Title:
SHOCK ATTENUATING SPORT HEADGEAR
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus for protective headgear is disclosed together with a headgear assembly. The headgear is designed to attenuate shocks, blows and impacts delivered to the front, sides, and back of the head by dissipating the force through deflection, shock absorption, and movement of the structural materials. Reduction and attenuation of head impacts reduces head accelerations and forces that may result in concussions. Methods of using the headgear apparatus and assembly are disclosed.



Inventors:
Lukens, Thomas Mcgrath (Bellevue, WA, US)
Application Number:
14/154172
Publication Date:
07/02/2015
Filing Date:
01/13/2014
Assignee:
SKULCRATE LLC (Woodinville, WA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B71/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HERACKLIS, JAMES OMER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Patentique PLLC (Bellevue, WA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for headgear comprising: a base having an inner surface with an inner surface area and an outer surface with a recess; and a shell in contact with the recess, wherein the base includes at least one setoff with a contact area, the setoff disposed on the inner surface, and wherein the contact area of the setoff is configured to contact a user's head.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the base includes more than one recess and more than one shell, and wherein each shell is in contact with a recess.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the base includes at least one dowel extending outward from the outer surface, and wherein the shell includes at least one opening configured to accept the at least one dowel.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the recess of the outer surface includes a floor and at least one wall, and wherein the shell is configured to contact at least a portion of the floor and a portion of the at least one wall.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the contact area is less than 50% of the inner surface area.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the contact area is less than 40% of the inner surface area.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the contact area is less than 30% of the inner surface area.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the contact area is less than 20% of the inner surface area.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the contact area is less than 10% of the inner surface area.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the contact area is less than 5% of the inner surface area.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus covers at least a portion of the forehead, a portion of the sides of the head, and a portion of the back of the head.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus does not cover the top of the head.

13. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the base is hollow.

14. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus includes a space between the base and the shell when the shell is seated in the recess.

15. An headgear assembly comprising: one or more segments, each segment having a base having an inner surface with an inner surface area and an outer surface with a recess, and a shell in contact with the recess, wherein the base includes at least one setoff with a contact area, the setoff disposed on the inner surface, and wherein the contact area of the setoff is configured to contact a user's head; and at least one strap connecting the one or more segments.

16. The headgear assembly of claim 15, wherein the strap passes through a slot in the shell.

17. The headgear assembly of claim 15, wherein the strap passes through a slot in the base and the shell.

18. The headgear assembly of claim 15, wherein the headgear assembly covers at least a portion of the forehead, a portion of the sides of the head, and a portion of the back of the head.

19. The headgear assembly of claim 15, wherein the headgear assembly attenuates an impact aimed at the user's head.

20. A method of attenuating an impact aimed at a user's head comprising: placing a headgear assembly onto a user's head, wherein the headgear assembly includes one or more segments, each segment having a base having an inner surface with an inner surface area and an outer surface with a recess, and a shell in contact with the recess, wherein the base includes at least one setoff with a contact area, the setoff disposed on the inner surface, and wherein the contact area of the set off is configured to contact a user's head, and at least one strap connecting the one or more segments; adjusting the headgear assembly to cover at least a portion of the forehead, a portion of the sides of the head, and a portion of the back of the head; and adjusting the strap connecting the one or more segments so that the contact areas are in contact with the head.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present invention claims priority to U.S. Application No. 61/922,771, filed Dec. 31, 2013, and U.S. Application No. 61/926,393, filed Jan. 12, 2014, which are incorporated by reference herein for all purposes.

BACKGROUND

Soccer is the last major-participation contact sport played in America which does not widely require an impact protective headgear to be worn by its players. Sport related concussion, traumatic brain injury and awareness of the dangers of repeated concussion have already created a rapidly growing market for elective headgear among soccer players at all levels. However, there is no commercially available headgear able to make claims of reducing the likelihood of concussion among users. The Center for Disease Control has identified the problem of sport concussion as having reached “epidemic level” in America, and soccer is among a handful of sport activities currently most responsible for those injuries. Among women and girls, soccer currently accounts for the greatest number of sport concussion and Traumatic Brain Injuries annually. The CDC estimates that a full 10% of unprotected soccer participants will experience at least one concussion injury within any given team soccer season.

The headgear apparatus and assembly disclosed herein effectively raises the minimum blow necessary to cause the whiplash or revolution of the head generally credited as responsible for causing concussion or traumatic brain injuries. Further, as most soccer concussion injuries result from head-to-head player contact, the inventions disclosed herein will prove a significant reduction of impact force for both players involved in a head-to-head, even when only one is wearing the headgear.

The headgear apparatus and assembly disclosed herein differs from what currently exists. Current contact sports headgear products use only foams to absorb impact, and the foams alone may not be sufficient to reduce rotation from shocks and impacts, which may cause whiplash of the head that results in the brain of the subject to strike the inner skull wall. Foam materials alone, worn against the head, can only reduce head rotation or acceleration from very small impacts. Larger impacts will still rotate the head and as if no headgear were present at all.

BRIEF SUMMARY

An apparatus for protective headgear is disclosed together with a headgear assembly. The headgear is designed to attenuate shocks, blows and impacts delivered to the front, sides, and back of the head by dissipating the force through deflection, shock absorption, and movement of the structural materials. Reduction and attenuation of head impacts reduces head accelerations and forces that may result in concussions. Methods of using the headgear apparatus and assembly are disclosed.

Disclosed in embodiments herein are an apparatus and assembly for headgear for use by participants in contact sports to reduce the incident of concussion among users by attenuating the force of impact to the head and therefore reducing the whiplash motion the causes or contributes to concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Embodiments of the inventions raise the minimum impact necessary for a contact sports player to suffer a concussion. Of course, embodiments disclosed herein may be used by any person in any field or occupation that may be at risk of experiencing head impacts, concussions or traumatic brain injury.

Embodiments of the invention allow users wearing the headgear to receive a larger impact without the amount of rotation of the head that causes the brain to move within and to strike the inner, causing damage to the brain. In effect, the minimum blow necessary to cause head rotation is increased in comparison to when no headgear is worn.

Embodiments include an apparatus for headgear comprising a base having an inner surface with an inner surface area and an outer surface with a recess; and a shell in contact with the recess, wherein the base includes at least one setoff with a contact area, the setoff disposed on the inner surface, and wherein the contact area of the setoff is configured to contact a user's head.

In an embodiment, the base of the apparatus includes more than one recess and more than one shell, and wherein each shell is in contact with a recess.

In an embodiment, the base includes at least one dowel extending outward from the outer surface, and the shell includes at least one opening configured to accept the at least one dowel.

In an embodiment, the recess of the outer surface includes a floor and at least one wall, and the shell is configured to contact at least a portion of the floor and a portion of the at least one wall.

In an embodiment, the contact area the contact area is less than 75%, 70%, 60%, 50%, 40%, 30%, 20%, 10% or 5% of the inner surface area.

In an embodiment, the total contact area of all setoffs is less than 75%, 70%, 60%, 50%, 40%, 30%, 20%, 10% or 5% of the total inner surface area of all base inner surfaces.

In an embodiment, an apparatus of the invention the apparatus covers, protects or shields at least a portion of the forehead, a portion of the sides of the head, and a portion of the back of the head.

In an embodiment, an apparatus of the invention does not cover, protect or shield the top of the head.

In an embodiment, at least a portion of a base of a segment is hollow.

In an embodiment, an apparatus includes a space between the base and the shell when the shell is seated in the recess.

Embodiments disclosed herein include a headgear assembly comprising one or more segments, each segment having a base having an inner surface with an inner surface area and an outer surface with a recess, and a shell in contact with the recess, wherein the base includes at least one setoff with a contact area, the setoff disposed on the inner surface, and wherein the contact area of the setoff is configured to contact a user's head; and at least one strap connecting the one or more segments.

In an embodiment, a headgear assembly includes a strap that passes through a slot in the shell.

In an embodiment, a headgear assembly includes a strap that passes through a slot in the base and the shell.

In an embodiment, a headgear assembly covers, protects or shields at least a portion of the forehead, a portion of the sides of the head, and a portion of the back of the head.

In an embodiment, a headgear assembly attenuates an impact aimed at or an impact on the user's head.

Embodiments disclosed herein include a method of attenuating an impact aimed at or an impact on a user's head comprising placing a headgear assembly onto a user's head, wherein the headgear assembly includes one or more segments, each segment having a base having an inner surface with an inner surface area and an outer surface with a recess, and a shell in contact with the recess, wherein the base includes at least one setoff with a contact area, the setoff disposed on the inner surface, and wherein the contact area of the setoff is configured to contact a user's head; and at least one strap connecting the one or more segments, adjusting the headgear assembly to cover at least a portion of the forehead, a portion of the sides of the head, and a portion of the back of the head; and the strap connecting the one or more segments so that the contact areas are in contact with the head.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the detailed description that follows, embodiments are described as illustrations only since various changes and modifications will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description.

FIG. 1 illustrates a user wearing a headgear assembly on the user's head in an embodiment.

FIG. 2 illustrates a headgear assembly in an embodiment.

FIG. 3 illustrates a segment of the apparatus in an embodiment.

FIG. 4 illustrates an exploded view of a segment of the apparatus in an embodiment.

FIGS. 5A and 5B illustrate exploded section views through a base and a shell in an embodiment.

FIG. 6 illustrates an inner surface of a base and a strap in an embodiment.

FIG. 7 illustrates a segment of the apparatus in an embodiment.

FIG. 8 illustrates the inner surface of a base in an embodiment.

FIGS. 9A and 9B illustrate a segment and a strap of the apparatus in an embodiment.

FIG. 10 illustrates a shell of a segment of the apparatus in an embodiment.

FIGS. 11 and 12 illustrate a base of a segment of the apparatus in an embodiment.

FIG. 13 illustrates an exploded section view through a base and a shell in an embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the following detailed description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of the description. The example embodiments described in the detailed description, drawings, and claims are not meant to be limiting. Other embodiments may be utilized, and other changes may be made, without departing from the spirit or scope of the subject matter presented herein. It will be understood that the aspects of the present disclosure, as generally described herein and illustrated in the drawings, may be arranged, substituted, combined, separated, and designed in a wide variety of different configurations.

Embodiments of the invention relate to a headgear assembly that includes one or more segments that may be connected with one or more straps. The straps may connect two segments or more than two segments. The straps may be adjustable so that the headgear fits comfortably on the user's head and fits snug enough for the user to move and participate in his sport of choice.

It will be understood that in embodiments the general outline, shape and contour of each segment may vary. The segments include a base and a shell, in which the base has an inner surface and an outer surface with a recess. The shell is in contact with, and may be seated in the recess of the base. The base includes at least one setoff that extends inward from the inner surface of the base, and the end or contact area of the setoff is in contact with the user's head. The base may have more than one recess on its outer surface, in which case a shell is matched to each recess. The base may also have one or more hollow spaces within its thickness, or the hollow space may extend to the edge of the base.

In embodiments, the shape of the recess and the shape of the shell are matched so that the shell can be seated in the recess. The base and the shell can also be aligned by including a dowel that extends outward from the outer surface or recess of the base. The dowel fits inside a matching hold in the shell.

In embodiments, the recess of the outer surface includes a floor and at least one wall, and the shell contacts the wall and the floor. The shell may include a rim that extends inward from the inner surface of the shell. The rim may match the walls of the base and contact both the base and the wall. When the shell is seated in the recess, the base and shell form a space between them. The space allows increased deflection and dissipation of impact force.

With regard to the disclosure herein, it will be understood that in embodiments, a headgear assembly includes one or more segments that may be connected with one or more straps. The segments include a base and a shell, in which the base may be made from any deformable elastic material, such as foam, rubber, injection molded ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) rubber, or other rubber-like materials by way of non-limiting examples, and in which the shell may be made from any plastic or composite material, such as injection molded LDPE plastic or other low or medium density plastics by way of non-limiting examples. The base and shell may be formed from materials of different colors, as well as materials that are easy to clean and maintain in embodiments.

In embodiments disclosed herein, the base touches or is in contact with the user's head at designed points and intervals. The shell bridges the points and intervals in the base. Nylon and/or elastic straps are routed through eyelets in in the base and the shell to hold the structure together, and to adjust the headgear for different sizes of heads of end users. In embodiments, the shell and the base may be held together with fasteners or doweled joints.

With regard to the disclosure herein, it will be understood that in embodiments, the headgear assembly is designed to dissipate the force associated with a blow or impact to the head and to attenuate the force of the impact or shock. As the impact force connects with the shell, energy is dissipated in the deflection of the shell, the movement between the shell and the base, movement between segments of the headgear assembly, and deflection of the base material before the remaining force impacts the head through the limited contact areas. With reduced impact forces, head acceleration is also moderated, attenuated, or otherwise reduced.

In embodiments, the base is made from softer material relative to the shell, and the base touches the head of the end user in a limited number of spots over the surface of the head, while the shell rests on the base but does not touch the head. In such embodiments, a blow to the outward facing shell does not contact the head directly, and the force of the impact is transferred to the head through the shell, which bridges the limited number of spots of the base that contact the head. During the transfer of the force of impact, in embodiments the force is further reduced by the softer material of the base.

In embodiments, the base and the shell may be injection molded and formed to fit together, such that the base includes a recess that is designed to receive the shell. The shell may be formed in embodiments to act as protective bridges over key portions of the user's head. In embodiments, straps are threaded through confluences of the base and the shell and fixed to hold the structure together. In some embodiments, the headgear is assembled by hand and/or machine stitching.

In embodiments, the base has an inner surface area from which setoffs extend inward to contact the head. The contact area of the base is thus limited to the area of the setoffs that contact the head. In embodiments, the setoffs may include a flat contact surface or a contoured contact surface, in which case the contact surface area may be estimated by taking the area of the setoff at the inner surface. In embodiments, the total area of the setoff contact areas is less than 50% of the total inner surface area; less than 40% of the total inner surface area; less than 30% of the total inner surface area; less than 20% of the total inner surface area less than 10% of the total inner surface area; or less than 5% of the total inner surface area. By raising the majority of the base and all of the shell off of the user's head, an absence of material is created under MOST of the total inner surface areas of the base or bases so that blows to the headgear product will be transferred to the surface of the head only where the base is engineered to touch the head. The ability of the headgear base and shell to flex also reduces impact force to the head.

Embodiments of the invention disclosed herein are not limited to soccer players, and configurations of the base and shell, and of the setoffs, may be customized for different sports or disciplines. A common head blow to a soccer player may be different or differently directed than a common head blow to a rugby player, and strategic designs may be implemented for different conditions of use.

With regard to the disclosure herein, it will be understood that in embodiments, the headgear is designed to cover, protect or shield at least a portion of each side of the head, a portion of the back of the head, and a portion of the front of the head, but not the top of the head. In embodiments, the contact areas of the base that transmit impacts to the head are designed and located to coincide with at least a portion of the squamous and lamboidal sutures.

Embodiments of the invention also relate to a method of attenuating, moderating or reducing the force of an impact to a user's head by placing a headgear apparatus or assembly of the disclosure herein on the user's head, adjusting the headgear apparatus or assembly to cover, protect or shield at least a portion of each side of the head, a portion of the back of the head, and a portion of the front of the head, but not the top of the head, and adjusting one or more straps connecting the one or more segments so that contact areas are in touch or contact with the user's head. Placement and orientation of the headgear can be guided by product packaging that includes photographs or illustrations, and written instructions. Written, and photographed or illustrated instructions, for adjusting and tightening the headgear for a secure and comfortable fit can also be included in the product packaging.

FIG. 1 illustrates a user wearing headgear assembly 200 on head 100 in an embodiment. The top of the user's head is estimated by line 110. Line 110 is shown for illustrative purposes and not to define the exact location of the area on top of the head, however, as shown in the embodiment, headgear assembly 200 does not cover, protect or shield at least a portion of the top of head 100. The headgear assembly does not cover the eyes or reduce line of sight in an embodiment.

In an embodiment, headgear assembly 200 may include a number of segments that are connected by one or more straps 800. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, headgear assembly 200 includes segments that cover, protect or shield at least a portion of each side of the head, a portion of the back of the head, and a portion of the front of the head from head impacts. In an embodiment, headgear assembly 200 reduces the force of head impacts and reduces resultant head accelerations.

In an embodiment, segments that cover, protect or shield the front of the head may be configured to cover, protect or shield at least a portion of the head corresponding to the forehead, the position of the frontal lobe, the frontal bone, and/or the squamous suture.

In an embodiment, segments that cover, protect or shield the side of the head may be configured to cover, protect or shield at least a portion of the head corresponding to the position of the temporal lobe, the temporal bone, and/or the squamous suture. In an embodiment, segments that cover, protect or shield the side of the head may be configured to cover, protect or shield all or a portion of an ear.

In an embodiment, segments that cover, protect or shield the back of the head may be configured to cover at least a portion of the head corresponding to the position of the occipital lobe, the occipital bone, and/or the lamboidal suture.

In an embodiment, headgear assembly 200 includes one or more straps 800. Straps 800 may be formed from nylon or elastic strapping or webbing. In an embodiment, straps 800 include hook and loop fasteners that allow the straps to be adjusted, as well as closures, strap end pieces and other hardware known in the art.

FIG. 2 illustrates in more detail headgear assembly 200 in an embodiment. In an implementation, headgear assembly 200 includes segments 210, 220, 230 and 240 and straps 810, 820, 830 and 840, in which segment 210 is connected to segment 220 with strap 820; segment 220 is connected to segment 240 with strap 830; segment 240 is connected to segment 230 with strap 840. Of course, segments 210, 220, 230 and 240 may be connected with only one strap, with two straps, with three straps, and with more than three straps. In an embodiment, segments 210, 220, 230 and 240 are contoured or molded as necessary to fit comfortably against head 100.

In FIG. 2, segment 210 covers, protects or shields at least a portion of the front of head 100 in an embodiment; segment 220 covers, protects or shields at least a portion of the left side of head 100 in an embodiment; segment 230 covers, protects or shields at least a portion of the right side of head 100 in an embodiment; and segment 240 covers, protects or shields at least a portion of the back of head 100 in an embodiment. At least a portion of the top of head 100 is not covered, protected, or shielded.

FIG. 3 illustrates segment 210, which covers, protects or shields at least a portion of the front of head 100 in an embodiment. Segment 210 includes base 310 and shell 340 in an embodiment. Eyelets are openings in base 310, shell 340, or both that permit straps 810 and 820 to pass through base 310, shell 340, or both in an embodiment.

FIG. 4 illustrates an exploded view of segment 210 without straps 810 and 820 in an embodiment. Base 310 includes dowels 312, eyelets 314, vent holes 316 in an embodiment. Shell 340 includes holes 342, eyelets 344, vent holes 346 and optional decorative grooves 348 in an embodiment. In embodiments, dowels 312 are circular, but in other embodiments dowels 312 may be oval or other geometric shapes that match holes 342.

FIG. 5A illustrates a section view through base 310 and shell 340 in an embodiment. It will be understood that FIG. 5A illustrates base 310 and shell 340 without contour, however, segment 210 may be contoured in more than one direction to match the contour of head 110. Base 310 includes setoffs 318, each of which includes contact area 352 in an embodiment. Setoffs 318 may be integral to base 310 and formed from the same material in an embodiment. In an embodiment, the area of contact areas 352 may be estimated as the cross section of setoffs 318 at inner surface 330 as represented by dashed lines 354.

Base 310 also includes recess 320, which includes floor 322 and at least one wall 324 in an embodiment. Shell 340 includes optional groove 348, and optional rim 350 in an embodiment. In an embodiment, rim 350 extends inward from the edges of shell 340 as represented by dashed lines 356. Rim 350 is configured to fit into recess 320 and contact wall 324 when seated in the recess in an embodiment. Rim 350 may also contact floor 322 in an embodiment. In an embodiment, when shell 340 having rim 350 is seated in recess 320, a space is formed between base 310 and shell 340. In an embodiment, setoffs 318 are located on the inner surface such that at least a portion of the setoff is located inward from at least a portion of rim 350. Impact force on shell 340 is thus passed through rim 350, base 310, setoff 318 and contact area 352 to head 110 in an embodiment, and rim 350 may be described as bridging setoffs 318.

In an alternative embodiment, shell 340 without rim 350 is shaped to fit into recess 320.

FIG. 5B illustrates a section view through base 310 and shell 340 in an embodiment. It will be understood that FIG. 5B illustrates base 310 and shell 340 without contour, however, segment 210 may be contoured in more than one direction to match the contour of head 110. Base 310 includes dowel 312, which extends outward from floor 322 in an embodiment. Base 310 also includes recess 320, which includes floor 322 and at least one wall 324 in an embodiment. Shell 340 includes holes 342, and optional rim 350 in an embodiment. In an embodiment, rim 350 extends inward from the edges of shell 340. Rim 350 is configured to fit into recess 320 and contact wall 324 when seated in the recess in an embodiment. Rim 350 may also contact floor 322 in an embodiment. In an embodiment, when shell 340 having rim 350 is seated in recess 320, a space is formed between base 310 and shell 340. In an alternative embodiment, shell 340 is shaped to fit into recess 320.

In FIG. 5B, dowel 312 is configured to pass through hole 342 to assist in aligning base 310 with shell 340. Dowel 312 may be integral to base 310 and formed from the same material.

FIG. 6 illustrates the inner surface of base 310 and strap 810 in an embodiment.

The inner surface of base 310 has surface area 330. Setoffs 318 extending inward from surface area 330 are disposed on, or integral to, base 310 and may be formed from the same material in an embodiment. In an embodiment, base 310 includes vent holes 316 and eyelet 314, and setoffs include contact areas 352 in an embodiment. Contact areas may be flat or designed to deform to contact head 100 in embodiments. In an embodiment in which the contact areas are shaped to deform in contact with head 100, the area of the contact area may be assumed to be based on the cross-sectional area of setoff 318 at inner surface 330.

In an embodiment, the total area of the setoff contact areas is less than 50% of the inner surface area. In an embodiment, the total area of the setoff contact areas is less than 40% of the inner surface area. In an embodiment, the total area of the setoff contact areas is less than 30% of the inner surface area. In an embodiment, the total area of the setoff contact areas is less than 20% of the inner surface area. In an embodiment, the total area of the setoff contact areas is less than 10% of the inner surface area. In an embodiment, the total area of the setoff contact areas is less than 5% of the inner surface area.

FIG. 7 illustrates segment 220, which covers, protects or shields at least a portion of the left side of head 100 in an embodiment. Segment 220 includes base 410 and shell 440 in an embodiment. Eyelets are openings in base 410, shell 440, or both that permit straps 820 and 830 to pass through base 410, shell 440, or both in an embodiment. In an embodiment, strap 820 passes through eyelet 444 in shell 440 and a matching eyelet in base 410, while strap 830 passes through one or more eyelets 444 (not shown) only in shell 440. In an embodiment, strap 830 includes an end having the loop portion of a hook and loop fastener, with the end fixed to shell 440 with fasteners, glue, or other means known in the art, while closure 834 includes the hook portion of a fastener (not shown) affixed to the back of closure 834. In embodiments, closure 834 may be sewn into or tied to the fabric of the strap, and closure 834 may include a window 832 into which an identification or decoration may be inserted. Shell 440 may also include vent holes 446 in an embodiment.

FIG. 8 illustrates the inner surface of base 410 without strap 810 in an embodiment. The inner surface of base 410 has surface area 430. Setoffs 418 extending inward from surface area 430 are disposed on, or integral to, base 410 and may be formed from the same material in an embodiment. In an embodiment, base 410 includes vent holes 416 and eyelet 414, and setoffs include contact areas 452 in an embodiment. Contact areas may be flat or designed to deform to contact head 100 in embodiments. In an embodiment in which the contact areas are shaped to deform in contact with head 100, the area of the contact area may be assumed to be based on the cross-sectional area of setoff 418 at inner surface 430.

In an embodiment, base 410 and shell 440 may be connected with fastener 420, which extends through both base 410 and shell 440.

FIG. 9A illustrates segment 230, which covers, protects or shields at least a portion of the right side of head 100 in an embodiment. Segment 230 includes base 510 and shell 540 in an embodiment. Eyelets are openings in base 510, shell 540, or both that permit straps 810 and 840 to pass through base 510, shell 540, or both in an embodiment. In an embodiment, strap 810 passes through eyelet 544 (not shown) in shell 540 and a matching eyelet in base 510, while strap 840 passes through one or more eyelets 544 (not shown) only in shell 540. In an embodiment, strap 840 includes an end having the loop portion of a hook and loop fastener, with the end fixed to shell 540 with fasteners, glue, or other means known in the art, while closure 844 includes the hook portion of a fastener (not shown) affixed to the back of closure 844. In embodiments, closure 844 may be sewn into or tied to the fabric of the strap, and closure 844 may include a window 842 into which an identification or decoration may be inserted. Shell 540 may also include vent holes 546 in an embodiment.

FIG. 9B illustrates segment 230 with strap 840 in an open position in an embodiment. In an embodiment, strap 810 passes through eyelet 548 in shell 540, which has a matching eyelet in base 510 through which strap 810 also passes through. The end of strap 840 is affixed to shell 540 with fasteners 836 in an embodiment. Strap 840 also passes through two eyelets 544 in shell 540, further securing the strap to shell 540 in an embodiment. The free end of strap 840 also passes through an eyelet in segment 240 (not shown) such that force may be applied to pull closure 844 forward to adjust headgear assembly 200 on head 100.

FIG. 10 illustrates a shell of segment 240, which covers, protects or shields at least a portion of the back of head 100 in an embodiment. Shell 740 includes holes 742, eyelets 744, vent holes 746, optional opening 756 and optional decorative grooves 748 in an embodiment. In an embodiment, optional strap 750 may be affixed to the shell with snap fasteners and provide additional adjustment.

FIG. 11 illustrates the outer surface of base 710, which includes dowels 712 that fit into holes 742 in shell 740, eyelets 714, vent holes 716 and optional opening 754. FIG. 12 illustrates the inner surface a base of segment 240 in an embodiment. Base 710 includes eyelets 714, vent holes 716, setoffs 718, opening 754 and contact areas 752 in an embodiment.

FIG. 13 illustrates an exploded section view through base 710 and shell 740 of segment 240 in an embodiment. Base 710 includes dowel 712 that fits into hole 742 in shell 740, opening 754, and recess 720 with floor 722 and walls 724 in an embodiment. Shell 740 includes optional rim 750 and hole 742 through which dowel 712 extends when shell 740 is in contact with or seated in recess 720 in an embodiment. In an embodiment, rim 750 extends inward from the edges of shell 740 as represented by dashed lines 758. Floor 722 circles opening 754, and two walls 72

4 are shown in FIG. 13, one wall around the approximate edge of the base and one defining the edge of opening 754 in an embodiment.

From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that various embodiments of the present disclosure have been described herein for purposes of illustration, and that various modifications may be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the present disclosure. Accordingly, the various embodiments disclosed herein are not intended to be limiting.