Title:
FIELD HOCKEY PRACTICE TETHERED ASSEMBLY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A field hockey practice tethered assembly includes a fastener loop, an elastic cord, and a field hockey ball. The elastic cord is secured to the fastener loop on one end of the cord and the field hockey ball on the second end of the cord. The elastic cord includes braided elastic strands within a yarn sheath.



Inventors:
Wilton, Curtis Lee (Powhatan, VA, US)
Application Number:
12/468920
Publication Date:
11/26/2009
Filing Date:
05/20/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/446
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAMBERS, MICHAEL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John H. Thomas, P.C. (Richmond, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A field hockey practice tethered assembly comprising: a fastener loop, an elastic cord, and a field hockey ball; the fastener loop comprising a strap that comprises a fastener on opposite ends of the strap that may be releasably secured to each other to form a loop; the elastic cord secured to the fastener loop on one end of the cord and the field hockey ball on the second end of the cord; wherein the elastic cord comprises braided elastic strands within a yarn sheath.

2. A field hockey practice tethered assembly as described in claim 1, wherein the fastener loop comprises hook and loop fasteners on opposite ends of the strap.

3. A field hockey practice tethered assembly as described in claims 1, wherein the field hockey ball comprises a hole bored therethrough and the elastic cord is secured to the ball by inserting the cord through the hole in the ball.

4. A field hockey practice tethered assembly as described in claim 1, wherein the length of the elastic cord is at least about eight feet.

5. A field hockey practice tethered assembly as described in claim 1, wherein the length of the elastic cord is between about six to ten feet.

6. A field hockey practice tethered assembly as described in claim 1, wherein the length of the elastic cord is between about three to thirteen feet.

7. A field hockey practice tethered assembly as described in claim 1, wherein the elastic cord has a diameter in the range of 1/16 to 5/32 of an inch.

8. A field hockey practice tethered assembly as described in claim 1, wherein the elastic cord has a yarn sheath comprised of a composition selected from the group consisting of polyester, nylon and polypropylene.

9. A field hockey practice tethered assembly as described in claim 1, wherein the elastic cord is 104 inches long and 3/32″ in diameter and has a polyester yarn sheath.

10. A field hockey practice tethered assembly comprising: a fastener loop, an elastic cord, and a field hockey ball; the fastener loop comprising a strap that comprises a fastener on opposite ends of the strap that may be releasably secured to each other to form a loop; the elastic cord secured to the fastener loop on one end of the cord and the field hockey ball on the second end of the cord; wherein the elastic cord comprises braided elastic strands within a yarn sheath; and a field hockey stick, wherein the fastener loop is removably secured to the field hockey stick.

11. A field hockey practice tethered assembly as described in claim 10, wherein the fastener loop comprises hook and loop fasteners on opposite ends of the strap.

12. A field hockey practice tethered assembly as described in claims 10, wherein the field hockey ball comprises a hole bored therethrough and the elastic cord is secured to the ball by inserting the cord through the hole in the ball.

13. A field hockey practice tethered assembly as described in claim 10, wherein the length of the elastic cord is at least about eight feet.

14. A field hockey practice tethered assembly as described in claim 10, wherein the elastic cord has a diameter in the range of 1/16 to 5/32 of an inch.

15. A field hockey practice tethered assembly as described in claim 10, wherein the elastic cord is 104 inches long and 3/32″ in diameter and has a polyester yarn sheath.

16. A field hockey practice tethered assembly as described in claim 10, wherein the field hockey stick comprises a shaft and a head, and the fastener loop is removably secured to the shaft.

17. A field hockey practice tethered assembly as described in claim 17, wherein the fastener loop is removably secured proximate to the head.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/128,149, filed May 20, 2008 and entitled “Field Hockey Practice Tethered Assembly”, and is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/237,720, filed Sep. 25, 2008, which claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent 60/994,967, filed Sep. 25, 2007. The field of invention is the sport of field hockey, and specifically a device for use when practicing field hockey stick skills.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

Background

Field hockey is a sport of growing popularity. The number of participants and teams has increased rapidly over recent years. At present, players typically practice the sport by striking, driving and/or dribbling a field hockey ball alone or with one or more practice participants. The person may practice shots on goal by simply striking a ball into an empty field hockey net.

BRIEF SUMMARY

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to allow an individual user to practice their field hockey sticks skills such as striking the field hockey ball, driving the field hockey ball, dribbling the field hockey ball, goal tending and otherwise interacting with field hockey balls. In one embodiment, a field hockey practice tethered assembly comprises a fastener loop, an elastic cord, and a field hockey ball. The fastener loop comprises a strap that comprises a fastener on opposite ends of the strap that may be releasably secured to each other to form a loop. The elastic cord is secured to the fastener loop on one end of the cord and the field hockey ball on the second end of the cord, wherein the elastic cord comprises braided elastic strands within a yarn sheath. The fastener loop may comprise hook and loop fasteners on opposite ends of the strap. The field hockey ball may comprise a hole bored therethrough and the elastic cord secured to the ball by inserting the cord through the hole in the ball.

The length of the elastic cord determines, in part, the characteristics of the field hockey practice tethered assembly. A “shorter” elastic cord ensures a field hockey ball that is struck by a field hockey stick will return to the field hockey stick quickly where the elastic cord is anchored to both the stick and the ball. If the elastic cord is too long, the weight of the field hockey ball and the force of the stroke will not create the force needed to return the field hockey ball back toward the field hockey stick. The characteristics of the cord also play a part in the relative physics of how the apparatus will operate.

The cord, depending on the use of the practice assembly, could be any length, including lengths were the ball would not return to the stick due to the elasticity of the cord. The length can vary dependent on the skills being practiced. For instance, dribbling of the field hockey ball will require a shorter length while driving, passing and/or shooting would require a longer length. The cord may be at least about eight feet, or alternatively between about six to ten feet, or still further alternatively, between about three to thirteen feet in length. The elastic cord may have a diameter in the range of 1/16 and 5/32 of an inch. The yarn sheath may be comprised of a composition selected from the group consisting of polyester, nylon and polypropylene. In one embodiment, the elastic cord is 3/32 of an inch in diameter and has a polyester yarn sheath.

In another embodiment, the field hockey practice tethered assembly described herein may be attached to a field hockey stick wherein the fastener loop is removably secured to the shaft of a field hockey stick. The fastener loop may alternatively be removably secured to the head of the field hockey stick.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)

FIGS. 1-4 provide various perspective views of a field hockey practice tethered assembly in accordance with the present invention wherein the fastener loops is selectively secured to different positions of the shaft of the field hockey stick; and

FIG. 5 provides an illustration of the subject apparatus including a partial cutaway view of a field hockey ball

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE APPARATUS

The subject disclosure is directed to a field hockey practice tethered assembly that includes a fastener loop, an elastic cord, and a field hockey ball. The elastic cord is connected to the fastener loop and to the field hockey ball. The fastener loop is further adapted to be secured to a field hockey stick. A player may then use the field hockey practice tethered assembly to practice field hockey stick skills such as dribbling the field hockey ball, passing the field hockey ball, striking/driving the field hockey ball, shooting field hockey balls on goal, goal tending and other field hockey stick skills. The field hockey practice tethered assembly can be attached to and detached from any part of the field hockey head or stick.

Reference will now be made to an example of the present invention as shown in FIGS. 1-5.

The fastener loop 10 is a strap that has fasteners on opposite ends thereof that allow the strap to be releasably secured to itself to form a loop. In one example, the fastener may be a hook and loop style fastener. For instance, in one embodiment, one side of the strap 10 is made up of female loops 11. The other side (not illustrated) would include hooks to releasably engage the female loops when the strap 10 is overlapped upon itself. Alternatively, the fastener may be a snap or button or other means for releasably securing the strap to itself to form a loop. The fastener must likewise be strong enough to withstand the pressure and repetition of a field hockey ball being struck and pulled back from the fastener loop and elastic cord. In one example, the fastener loop 10 is a strap approximately four inches long by ¾ of an inch wide.

The elastic cord 20 is tied on one end to the fastener loop 10 and on its opposite end to the field hockey ball 30. On the fastener loop end, the elastic cord 20 is tied in a knot 22 to form a loop 21 that will receive the fastener loop 10. On the opposite end of the elastic cord 20 there is a second loop 23 formed by knot 24. The portion of the cord 20 that forms the loops 23 extends through a hole 31 that is bored through the center of the field hockey ball 30.

The length of the elastic cord 20 enables the player to use the assembly to practice. As noted above, different lengths of the cord may be used to maximize different practice purposes. For instance, a longer cord 20 may be used for shooting practice. A shorter cord may be used to practice dribbling or other skills where the ball remains close to the stick. It is believed that a useful length of the elastic cord 20 is between about six to ten feet, or alternatively, about three to thirteen feet. However, the length of the cord can be range from one inch up to any distance, if needed or desired.

The physics of the invention involves a field hockey ball weighing approximately 5.6 ounces being attached to an elastic cord. The elastic cord has to have certain characteristics or specifications allowing the field hockey ball to be struck by a field hockey head with force. In at least one embodiment of the apparatus, the weight of the field hockey ball pulling or stretching the elastic cord out to its farthest point results in the elastic cord returning the attached field hockey ball with even a greater force back toward the field hockey head. The weight of approximately 5.6 ounces requires an elastic cord that has a combination of substantial elongation or stretchiness and a strong modulus (point of breaking). If the elastic cord is stretchy but does not have strong modulus, the field hockey ball will take the elastic cord out with the stroke but will break when the weight of the field hockey ball (struck with force from the field hockey stick) reaches the farthest point of elasticity provided by the elastic cord. If the elastic cord has a stronger than needed modulus, then the elastic cord would not have the stretchiness to bring the field hockey ball back with the force needed to make the assembly work well.

The subject elastic cord may be manufactured by combining strands of natural or synthetic rubber with a sheathing of yarn. In the case of elastic shock cords, a number of braided rubber strands are encased in a cover of one or more layers of yarn. Cords are made with a core of elastic rubber strands with an outside layer(s) of braided yarn. Cords can vary tremendously in size and characteristics. Diameters range from under 1/16″ to over 1″. The size is not the sole determining factor in the modulus (force required to stretch). The modulus of any size cord can be increased by packing the rubber tighter. Varying the ratio of yarn to rubber also has an effect on the modulus. The yarn sheath used in the subject cords comprises, in one embodiment, nylon, polypropelyne and polyester. Polyester was found to add strength without substantially negatively impacting the elasticity of the cord. A polyester sheath was also less prone to significant tangling during use as compared with the nylon and polypropylene.

Again, the length of the elastic cord plays a role in how the apparatus operates. If the elastic cord is short, the field hockey ball will not leave the field hockey head on an attempted pass, shot, or the like, or the ball will return to the field hockey stick too quickly for a secondary stroke attempt. If the elastic cord is too long, the weight of the field hockey ball and the force of the ball strike will not create the force needed to return the field hockey ball back toward the field hockey head.

Example

The physics of the assembly led to much experimenting with several types, sizes and lengths of elastic cords. A round CO23 braided elastic cord with a width of 3/32″ and length of one hundred and four (104) inches was used to manufacture a test apparatus. This elastic cord is of the “bungee” style with ten (10) twisted or braided fibers inside a polyester yarn sheath. The elastic fibers are braided sixty-four (64)+/−5% times every inch (picks); it weighs 1.072 pounds for every one hundred (100) yards and has an elongation or stretchiness factor of one hundred twenty (120%). All of following cords were tested, but the CO23 braided elastic ( 3/32″) cord lasted the longest before failure while maintaining elongation or stretchiness, and because of the smooth texture of the polyester sheath, tangled much less than the cords encased in the other materials of nylon or polypropylene. This cord is sometimes called textured polyester elastic cord because of this unique texture it possesses.

The following Table 1 shows modulus and elasticity of some cords used in the experimentation.

TABLE 1
Cord
Name
(each is aWidthElongation
braided(+/− 1/64TypeStretch
elastic)inch)Yarn Sheath(+1/−15%)Modulus
CO23 1/16″Polyester120%Failed at 12 lbs.
CO23 3/32″Polyester120%Failed at 22 lbs.
CO23⅛″Polyester120%Failed at 25 lbs.
CO23 5/32″Polyester120%Failed at 34 lbs.
CO21 1/16″Polypropylene100%Failed at 12.3 lbs.
CO21 3/32″Polypropylene100%Failed at 21 lbs.
CO21⅛″Polypropylene100%Failed at 26.7 lbs.
CO21 5/32″Polypropylene100%Failed at 39.3 lbs.
CO24 1/16″Nylon100%Failed at 18.7 lbs.
CO24 3/32″Nylon100%Failed at 39.5 lbs.
CO24⅛″Nylon100%Failed at 85.5 lbs.
CO24 5/32″Nylon1005Failed at 103.9 lbs.

A single rubber strand was also tested for use as the elastic cord. A round silicone rubber o-ring stock of varying sizes and modules was used as shown in Table 2, but none of the cord was strong enough in practice.

TABLE 2
Cord NameWidthStretchModulus
Silicone O-ring Stock Cord.07″100%Failed at 51 ounces
Silicone O-ring Stock Cord.103″100%Failed at 115 ounces
Silicone O-ring Stock Cord.139″100%Failed at 148 ounces

In view of the foregoing testing, it is believed that an elastic cord should have a modulus of at least about 12 pounds but less than about 40 pounds, or alternatively between 20 and 30 pounds.

The field hockey practice tethered assembly may be attached at multiple locations on a field hockey stick 40. In FIG. 1, the fastener loop 10 is attached proximate the upper or top of the shaft 42 of the field hockey stick 40. In other words, it is located at the proximate end of the grip portion 44 relative to a field hockey player. In FIG. 2, the fastener loop 10 is releasably connected in the lower half of grip portion 44. In FIG. 3, the fastener loop 10 is releasably secured around the portion of shaft 42 that makes up the area of the stick beneath the grip portion 44 and above a field hockey stick head 50. FIG. 5 illustrates the fastener loop 10 secured around the base of the shaft 42 proximate the field hockey stick head 50. The field hockey practice tethered assembly may be releasably attached at these or other locations for different practice purposes. They may be also used to develop new skills.

Many modifications and other embodiments of the invention will come to mind to one skilled in the art to which this invention pertains having the benefit of the teachings presented in the foregoing descriptions and the associated drawings. Therefore, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the specific embodiments disclosed and that modifications and other embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims. Although specific terms are employed herein, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation.