A former major league soccer goalkeeper named Mark Dodd has invented shock-blocking pads using molded plastics that will debut next month in caps of major league pitchers.
Pinwrest Development Group (New York, NY) acquired the technology last year from Dodd (Allen, TX) and announced this week that its Protective Cap insert has been approved for use in the 2014 season by Major League Baseball.
"Introduction of the Protective Cap represents a very significant step in the protection of major league pitchers," said Bruce Foster, Chief Executive Officer of 4Licensing Corp, which established Pinwrest last year with other investors. "Our isoBLOX technology, combined with a foam substrate, is molded into a lightweight, flexible, impact resistant head form that provides significant impact protection and can be inserted into a regular baseball cap worn by MLB Players."
Dodd is the founder and former CEO of isoBLOX.
A spokesman for 4Licensing could not be reached to discuss the polymer technology, but patents listing Dodd as the inventor show the basic ideas.
Conformability is provided by a molded elastomeric component that contains pockets of a rigid plastic such as ABS or polypropylene. The rigid core has hinges that can rotate relative to one another. The hinges attach the plastic plates together.
Dodd, who once was named MLS goalkeeper of the year, said that the purpose of the invention is to overcome the bulkiness and weight of traditional shin guards worn by soccer players and other athletes. The invention has been adapted for use in baseball caps by Pinwrest and 4L Licensing.
Pitchers are particularly vulnerable to head injuries from batted balls. Use of the Protective Cap will be voluntary.
"The Company is in the process of developing a number of other impact protection products utilizing isoBLOX," Foster said. "These products are being designed for use by athletes of all ages, in a variety of sports and activities."
The isoBLOX technology is already being used by Wilson Sporting Goods and by STX Lacrosse in a number of products.
|Cross-sectional view shows elastomeric base with rigid plastic core and notched hinges. Other plates attach to the hinges. (UPTO)|