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Publication numberUS3113775 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date10 Dec 1963
Filing date19 May 1960
Priority date19 May 1960
Publication numberUS 3113775 A, US 3113775A, US-A-3113775, US3113775 A, US3113775A
InventorsTaylor Don A
Original AssigneeTaylor Don A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Finger grip pad for bowling balls
US 3113775 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

D. A. TAYLOR Dec. 10, 1963 JNVENToR.

r BY VAaP/VEK United States Patent Oflice Patented Dec. 10, 1963 3,113,7 75 FINGER GRIP PAD FOR BOWLING BALLS Don A. Taylor, Z Miil St., Box 4, Wadsworth, Ghio Filed May 19, 1960, Ser. No. 30,338 8 Claims. (Cl. 273-63) This invention relates to a friction pad for the finger grip of a bowling ball, and particularly to a friction pad adhesively detachably secured to the wall of the finger grip in a position to be engaged by the gripping face portion of the thumb or finger, when the ball is gripped in the normal manner for bowling, for improving the grip and control of the ball.

Heretofore, bowling ball friction pads, or so-called finger patches, have been detachably adhesively secured to the walls of the finger grip sockets of bowling balls. Typical of the pads heretofore used are such pads as are shown in US. Patents No. 2,708,578, of May 17, 1955, and No. 2,777,693, of January 15, 1957. The pads illustrated in these patents are eifective for reducing slippage of the fingers by which the ball is gripped. However, it is desirable not only to decrease slippage of the fingers, but also to improve the gripping effects and frictional resistance to slippage in a number of ways.

One of the principal objects of the present inventicn is to provide a finger grip pad with a friction surface so arranged that the pad can be installed on the wall of the finger grip portion of a bowling ball in different positions for varying the cooperable frictional relations and gripping eifects of the pad and finger.

A more specific object is to provide a pad having forwardly facing treads at its friction or forward face which offer greatcr resistance to slippage of the gripping finger in one direction in the plane of the face than in another direction in the plane of the face, the pad being so arranged that it can be rotated to different selected positions about an axis normal to its friction face and adhesively secured to the finger grip wall in the position selected, whereby differences in frictional resistance to slippage endwise of the finger grip wall can be obtained depending upon the rotated position of the pad.

Other Specific objects are to provide an insert or pad composed of material which is resistant to deterioration by perspiration and other moisture and fluids secreted by the gripping finger; to provide a pad having its friction surface configured to provide a squeegee effect on the gripping surface of the finger for removing moisture therefrom as the gripping surface of the finger is drawn across the friction surface, for depositing the removed moisture onto the friction surface so that it can readily be wiped off. and for preventing the moisture from redncing the eifective grip if not wiped off.

Another object is to provide a pad having an improved gripping or friction surface which provides high frictional resistance to slippage of the finger when the surface is gripped with the normal pressure, but which offers negligible frictional resistance when only lightly gripped, whereby, as soon as the grip is relaxed sufficiently to permit release of the ball, the finger can slide readily along the friction surface without appreciable abrasion, rubbing, and chafing.

Varous other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description wherein reference is made to the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevation of a portion of a bowling ball, part thereof being shown in section, taken on a radial plane through the axis of the finger grip socket of the ball and showing, in front elevation in the socket, a pad embodying the principles of the present invention and gripped by a finger;

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view taken on the line 2 2 of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 3 and 4 are views similar to FIG. l, showing different rotated positions of the pad for varying the frictional resistance to slppage of the finger;

FIG. 5 is a front elevation of a finger grip pad embodying the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view of the pad illustrated in FIG. 5 and is taken on lines 6-5 thereof;

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 5 showing a modified surface configuration of the pad illustrated in FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 5 and showing another modified surface Configuration of the pad;

FIG. 9 is a cross sectional view taken on the line 9-9 of FIG. 8;

FG. 10 is a front elevation of a multi-piece pad, embodying principles of the invention;

FIG. 11 is a cross sectional view taken on the line 11 11 of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a View similar to FIG. 2 showing the modified pad of FIG. 10 installed in a bowling ball finger grip socket;

FIG. 13 is a front elevation of a pad similar to that in FIG. 10 but employing two inserts arranged side by side, instead of a single insert; and

FIG. 14 is a front elevation of illustrated in FIG. 13, employing two inserts arranged one within the peripheral lmits of the other.

Referring to the drawings, a bowling ball, indicated generally at 1, is provided with a conventional finger grip socket 2 which is adapted to receive the finger or thumb of a bowler. Detachably mounted adhesively on the peripheral wall of the socket 2 is a pad 3, preferably of elastorneric material, which is adapted to be engaged by the finger or thumb when the ball is gripped for bowling. As hereinbefore pointed out, it is desirable that the forward or friction surface of the pad 3 provide good frictional resistance to slippage of the gripping finger so that the player can obtain more effective control of the ball. At the same time, the surface must be such that it does not tend to abrade the skin of the gripping portion of the finger by which it is engaged as the finger slides across the face of the pad during release of the ball during bowling.

As more fully described hereinafter, the pad 3 is provided on the back face with pressure Sensitive cement such a pad similar to that that it can be readily adhesively detachably Secured in the position desired in Smooth juxtaposition to the wall of the grip, yet be removed readily for the purposes of changing its position or replacing it with a new insert.

Broadly, the securing of finger pads7 having friction surfaces, to the wall of a finger grip of a bowling ball with pressure Sensitive cernerit is known in the art, as indicated by the above patents. However, the prior structures are so fashioned that they can be installed in only one operative position and there remain throughout their useful lives. The only reason for using pressure Sensitive cement in such instances is to permit ready removal of the pads and their replacement by new ones.

in accordance with the present invention, however, the purpose is not merely to permit removal of a worn out pad and replacement by a new one, but temporary detachment of the pad for shifting its position and reattachinry it in a different position for changing its frictional resistanee to slippage of the finger.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 4, the pad 3 is provided with a plurality of forward treads 4 which, in the form illustrated, are ribs fornied by slit'ting the sheet body of the insert 3 part way of its depth from the forward face inwardly. Preferably, none of the material of the sheet is removed in this slitting Operation. Therefore, the individual treads have side faces which extend at abrupt angles to their forwardly exposed surfaces and the adjacent side faces of adjacent treads are juxtaposed yieldably and resiliently.

In the preferred embodiment, the treads 4- are in the form of narrow, elongated, parallel ribs, though other configurations may be used. The treads are so shaped, however, that frictional resistance to slippage of the gripping finger in different directions parallel to the plane of the front or friction face of the pad varies according to the direction. For example, treads 4 in the form of elongated ribs offer the greatest frictional resistance to Vslippage of the finger When the ribs extend peripherally of the axis of the socket 2, in a plane normal to the axis of the socket, as illustrated in FIG. 1, so that the finger must Slide transversely across the ribs. The resistance is reduced to a minimum, however, When the pad is disposed with the ribs running endwise of the socket so that the finger slides along the ribs. Intermediate degrees oi frictional resistance to slippage are obtained by positioning the pad 3 in different rotated positions about an aXis normal to its friction surface, so that the ribs run on a bias of different angularity to the right or to the left of the positions illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3.

By changing the degree of bias, not only the amount of resistance is changed but also the effect of the resistance relative to the ball and finger is changed. For example, the tendency to impart a left or right hook can be aggravated or diminished by changing the direction and degree of the bias.

As mentioned, the treads 4 do not have to be in the form of the parallel ribs, as the slits may be intersecting to form a grid with each tread having four side faces juxtaposed against other threads. Also, elongated ribs may be arranged not only side by side, but may be slit transversely so that some are end to end though retaining a greater dimension endwise than crosswise so as to retain the friction adjusting effect of a change in position of the pad.

Even if the slits are made so as to provide a rectangular coordinate, so that the treads are Square, some of the benefits of a change in position of the pad can be retained because the pad can be rotated about its axis to dispose even Square projections With the diagonals of their cross sections endwise of the socket 2, or with their lateral dimensions of their cross sections endwise of the socket 2. The important feature in this connection is that the treads provided are such that the direction in which they are disposed about an axis normal to the plane of the pad results in variability in the frictional resistance.

As best illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, the surface of the pad 3 is formed into the ribs by the slits, such as indicated at 5.

Pressure Sensitive oement means are provided on the rear of the pad 3 for detachably adhesively securing the pad to the peripheral Wall of the socket 2 While permite |ting its attachment and re'attachment as desireid, Whereby it can be detached, rot-ated about an axis normal to its friction face, and reapplied in a different rotated position or different longitudinal position along the length of the socket wall.

In the form illustrated in lFIGS. 5 and 6, this pressure Sensitive cement means comprises a Strip 7 of flexible and tough material which may be fabric, paper, tape, or some Synthetic flexible stnip material. Opposite faces of this material are provided With films 9 and sltlt, respectively, pressure Sensitive cement, the pressure cement film -9 bonding ythe stnip 7 -to the back face of the pad 3 and the film 10 being exposed rearwardly for bonding to the wall of the socket 2. Generally, a protective sheet 111 of material, which readily can be separated from the cement by pelling it oif, is detachably bonded to the film 10 so ias to protect the film until the pad is to be installed.

The treads in the form of narrow elongated ribs formed by slitting have distinct advantages over molded ribs or ribs Iwhich are not spaoed from each other. In the first place, the foiwvardiy exposed surfaces of the treads 4 are relatively Smooth. When in the normal ungr-ipped or lightly gripped Condition, they define a Smooth, continuous, -nonabrasive surface of comfortable texture. On the other hand, the :adjacent side Walls of adiacent treads 4 are juxtaposed against each other and cxtend at abrupt angle to the forward faces of their respective ribs so that the intersections are very abrupt angled and Well defined edges. Since the ribs are resilient, the component of gripping pressure suficient to hold the ball causes flexure of the treads transversely of their length. This fiexure and tilting of the treads causes their upper surfaces to be disposed at angles to their normal position, thus causing one of the edges or intersections of each to projeot forwardly from the normal surface of the pad. `t also exposes part of one lateral surface of each fiexed tread forwardly. Fl'his provides a series of nidges and valleys in a direction transversely of the treads. Each intersection or edge so projecting acts as a squeegee as Welfl as a gripping shoulder. Thus, as the finger is pressed onto the pad, a number of such intersecting edges are exposed alongside each other for forming a good firm gr-ip for the finger. Whenever the gripping pressure is reduced sutficiently to release the ball, the treads, being; self-restoring, return to their normal positions. Therefore, When the gripping pressure is substantially rel-axed enough to permit the ball to Slide from the fing'er, an almost Smooth surface is presented to the finger so that the finger is not rubbed and abraded by the pad.

Before the ribs return to their normal position, so as to present a Smooth surface, the intersecting edges of the treads slide across the finger With a squeegeeing effect, thus tending to remove any moisture on the gripping surface of the iiriger. This moisture, of course, stnikes the tread side walls that are exposed forwardly, but as soon as the treads restore themselves to their original position, they press this moisture out, to a large extent, from between the Side Walls so that it is on the forward surfaoes of the treads Where it can readily be Wiped oi. If not Wiped off, it returns temporarily fto the valleys fonned by the treads and, in any event, does not detract too greatly from the high resistance to slippage aiforded by the treads.

The pad 3 preferably is formed of elastomer'ic mate-y rial which may or may not be provided with reinforcing' or vfillirig material, such as is comminuted cork, loosely Woven fabric, and the like. Elastomeric material, without any such comminuted cork or fabrlc, is preferred. The principai requirements are that the pad be relatively soft, and resilient enough so that treads are self-restoring after deflection. Soft vulcanized real or Synthetic rubber, soft vinyl, or the more resil-ient Synthetic resins are exarnples. Likewise, it :is preferable that the material be one which Withstands deterioration as a result of any reaction with skin secretions and perspiration.

The pad 3 readily must conform smoothly to the wall of the grip in any and all rotated positions. This imposes limitations on its dimensions.

The pad preferably is circular, but it may have an' inwardly concave, regular, :curvilinear outline, so as to be in the form of an oval or e'llipse. In any event, its maxirnum dimension in the plane of the forward face should be less than the minimum dimension of the grip Wall, such as the circumference of the wall of the socket 2 and the length of the socket. This assures that the pad 3 can readily be Secured to the Wal-l of the socket in any number of rotated positions about an axis normal to its forward face Without overlapping itself at any margin and While lying fiat and -unmvrinkled against thev peripheral wall of the socket.

Referring next to FIG. 7, a pad Et) corresponding tothe pad 3 in all respects, except for the treads 21, is shown. In this form, the treads 21 are more of a herringbone design, but likewise are formed by slits 22 which do not remove any substantial. amount of.

material. The treads 21 -function in much the same manner as the treads 4 heretofore described, except that they have somewhat different gripping effects because the sides are not planar vthroughout their length as are those of the trea-ds 4.

iFIG. 9 illustrates a modication wherein a pad 25, similar to Ithe pad 3, is shown, but with treads 26 molded thereon and somewhat more widely spaced. This form has some of the advantages of the pad 3 in that it can be rotated about an ax-is normal to its forward face for changing the grip, but it is not as desirable on other Ways. It is provided with the adhesive cement layers 27 and 28 carried on a tape 29 and protected by a backing or pee-ling Strip 30.

Referring next to FIGS. through 14, a modification of the pad is illustrated. -In this modification, the pad is in two pieces, comprisng a larger sheet body 32` of elastomeric material and a smaller insert 33 of elastomeric material. This body and insert may be of the same or different material, as desired, depending on the effect to be obtained. For example, the larger body 32 may be made of an elastomeric material bonded with fabric, comminuted cork, and the like, and the insert 33 may be of .the same elastomeric material ibut free from any such filiers. Furthermore, the insert 33 may be made of more soft and more elastic material .than the body 32 so that it has a different consistency. Also, the insert 33 may be configured on the surface diferently from the body 32 to that the surface texture of one is different from the surface teXture of the other. Various conibinations of texture and consistency can be used.

The body 32 is preferably elongated and generally rectangular in shape so as to be disposed against the peripheral Wall of a finger grip socket S, With its long dimension extending endwise of the socket. The body 32 is provided with pressure Sensitive means on its rear face, this pressure `Sensitive means preferably being like that above described, and comprising a fiexible strip 34, a film 35 of pressure Sensitive cement on its forwar'd face and a film 36 of pressure Sensitive cement :on its rear face, with a peelable protective Strip 37 adhered to the latter, if desired. This double-faced strip with pressure Sensitive cement is adhered to the rear face of the body 32.

The body 32 has an Opening 38 therein which may be formed by cutting entirely through the body 32. Thus, the layer 35 of pressure Sensitive cement is accessible through the Opening 38 so that lthe insert 33 can be placed flatwise in the Opening and p-ressed against the cement and thus held in position therein. Preferably, the inser-t 33 is circular as also is the Opening 38. The insert and Opening are of such size that the insert fits snugly and flatly Within the Opening With slight Operating clearance so that the insert can be inserted and removed and detachably held in place. Also, the insert can be rotated about an axis normal to its front face, if desired, for changing the gripping force.

The insert 33 is substantially the same in Operating effect as the insert 3 heretofore described, except as its Operation is enhanced by the surrounding body. In the form illustrated in FGS. 10 and 11, the insert has for- Ward treads in the form of parallel ribs 39 formed by slits 40 so that by rotatin-g it about an axis normal to its front face, different frictional gripping efiects can be obtained. These frictional effects may be considerably different from that afforded by the foiwvard face of the body 32. Thus, the body 32 can be mounted in the proper position in the socket of a bowling ball and left in that position and the small insert 33 removed, rotated, and replaced in different positions, depending upon the efiects desired. Or, of course, both can be left fiXedly in one position.

Some people prefer different relations between the frictional resistance of the body 32 and vthe insert 33. With pads 32 of different consistency and different surface texture, and an insert 33- of different and also adjustable frictional surface effects, unlimited numbers of different grippin-g effects can be obtained to meet the requirements or desires of substantially any bowler. Some prefer a very high frictional resistance at the ball of .the finger with little or none elsewhere. Others prefer a more distributed resistance with an accent one way or the other. VAll of these are readily o'btainable with the combination llustrated.

In some cases, a further variation is desired. For :this purpose, the Structure as illustrated in FiGS. 13 and `14 may be employed. As illustrated in FIG. 13, the large Ibody pad 4-2, corresponding to the body pad 32, may be employed. The pad 42, however, has two openings 43 and 44 in each of which an insert rnay be provided. In the form illustrated, the inserts 45 and 46 are disposed in the openings 43 and 44. These inserts 45 and 46 may be of different material, different surface texture, and different consistency from each other, or they may have the ribs disposed at different angles to the length of the socket, thus greatly increasing the number of the efects that can be obtained.

in FIG. 14, there is shown a pad 47 similar to the pad 42, except that it has one Opening 48 and in this two contiguous inserts 49 and Sh similar to the insert 3 may be employed. These, too, may have different surface configurations or texture and different consistency. In the form illustrated, the contiguous inserts 49 and 50 are shown as the circular insert Si) and the annular insert 49 coaxial with the insert Si) and surrounding it, though obviously the two may be put into side by side juxtaposition in a different relation, if desired.

It is apparent, therefore, with the present invention, a wide variety of combinations can be obtained so that whatever gripping effect is desired, it is more than likely to be met with a very few different elements, simply by shiftng their positions and combinations with respect to each other. Furthermore, since the materials are elastomeric materials of the type which are not deteriorated appreciably by body fiuids secreted by the skin, they are long lasting. They do not absorb the moisture, but can readily be cleaned between each roll of the ball.

Having thus described my invention, I clairn:

1. A bowling ball finger pad comprising a body of flexible sheet material, said body having a rear face and a forward face and having an Opening at least in its forward face, a tliin pad insert of sheet material having a rear face and a forward friction face, and being receivable in and substantially filling said Opening, and having its friction face disposed forwardly and at least close to the plane of the forward face of the body, pressure Sensitive cement on said rear faces for detachably securing the insert and the body in position, With the insert in the Opening, to the wall of a finger grip socket in a bowling ball, the surface texture of the forward friction face of the insert being different from the surface texture of the forward face of the body, and proi iding frictional resistance to slippage of the finger along the forward surface of the insert greater than the frietionai resistance to slippage of the finger along the forward face of the body.

2. A pad according to claim 1 wherein said Opening extends entirely through the body.

3. The Structure according to claim 1 wherein the insert is a sheet of soft resilient elastomeric material.

4. The Structure according to claim 1 wherein the material of the body is of different resiliency than the material of the insert.

5. The Structure according to claim 1 wherein the body has a second opening, a second thin pad insert having a forward friction face is disposed in the second Opening with the friction face disposed forwardly, and said friction faces having different resistances to slippage of the finger thereacross in the same direction.

6. The Structure according to claim l wherein said insert is in two concentric parts, one part being in surrounding relation to the other, said parts being detachable and rotatahle about the common axis independently of each other, and the frictional resistance to slippage of the forward face of each part being different for different directions across the face.

7. The Structure according to claim 1 Wherein the difference in texture is due to the insert having closely spaced parallel slits extending partway therethrough from its forward face and intersecting the forward face at an abrupt angle and providing a plurality of ribs which have their lateral faces in contact in the normal installed position of the insert, and which define With their forward faces sharply defined edges at their intersections With the forward faces, respectively.

8. The Structure according to claim 1 Wherein the size and shape of the insert and Opening are so related to each other that the insert can suhstantially fill the Opening in a plurality of rotated positions of the insert 8 about an axis at the center of the Opening normal to the forward face of the insert, and the texture of the for- Ward face of the insert is such that it has different frictional resistances to slippage of a finger thereacross in different directions thereacross, selectively.

References Citeti in the file of this patentv UNITED STAT ES PATENTS

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2513655 *9 Mar 19484 Jul 1950Lamkin Leather CompanyHandle grip
US2646985 *28 Sep 195028 Jul 1953Klares John FFinger grip insert for bowling balls
US2708578 *9 Nov 195117 May 1955Charles F MitchellBowling ball finger patch
US2777693 *8 Aug 195515 Jan 1957Mitchell Charles FBowling ball insert pad
US2859039 *19 Dec 19554 Nov 1958Jerome Chester WBowling ball
US2973205 *20 Jul 195928 Feb 1961Mitchell Charles FBowling ball pad with special ribs therein
CA578533A *30 Jun 1959S. Madsen PaulAthletic ball
CA583557A *22 Sep 1959R. Gow ArthurFootball having a securely grippable laceless surface
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3454440 *22 Oct 19658 Jul 1969Starmaster Trophies IncMethod of and apparatus for forming thumb receptacles in bowling balls
US4416452 *30 Dec 198122 Nov 1983Heimbigner Donald LBowling ball finger grip insert
US4773645 *28 Apr 198727 Sep 1988Todd Jack AMultisize bowling finger insert
US5704843 *30 May 19966 Jan 1998Oosterlaak; Graham K.Bowling accessory
US5769730 *9 Dec 199423 Jun 1998Haskell; RogerBowling ball fingertip positioner
US6508718 *9 Mar 200121 Jan 2003David M. AlbertInsert shim for a bowling ball
US725862018 May 200621 Aug 2007Todd A WillmanBowling ball insert
U.S. Classification473/130
International ClassificationA63B37/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B37/0002
European ClassificationA63B37/00B2