Title:
OUTERWEAR FOR SPORTS PLAYED ON ICE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is outerwear for sports played on ice. The outerwear having an outer shell and one or more gripper sections positioned on the outer shell. The one or more gripper sections being made from a material with a coefficient of kinetic friction on ice that is greater than the coefficient of kinetic friction between the outer shell and ice. Raised portions, in the form of three-dimensional geometric shapes, can be positioned on or integrated with the gripper sections to provide additional gripping ability. In the event of a fall on the ice, the gripper sections will come into contact with the ice surface to slow the wearer down compared to if the user fell without the gripper sections.



Inventors:
Johnston, Christine (Carleton Place, CA)
Application Number:
14/412144
Publication Date:
10/01/2015
Filing Date:
07/05/2012
Assignee:
JOHNSTON CHRISTINE
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/22, 2/69, 2/239
International Classes:
A63B71/00; A41B11/00; A41D1/04; A41D13/015; A41D13/05; A41D19/015
View Patent Images:
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20120240303LEG/SHIN GUARD KNEE PADSeptember, 2012Matta et al.
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Primary Examiner:
KINSAUL, ANNA KATHRYN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SEED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW GROUP LLP (SEATTLE, WA, US)
Claims:
1. Outerwear for sports played on ice, said outerwear comprising: an outer shell; and one or more gripper sections positioned on the outer shell, wherein the one or more gripper sections comprise a material with a coefficient of kinetic friction on ice that is greater than the coefficient of kinetic friction between the outer shell and ice.

2. The outerwear of claim 1, wherein the one or more gripper sections comprise raised portions that project away from the outer shell.

3. The outerwear of claim 2, wherein the raised portions are provided in geometric shapes.

4. The outerwear of claim 2, wherein the raised portions are deformable when the one or more gripper sections come into contact with ice.

5. The outerwear of claim 4, wherein the raised portions are provided as nubs, cones, cubes, ellipsoids, cylinders, cuboids, rhombohedrons, or combinations thereof

6. The outerwear of claim 1, wherein the material is natural rubber or synthetic rubber.

7. The outerwear of claim 6, wherein the synthetic rubber is natural rubber with silica; isoprene rubber; butadiene rubber; butyl rubber; chlorobutyl; styrene butadiene rubber; silicone rubber; ethylene acrylic; hydrogenated nitrile rubber; polychloroprene; nitrile rubber; polyurethane rubber; chlorinated polyethylene; epichlorhydrin; ethylene propylene rubber; polysulphide rubber; polynorbornene rubber; tetra-fluoroethylene/propylene, or combinations of any two or more of these.

8. The outerwear of claim 2, wherein the raised portions are natural rubber or synthetic rubber.

9. The outerwear of claim 8, wherein the synthetic rubber is natural rubber with silica; isoprene rubber; butadiene rubber; butyl rubber; chlorobutyl; styrene butadiene rubber; silicone rubber; ethylene acrylic; hydrogenated nitrile rubber; polychloroprene; nitrile rubber; polyurethane rubber; chlorinated polyethylene; epichlorhydrin; ethylene propylene rubber; polysulphide rubber; polynorbornene rubber; tetra-fluoroethylene/propylene, or combinations of any two or more of these.

10. The outerwear of claim 1, wherein the material has a coefficient of kinetic friction on ice of about 0.15.

11. The outerwear of claim 1, wherein the sport is selected from hockey, speed skating, ringette, broomball, bandy and ice cross downhill.

12. 12.-50. (canceled)

51. The outerwear of claim 1, wherein the outerwear is selected from a hockey jersey, hockey pants, hockey socks, and hockey gloves.

52. The outerwear of claim 51, wherein the one or more gripper sections are positioned on the lateral sections of the hockey pants.

53. The outerwear of claim 51, wherein the one or more gripper sections are positioned on a posterior region of the hockey pants.

54. The outerwear of claim 51, wherein the one or more gripper sections are positioned on an anterior region of the hockey pants.

55. The outerwear of claim 51, wherein the one or more gripper sections are provided on insignia on the hockey jersey.

56. The outerwear of claim 55, wherein the insignia is a team logo, letters or numbers.

57. The outerwear of claim 51, wherein the one or more gripper sections are provided on stripes or banding on the hockey jersey.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to outerwear for sports played on ice. More specifically, the present invention relates to outerwear having one or more sections of material that can slow the forward momentum of the wearer on the ice when the section comes into contact with the ice.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Recent advances in equipment technology and conditioning of athletes have dramatically increased the speed in which some ice sports are played. In addition, new sports, such as short track speed skating and ice cross downhill, have athletes in close contact with one another at very fast speeds. Although these factors cannot be solely blamed for the increased number of serious injuries in such sports, they have definitely played a role.

Hockey is one sport where the number of head injuries due to players hitting the boards at a high rate of speed has increased over the years, and has become a concern for most parents of youngsters playing the sport. In an effort to stop an icing call in the sport, players routinely find themselves racing at full speed towards the end boards. If the player catches an edge or loses his or her balance, they can find themselves on the ice sliding towards the boards with no way to stop. Moreover, since modern day hockey equipment and uniforms are designed to be lightweight, the outer shell of the equipment is often made from nylon or a similar material, which has a low coefficient of kinetic friction when on ice. As such, the speed in which the athlete was moving when the fall occurred is essentially the same velocity in which they hit the boards.

In an effort to combat such injuries, the padding worn by players has been improved to absorb more energy in the event of a collision. However, the padding does not cover all areas of the player's body, thus leaving some areas exposed. Moreover, the padding and equipment worn by the player does very little to protect a player when the athlete hits the boards with one or more parts of their body being in an awkward position and vulnerable to injury. In this case, the player's body will still hit the board with full force, thus often leading to serious injury.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,835,470 provides an article of clothing that is designed to slow a skier down in the event of a fall by providing spikes on the skiers outfit, which dig into the snow to slow and eventually stop the skier. Such outfits would not be suitable for sports, such as hockey and short track speed skating, since any elements that dig into or damage the ice surface in an effort to slow the athlete down creates a safety concern for other athletes in the game.

Accordingly, there is a need to develop ways to slow down the forward momentum of an athlete in the event of a fall on ice without damaging the ice surface in the process.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to an embodiment of the present invention, there is provided outerwear for sports played on ice. The outerwear comprising an outer shell; and one or more gripper sections positioned on the outer shell. The one or more gripper sections comprising a material with a coefficient of kinetic friction on ice that is greater than the coefficient of kinetic friction between the outer shell and ice.

According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided hockey pants comprising an outer shell; and one or more gripper sections positioned on the outer shell. The one or more gripper sections comprise a material with a coefficient of kinetic friction on ice that is greater than the coefficient of kinetic friction between the outer shell and ice.

In one embodiment, the gripper sections are positioned on the lateral sections of the pants.

In another embodiment, the gripper sections are positioned on a posterior region of the pants.

In a further embodiment, the gripper sections are positioned on an anterior region of the pants.

According to a further embodiment, there is provided a hockey jersey comprising: an outer shell; and one or more gripper sections positioned on the outer shell. The one or more gripper sections comprise a material with a coefficient of kinetic friction on ice that is greater than the coefficient of kinetic friction between the outer shell and ice.

In one embodiment, the one or more gripper sections are provided on insignia on the hockey jersey. The insignia being a team logo, letters or numbers.

In another embodiment, the one or more gripper sections are provided on stripes or banding on the hockey jersey.

According to yet another aspect of the present invention, there is provided hockey socks comprising: an outer shell; and one or more gripper sections positioned on the outer shell. The one or more gripper sections comprise a material with a coefficient of kinetic friction on ice that is greater than the coefficient of kinetic friction between the outer shell and ice.

According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a gripper section for use with outerwear for sports played on ice. The gripper section comprising a material with a coefficient of kinetic friction on ice that is greater than the coefficient of kinetic friction between the outer shell and ice.

In one embodiment, the one or more gripper sections comprise raised portions that project away from the outer shell. The raised portions being provided in geometric shapes.

In a further embodiment, the raised portions are deformable when the one or more gripper sections come into contact with ice.

In another embodiment, the raised portions are provided as nubs, cones, cubes, ellipsoids, cylinders, cuboids, rhombohedrons, or combinations thereof

In some embodiments, the material of the gripper section and/or the raised portions is natural rubber or a synthetic rubber. In some cases, the synthetic rubber is natural rubber with silica; isoprene rubber; butadiene rubber; butyl rubber; chlorobutyl; styrene butadiene rubber; silicone rubber; ethylene acrylic; hydrogenated nitrile rubber; polychloroprene; nitrile rubber; polyurethane rubber; chlorinated polyethylene; epichlorhydrin; ethylene propylene rubber; polysulphide rubber; polynorbomene rubber; tetra-fluoroethylene/propylene, or combinations of any two or more of these.

In another embodiment, the material of the gripper section and/or the raised portions has a coefficient of kinetic friction on ice of about 0.15.

In a further embodiment, the sport is selected from hockey, speed skating, ringette, broomball, bandy and ice cross downhill.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with regard to the following description and accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 shows an embodiment of the outerwear of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows various raised portions of the gripper sections of the present invention, where (A) are nubs; (B) cones; (C) cubes; (D) ellipsoids; (E) cylinders; (F) cuboids; and (G) rhombohedrons;

FIG. 3 shows a hockey uniform in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 shows a back side elevational of a pair of hockey pants in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following description is of an embodiment by way of example only and without limitation to the combination of features necessary for carrying the invention into effect.

The present invention is directed to outerwear for sports played on ice. The outerwear having an outer shell and one or more gripper sections positioned on the outer shell. The gripper sections being made from a material with a coefficient of kinetic friction on ice that is greater than the coefficient of kinetic friction between the outer shell and ice.

The present invention will be described with reference to hockey uniforms. However, it should be understood that similar gripper sections could be applied to outerwear worn in other sports played on ice, such as, but not limited to, speed skating, ringette, broomball, bandy and ice cross downhill. In each of these sports, the ability to slow a person down that has fallen on the ice improves the safety of the sport. The specific locations and shapes of the gripper sections on the outerwear and preferred design of the raised portions on the gripper sections may be specific to sport being played. For example, in short track speed skating it may be advantageous to position the gripper sections along the lateral sides of the outerwear, since most falls happen when the skater is rounding the corners and their body is at an acute angle to the ice.

As shown in FIG. 1, the outerwear (1) of the present invention could be in the form of hockey pants. The actual design and form of hockey pants are well known in the art, as shown by U.S. Pat. No. 5,926,856. Outerwear (1) for most sports played on ice contains an outer shell (2) made of a moisture resistant material, such as a nylon knit. In many contact sports played on ice, the padding and protective elements of the outerwear are housed within pockets on the outer shell or within layers or pockets covered by the outer shell. For the purposes of this discussion the outer shell (2) of the outerwear (1) refers to the layer of material that is in contact with the environment and would make contact with the ice in the event of a fall.

The performance of the outer shell (2) can be enhanced by including materials that have properties, which enhance the durability of outerwear. For example, the nylon threads used to make the outer shell (2) can be coated with a material that makes the outer shell resistant to rips and cuts. In addition, the fibers used to construct the outer shell (2) can be woven in such a pattern that the outerwear (1) has improved properties, such as being wind resistant or breathable.

As shown in FIG. 1, one or more gripper sections (3) are positioned on the outer shell (2). The purpose of the gripper sections (3) are to slow down the forward momentum of the wearer in the event of a fall compared to if the wearer were to fall on the ice with the same velocity wearing only the outerwear (1). As such, the gripper sections (3) comprise a material with a coefficient of kinetic friction on ice that is greater than the coefficient of kinetic friction between the outer shell (2) and ice. Preferably, the coefficient of friction of the gripper sections (3) will be about 0.15 or greater. Accordingly, the coefficient of friction between the outerwear (1) and ice will be, in most cases, less than 0.15.

The gripper sections (3) can be integrated into the outerwear (1), so that the gripper sections (3) are part of the finished product. Alternatively, individual premade gripper sections (3) can be manufactured to be added to outerwear originally sold without such sections (3). In this case, the gripper sections (3) are provided with an adhesive backing that allows the sections (3) to be attached to the outerwear (1). In another embodiment, the gripper sections (3) may be sewn onto the outerwear (1).

A variety of natural and synthetic materials may be used as the gripper sections (3). For example, natural or synthetic rubbers, polymers and other textiles, besides nylon, can be manufactured to provide a coefficient of kinetic friction that is higher than the material of the outerwear. Of these, rubber compounds, either natural or synthetic, are preferred due to their high coefficient of kinetic friction with ice, their compressive properties, low cost and resiliency in cold temperatures. A rubber compound comprising natural rubber and silica will provide a coefficient of kinetic friction on ice that is sufficient to slow down the forward momentum of the wearer in the event of a fall compared to if the wearer were to fall on the ice with the same velocity wearing only the outerwear (1). Other examples of rubbers suitable for use in designing the gripper sections (3) include, but are not limited to: natural rubber; isoprene rubber; butadiene rubber; butyl rubber; chlorobutyl; styrene butadiene rubber; silicone (and fluorosilicone rubber); ethylene acrylic; hydrogenated nitrile rubber; polychloroprene; nitrile rubber; polyurethane rubber; chlorinated polyethylene; epichlorhydrin; ethylene propylene rubber; polysulphide rubber; polynorbornene rubber; tetra-fluoroethylene/propylene, and combinations of any two or more of these.

Although the mere addition of one or more gripper sections, as described above, to outerwear will decrease the forward momentum of the wearer in the event of a fall, the effectiveness of the gripper sections can be improved by making the gripper sections with a rough outer surface and/or by including raised portions on the gripper sections. The texture of the outer surface of the gripper section can be roughened by integrating regular or irregular-shaped bits of material on the outer surface of the gripper section. In most cases, the material used for roughening the outer surface of the gripper section will be the same as the gripper section itself. However, the effectiveness of the gripper section may be improved by making the roughened surface from a softer compound.

The effectiveness of the gripper sections (3) in slowing down a wearer of the outerwear (1) of the present invention in the event of a fall on ice can also be improved by including raised portions (4) on the gripper sections (3). These raised portions (4) can be provided on a gripper section (3) with or without a roughened outer surface. As with the roughened outer surface, the raised portions (4) can made from the same material as the gripper section (3) or from a material with different physical properties. However, it is preferred that the raised portions (4) are made from a material will not damage the surface of the ice in the event of a fall. As this would pose an additional safety concern to the other players or athletes on the ice.

The raised portions (4) can be provided in a variety of different shapes and sizes depending upon the application and the sport being played. For example, the raised portions (4) can be provided on the gripper sections (3) in geometric shapes or a combination of a number of different geometric shapes, such as, but not limited to, nubs, cones, cubes, ellipsoids, cylinders, cuboids and rhombohedrons (see FIG. 2A-G). The positioning of the raised portions (4) on the gripper sections (3) can be random or organized into a pattern, such as columns, rows, concentric circles or insignia. The positioning of the raised portions (4) can be provided to improve stopping ability, in the event of a fall, or may have an aesthetic value. In some instances, it may be advantageous to provide the raised portions (4) in a tread-like pattern, similar to the treads found on automobile tires designed to provide grip on ice.

In an effort to improve the ability of the gripper sections (3) to slow a wearer down in the event of a fall, the raised portions (4) are preferably made of a material that is resilient, but flexible, to allow the raised portions (4) to deform when in contact with the ice surface. Natural rubber, natural rubber with silica and synthetic rubbers have or can be designed to have these properties. The deformability of the raised portions (4) will allow for a greater surface area of material having a coefficient of kinetic friction on ice that is greater than the coefficient of kinetic friction between the outer shell (2) and ice to make contact with the ice.

For the purposes of this discussion, locations on the outerwear of the present invention will be described using the international standard for anatomical directions, wherein anterior means towards the front of the body, posterior means the back of the body, superior means toward the head or upper part of a structure, inferior refers to the lower part of a structure or away from the head, proximal means closer to the trunk while distal is away from the trunk, medial refers to a structure toward the midline of the body and lateral away from the midline. Intermediate describes a position between the medial and lateral areas of the structure.

With reference to FIG. 3, which shows the outerwear (1) of the present invention in the form of a hockey jersey (10), hockey pants (20), hockey socks (30) and hockey gloves (40); gripper sections (3), with or without raised portions (4), can be positioned at various locations on the outerwear (1). For example, bands (11) around the cuffs of the sleeves and body of the jersey (10) can be provided with gripper sections (3), with or without, raised sections (4). In addition to the bands (11), insignia (12), such as letters, numbers and logos can be provided with gripper sections (3). Moreover, any combination of bands (11) and insignia (12) can be provided with gripper sections (3). In some cases, the jersey (10), with or without gripper sections (3) on the bands (11) and/or insignia (12), may also be provided either with gripper sections (3) on the elbows and shoulder areas of the jersey (not shown). In this embodiment, the gripper sections (3) may be provided in a color that is the same or similar to the jersey. In all embodiments, the gripper sections (3) can be provided with, or without, raised portions (4).

Hockey pants (20) can be provided with the gripper sections (3) partially or completely encircling the pants (20) in the vicinity of the openings for the user's legs. Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 1, the gripper sections (3) can be provided on each leg of the pants (20) with more emphasis on the lateral sections of the pants, since these sections will mostly likely come in contact with the ice in the event of a fall. In addition, providing the posterior region of the pant (20) with gripper sections (3) will aid in slowing the wearer down in the event of a fall (see FIG. 4). Moreover, covering a majority of the posterior region of the pant (20) with grippers (3) will not impede the wearer's ability to move, nor will it affect the user in delivering an effective body-check. However, due to the surface area available, positioning the gripper sections (3) on the posterior region of the pants (20) will improve the stopping ability of the outerwear (1). It should be understood that the gripper sections (3) do not need to be interconnected or continuous with one another. Instead, several individual gripper sections (3) could be placed over the pants (20) to form designs or patterns. In this case, the size and shape of the individual gripper sections (3) may be different to allow for such designs or patterns.

The outerwear (1) of the present invention can also include hockey socks (30)(FIG. 3). In this case, the decorative bands (31) on the socks (30) can be provided with the gripper sections (3) of the present invention with, or without, the raised portions (4) described above. It may be advantageous to provide the gripper sections (3) with, or without, raised portions (4) on the socks (30) on or around the area of the socks (30) that protects the knees. This arrangement would provide some stopping power in the event the user falls on his or her knees.

Similarly, gripper sections (3) with, or without, raised portions (4) can also be provided on hockey gloves (40). In particular, gripper sections (3) positioned on the cuff (45) and/or the dorsal region (46) of the glove (40) will provide some gripping ability, in the event of a fall, without interfering with the overall function of the glove. Although providing gripper sections (3) on hockey socks (30) and hockey gloves (40) will be less effective than gripper sections (3) placed on other parts of the hockey uniform at slowing the wearer down in the event of a fall, it will have some positive impact in the overall performance of the outerwear (1).

The present invention has been described with regard to preferred embodiments. However, it will be obvious to persons skilled in the art that a number of variations and modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the invention as described herein.