Softball is among American’s favorite sports and also a popular pastime. Whether you play it as a normal game or for the competitive league, there is always a list of basic equipment that you have to prepare and follow. Read on to learn more about the most important ones.
The ball is regarded as the most basic equipment in softball. Balls used in this sport is round ones, made of leather, rubber or synthetic with white or yellow color, so they are not ‘soft’ as indicated in the name. Sizes of softball vary from 10 inches to 16 inches in circumference. Depending on the level of the game, they can weigh about 180 – 200 grams, equivalent to 5.5 – 9 ounces. If meeting the specifications regulated by Amateur Softball Association, the ball will have its logo printed on them to show that they are totally approved in the games.
Second to the ball but not of less important is the bat. The best fastpitch/slowpitch softball bats are really crucial to have a power hitting.
Bats used in youth level softball are basically the same as those used in baseball, except in appearance as softball bats seem to be the thinner. They can be made out of diversified materials, such as wood, aluminum alloy, composite, hybrid, etc. Each type of material has its own pros and cons, and there are many brands of the bat on the market as well, such as DeMarini, Easton, Miken, Louisville Slugger,… To choose the best slowpitch softball bats or fastpitch softball bat you should refer other reviews or try using them at the store, then carefully choose which one benefit you most and fit your needs best.
According to the regulations of Amateur Softball Associations of America, softball bats can reach a maximum weight of 38 ounces. The association only approve bats that do not exceed 34 inches in length and 2.25 inches in diameter. Just like the balls, bats that meet accepted standards must have ASA’s certification marks on them.
Baseball gloves are usually allowed in a softball game, but if you intend to play the sport for a long time, think about investing in a couple of softball gloves. Softballs are bigger than baseball, so gloves used in softball are also the larger in size. Gloves are supposed to protect the players’ hands from hard throws and help players catch the balls easily and exactly.
In small games and unprofessional championships, players are not required to wear protective equipment by ASA rules, except for the catcher who have to wear a mask with a throat protector. Under the regulations of the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, players’ helmets and catchers’ face masks are compulsory. Besides, in fastpitch softball games, batters are advised to wear helmets with ear flaps parts to protect their head and ears from balls travelling at great speed. In addition, body protection, including chest and knees protectors are advisable to prevent serious injuries.
Casual players are allowed to take part in the games wearing casual sporty clothes, such as T-shirt and jeans. If you play for a team, yours may design a uniform for members to show team spirit and to distinguish your team with another. At a higher level, you will be provided with shoes of high quality to compete in the games.