Must-Have Softball Equipment for Beginners (Complete List)
There is not a huge amount of expensive equipment needed to play a game of softball, though if you are playing in a proper competition there are basic equipment you will need to be safe.
Safety is the number one priority when it comes to playing any sports. In a sport like softball, severe injuries and concussions can happen. This is why we advise everyone to wear appropriate protective equipment. So if you or your kids want to play softball, always buy the proper equipment first.
Now, you might wonder what kind of equipment should I wear to ensure safety and be ready to play on the field? Well, in this article, we've put together a comprehensive list of the equipment beginners should use to play softball. And right at the end, we will also give you names of sites from where you can buy this equipment.
A Softball Bat
Softball bats are usually similar to baseball bats but not exactly the same. They tend to be longer with smaller diameters and are less sturdy than their baseball equivalents. Softball bats are mostly made of aluminum, wood, and composite material.
According to the NCAA, a softball bat must be at least as tall (in inches) as it weighs (in ounces), and its weight must not be more than 3 ounces less than its number of inches.
Due to the differences in the structure of softballs and baseballs, softball can be played using a baseball bat, but a wooden softball bat will likely break if used to play baseball.
Tip: When you purchase softball bats, save all the packaging materials and the receipt. Even though softball bats are expensive, they can still break. So if your bat has a warranty, you can get it replaced.
>> Read about selecting the softball right bat for you.
Fielding Face Guard
Softballs are tough and certainly not as soft as the name suggests. Therefore, the narrative that it will not cause as much harm is false.
A softball field is shorter than a baseball one, so players are likelier to be struck in the face by a ball hit by the batter. This is why all softball players must wear protective face guards when fielding.
And nowadays, softball leagues require particular position fielders to wear masks, and young players are becoming compulsory to wear them when playing.
If hit in the head by a fast softball, a face guard can potentially save a softball player's life.
Gloves and Mitts
Softball gloves tend to be bigger than baseball gloves because the ball is bigger. And when it comes to gloves, softball players also need special ones.
Many players prefer wearing gloves that differ from mitts because they have individual fingers, are easy to move in, and have less padding. First basemen require large gloves but outfielders and middle infielders usually wear small gloves.
Softball gloves last long and aren't very costly.
Sports players have to wear appropriate footwear to play properly and avoid injuries. In softball, you'll require cleats unless the community softball club has a turf field. Everyone on a softball field, regardless of their position, wears cleats.
Cleats aid you in running, sliding, and leaping in the muddy clay and grass. They keep you from falling by using molded or metal studs to create a solid grip between your feet and the ground.
Catchers or fielders typically wear shin guards. However, some pitchers even use them to stop quick shots from the batter.
With a helmet, shin guards, and a catching glove, players can become prepared before games and practices with all the necessary equipment to protect themselves from serious injury.
An essential piece of equipment for safety in softball is the batting helmet. Batters wear helmets when batting to protect their face/head. A helmet's job is to shield the head from the pitcher’s throws. A head-on collision with the ball without a helmet can result in a fatal blow.
Almost all softball leagues require helmets to be worn and stamped with the NOCSAE seal of approval.
Softball helmets are made from solid plastic and foam that spreads the force from any ball that hits the head of the batter.
The main differences between softball and baseball helmets are wire-type face guards and ponytail channels specifically designed for female players, as many softball players are female.
Softball batting gloves have become very popular in recent times. In the past, no softball or even baseball players wore batting gloves. But nowadays, the majority of softball players use them to protect their hands when they play.
Although buying batting gloves is not compulsory, most professional softball players highly recommend them for excellent grip and hand protection.
An arm guard usually means an elbow protector. However, there are arm guards now that cover your forearm and triceps. Other arm protections are wrist guards. They typically come with hard plastic in the wristband.
Batters wear arm guards when facing high-speed pitchers. They protect you from off-target pitches and make you feel comfortable while batting. A forearm or wrist guard is usually softer and advised for catchers. Some infielders wear wrist guards as well.
Sliders are leggings that protect your upper leg from being burnt or scraped while sliding. They fit tightly on your legs and are padded. Softball players wear them under their softball pants to be able to slide and dive in a game. So if you are more of a diver in the game, we recommend getting them.
Lastly, softball players need a backpack for all of their equipment. A softball backpack is convenient to take to training sessions and competitive matches. You should look for a nice backpack that suits you and will last for a few years. Before purchasing a backpack, make sure it can easily fit all of your protective gear.
Where to Buy Softball Equipment
To buy softball gear in retail, you can visit Dick’s Sporting Goods.
And if you want to buy them wholesale, SeeBiz is a pretty good option.
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- Poll about the fitness components for softball