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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
ERGONOMIC KNOB INSERT FOR HOLLOW STICK
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/044705
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Described is a knob insert for application to the gripping end of a hockey stick. The knob insert comprises a rounded, oblique, cylindrical support structure, transitional shaft and tang aligned on a common longitudinal central axis. The support structure comprises a greater diameter rounded, cantle-like support and gripping structures.

Inventors:
PHELAN, Gerald Leo, Jr. (5917 Shortleaf Court, St. Louis, Missouri, 63128, US)
Application Number:
US2016/050896
Publication Date:
March 16, 2017
Filing Date:
September 09, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PROXR LLC (5917 Shortleaf Court, St. Louis, Missouri, 63128, US)
International Classes:
A63B60/06; A63B59/70; A63B69/00; A63B102/22
Foreign References:
US20040147346A12004-07-29
US7744497B22010-06-29
US8292762B22012-10-23
US4828261A1989-05-09
US4351528A1982-09-28
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COTTON, Abigail (211 North BroadwaySuite 360, St. Louis Missouri, 63102, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A knob insert for insertion into the hollow shaft of a hockey stick, the knob insert comprising a tang for insertion into the hollow shaft of the hockey stick, a knob adapted to be grasped by the hand of an athlete when the tang is inserted into the hollow shaft of the hockey stick, and a step between the tang and the knob adapted to abut an end surface of the hollow shaft of the hockey stick when the tang is inserted therein, the tang, step and knob being aligned along a central longitudinal axis extending from a tang end to a knob end of the knob insert, wherein

the knob comprises an anterior cantle region and a corresponding posterior cantle region, the anterior and posterior cantle regions being between the step and the knob end and on opposing sides of an imaginary coronal plane containing the central longitudinal axis and divided by an imaginary sagittal plane that contains the central longitudinal axis and is orthogonal to the imaginary coronal plane; the anterior and posterior cantle regions each providing a curved support surface for the hand of the athlete when the athlete is gripping the hockey stick, the anterior cantle region and the posterior cantle region each having a radius of curvature in the sagittal plane, the radius of curvature of the anterior cantle region being less than the radius of curvature of the posterior cantle region,

the tang and the knob comprise a shaft that extends from a position proximate the tang end to a position proximate the knob end of the knob insert,

the knob further comprises a sheath that is coupled to and surrounds the shaft, and

the shaft and the sheath are discrete components having different properties.

2. A knob insert adapted for insertion into the hollow shaft of a hockey stick, the knob insert comprising a central longitudinal axis, a tang for insertion into the hollow shaft of the hockey stick, a knob adapted to be grasped by the hand of an athlete when the tang is inserted into the hollow shaft of the hockey stick, a step between the tang and the knob, a tang end, and a knob, the tang and knob ends being opposing ends of the knob insert and aligned the central longitudinal axis, the knob comprising a flange proximate the knob end, an anterior cantle region, and a posterior cantle region, wherein

(i) the anterior and posterior cantle regions are between the step and the flange,

(ii) the anterior and posterior cantle regions, in combination, provide a curved support surface for the hand of the athlete,

(iii) each of the anterior and posterior cantle regions are bisected into

symmetrical halves by an imaginary sagittal plane that contains the central longitudinal axis, and

(iv) the anterior and posterior cantle regions are on opposing sides of and asymmetric relative to each other about an imaginary coronal plane that contains the central longitudinal axis and is orthogonal to the sagittal plane.

3. The knob insert of any preceding claim wherein the longitudinal axis is substantially linear.

4. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein a ratio of the radius of curvature of the posterior cantle region to the radius of curvature of the anterior cantle region is at least 1 :2, respectively.

5. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein a ratio of the radius of curvature of the posterior cantle region to the radius of curvature of the anterior cantle region is at least 1 :3, respectively.

6. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein a ratio of the radius of curvature of the posterior cantle region to the radius of curvature of the anterior cantle region is at least 1 :5, respectively.

7. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein a ratio of the radius of curvature of the posterior cantle region to the radius of curvature of the anterior cantle region is less than 1 :20.

8. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein a ratio of the radius of curvature of the posterior cantle region to the radius of curvature of the anterior cantle region is less than 1 : 15, respectively.

9. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein a ratio of the radius of curvature of the posterior cantle region to the radius of curvature of the anterior cantle region is less than 1 : 10, respectively.

10. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob has an outer diameter that varies as a function of position along the central longitudinal axis with the minimum outer diameter occurring at a position along the longitudinal axis that is greater than 50% of the distance between the knob end and the step, as measured from the step.

1 1 . The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob has an outer diameter that varies as a function of position along the central longitudinal axis with the minimum outer diameter occurring at a position along the longitudinal axis that is greater than 55% of the distance between the knob end and the step, as measured from the step.

12. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob has an outer diameter that varies as a function of position along the central longitudinal axis with the minimum outer diameter occurring at a position along the longitudinal axis that is greater than 60% of the distance between the knob end and the step, as measured from the step.

13. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob has an outer diameter that varies as a function of position along the central longitudinal axis with the minimum outer diameter occurring at a position along the longitudinal axis that is greater than 65% of the distance between the knob end and the step, as measured from the step.

14. The knob insert of any of claims 10 to 13 wherein the minimum diameter of the knob is about 65% to 95% of the diameter of the knob at the step.

15. The knob insert of any of claims 10 to 13 wherein the minimum diameter of the knob is about 65% to 90% of the diameter of the knob at the step.

16. The knob insert of any of claims 10 to 13 wherein the minimum diameter of the knob is about 70% to 90% of the diameter of the knob at the step.

17. The knob insert of any of claims 10 to 13 wherein the minimum diameter of the knob is about 65% to 85% of the diameter of the knob at the step.

18. The knob insert of any of claims 10 to 13 wherein the minimum diameter of the knob is about 70% to 85% of the diameter of the knob at the step.

19. The knob insert of any of claims 10 to 13 wherein the minimum diameter of the knob is about 75% to 85% of the diameter of the knob at the step.

20. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the imaginary sagittal plane bisects the knob into symmetrical halves.

21 . The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 4.5 to 8 inches.

22. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 4.5 to 7.5 inches.

23. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 4.5 to 7 inches.

24. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 4.5 to 6.5 inches.

25. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 5 to 8 inches.

26. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 5 to 7.5 inches.

27. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 5 to 7 inches.

28. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 5 to 6.5 inches.

29. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 5.5 to 8 inches.

30. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 5.5 to 7.5 inches.

31 . The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 5.5 to 7 inches.

32. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 5.5 to 6.5 inches.

33. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 6 to 8 inches.

34. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 6 to 7.5 inches.

35. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 6 to 7 inches.

36. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 6 to 6.5 inches.

37. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath comprises a polymer.

38. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath comprises an injection molded polymer.

39. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath comprises an injection molded thermoplastic polymer.

40. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath comprises a thermoplastic vulcanizate.

41 . The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath comprises a polymeric material having a durometer hardness of 75 Shore A, 5 sec, injection molded.

42. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft and the sheath comprise materials having a chemically distinct composition.

43. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft comprises a polymeric material.

44. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft comprises a thermoplastic polymeric material.

45. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft comprises a composite of a thermoplastic polymeric and a fiber reinforcing material.

46. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft comprises a composite of a thermoplastic polymer and a glass fiber reinforcing material.

47. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft has a flexural strength of at least 10,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790.

48. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft has a flexural strength of at least 15,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790.

49. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft has a flexural strength of at least 20,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790.

50. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft has a flexural strength of at least 25,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790.

51 . The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft has a flexural strength of at least 30,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790.

52. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft has a flexural strength of at least 35,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790.

53. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft has a flexural strength of at least 40,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790.

54. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob insert has a mass of 80 to 1 15 grams.

55. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob insert has a mass of 40 to 75 grams.

56. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob insert has a mass of 100 to 150 grams.

57. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the posterior cantle region smoothly transitions about the central longitudinal axis to the anterior cantle region.

58. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob end has a circumference that is at least 1 10% of the circumference of the neck.

59. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob end has a circumference that is at least 150% of the circumference of the neck.

60. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob end has a circumference that is at least 200% of the circumference of the neck.

61 . The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob end has a circumference that is at least 300% of the circumference of the neck.

62. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the tang has a length measured along the central longitudinal axis of about 2 to about 12 inches.

63. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the tang has an end that is chamfered at an angle of about 30° to 60° from the longitudinal sides of the tang and toward the longitudinal central axis to allow for easier initial guided insertion of the tang into the hollow end of the stick.

64. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the tang has grooves, which run parallel to the central longitudinal axis of the tang.

65. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the tang has chamfered corners which are parallel to the central longitudinal axis of the knob.

66. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob has a length, as measured along central longitudinal axis 1.1 , that is about 5 to about 95% of the length of the knob and the tang has a complementary length, as measured along the central longitudinal axis, that is about 95 to about 5% of the length of the knob.

67. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob has a length, as measured along central longitudinal axis that is about 15 to about 85% of the length of the knob insert and the tang has a complementary length, as measured along the central longitudinal axis, that is about 85 to about 15% of the length of the knob insert.

68. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob has a length, as measured along central longitudinal axis that is about 25 to about 75% of the length of the knob insert and the tang has a complementary length, as measured along the central longitudinal axis, that is about 75 to about 25% of the length of the knob insert.

69. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob has a length, as measured along central longitudinal axis that is about 35 to about 65% of the length of the knob insert and the tang has a complementary length, as measured along the central longitudinal axis, that is about 65 to about 35% of the length of the knob insert.

70. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob has a length, as measured along central longitudinal axis that is about 40 to about 60% of the length of the knob insert and the tang has a complementary length, as measured along the central longitudinal axis, that is about 60 to about 40% of the length of the knob insert.

71 . The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the knob comprises a neck between the flange and the tang.

72. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the neck has a length measured along the central longitudinal axis of at least about 0.25 inches.

73. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the neck has a length measured along the central longitudinal axis in the range of about 0.25 to about 4 inches.

74. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the neck has a length measured along the central longitudinal axis in the range of about 1 to about 4 inches.

75. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the neck has a length measured along the central longitudinal axis in the range of about 1 to about 2 inches.

76. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the shaft comprises a ceramic, metal, polymer, composite, wood or a composite or laminate thereof.

77. The knob insert of any preceding claim wherein the shaft comprises a ceramic, metal, polymer, composite, or a composite or laminate thereof.

78. The knob insert of any preceding claim wherein the shaft has an overall shape that generally corresponds to the overall shape of the knob.

79. The knob insert of any preceding claim wherein the shaft is bisected by the sagittal plane into symmetric halves.

80. The knob insert of any preceding claim wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region a posterior cantle region.

81. The knob insert of any preceding claim wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with shaft anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature CASP2 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature RCPSP2 of shaft posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane.

82. The knob insert of any preceding claim wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with shaft anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature RCASP2 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature RCPSP2 of shaft posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of Rpc to RAC is at least 2:1.

83. The knob insert of any preceding claim wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with shaft anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature RCASP2 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature RCPSP2 of shaft posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of RCPSP2 to RCASP2 js at least 3:1.

84. The knob insert of any preceding claim wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with shaft anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature RCASP2 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature RCPSP2 of shaft posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of RCPSP2 to CASP2 js at least 4:1.

85. The knob insert of any preceding claim wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with shaft anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature RCASP2 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature RCPSP2 of shaft posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of RCPSP2 to RCASP2 js at least 5:1.

86. The knob insert of any preceding claim wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with shaft anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature RCASP2 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature RCPSP2 of shaft posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of RCPSP2 to RCASP2 js at least about 20:1.

87. The knob insert of any preceding claim wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with shaft anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature RCASP2 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature RCPSP2 of shaft posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of RCPSP2 to RCASP2 js in the range of about 4:1 to about 17.5:1.

88. The knob insert of any preceding claim wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with shaft anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature RCASP2 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature RCPSP2 of shaft posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of RCPSP2 to RCASP2 js in the range of about 5: 1 to about 10:1.

89. The knob insert of any preceding claim wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with shaft anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature RCC1 in the coronal plane that is of comparable magnitude to the radius of curvature RCC2 of shaft posterior cantle region in the coronal plane.

90. A combination of a hockey stick and a knob insert, the knob insert corresponding to the knob insert of any of the preceding claims and being inserted into a hollow end of the hockey stick.

91 . A combination of a hockey stick and a knob insert, the knob insert corresponding to the knob insert of any of the preceding claims, the knob insert being inserted into a hollow end of the hockey stick wherein the anterior cantle region of knob is on the same side of the hockey stick as the blade of the hockey stick.

92. The combination of any of the preceding claims wherein the knob comprises a cavity at the knob end sized to accommodate a motion sensor.

93. The combination of any of the preceding claims wherein the knob comprises a cavity at grip end of the knob sized to accommodate a motion sensor, and the combination further comprises an electronic motion sensor housed in the cavity.

94. The combination of any preceding claim wherein the sheath has an outer surface having a coefficient of friction that is at least 50% of the coefficient of friction of the outer surface of the hockey stick adjacent the knob insert.

95. The combination of any preceding claim wherein the sheath has an outer surface having a coefficient of friction that is at least 60% of the coefficient of friction of the outer surface of the hockey stick adjacent the knob insert.

96. The combination of any preceding claim wherein the sheath has an outer surface having a coefficient of friction that is at least 70% of the coefficient of friction of the outer surface of the hockey stick adjacent the knob insert.

97. The combination of any preceding claim wherein the sheath has an outer surface having a coefficient of friction that is at least 80% of the coefficient of friction of the outer surface of the hockey stick adjacent the knob insert.

98. The combination of any preceding claim wherein the sheath has an outer surface having a coefficient of friction that is at least 90% of the coefficient of friction of the outer surface of the hockey stick adjacent the knob insert.

99. The combination of any preceding claim wherein the sheath has an outer surface having a coefficient of friction that is at least 100% of the coefficient of friction of the outer surface of the hockey stick adjacent the knob insert.

100. The combination of any preceding claim wherein the sheath has an outer surface having a coefficient of friction that is at least 1 10% of the coefficient of friction of the outer surface of the hockey stick adjacent the knob insert.

101 . The combination of any preceding claim wherein the sheath has an outer surface having a coefficient of friction that is at least 120% of the coefficient of friction of the outer surface of the hockey stick adjacent the knob insert.

102. A knob insert of any preceding claim inserted into a hollow end of the hockey stick wherein the anterior cantle region of knob insert, when engaged with the hypothenar of the gripping hand provides increased leverage on the hockey stick.

103. A knob insert of any preceding claim inserted into a hollow end of the hockey stick wherein the anterior cantle region of the knob insert, when engaged with the hypothenar of the gripping hand, increases the surface area of contact between the hand and the hockey stick.

104. A knob insert of any preceding claim inserted into a hollow end of the hockey stick wherein the anterior cantle region of knob, when engaged with the hypothenar of the gripping hand provides increased surface area between the knob insert and the hand thus distributing pressure from a smaller focused area to a larger less-focused distribution of pressure to the gripping hand.-

105. A knob insert of any preceding claim inserted into a hollow end of the hockey stick wherein the knob sheath, when gripped by the hand provides improved contact with the palmer arches of the gripping hand and the hockey stick resulting in improved grip, control and power transfer from the hands to the stick.

106. A knob insert of any preceding claim inserted into a hollow end of the hockey stick wherein the tang having a longitudinal length roughly half the length of the overall knob insert while keeping the plurality of the knob insert and the handle of the hockey stick within the grip of the hand.

107. A knob insert of any preceding claim inserted into a hollow end of the hockey stick wherein the tang, when fully inserted into the hollow end of a hockey stick, will generally not impact the flex of the stick.

108. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least

18,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

109. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 19,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

1 10. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft is madeof a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 21 ,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

1 1 1 . The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 23,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

1 12. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least

26,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

1 13. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 29,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

1 14. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 31 ,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

1 15. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 33,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

1 16. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 37,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

1 17. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least

41 ,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

1 18. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 45,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

1 19. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 50,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

120. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 70,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

121 . The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region.

122. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with sheath anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature Rcasp1 in the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature Rcpsp1 of sheath posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane.

123. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with sheath anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature Rcasp1 in the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature Rcpsp1 of sheath posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of Rcpsp1 to Rcasp1 js at least 2:1.

124. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with sheath anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature Rcasp1 in the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature Rcpsp1 of sheath posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of Rcpsp1 to Rcasp1 is at least 3:1.

125. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with sheath anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature Rcasp1 in the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature Rcpsp1 of sheath posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of Rcpsp1 to Rcasp1 js at least 4:1.

126. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with sheath anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature Rcasp1 in the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature Rcpsp1 of sheath posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of Rcpsp1 to Rcasp1 js at least 5:1.

127. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with sheath anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature Rcasp1 in the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature Rcpsp1 of sheath posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of Rcpsp1 to Rcasp1 js at least about 20:1.

128. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with sheath anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature Rcasp1 in the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature Rcpsp1 of sheath posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of Rcpsp1 to Rcasp1 js in the range of about 4:1 to about 17.5:1.

129. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with sheath anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature Rcasp1 in the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature Rcpsp1 of sheath posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of Rcpsp1 to Rcasp1 js in the range of about 5: 1 to about 10:1.

130. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature, in the coronal plane on either side of the sagittal plane.

131. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature, in the coronal plane on either side of the sagittal plane which are

asymmetrical.

132. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature, in the coronal plane on either side of the sagittal plane which are

comparable.

133. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature, in the coronal plane on either side of the sagittal plane, which gradually curve away from the central longitudinal axis.

134. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, Rccp1 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, RCCP2 on either side of the sagittal plane.

135. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, Rccp1 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, RCCP2 on either side of the sagittal plane.

136. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, Rccp1 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, RCCP2 on either side of the sagittal plane are comparable and have a ratio of about 2:1 to about 1 :2.

137. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, Rccp1 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, RCCP2 on either side of the sagittal plane are comparable and have a ratio of about 1.75:1 to about 1 :1.75.

138. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, Rccp1 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, RCCP2 on either side of the sagittal plane are comparable and have a ratio of about 1.5:1 to about 1 :1.5.

139. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, Rccp1 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, RCCP2 on either side of the sagittal plane are comparable and have a ratio of about 1.1 :1 to about 1 :1.1.

140. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature, in the coronal plane on either side of the sagittal plane.

141. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature, in the coronal plane on either side of the sagittal plane which are

asymmetrical.

142. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature, in the coronal plane on either side of the sagittal plane which are

comparable.

143. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature, in the coronal plane on either side of the sagittal plane, which gradually curve away from the central longitudinal axis.

144. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, RCCP3 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, RCCP4on either side of the sagittal plane.

145. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, RCCP3 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, RCCP4 on either side of the sagittal plane.

146. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, RCCP3 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, RCCP 4 on either side of the sagittal plane are comparable and have a ratio of about 2:1 to about 1 :2.

147. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, RCCP3 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, RCCP4 on either side of the sagittal plane are comparable and have a ratio of about 1.75:1 to about 1 :1.75.

148. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, RCCP3 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, RCCP4 on either side of the sagittal plane are comparable and have a ratio of about 1.5:1 to about 1 :1.5.

149. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, RCCP3 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, RCCP4 on either side of the sagittal plane are comparable and have a ratio of about 1.1 :1 to about 1 :1.1.

150. The knob insert of any preceding claims, wherein the tang has a cross- sectional shape that is any of polygonal, oval, and round.

151. The knob insert of claim 150, wherein the tang has a cross-sectional shape that is a regular or irregular polygon.

152. The knob insert of claim 150, wherein the tang has a cross-sectional shape that is any of triangular, square, rectangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, octagonal, oval and round.

Description:
ERGONOMIC KNOB INSERT FOR HOLLOW STICK

[ 0001 ] Hockey sticks, those with a generally rectangular handle, grasped in the hand(s) and swung with a greater arm motion, date back hundreds of years. The hockey stick design has evolved over the past 25 years and is predominantly hollow in cross section along the length of the handle and shaft. [ 0002 ] Some forms of stick and ball games date back to 12th century in

Ireland and are the precursor to modern game of Hurling. In the 13th century, in Scotland, they started swinging an implement or stick with a contact structure to strike a ball to drive it to a target - the earliest form of golf. For the first time in human history the swing of an implement no longer ended at the point of contact, but rather, the implement had to be swung through the point of contact. To achieve this, the path of the implement must rotate roughly around the central axis the body of the person performing the swing. Specifically after swinging, through the targeted object, the implement must continue around the body and most importantly, the hands must pass over the central longitudinal axis of the implement to allow the implement to continue its rotational path around the body.

[ 0003 ] This recent swing motion allows the collective energy, generated by the swing, to be imparted with accuracy, speed and power through the targeted object, i.e., a puck or ball, and allow the momentum generated before contact to decrease in speed and force after contact - thus was born the "rotational-swing." A rotational-swing can be observed in sports like, golf, cricket, baseball, softball, hockey and others.

When performed with the greater collaboration of the shoulders, body and legs, the rotational-swing creates a whole new set of coordinated motions, steps, grips and swinging implements that continue to evolve in all sports today. The greater rotational and linear swings and related paths discussed here are not to be confused with rotational and linear "swing techniques" taught in some sports.

[ 0004 ] When an athlete grasps a sports implement with the hands, it is referred to as "the power grip" - with the handle or grip being fully or mostly wrapped with the fingers & palm and opposed by the thumb. During a rotational-swing path, immediately after the intended point of contact, the hand(s) is forced through a rapid ulnar flexion or bending of the wrist to the pinky side of the hand to navigate over the central longitudinal axis of the implement to complete the swing - for this analysis, this moment is referred to as the "transitional phase" of a rotational swing path. As with all rotational swings, compression and friction forces peak in the area of the hypothenar as the hand(s) pass over the central axis of the swinging implement. This is a current and common problem as evidence of these forces is seen in the wear and tear that occurs in the palmer area of the hand, specifically the area of the hypothenar, of gloves worn by athletes in golf, baseball, hockey and others.

[ 0005 ] Hockey players, in many instances, grip a hockey stick such that the butt-end of the stick, opposite the blade, is placed inside the palm of the hand rather than allowing the end of the stick to protrude from the base of the hand. This allows the player to bend their wrist toward their pinky thus allowing the stick to be extended generally parallel in the direction of the forearm. In this position, the player is able to reach out and fully extend his/her stick from the body to cover more area on the ice. However, because the palm of the hand, aka hypothenar eminence, is not engaging the stick, the player is losing leverage and control of the stick. [ 0006 ] With a rotational swing, centrifugal forces pull the swinging implement away from the athlete and the athlete imparts centripetal force to the implement through the hand(s) to maintain grip and a rotation arch of the swing around the body. To prevent the sporting implement from slipping from that hand(s) during the rotational swing, many sporting implements have evolved to incorporate grip-stops or "knobs" of various shapes and sizes - baseball bats have rounded knobs, perpendicularly oriented to the central longiturdinal axis of the stick, at the end of the handle; golf club handle grips gently flare out at the end, hockey sticks commonly have various player adapted knobs made of tape, wrapped on the end of the hockey stick. Knobs incorporated in all sports swinging implements typically have the entirety of the knob being perpendicular in orientation to the center axis of the sports swinging implement. A perpendicularly- oriented knob, creates, in effect, a speed bump for the base gripping hand to overcome at the transitional phase of the swing.

[ 0007 ] To-date, some have endeavored to improve grip on hockey sticks and other sports sticks by creating handles and grips that deviate from alignment with the longitudinal central axis of the sports stick being swung. This approach, however, is counter-intuitive to the human experience of having the hands grip a swinging implement along a common central longitudinal axis of a stick. The key to accuracy and power in a rotational swing using a "power grip" is proper hand alignment with the central longitudinal axis of the swinging implement.

[0008] When athletes initially grasp a hockey stick with their hand at the end of a hockey stick, they use a modified power grip wherein the blunt end of the hockey stick is placed into the palmer area of the hand rather than allowing the end of the stick protrude from the gripping hand. This allows the hand to have a slightly angled orientation to the central axis of the stick. But, during the course of play in using the hockey stick to handle and pass the puck, the hand repeatedly crosses, back and forth, over the central longitudinal axis of the hockey stick. The hand undergoes rapid ulnar flexion resulting in the conventional hockey stick handle forcefully compressing into the hypothenar area of the hand as evidenced by the ubiquitous wear and tear in the palm of all base hand gripping hockey gloves over time. Three problems result from that compression:

1. A "speed-bump" effect wherein the hand is un-naturally forced over the central axis of the stick thus negatively impacting and slowing down the natural stick handling, thus reducing accuracy, power and hand speed.

2. Focused compression to the hypothenar of the base gripping hand, under which the ulnar nerve travels, thus destabilizing the grip.

[0009] 3. Excessive wear and tear in the hands and gloves resulting in contusions, wrist strain and nerve damage all of which occur in the areas in and surrounding the hypothenar and premature wearing out of the players gloves.

[0010] Of particular note, hockey players typically wear out their gloves in the palm (specifically the area of the hypothenar) area of their glove. This wear is the result of constant and considerable friction, compression and torque being applied through the glove by the hand to the stick and the knob of tape as the hand passes back and forth across the central axis of the stick. Gloves are an expensive piece of a hockey player's equipment and the ability to preserve the life of the players gloves over the course of the season is important.

[0011] In evolutionary terms, the swinging implements used in sports, which require a rotational-swing, are roughly 700 years old - they're still in their formative years compared to their linear-swing-path cousins, for example swords, axes and hammers. As for the hockey stick, it's modern roots date back only to the late 1800s when hockey was first played in Canada - as such it is in its infancy in terms of it's evolution.

[0012 ] Hockey sticks are composed of a straight, mostly rectangular in cross- section, shaft having a longitudinal central axis from the non-blade end of the stick to the point of attachment where the blade is affixed. A complete hockey stick features a wide flattened blade affixed at its end, which is used to control (handle, pass, maneuver and contact) the puck. Hockey sticks are constructed of various materials - wood, aluminum, plastic, fiber glass, composites, synthetic resins and most recently with carbon fiber materials resulting in very light and strong sticks with a hollow shaft. [0013] To improve overall grip on the stick, players apply various kinds and methods of tapes and taping along the length of the handle end of the stick and stick manufacturers produce hockey sticks having shafts with varying levels of adhesive characteristics to help improve grip. More recently, sticks have been manufactured with a "tacky" surface covering to enhance grip. A common practice among players taping their stick handle, is to create a "knob" on the end of the stick using multiple layers of tape. The knob is typically aligned perpendicular to the central longitudinal axis of the handle. This practice has been in use for decades and varies with the personal preference of each player. This "knob of tape" aids players in keeping the stick in their hand during play and makes the stick easy to pick up off the ice if dropped. The present embodiment described herein does not prevent players from taping the gripping portion of the stick per their preference.

[0014 ] The evolution of the hockey stick has resulted in the predominance of composite sticks made with resins and weaved fibers like fiberglass and carbon used in play. This type of structure has become the preferred standard stick design at virtually all levels of hockey. Now, with a hollow opening at the end of the stick, which is typically covered with a plastic or rubber plug, the hockey stick is capable of accepting an extension to lengthen the stick for greater leverage or, as per the knob insert described herein, an ergonomic knob insert to improve grip, control, precision, performance and power-transfer from the hands to the stick. [0015] In some instances a rubber sleeve, which replicates the taping of the stick handle, is slipped over the end of the hockey stick rather than taping the stick. This provides similar benefits to taping the handle but does not provide any additional benefit or support and may well create unwanted compression, resistance and added excess weight in handling the stick.

[0016] The predominantly rectangular shape of the hockey stick is not conducive to engaging the subtle shapes of the carpal arches of the gripping hand or the changes that occur in the relationship between the hand and the stick during the course of play where a rotational swing motion is constantly evident. Solutions that attempt to address the gripping of a hockey stick which have been employed, include complete handles or grips for the whole hand to grasp, which in essence provide a wholly separate structure from the stick with which to grasp the end of stick.

Additionally, these full grips dramatically increase the weight of the hockey stick. There are limited options for players to improve grip of their hockey stick - wrapping with tape, creating ridges of tape down the length of the handle or wrapped rotationally around the handle and full add-on handles. However, no current solution provides an ergonomic knob, created to work with the range of motion of the human hand, which acts as a smooth extension of the stick. A solution, which provides structures that support and engage the hand (hypothenar and the pinky finger, ring finger and portion of the middle finger of the hand) and that adapts to the changes that occur between the hand and the stick during play as outlined earlier. Additionally, there is no knob insert for a hockey stick that specifically supports the hypothenar gripping structures of the hand allowing for greater leverage and control of the hockey stick. Therefore there is an unmet need for an effective, simple, light-weight, longitudinally aligned knob to enable hockey players to have a more natural and ergonomically correct grip and thus achieve a higher level of performance with their hockey stick through the use of the knob insert described herein. [0017 ] In one aspect, the present disclosure provides a knob insert for attachment to a hockey stick having a hollow longitudinal shaft. The knob insert comprises two discrete components comprising a shaft and a sheath that combine to form the knob portion (for grasping the knob insert) and a tang (for insertion into the hollow shaft of a hockey stick). The shaft provides the underlying structure for the sheath, which is grasped by the hypothenar, palmer arches, pinky finger, ring finger and portion of the middle finger of the hand.

[0018] In another aspect, the present disclosure discloses a knob insert for attachment to the end of a hollow shaft of a hockey stick, having an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, sized and disposed on opposite sides of the shaft and sheath, which support and engage the hypothenar and the pinky finger, ring finger and portion of the middle finger of the hand.

[0019] In another aspect, the present disclosure discloses a knob insert for attachment to the end of a hollow shaft of a hockey stick, which comprises a cavity sized to fit a sensor.

[0020] Among the various aspects of the knob insert for full insertion in the hollow end of a hockey stick, that comprises at least one of the following attributes:

(i) provides a structure and/or surfaces that cradle and support the greater area of the hypothenar of the hand;

(ii) distributes compressive forces on the hand across the greater area of the angled cantle-like waist to a broader area of the hand rather than focused force on the hypothenar and underlying hamate bone and ulnar nerve;

(iii) provides improved contoured gripping structures for the pinky and ring fingers resulting in improved overall grip stability throughout a rotational swing;

(iv) provides increased effective surface area contact between the knob insert and the hand across the various palmar arches of the hand resulting in greater control and precision, and providing improved transfer of power from the hands to the stick; (v) provides an angled, cantle-like waist to properly align with natural limited range of motion of the hand during ulnar flexion. Advantageously, therefore, the knob presented herein provides support, grip and performance;

(vi) provides a tang sized for close insertion into the hollow end of a hockey stick, having a length along its longitude such that is provides a secure connection between the knob insert and the hockey stick;

(vii) provides a tang, with a longitudinal length roughly half the length of the overall knob insert. When fully inserted into the hollow end of a hockey stick, while keeping the plurality of the knob insert within the grip of the hand, the knob insert will generally not impacting the flex of the stick as an insert having a greater longitudinal length would; (viii) provides a sheath portion that is grasped by the pinky finger, ring finger and portion of the middle finger. When fully inserted into the hockey stick, the knob insert allows the pinky finger, ring finger and portion of the middle finger of the hand to grasp, in concert, both the sheath portion of the knob insert and the end portion of the hockey stick thus maintaining the players "feel" for the stick;

(ix) provides a sheath portion having an external surface featuring a similar coefficient of friction as the external surface of the hockey stick to which the knob insert is affixed;

(x) provides a tang structure, injection molded of thermoplastic polymeric and a fiber reinforcing material, for maximum material strength to prevent breakage along the length of the knob insert and in particular at the step;

(xi) provides a tang structure with chamfered longitudinal corners allowing for insertion into various brands of hockey sticks, whose internal corner radii dimensions vary; (xii) provides a complete knob insert which generally fits, longitudinally within the length of the athletes hand from base of the palm to middle fingertip thus allowing for a proportionally balanced knob insert, which when fully inserted into a hollow hockey stick, provides support to the base gripping structures of the hand

(hypothenar, pinky finger, ring finger and a portion of the middle finger) while at the same time providing the forward gripping structures of the hand (portion of the middle finger, first finger and thumb) to directly grasp the handle portion of the hockey stick shaft from the step of the knob insert, butted up to the hollow end of the hockey stick, forward in the direction of the blade;

(xiii) provides a knob insert wherein the ratio of the longitudinal length of the tang to the longitudinal length of the knob 1 .17 is generally 1 : 1. Another way of stating this is the length of the tang 1 .3, along the central longitudinal length of the knob insert 1 , is roughly 1/2 the total longitudinal length of the knob insert 1 . Yet another way of stating this is the sheath is generally half the longitudinal length of the knob insert. [ 0021 ] In another aspect of the present disclosure, the knob insert features a shaft, which comprises a tang and a knob, which is coupled to the sheath. In various embodiments, therefore, the knob insert may be formed by a process comprising any of the following steps:

(i) Injection molding is the preferred method of creating the knob insert described herein. The knob insert is comprised of two structures - a shaft and a sheath. The two structures, the shaft and sheath are sequentially manufactured such that the shaft is molded first to provide the main structure of the knob insert and the sheath is coupled, covering the non-tang of the shaft thus providing the knob, which is grasped by the athlete.

(ii) The shaft is manufactured using a combination of materials rendering a durable, strong and light-weight shaft structure. The sheath is coupled to the non- tang portion of the shaft using a combination of materials rendering a structure having a durometer and a coefficient of friction properties.

(iii) The coupling of the sheath and the shaft creates the knob. Using a

thermoplastic elastomer having a durometer and coefficient of friction which enables the athlete to grasp the knob insert such that the durometer and friction of the grip are generally consistent with the durometer and friction of the hockey stick to which the knob insert described herein is fully inserted.

(iv) The shaft, after manufacturing, must withstand break forces greater than a range of 15 to 25 pounds, when fully inserted into a hollow hockey stick and having the knob insert clamped just below the step, and lateral force applied to the stick at 28" up the length of the hockey stick from the step. By further example, the shaft, after manufacturing, must withstand break forces greater than a range of 25 to 35 pounds when fully inserted into a hollow hockey stick and having the knob insert clamped just below the step, and lateral force applied to the stick at 28" up the length of the hockey stick from the step.. By further example, the shaft, after manufacturing, must withstand break forces greater than a range of 35 to 45 pounds when fully inserted into a hollow hockey stick and having the knob insert clamped just below the step, and lateral force applied to the stick at 28" up the length of the hockey stick from the step. By further example, the shaft, after manufacturing, must withstand break forces greater than a range of 45 to 65 pounds when fully inserted into a hollow hockey stick and having the knob insert clamped just below the step, and lateral force applied to the stick at 28" up the length of the hockey stick from the step. Generally, the shaft, after manufacturing, must withstand break forces in a range of 20 to 40 pounds when fully inserted into a hollow hockey stick and having the knob insert clamped just below the step, and lateral force applied to the stick at 28" up the length of the hockey stick from the step.

(v) The sheath, after coupling with the non-tang of the knob insert must have a durometer of 60 - 70 (Shore A, 5 sec, Injection Molded). By further example, the sheath, after coupling with the non-tang of the knob insert, must have a durometer of 70 - 80 (Shore A, 5 sec, Injection Molded). By further example, the sheath, after coupling with the non-tang of the knob insert, must have a durometer of 80 - 90 (Shore A, 5 sec, Injection Molded). Generally, the sheath, after coupling with the non-tang of the knob insert, must have a durometer of 60 - 80 (Shore A, 5 sec, Injection Molded).

(vi) The sheath, after coupling with the non-tang end of the knob insert must have a coefficient of friction of about 50% to 70% of that of the outer surface of a hockey stick. By further example, the sheath, after coupling with the non-tang end of the knob insert, must have a coefficient of friction of about 70% to 90% of that of the outer surface of a hockey stick. By further example the sheath, after coupling with the non-tang end of the knob insert, must have a coefficient of friction of about 90% to 120% of that of the outer surface of a hockey stick.

Generally, the sheath, after coupling with the non-tang end of the knob insert, must have a coefficient of friction of about 70% to 1 10% of that of the outer surface of a hockey stick.

[ 0022 ] Another aspect of the present disclosure is a tang sized for full insertion into the hollow end of the hockey stick having a generally rectangular cross section and grooves, which run longitudinally having a depth and number from 1 to 8, on the sides of the tang.

[ 0023 ] Another aspect of the present disclosure is a tang sized for full insertion into the hollow end of the hockey stick having a generally rectangular cross section wherein all four longitudinal corners are chamfered to allow insertion into various brands of hollow hockey sticks having different internal corner radii. [ 0024 ] Another aspect of the present disclosure is a knob insert for close insertion into the hollow end of a metallic, polymeric or composite shaft of a hockey stick. The knob insert comprises a tang adapted for full insertion into the hollow end and a sheath adapted and sized to be grasped by the pinky finger, ring finger and portion of the middle finger of the base-gripping hand.

[ 0025 ] Another aspect of the present disclosure is a knob insert for full insertion into the hollow end of a metallic, polymeric or composite shaft of a hockey stick. The knob insert comprises a tang adapted for full insertion into the hollow end and a knob sheath, rounded and shaped to be grasped by the pinky finger, ring finger and portion of the middle finger of the base-gripping hand and to wrap around the neck portion of the knob insert between the step and the stick.

[ 0026 ] Another aspect of the present disclosure is a knob insert adapted for full insertion into the hollow end of a hockey stick, the knob comprising a central longitudinal axis, an imaginary coronal plane, an imaginary sagittal plane, a tang for full insertion into the hollow end of the hockey stick, a neck adapted for being grasped by the ring finger and portion of the middle finger of the hand of an athlete, and a step between the tang and the neck adapted for abutting the end surface of the hollow end of the hockey stick when the tang is fully inserted therein and chamfered longitudinal corners of the shaft that extend past the step. [ 0027 ] Another aspect of the present disclosure is a knob insert adapted for full insertion into the hollow end of a hockey stick, the knob insert comprising a central longitudinal axis, an imaginary coronal plane, an imaginary sagittal plane, a tang for full insertion into the hollow end of the hockey stick, a neck adapted for the ring finger and portion of the middle finger of the hand of an athlete, and a step between the tang and the neck adapted for abutting the end surface of the hollow end of the hockey stick when the tang is fully inserted therein and chamfered longitudinal corners that extend past the step into the neck, and the neck having a circumference which gradually transitions from a generally rectangular, cross sectional shape to a reduced

circumference, generally oval shape which transitions to a larger diameter

circumference of the waist and flange.

[ 0028 ] Another aspect of the present disclosure is a knob insert adapted for insertion into the hollow end of a hockey stick, the knob insert comprising a central longitudinal axis, a tang for close insertion into the hollow end of the hockey stick and a sheath adapted for being grasped by the pinky, ring and partially by the middle finger of the hand of an athlete. The sheath comprises a posterior cantle region which engages the hypothenar of the gripping hand providing both support and leverage and an anterior cantle region which collaborate to provide the pinky finger, ring finger and portion of the middle finger of the hand with greater grip and leverage which in effect increase the amount of leveraged force the hand can apply to the stick thus resulting in great power applied through the stick and into the puck.

[ 0029 ] Another aspect of the present disclosure is a knob insert for insertion into the hollow end of a hockey stick, the knob insert comprising a shaft and a sheath, the shaft and sheath being discrete components having different properties, the knob insert further comprising a tang having a tang end, sized for insertion into the hollow end of the hockey stick, a knob adapted to be grasped by the hand of a user when the tang is inserted into the hollow end of the hockey stick having a knob end, a step between the tang and knob adapted for abutting the end surface of the hollow end of the hockey stick when the tang is inserted therein, and a central longitudinal axis extending from the tang end to the knob end; an anterior cantle region and a

corresponding posterior cantle region, the anterior and posterior cantle regions being between the step and the knob end and on opposing sides of an imaginary coronal plane containing the central longitudinal axis and divided by an imaginary sagittal plane that contains the central longitudinal axis and is orthogonal to the imaginary coronal plane; the anterior and posterior cantle regions each providing a curved support surface for the hand of the athlete when the athlete is grasping the hockey stick, the anterior cantle region and the posterior cantle region each having a radius of curvature in the sagittal plane, the radius of curvature of the posterior cantle region being greater than the radius of curvature of the anterior cantle region.

[ 0030 ] Another aspect of the present disclosure is a knob insert adapted for insertion into the hollow end of a hockey stick, the knob insert comprising a shaft and a sheath, the shaft and sheath being discrete components having different properties, the knob insert comprising a central longitudinal axis, a tang for insertion into the hollow end of the hockey stick, a knob adapted for being grasped by the third, fourth and fifth digits of the hand of an athlete, and a step between the tang and the grip adapted for abutting the end surface of the hollow end of the hockey stick when the tang is inserted therein, the knob comprising a knob end distal to the tang, an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, the anterior and posterior cantle regions being between the tang and the grip end and on opposing sides of an imaginary coronal plane containing the central longitudinal axis and bisected by an imaginary sagittal plane that contains the central longitudinal axis and is orthogonal to the imaginary coronal plane, the anterior and posterior cantle regions each providing a curved support surface for the hand of the athlete when the athlete is gripping the end of the hockey stick, wherein the anterior cantle region and posterior cantle region are asymmetric relative to each other about the coronal plane and the sagittal plane bisects each of the posterior and the anterior cantle regions into symmetrical halves, respectively.

[0031 ] Another aspect of the present disclosure is a knob insert for insertion into the hollow shaft of a hockey stick, the knob insert comprising a tang for insertion into the hollow shaft of the hockey stick, a knob adapted to be grasped by the hand of an athlete when the tang is inserted into the hollow shaft of the hockey stick, and a step between the tang and the knob adapted to abut an end surface of the hollow shaft of the hockey stick when the tang is inserted therein. The tang, step and knob are aligned along a central longitudinal axis extending from a tang end to a knob end of the knob insert. The knob comprises an anterior cantle region and a corresponding posterior cantle region, the anterior and posterior cantle regions being between the step and the knob end and on opposing sides of an imaginary coronal plane containing the central longitudinal axis and divided by an imaginary sagittal plane that contains the central longitudinal axis and is orthogonal to the imaginary coronal plane. The anterior and posterior cantle regions each providing a curved support surface for the hand of the athlete when the athlete is gripping the hockey stick, the anterior cantle region and the posterior cantle region each having a radius of curvature in the sagittal plane, the radius of curvature of the anterior cantle region being less than the radius of curvature of the posterior cantle region. The tang and the knob comprise a shaft that extends from a position proximate the tang end to a position proximate the knob end of the knob insert. The knob further comprises a sheath that is coupled to and surrounds the shaft, and the shaft and the sheath are discrete components having different properties.

[0032 ] Another aspect of the present disclosure is a knob insert adapted for insertion into the hollow shaft of a hockey stick, the knob insert comprising a central longitudinal axis, a tang for insertion into the hollow shaft of the hockey stick, a knob adapted to be grasped by the hand of an athlete when the tang is inserted into the hollow shaft of the hockey stick, a step between the tang and the knob, a tang end, and a knob, the tang and knob ends being opposing ends of the knob insert and aligned along the central longitudinal axis, the knob comprising a flange proximate the knob end, an anterior cantle region, and a posterior cantle region, wherein

(i) the anterior and posterior cantle regions are between the step and the flange,

(ii) the anterior and posterior cantle regions, in combination, provide a curved support surface for the hand of the athlete, (iii) each of the anterior and posterior cantle regions are bisected into symmetrical halves by an imaginary sagittal plane that contains the central longitudinal axis, and

(iv) the anterior and posterior cantle regions are on opposing sides of and asymmetric relative to each other about an imaginary coronal plane that contains the central longitudinal axis and is orthogonal to the sagittal plane.

[ 0033 ] Other objects and features will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[ 0034 ] FIG. 1 is a profile view of one embodiment of a knob insert of the present disclosure for insertion into the hollow end of a hockey stick;

[ 0035 ] FIG. 2 is a ¾ view of the knob insert of FIG. 1 , with a fragmentary of a hockey stick.

[ 0036 ] FIG. 3 is a profile view of the knob insert of FIG. 1 , inserted into a fragmentary of a hollow hockey stick (shown in phantom) with a grasping hand (shown in phantom).

[ 0037 ] FIG. 4 is a detail view of the knob portion of the knob insert of FIG. 1 .

[ 0038 ] FIG. 5 is a detail view of the knob portion of the knob insert of FIG. FIG. 4, illustrating various horizontal cross sections.

[ 0039 ] FIG. 6 is a anterior view of the knob insert of FIG. 1. [ 0040 ] FIG. 6A is an anterior view of the shaft of the knob insert of FIG.1 [ 0041 ] FIG. 7 is a posterior view of the knob insert of FIG. 1 , illustrating the hypothenar support surface.

[ 0042 ] FIG. 7 A is a cross-section, profile view of the left half of the knob insert of FIG. 7. [ 0043 ] FIG. 7B is a cross-section, profile view of the right half of the knob insert of FIG. 7.

[ 0044 ] FIG. 8 is a top view of the knob insert of FIG.1 .

[ 0045 ] FIG. 9 is profile view of one embodiment of the shaft of the knob insert of FIG. 1 , having a series of longitudinally oriented notches with the sheath portion of the knob insert shown in phantom.

[ 0046 ] FIG. 9a bottom view of the shaft of the knob insert of FIG. 1 , having a series of longitudinally oriented notches with the sheath portion of the knob insert shown in phantom.

[ 0047 ] FIG. 9B is profile view of the shaft of the knob insert of FIG. 1 with the sheath portion shown, illustrating an anterior radius of curvature (R CASP2 ) and a posterior radius of curvature (R CPSP2 ).

[ 0048 ] FIG. 10 is profile view of an alternative embodiment of the shaft of FIG. 9, with the sheath shown in phantom.

[ 0049 ] FIG. 10A is a bottom view of the shaft of FIG. 10. [ 0050 ] FIG. 1 1A is a fragmentary profile view of an alternative embodiment of the shaft of FIG. 9, having a series of angled channels mirrored on each side of the imaginary the sagittal plane with the sheath shown in phantom.

[ 0051 ] FIG. 1 1 B is a fragmentary posterior view of the shaft of FIG. 1 1 A.

[ 0052 ] FIG. 12A is a fragmentary profile view of an alternative embodiment of the shaft of FIG. 9, the shaft having four shaped pillars, mirrored on each side of the imaginary the sagittal with the sheath shown in phantom.

[ 0053 ] FIG. 12B is a fragmentary posterior view of the shaft of FIG. 12A.

[ 0054 ] FIG. 13 is a profile view of an alternative embodiment of the knob insert of FIG. 1 having extended chamfered corners of the tang and the sheath shown in phantom, illustrating an anterior radius of curvature (R CASP2 ) and a posterior radius of curvature (R CPSP2 ).

[0055] FIG. 14 is a profile view of a combination of a hockey stick with the knob insert of FIG. 1 , fully inserted in the hollow shaft of the hockey stick, being grasped by a hand.

[0056] FIG. 15 is a fragmentary profile view of the handle end of a

conventional hockey stick, shown in phantom, with a gripping hand, also shown in phantom, and a fulcrum point.

[0057] FIG. 16 is a profile view of knob insert of FIG. 1 , shown in phantom, fully inserted into the hollow shaft of a hockey stick, shown in phantom, a gripping hand, also shown in phantom, and a fulcrum point;

[0058] FIG. 17 is a profile view of the knob insert of FIG. 1 superimposed onto an open hand, shown in phantom, demonstrating general proportional scale of an embodiment of the knob insert in relation to the hand of the athlete. [0059] FIG. 18A is a profile view of an alternate embodiment of the knob insert of FIG. 1 , demonstrating a cavity, sized to accommodate a sensor.

[0060] FIG 18B is a bottom view of the knob insert of FIG. 18A.

[0061] FIG 18C is a bottom view of the knob insert of FIG.18A, illustrating an alternative embodiment of a cavity sized to accommodate a sensor. [0062] FIG. 19 is a profile view of an embodiment of the knob insert of FIG. 1 with hypothenar and pinky support surfaces.

[0063] FIG. 19A is a cross-section, profile view of the front or anterior half of the knob insert of FIG. 19.

[0064 ] FIG. 19B is a cross-section, profile view of the back or posterior half of the knob insert of FIG. 19.

[0065] Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the drawings. ABBREVIATIONS AND DEFINITIONS

[0066] The following definitions and methods are provided to better define the present disclosure and to guide those of ordinary skill in the art in the practice of the present disclosure. Unless otherwise noted, terms are to be understood according to conventional usage by those of ordinary skill in the relevant art.

[0067 ] The term "anterior" as used herein in connection with the cantle refers to the support structure that is adapted to engage the "pinky" finger.

[0068] The term "axially symmetric" as used herein refers to symmetry about an axis in a direction that is perpendicular to the axis. [0069] The term "break strength" as used herein is the amount of force a knob insert of the present disclosure is capable of withstanding without fracturing or bending in a "break force" test.

[0070] The term "break force" test as used herein is a test in which the knob insert is fully inserted into the hollow shaft of a hockey stick (i.e., upon insertion, the knob insert step abuts the end of the hollow shaft of the hockey stick), the combination is securely clamped immediately adjacent the knob insert step and a lateral force is applied to the shaft of the hockey at a location 28 inches from the clamp and in a direction substantially perpendicular to the sagittal plane of the knob insert.

[0071 ] The term "cantle" as used herein in connection with a surface refers to a surface that is curved upwardly similar to the raised, curved part at the back of a horse saddle. In the context of the present disclosure, the cantle is a concave surface (i.e., a surface that curves inwardly in the sagittal plane) adapted to support the hypothenar of the gripping hand. Like a cantle of a saddle, which cradles the gluteus maximus or bottom of a rider, the cantle-like structures of the knob described herein cradles the hypothenar eminence and pinky finger of the hand in a similar way giving support, stability and increased surface area contact to the hand throughout a swing.

[0072] The term "coronal plane" as used herein refers to a plane containing the central longitudinal axis dividing a knob of the present disclosure (or an element thereof) into posterior or back and anterior or front (anterior and posterior, respectively) sections. The coronal plane is orthogonal to the sagittal plane, and the two planes intersect along a linear segment of the central longitudinal axis. [ 0073 ] The terms "couple," "coupled," "coupling," and the like should be broadly understood and refer to chemically or mechanically connecting two or more elements.

[ 0074 ] The term "flexural strength" as used herein is defined as the stress in a material just before it yields in a flexure test in which a specimen having a circular or rectangular cross-section is bent until fracture or yielding using a three point flexural test technique. The flexural strength represents the highest stress experienced within the material at its moment of rupture in a flexural test such as ASTM D 790-10.

[ 0075 ] The term "posterior" as used herein in connection with the cantle refers to the support structure that is adapted to engage the hypothenar (i.e., heal of the hand) and is also referred to as the back.

[ 0076 ] The term "anterior" as used herein in connection with the cantle refers to the support structure that is adapted to engage the pinky (i.e. , the fifth finger of the hand) and is also referred to as the front. [ 0077 ] The term "sagittal plane" as used herein refers to a vertical,

longitudinal plane containing the central longitudinal axis which passes from anterior, or front, to posterior, or back, along the central longitudinal axis, dividing a knob of the present disclosure (or an element thereof) into right and left halves. The sagittal plane is orthogonal to the coronal plane, and the two planes intersect along a linear segment of the central longitudinal axis.

[ 0078 ] The term "supplementary angles" as used herein refers to two angles having a sum of 180 degrees.

[ 0079 ] When introducing elements of the present disclosure or the

embodiments(s) thereof, the articles "a", "an", "the" and "said" are intended to mean that there are one or more of the elements. The terms "comprising", "including" and

"having" are intended to be inclusive and not exclusive (i.e. , there may be other elements in addition to the recited elements). The use of "or" means "and/or" unless specifically stated otherwise, and the use of the singular includes the plural and plural encompasses singular, unless specifically stated otherwise. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0080] In brief overview, the present disclosure features an ergonomic knob insert for use with a hollow hockey stick used to play hockey. More specifically, the knob insert is adapted to be fully inserted into the hollow end of a hockey stick to provide support surfaces for the hand, specifically the hypothenar eminence and corresponding support surface for the pinky finger and ring finger of the gripping hand. Advantageously the insert facilitates a range of motion and grip of the hand to provide increased support, increased surface area contact, increased grip stability, increased handling precision, increased stick control, increased power transfer from hands through the stick to the targeted puck and/or a reduction of compression factors that inhibit stick-handling. Additionally, the structure of the knob insert distributes

compressive forces across a greater area of the hypothenar of the gripping hand providing increased surface area contact resulting in increased grip control,

performance and a reduction of focused compression force that cause premature wear and tear on hockey gloves and injuries to the hand. The knob insert is configured such that when fully inserted into the hollow end of a hockey stick, hockey players maintain their ability to concurrently grasp both the knob and the handle-end of the shaft of the hockey stick. Additionally, the knob insert described herein, when fully inserted into the hollow end of a hockey stick, may be optionally covered entirely or partially with tape (e.g., a conventional hockey stick tape or other friction tape) by a player to

accommodate their personal preferences. Additionally, the knob insert described herein features a hollow cavity to house a sensor to track or monitor motion, speed angle and maneuvering of the hockey stick into which the knob insert is fully inserted.

[0081 ] In general, the knob insert comprises a knob that is adapted for being grasped by the hand of a hockey player and a tang extending from the knob that is adapted for insertion into the hollow end of a hockey stick. In a preferred embodiment, the tang outer surface engages the inner surface of the hollow shaft of the hockey stick and the sheath abuts the hollow end of the hockey stick when the knob insert is fully inserted into the hollow end of the hockey stick (see, e.g., FIG. 14). The knob insert may comprise any of a variety and combination of materials that provide the desired mechanical strength and tactile properties for the knob insert.

[0082] In a preferred embodiment, the knob insert comprises a shaft and a sheath that, in combination, are comprised by the knob and tang elements of the knob insert. More specifically, in this embodiment the knob comprises the sheath and the shaft (with the sheath being coupled to and surrounding the shaft) and the tang comprises the shaft. Advantageously, the two components are discrete components of the knob insert and, in a preferred embodiment, have different properties. For example, in one embodiment the shaft and the sheath have different physical and/or mechanical properties, and/or they may be formed from chemically distinct materials. By way of further example, in one such embodiment the shaft contributes desired mechanical properties (e.g., strength, ductility, hardness, impact resistance, and/or fracture toughness) to the tang and knob components while the sheath provides the desired physical properties (e.g., compressibility, hardness, elasticity, coefficient of friction, and/or texture) to the knob component.

[ 0083 ] In general, the shaft has sufficient mechanical properties to withstand the forces routinely encountered in the sport of hockey. For example, the shaft preferably has a flexural strength that enable the shaft to resist bending and fracturing experienced during the rigors of hockey (when the knob insert is inserted into the hollow shaft of a hockey stick and the combination is used in the sport of hockey). For example, in one embodiment the shaft of the knob insert has a flexural strength of at least about 10,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790. By way of further example, in one such embodiment the shaft of the knob insert has a flexural strength of at least 15,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790. By way of further example, in one such embodiment the shaft of the knob insert has a flexural strength of at least 20,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790. By way of further example, in one such embodiment the shaft of the knob insert has a flexural strength of at least 25,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790. By way of further example, in one such embodiment the shaft of the knob insert has a flexural strength of at least 30,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790. By way of further example, in one such embodiment the shaft of the knob insert has a flexural strength of at least 35,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790. By way of further example, in one such embodiment the shaft of the knob insert has a flexural strength of at least 40,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790.

[ 0084 ] In one embodiment, the mechanical properties of the shaft of the knob insert may be determined in a "break force" test which simulates forces that may be experienced during hockey play. In this test, the knob insert is fully inserted into the hollow shaft of a hockey stick and clamped in a vice on the knob side of the step, and a lateral force is applied to the hockey stick, 23.5 inches longitudinally up the stick toward the blade end of the stick from the step of the knob insert. In one embodiment, the shaft has sufficient mechanical strength to provide the knob insert with a break strength of at least 15 pounds. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft has sufficient mechanical strength to provide the knob insert with a break strength of at least 17.5 pounds. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft has sufficient mechanical strength to provide the knob insert with a break strength of at least 20 pounds. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft has sufficient mechanical strength to provide the knob insert with a break strength of at least 22.5 pounds. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft has sufficient mechanical strength to provide the knob insert with a break strength of at least 25 pounds. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft has sufficient mechanical strength to provide the knob insert with a break strength of at least 30 pounds. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft has sufficient mechanical strength to provide the knob insert with a break strength of at least 35 pounds. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft has sufficient mechanical strength to provide the knob insert with a break strength of at least 40 pounds. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft has sufficient mechanical strength to provide the knob insert with a break strength of at least 45 pounds. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft has sufficient mechanical strength to provide the knob insert with a break strength of at least 50 pounds. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft has sufficient mechanical strength to provide the knob insert with a break strength of at least 55 pounds. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft has sufficient mechanical strength to provide the knob insert with a break strength of at least 60 pounds. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft has sufficient mechanical strength to provide the knob insert with a break strength of at least 65 pounds. [ 0085 ] In one embodiment, the mechanical properties of the material(s), which make up the shaft of the knob insert, may be determined by "Tensile Strength at yield, 73°F", which simulates forces that may be experienced during hockey play. In one embodiment, the shaft material has a Tensile Strength of at least 18,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft material has a Tensile Strength of at least 19,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft material has sufficient Tensile Strength of at least 21 ,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft material has a Tensile Strength of at least 23,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft material has a Tensile Strength of at least 26,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft material has a Tensile Strength of at least 29,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft material has a Tensile Strength of at least 31 ,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft material has a Tensile Strength of at least 33,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft material has a Tensile Strength of at least 37,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft material has a Tensile Strength of at least 41 ,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft material has a Tensile Strength of at least 45,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft material has a Tensile Strength of at least 50,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638. By way of further example, in one such embodiment, the shaft material has a Tensile Strength of at least 70,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

[ 0086 ] In some embodiments the shaft comprises a metal, a metal alloy, a polymer, wood, a composite, a laminate of two or more materials, or a combination thereof. Exemplary metals and metal alloys include aluminum, aluminum alloys, nickel, nickel alloys such as nickel iron, and cobalt alloys such as cobalt phosphorous.

Exemplary polymers include epoxy resins, polyamines, polyamides, polycarbonates, polyesters, polyethers, polyimides, polyurethanes, polyvinyl chlorides, nylons, thermoplastic vulcanizates, laser-fused plastic powders, or a copolymer or blend thereof. In some embodiments the shaft comprises a composite such as a fiber- reinforced polymer wherein the polymer is one of the aforementioned polymers or a copolymer or blend thereof. In some embodiments, the shaft comprises a composite of one or more of the aforementioned polymers, copolymers or blends and a reinforcing fiber such as aluminum fibers, an aramid or other polymeric fibers, carbon fibers, ceramic fibers, carbon nanotubes, glass fibers or a combination thereof. In some embodiments the shaft is a laminate of wood or a polymeric material and a fiber- reinforced composite. Additionally, the shaft may be solid, or wholly or partly hollow. [ 0087 ] In general, the sheath may independently comprise any of the materials identified for the knob shaft. In certain embodiments, however, the sheath preferably comprises a polymer or a polymer composite. Exemplary polymers include epoxy resins, polyamines, polyamides, polycarbonates, polyesters, polyethers, polyimides, polyurethanes, polyvinyl chlorides, nylons, thermoplastic vulcanizates, laser-fused plastic powders, or a copolymer or blend thereof. In some embodiments the sheath comprises a composite such as a fiber-reinforced polymer wherein the polymer is one of the aforementioned polymers or a co-polymer or blend thereof. In some embodiments, the sheath comprises a composite of one or more of the aforementioned polymers, copolymers or blends and a reinforcing fiber such as aluminum fibers, an aramid or other polymeric fibers, carbon fibers, ceramic fibers, carbon nanotubes, glass fibers or a combination thereof. In one embodiment, the sheath comprises a rubber-like elastomer.

[ 0088 ] The sheath preferably has a hardness appropriate for a hockey stick. For example, in one embodiment the sheath has a Shore hardness of in the range of 60 - 70 Shore A (5 sec, Injection Molded). By way of further example, in one embodiment the sheath has a Shore hardness of in the range of 70 - 80 Shore A (5 sec, Injection Molded). By way of further example, in one embodiment the sheath has a Shore hardness of in the range of 80 - 90 Shore A (5 sec, Injection Molded).

[ 0089 ] The sheath will typically also possess other mechanical properties that provide the knob with a texture and "stickiness" that is tailored for being grasped by the glove of a hockey athlete. In one embodiment, when the knob insert is fully inserted into the hollow shaft of a hockey stick, the sheath has a coefficient of friction of about 50% to 70% of that of the outer surface of the shaft of the hockey stick. By way of further example, in one embodiment when the knob insert is fully inserted into the hollow shaft of a hockey stick, the sheath has a coefficient of friction of about 70% to 90% of that of the outer surface of the shaft of the hockey stick. By way of further example, in one embodiment when the knob insert is fully inserted into the hollow shaft of a hockey stick, the sheath has a coefficient of friction of about 90% to 120% of that of the outer surface of a hockey stick. Generally, when the knob insert is fully inserted into the hollow shaft of a hockey stick, the sheath has a coefficient of friction of about 70% to 1 10% of that of the outer surface of a hockey stick.

[0090] Independent of the materials of construction for each of the shaft and the sheath, the two discrete components are preferably chemically and/or mechanically coupled in a manner that provides the knob insert with sufficient strength to withstand the rigors of hockey. For example, in one embodiment the sheath is over-molded onto the shaft and the adhesion between the two provide sufficient structural integrity of the knob insert and between the two materials such that one doesn't slip or move against the other. In other embodiments, the sheath may be welded, glued, otherwise adhered or even mechanically coupled to the shaft.

[0091 ] As previously noted, the knob insert is adapted to be inserted into the hollow shaft of a hockey stick. In some embodiments, the hockey stick hollow shaft (handle) may comprise a material other than wood. For example, the hockey stick shaft may comprise a material selected from the group consisting of ceramics, metals, polymers, composites, and combinations thereof (in laminate or non-laminate form). For example, in some embodiments the hockey stick shaft may comprise a metal or an alloy thereof. Exemplary metals and metal alloys include aluminum, aluminum alloys, nickel, nickel alloys such as nickel iron, and cobalt alloys such as cobalt phosphorous. By way of further example, in some embodiments the hollow shaft comprises a polymer such as an epoxy resin, polyamine, polyamide, polycarbonate, polyester, polyether, polyimide, polyurethane, polyvinyl chloride, or a copolymer or blend thereof. By way of further example, in some embodiments the hollow shaft comprises a composite such as a fiber-reinforced polymer wherein the polymer is one of the aforementioned polymers and the reinforcing fiber comprises aluminum fibers, an aramid or other polymeric fibers, carbon fibers, ceramic fibers, carbon nanotubes, glass fibers or a combination thereof. By way of further example, in one embodiment the hollow shaft comprises a laminate comprising an outer layer of resin-impregnated wood veneer formed integrally with an inner sheath of a fiber-reinforced fabric and resin composite. By way of further example, in one embodiment the hollow shaft the two outer layers are formed over a shaft, which may be formed of foamed plastic shaft. In an alternative embodiment, the foam shaft extends through the handle area and the blade is formed of synthetic fibers overlaid and bonded to an outer wood veneer sheath by resin, which impregnates both layers.

[ 0092 ] Referring now to FIG. 1 , a knob insert in accordance with one embodiment of the present disclosure is generally indicated by the reference numeral 1 . Knob insert 1 comprises a shaft 1 .9 and a sheath 1 .2 disposed along central

longitudinal axis 1 .1 ; the portion of the shaft that is covered by sheath 1 .2 constitutes the knob structure 1.16 and the portion of the shaft that is not covered by the sheath 1 .2 constitutes tang 1.3.

[ 0093 ] Tang 1 .3 is adapted for being inserted into the hollow end of a hockey stick (see FIG. 14). In some embodiments, the outer diameter and cross-sectional shape of the tang is adapted to conform to and closely fit the inner longitudinal cross- section diameter and interior of a hollow hockey stick. For example, the tang may have a polygonal (e.g., triangular, square, rectangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, octagonal, etc.) oval, round or other regular or irregular cross-sectional shape that is adapted to conform to and closely fit the inner cross-sectional shape of the hollow stick.

Additionally, the tang will have a length (measured along central longitudinal axis 1 .1 ) to provide adequate insertion depth into the hollow shaft of a hockey stick to provide a secure and solid connection between the knob insert and the stick. For example, in one embodiment tang 1.3 has a length (measured along central axis 1 .1 from step 1 .14 to tang end 1 .10) of about 2 inches to about 3 inches. By way of further example, in one embodiment tang 1.3 has a length of about 3 inches to about 5 inches. By way of further example, in one embodiment tang 1 .3 has a length of about 5 inches to about 12 inches. Additionally, in one embodiment, upon insertion of tang 1 .3 into the hollow end of the hockey stick, central longitudinal axis 1 .1 is aligned with the central longitudinal axis of the hockey stick, 14.5 (see FIG. 14), to provide a shared common longitudinal axis, 3.1 . Additionally, the ratio of the longitudinal length of the tang to the longitudinal length of the knob 1 .17 is generally in the range of about 1 :2 to 2: 1 , respectively. For example, in one embodiment the ratio of the longitudinal length of the tang to the longitudinal length of the knob 1 .17 is generally in the range of about 1 : 1 .5 to 1.5: 1 , respectively. By way of further example, the ratio of the longitudinal length of the tang to the longitudinal length of the knob 1 .17 is generally in the range of about 1 : 1 .25 to 1.25: 1 , respectively. By way of further example, the ratio of the longitudinal length of the tang to the longitudinal length of the knob 1 .17 is generally in the range of about 1 : 1 .1 to 1 .1 : 1 , respectively. Stated differently, the length of the tang 1.3, along the central longitudinal length of the knob insert 1 , is generally about 1/3 to about 2/3 of the total longitudinal length of the knob insert 1 , about 45% to about 55%, about 47.5% to about 52.5% or even about 49% to about 51 % of the longitudinal length of the knob insert.

[ 0094 ] There are many options for securing the tang to the interior shaft of the hollow stick which include, but are not limited to screws, nails, staples, tape, glue, adhesive, heat-activated glue, epoxies and others. In one embodiment, the tang end 1.10 is beveled 1 .1 1 (e.g., chamfered), generally 30° to 60° from the longitudinal sides toward the central axis of the knob, to allow for easier initial guided insertion of the tang into the hollow end of the stick. Additionally, in one such embodiment the tang has chamfered longitudinal corners, 1 .12, generally 30° to 60° from the four longitudinal facing sides that extend generally from below the tang step 1 .14 and extend up to the bevel 1 .1 1 . Longitudinal filleted grooves 1.13 (running generally parallel to longitudinal axis 1 .1 ) extend generally from the above the step 1 .14 to the butt end of the tang, 1 .10. In one embodiment the filleted grooves are 1/32" deep to 4/32" deep. In another embodiment the filleted grooves are 4/32" deep to 8/32" deep. In other embodiments the longitudinal grooves are rounded and in others they are rectangular in cross section.

[ 0095 ] Step 1 .14 is adapted to abut the handle end of the hockey stick shaft when the tang is fully inserted into the hollow end thereof and is sized to provide a close, smooth transition from the outer surface of the stick to the outer surface of the knob structure, 1 .17. In general, therefore, step will typically have a size that matches the thickness of the wall of the hockey stick (see, e.g., FIGs. 2, 3 14 and 16).

[ 0096 ] The sheath 1.2 is adapted to provide a structure and surface that enables an athlete to firmly grasp the knob insert while supporting an athlete's gripping hand as demonstrated in Fig. 3. The knob extends from step 1 .14 to butt end 1 .7 and includes neck region 1 .4, waist 1 .5, and flange 1 .6.

[ 0097 ] In one embodiment and referring now to Figs. 7, 7A and 7B, the knob insert is divided into two parts by imaginary sagittal plane, SP. In one such

embodiment, the knob insert is bisected by imaginary sagittal plane SP into cross- sections, Fig. 7A, and cross-section Fig. 7B, respectively, and the outer surfaces of the two cross- sections are mirror images of each other about sagittal plane SP. Additionally, in a preferred embodiment, sagittal plane SP is approximately aligned with the length of the hockey stick blade when the knob insert is inserted into the hollow shaft of a hockey stick, (see Fig. 14).

[0098] In one embodiment and referring now to Fig 9B and moving along central longitudinal axis 1.1 in a direction toward flange 1.6, anterior cantle region 6.1 and posterior cantle region 7.1 gradually curve away from central longitudinal axis (i.e., the surfaces are each concave surfaces in imaginary sagittal plane SP) with the surface of anterior cantle region 6.1 having a radius of curvature R 0 ^^ that is less than the radius of curvature R cpsp1 of the surface of posterior cantle region 7.1 (see Fig. 1 ) wherein radii R casp1 and R cpsp1 are radii of curvature of the surfaces of the knob in the sagittal plane (and on opposite sides of the coronal plane). For example, in one embodiment, the ratio of R cpsp1 to R casp1 will be at least 2:1. By way of further example, in one embodiment the ratio of R cpsp1 to R casp1 will be at least 3:1. By way of further example, in one embodiment the ratio of R cpsp1 to R casp1 will be at least 4:1. By way of further example, in one embodiment the ratio of R cpsp1 to R casp1 will be at least 5:1. In general, however, the ratio of R cpsp1 to R casp1 will be less than about 20:1 and in some embodiments the ratio of R cpsp1 to R casp1 will be less than about 15:1.

[0099] In some embodiments the ratio of R cpsp1 to R casp1 will be in the range of about 3:1 to about 20:1. For example, in one embodiment the ratio of R cpsp1 to R casp will be in the range of about 4: 1 to about 17.5:1. By way of further in one embodiment the ratio of R cpsp1 to R casp1 will be in the range of about 5:1 to about 15: 1 . By way of further in one embodiment the ratio of R cpsp1 to R casp1 will be in the range of about 5:1 to about 10:1. As a result of the difference in the radii of curvature (i.e., pcpspi > pCASPi ^ v0 | ume 0 f posterior cantle region exceeds the volume of anterior cantle region.

[0100] In one embodiment and referring now to Figs. 6, 19, 19A and 19B the knob insert 1 is divided into two parts by imaginary coronal plane, CP, wherein the coronal plane contains central longitudinal axis 1.1 and is perpendicular to sagittal plane SP. In one such embodiment, the knob insert is bisected by imaginary coronal plane CP into two cross-sections (FIGs. 19A, 19B) that have outer surfaces that are asymmetric relative to each other about coronal plane CP (i.e., the outer surfaces of the two cross-sections are not mirror images of each other about coronal plane CP).

Additionally, and moving along central longitudinal axis 1.1 in a direction toward flange 1.6, the knob gradually curve away from central longitudinal axis (i.e., the surfaces are each concave surfaces in imaginary coronal plane CP) with similar radii of curvature

R CCP1 R CCP2 (see p |G 6) radi| Qf curvature R CCP1 R CCP2 Qf surfaces Q f the shaft in the coronal plane (and on opposite sides of the sagittal plane) are comparable. For example, in one embodiment the ratio of R ccp1 to R CCP2 (the ratio of the respective radii of curvature) is in the range of about 2:1 to about 1 :2. By way of further example, in one such embodiment the ratio of R ccp1 to R CCP2 (the ratio of the respective radii of curvature) is in the range of about 1.75: 1 to about 1 : 1.75. By way of further example, in one such embodiment the ratio of R ccp1 to R CCP2 (the ratio of the respective radii of curvature) is in the range of about 1.5:1 to about 1 :1.5. By way of further example, in one such embodiment the ratio of R ccp1 to R CCP2 (the ratio of the respective radii of curvature) is in the range of about 1.25: 1 to about 1 : 1.25. By way of further example, in one such embodiment the ratio of R ccp1 to R CCP2 (the ratio of the respective radii of curvature) is in the range of about 1.1 :1 to about 1 :1.1.

[0101] Referring now to FIG. 2, the knob insert is adapted for full longitudinal insertion into a hollow, generally rectangular hockey stick, as indicated 14.1 , as a greater number of hockey sticks are comprised. Step 1.14 provides a smooth transition from the rectangular cross-section shape of the stick to the neck of the knob. Neck 1.4 provides a transition from the generally smoothly curved waist (as previously described in connection with FIG. 1 ) from step 1.14, having a generally rectangular cross sectional shape, whose outer most circumference dimensions, align with the outer most cross- sectional circumference dimensions of the hollow end of the stick to which the knob insert is affixed. FIG. 2 shows the tang structure, 1.3, shaped and aligned for close insertion into the hollow, longitudinal end of a hockey stick, 14.1 having longitudinal axis 14.5. Upon insertion of tang 1.4 into the hollow end of the stick, central longitudinal axis 1.1 and stick longitudinal axis 14.5 are coincident.

[0102 ] FIG. 3 illustrates the knob insert of FIG. 1 , with a gripping hand shown in phantom and with tang 1.3, fully inserted into the hollow end of a hockey stick, 14.1 , shown in phantom, having a longitudinal axis 14.5 that is coincident (shown as hollow bullet points indicated 3.1 ) with central longitudinal axis 1.1. As further illustrated, the hypothenar of the gripping hand (shown in phantom) is cradled by the posterior cantle region, generally indicated 7.1 , and the small or pinky finger is gripping the anterior cantle structure generally indicated 6.1. In general, anterior region 6.1 and posterior cantle region 7.1 are separated by imaginary coronal plane CP coincident with central longitudinal axis 1 .1 (also indicated in Figs. 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7A-C 8, 9A, 9B 10B, 1 1 B, 12B, 14, 17, 18A, 18B and 18C).

[0103] Given the longitudinal symmetry of the knob insert (about the imaginary sagittal plane) as illustrated and described in connection with FIG.s. 7, 7A, and 7B, the gripping hand, left or right hand, gripping the same knob portion, 1.17, will properly align the gripping anatomy of the hand with the supporting structures of the knob to provide proper support and grip to either a left or right handed grip.

Additionally, this arrangement allows the pinky finger, ring finger and portion of the middle finger of the gripping hand to firmly grasp, generally around the central axis of the knob, 1 .17, in opposition to the hypothenar, as demonstrated in FIG. 3, thereby enabling a strong and stable grasp on the knob and thus to the stick to which the knob insert is attached. Further, the external longitudinal surfaces of the hockey stick directly abut the external longitudinal surfaces of the neck of the knob 1 .4 providing a smooth contiguous surface from stick to knob sheath. Further, the length of the neck 1 .4, as measured along the central axis, 1 .1 , is sized such that the gripping structures of the hand (pinky finger, ring finger and portion of the middle finger) are engaging the knob insert and thus affording the balance of the gripping structures of the hand (portion of the middle finger, first finger and thumb) of the hand the ability to grasp the handle end of the hockey stick. The concurrent nature of the grip described, provides direct control of the hockey stick for the player. Another way of stating this, when knob insert 1 is fully inserted into the hockey stick 14.1 , the knob provides the pinky finger, ring finger and portion of the middle finger of the hand surfaces to grasp in concert with, both the neck portion of the knob insert and the end portion of the hockey stick thus maintaining the players "feel" for the stick;

[0104 ] Referring to FIG. 4, in one embodiment neck 1 .4, aligned on the central longitudinal axis 1 .1 , is adapted to provide a transitional surface for the distal and proximal palmar portions of the hand, the pinky finger, ring finger and portion of the middle finger of the gripping hand to grasp (see Fig. 3) and a smooth transition from the step, 1 .14, to waist 1 .5 when tang 1 .3 is fully inserted into the hollow end of the hockey stick. In one such embodiment, neck 1 .4 is sized and constructed to abut step 1 .14 against the insertion-end of the hockey stick with parallel surface alignment of outer surface of the neck with the outer longitudinal surfaces of the hollow stick. In another example, at step 1 .14, the neck has an outer diameter and cross-sectional shape adapted to conform to the outer diameter and cross-sectional shape of the hockey stick. Neck 1 .4 can be of varying lengths, cross sectional shapes and perimeters without departing from the principles of the disclosure. For example, in one embodiment neck 1.4 has a length (measured along central longitudinal axis 1 .1 ) of at least about 0.25 inches. In general, however, neck will have a length of less than about 12 inches. In some exemplary embodiments, the neck will have a length of about 0.25 to about 4 inches. In other embodiments, the neck will have a length of about 1 to 4 inches. In other embodiments, the neck will have a length of about 1 to about 2 inches. In other embodiments, the neck will have a length of about 0.5 to about 1 .5 inches.

[0105] Waist 1 .5, aligned on the central longitudinal axis 1 .1 , extends between neck 1 .4, generally indicated imaginary plane 5.1 and flange 1.6 and is adapted to provide a supporting surface for the pinky finger, ring finger and portion of the middle finger of the gripping hand and the hypothenar eminence of the athlete's gripping hand. Waist 1 .5 can be of varying lengths and perimeters without departing from the principles of the disclosure. For example, in one embodiment waist 1 .5 has a length (measured along central longitudinal axis 1 .1 ) of at least about 0.75 inches. In general, however, the waist will have a length of less than about 3 inches. In some exemplary

embodiments, the waist will have a length of about 1 to about 2.5 inches. In other embodiments, the waist will have a length of about 1 .5 to 2.5 inches. In other embodiments, the waist will have a length of about 1 .75 to about 2.5 inches. In other embodiments, the waist will have a length of about 1 .75 to about 2.25 inches.

[0106] Referring now to FIG. 5, following from step 1 .14, along the

longitudinal axis 1 .1 , to waist 1 .5, to flange 1.6, the neck 1 .4 transitions from a generally rectangular cross-section, as indicated by imaginary transverse plane 5.1 1 (cross- section taken at plane 5.1 ) as shown in FIG. 5A, through intermediate cross-section 5.21 (cross-section taken at plane 5.2) as shown in FIG. 5B to an oval cross section shape as indicated by 5.31 (cross-section taken at plane 5.3) as shown in FIG. 5C; in the transition from cross-section 5.21 to cross-section 5.31 , the circumference of the waist 1 .5 decreases. Moving again longitudinally from imaginary plane 5.3, along the central longitudinal axis toward flange 1 .6, waist 1.5 smoothly increases in

circumference as demonstrated by imaginary planes 5.41 (cross-section taken at plane 5.4) as shown in FIG. 5D and 5.51 (cross-section taken at plane 5.5) as shown in FIG. 5E to flange 1 .6. The transition from the neck gradually narrows past imaginary planes 5.1 and 5.2 to form a narrower rounded structure that is smaller and generally rounded in cross section (5.31 and 5.41 ) comparison to the generally rectangular cross-sectional shape of the neck, 5.1 1. An imaginary anterior longitudinal plane and imaginary posterior longitudinal plane are depicted by 5.6 and 5.7, respectively.

[0107] Referring now to FIG. 4, flange 1 .6 is configured to cooperate with the user's hand (see FIG. 3) so as to help prevent the user's hand from slipping from the knob1 .17 and terminates in generally planar bottom surface 1 .7 (at the knob end) disposed at an oblique angle 1 .8 relative to central longitudinal axis 1 .1 . In general, the flange, 1 .6 will have a circumference that exceeds the circumference of the neck 5.1 1 proximate step 1 .14. For example, in one embodiment flange 1 .6 will have a

circumference that is at least 1 10% of the circumference of the neck 1 .4 proximate step 1.14. By way of further example, in one embodiment flange 1.6 will have a

circumference that is at least 150% of the circumference of the neck 1 .4 proximate step 1.14. By way of further example, in one embodiment flange 1.6 will have a

circumference that is at least 200% of the circumference of the neck 1 .4 proximate step 1.14. Typically, however, flange 1 .6 will have a circumference that is less than 300% of the circumference of the neck 1 .4 proximate step 1 .14. Thus, in some embodiments flange 1.6 will have a circumference that is in the range of about 1 10 to 300% of the circumference of the neck 1 .4 proximate step 1 .14. For example, in some

embodiments flange 1 .6 will have a circumference that is in the range of 1 10 to 150%, 150 to 200% or even 200 to 300% of the circumference of the neck 1.4 proximate step 1.14.

[0108] In one embodiment, surface 1 .7 of grip end is at an oblique angle relative to central longitudinal axis. For example, and still referring to FIG. 4 in one embodiment, flange 1 .6, centered on 1 .1 , is comprised of obtuse angle A, which is between 90 and 170 degrees and acute angle B is between 10 and 90 degrees, wherein obtuse angle A and acute angle B are supplementary angles. By way of further example, in one embodiment angle A is between 90 and 120 and degrees and angle B is between 90 and 60 degrees, wherein angles A and B are supplementary angles. By way of further example in one embodiment angle A is between 120 and 170 degrees and angle B is between 60 and 10 degrees, wherein angles A and B are supplementary angles. [0109] In one embodiment, knob 1.17, centered on the longitudinal central axis 1.1 , will have a length, as measured along central longitudinal axis 1.1 , that is about 5 to about 95% of the distance between flange 1.6 and tang end 1.10 and tang 1.3 will have a complementary length, as measured along central longitudinal axis 1.1 , that is about 95 to about 5% of the distance between flange 1.6 and tang end 1.10. For example, in one such embodiment, knob 1.17 will have a length, as measured along central longitudinal axis 1.1 , that is about 15 to about 85% of the distance between flange 1.6 and tang end 1.10 and tang 1.3 will have a complementary length, as measured along central longitudinal axis 1.1 , that is about 85 to about 15% of the distance between flange 1.6 and tang end 1.10. By way of further example, in one embodiment knob 1.17 will have a length, as measured along central longitudinal axis 1.1 , that is about 25 to about 75% of the distance between flange 1.6 and tang end 1.10 and tang 1.3 will have a complementary length, as measured along central longitudinal axis 1.1 , that is about 75 to about 25% of the distance between flange 1.6 and tang end 1.10. By way of further example, in one embodiment, knob 1.17 will have a length, as measured along central longitudinal axis 1.1 , that is about 35 to about 65% of the distance between flange 1.6 and tang end 1.10 and tang 1.3 will have a complementary length, as measured along central longitudinal axis 1.1 , that is about 65 to about 35% of the distance between flange 1.6 and tang end 1.10. By way of further example, in one embodiment knob 1.17 will have a length, as measured along central longitudinal axis 1.1 , that is about 40 to about 60% of the distance between flange 1.6 and tang end 1.10 and tang 1.3 will have a complementary length, as measured along central longitudinal axis 1.1 , that is about 60 to about 40% of the distance between flange 1.6 and tang end 1.10.

[0110] Referring now to FIG. 6, the sagittal plane SP divides the knob insert into two longitudinal halves (sometimes referred to as the left and right longitudinal halves as viewed in Fig. 6 relative to the sagittal plane). As previously described, anterior cantle region smoothly transitions at the coronal plane CP. Additionally, the knob gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis (i.e., the surfaces are each concave surfaces in imaginary coronal plane CP) and the radii of curvature R ccp1 and R CCP2 of the surfaces of the knob in the coronal plane (and on opposite sides of the sagittal plane) are comparable. For example, in one embodiment the ratio of R ccp1 to R CCP2 (the ratio of the respective radii of curvature) is in the range of about 2:1 to about 1 :2. By way of further example, in one such embodiment the ratio of R ccp1 to R CCP2 is in the range of about 1.75: 1 to about 1 : 1.75. By way of further example, in one such embodiment the ratio of R CCP1 to R CCP2 is in the range of about 1.5:1 to about 1 :1.5. By way of further example, in one such embodiment the ratio of R ccp1 to R CCP2 is in the range of about 1.25: 1 to about 1 : 1.25. By way of further example, in one such embodiment the ratio of R CCP1 to R CCP2 is in the range of about 1.1 :1 to about 1 :1.1.

[Olll ] Referring now to FIGs. 7, 7A and 7B, the posterior cantle region 7.1 (indicated by dashed lines) is illustrated in accordance with one embodiment. As previously described, posterior cantle region smoothly transitions to the anterior cantle region on the opposing side of the knob (see, e.g., FIG. 3). The two longitudinal halves of the knob, left longitudinal half 7.1 B and right longitudinal half 7.1 C are separated by the imaginary sagittal plane, SP, (coincident with central longitudinal axis 1.1 ) are mirrored shapes, providing the same supporting structure to the pinky and ring fingers of a gripping hand, regardless of which hand is gripping knob FIG.1 - left hand or right hand.

[0112] Additionally, anterior cantle region 6.1 and posterior cantle region 7.1 each increase in size moving along central longitudinal axis in the direction of flange 1.6. Stated differently, the cross-sectional area of anterior cantle region 6.1 and posterior cantle region 7.1 taken along imaginary sagittal plane SP exceeds the cross- sectional area of posterior cantle region 6.1 and anterior cantle region 7.1 taken along imaginary plane SP. As a result, anterior cantle region 7.1 provides a more gradual transition between the neck 1.4 and flange 1.6, thereby providing a more comfortable and contoured resting place for the hypothenar eminence or "heal" of the hand, the palmar arches, and the pinky finger and ring finger.

[0113] Referring now to FIG. 8, a top view of the embodiment shown in FIG.

1 , from the generally rectangular tang-end 1.10 of the knob insert with the central longitudinal axis of the knob insert indicated as point 1.1. The top view of the anterior cantle region is generally indicated 6.1 and the top view of the posterior cantle gripping structure is generally indicated 7.1. The mirrored longitudinal halves of the knob, as previously described, are generally indicated 7B and 7C. Beveled surface 1.11 provides a transition from tang end 1.10 to outer the outer tang surface. [0114] As demonstrated in FIG. 13 the anterior and posterior cantle support structures (6.1 and 7.1 respectively) remain generally unchanged while the shape of the tang and the neck of the knob insert may comprise different dimensions and shapes without departing from the scope of the present disclosure.

[0115] Referring now to FIGs. 9, 9a, and 9b, a knob insert generally indicated by the reference numeral 1 is illustrated with the sheath 1.2 shown in phantom to better illustrate one embodiment of shaft 1.9. As previously noted, in one embodiment the sheath is coupled to the shaft and the adhesion between the two provide sufficient structural integrity of the knob insert and between the two materials such that one doesn't slip or move against the other. FIGs. 9, 9A and 9B thus illustrate an

embodiment in which shaft 1.9 has an overall shape that generally corresponds to that of the knob insert. More specifically, in this embodiment (FIG. 9A) shaft 1.9 is bisected by imaginary sagittal plane, SP into symmetric halves (i.e., two halves that are mirror images of each other about the sagittal plane). Referring now to FIG. 9B, and moving along central longitudinal axis 1.1 in a direction toward flange 1.6 from tang, anterior cantle region 6.1 and posterior cantle region 7.1 gradually curve away from central longitudinal axis (i.e., the surfaces are each concave surfaces in imaginary sagittal plane SP) with anterior cantle region 6.1 having a radius of curvature R casp1 that is less than the radius of curvature cpsp1 of posterior cantle region 7.1. For example, in one embodiment, the ratio of R pc to R casp1 will be at least 2:1. By way of further example, in one embodiment the ratio of R cpsp1 to R casp1 will be at least 3:1. By way of further example, in one embodiment the ratio of R cpsp1 to R casp1 will be at least 4:1. By way of further example, in one embodiment the ratio of R cpsp1 to R casp1 will be at least 5:1. In general, however, the ratio of R cpsp1 to R casp1 will be less than about 20:1 and in some embodiments the ratio of R cpsp1 to R casp1 will be less than about 15:1.

[0116] In some embodiments the ratio of R cpsp1 to R casp1 will be in the range of about 3:1 to about 20:1. For example, in one embodiment the ratio of R cpsp1 to pCASPi w j|| j n ran g e 0 f about 4; 1 to about 17 . 5:1 . By way of further in one embodiment the ratio of R cpsp1 to R casp1 will be in the range of about 5:1 to about 15: 1 . By way of further in one embodiment the ratio of R cpsp1 to R casp1 will be in the range of about 5:1 to about 10:1. As a result of the difference in the radii of curvature (i.e., pcpspi > pCASPi ^ ^ e v0 | um e 0 f posterior cantle region exceeds the volume of anterior cantle region. [0117] In one embodiment and referring now to Figs. 6A, the shaft is also is divided into two parts by imaginary sagittal plane, SP, wherein the sagittal plane contains central longitudinal axis 1.1 and is perpendicular to coronal plane CP. In one such embodiment, the shaft is bisected by imaginary coronal plane CP into two cross- sections (see Fig. 3) that have outer surfaces that are asymmetric relative to each other about coronal plane CP (i.e., the outer surfaces of the two cross-sections are not mirror images of each other about coronal plane CP). Additionally, and moving along central longitudinal axis 1.1 in a direction toward flange 1.6, the lateral sides of the shaft gradually curve away from central longitudinal axis (i.e., the surfaces are each concave surfaces in imaginary coronal plane CP) with comparable radii of curvature R CCP3 , R CCP4 (see FIG. 6A). For example, in one embodiment the ratio of R CCP3 to R CCP4 (the ratio of the respective radii of curvature) is in the range of about 2:1 to about 1 :2. By way of further example, in one such embodiment the ratio of R CCP3 to R CCP4 is in the range of about 1.75: 1 to about 1 : 1.75. By way of further example, in one such embodiment the ratio of R CCP3 to R CCP4 is in the range of about 1.5:1 to about 1 :1.5. By way of further example, in one such embodiment the ratio of R CCP3 to R CCP4 is in the range of about

1.25: 1 to about 1 : 1.25. By way of further example, in one such embodiment the ratio of R CCP3 TQ R CCP4 IS I N THE RANGE QF ABOUT 1 A . 1 TQ ABOUT VA A

[0118] Referring now to FIG. 9, the shaft, shown in profile, wherein a series of groves 9.1 (e.g., knob core slots) having similar length but differing depths along their length yet equal in width and having a consistent baseline in parallel to the sagittal plane (SP) providing space for the knob sheath structure material, when coupled, to interlock with the inner knob shaft structure, when molded, providing a sheath, that when gripped, provides a stable, not-slip engagement between the shaft and the sheath. Injection molding is the preferred method of creating the knob insert 1 described herein. The knob insert is comprised of two structures - a shaft 1.9 and a sheath 1.2. The two structures, the shaft and sheath are sequentially manufactured such that the shaft is molded first to provide the main structure of the knob insert and the sheath is coupled, covering the non-tang of the shaft thus providing the knob, which is grasped by the athlete.

[0119] Referring now to FIG. 9A, the bottom view of FIG. 9 demonstrates the consistent baseline alignment of the groves in relation to the imaginary sagittal plane. [0120] In one embodiment and referring now to FIG. 9B (see also Figs. 19, 19A and 19B) the knob insert is also divided into two parts by imaginary coronal plane, CP, wherein the coronal plane contains central longitudinal axis 1 .1 and is

perpendicular to sagittal plane SP. In one such embodiment, the knob insert is bisected by imaginary coronal plane CP into two cross-sections (see FIGs. 19A, 19B) that have outer surfaces that are asymmetric relative to each other about coronal plane CP (i.e., the outer surfaces of the two cross-sections are not mirror images of each other about coronal plane CP). Additionally, and now referring to FIG. 6, and moving along central longitudinal axis 1.1 in the coronal plane, in a direction toward flange 1.6, anterior region 6.1 , and posterior region 7.1 shown in FIG 7 (also see FIGs. 19, 19A, 19B) gradually curve away from central longitudinal axis (i.e., the surfaces are each concave surfaces in imaginary coronal plane CP) with similar radii of curvature R CCP1 , R CCP2 , as illustrated in FIG. 6.

[0121] Referring now to FIG. 10, the shaft, shown in profile and the sheath shown in phantom, wherein a series of parallel channels 10.1 (e.g., knob core channels), varying length but equal in width, having a consistent baseline depth in parallel to the sagittal plane (SP) providing space for the sheath structure material, when coupled, to interlock with the shaft, providing surfaces for the sheath material to interlock with the shaft, providing a sheath, that when gripped that is a stable, not-slip engagement for the two portions.

[0122] Referring now to FIG. 10A, the bottom view of FIG. 10 shows the consistent baseline alignment of the channels in relation to the imaginary sagittal plane.

[0123] Referring now to FIGs. 1 1A through 12B, demonstrating other possible orientations of, ridges, channels and structures extending perpendicularly from the imaginary sagittal plane, as previously described, providing space for the sheath, when coupled with the shaft, provide structural engagement between the sheath and the shaft, providing a sheath, that when gripped that is a stable, not-slip engagement for the two portions. For example, FIGS. 1 1 A and 1 1 B demonstrate channels 1 1 .1 , and FIGS. 12A-12B demonstrate pillar-like structures 12.1 . [0124] Referring now to FIG. 13, the knob shaft 1 .9 in profile, demonstrating the longitudinal length of the chamfered corner 1.12 of the tang can be of varying lengths, cross sectional shapes and perimeters without departing from the principles of the disclosure.

[0125] Referring now to FIG. 14, the knob insert and hand of FIG. 3, with tang 1.3 fully inserted into the hollow end of a hockey stick 14.1 . The tang is fully inserted into the stick and oriented such that the posterior cantle region, 7.1 of the knob insert is aligned on the same side of the hockey stick as the blade 14.2. This ensures proper alignment of the whole of the knob insert with the whole of the hockey stick with the blade 14.2. Presented another way, when the knob insert 1 is properly and fully inserted into the hollow end of a hockey stick 14.1 and upon grasping the knob, the athlete's hand is grasping the knob such that the hand and stick blade are in proper alignment with the structures of the hockey stick 14.3 (e.g., in alignment with the blade and posterior cantle). Also demonstrated herein, the central longitudinal axis of the knob insert 1 .1 is coincident with longitudinal axis 14.5 of the hockey stick as indicated 3.1 . Additionally, the tang, when fully inserted into the hollow end of a hockey stick, will have minimal effect in changing the designated flex of the hockey stick to which it is inserted, as the majority of the length of the tang is housed within the handle portion of the stick and is thus partially gripped by the hand where the flex of the stick does not specifically occur.

[0126] Referring now to FIG. 15, a conventional hockey stick 15.1 grasped by a hand wherein the hypothenar is fully engaged with the longitudinal surface of a conventional hockey stick. The outer longitudinal surfaces of the stick being parallel to the central axis of the hockey provide the grasping hand with only perpendicular leverage, 15.2, as indicated by the arrows passing perpendicularly through the stick, where the hypothenar of the hand exerts perpendicular force on the stick, generally using the ring finger and portion of the middle finger as the fulcrum point, F, to provide leverage on the hockey stick, approximately where the ring finger would grasp the hockey stick in opposition to the hypothenar.

[0127] FIG. 16, by way of comparison to FIG 15, illustrates the embodiment of the knob insert of FIG. 1 , fully inserted into a hollow hockey stick, 14.1 , grasped by a hand (e.g., to form the full hockey stick with knob 16.1 ). As illustrated, the hypothenar is fully engaged with the posterior cantle structures 7.1 , and the pinky finger, ring finger and portion of the middle finger of the gripping hand firmly grasp the anterior cantle region, 6.1 (see FIG. 3) generally around the central longitudinal axis of the knob (and by connection the central longitudinal axis of the hockey stick as shown in FIG. 14) in opposition to the hypothenar, with the ring finger generally providing leverage at the point of the fulcrum, F, in effect, enabling the hand to generate improved leverage through the extended, greater cantle surface area provided by the knob. The increased leverage on the knob insert and therefor the greater hockey stick results in increased grip strength, control and leverage of the stick by the athlete.

[0128] Referring now to FIG. 17, in one embodiment of knob insert (identified as element 17.4) is of a scale that approximates the hand 17.3 (shown in phantom) of a hockey player. For example, knob insert has a length (element 17.2 in FIG. 17) that is in the range 60 - 125% of the average length of the average adult male human hand (element 17.1 in FIG. 17). By way of further example, knob insert has a length that is in the range 70 - 1 10% of the average length of the average adult male human hand. By way of further example, knob insert has a length that is in the range 75 - 100% of the average length of the average adult male human hand. Assuming the average length of the average adult male human hand is in the range of 7-7.5 inches, the knob insert will typically have an overall length in the range 4.5 - 9 inches in some embodiments, 5 - 8 inches in some embodiments, 5.5 - 7.5 inches in some embodiment, 6 - 7 inches in some embodiments and 6.25 - 6.75 inches in some embodiments. Additionally, a complete knob insert which generally fits, longitudinally within the length of the athletes hand from base of the palm to middle fingertip, 17.2, thus allowing for a proportionally balanced knob insert, which when fully inserted into a hollow hockey stick (see FIG. 14), provides support to the base gripping structures of the hand (hypothenar, pinky finger, ring finger and a portion of the middle finger, see FIG. 3) while at the same time providing the forward gripping structures of the hand (portion of the middle finger, first finger and thumb) to directly grasp the handle portion of the hockey stick shaft from the step of the knob insert, butted up to the hollow end of the hockey stick, forward in the direction of the blade.

[0129] In another embodiment of the present disclosure, and referring now to FIG. 18A, the knob insert includes an internal cavity, indicated 18.1 , having a generally perpendicular central alignment with the central longitudinal axis, 1 .1 , of the knob insert. The internal cavity is sized to closely fit and house an electronic sensor, accelerometer or other electronic device, indicated 18.2, to monitor an athlete's movement of the hockey stick. When the knob insert is fully inserted into the hollow end of a hockey stick (see FIG. 14) the embedded sensor, housed in side the cavity 18.1 , in accordance with the sensors guidelines, and aligned on the shared central longitudinal axis of the knob insert and hockey stick provide proper alignment of the sensor and the hockey stick such that the sensor may accurately track and monitor, in accordance with the requirements of the sensor the motion of the stick while the player is using the stick in practice or in games. In this embodiment, the electronic device is demonstrated being aligned with the same central axis 1.1 of the knob insert. The electronic device may be held securely in place inside the internal cavity by friction, close fit, adhesive,

mechanical fastener, and the like. Optionally, cavity 18.1 can be covered or enclosed by a cover device, cap, sticker or compression fitting as generally indicated 18.3.

Exemplary electronic devices include Zepp brand electronic motion sensors sold by Zepp Labs (Los Gatos, CA) and those described in U.S. Patent No. 8725452 (which is incorporated herein in its entirety) and BLAST Motion sensors based in Carlsbad, CA.

[0130] Referring now to FIG 18B, the internal cavity, 18.1 , is shown closely fitting a sensor, 18.2, aligned on the central longitudinal axis 1 .1 of the knob insert.

[0131] Referring now to FIG 18C, demonstrating an alternate shape of the sensor 18.4, that can be accommodated by an alternate internal cavity shape as indicated 18.5. Internal cavity 18.1 , 18.2 and 18.4 can be of varying lengths, cross sectional shapes, depths and perimeters without departing from the principles of the disclosure.

[0132] In further embodiments, numbered 1 -149 below, aspects of the present disclosure include:

[0133] Embodiment 1 . A knob insert for insertion into the hollow shaft of a hockey stick, the knob insert comprising a tang for insertion into the hollow shaft of the hockey stick, a knob adapted to be grasped by the hand of an athlete when the tang is inserted into the hollow shaft of the hockey stick, and a step between the tang and the knob adapted to abut an end surface of the hollow shaft of the hockey stick when the tang is inserted therein, the tang, step and knob being aligned along a central longitudinal axis extending from a tang end to a knob end of the knob insert, wherein

[0134 ] the knob comprises an anterior cantle region and a corresponding posterior cantle region, the anterior and posterior cantle regions being between the step and the knob end and on opposing sides of an imaginary coronal plane containing the central longitudinal axis and divided by an imaginary sagittal plane that contains the central longitudinal axis and is orthogonal to the imaginary coronal plane; the anterior and posterior cantle regions each providing a curved support surface for the hand of the athlete when the athlete is gripping the hockey stick, the anterior cantle region and the posterior cantle region each having a radius of curvature in the sagittal plane, the radius of curvature of the anterior cantle region being less than the radius of curvature of the posterior cantle region,

[0135 ] the tang and the knob comprise a shaft that extends from a position proximate the tang end to a position proximate the knob end of the knob insert,

[0136 ] the knob further comprises a sheath that is coupled to and surrounds the shaft, and

[0137 ] the shaft and the sheath are discrete components having different properties.

[0138 ] Embodiment 2. A knob insert adapted for insertion into the hollow shaft of a hockey stick, the knob insert comprising a central longitudinal axis, a tang for insertion into the hollow shaft of the hockey stick, a knob adapted to be grasped by the hand of an athlete when the tang is inserted into the hollow shaft of the hockey stick, a step between the tang and the knob, a tang end, and a knob, the tang and knob ends being opposing ends of the knob insert and aligned the central longitudinal axis , the knob comprising a flange proximate the knob end, an anterior cantle region, and a posterior cantle region, wherein

[0139 ] (i) the anterior and posterior cantle regions are between the step and the flange,

[0140 ] (ii) the anterior and posterior cantle regions, in combination, provide a curved support surface for the hand of the athlete,

[0141 ] (iii) each of the anterior and posterior cantle regions are bisected into symmetrical halves by an imaginary sagittal plane that contains the central longitudinal axis, and

[0142 ] (iv) the anterior and posterior cantle regions are on opposing sides of and asymmetric relative to each other about an imaginary coronal plane that contains the central longitudinal axis and is orthogonal to the sagittal plane. [0143] Embodiment 3. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the longitudinal axis is substantially linear.

[0144] Embodiment 4. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein a ratio of the radius of curvature of the posterior cantle region to the radius of curvature of the anterior cantle region is at least 1 :2, respectively.

[0145] Embodiment s. The knob insert of any preceding claims wherein a ratio of the radius of curvature of the posterior cantle region to the radius of curvature of the anterior cantle region is at least 1 :3, respectively.

[0146] Embodiment 6. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein a ratio of the radius of curvature of the posterior cantle region to the radius of curvature of the anterior cantle region is at least 1 :5, respectively.

[0147] Embodiment 7. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein a ratio of the radius of curvature of the posterior cantle region to the radius of curvature of the anterior cantle region is less than 1 :20.

[0148] Embodiment s. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein a ratio of the radius of curvature of the posterior cantle region to the radius of curvature of the anterior cantle region is less than 1 : 15, respectively.

[0149] Embodiment 9. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein a ratio of the radius of curvature of the posterior cantle region to the radius of curvature of the anterior cantle region is less than 1 : 10, respectively.

[0150] Embodiment 10. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob has an outer diameter that varies as a function of position along the central longitudinal axis with the minimum outer diameter occurring at a position along the longitudinal axis that is greater than 50% of the distance between the knob end and the step, as measured from the step.

[0151] Embodiment 1 1 . The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob has an outer diameter that varies as a function of position along the central longitudinal axis with the minimum outer diameter occurring at a position along the longitudinal axis that is greater than 55% of the distance between the knob end and the step, as measured from the step. [0152] Embodiment 12. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob has an outer diameter that varies as a function of position along the central longitudinal axis with the minimum outer diameter occurring at a position along the longitudinal axis that is greater than 60% of the distance between the knob end and the step, as measured from the step.

[0153] Embodiment 13. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob has an outer diameter that varies as a function of position along the central longitudinal axis with the minimum outer diameter occurring at a position along the longitudinal axis that is greater than 65% of the distance between the knob end and the step, as measured from the step.

[0154] Embodiment 14. The knob insert of any of embodiments 10 to 13 wherein the minimum diameter of the knob is about 65% to 95% of the diameter of the knob at the step.

[0155] Embodiment 15. The knob insert of any of embodiments 10 to 13 wherein the minimum diameter of the knob is about 65% to 90% of the diameter of the knob at the step.

[0156] Embodiment 16. The knob insert of any of embodiments 10 to 13 wherein the minimum diameter of the knob is about 70% to 90% of the diameter of the knob at the step.

[0157] Embodiment 17. The knob insert of any of embodiments 10 to 13 wherein the minimum diameter of the knob is about 65% to 85% of the diameter of the knob at the step.

[0158] Embodiment 18. The knob insert of any of embodiments 10 to 13 wherein the minimum diameter of the knob is about 70% to 85% of the diameter of the knob at the step.

[0159] Embodiment 19. The knob insert of any of embodiments 10 to 13 wherein the minimum diameter of the knob is about 75% to 85% of the diameter of the knob at the step.

[0160] Embodiment 20. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the imaginary sagittal plane bisects the knob into symmetrical halves. [0161] Embodiment 21 . The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 4.5 to 8 inches.

[0162] Embodiment 22. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 4.5 to 7.5 inches.

[0163] Embodiment 23. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 4.5 to 7 inches.

[0164] Embodiment 24. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 4.5 to 6.5 inches.

[0165] Embodiment 25. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 5 to 8 inches.

[0166] Embodiment 26. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 5 to 7.5 inches.

[0167] Embodiment 27. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 5 to 7 inches.

[0168] Embodiment 28. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 5 to 6.5 inches.

[0169] Embodiment 29. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 5.5 to 8 inches.

[0170] Embodiment 30. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 5.5 to 7.5 inches. [0171] Embodiment 31 . The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 5.5 to 7 inches.

[0172 ] Embodiment 32. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 5.5 to 6.5 inches.

[0173] Embodiment 33. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 6 to 8 inches.

[0174 ] Embodiment 34. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 6 to 7.5 inches.

[0175] Embodiment 35. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 6 to 7 inches.

[0176] Embodiment 36. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob insert has a length, as measured from the tang end to the knob end and along the central longitudinal axis of 6 to 6.5 inches.

[0177 ] Embodiment 37. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath comprises a polymer.

[0178] Embodiment 38. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath comprises an injection molded polymer.

[0179] Embodiment 39. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath comprises an injection molded thermoplastic polymer.

[0180] Embodiment 40. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath comprises a thermoplastic vulcanizate.

[0181] Embodiment 41 . The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath comprises a polymeric material having a durometer hardness of 75 Shore A, 5 sec, injection molded. [0182] Embodiment 42. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft and the sheath comprise materials having a chemically distinct composition.

[0183] Embodiment 43. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft comprises a polymeric material.

[0184] Embodiment 44. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft comprises a thermoplastic polymeric material.

[0185] Embodiment 45. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft comprises a composite of a thermoplastic polymeric and a fiber reinforcing material.

[0186] Embodiment 46. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft comprises a composite of a thermoplastic polymer and a glass fiber reinforcing material.

[0187] Embodiment 47. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft has a flexural strength of at least 10,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790.

[0188] Embodiment 48. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft has a flexural strength of at least 15,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790.

[0189] Embodiment 49. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft has a flexural strength of at least 20,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790.

[0190] Embodiment 50. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft has a flexural strength of at least 25,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790.

[0191] Embodiment 51 . The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft has a flexural strength of at least 30,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790.

[0192 ] Embodiment 52. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft has a flexural strength of at least 35,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790. [0193] Embodiment 53. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft has a flexural strength of at least 40,000 psi as determined in accordance with ASTM D790.

[0194 ] Embodiment 54. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob insert has a mass of 80 to 1 15 grams.

[0195] Embodiment 55. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob insert has a mass of 40 to 75 grams.

[0196] Embodiment 56. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob insert has a mass of 100 to 150 grams.

[0197 ] Embodiment 57. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the posterior cantle region smoothly transitions about the central longitudinal axis to the anterior cantle region.

[0198] Embodiment 58. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob end has a circumference that is at least 1 10% of the circumference of the neck.

[0199] Embodiment 59. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob end has a circumference that is at least 150% of the circumference of the neck.

[0200] Embodiment 60. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob end has a circumference that is at least 200% of the circumference of the neck.

[0201] Embodiment 61 . The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob end has a circumference that is at least 300% of the circumference of the neck.

[0202] Embodiment 62. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the tang has a length measured along the central longitudinal axis of about 2 to about 12 inches.

[0203] Embodiment 63. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the tang has an end that is chamfered at an angle of about 30° to 60° from the longitudinal sides of the tang and toward the longitudinal central axis to allow for easier initial guided insertion of the tang into the hollow end of the stick. [ 0204 ] Embodiment 64. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the tang has grooves, which run parallel to the central longitudinal axis of the tang.

[ 0205 ] Embodiment 65. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the tang has chamfered corners which are parallel to the central longitudinal axis of the knob.

[ 0206 ] Embodiment 66. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob has a length, as measured along central longitudinal axis 1 .1 , that is about 5 to about 95% of the length of the knob and the tang has a complementary length, as measured along the central longitudinal axis, that is about 95 to about 5% of the length of the knob.

[ 0207 ] Embodiment 67. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob has a length, as measured along central longitudinal axis that is about 15 to about 85% of the length of the knob insert and the tang has a complementary length, as measured along the central longitudinal axis, that is about 85 to about 15% of the length of the knob insert.

[ 0208 ] Embodiment 68. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob has a length, as measured along central longitudinal axis that is about 25 to about 75% of the length of the knob insert and the tang has a complementary length, as measured along the central longitudinal axis, that is about 75 to about 25% of the length of the knob insert.

[ 0209 ] Embodiment 69. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob has a length, as measured along central longitudinal axis that is about 35 to about 65% of the length of the knob insert and the tang has a complementary length, as measured along the central longitudinal axis, that is about 65 to about 35% of the length of the knob insert.

[ 0210 ] Embodiment 70. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob has a length, as measured along central longitudinal axis that is about 40 to about 60% of the length of the knob insert and the tang has a complementary length, as measured along the central longitudinal axis, that is about 60 to about 40% of the length of the knob insert. [ 0211 ] Embodiment 71 . The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the knob comprises a neck between the flange and the tang.

[ 0212 ] Embodiment 72. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the neck has a length measured along the central longitudinal axis of at least about 0.25 inches.

[ 0213 ] Embodiment 73. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the neck has a length measured along the central longitudinal axis in the range of about 0.25 to about 4 inches.

[ 0214 ] Embodiment 74. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the neck has a length measured along the central longitudinal axis in the range of about 1 to about 4 inches.

[ 0215 ] Embodiment 75. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the neck has a length measured along the central longitudinal axis in the range of about 1 to about 2 inches.

[ 0216 ] Embodiment 76. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft comprises a ceramic, metal, polymer, composite, wood or a composite or laminate thereof.

[ 0217 ] Embodiment 77. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft comprises a ceramic, metal, polymer, composite, or a composite or laminate thereof.

[ 0218 ] Embodiment 78. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft has an overall shape that generally corresponds to the overall shape of the knob.

[ 0219 ] Embodiment 79. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft is bisected by the sagittal plane into symmetric halves.

[ 0220 ] Embodiment 80. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region a posterior cantle region.

[ 0221 ] Embodiment 81 . The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with shaft anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature CASP2 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature R CPSP2 of shaft posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane.

[ 0222 ] Embodiment 82. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with shaft anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature R CASP2 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature R CPSP2 of shaft posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of R pc to R AC is at least 2:1.

[ 0223 ] Embodiment 83. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with shaft anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature R CASP2 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature R CPSP2 of shaft posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of R CPSP2 to R CASP2 is at least 3:1.

[ 0224 ] Embodiment 84. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with shaft anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature R CASP2 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature R CPSP2 of shaft posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of R CPSP2 to R CASP2 is at least 4:1.

[ 0225 ] Embodiment 85. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with shaft anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature R CASP2 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature R CPSP2 of shaft posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of R CPSP2 to R CASP2 is at least 5:1.

[ 0226 ] Embodiment 86. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with shaft anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature R CASP2 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature R CPSP2 of shaft posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of R CPSP2 to R CASP2 is at least about 20:1. [ 0227 ] Embodiment 87. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with shaft anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature CASP2 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature R CPSP2 of shaft posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of R CPSP2 to R CASP2 is in the range of about 4:1 to about 17.5:1.

[ 0228 ] Embodiment 88. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with shaft anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature R CASP2 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature R CPSP2 of shaft posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of R CPSP2 to R CASP2 is in the range of about 5:1 to about 10:1.

[ 0229 ] Embodiment 89. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with shaft anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature R CC1 in the coronal plane that is of

comparable magnitude to the radius of curvature R CC2 of shaft posterior cantle region in the coronal plane.

[ 0230 ] Embodiment 90. A combination of a hockey stick and a knob insert, the knob insert corresponding to the knob insert of any of the preceding embodiments and being inserted into a hollow end of the hockey stick.

[ 0231 ] Embodiment 91. A combination of a hockey stick and a knob insert, the knob insert corresponding to the knob insert of any of the preceding embodiments, the knob insert being inserted into a hollow end of the hockey stick wherein the anterior cantle region of knob is on the same side of the hockey stick as the blade of the hockey stick.

[ 0232 ] Embodiment 92. The combination of any of the preceding

embodiments wherein the knob comprises a cavity at the knob end sized to

accommodate a motion sensor.

[ 0233 ] Embodiment 93. The combination of any of the preceding

embodiments wherein the knob comprises a cavity at grip end of the knob sized to accommodate a motion sensor, and the combination further comprises an electronic motion sensor housed in the cavity.

[ 0234 ] Embodiment 94. The combination of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath has an outer surface having a coefficient of friction that is at least 50% of the coefficient of friction of the outer surface of the hockey stick adjacent the knob insert.

[ 0235 ] Embodiment 95. The combination of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath has an outer surface having a coefficient of friction that is at least 60% of the coefficient of friction of the outer surface of the hockey stick adjacent the knob insert.

[ 0236 ] Embodiment 96. The combination of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath has an outer surface having a coefficient of friction that is at least 70% of the coefficient of friction of the outer surface of the hockey stick adjacent the knob insert.

[ 0237 ] Embodiment 97. The combination of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath has an outer surface having a coefficient of friction that is at least 80% of the coefficient of friction of the outer surface of the hockey stick adjacent the knob insert.

[ 0238 ] Embodiment 98. The combination of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath has an outer surface having a coefficient of friction that is at least 90% of the coefficient of friction of the outer surface of the hockey stick adjacent the knob insert.

[ 0239 ] Embodiment 99. The combination of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath has an outer surface having a coefficient of friction that is at least 100% of the coefficient of friction of the outer surface of the hockey stick adjacent the knob insert.

[ 0240 ] Embodiment 100. The combination of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath has an outer surface having a coefficient of friction that is at least 1 10% of the coefficient of friction of the outer surface of the hockey stick adjacent the knob insert. [ 024 1 ] Embodiment 101. The combination of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath has an outer surface having a coefficient of friction that is at least 120% of the coefficient of friction of the outer surface of the hockey stick adjacent the knob insert.

[ 0242 ] Embodiment 102. A knob insert of any preceding embodiment inserted into a hollow end of the hockey stick wherein the anterior cantle region of knob insert, when engaged with the hypothenar of the gripping hand provides increased leverage on the hockey stick.

[ 0243 ] Embodiment 103. A knob insert of any preceding embodiment inserted into a hollow end of the hockey stick wherein the anterior cantle region of the knob insert, when engaged with the hypothenar of the gripping hand, increases the surface area of contact between the hand and the hockey stick.

[ 0244 ] Embodiment 104. A knob insert of any preceding embodiment inserted into a hollow end of the hockey stick wherein the anterior cantle region of knob, when engaged with the hypothenar of the gripping hand provides increased surface area between the knob insert and the hand thus distributing pressure from a smaller focused area to a larger less-focused distribution of pressure to the gripping hand.-

[ 0245 ] Embodiment 105. A knob insert of any preceding embodiment inserted into a hollow end of the hockey stick wherein the knob sheath, when gripped by the hand provides improved contact with the palmer arches of the gripping hand and the hockey stick resulting in improved grip, control and power transfer from the hands to the stick.

[ 024 6 ] Embodiment 106. A knob insert of any preceding embodiment inserted into a hollow end of the hockey stick wherein the tang having a longitudinal length roughly half the length of the overall knob insert while keeping the plurality of the knob insert and the handle of the hockey stick within the grip of the hand.

[ 0247 ] Embodiment 107. A knob insert of any preceding embodiment inserted into a hollow end of the hockey stick wherein the tang, when fully inserted into the hollow end of a hockey stick, will generally not impact the flex of the stick.

[ 0248 ] Embodiment 108. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of

Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 18,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638. [ 0249 ] Embodiment 109. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 19,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

[ 0250 ] Embodiment 1 10. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 21 ,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

[ 0251 ] Embodiment 1 1 1. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 23,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

[ 0252 ] Embodiment 1 12. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 26,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

[ 0253 ] Embodiment 1 13. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 29,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

[ 0254 ] Embodiment 1 14. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 31 ,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

[ 0255 ] Embodiment 1 15. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 33,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

[ 0256 ] Embodiment 1 16. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 37,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

[ 0257 ] Embodiment 1 17. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 41 ,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

[ 0258 ] Embodiment 1 18. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 45,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638. [ 0259 ] Embodiment 119. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 50,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

[ 0260 ] Embodiment 120. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the insert shaft is made of a material having the mechanical properties of Tensile Strength at yield, 73° of at least 70,000 psi using ASTM/ISO procedure D638.

[ 0261 ] Embodiment 121. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region.

[ 0262 ] Embodiment 122. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with sheath anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature casp1 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature R cpsp1 of sheath posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane.

[ 0263 ] Embodiment 123. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with sheath anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature R casp1 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature R cpsp1 of sheath posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of R CPSP1 to R CASP1 is at least 2:1.

[ 0264 ] Embodiment 124. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with sheath anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature R casp1 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature R cpsp1 of sheath posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of R CPSP1 to R CASP1 is at least 3:1.

[ 0265 ] Embodiment 125. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with sheath anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature R casp1 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature R cpsp1 of sheath posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of R CPSP1 to R CASP1 is at least 4:1. [ 0266 ] Embodiment 126. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with sheath anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature casp1 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature R cpsp1 of sheath posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of R CPSP1 to R CASP1 is at least 5:1.

[ 0267 ] Embodiment 127. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with sheath anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature R casp1 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature R cpsp1 of sheath posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of R CPSP1 to R CASP1 is at least about 20:1.

[ 0268 ] Embodiment 128. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with sheath anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature R casp1 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature R cpsp1 of sheath posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of R CPSP1 to R CASP1 is in the range of about 4:1 to about 17.5:1.

[ 0269 ] Embodiment 129. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath comprises an anterior cantle region and a posterior cantle region, each of which gradually curves away from central longitudinal axis with sheath anterior cantle region having a radius of curvature R casp1 jn the sagittal plane that is less than the radius of curvature R cpsp1 of sheath posterior cantle region in the sagittal plane and the ratio of R CPSP1 to R CASP1 is in the range of about 5:1 to about 10:1.

[ 0270 ] Embodiment 130. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature, in the coronal plane on either side of the sagittal plane.

[ 0271 ] Embodiment 131. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature, in the coronal plane on either side of the sagittal plane which are asymmetrical. [ 0272 ] Embodiment 132. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature, in the coronal plane on either side of the sagittal plane which are comparable.

[ 0273 ] Embodiment 133. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature, in the coronal plane on either side of the sagittal plane, which gradually curve away from the central longitudinal axis.

[ 0274 ] Embodiment 134. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, R ccp1 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, R CCP2 on either side of the sagittal plane.

[ 0275 ] Embodiment 135. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, R ccp1 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, R CCP2 on either side of the sagittal plane.

[ 0276 ] Embodiment 136. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, R ccp1 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, R CCP2 on either side of the sagittal plane are comparable and have a ratio of about 2:1 to about 1 :2.

[ 0277 ] Embodiment 137. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, R ccp1 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, R CCP2 on either side of the sagittal plane are comparable and have a ratio of about 1.75: 1 to about 1 : 1.75.

[ 0278 ] Embodiment 138. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, R ccp1 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, R CCP2 on either side of the sagittal plane are comparable and have a ratio of about 1.5: 1 to about 1 :1.5.

[ 0279 ] Embodiment 139. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the sheath has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, R ccp1 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, R CCP2 on either side of the sagittal plane are comparable and have a ratio of about 1.1 :1 to about 1 :1.1.

[ 0280 ] Embodiment 140. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature, in the coronal plane on either side of the sagittal plane. [ 0281 ] Embodiment 141. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature, in the coronal plane on either side of the sagittal plane which are asymmetrical.

[ 0282 ] Embodiment 142. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature, in the coronal plane on either side of the sagittal plane which are comparable.

[ 0283 ] Embodiment 143. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature, in the coronal plane on either side of the sagittal plane, which gradually curve away from the central longitudinal axis.

[ 0284 ] Embodiment 144. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, R CCP3 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, R CCP4 on either side of the sagittal plane.

[ 0285 ] Embodiment 145. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, R CCP3 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, R CCP4 on either side of the sagittal plane.

[ 0286 ] Embodiment 146. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, R CCP3 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, R CCP 4 on either side of the sagittal plane are comparable and have a ratio of about 2:1 to about 1 :2.

[ 0287 ] Embodiment 147. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, R CCP3 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, R CCP4 on either side of the sagittal plane are comparable and have a ratio of about 1.75: 1 to about 1 : 1.75.

[ 0288 ] Embodiment 148. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, R CCP3 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, R CCP4 on either side of the sagittal plane are comparable and have a ratio of about 1.5:1 to about 1 :1.5.

[ 0289 ] Embodiment 149. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment wherein the shaft has a radius of curvature in the left coronal plane, R CCP3 and a radius of curvature in the right coronal plane, R CCP4 on either side of the sagittal plane are comparable and have a ratio of about 1.1 :1 to about 1 :1.1. [ 0290 ] Embodiment 150. The knob insert of any preceding embodiment, wherein the tang has a cross-sectional shape that is any of polygonal, oval, and round.

[ 0291 ] Embodiment 151 . The knob insert of embodiment 150, wherein the tang has a cross-sectional shape that is a regular or irregular polygon.

[ 0292 ] Embodiment 152. The knob insert of embodiment 150, wherein the tang has a cross-sectional shape that is any of triangular, square, rectangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, octagonal, oval and round.

[ 0293 ] Having described the disclosure in detail, it will be apparent that modifications and variations are possible without departing the scope of the disclosure defined in the appended claims.