Here's a list of suggested equipment - some of it is required by Souhegan Valley local rule ( see link at SV Local rules, in the "For Coaches" menu )
All players are required to wear helmets with a faceguard while batting or in the on-deck circle (on the field, next up to bat). We do provide helmets, but a lot of parents would rather buy their own.
#1 RULE AFTER YOU BUY YOUR EQUIPMENT!
We find stuff, and people tell us they've misplaced stuff all the time. "It was a girls softball glove with pink on it" is useless .... They all have Girls softball gloves with pink on them ;)
Beginners and Intermediate Players
A bat should be light enough for the player to hold in their strong hand at arms length for 15-30 seconds. It should be as long as possible, as long as it's still light enough to hold. More info is below.
Mouthguards are required for pitchers in intermediates, and highly recommended for first and third base. . All Intermediates players should show up at the field with one available.
Players with braces should wear mouthguards at all times (ask your dentist...).
- Bat: Longest bat that the girls are still able to hold at arms length with their strong hand, for 15 - 30 seconds.
- Glove: Softball glove is best, usually 11 1/2 - 13 inches depending on the size of her hand. To break in a glove you can turn it inside out, tie it up and store it. After the glove is broken in, store it tied with a softball wrapped inside to maintain shape.
- Mouthguard: All pitchers and third basegirls are required to have a mouth guard. Since we rotate everyone into almost every position, all the girls should have a mouthguard. The coaches usually carry extras, and we have more in the snack shack - but they are ugly, uncomfortable, and probably have to be cut to fit. Better that the girls have their own. All girls with any kind of dental work should wear a mouthguard at all times.
- Sliding pants: Tight fitting sliding pants are worn under the shorts to keep out dirt and dust. We've heard that the boys version fits better and is cheaper. Highly recommended if your daughter wants to slide.
- Sliding Pads: Sliding pads look like a knee-brace, and are worn over the downward knee for sliding - keeps the abrasions down. Not required, but if your girl knows how to slide, these are a good idea.
- Juniors usually have a pretty good collection already, but all of the above applies.
- Mouthguards are required for pitchers and third base.
- Faceguard: Pitchers should wear a faceguard, and maybe a heartguard. Some of these girls can really smack a ball.
- If a girl in 12U and up doesn't have a mouth guard, they won't be allowed to pitch or play third - this is enforced by the umpires.
- We'll stock Sports Authority $10 off cards each Spring in the snack-shack at Selvoski.
- Feel free to go nuts with the socks. "Uniform" stops at the knees ;)
We get questions like "what size bat should I get" quite a bit. Bats are measured by length and weight. The ratio of length to weight is known as the "drop" - a 29 inch bat with a weight of 19 oz is known as a "drop 10", and is often shown as "-10" or "-10oz" in ads. A higher drop number means that a player can use a longer bat.
A good rule of thumb is that a player should be able to hold the bat in their strong hand at arms length for 15-30 seconds comfortably. Longer bats are better most of the time.
Bat prices range from $20 to $300 or more. Aluminum bats are cheaper, the more expensive bats are made of composite material. Online reviews may be helpful, it would be good to know that the drop 11 composite hybrid that you got a good deal on will probably be dented and unuseable after a couple of games before you buy it.
Composite bats will shatter if they are used in cool weather. Usually a composite bat should not be used if it's under 60 degrees. Bring them inside on cold nights if you plan to use them the next day. There's no sound more horrifying than a $400 dollar bat breaking into 400 one-dollar pieces.
You can find much more information and a chart with suggested bat lengths and weights here.
- Bats cannot be more than 34 inches long
- Bats can't weigh more than 38 ounces
- At it's thickest part, a bat cannot be more than 2.25 inches in diameter
- Bats must be marked "Official Softball" or "Official Fastpitch"