Title:
Sports equipment having a pocket
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is directed to a piece of sports equipment with a pocket capable of storing a personal item.



Inventors:
Montgomery, David (Sanford, NC, US)
Application Number:
12/074592
Publication Date:
09/11/2008
Filing Date:
03/05/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/247
International Classes:
A63B43/00; A41D27/20
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Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SUITER SWANTZ PC LLO (OMAHA, NE, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A pocket, comprising: means for affixing the pocket to a piece of sports equipment, wherein the pocket is capable of storing a personal item.

2. The pocket of claim 1, wherein the pocket is attached to the interior of a piece of sports equipment.

3. The pocket of claim 1, wherein the pocket is configured to ensure proper functioning of the sports equipment.

4. The pocket of claim 1, wherein the pocket is configured to retain the sports equipment's air seal.

5. The pocket of claim 1, wherein the pocket divides the interior of the sports equipment into air-filled compartments.

6. The pocket of claim 1, wherein the pocket is secured closed by at least one of a snap, a button, a hook and loop fastener, a closable flap, a clasp, a turn lock, a hinge, a zipper, magnets, or ties.

7. The pocket of claim 1, wherein the pocket is waterproof.

8. A piece of sports equipment, comprising: a pocket; and a closure for sealing the pocket, wherein the pocket is capable of storing a personal item.

9. The piece of sports equipment of claim 8, wherein the pocket is comprised of a lining and the sports equipment is comprised of an outer cover.

10. The piece of sports equipment of claim 8, wherein the pocket is secured closed by at least one of a snap, a button, a hook and loop fastener, a closable flap, a clasp, a turn lock, a hinge, a zipper, magnets, or ties.

11. The piece of sports equipment of claim 8, wherein the pocket is configured to ensure proper functioning of the sports equipment.

12. The piece of sports equipment of claim 8, wherein the pocket is configured to retain the sports equipment's air seal.

13. The piece of sports equipment of claim 8, wherein the pocket divides the interior of the sports equipment into air-filled compartments.

14. The piece of sports equipment of claim 8, wherein the pocket is waterproof.

15. A recreational item for use in games, wherein the recreational item defines a pocket capable of storing a personal item.

16. The recreational item of claim 15, wherein the recreational item and the pocket are formed by unitary construction.

17. The recreational item of claim 15, wherein the recreational item can be made in a variety of sizes and shapes.

18. The recreational item of claim 15, wherein the pocket is secured closed by at least one of a snap, a button, a hook and loop fastener, a closable flap, a clasp, a turn lock, a hinge, a zipper, magnets, or ties.

19. The recreational item of claim 15, wherein the pocket is configured to ensure proper functioning of the sports equipment.

20. The recreational item of claim 15, wherein the pocket is waterproof.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. ยง119(e) of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/905,762, filed Mar. 8, 2007. Said U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/905,762 is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The disclosure generally relates to the field of sports equipment, and more particularly to particularly to a pocket for a piece of sports equipment, such as a football with a closable pocket.

BACKGROUND

Sports are played all around the world. Typically, when engaged in a sport, it may be uncomfortable for a person to have jewelry, keys, a cell phone, and/or other personal items on his or her person. Oftentimes, there are no convenient or safe places, such as lockers, to store personal items while engaging in a sport. Therefore, it would be desirable to provide a safe and/or convenient place to store personal items while engaging in a sport.

SUMMARY

Accordingly, the present invention is directed to a piece of sports equipment with a pocket capable of storing personal items. The pocket may be opened or closed. A closure may be utilized to close the pocket.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not necessarily restrictive of the present disclosure. The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of the specification, illustrate subject matter of the disclosure. Together, the descriptions and the drawings serve to explain the principles of the disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The numerous advantages of the disclosure may be better understood by those skilled in the art by reference to the accompanying figures in which:

FIG. 1 is an isometric cross-sectional view illustrating a piece of sports equipment;

FIG. 2 is a side cross-sectional view of the piece of sports equipment as illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an isometric view illustrating a piece of sports equipment;

FIG. 4 is a partial isometric view of the piece of sports equipment as illustrated in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is an isometric view illustrating a piece of sports equipment;

FIG. 6 is a partial cross-sectional front view of the piece of sports equipment as illustrated in FIG. 5, wherein the closure is a closable flap;

FIG. 7 is a partial cross-sectional front view illustrating of the piece of sports equipment, wherein the closure is a zipper;

FIG. 8 is a partial cross-sectional front view of the piece of sports equipment, wherein the closure is a snap;

FIG. 9 is a side view illustrating a piece of sports equipment, wherein the piece of sports equipment is a football;

FIG. 10 is a front cross-sectional view of the piece of sports equipment illustrated in FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is an isometric view illustrating a piece of sports equipment, wherein the piece of sports equipment is a basketball;

FIG. 12 is a partial cross-sectional side view of the piece of sports equipment as illustrated in FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is an isometric view illustrating a piece of sports equipment, wherein the piece of sports equipment is a volleyball;

FIG. 14 is an isometric view illustrating a piece of sports equipment, wherein the piece of sports equipment is a soccer ball; and

FIG. 15 is a flow diagram illustrating a method of producing a piece of sporting equipment, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Reference will now be made in detail to the subject matter disclosed, which is illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

Referring generally to FIGS. 1 through 14 a piece of sports equipment 100 is shown in accordance with the exemplary embodiments of the present invention. The piece of sports equipment 102 contains an internal pocket 104. In some embodiments, sports equipment 102 may comprise a football, baseball (hard or soft), softball, basketball, a baseball glove/mitt, volleyball, tennis ball, soccer ball, hockey puck, lacrosse ball, dodge ball, kickball, racketball, foam ball, hockey stick, crosse (lacrosse netted stick), rugby ball, cricket ball, helmet, shin guard, knee pad, elbow pad, life jacket, and water polo ball. This list is exemplary only and is not meant to be restrictive of the present invention. It is contemplated that a variety of sports equipment may be utilized in the present invention.

The pocket 104 is capable of storing a personal item 108. The pocket 104 may be any suitable shape and size depending upon the piece of sports equipment utilized. Furthermore, the pocket 104 may be comprised of any material suitable for securing and protecting a personal item 108. In one embodiment, the pocket 104 may be sized for carrying credit cards and/or money. In another embodiment, the pocket 104 may be larger than pocket-sized and capable of holding larger personal items 108, such as sunglasses and/or cell phones.

The pocket may be formed in the interior of the sports equipment in a number of ways depending upon the type of sports equipment utilized. In one specific embodiment, when the piece of sports equipment's interior is filled with air, such as footballs, volleyballs, basketballs, and the like, a piece of material may be attached to the interior lining of the air-filled compartment of the piece of sports equipment while retaining the piece of sports equipment's air seal. In this embodiment, material forms the pocket. The material may form a solitary pocket inside the air-filled compartment, as illustrated in FIG. 11, or may be attached for a second time to the opposite side of the interior lining of the air-filled compartment while retaining the piece of sports equipment's air seal. This attachment may form multiple air-filled compartments with the pocket dividing the air-filled compartments as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 10. In another specific embodiment, when the sports equipment is solid all the way through, such as in a foam football, baseball, or hockey puck, a portion of the solid interior material is left empty to form a pocket.

In one embodiment, the pocket 104 is formed to ensure that when the pocket 104 is empty, the pocket has no negative effects on the sports equipment during use. For example, the pocket may be formed in a basketball to ensure that the basketball's weight is distributed evenly while retaining a necessary bounciness.

A personal item 108 may comprise any object that is small enough to fit within the pocket 104. For instance, the personal item may comprise keys, money, credit cards, debit cards, jewelry, hair pieces, documents/papers, cell phones, mittens, gloves, personal hygiene items, gum, candy, and/or sunglasses. This list is exemplary only and is not meant to be restrictive of the present invention. It is contemplated that a variety of items may be utilized in the present invention. Further, the pocket may be shaped and/or sized to accommodate variously shaped personal items 108, such as shaped for a key, a credit card, coins, or the like. The pocket 104 may be open or closed.

In one embodiment, a closure 106 may close the pocket 104. For example, the closure may comprise a snap, a button, a hook and loop fastener, a closable flap, a clasp, a turn lock, a hinge, a zipper, magnets, and/or ties. This list is exemplary only and is not meant to be restrictive of the present invention. It is contemplated that a variety of closures capable of closing the pocket may be utilized in the present invention. In one embodiment, when the closure is closable flat, the closure may be attached to the piece of sports equipment by a hinge. In another embodiment, the closure and/or the pocket may be waterproof by preventing water from substantially entering the pocket.

Referring to FIG. 15 a flow diagram of a method 200 for producing a piece of sports equipment is shown, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Method 200 provides a piece of sporting equipment 202. Method 200 adds a pocket to the piece of sports of equipment 204 to form the piece of sporting equipment with a pocket for carrying personal items.

In some embodiments of the invention, the methods disclosed may be implemented as sets of instructions, through a single production device, and/or through multiple production devices. Further, it is understood that the specific order or hierarchy of steps in the methods disclosed are examples of exemplary approaches. Based upon design preferences, it is understood that the specific order or hierarchy of steps in the method can be rearranged while remaining within the scope and spirit of the present invention.

It is believed that the present disclosure and many of its attendant advantages will be understood by the foregoing description, and it will be apparent that various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the components without departing from the disclosed subject matter or without sacrificing all of its material advantages. The form described is merely explanatory, and it is the intention of the following claims to encompass and include such changes.