Rome Girls Softball Rome NY girls youth sports softball

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Q: My daughter is new to the sport.   What equipment will she need?

Each player is expected to provide:

  • A decent quality leather glove.  Please avoid the temptation of an inexpensive plastic or synthetic leather glove.  These gloves have no pocket to speak of and will prove frustrating to your young player.  Softball gloves are bigger, as they must be, than the baseball counterpart.  This is due to the size of the ball, 11" in Kost &10u, and 12" in the older divisions.  A good used glove that fits and is broken-in is an excellent choice for the younger girls.

What size glove do I need?  
Glove Sizing:  Can be different depending on the size of the child's hand. If she can slip each finger into the glove and swing it from sky to ground without it falling off it’s a good fit. It also has to be appropriate for the right size of ball too.

Gloves are measured by starting at the top of the index finger of the glove and measuring down the finger, along the inside of the pocket and then out to the heel of the glove. Most gloves have the pre-measured size stamped inside where the pocket is. Typical fielding sizes range from 9" - 13".

A glove is typically worn on the non-dominant hand so the dominant hand is ready to throw the ball. Purchasing a glove to fit on the left hand is called a "Right Hand Throw" while a glove that fits on the right hand is called a "Left Hand Throw", sometimes referred to as "Full Right". So a right-handed player would wear a glove on the left hand.

 

Optional Equipment:

  • Sliding protection: sliding pants/knee pads
  • Rubber molded softball cleats -- no metal cleats.
  • The league will provide a shirt with number, and a visor.
  • Bat: each team is supplied with 5 bats but many players elect to provide their own.  The bat must meet an ASA specification which, in general terms, means it must have the 2004 ASA "home plate" stamp.
  • Helmet: ALL batting helmets are required to have face guards with optional chin straps.  While the league provides each team with 4 helmets, there are obvious hygiene issues involved with sharing helmets.  Most players bring their own helmet.  The helmet and face guard must display the NOCSAE certification stamp. The helmet should fit snug around the ears and front part of forehead & should not bounce around head when jogging/running around. Pony-tails should come out the hole in the back, if provided, or be BELOW the back/bottom of the helmet. Tip the helmet forward so your line-of-sight looks out the open area of the facemask.
  • Batting gloves:
  • Equipment bag: players bringing more than just a glove to the game may wish to use an equipment bag to store all of the above.  Catchers with their own gear invariably gravitate toward the wheeled bags.


What size bat do I need? 
Bat Size: A good rule of thumb is to hold the nob end of the bat with opposite throwing hand and extend directly straight out without dropping head of bat. Usually the length is not as important as the weight of the bat. Too heavy of bat leads to late swinging and produces foul balls or strike outs.


Determining the Right Bat Weight

  • Link to PDF of Non-Approved Bats
  • Most bats are weighted in ounces
  • Manufacturers have done a great job in balancing the bat's weight to its length
  • Many bats have a weight-to-length ratio, often shown as -4, -6, etc.
  • This basically means a 34-inch bat with a -6 ratio weighs 28 ounces
  • Selecting weight really depends on two critical factors--your strength and your hitting style
  • It also depends a lot on your personal preference in weight and length, so the following are simply guidelines to follow:
  • Bigger, stronger players prefer a heavier bat since they get the benefits of both the heft and swing power
  • Smaller players with less strength should consider a lighter bat to generate a quicker swing
  • Younger players, too, should consider that a lighter bat increases control, great for singles hitters, while also reducing the risk of injury

 

General guidelines:
There are some standard rules of thumb in selecting the appropriate bat length. The charts below offer some guidelines based on age and weight and height:
Age: Using your age as a guide, use the chart below to determine the bat length that fits your body.
 

Determine Your Bat Length by Age
Age Bat length
5-7 years old 24"-26"
8-9 years old 26"-28"
10 years old 28"-29"
11-12 years old 30"-31"
13-14 years old 31"-32"
15-16 years old 32"-33"
17+ years old 34"
 

Height and weight: Height and weight are usually better ways to determine what bat length may work best for you. Once again, use the height and weight chart to give you a general idea of the length of bat that fits your body. Link to PDF of Non-Approved Bats

Height 3'-3'4" 3'5"-3'8" 3'9"-4' 4'1"-4'4" 4'5"-4'8" 4'9"-5' 5'1"-5'4" 5'5"-5'8" 5'9"-6' 6'1"-over
Weight
< 60 26" 27" 28" 29" 29"          
61-70 27" 27" 28" 29" 30" 30"        
71-80   28" 28" 29" 30" 30" 31"      
81-90   28" 29" 29" 30" 30" 31" 32"    
91-100   28" 29" 30" 30" 31" 31" 32"    
101-110   29" 29" 30" 30" 31" 31" 32"    
111-120   29" 29" 30" 30" 31" 31" 32"    
121-130   29" 30" 30" 30" 31" 32" 33" 33"  
131-140   29" 30" 30" 31" 31" 32" 33" 33"  
141-150     30" 30" 31" 31" 32" 33" 33"  
151-160     30" 31" 31" 32" 32" 33" 33" 33"
161-180       31" 31" 32" 32" 33" 33" 34"
181-190           32" 33" 33" 34" 34"
190             33" 33" 34" 34"

                                                   Bat Length by Height and Weight Guide

 

 

What size softball is used? 
Kost Kids
11" "Softie" ball - The smaller size makes it easier for children's hands to grab, while the extra soft texture is touted as being a safer alternative to the hard 12-inch ball.

10u
11" standard softball – This ball more closely resembles the firmness of the 12” size but has the small diameter to fit a smaller hand.
 
12u & older
12" - Girls starting in the age group of 12u switch to a 12-inch ball. This ball is harder than most 11” models, and is in fact comparable to a regulation baseball in hardness. 12-inch fast pitch is the standard for girls' and women's softball from youth leagues through high school and college levels.