FAIRFIELD LITTLE LEAGUE GIRLS SOFTBALL - EQUIPMENT
Please e-mail Matt DeSabella (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any softball equipment questions!
At the very least, your daughter will need:
- Cleats. Must have rubber or hard plastic spikes (metal spikes are prohibited). Soccer cleats that meet these guidelines are permitted. Cleats range in price from $20 to over $100.
- Glove. Avoid baseball gloves -- the pockets are too small to catch a softball. For girls aged 10-12, we recommend an 11-12" youth softball glove, and for girls aged 7-9 we recommend a 10-11" youth softball glove (with adjustable strap). Don't worry about buying a glove based on your daughter's favorite position, as she'll play both infield and outfield for her Little League team.
For girls over 12, an adjustable adult glove is recommended. If she specializes in a position, here's a link to a sizing chart and more information.
Gloves range in price from $15 to over $100. Make sure you break in new gloves!
As your daughter develops a love for the sport (not to mention grows out of her cleats and glove), you're going to be spending more time at Dicks Sporting Goods or Modells. Here's some thoughts on other softball gear and equipment.
FLLGS supplies batting helmets for each team. Many parents prefer that their daughter have her own helmet, even at an early age. Here's a link with information on choosing the right helmet for your daughter. Her helmet should have a face guard and adjustable chinstrap (if you have a helmet without a guard, they cost $10-$15). Helmets range in price from $20 to $80.
FLLGS supplies bats for each team. As your daughter gets older and more advanced (AA+), you may want to buy her a bat. Here's a guide to choosing the right bat, including sizing information. Bats range in price from $35 to over $300. IMPORTANT: As you read the bat buying guide in the attachment, and look for bats for your daughter, please note that for smaller girls, the weight of the bat does play an important role in her ability to swing effectively. As such, please note the appropriate length of bat for your daughter (based on her weight) in the attachment. Then, as it relates to the bat's weight, you may want to consider a drop -11 or drop -12 for the bat weight. As the girls get older, they may move to a drop -10 or -9 (Drop = length of bat minus the weight, so a 27" length, and a 16 ounce bat equals an -11 drop). Again, please ask Matt DeSabella (
) if you have any further questions.
Bats must conform to Rule 1.10 of the Little League Softball Rule Book:
It shall be a smooth, rounded stick and made of wood or a material tested and proved acceptable to Little League standards. The bat shall be no more than 33 inches (34 inches for Junior/Senior/Big League) in length, not more than two and one-quarter (2-1/4) inches in diameter, and if wood, not less than fifteen/sixteenth (15/16) inches in diameter (7/8 inch for bats less than 30 inches) at its smallest part. Non-wood bats shall be printed with a BPF (bat performance factor) of 1.20. Bats may be taped or fitted with a sleeve for a distance not exceeding 16 inches from the small end. Colored bats are acceptable. A non-wood bat must have a grip of cork, tape or composition material, and must extend a minimum of 10 inches from the small end. Slippery tape or similar material is prohibited.
FLLGS requires corner infielders (first, third) and pitchers to wear fielding masks, which we supply for each team. Masks are optional for other positions, and players, usually at the older levels (AA+), often acquire their own. RIP-IT, Schutt, Worth and Mizuno are two popular brands of masks, which are usually made of lightweight plastic or composite material. Masks range in price from $30 to $40.
AA and AAA players wear FLLGS-supplied uniform shorts, sliders (usually a foam pad worn on the leg) and/or sliding shorts help prevent cuts and scratches when sliding into bases. FLLGS supplies black softball pants for Majors and Juniors players - these players typically would not need the slider, unless they chose to wear shorts. Some parents elect to purchase their own black softball pants for the players. Sliders range in price from $10-$25, sliding shorts from $15-$40, and pants from $20 to over $50.
FLLGS supplies catcher's gear for each team. It's a big investment, particularly for a growing child. Don't consider buying this equipment unless you're convinced your daughter wants to spend most of her playing time behind the plate. Also consult your daughter's manager/coach.
We recommend, although not required, mouthguards at all positions. They cost from $5 to over $40 and are available at sporting goods stores.
Batting gloves are becoming more and more popular. While not necessary, they can minimize the impact of the bat hitting the ball. Gloves range from $15 to more than $50.
Some players, particularly pitchers, also wear chest protectors. These hard plastic shells are either strapped to the chest or built into undershirts and cost between $20 and $50.
Of course, you're now going to need a bag for all that equipment. You can spend as little as $20 to more than $150.
The manager of your daughter's team has reams of coupons for Dicks Sporting Goods, so check with them before taking the plunge. And don't feel compelled to clear the shelves. Get what your daughter needs, when she needs it.