Basic Softball Gear

Here is a list of some of the basic softball gear that your player needs to get started (with basic information-Trust me… things like picking bats get very complicated as your player starts playing competitive softball):

Helmets:  Get a helmet that fits good without pressing on the ears too tight but at the same time not too loose that it comes off.  It is always tough to get helmets for 6U players since most of the time the helmets keep sliding and blocking the player’s sight.  Even though the leagues have plenty of extra helmets that a player can use, it is always good to have their own helmets just to avoid spreading of lice.  You also need a chin strap with your helmet.  Some of the umpires will not let the kids play without chin strap.

Bats: Bats are tricky since they have to be the right height and weight for your player to use.  A good rule of thumb is to have the player hold the bat with their leading hand (left hand for a right handed player and right hand for a left handed player) and hold it out horizontally and count to 5. If the end of the bat tips down before the count of 5 then it is too heavy.  It they can hold it straight past 5 then it may be too light.  Try out different bats till your player finds the right one. There is more to selecting a bat than this.  This is just the simple way.  For kids starting out, Aluminum bats are sufficient and they are less expensive also.  When your player gets good, you may want to think about composite bats.

Gloves: Get a good fitting glove that is the right size.  Don’t buy a size that kids can grow into because they have to be able to catch the ball and keep the ball in the glove when ball gets hit to them.  If the glove is too big then the ball gets out of the glove as soon as they catch it.  The player needs to be able to close the glove when they try it on.  There are some stores that actually oil and steam the glove if you buy it from them.  Here are the different types of softball gloves.

Balls: The balls are different sizes for different age groups.  10″ balls for 6U, 11″ balls for under 8U and 10U and 12″ balls for every one else.  Even though you don’t have to buy balls individually, it is always good to have a few to play catch with your player at home.

Cleats:  If you are a parent of a player that plays both soccer and softball, you could possible use the soccer cleat for softball but if you are serious about the softball then buy a softball cleat that has a toe cleat in the front.  You cannot use softball cleats for soccer as it is banned by the soccer associations.

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