US 20030062328 A1
The present invention a sports equipment holder comprises a flexible bag for placement of sports equipment therein; and a device for releasably attaching said flexible bag to a chain link wherein said attaching device includes at least one hanger connected to said flexible bag for releasably latching said sports equipment holder onto a chain link fence. The attaching device may also include two hangers connected to said flexible bag for releasably latching said sports equipment holder onto a chain link fence. Further the hangers include a top hooked portion for engagement with a chain link fence. Preferably the flexible bag includes a left edge and a right edge and said hooks connected to said bag proximate said left and right edges and a bag opening proximate a top edge for placing of articles there through.
1. A sports equipment holder comprising:
a) a flexible bag for placement of sports equipment therein; and
b) a means for releasably attaching said flexible bag to a chain link fence.
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 “Sports equipment” items include but are not limited to: bats, sport gloves, sport shoes, mits, sport socks, sport shirts, helmets and the like.
 The present invention, a Sports Equipment Holder, shown generally as 30 in FIG. 18 includes the following major components: flexible bag 32, hangers 34, and rack 36.
 Flexible bag 32 has a front cover 40, a rear cover 42, and Velcro™ tabs 44 attached to both front cover 40 and rear cover 42 in approximate locations as shown in FIG. 18. In addition, front cover 40 and rear cover 42 also have eyelets 46 defining apertures through front cover 40 and rear cover 42 as shown in FIG. 18.
 Flexible bag 32 has a right edge 48, a left edge 50, a bottom edge 52, and a top edge 54 as shown in FIG. 18. Flexible bag 32 has an opening along top edge 54 designated as bag opening 56 wherein articles can be placed where they are disposed between front cover 40 and rear cover 42 within flexible bag 32.
 In addition, flexible bag 32 has a flap 58 which in effect is an extension of rear cover 42 beyond top edge 54 such that flap 58 can be curled over and VelcroT™ tabs 44, located on rear cover 42, can then make contact with Velcro™ tabs 44 on front cover 40 thereby locking in place flap 58 over bag opening 56.
 Hangers 34 include an upper curved section shown as top hook 60 and a lower curved section shown as bottom hook 62. Hangers 34 are received through hanger pockets 70 as best shown in FIG. 16 to removably fasten hangers 34 to flexible bag 32. Hanger pockets 70 are preferably made of the same flexible material as bag 32. Hanger pockets 70 are strips of material fastened along each of the longitudinal edges 75 to define longitudinal channels 71 running parallel and along right edge 48 and left edge 50 of bag 32. Increasing the width 73 of hanger pockets 70 increases the width of the longitudinal channel 71 defined by the hanger pocket 70.
 Sports equipment holder 30 further includes rack 36 which has defined therein hook apertures 64 for receiving there through bottom hooks 62. In addition, rack 36 also has apertures 67 for receiving there through ties 66 which have tie locks 68 mounted thereon for tying off ties 66.
 In use, sports equipment holder 30 is removably attached to a chain link fence 82 which is best shown in FIGS. 19 and 20.
 In FIG. 19, for example, sports equipment holder 30 is shown in use in an environment whereby top hooks 60 of hanger 34 are shown hooked onto a chain link fence 82 which is commonly found at sports playing sites. FIG. 19 shows a bat 80 attached using ties 66 and tie locks 68 for attaching bats 80 to rack 36. In this way items are conveniently stored on the sports equipment holder 30 for use at some future time. Ties 66, which can be any material known in the art for this type of tie such as braided nylon, cotton Dacron, or hemp roping, can be suitably used for ties 66. Tie lock 68 are the type known in the art which have a spring biasing mechanism for locking off and preventing the movement of tie 66 through tie lock 68.
 Referring now to FIG. 20, chain link fence 82 is shown in dashed lines to indicate to the reader that sports equipment holder 30 is preferably mounted to a chain link fence 82 as shown in FIGS. 19 and 20. Once a player has arrived at a playing site and has mounted his sports equipment holder 30 via top hook 60 of hanger 34 to an existing chain link fence 82 at a playing site, flap 58 can be opened in order to allow access through bag opening 56 to storage compartment 90. Storage compartment 90 is defined on the front side by front cover 40 and on the rear side by rear cover 42. Preferably, flexible bag 32 is made of a flexible cloth like material such as nylon, polyester, canvas, or cotton and is made from a single rectangular sheet of material which is folded over at bottom edge 52 as shown in FIG. 18, and is stitched and/or glued and/or otherwise fastened together at right edge 48 and left edge 50.
 Along top edge 54 the front cover 40 and the rear cover 42 are not attached together allowing the flexible bag 32 to be opened to provide for bag opening 56 which allows placements of articles into the storage compartment 90. For example, baseballs, snacks, glasses, safety glasses, lunches, and any other articles which a player brings to playing site can be stored within storage compartment 90.
 Storage compartment 90 is closed off by folding down flap 58 over onto front cover 40 such that Velcro™ tabs 44 on rear cover 42 mate with Velcro™ tabs 44 on front cover 40 in a male/female fashion thereby locking and closing off bag opening 56. In addition, ties 66, passing through eyelets 46 in rear cover 42 and front cover 40, can be used with a tie lock 68 for additional closing action of flap 58 over front cover 40.
 As shown in FIG. 20, a team logo 84 can be displayed on the front cover 40 of flexible bag 32 and other logos such as sponsors logos and/or other graphics can be displayed on front cover 40 as well as rear cover 42.
 In addition to bats 80, being releasably attached to and stored on rack 36, other items such as gloves, helmets, and other articles can be releasably attached to rack 36 either by using ties 66 as shown in FIG. 20 and FIG. 19, or using bottom hooks 62 to temporarily hook a safety helmet thereon, for example.
 Further, by using flexible material for flexible bag 32, the sports equipment holder 30 when not in use can be collapsed to a very small size by removing rack 36 from bottom hooks 62, thereby enabling one to completely collapse or partially fold-up sports equipment holder 30 by simply rolling flexible bag 32 into a small roll shape.
 The user of sports equipment holder 30 can collapse sports equipment holder 30 in stages, namely: one can leave hanger 34 positioned through hanger pockets 70 and only remove rack 36 thereby collapsing sports equipment holder 30, leaving hangers 34 in place and/or one can completely remove hangers 34 from hanger pocket 70 and also remove rack 36 from bottom hook 62, and therefore, collapse and disassemble sports equipment holder 30 into four discrete components, namely: two hangers, one rack, and one flexible bag.
 It should be apparent to persons skilled in the art that various modifications and adaptation of this structure described above are possible without departure from the spirit of the invention the scope of which defined in the appended claims.
 The invention will now be described by way of example only with references to the following drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the present invention a Sports Equipment Holder shown in FIG. 3.
FIG. 2 is a side plan view of the Sports Equipment Holder shown in FIG. 3.
FIG. 3 is a front plan view of the Sports Equipment Holder.
FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view of the Sports Equipment Holder shown in FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a front perspective view of the Sports Equipment Holder shown the flap in the open position.
FIG. 6 is a rear perspective view of the Sports Equipment Holder shown with the flap in the open position.
FIG. 7 is the side plan view of the hanging member shown in FIG. 9.
FIG. 8 is a top plan view of the hanging member shown in FIG. 9.
FIG. 9 is a front plan view of the hanging member.
FIG. 10 is a side plan view of the hanging member shown in FIG. 11.
FIG. 11 is a side plan view of the hanging member.
FIG. 12 is a bottom plan view of the hanging member shown in FIG. 12.
FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the hanging member.
FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the hanging member.
FIG. 15 is a front perspective view of the Sports Equipment Holder shown together with the hanging members.
FIG. 16 is a rear perspective view of the Sports Equipment Holder shown together with the hanging members.
FIG. 17 is a perspective view of the Equipment Rack.
FIG. 18 is a front perspective view of the entire Sports Equipment Holder assembled together including the hanging members and the equipment rack.
FIG. 19 is a perspective view of the Sports Equipment Holder shown together deployed on a chain link fence and holding some baseball bats.
FIG. 20 is a front perspective view of the Sports Equipment Holder deployed on a chain link fence shown with the flap partially closed, a logo imprinted on the front of the equipment holder bag, and two baseball bats shown on the equipment rack.
 The present invention relates to apparatus for storing sport equipment and more particularly the present invention is directed to a sports equipment holder that is portable, easily assembled, and disassembled, and is especially well suited for holding sports equipment such as baseball gloves, baseball bats, safety helmets, gloves, etc.
 The present invention pertains to a portable sports equipment holder for temporary storage of baseball equipment and other sports equipment during competitive games as well as practice sessions. This particular sports equipment holder is designed to be hung on to a chain link fence and is adapted for holding balls, bats, gloves, helmets, shoes, and any other sports equipment that a player may bring to a playing site. Equipment when not in use at a playing site is often times strewn along the side lines of the playing field. Such disorganization is undesirable for a variety of reasons including misplacing of equipment and potential damage to the equipment.
 The present invention contemplates a holder to temporarily store items of sports equipment at the playing or practice site. For example, when a softball or baseball team assembles to play a game, a lot of equipment is required including at least one fielding glove for each player, a number of batting helmets of different sizes, a large number of bats of various sizes, and a number of balls. Most amateur ball parks do not have adequate facilities for temporary and convenient storage of such during games. Further, it is essential that such storage facility be capable of keeping equipment in an organized and orderly fashion so that the players can quickly find the piece of equipment they require. It is also very important that any such storage system can be readily assembled and disassembled or taken down because another team is usually ready to take the field for another game as soon as one game has concluded. The teams that have just finished a game must leave the field and the dug-out area as quickly as possible.
 The present invention can also be used with other outdoor field sports such as soccer or cricket which requires an outdoor playing field, and normally has chain link fences in the vicinity.
 Different systems of shelves racking and the like have been developed in the past including some directed to this or a similar problem. Some of the patents issued in this art are listed below:
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,626,244 titled Bat Rack For Chain Link Fence invented by Larry DeMezna et al. and issued May 6, 1997.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,294,005 titled Portable Modular Sports Equipment Rack Specially Suited For Use At Games invented by Robert S. Hedges and issued Mar. 15, 1994.
 U.S. Pat. No. 4,629,065 titled Baseball Equipment Holder issued to Donald L. Braaten on Dec. 16, 1986.
 U.S. Pat. No. 4,193,495 titled Portable Sports Equipment Organizer invented by Ronald Keeley and issued on Mar. 18, 1980.
 The use of a rod, pole or the like to suspend a variety of hooks has naturally been used and disclosed on some of the above references mentioned.
 Not shown in the references and discussed here is a Portable Sports Equipment Holder Specially Adapted to be easily set up and taken down and put into convenient storage if desired. In addition, the prior art is expensive to manufacture, difficult to assemble, and not convenient enough to use and to set up at a particular playing site.
 The present invention a sports equipment holder comprises
 a) a flexible bag for placement of sports equipment therein; and
 b) a means for releasably attaching said flexible bag to a chain link fence.
 Preferably said attaching means includes at least one hanger connected to said flexible bag for releasably latching said sports equipment holder onto a chain link fence.
 Preferably said attaching means includes two hangers connected to said flexible bag for releasably latching said sports equipment holder onto a chain link fence.
 Preferably said hangers including a top hooked portion for engagement with a chain link fence.
 Preferably said flexible bag including a left edge and a right edge and said hooks connected to said bag proximate said left and right edges.
 Preferably said flexible bag having a bag opening proximate a top edge for placing of articles there through.
 Preferably said flexible bag further including a means for closing said bag opening.
 Preferably said closing means includes a flap for closing said bag opening.
 Preferably said hooks further including a bottom hook portion projecting from a bottom edge of said bag, for hooking of sports equipment thereon.
 Preferably further including a rack spanning across and mounted on said bottom hooks.
 Preferably said rack including apertures for co-operatively receiving said bottom hooks there through thereby said rack being supported by said bottom hooks of said hangers.
 Preferably said rack including means for releasably fastening sports equipment items thereon.
 Preferably said fastening means includes flexible ties connected to said rack for temporarily and releasably tying off sports equipment items.