Title:
Adjustably weighted training device and method of manufacture
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present application is direct to an adjustably weighted baseball bat for use when striking a ball and includes a cylindrical contacting region having a transverse dimension of Dout and defining one or more receiving channels having a transverse dimension of Dint, wherein Dint is less than Dout, a gripping region in communication with the cylindrical contacting region, and one or more weight body assemblies configured to be positioned within the receiving channels and secured therein, the body assemblies defining a passage having a transverse dimension of Dint2 approximately equal to Dint, the body assemblies having an exterior transverse dimension Dout2 approximately equal to Dout.



Inventors:
Davis, Jonathan (Ludlow, MA, US)
Application Number:
12/584011
Publication Date:
04/01/2010
Filing Date:
08/29/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jonathan Davis (Ludlow, MA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A weighted training device, comprising: a contacting region configured to strike a ball having a transverse dimension of Dout and defining one or more receiving channels having a transverse dimension of Dint, wherein Dint is less than Dout; a gripping region in communication with the contacting region; and one or more weight body assemblies configured to be positioned within the receiving channels and secured therein, the body assemblies defining a passage having a transverse dimension of Dint2 approximately equal to Dint, the body assemblies having an exterior transverse dimension Dout2 approximately equal to Dout.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein the weighted training device comprises a baseball bat.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein the weighted training device comprises a softball bat.

4. The device of claim 1 wherein the contacting region is manufactured from wood.

5. The device of claim 1 wherein the contacting region is manufactured from at least one material selected from the group consisting of aluminum, titanium, magnesium, alloys, ceramics, composite materials, fiberglass, polymers, and elastomers.

6. The device of claim 1 wherein the body assembly further comprises: a first body member having a body defining an interior surface and an exterior surface; and at least a second body member having a body defining an interior surface and an exterior surface, the first and second body members cooperatively forming a toroidal body assembly.

7. The device of claim 6 further comprising at least one receiving orifice formed on at least one body member and configured to receive at least one fastener therein, the fastener configured to securely couple the second body member to the first body member.

8. The device of claim 6 wherein at least one of the body members is manufactured from at least one material selected from the group consisting of steel, iron, titanium, aluminum, magnesium, copper, tungsten, alloys, polymers, ceramics, elastomers, wood, and composite materials.

9. An adjustably weighted baseball bat for use when striking a ball, comprising: a cylindrical contacting region having a transverse dimension of Dout and defining one or more receiving channels having a transverse dimension of Dint, wherein Dint is less than Dout; a gripping region in communication with the cylindrical contacting region; and one or more weight body assemblies configured to be positioned within the receiving channels and secured therein, the body assemblies defining a passage having a transverse dimension of Dint2 approximately equal to Dint, the body assemblies having an exterior transverse dimension Dout2 approximately equal to Dout.

10. The device of claim 9 wherein the cylindrical contacting region is manufactured from wood.

11. The device of claim 9 wherein the body assembly further comprises: a first body member having a body defining an interior surface and an exterior surface; and at least a second body member having a body defining an interior surface and an exterior surface, the first and second body members cooperatively forming a toroidal body assembly.

12. The device of claim 11 further comprising at least one receiving orifice formed on at least one body member and configured to receive at least one fastener therein, the fastener configured to securely couple the second body member to the first body member.

13. The device of claim 11 wherein at least one of the body members is manufactured from at least one material selected from the group consisting of steel, iron, titanium, aluminum, magnesium, copper, tungsten, alloys, polymers, ceramics, elastomers, wood, and composite materials.

14. An adjustably weighted baseball training device, comprising: a cylindrical contacting region configured to engage spherical ball, the contact region having a transverse dimension of Dout and defining one or more receiving channels having a transverse dimension of Dint, wherein Dint is less than Dout; a gripping region in communication with the cylindrical contacting region; and one or more weight body assemblies configured to be positioned within the receiving channels and secured therein, the body assemblies defining a passage having a transverse dimension of Dint2 approximately equal to Dint, the body assemblies having an exterior transverse dimension Dout2 approximately equal to Dout.

15. The device of claim 14 wherein the cylindrical contacting region is manufactured from wood.

16. The device of claim 14 wherein the body assembly further comprises: a first body member having a body defining an interior surface and an exterior surface; and at least a second body member having a body defining an interior surface and an exterior surface, the first and second body members cooperatively forming a toroidal body assembly.

17. The device of claim 16 further comprising at least one receiving orifice formed on at least one body member and configured to receive at least one fastener therein, the fastener configured to securely couple the second body member to the first body member.

18. The device of claim 16 wherein at least one of the body members is manufactured from at least one material selected from the group consisting of steel, iron, titanium, aluminum, magnesium, copper, tungsten, alloys, polymers, ceramics, elastomers, wood, and composite materials.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/194,872, filed Aug. 30, 2008, the contents of which are hereby incorporated in its entirety herein.

BACKGROUND

It has been said the act of striking a pitched spherical baseball with a cylindrical bat is one of the most challenging feats in all of sport. Typically, pitchers at the professional and collegiate level are capable of throwing a baseball in excess of 90 miles per hour (1594 inches per second). As such, a baseball thrown at 95 mph reaches home plate in 0.4 seconds, and will traverse home plate in approximately 1/100th of a second. Further, many pitchers are capable throwing a baseball with various rotations, thereby changing the flight characteristics of the thrown ball. As such, a batter must first determine what type of pitch was thrown, extrapolate the ball location when crossing home plate, and initiate swinging the bat on an intersecting plane with the thrown ball. Further, the batter must strike the thrown ball with the bat with sufficient force to drive the ball into playing field. Ideally, the ball will be struck with sufficient force to render to the ball unplayable, thereby resulting in a home run. It has been shown that the speed at which the batter can swing the bat greatly affects the batter's likelihood of success. More specifically, the greater the speed at which the batter can swing the bat the more likely the batter will succeed in striking and driving the thrown ball.

In the past, a number of devices and techniques have been employed to increase the bat speed of a batter. For example, weighted rings referred to as “doughnuts” may be positioned on the barrel of the bat to assist a batter in warming up before entry into the batter's box. While these devices have proven somewhat successful in increasing the weight of the bat prior to use, a number of shortcomings have been identified. For example, the weighted ring must be removed from the bat prior to striking the ball. Further, the addition of the weighted ring drastically alters the balance characteristics of the bat, which may result in unwanted variations in the batter's swing. Lastly, at times the batter may wish to practice his swing using a lighter bat than he would otherwise use.

Thus, in light of the foregoing, there is an ongoing need for an adjustably weighted training device permitting a hitter to practice his/her swing when striking a ball.

SUMMARY

The present application is directed to a adjustably weighted training device enabling a batter to easily alter the weight of a baseball or softball bat. More specifically, the present application discloses an adjustably weighted training device permitting a user to easily increase or decrease the weight of a bat, thereby permitting the user to selectively increase or decease the speed at which he/she swing the bat. Further, unlike prior art devices, the device disclosed in the present application

In one embodiment, the present application is directed to a weighted training device and includes a contacting region having a transverse dimension of Dout and defining one or more receiving channels having a transverse dimension of Dint, wherein Dint is less than Dout, a gripping region in communication with the contacting region, and one or more weight body assemblies configured to be positioned within the receiving channels and secured therein, the body assemblies defining a passage having a transverse dimension of Dint2 approximately equal to Dint, the body assemblies having an exterior transverse dimension Dout2 approximately equal to Dout.

In another embodiment, the present application is direct to an adjustably weighted baseball bat for use when striking a ball and includes a cylindrical contacting region having a transverse dimension of Dout and defining one or more receiving channels having a transverse dimension of Dint, wherein Dint is less than Dout, a gripping region in communication with the cylindrical contacting region, and one or more weight body assemblies configured to be positioned within the receiving channels and secured therein, the body assemblies defining a passage having a transverse dimension of Dint2 approximately equal to Dint, the body assemblies having an exterior transverse dimension Dout2 approximately equal to Dout.

In yet another embodiment, the present application is directed to an adjustably weighted baseball training device and includes a cylindrical contacting region configured to engage spherical ball, the contact region having a transverse dimension of Dout and defining one or more receiving channels having a transverse dimension of Dint, wherein Dint is less than Dout, a gripping region in communication with the cylindrical contacting region, and one or more weight body assemblies configured to be positioned within the receiving channels and secured therein, the body assemblies defining a passage having a transverse dimension of Dint2 approximately equal to Dint, the body assemblies having an exterior transverse dimension Dout2 approximately equal to Dout.

Other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Various embodiments of adjustably weighted training device will be explained in more detail by way of the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of an adjustably weighted training device having a contacting region disposing one or more weight body assemblies securely affixed thereto and a gripping region in communication with the contacting region;

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of a gripping region of an adjustably weighted training device;

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of a contacting region of an adjustably weighted training device having one or more receiving channels formed therein, the receiving channels configured to receive one or more weight body assemblies therein;

FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of a weight body assembly for use with an adjustably weighted training device, the weight body assembly comprised of a first and second weight body device;

FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of a first and second weight body device forming the weight body assembly shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 shows a cross-sectional view of the embodiment of the weight body assembly shown in FIG. 4 having fasteners positioned therein, thereby coupling the second weight body device to the first weight body device;

FIG. 7 shows a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a contacting region of an adjustably weighted training device having multiple weight body assemblies securely affixed thereon as view along lines 7-7 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 shows a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of an adjustably weighted training device having at least one weight body assembly located proximate to the gripping region; and

FIG. 9 shows a perspective view of another embodiment of an adjustably weighted training device having an elongated weight body assembly positioned on the contacting region.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIGS. 1 and 2 show various views of an embodiment of a variably weighted training device. As shown, the training device 10 comprises a contacting region 12 configured to engage a ball or other object during use. In one embodiment, the contacting region 12 comprises a substantially cylindrical body. As such, the training device 10 may form a baseball or softball bat. In an alternate embodiment, the contacting region 12 comprises at least a partially planar body. As such, the training device 10 may form a cricket bat, mallet, or similar device. In still another embodiment, the training device 10 may comprise a field hockey stick, hockey stick, and/or similar device.

Referring again to FIGS. 1 and 2, the training device 10 includes at least one gripping region 14 generally positioned distally from the contacting region 12. In the illustrated embodiment, the training device 10 further includes a termination device 16 positioned proximate to the gripping region 14. In an alternate embodiment, the training device 10 may be manufactured without a termination device 16. Optionally, one or more grip devices 18 may be positioned on or positioned proximate to the gripping region 14. Exemplary grip devices 18 include, without limitation, tapes, grooves, bumps, surface irregularities, adhesives, or like materials. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the training device 10 may be configured for use with any variety of balls, including, without limitation, baseballs, softballs, cricket balls, and the like. As such, although the illustrated embodiment shows a cylindrical bat those skilled in the art will appreciate that the training device 10 may be manufactured in any variety of shapes, lengths, thicknesses, and the like.

FIG. 3 shows a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a contacting region 12 of a training device 10. As shown, the contacting region 12 comprises a body 20 define one or more receiving channels 22 formed therein. In one embodiment, the body 20 is constructed of a wood material, including, for example, ash, hickory, maple, and the like. In an alternate embodiment, the body 20 is constructed from aluminum, magnesium, titanium, and the like. Optionally, the body 20 may be constructed of any variety of materials, including, without limitation, wood, metals, alloys, ceramic, composite materials, fiberglass, polymers, elastomers, and the like.

Referring again to FIG. 3, the body 20 defines three (3) receiving channels, although those skilled in the art will appreciate that any number of receiving channels 22 may be formed in the body 20. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the receiving channels 22 may be formed on the contacting region 20 in using any variety of techniques. For example, in one embodiment, the receiving channels 22 are formed using a computer controlled routing process. In an alternate embodiment, the receiving channels 22 are formed by a lathe. In short, the receiving channels 22 may be formed on the contacting region 20 using any variety of techniques.

As shown in FIG. 3, in one embodiment the receiving channel 22 is defined by a channel surface 24 and has a diameter or transverse dimension of Dint, whereas the body 20 is defined by a body surface 26 and has a diameter or transverse dimension of Dout. Further, the channel surface 24 may form a cylindrical body. Optionally, the channel surface 24 may form any variety of shapes, including, without limitation, triangular, square, or may include one or more surface irregularities configured to engage the weight body assembly 30 (See FIG. 4) and prevent the rotation thereof during use. As shown in FIG. 3, the transverse dimension Dint of the receiving channel 22 defined by the channel surface 24 is less than the transverse dimension of Dout of the body 20 defined by the body surface 26.

FIGS. 4-6 show various views of a weight body assembly for use with an embodiment of a weighted training device. As shown, the weight body assembly 30 may comprise a first weight body member 32A and at least a second weight body member 32B. When coupled together, the weight body members 32A and 32B may cooperatively form any variety of shapes, including, without limitations, a torus, a cylinder, a ring, or any other desired shape. In the illustrated embodiment the weight body assembly 30 is comprised of a first and second weight body member 32A, 32B. Optionally, any number of weight body members may be used to form the weight body assembly 30. weight body assembly 30, including the weight body devices 32A, 32B may be constructed from any variety of materials, including, without limitations, steel, iron, titanium, aluminum, magnesium, copper, tungsten, metallic alloys, polymers, ceramics, elastomers, wood, composite materials, and the like. As such, the user may easily adjust the weight of the weighted training device 10 be varying the construction material and number of weight body assemblies 30 coupled to the body 20 of the contacting region 12.

Referring again to FIGS. 4-6, each weight body member 32A, 32B, respectively, includes a body 34 defining an inner surface 36 and an outer surface 38. Cooperatively, the inner surfaces 36 of the first and second weight body member 32A, 32B define a passage 40 having a diameter or transverse dimension of Dint2, approximately equal to the diameter or transverse dimension of Dint of the receiving channel 22, when the first and second weight body members 32A, 32B are coupled. Similarly, the outer surfaces 38 of the first and second weight body member 32A, 32B define a exterior body 42 having a diameter or transverse dimension of Dout2, approximately equal to the diameter or transverse dimension of Dout of the body 20, when the first and second weight body members 32A, 32B are coupled.

Referring again to FIGS. 4-6, at least one weight body member 32A, 32B may include one or more fastener devices or orifices 52 thereon. In the illustrated embodiment, a fastener orifice 52 configured to receive at least one fastener 54 therein is formed on the first and second weight body members 32A, 32B. As such, the fastener orifice 52 may be threaded or configured to enable the mechanical coupling of the first and second weight body members 32A, 32B. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the first and second weight body members 32A, 32B may be coupled using any variety of devices, including, without limitation, screws, bolts, lock pins, thread devices, slip-fit devices, snap fit devise, magnetic couplers, and the like.

FIG. 7 shows a cross-sectional view of the contacting region of a weighted training device as viewed along lines 7-7 shown in FIG. 6. As shown, the body 20 of the contacting region 12 includes multiple receiving channels 22 formed therein. Further, the body 34 of a weighted body member 32 is positioned within each of the receiving channels 22 such that the interior surface 36 of the weight body device 30 is positioned proximate to the channel surface 24. Similarly, the exterior surface 38 of the weight body device 30 is positioned proximate to the body surface 26 of the body 20. Further, fasteners 54 are positioned within the fastener orifices 52 (See FIG. 6) formed on the weight body members 32 and are coupling the first and second weight body members 32A, 32B. FIGS. 1-7 show an embodiment of a weighted training device 10 having three weight body assemblies 30 positioned proximally on the contacting region 12 formed thereon. FIG. 8 shows an alternate embodiment of a weighted training device 110 wherein at least one weight body assembly 130 is located distally from the contacting region 112, proximate to gripping region 114. As a result, the balance of the weighted training device 110 shown in FIG. 8 will vary greatly from the balance of the weighted training device 10 shown in FIGS. 1-7.

As shown, the weight body assemblies 130 may be positioned within receiving channels (See FIG. 3) formed anywhere on the body 20. In another embodiment, FIG. 9 shows an embodiment of a weighted training device 210 having a single weight body assembly 230 positioned thereon. As stated above, any number of weighted body assemblies 230 may be used with the weighted training device 210. In the illustrated embodiment, the weight body assembly 230 is positioned proximate to an optimal contacting area (commonly referred to as the “sweet spot”) within the contacting region 20. In one embodiment, the weight body assembly 230 is configured to produce a sound having a tone and pitch when striking a ball similar to that of the sound of a ball striking any other portion of the weighted training device 210. In another embodiment, the weight body assembly 230 is configured to produce a sound having a tone and pitch when striking a ball audibly different than that of a ball striking any other portion of the weighted training device 210.

With regard to the above detailed description, like reference numerals used therein refer to like elements that may have the same or similar dimensions, materials and configurations. While particular forms of embodiments have been illustrated and described, it will be apparent that various modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the embodiments of the invention. Accordingly, it is not intended that the invention be limited by the forgoing detailed description.