Title:
HOCKEY STICK CARRYING APPARATUS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A clamp device for holding sports equipment, and particularly hockey sticks having an elongated shaft portion, is provided. The clamp device a support surface adapted to receive the elongated portion thereon and first and second clamp portions extending from the support surface and arranged in spaced relation, and otherwise sized and dimensioned to receive the elongated portion in a friction fit relationship between the first and second clamp portions. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks is also provided. The apparatus has mounted on a base surface thereof a plurality of clamp devices.



Inventors:
Sheppard, John W. (Toronto, CA)
Bowler, John (Pickering, CA)
Application Number:
12/578747
Publication Date:
04/15/2010
Filing Date:
10/14/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
248/205.1, 248/316.1
International Classes:
A47F7/00; A47B96/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAN, KO HUNG
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
McMillan LLP (TORONTO, ON, CA)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A clamp device for holding sports equipment having an elongated portion, said clamp device comprising i. a support surface adapted to receive the elongated portion thereon; ii. first and second clamp portions spaced from each other extending from said support surface, and sized and dimensioned to receive the elongated portion in a friction fit relationship between said first and second clamp portions.

2. A clamp device for holding sports equipment according to claim 1, wherein said first and second clamp portions are positioned generally transversely to said support surface.

3. A clamp device for holding sports equipment according to claim 2, wherein said first clamp portion and said second clamp portion each comprise respective proximate and distal ends, said proximate ends adjoining said first and second clamp portions to said support surface and said distal ends arranged away from said support surface and in use, adapted to engage the elongated portion.

4. A clamp device for holding sports equipment according to claim 3, wherein said first clamp portion forms a first acute angle between said support surface and an interior surface of said first clamp portion and said second clamp portion forms a second acute angle between said support surface and an interior surface of said second clamp portion.

5. A clamp device for holding sports equipment according to claim 4, wherein said first and said second acute angles are between 75° and 90°.

6. A clamp device for holding sports equipment according to claim 4, wherein said first and said second acute angles are approximately 86°.

7. A clamp device for holding sports equipment according to claim 1, further comprising a mounting means on said support surface for mounting said apparatus onto a receiving surface.

8. A clamp device for holding sports equipment according to claim 7, further comprising a second mounting means formed on a surface extending substantially parallel to said support surface.

9. A clamp device for holding sports equipment according to claim 8, wherein said second mounting means is provided for mounting said clamp device on a wall.

10. A clamp device for holding sports equipment according to claim 4, wherein a lateral distance between said distal ends is less than a width of the elongated portion such that when positioning the elongated portion between said first and second clamp portions, said first and second clamp portions flex outwardly to receive the elongated portion upon entry and said distal ends form a locking means around the elongated portion of the sports equipment.

11. A clamp device for holding sports equipment according to claim 10, further comprising a chamfered or curved portion formed proximate said distal ends to facilitate positioning of the elongated portion.

12. A clamp device for holding sports equipment according to claim 2, further comprising one or more ribs formed on an inner surface of each of said first and second clamp portions.

13. A clamp device for holding sports equipment according to claim 12, wherein said one or more ribs comprises two ribs.

14. A clamp device for holding sports equipment according to claim 13, wherein said ribs comprise a rubber material having a Shore A hardness of 55-65.

15. A clamp device for holding sports equipment according to claim 1, wherein the elongated portion is the shaft of a hockey stick.

16. A clamp device for holding sports equipment according to claim 1, wherein said support surface, said first clamp portion and said second clamp portion are formed from a semi-rigid material.

17. An apparatus for holding a plurality of pieces of sports equipment, each sports equipment having an elongated portion, said apparatus having a base surface with a plurality of clamp devices mounted thereon; each clamp device comprising: i. a support surface adapted to receive the elongated portion thereon; ii. first and second clamp portions spaced from each other extending from said support surface, and sized and dimensioned to receive the elongated portion in a friction fit relationship between said first and second clamp portions.

18. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks, each hockey stick having an elongated shaft portion, said apparatus having a base with a plurality of clamp devices mounted thereon; each clamp device comprising: i. a support surface adapted to receive the elongated portion thereon; ii. first and second clamp portions spaced from each other extending from said support surface, and sized and dimensioned to receive the elongated portion in a friction fit relationship between said first and second clamp portions.

19. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks according to claim 18, wherein said plurality of clamp devices are arranged in pairs such that each pair engages one piece of sports equipment at spaced positions along a length of the elongated portion of the respective piece of sports equipment.

20. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks according to claim 19, wherein said base comprises a first base portion and a second base portion, said first and second base portions arranged in spaced relation to each other and having a connecting member therebetween, and wherein said pairs of clamp devices are arranged such that a first clamp device in each pair is mounted on said first base portion and a second clamp device in each pair is mounted on said second base portion.

21. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks according to claim 20, wherein further comprising a second connecting member extending between said first and second base portions, said second connecting member having a handle means for lifting or carrying said apparatus.

22. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks according to claim 19, further comprising one or more mounting means on a rear surface of said base portion to mount the apparatus to a surface.

23. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks according to claim 22, wherein said surface comprises one of a rooftop of a vehicle, a rear door of a vehicle, an outer surface of a vehicle and an interior surface of a vehicle.

24. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks according to claim 22, wherein said surface comprises a building surface.

25. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks according to claim 18, wherein said first and second clamp portions extend generally transversely from said support surface.

26. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks according to claim 25, wherein said first clamp portion and said second clamp portion each comprise respective proximate and distal ends, said proximate ends adjoining said first and second clamp portions and said support surface and said distal ends arranged distal from said support surface and adapted to engage the elongated portion.

27. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks according to claim 26, wherein said first clamp portion forms a first acute angle between said support surface and an interior surface of said first clamp portion and said second clamp portion forms a second acute angle between said support surface and an interior surface of said second clamp portion.

28. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks according to claim 27, wherein said first and said second acute angles are between 75° and 90°.

29. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks according to claim 27, wherein said first and said second acute angles are approximately 86°.

30. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks according to claim 18, further comprising a mounting means on said support surface for mounting said apparatus onto said base.

31. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks according to claim 26, wherein a lateral distance between said distal ends is less than a width of the elongated portion such that when positioning the elongated portion between said first and second clamp portions, said first and second clamp portions flex outwardly to receive the elongated portion upon entry and said distal ends form a locking means around the elongated portion of the sports equipment.

32. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks according to claim 31, further comprising a chamfered or curved portion formed proximate said distal ends to facilitate positioning of the elongated portion.

33. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks according to claim 18, further comprising one or more ribs formed on an inner surface of each of said first and second clamp portions.

34. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks according to claim 33, wherein said one or more ribs comprises two ribs.

35. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks according to claim 34, wherein said ribs comprise a rubber material having a Shore A hardness of 55-65.

36. An apparatus for holding a plurality of hockey sticks according to claim 18, wherein each said clamp device is removably mounted on said base.

37. A method for holding one or more hockey sticks comprising: providing a mounting surface on which to mount two or more clamp devices, each of said clamp devices comprising first and second clamp portions extending from a support surface and arranged in spaced relation, and otherwise sized and dimensioned to receive a portion of a shaft of a hockey stick in a friction fit relationship between said first and second clamp portions mounting two or more clamp devices on said support surface positioning a portion of the shaft of one hockey stick between first and second clamp portions of a first clamp device.

38. A method for holding one or more hockey sticks according to claim 37 further comprising positioning a second portion of the shaft of said one hockey stick between first and second clamp portions of a second clamp device.

39. A method for holding one or more hockey sticks according to claim 38 further comprising positioning one or more additional hockey sticks between first and second clamp portions of additional clamp devices, wherein each hockey stick is held by two clamp devices at spaced positions along the shaft of each hockey stick.

40. A method for holding one or more hockey sticks according to claim 39, wherein said mounting surface is one of a wall of a building, a wall of a locker, and any other building surface.

41. A method for holding one or more hockey sticks according to claim 39, wherein said mounting surface comprises a base for receiving said clamp devices, said base comprising mounting means for attaching said base to a surface.

42. A method for holding one or more hockey sticks according to claim 41, wherein said surface is a vehicle surface.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the field carrying devices for sporting equipment, and more particularly, to a clamp device for holding a hockey stick and an apparatus including a plurality of the clamp devices for holding a plurality of hockey sticks.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

One of the issues for the recreational athlete is the transportation of equipment to and from practices and games. While a range of bag and cases are available for combined storage and transport of body equipment (gloves, pads, jerseys), a particular problem exists for sporting equipment having an elongated section, such as that found on hockey sticks.

The average hockey stick is approximately six feet in length, accounting for clearance of the blade section, easily exceeding the trunk size of a standard sedan or smaller vehicle. Thus, a common practice is to pass the sticks from the rear seats through the space located between the two front seats. However, this practice creates a safety risk, particularly for manual transmission vehicles, as the sticks then extend into the control console and can interfere with the driver's ability to manipulate console controls in an emergency situation. Recent trends in style and increasing fuel economy concerns have lead to the production of smaller subcompact-class vehicles, where the extension of the stick over the console is greater, and can even require, for the smallest vehicles, angling the stick over the front passenger seat.

One solution to this concern is to transport the hockey stick on the exterior of the vehicle. Given the light weight and small cross-section of a hockey stick, there is a need in the art for a carrier specifically designed for the purpose of transporting hockey sticks, or similar sports equipment.

There is a further need in the art for a carrier that would be able to provide for transportation of sticks to and from the vehicle, and for storage of the sticks in a residential location without the need to remove the sticks from the carrier. This feature should also enable the sticks to be readily transported into the arena and stored in the locker room or at the bench by securing the mount to a nearby wall.

It is an object of this invention to partially or completely fulfill one or more of the above-mentioned needs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance a first embodiment of the present invention there is disclosed a clamp device for holding sports equipment having an elongated portion, such as a hockey stick having an elongated shaft portion, the clamp device including a support surface adapted to receive the elongated portion thereon; first and second clamp portions extending from the support surface and arranged in spaced relation, and otherwise sized and dimensioned to receive the elongated portion in a friction fit relationship between the first and second clamp portions. Preferably, the first and second clamp portions are positioned generally transversely to said support surface.

According to one aspect of the first embodiment, the first clamp portion and the second clamp portion each comprise respective proximate and distal ends, the proximate ends adjoining the first and second clamp portions and the support surface and the distal ends arranged away from the support surface and adapted to engage the elongated portion.

According to another aspect of the first embodiment, the first clamp portion forms a first acute angle between the support surface and an interior surface of the first clamp portion and the second clamp portion forms a second acute angle between the support surface and an interior surface of the second clamp portion. Preferably, the first and said second acute angles are between 75° and 90°. More preferably, the first and said second acute angles are approximately 86°.

According to another aspect of the first embodiment, a mounting means is provided on the support surface for mounting the apparatus onto a receiving surface.

According to another aspect of the first embodiment, a second mounting means is provided extending substantially parallel to the support surface. Preferably, the second mounting means is provided to mount the clamp device directly onto a wall.

According to another aspect of the first embodiment, a lateral distance between the distal ends is less than a width of the elongated portion such that when positioning the elongated portion between the first and second clamp portions, the first and second clamp portions flex outwardly to receive the elongated portion upon entry and the distal ends form a locking means around the elongated portion of the sports equipment. Preferably, a chamfered or curved portion is provided formed proximate the distal ends to facilitate positioning of the elongated portion.

According to another aspect of the first embodiment, one or more ribs are formed on an inner surface of each of the first and second clamp portions, and preferably, two ribs are formed on each of the first and second clamp portions.

According to a second embodiment of the present invention, an apparatus for holding a plurality of pieces of sports equipment, such as hockey sticks having an elongated shaft portion is disclosed. The apparatus has a base surface with a plurality of clamp devices mounted thereon. The clamp devices are substantially as described in respect of the first embodiment of the present invention.

According to one aspect of the second embodiment, the plurality of clamp devices are arranged in pairs such that each pair engages one hockey stick, or similar piece of sports equipment, at spaced positions along a length of the elongated portion of the respective piece of sports equipment.

According to another aspect of the second embodiment, the base comprises a first base portion and a second base portion, the first and second base portions arranged in spaced relation to each other and having a connecting member therebetween, and wherein the pairs of clamp devices are arranged such that a first clamp device in each pair is mounted on the first base portion and a second clamp device in each pair is mounted on the second base portion.

According to another aspect of the second embodiment, a second connecting member is provided extending between the first and second base portions, the second connecting member having a handle means for lifting or carrying the apparatus.

According to another aspect of the second embodiment, one or more mounting means are positioned on a rear surface of the base portion to mount the apparatus to a surface. Preferably, the surface is one of a rooftop of a vehicle, a rear door of a vehicle, an outer surface of a vehicle and an interior surface of a vehicle. Alternatively, the surface may be a building surface.

According to another aspect of the second embodiment, the clamp devices are removably mounted on the base.

According to a third embodiment of the present invention, a method for holding one or more hockey sticks is provided. The method includes (a) providing a mounting surface on which to mount two or more clamp devices, each of the clamp devices comprising first and second clamp portions extending from a support surface and arranged in spaced relation, and otherwise sized and dimensioned to receive a portion of a shaft of a hockey stick in a friction fit relationship between the first and second clamp portions; (b) mounting two or more clamp devices on the support surface; (c) positioning a portion of the shaft of one hockey stick between first and second clamp portions of a first clamp device. Preferably, the method further includes (d) positioning a second portion of the shaft of one hockey stick between first and second clamp portions of a second clamp device.

According to one aspect of the third embodiment, one or more additional hockey sticks are attached between first and second clamp portions of additional clamp devices, wherein each hockey stick is held by two clamp devices at spaced positions along the shaft of each hockey stick.

Other advantages, features and characteristics of the present invention, as well as methods of operation and functions of the related elements of the structure, and the combination of parts and economies of manufacture, will become more apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description and the appended claims with reference to the accompanying drawings, the latter of which is briefly described hereinbelow.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features which are believed to be characteristic of the according to the present invention, as to its structure, organization, use and method of operation, together with further objectives and advantages thereof, will be better understood from the following drawings in which a presently preferred embodiment of the invention will now be illustrated by way of example. It is expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for the purpose of illustration and description only, and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention. In the accompanying drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an apparatus for holding one or more hockey sticks according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the apparatus of FIG. 1 having one or more hockey sticks thereon.

FIG. 3 is a bottom view the apparatus for holding one or more hockey sticks of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a base member for use with the apparatus of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a clamp device for holding a hockey stick according to another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an alternate clamp device for holding a hockey stick according to an aspect of the second embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown an apparatus 10 for carrying one or more hockey sticks according to one embodiment of the present invention. The assembly 10 generally includes a base portion 20, which in the illustrated embodiment, is depicted as having a first base portion 20a and a second base portion 20b. Preferably, mounted on the base portions 20a and 20b are corresponding pairs of clamp devices 100. As shown in FIG. 2, the clamp devices 100 are adapted to hold the elongated shaft portion 35 of a hockey stick 30 therein. While the illustrated embodiments show the apparatus and device of the present invention for use with hockey sticks 30, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the present invention relates equally to other sports equipment having an elongated portion.

A description of the preferred embodiments and features of the clamp devices 100 will follow below. It will be understood by those skilled in the art that any of the below described embodiments of the clamp device 100 may be included in the apparatus 10, whether explicitly discussed, or otherwise described, with respect to the apparatus 10 or not. The clamp devices 100 are preferably individually removable from the apparatus 10, such that if a particular clamp device breaks, it is easily replaceable. Furthermore, if varying types of sports equipment, or hockey sticks with marginally different shaft thicknesses are to be carried, the different clamp devices may be provided on the same apparatus 10 to accommodate such. Other benefits of having removable and replaceable clamp devices 100 will be readily understood by those skilled in the art.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the plurality of clamp devices 100 are arranged in pairs such that each pair engages one piece of sports equipment at spaced positions along a length of the elongated portion of the respective piece of sports equipment, or as illustrated, along a length of the shaft portion 35 of a hockey stick 30. Preferably, the clamp devices 100 are arranged such that the hockey stick 30 is clamped around approximately a mid-portion thereof, however it will be understood by those skilled in the art that other arrangements and orientations are also possible. For example, goal tender hockey sticks may be best clamped at one position at an interface between the wider and narrower portions of the shaft and a second position spaced along the narrower portion of the shaft. Furthermore, other methods, arrangements, orientations and positions of the clamps and of the sports equipment arranged and held within the clamps are contemplated by the present invention.

One of each pair of corresponding clamp devices 100 is preferably positioned on a first base portion 20a and the second of each pair of corresponding clamp devices 100 is positioned on a second base portion 20b. The first and second base portions 20a and 20b may be arranged in spaced relation to each other and have a connecting member 40 therebetween. The connecting member 40 may be used, for example, to facilitate carrying the apparatus 10 between different mounting locations, or to carry a number of hockey sticks 30 at the same time. As shown in FIG. 1, the connecting member 40 is preferably generally tubular and may be press-fit into receiving portions 22 of the base members 20a and 20b. Other attachment arrangements as would be apparent to those skilled in the art are also contemplated by the present invention.

A second connecting member 50 may also extend between the first base portion 20a and the second base portion 20b. The second connecting member 50 preferably also includes a handle means 52 for lifting or carrying the apparatus 10, either on its own, or in combination with the first connecting member 40. Handle means 52 may be any shape or structure having a grippable portion where a user's hand may engage the second connecting member 50 to facilitate the lifting, carrying, or otherwise supporting the apparatus 10. As will be further described below, the second connecting member 50 may further facilitate a locking function of the apparatus 10 to ensure secure mounting of the apparatus 10 onto a mounting surface, or to ensure that the sticks being carried are mounted securely within the apparatus 10.

Referring now to FIG. 4, a preferred embodiment of the base portion 20, illustrated therein as the second base portion 20b, is shown. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the second base portion 20a may be a mirror image of the first base portion 20b shown in FIG. 4, and the description of the second base portion 20b that follows is equally applicable to the first base portion 20a. Formed on the base portion 20 are a plurality of clamp device mounting adaptors 24, having a positioning surface 26 to properly orient and alight a clamp device to be mounted thereon. Preferably, the positioning surface 26 and mounting adaptors 24 are sized and otherwise dimensioned such that clamp devices are friction fit, for example by sliding, onto the mounting adaptors 24. For greater certainty and holding strength, a mounting hole 28 may also be provided to tighten a clamp device onto a given mounting adaptor 24. Receiving portion 22 is sized and dimensioned to receive a first connecting member therein, as earlier described. A Handle adaptor 23 is provided to attach the handle means 52 (shown in FIG. 1), therein. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that such mounting and handle adaptors are provided as examples only and any other configurations and adaptations for accomplishing connections between the clamp devices, handle means, and connecting members are contemplated by the present invention.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 3, a mounting means may be provided to mount the apparatus 10 to a surface. This surface may, for example, be a rooftop of a vehicle, a rear door of a vehicles, an outer surface of a vehicle, a building surface, or any other surface as required by a user of the apparatus 10. In the illustrated embodiment, the mounting means comprises a pair of suction devices 60. Suction devices 60 are generally known in the art, however, the apparatus 10 of the present invention further includes an engagement lever lock 65 that may be used to lever lock the suction device 60 onto the mounting surface. That is, when the lever lock 65 is disengaged, the suction devices 60 have a slight vacuum within them as is known in the art. When the lever lock 65 is engaged, a cup 67 is pressed onto the suction device 60 to provide a greater vacuum therein, and provide a significant increase in the locking power of the suction device 60. In order to press the cup portion 67 onto the suction device 60, a pin (not shown) may be provided to be pressed and depressed in combination with pressing and depressing the lever lock 65 to move the cup towards and away from the suction device 60. A suction return spring (not shown) may also be provided to function in combination with the lever lock 65 to aid in the engaging and disengaging of the such device 60.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, a method for storing and/or transporting one or more hockey sticks is provided, the method including the steps of (a) providing a mounting surface on which to mount two or more clamp devices as herein described, (b) mounting two or more of the clamp devices on the support surface, and (c) positioning a portion of the shaft of one hockey stick between first and second clamp portions of one clamp device.

Preferably, the method further includes the steps of positioning a second portion of the shaft of one hockey stick between first and second clamp portions of a second clamp device, and positioning one or more additional hockey sticks between first and second clamp portions of additional clamp devices, such that each hockey stick is held by two clamp devices at spaced positions along the shaft of each hockey stick.

In use, a user having a number of hockey sticks 30 will first mount the apparatus 10 onto a mounting surface, by positioning the apparatus 10 in a general area to be mounted and subsequently pressing the lock 65 to fully engage the suction device 60 and securely mount the apparatus 10 onto the mounting surface. One or more hockey sticks 30 may then be pressed into the clamp devices 20a and 20b to secure the hockey sticks 30 onto the apparatus 10. For example, this may be a surface of a vehicle, such as a minivan. The user may later depress the lock 65 to disengage the suction device 60 and then use the handle means 52, either alone or in combination with the connecting member 40, to carry or otherwise transport the hockey sticks 30 mounted on the apparatus 10. Alternatively, the hockey sticks may be positioned within the clamp devices 20a and 20b of the apparatus 10 while the apparatus 10 is not mounted on a particular surface, for example, as it rests on the floor.

The present invention also relates to particular embodiments of the clamp device 100, any of which may be mounted onto the apparatus 10 described above. Referring now to FIG. 5, there is shown a particular embodiment of a clamp device 100 for holding sports equipment having an elongated portion, such as a hockey stick having an elongated shaft portion. The clamp device 100 generally includes a support surface 105 adapted to receive the elongated shaft portion thereon, first 107a and second 107b clamp portions extending from the support surface and arranged in spaced relation to each other. The clamp portions 107a and 107b are sized and dimensioned to receive the elongated shaft portion in a friction fit relationship therebetween. With this arrangement, the shaft of the hockey stick will be clamped between the clamp portions 107a and 107b and will be prevented from moving and/or rotating due to the friction fit relationship and the support of the receiving surface 105.

The clamp portions 107a and 107b extend generally transversely from the support surface 105, or alternatively, extend transversely from an extension of the support surface 105. This arrangement ensures that support for the shaft of the hockey stick is provided to prevent movement in the vertical and horizontal directions, and to prevent rotation and torsion of the stick within the clamp device 100. The clamp portions 107a and 107b each have a proximate end 109 adjoining the respective clamp portion 107a or 107b to the support surface 105, and a distal end 110 positioned away from the support surface and adapted to engage the elongate shaft portion. Preferably, the shaft portions 107a and 107b are angled inwards such that a distance between the distal ends 110 is less than a distance between the proximate ends 109. This will result in the first clamp portion 107a forming an acute angle between the support surface 105 and an interior surface 111 of the first clamp portion and likewise, the second clamp portion 107b forms a second acute angle between the support surface 105 and an interior surface of the second clamp portion 107b. Preferably, the acute angles are between 75° and 90°, and more preferably, the acute angles are approximately 86°.

Providing such angles allows the clamp portions 107a and 107b to provide for a tighter fit to the shaft portion of a hockey stick, and prevents the hockey stick from becoming dislodges from the clamp device, for example, by sudden stops of a vehicle on which the clamp device is mounted. Optionally, at the distal ends 110, a curved, or chamfered portion 113 will be provided to facilitate entry of the shaft portion into the clamp device 100. When the shaft portion of a hockey stick is pushed against the curved or chamfered portion, the angled ends 110 flex outwardly to accept the shaft portion there, and flex back once the shaft is positioned between the clamp portions 107a and 107b to secure the shaft therein.

A mounting means is preferably provided to attach the clamp device 100 to a support surface, such as the base portions 20a and 20b as described with respect to the apparatus 10 of FIG. 1. The mounting means may, for example, comprise a tapped hole in a bottom surface 115 of the clamp device 100. Other mounting means are also contemplated by the present invention, including, but not limited to, press-fit arrangements between a surface of the clamp device and the base portion 20, pin locators, such as a pin positioned in one of the clamp device 100 and the base portion 20, and a pin receiving hole in the other, and other mounting arrangements as would be known to one skilled in the art.

In an alternate embodiment, as shown in FIG. 6, a clamp device 200 is shown for direct attachment onto a surface, such as a wall of a building, without the use of a base surface therebetween. The clamp device 200 includes an additional mounting surface 205 having a mounting means, such as a through hole thereon, such that a screw, bolt, or similar article may be used to attach the clamp device 200 to a surface. In order to prevent rotation of the clamp device, a secondary mounting hole 210 is provided, and may have a countersunk portion, as shown, such that a screw or bolt head sits below the surface 205 on which the shaft portion of a hockey stick is to rest. All other components of the clamp device 200 are similar to those of the clamp device 100. The clamp device 200 may be permanently, or semi-permanently installed onto surfaces, such as the inside of lockers, a wall within a locker room or a garage, or other surface where it would be convenient to hold or store hockey sticks in an organized arrangement.

Referring back to FIG. 5, and noting that the additional features described below are equally applicable to the embodiment shown in FIG. 6, the clamp device 100 optionally includes one or more, and preferably two ribs 120 formed on an inner surface 111 of each of the first 107a and second 107b clamp portions. The ribs 120 provide a gripping surface on an interior surface 111 of the clamp portions 107a and 107b. The ribs are preferably produced from a material that will not leave imprints, scratch or otherwise damage the surface of the stick being clamped. Furthermore, inclusion of the ribs 120 allow for slight variations in the thicknesses of the sticks that may be held in the clamp device 100.

In order to provide a proper clamping without damaging the surface of the stick, and also to allow some flexibility such that slight variations in the thickness of the stick can be accommodated, the ribs 120 are preferably produced from a rubber material, and preferably, from a rubber material having a Shore A hardness of 55-65. The clamp device 100 is preferably formed from a semi-rigid material, for example, a semi-rigid plastics material, for example Delrin™, Hytrel™, polypropylene, or similar materials.

Other modifications and alterations may be used in the design and manufacture of other embodiments according to the present invention without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, which is limited only by the accompanying claims.





 
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