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How to choose baseball & softball equipment

Baseball and softball are fun team sports that everyone can enjoy, but it’s important to have the right equipment. We’ll help you find the right baseball and softball equipment to help you get in the game.

Bats

Bat Structure

Understanding the structure of a baseball bat will help you choose the correct size.

Here are definitions of the terms:


1. Barrel Size: The diameter of the baseball bat is called barrel size. A smaller barrel size means a lighter bat.

2. Grip: The covering used on the handle of the bat.

3. Length-to-weight ratio: Also known as weight drop, the length-to-weight ratio is the weight of the bat subtracted from length of the bat. It’s always a negative number, and the smaller the number, the heavier the bat. 

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Baseball Bat Sizing Chart

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Slo-pitch Softball Bat Sizing Chart

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Fast-Pitch Softball Bat Sizing Chart

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Gloves

Glove Structure

Choosing the right baseball or softball glove depends on the field position you play and how your hand feels in the glove. 

Here are some useful terms to know about a glove.

1. Web: A tightly woven piece of leather that connects the fingers and the thumb for secure control of the ball.

2. Palm: The area of the glove where the ball will sit. Most gloves will have paddings under the leather for more protection of your palm.

3. Heel: The lower portion of your glove that provides protection against the impact of the ball.

4. Hinge: The part of the glove that allows you to open and close your hand easily.

5. Lacing: Lacing provides shape to your glove.

Baseball Glove Sizing Chart

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Softball Glove Sizes

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Glove Lingo

Baseball and softball gloves have different web designs that can cater to your need and preference.

Here are some definitions of the terms:

1. H-Web: Allows for maximum catching area in pocket and the ability to see the ball. It is typically used by outfielders or softball players.

2. Trapeze: Allows for maximum catching area and ball retention. Typically used by outfielders or softball players.

3. Basket-Web: Allows for multi-position use and large catching area. Typically used by pitchers, infielders, softball and youth players.

4. Modified Trapeze: Allows for multi-position use and ball retention in the pocket. Typically used by pitchers, infielders and youth players. This web design is not recommended for softball.

5. I-Web: Allows for multi-position use and ball retention in the pocket. Typically used by infielders and youth players. This web design is not recommended for softball.

Cleats

Baseball and softball cleats

It’s important to have a well-fitted and comfortable pair of cleats when you are playing baseball or softball. You should wear a pair of game socks when you’re trying on the cleats to ensure a snug fit. Cleats will break in over time, so don’t choose a pair that is too big or too small. 
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Helmets

Helmet Fitting

Baseball and softball helmets are designed to protect you when you are out on the field. It’s important to know how to properly fit a helmet. 

Here are some tips:

• Helmets should be worn so the front brim sits approximately 1” above the eyebrows.

• Players who are under 16 will require a helmet with a chin strip.

• NOCSAE standard equates to 68 MPH pitch speed. All helmets must meet this standard. 

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Helmet Standards Chart

Balls

Baseball

These have a 9” circumference and an official weight of 5 oz. They’re white with flat seams, designed for contact at high speed. 
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Slow-Pitch Softballs

These have an 11” or 12” circumference and an official weight of 7oz. They’re yellow or white — yellow stands out better under lights — with flat seams, designed to perform based on low pitch speeds. 
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Fast-Pitch Softballs

These have an 11” or 12” circumference with an official weight of 7oz, They’re yellow, which is easier to see at high speeds, and have raised seams for grip, designed to perform based on high pitch speeds.
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Bats

Gloves

Cleats

Helmets

Balls