Softball is more fun to play when everyone involved can protect themselves. There are high-speed balls everywhere, and the bats are often thrown in many directions. Regardless of how you enjoy this game, it is essential to have gears that will make you comfortable and protect you safely during practices and athletic events.
If you’re just starting, there are several pieces of equipment that you should consider before playing. It would be best if you had shin guards, chest protectors, helmets, and more. To play the game more efficiently, you need to have balls, bats, and hitting trainers to make you a better hitter. You can practice with your equipment and get a better feel of the bat whenever you have your own to use. Aside from this, here are other things that you need to complete your softball journey.
What You Need
Batsmen use bats to hit the balls. When they hit, they can run around the field to make points for the whole team. Some bats are made from aluminum, and other more common varieties are wood. The diameter is 6 inches, and the shape is cylindrical. You can choose larger bats with more lengths, but it shouldn’t exceed 86 cm.
The barrel’s diameter is about 2¼ inches. Many who are just beginning to play may prefer the smaller barrels of the bats to do more effortless swings. The smaller the barrel, the lesser the weight, which is something to keep in mind. You mustn’t exceed the 1.2 kg mark when choosing the right weight.
Most face masks are worn by the first basemen, third basemen, shortstop, and pitcher. This is because these people will have a big chance of getting line drives. The right masks will protect your teeth, mouth, eyes, and nose from injuries. Although there are no set standards of masks that are needed to be worn, this is still a precautionary gear that you need to consider to avoid injuries.
Many softball players have seen their teammates being carried to the hospital because of a fastball hitting them and getting themselves into injuries. In worst-case scenarios, some may even experience blindness and concussions in the head. It would be best if you had your very own fielder’s mask so you can get comfortable and confident while playing. You can know more about this game on this site here.
Regardless of your role in the field, you need cleats as much as your other teammates do. They will help you slide, run, and jump on grasses and murky clay. You need cleats that are non-slips, and they should be able to add friction that you need on the ground and your feet. Look for varieties with molded or metal studs to increase friction. These are mostly sold in many sporting goods stores or online shops at affordable prices.
Shin guards are usually prevalent to catchers, but you can use them too if you are a pitcher. They are ideal for those quick ball returns that are generally very low to the ground. Shin guards work well with catching mitts, chest protectors, catcher’s helmets, and other safety gear to avoid injuries. Many catchers are expected to wear the proper outfit in any practice or game to avoid getting injured at all costs.
The ball is the center of the game, and you need to choose carefully. Its core is made up of kapok, which is a combination of rubber or cork. The circumference will vary, but the materials are usually the same in all games. Yellow remains the official ball color in competitive leagues, and the material of choice is generally synthetic leather.
If you choose the size for competitive matches, you may need 10” to 12” ones. For youngsters, 10” varieties don’t have the hard cores to allow the players to have a better grip with smaller hands. Fastpitch events may regularly use 11,” but this depends on the guidelines set by the league.
According to the American Softball Association, the glove sizes should not exceed 36 centimeters. The gloves are different from mitts because these have individual fingers, and they contain lesser paddings. The first basemen are usually the ones to wear mitts because they are known to catch the balls thrown at a specific speed.
In matches, the defensive players are required to wear fielding gloves. You can choose from different sizes available, or you can chat online if you need further help in figuring out what will be ideal for your hands. Know more about choosing a glove here: https://www.wikihow.com/Choose-a-Softball-Glove.
To increase the bond and unity among the team’s players, the uniforms are usually provided. Most of the teams may choose one color for the caps, socks, shoes, shirts, and pants. For females, there are uniformed headbands for easier identification. The hats may be optional, but for those who are wearing helmets, the caps and headbands are not required.
If you are going to get your uniforms with the help of a single manufacturer, you may want to know the styles and designs when they are finished. This way, you can shop and mix for other accessories and items like shoes and mitts that will match your overall outfit.
More Facts to Know about Softball
- The Amateur Softball Association of America is an authorized body that checks the players’ bat sizes. They can reject bats that they deemed illegal. If the bats were known to be performance enhancers, they would be banned, and the team that has them may be penalized.
- You can choose between slow pitch and fastpitch sports. The slow pitch games will have 11” mass balls, and they have yellow optic covers. In fastpitch games, the balls are usually 12,” and the mass is 194 grams.
- Yellow balls are becoming popular in softball matches. The white ones were mainly used for those who are playing fast pitches.
- Between the forefingers and the thumb of the globes, there’s a web that is known as pocket. The glove colors should be put so that not one part will be the same as that of the ball. The pitchers should not have any white color on the gloves as this can create problems for batsmen when they are trying to focus on the ball.