said second thickness dimension.

12. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 1 wherein there are five (5) thongs, a center thong, a first intermediate thong, a second intermediate thong, a first outer thong, and a second outer thong.

13. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 12 wherein said center thong has a first thickness dimension and said first intermediate thong, said second intermediate thong, said first outer thong and said second outer thong each has a second thickness dimension.

14. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 13 wherein said first thickness dimension is greater than said second thickness dimension.

15. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 13 wherein said first thickness dimension is less than said second thickness dimension.

16. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 12 wherein said center thong, said first intermediate thong and said second intermediate thong each has a first thickness dimension, and said first outer thong and said second outer thong each has a second thickness dimension.

17. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 16 wherein said first thickness dimension is greater than said second thickness dimension.

18. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 16 wherein said first thickness dimension is less than said second thickness dimension.

19. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 12 wherein said center thong, said first outer thong and said second outer thong each has a first thickness dimension, and said first intermediate thong and said second intermediate thong each has a second thickness dimension, wherein said first thickness dimension is greater than said second thickness dimension.

20. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 19 wherein said center thong, said first outer thong and said second outer thong each has a first thickness dimension, and said first intermediate thong and said second intermediate thong each has a second thickness dimension, wherein said first thickness dimension is less than said second thickness dimension.

21. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 12 wherein said center thong has a first thickness dimension, said first intermediate thong and said second intermediate thong each has a second thickness dimension, and said first outer thong and said second outer thong each has a third thickness dimension, wherein said first thickness dimension, said second thickness dimension and said third thickness dimension are all different from each other.

22. A lacrosse head pocket comprising: at least two thongs generally vertically positioned, wherein each thong has a first attachment region at a first end, a second attachment region at a second end, and a ball contacting region that extends between said first attachment region and said second attachment region; multiple pocket cords for attachment to said at least two thongs and generally horizontally positioned with respect to said thongs; and wherein at least one thong of said at least two thongs has a variable thickness dimension within said ball contacting region.

23. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 22 wherein said ball contacting region for each thong includes a throwing area adjacent to said first attachment region and a ball carrying area adjacent to said second attachment region.

24. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 23 wherein a first thong of said at least two thongs has a first thickness dimension in said throwing area and a second thickness dimension in said ball carrying area, and a second thong of said at least two thongs has a constant thickness dimension within said ball contacting region.

25. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 24 wherein said first thickness dimension is greater than said second thickness dimension.

26. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 24 wherein said first thickness dimension is less than said second thickness dimension.

27. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 23 wherein a first thong of said at least two thongs has a first thickness dimension in said throwing area and a second thickness dimension in said ball carrying area and a second thong of said at least two thongs has a first thickness dimension in said throwing area and a second thickness dimension in said ball carrying area.

28. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 27 wherein said first thickness dimension is greater than said second thickness dimension.

29. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 27 wherein said first thickness dimension is less than said second thickness dimension.

30. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 23 wherein a first thong of said at least two thongs has a first thickness dimension in said throwing area and a second thickness dimension in said ball carrying area, and a second thong of said at least two thongs has a second thickness dimension in said throwing area and a first thickness dimension in said ball carrying area.

31. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 30 wherein said first thickness dimension is greater than said second thickness dimension.

32. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 23 wherein a first thong of said at least two thongs has a variable thickness dimension within said throwing area and a variable thickness dimension within said ball carrying area.

33. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 32 wherein said first thong has a first thickness dimension and a second thickness dimension within said throwing area and a first thickness dimension and a second thickness dimension within said ball carrying area.

34. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 33 wherein said first thickness dimension in said throwing area is greater than said second thickness dimension in said throwing area, said second thickness dimension in said throwing area is less than said first thickness dimension in said ball-carrying area, and said first thickness dimension in said ball-carrying area is greater than said second thickness dimension in said ball-carrying area.

35. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 33 wherein said first thickness dimension in said throwing area is less than said second thickness dimension in said throwing area, said second thickness dimension in said throwing area is greater than said first thickness dimension in said ball-carrying area, and said first thickness dimension in said ball-carrying area is less than said second thickness dimension in said ball-carrying area.

36. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 34 including a second thong having a first thickness dimension and a second thickness dimension within said throwing area, and a first thickness dimension and a second thickness dimension within said ball-carrying area.

37. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 36 wherein said second thong first thickness dimension in said throwing area is greater than said second thong second thickness dimension in said throwing area, said second thong second thickness dimension in said throwing area is less than said second thong first thickness dimension in said ball-carrying area, and said second thong first thickness dimension in said ball-carrying area is greater than said second thong second thickness dimension in said ball-carrying area.

38. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 22 wherein said first thong has a first thickness dimension in said throwing area and a second thickness dimension in said ball carrying area, and said second thong has a first thickness dimension and a second thickness dimension in said throwing area and a third thickness dimension and a fourth thickness dimension in said ball carrying area.

39. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 33 wherein there are four thongs and each of said four thongs has said first thickness dimension and said second thickness dimension within said throwing area and said first thickness dimension and said second thickness dimension within said ball-carrying area.

40. The lacrosse head pocket of claim 22 wherein there is a first thong having a first thickness dimension and a second thickness dimension, a second thong having a third thickness dimension and a fourth thickness dimension and a third thong having a fifth thickness dimension and a sixth thickness dimension.

41. A lacrosse stick comprising: a head frame; a handle attached to said frame; a lacrosse head pocket attached to said head frame, said lacrosse head pocket including: at least two thongs generally vertically positioned within and attached to said head frame, wherein each thong has a first attachment region at a first end, a second attachment region at a second end, and a ball contacting region extending between said first attachment region and said second attachment region; multiple pocket cords attached to said at least two thongs and generally horizontally positioned within and attached to said head frame; wherein a first thong of said at least two thongs has a first thickness dimension within said ball contacting region and a second thong of said at least two thongs has a second thickness dimension within said ball contacting region and said first thickness dimension is different from said second thickness dimension.

42. The lacrosse stick of claim 41, wherein said first thong of said at least two thongs also has a second thickness dimension within said ball contacting region and said second thong of said at least two thongs also includes a first thickness dimension within said ball contacting region.

Description:

CROSS-SECTION TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present invention claims priority from U.S. Provisional Application 60/892,414, entitled “Lacrosse Pocket Including Variable Width Thongs” and filed on Mar. 1, 2007.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to sports equipment and more specifically to a pocket for a lacrosse head.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

All players playing the sport of lacrosse use a lacrosse stick to interact with the ball. It is known that not all lacrosse sticks are the same, but vary to suit a player's desired performance. Each player typically has an individual preference for the particular features of his or her lacrosse stick. Some features may be more beneficial to one particular player, while another player may prefer a different set of features.

A player selects the desired features to enhance their individual playing style. The decision is not necessarily based on the position that they play. It is known that the pocket's physical features directly impact the “feel” of the stick. The “feel” of the stick relates to the interaction between the lacrosse ball and the physical features of the pocket.

Known lacrosse sticks include a head frame to which a handle and a pocket are attached. The pocket in turn is secured to the frame. Further, there are several known types of pockets. For example, there is a traditional woven pocket, a manufactured pocket and a mesh pocket. These different types of pockets also provide players with different playing characteristics.

The traditional woven pocket typically consists of a series of straps that the player assembles and attaches to the head frame by hand. There are straps that fit within the lacrosse head frame in a generally vertical fashion that are referred to as thongs and also straps that interact with or attach to the thongs and fit within the head frame in a generally horizontal fashion that are referred to as pocket cords. The portion of the thongs that have contact with the lacrosse ball can be made from a number of different materials including, but not limited to, leather or synthetic leather. The pocket cords can also be made from a number of different materials including, but not limited to, nylon cord. The manufactured pocket is sold as a preassembled pocket having similar features to a traditional woven pocket including generally vertically oriented thongs and generally horizontally oriented pocket cords positioned within the head frame. In general, the mesh pocket includes a hole pattern arranged such that there is even spacing between the mesh holes. Typical mesh pockets do not use thongs. The mesh material is woven in continuous lengths with a repeating hole pattern, typically on a Raschel knitting machine, and is cut to individual lengths.

It is known that for any specific traditional woven pocket or manufactured pocket that the thickness dimension of each thong in the pocket is the same.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an advantage of the present invention to provide a lacrosse head pocket that allows the player to customize the feel of the lacrosse head. The present invention allows the player a variety of pocket configurations within the lacrosse head.

In accordance with the advantages of the present invention, a lacrosse head is disclosed that includes a pocket having at least two thongs generally vertically positioned and multiple pocket cords for attachment to the at least two thongs and a plurality of pocket cords that are generally horizontally positioned with respect to the thongs. Each thong has a first attachment region at a first end and a second attachment region at a second end. A ball contacting region extends between the first attachment region and the second attachment region. One of the thongs has a first thickness dimension within the ball contacting region and the other thong has a second thickness dimension within the ball contacting region. The first thickness dimension is different from the second thickness dimension. In another embodiment of the present invention, one of the thongs may have a variable thickness dimension within the ball contacting region.

Other advantages and features of the present invention will become apparent when viewed in light of the detailed description of the invention and taken in conjunction with the attached drawings and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a front view of a lacrosse head in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 1B is a back view of a lacrosse head in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2A is a front view of a portion of a lacrosse pocket having four thongs in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2B is a back view of the portion of the lacrosse pocket of FIG. 2A;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a portion of a thong in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4A is a schematic illustration of a portion of four thongs for a lacrosse pocket each with a constant thickness in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4B is a cutaway view along line 4B-4B in FIG. 4A;

FIG. 4C is a cutaway view along line 4C-4C in FIG. 4A;

FIG. 5A is a schematic illustration of a portion of four thongs for a lacrosse pocket each with a constant thickness in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5B is a cutaway view along line 5B-5B in FIG. 5A;

FIG. 5C is a cutaway view along line 5C-5C in FIG. 5A;

FIG. 6A is a schematic illustration of a portion of five thongs for a lacrosse pocket each with a constant thickness in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6B is a cutaway view along line 6B-6B in FIG. 6A;

FIG. 6C is a cutaway view along line 6C-6C in FIG. 6A;

FIG. 7A is a schematic illustration of a portion of five thongs for a lacrosse pocket each with a constant thickness in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7B is a cutaway view along line 7B-7B in FIG. 7A;

FIG. 7C is a cutaway view along line 7C-7C in FIG. 7A;

FIG. 8A is a schematic illustration of a portion of five thongs for a lacrosse pocket each with a constant thickness in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5B is a cutaway view along line 8B-8B in FIG. 8A;

FIG. 8C is a cutaway view along line 8C-8C in FIG. 8A;

FIG. 9A is a schematic illustration of a portion of five thongs for a lacrosse pocket each with a constant thickness in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9B is a cutaway view along line 9B-9B in FIG. 9A;

FIG. 9C is a cutaway view along line 9C-9C in FIG. 9A;

FIG. 10A is a schematic illustration of a portion of four thongs for a lacrosse pocket each with a variable thickness in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10B is a cutaway view along line 10B-10B in FIG. 10A;

FIG. 10C is a cutaway view along line 10C-10C in FIG. 10A;

FIG. 11A is a schematic illustration of a portion of one thong for a lacrosse pocket with a variable thickness and two thongs with a constant thickness in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 11B is a cutaway view along line 11B-11B in FIG. 11A;

FIG. 11C is a cutaway view along line 11C-11C in FIG. 11A;

FIG. 12A is a schematic illustration of a portion of one thong for a lacrosse pocket with a constant thickness and two thongs with a variable thickness in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12B is a cutaway view along line 12B-12B in FIG. 12A;

FIG. 12C is a cutaway view along line 12C-12C in FIG. 12A;

FIG. 13A is a schematic illustration of a portion of four thongs for a lacrosse pocket with variable thicknesses in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 13B is a cutaway view along line 13B-13B in FIG. 13A;

FIG. 14A is a schematic illustration of a portion of four thongs for a lacrosse pocket each with variable thicknesses within the ball throwing area and the ball carrying area in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 14B is a cutaway view along line 14B-14B in FIG. 14A;

FIG. 15A is a schematic illustration of a portion of two thongs for a lacrosse pocket each having a constant thickness in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 15B is a cutaway view along line 15B-15B in FIG. 15A;

FIG. 15C is a cutaway view along line 15C-15C in FIG. 15A;

FIG. 16A is a schematic illustration of a portion of three thongs for a lacrosse pocket each having a constant thickness in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 16B is a cutaway view along line 16B-16B in FIG. 16A;

FIG. 16C is a cutaway view along line 16C-16C in FIG. 16A;

FIG. 17A is a schematic illustration of a portion of three thongs for a lacrosse pocket each having a constant thickness in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 17B is a cutaway view along line 17B-17B in FIG. 17A;

FIG. 17C is a cutaway view along line 17C-17C in FIG. 17A;

FIG. 18A is a schematic illustration of a portion of three thongs for a lacrosse pocket each having a constant thickness that are all different from each other in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 18B is a cutaway view along line 18B-18B in FIG. 18A;

FIG. 18C is a cutaway view along line 18C-18C in FIG. 18A;

FIG. 18D is a cutaway view along line 18D-18D in FIG. 18A;

FIG. 19A is a schematic illustration of a portion of four thongs for a lacrosse pocket each having a constant thickness in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 19B is a cutaway view along line 19B-19B in FIG. 19A;

FIG. 19C is a cutaway view along line 19C-19C in FIG. 19A;

FIG. 20 is a schematic illustration of a portion of four thongs for a lacrosse pocket each having a constant thickness in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 21A is a schematic illustration of a portion of five thongs for a lacrosse pocket each having a constant thickness in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 21B is a cutaway view along line 21B-21B in FIG. 21A;

FIG. 21C is a cutaway view along line 21C-21C in FIG. 21A;

FIG. 22A is a schematic illustration of a portion of five thongs for a lacrosse pocket each having a constant thickness in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 22B is a cutaway view along line 22B-22B in FIG. 22A;

FIG. 22C is a cutaway view along line 22C-22C in FIG. 22A;

FIG. 23A is a schematic illustration of a portion of five thongs for a lacrosse pocket each having a constant thickness in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 23B is a cutaway view along line 23B-23B in FIG. 23A;

FIG. 23C is a cutaway view along line 23C-23C in FIG. 23A;

FIG. 23D is a cutaway view along line 23D-23D in FIG. 23A;

FIG. 24A is a schematic illustration of a portion of one thong for a lacrosse pocket with a variable thickness dimension and another thong with a constant thickness dimension in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 24B is a cutaway view along line 24B-24B in FIG. 24A;

FIG. 24C is a cutaway view along line 24C-24C in FIG. 24A;

FIG. 25A is a schematic illustration of a portion of one thong for a lacrosse pocket with a variable thickness dimension within the ball throwing area and a variable thickness dimension within the ball carrying area and another thong with a constant thickness dimension;

FIG. 25B is a cutaway view along line 25B-25B in FIG. 25A;

FIG. 25C is a cutaway view along line 25C-25C in FIG. 25A;

FIG. 26A is a schematic illustration of a portion of one thong for a lacrosse pocket with a variable thickness dimension within the ball-contacting region and another thong with a variable thickness dimension within the throwing area and a variable thickness dimension within the ball carrying area;

FIG. 26B is a cutaway view along line 26B-26B in FIG. 26A;

FIG. 26C is a cutaway view along line 26C-26C in FIG. 26A;

FIG. 27A is a schematic illustration of a portion of three thongs for a lacrosse pocket each with a variable thickness dimension within the ball-contacting region;

FIG. 27B is a cutaway view along line 27B-27B in FIG. 27A;

FIG. 27C is a cutaway view along line 27C-27C in FIG. 27A; and

FIG. 27D is a cutaway view along line 27D-27D in FIG. 27A.

DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION

The present invention discloses a lacrosse pocket having thongs with varying thicknesses. More specifically, to provide lacrosse players with a wide variety of pocket options the present invention includes a lacrosse head pocket having at least one thong with a first thickness dimension that is different from the thickness dimension of the other thongs in the pocket. The present invention also includes an embodiment wherein at least one thong has a variable thickness dimension.

The standards for allowable thong thicknesses can be different for men's lacrosse heads and women's lacrosse heads. Further, these allowable thicknesses are typically set by the particular institutions having the authority to do so for various leagues.

FIG. 1A illustrates the front of a lacrosse head and FIG. 1B illustrates the back of a lacrosse head, shown generally at 20 including a head frame 22 and a pocket, shown generally at 24, positioned within and attached to the frame 22. The handle 26 of the lacrosse head is also attached to the frame 22. FIGS. 2A and 2B more specifically illustrate the embodiment of the pocket illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B. FIG. 2A illustrates the front of a portion of the lacrosse pocket detached from the lacrosse head and FIG. 2B illustrates a portion of the back of the lacrosse pocket detached from the lacrosse head.

The frame includes a ball stop portion 28, a pair of opposing sidewalls 30, and a scoop or lip portion 32 connecting the pair of opposing sidewalls 30 opposite from the ball stop portion 28. The frame 22 has a throat portion 34 that extends rearwardly from the ball stop portion 28 for attachment to the handle 26. There are a plurality of pocket securing apertures 36 located within the scoop portion 32 of the frame 22, a plurality of pocket securing apertures 37 located within the sidewalls 30 of the frame 22, and a plurality of pocket securing apertures 38 located within the ball stop portion 28 of the frame 22.

The pocket 24 includes thongs 40, 41, 42, 43 and pocket cords 44. It is important to note that the pattern of the pocket cords 44 does not have any impact on the inventive nature of the present invention. Further, the invention is not limited to a pocket having any particular number of thongs. For discussion purposes, thong 40 is specifically referred to and described hereinafter, however, each thong 40, 41, 42, 43 has the same characteristics.

Each individual thong 40 is coupled vertically within the frame 22 between the scoop portion 32 and the ball stop portion 28. The thong 40 consists of a ball contacting region 56 located between a first end 46 and a second end 48.

The first end 46 has a first attachment region 50 that allows the thong 40 to be secured to the frame 22 at a pocket securing aperture 36 in the scoop portion 32 of the frame 22. The first attachment region 50 is generally circular-shaped having an inner aperture 52. It will be understood that the first attachment region 50 can take on a variety of different configurations.

The second end 48 has a second attachment region 54 that allows the thong 40 to be secured to the frame 22 at a pocket securing aperture 38 in the ball stop portion 28 of the frame 22. It will be understood that the second attachment region 54 can also take on a variety of different configurations.

FIGS. 1A and 1B illustrate how the lacrosse pocket is attached to the lacrosse head frame. It is general knowledge that the first attachment region 50 is attached to the scoop portion 32 of the head frame 22 by feeding the first attachment region 50 of each thong through a scoop 32 pocket securing aperture 36. Along the ball stop portion 32 of the frame 22, the second attachment region 54 of each thong 40 is fed through a ball stop portion 28 pocket securing aperture 38 and secured in place, often by tying it into a knot. Pocket cords 44 are laced through the sidewall 30 apertures 37, intertwined with the thongs 40 and secured in place. After the first attachment region 50 is fed through the scoop pocket securing aperture 36 it is folded down and a pocket cord 44 is intertwined or laced through the first attachment region aperture 52 to secure the first attachment region 50 down against the top of the ball contacting region 56 of the thong 40. The pocket cords 44 are commonly secured in place by tying them into a knot.

Each individual thong is a generally long and narrow strip of material. In general, within the ball-contacting region 56 each thong has a length dimension 51, an overall width dimension 53 and an overall thickness dimension 55, as illustrated in FIG. 3. It is important to note that for all of the remaining figures the dimensions are not necessarily to scale and may be exaggerated.

Referring to FIGS. 2A, 2B and 3, each thong 40 is actually formed of two separate pieces of material coupled together in the ball contacting region 56 between the first end 46 and second end 48. The first piece of material 47 consists of a flexible, durable material such as leather or synthetic leather. The first material 47 includes the first attachment region 50 and a first material ball contacting portion 60.

The second piece of material 49 consists of a flexible, cloth-like material, such as nylon lace and includes the second attachment region 54 and a second material ball contacting portion 61. In general, the second piece of material 49 is more flexible than the first piece of material 47.

The second material ball contacting portion 61 is attached to the back of the first material ball contacting portion 60 within the ball contacting region 56. The ball contacting portion 61 of the second piece of material 49 may be sewn or glued to the ball contacting portion 60 of the first piece of material 47 and thus forms the portion of the thong 40 in the ball contacting portion 56. Referring to FIG. 2B, the pocket cords 44 are attached to the thong 40 such that they are positioned exterior to the second piece of material 55, on the opposite side of the second piece of material from the first piece of material.

The overall thickness dimension 55 for thong 40, as shown in FIG. 3, is thus determined as the thickness dimension 65 of the first piece of material 47 in combination with the thickness dimension 67 of the second piece of material 49 within the ball contacting region 56 of the thong.

The variations in thicknesses for the thongs in any given lacrosse pocket could be the result of any one of the following three scenarios. In the first scenario, the thickness of the second piece of material could remain the same for all thongs in a pocket while the thickness of the first piece of material could vary from one thong to the next. In the second scenario, the thickness of the first piece of material could remain the same for all thongs in a pocket while the thickness of the second piece of material could vary from one thong to the next. In the third scenario, the thickness dimensions of the first piece of material and the second piece of material could both vary from one thong to the next within any given pocket.

FIGS. 4-27 are illustrated such that there is no differentiation made between the width of the first piece of material and the second piece of material. The thongs are illustrated as though they are made from a single piece of material.

In known lacrosse pockets there is one constant thickness dimension for each individual thong in the ball contacting region 56. In other words, each thong in the pocket 24 has the same constant overall thickness. Any thickness variations in the first and second attachment regions 50, 54 are not part of the present invention.

In general, a thicker thong in the ball contacting region 56 provides a more solid ramp for the ball because there is more material to support the ball. A thinner thong in the ball contacting region 56, by contrast, provides less material to support the ball and as a result the cross-lacing of the pocket cords 44 has more of an effect on the ball.

FIGS. 4A-4C illustrate a portion of lacrosse pocket 24 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, the pocket portion 24 includes at least four thongs, namely a first outer thong 42, a second outer thong 43, a first inner thong 40 and a second inner thong 41. The first outer thong 42 and the second outer thong 43 each has the same first overall thickness dimension 59. The first inner thong 40 and the second inner thong 41 each has the same second overall thickness dimension 58. The first overall thickness dimension 59 is less than the second overall thickness dimension 58. In other words, the first and second outer thongs 42, 43 are thinner than the first and second inner thongs 40, 41. It will be understood that the pattern of cords that help retain the thongs is not critical and can vary. Additionally, any number of thongs can be utilized as desired.

FIGS. 5A-5C illustrate a portion of lacrosse pocket 124 in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention. This embodiment is the opposite of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4A. Pocket portion 124 includes at least four thongs, namely a first outer thong 142, a second outer thong 143, a first inner thong 140 and a second inner thong 141. The two inner thongs 140, 141 have a narrower overall thickness dimension 158 than the two outer thongs 142, 143. The first outer thong 142 and the second outer thong 143 each has the same first overall thickness dimension 159. The first inner thong 140 and the second inner thong 141 each has the same second overall thickness dimension 158. The first thickness dimension 159 is greater than the second thickness dimension 158.

FIGS. 19A-19C illustrate an alternative embodiment of a portion of a lacrosse pocket 1542 including four thongs. This pocket portion 1524 includes a first outer thong 1540 and a first inner thong 1542 each having a first overall thickness dimension 1560. It also includes a second outer thong 1541 and a second inner thong 1543 each having a second overall thickness dimension 1561. In this particular embodiment, the first outer thong 1540 and the first inner thong 1542 are adjacent to each other. Similarly, the second outer thong 1541 and the second inner thong 1543 are adjacent to each other. The first thickness dimension 1560 is greater than the second thickness dimension 1561.

FIGS. 20A-20C also illustrate a portion of a lacrosse pocket 1525 having four thongs. However, the thongs are arranged in an alternating pattern. The first outer thong 1540 and the first inner thong 1542 each has a first overall thickness dimension 1560 and the second outer thong 1541 and the second inner thong 1543 each has a second overall thickness dimension 1561, as illustrated in FIGS. 19B and 19C. The first outer thong 1540 is adjacent to the second inner thong 1543 and the second outer thong 1541 is adjacent to the first inner thong 1542. The first thickness dimension 1560 is greater than the second thickness dimension 1561.

FIGS. 15A-15C illustrate a portion of a lacrosse pocket 1124 in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention. This pocket portion 1124 includes two thongs, namely a first thong 1140 and a second thong 1141. The first thong 1140 has a first overall thickness dimension 1160 and the second thong 1141 has a second overall thickness dimension 1161. The first thickness dimension 1160 is greater than the second thickness dimension 1161.

FIGS. 16A-16C illustrate a portion of a lacrosse pocket 1224 in accordance with still another embodiment of the present invention. This pocket portion 1224 includes three thongs, namely, a first thong 1240, a second thong 1241 and a third thong 1242. The first thong 1240 has a first overall thickness dimension 1260. The second thong 1241 and the third thong 1242 each has a second overall thickness dimension 1261. The first thickness dimension 1260 is greater than the second thickness dimension 1261.

FIGS. 17A-17C illustrate a portion of a lacrosse pocket 1324 in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention wherein the pocket 1324 has three thongs, a first thong 1340 having a first overall thickness dimension 1360 and second thong 1341 and third thong 1342 each having a second overall thickness dimension 1361. However, in this embodiment, the first thickness dimension 1360 is less than the second thickness dimension 1361.

FIGS. 18A-18D illustrate a portion of a lacrosse pocket 1424 in accordance with still another embodiment of the present invention. This pocket 1424 includes three thongs, namely, a first thong 1440 having a first overall thickness dimension 1460, a second thong 1441 having a second overall thickness dimension 1461 and a third thong 1442 having a third overall thickness dimension 1462. All three thickness dimensions 1460, 1461, 1462 are different from each other. In the embodiment illustrated, the third thickness dimension 1462 is less than the second thickness dimension 1461. The second thickness dimension 1461 is less than the first thickness dimension 1460. However, it should be understood that the orientation of the thongs with respect to each other could vary.

FIGS. 6A-6C illustrate a portion of a lacrosse pocket 224 in accordance with still another embodiment of the present invention. This pocket 224 includes at least five thongs, namely a center thong 244, a first intermediate thong 240, a second intermediate thong 241, a first outer thong 242 and a second outer thong 243. In this embodiment, the center thong 244 has a thickness dimension 260 that is different from the other four thongs 240, 241, 242, 243. The center thong 244 has a first overall thickness dimension 260. The first intermediate thong 240, the second intermediate thong 241, the first outer thong 242 and the second outer thong 243 each has a second overall thickness dimension 261. The first thickness dimension 260 is less than the second thickness dimension 261. In other words, the center thong 244 has a thinner thickness or is less deep than all four of the other thongs 240, 241, 242, 243.

FIGS. 7A-7C illustrate a portion of a lacrosse pocket 324 in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention. This pocket 324 includes at least five thongs, namely a center thong 344, a first intermediate thong 340, a second intermediate thong 341, a first outer thong 342 and a second outer thong 343. This is similar to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6A except that in this embodiment, the center thong 344 is thicker than the other four thongs 340, 341, 342, 343. The center thong 344 has a first overall thickness dimension 360. The first intermediate thong 340, the second intermediate thong 341, the first outer thong 342 and the second outer thong 343 each has a second overall thickness dimension 361. The first thickness dimension 360 is greater than the second thickness dimension 361.

FIGS. 8A-8C illustrate a portion of a lacrosse pocket 424 in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention. This pocket 424 includes at least five thongs 440, 441, 442, 443, 444, however it differs from the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 6A and 7A because two thongs have a thickness dimension 460 different from the thickness dimension 461 of the other three thongs. In this embodiment, the pocket includes a center thong 444, a first intermediate thong 440, a second intermediate thong 441, a first outer thong 442 and a second outer thong 443. The center thong 444, the first intermediate thong 440 and the second intermediate thong 441 each has a first overall thickness dimension 460. The first outer thong 442 and the second outer thong 443 each has a second overall thickness dimension 461. The first thickness dimension 460 is greater than the second thickness dimension 461.

Referring to FIGS. 21A-21C, there could also be an embodiment where a portion of the lacrosse pocket 1624 includes the center thong 2144, the first intermediate thong 2140 and the second intermediate thong 2141 each having the second overall thickness dimension 2161. Similarly, the first outer thong 2142 and the second outer thong 2143 each has the first overall thickness dimension 2160. The first thickness dimension 2160 is greater than the second thickness dimension 2161.

FIGS. 9A-9C illustrate a portion of a lacrosse pocket 524 in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention. This pocket 524 includes at least five thongs, namely a center thong 544, a first intermediate thong 540, a second intermediate thong 541, a first outer thong 542 and a second outer thong 543. The center thong 544, the first outer thong 542 and the second outer thong 543 each has a first overall thickness dimension 560. The first intermediate thong 540 and the second intermediate thong 541 each has a second overall thickness dimension 561. The first thickness dimension 560 is greater than the second thickness dimension 561. In other words, the two intermediate thongs 540, 541 are thinner or less deep than the center 544, first outer 542 and second outer 543 thongs.

Referring to FIGS. 22A-22C, there could also be an embodiment where the portion of the lacrosse pocket 2224 includes the center thong 2244, the first outer thong 2242 and the second outer thong 2243 each having the second overall thickness dimension 2261. The first intermediate thong 540 and the second intermediate thong 2241 each having the first overall thickness dimension 560. In other words, the two intermediate thongs 220, 2241 are thicker than the center 2244, first outer 2242 and second outer 2243 thongs.

The lacrosse head pocket portion 1824 illustrated in FIGS. 23A-23D includes thongs having three different thickness dimensions. The center thong 1844 has a first overall thickness dimension 1860, the first intermediate thong 1840 and the second intermediate thong 1841 each has a second overall thickness dimension 1861. The first outer thong 1842 and the second outer thong 1843 each has a third overall thickness dimension 1862. In this embodiment, the first thickness dimension 1860 is less than the second thickness dimension 1861, and the second thickness dimension 1861 is less than the third thickness dimension 1862. It will be understood that the order of the thongs could vary from the order depicted.

It will be understood that the thickness dimension of any given thong can vary along its length within the ball contacting region. To more clearly describe these embodiments one should note that there are further zone distinctions made within the ball contacting region 56 of the pocket. The throwing area 64 is the region of the pocket 24 that is adjacent to the scoop or lip portion 32 of the frame 22. The ball carrying area 66 is the region of the pocket 24 that is adjacent to the ball stop portion 28 of the frame 22.

In still another embodiment, the thickness dimension along any one individual thong varies within the ball contacting region. There is a transition in the overall thickness of the individual thong from the ball contacting region near the first attachment region to the ball contacting region near the second attachment region. The transition could be gradual or abrupt. An individual thong may have a larger overall thickness dimension in the throwing area and a smaller overall thickness dimension in the ball carrying area. Alternatively, an individual thong may have a smaller overall thickness dimension in the throwing area and a larger overall thickness dimension in the ball carrying area. There could be just one thong in the pocket having a variable thickness dimension with all of the other thongs having a constant width, as illustrated in FIGS. 11A-11C, 24A-24C and 25A-25C.

Alternatively, all of the thongs in the pocket could have a variable overall thickness dimension. If all of the thongs have a variable overall thickness dimension they could all be aligned, as illustrated in FIGS. 13A-13C, or their orientations could alternate as illustrated in FIGS. 10A-10C. As yet another alternative, there could be at least one variable thickness thong and at least one constant thickness thong for an individual pocket as illustrated in FIGS. 11A-11C, 12A-12C and 24A-24C. As yet another alternative, there could be thongs having a variable thickness within the throwing area and a variable thickness within the ball carrying area as illustrated in FIGS. 14A-14C and 25A-25C. For example, at least one thong may be thicker at the top of the throwing area, thinner at the bottom of the throwing area, thicker at the top of the ball carrying area and thinner at the bottom of the ball carrying area. Listed below are some examples of different variations within the scope and teachings of the present invention.

It should be understood that the thickness dimensions may differ for each thong in a multiple variable width thong pocket. For example, the first overall thickness dimension for one thong and the first overall thickness dimension for another thong in the pocket may be the same or they may differ.

FIGS. 24A-24C illustrate a portion of a lacrosse pocket 1924 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention including a first thong 1940 and a second thong 1941. The first thong 1940 has a variable overall thickness dimension 1960, 1961 and the second thong 1941 has a constant thickness dimension 1962. The first thong 1940 has a first thickness dimension 1960 in the ball throwing area 64 and a second thickness dimension 1961 in the ball carrying area 66. In FIG. 24A the first thickness dimension 1960 is less than the second thickness dimension 1961. However, it should be understood that the first thickness dimension could be greater than the second thickness dimension.

FIGS. 25A-25C illustrate a portion of a lacrosse pocket 2024 similar to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 24A but including a first thong 2040 having a variable thickness dimension within the ball throwing area 64 and a variable thickness dimension within the ball carrying area 66. The second thong 2041 has a constant thickness dimension 2064. The first thong has a first thickness dimension 2060 and a second thickness dimension 2061 within the throwing area 64. Similarly, the first thong has a first thickness dimension 2062 and a second thickness dimension 2063 within the ball carrying area 66. In the embodiment illustrated the throwing area first thickness dimension 2060 is less than the throwing area second thickness dimension 2061. The throwing area second thickness dimension 2061 is greater than the ball carrying area first thickness dimension 2062. The ball carrying area first thickness dimension 2062 is less than the ball carrying area second thickness dimension 2063.

FIGS. 27A-27D illustrate a portion of a lacrosse pocket 2224 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The pocket portion 2224 includes three thongs, a first thong 2240, a second thong 2241, and third thong 2242. The first thong 2240 has a first thickness dimension 2260 and a second thickness dimension 2261. The second thong 2241 has a third thickness dimension 2262 and a fourth thickness dimension 2263. The third thong 2242 has a fifth thickness dimension 2264 and a sixth thickness dimension 2265.

FIGS. 10A-10C illustrate a portion of a lacrosse pocket 624 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The pocket portion 624 includes at least four thongs 640, 641, 642, 643. There is a first outer thong 642, a second outer thong 643, a first inner thong 640 and a second inner thong 641. The first outer thong 642 and the second outer thong 643 each has a thicker thickness dimension 660 in the ball carrying area and a thinner thickness dimension 661 in the throwing area. The first inner thong 640 and the second inner thong 641 each has a thicker thickness dimension 663 in the throwing area and a thinner thickness dimension 662 in the ball carrying area. In an alternative embodiment, the configuration could be the opposite. In other words, the first outer thong and the second outer thong could have a thicker thickness dimension in the throwing area and a thinner thickness dimension in the ball carrying area. Whereas the first inner thong and the second inner thong could each have a thicker thickness dimension in the ball carrying area and a thinner thickness dimension in the throwing area.

FIGS. 11A-11C illustrate a portion of a lacrosse pocket 724 in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention. The pocket portion 724 includes at least three thongs 740, 741, 742. There is a center thong 740, a first outer thong 741 and a second outer thong 742. The center thong 740 has a thicker thickness dimension 760 in the throwing area and a thinner thickness dimension 761 in the ball carrying area. The first and second outer thongs 741, 742 each has a constant thickness dimension 762. In an alternative embodiment the first and second outer thongs could have constant thickness dimensions that are different from each other. In yet another embodiment, the center thong could be reversed having a thicker thickness dimension in the ball carrying area and a thinner thickness dimension in the throwing area.

FIGS. 12A-12C illustrate a portion of a lacrosse pocket 824 in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention. The pocket portion 824 is similar to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 11A wherein there are at least three thongs, a center thong 840, a first outer thong 841 and a second outer thong 842. However, the center thong 840 has a constant thickness dimension 860 and the first and second outer thongs 841, 842 each has a variable thickness dimension. In one embodiment, the first and second outer thongs 841, 842 have a thinner thickness dimension 861 in the throwing area and a thicker thickness dimension 862 in the ball carrying area. Alternatively, the first and second outer thongs could have a thinner thickness dimension in the ball carrying area and a thicker thickness dimension in the throwing area.

FIGS. 13A-13C illustrate a portion of a lacrosse pocket 924 in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention. The pocket portion 924 includes at least four thongs 940, 941, 942, 943. There is a first outer thong 942, a second outer thong 943, a first inner thong 940 and a second inner thong 941. Each of the thongs 940, 941, 942, 943 has a thicker thickness dimension 960 in the throwing area and a thinner thickness dimension 961 in the ball carrying area. In an alternative embodiment, the configuration could be the opposite. In other words, the thongs could have a thinner thickness dimension in the throwing area and a thicker thickness dimension in the ball carrying area.

FIGS. 14A-14C illustrate a portion of a lacrosse pocket 1024 in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention. The pocket portion 1024 includes at least one thong, however four thongs are illustrated. There is a first outer thong 1042, a second outer thong 1043, a first inner thong 1040 and a second inner thong 1041. Each of the thongs 1040, 1041, 1042, 1043 has a variable thickness dimension within each region 64, 66 of the pocket 1024. More specifically, each thong has a first thickness dimension 1060 and a second thickness dimension 1061 within the throwing area 64. Similarly, each thong has a first thickness dimension 1062 and a second thickness dimension 1063 within the ball carrying area 66. In the embodiment illustrated the throwing area first thickness dimension 1060 is greater than the throwing area second thickness dimension 1061. The throwing area second thickness dimension 1061 is less than the ball carrying area first thickness dimension 1062. The ball carrying area first thickness dimension 1062 is greater than the ball carrying area second thickness dimension 1063. In alternative embodiments, the configuration of each thong could be the opposite from what is illustrated in FIG. 14A or the configuration of the thongs could alternate.

FIGS. 26A-26C illustrate a portion of a lacrosse pocket 2124 including at least two thongs. The first thong 2140 has a first thickness dimension 2160 in the throwing area and a second thickness dimension 2162 in the ball-carrying area. The second thong 2141 has a first thickness dimension 2163 and a second thickness dimension 2164 within the throwing area 64 and a third thickness dimension 2165 and a fourth thickness dimension 2166 within the ball carrying area 66. The first thong 2140 first thickness dimension 2160 and the second thong 2141 first thickness dimension 2163 may be the same or they may differ from each other. Similarly, the first thong 2140 second thickness dimension 2162 and the second thong 2141 second thickness dimension 2164 may be the same or they may differ from each other.

While the invention has been described in connection with one or more embodiments, it is to be understood that the specific mechanics and techniques which have been described are merely illustrative of the principles of the invention, numerous modifications may be made to the methods and apparatus described without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.