There are several important uniform items for playing softball. Some of them are provided by SCGS, but others you must need to get yourself. We are starting an equipment exchange program to help families offset some of the costs of starting. So, if you need a glove or bat, let us know. If you have one you aren’t using, please let us know.
SCGS-Provided Uniform Items
Every season SCGS provides a different uniform as part of participating. Its fun to collect and see how many uni’s you have from seasons past. Additionally, SCGS tries to provide some other special item such as crazy socks, hair bow, head band, etc.
Required Items that Must Be Purchased Separately
A batting helmet is a necessary item whenever a player has a bat in their hand. Not only does it protect them from stray balls, but it also keeps them from hitting themselves in the head with the bat. If you are practicing at home with a new player, they should always have a helmet on if they have a bat in their hands. Some requirements:
- Helmets must have a face mask and chin strap. These are usually sold separately, so make sure you get one when you buy the helmet.
- Make sure the helmet is “NOCSAE” approved. Ask the salesperson to show you the stamp.
- Make sure the helmet fits properly. While trying it on, players should shake and nod their head vigorously and the helmet stays snugly in place. However, make sure it isn’t uncomfortably tight. Don’t look for larger sizes to grow into. Heads actually don’t grow that much, so find one that fits now and it will last a while.
Glove (or mitt)
Glove size & ball size should correlate. If your division plays with an 11″ ball, use an 11″ glove MINIMUM. A slightly larger glove (11.5″ or 12″) wouldn’t hurt as it gives more area to catch the ball. Larger gloves will be heavier & harder for young players to use. To break a glove in: Rub oil on it, stick a ball in it and wrap it tightly with a rubber band. Finally, practice with it everyday and it will soon be flexible.
A good, comfortable pair of cleats are a must. You can use soccer cleats for softball, but you cannot use softball cleats for soccer. On our fields, you cannot use metal cleats.
All girls in the 8U, 10U, 12U and 14U age groups are required to slide. So, sliding shorts are must. T-Ball players do not need sliding shorts.
Coaches have bats that a player can share. However, it is helpful to have your own so that you can practice when you aren’t with the team. Some basics when buying a bat:
- It must be a softball bat, not baseball.
- It must have an ASA approval logo stamped on its side
- Rule of thumb for length: Have child stand up straight, arms hanging comfortably at side. Stand bat up on its end & the knob should come to about the wrist bone. An inch longer or shorter will not make much of a difference, but weight does.
- Rule of thumb for weight: Have player hold bat with dominant hand at knob & hold bat straight out in front of her with one hand. She should comfortably hold bat in this position for 5-10 seconds. If she can’t hold it up, then it may be too heavy. If there is no lighter bat at that length, then go a bit shorter & lighter.
- Resist temptation to buy a bat to grow into. If she can’t handle the bat, she will not hit comfortably. A simple aluminum bat for beginners will work fine and should be less than $50.
Face masks for fielding are are not required but are highly recommended for the 1st, 3rd and Pitcher positions. We recommend them for all infield positions.
Again, these are highly recommended when you are sliding. They should fit comfortably & allow running & sliding without moving up or down leg much. A lot of girls only wear one on their dominant leg.
Equipment Bag or Backpack
This is not required, but is helpful to keep track of your glove, batting gloves, bats, helmet, water bottle, etc. Pick one that is easy & comfortable to carry.
Again, not required, but helpful when your daughter is batting and sliding.
For practicing at home, its nice to have your own balls. We use Worth “Blue Dot” balls for most of our age groups. You don’t need to get that exact ball type, but should find one that is semi-hard to reduce injury. However, it shouldn’t be too soft or it won’t handle like a real game ball. Here are the sizes:
- T-Ball and 8U: 10″
- 10U: 11″
- 12U and 14U: 12″