Choosing the right glove is not as random as it may sound. It is just like choosing the right tool for the right job. An ideal glove to a player is one that fits both the players hands and best suites the players position.
The output quality of the task in hand depends on your ability to determine the right equipment. For comfort and convenience in using a glove, determining the glove that suits your need is the first item on the checklist. So, what goes into determining the right glove?
Fastpitch and Slowpitch gloves – What’s The Difference?
While the difference between a fastpitch and a slowpitch glove is small, this difference can be significant enough to someone who knows what they are looking for. A fast pitch softball player, example at college level, will need a glove significantly different from a minor league slowpitch player.
In a slowpitch game, a catcher’s mitt is not that necessary. An essential Utility Mitt will do just fine. The same does not apply to a fastpitch catcher. Pitches in fastpitch travel at 90mph on average so a catcher will need a catcher’s mitt and extra padding, just like those used by baseball players. Other factors include the player’s field position.
Shortstops and second basemen will need gloves with shallow pockets to allow them to get the ball out of the pocket faster while outfield players will need deeper pockets to make easier catches. The material used in making the gloves and the webbing applied will also determine what kind of pitching the glove is designed to catch.
Determining the Glove Size
A combination of two key factors will determine what a player needs. These are a player’s age and the field position. The size increases with age up until high school level when an adult will use the same size of glove as a high school student.
In knowing the size of glove, use a measuring tape and measure from the index pocket to the heel at the base of the glove. The following are the ideal glove sizes based on age and player position.
An infield player under the age of 8 will wear a 9-inch to an 11-inch glove, while an outfield player will need a glove between 10.5 inches and 11.5 inches in size. For ages 9 to 13, an infield player will need a 10-inch to 11-inch glove while an outfield player will wear an 11 or 11.5-inch glove.
A high school student’s glove is ideal between 11.5 inches and 12.5 inches for an infield player and 12.5 inches to 13 inches for an outfield player.
Slowpitch gloves are unspecified since not much detailing goes into the design for manufacture. An infield player will find a 12 inch or 13-inch ideal while an outfield player’s glove is between 12 and a half inches and 14 inches in size.
The allowance in size is to accommodate the smaller than or larger-than-normal players, but most manufacturers provide a measuring chart that details the right size of glove for both fastpitch and slowpitch players. The glove size gradually increases from the first base through to the third base players, pitches, and outfield players.
Choosing a glove that fits your hand not only makes playing fun, but it is also fundamental to prevent injury that may be brought about by wearing an undersized or oversized glove.
When shopping for a softball glove keep in mind you need to consider field position, level of play and the age of the player. These three factors should be a guidance to purchasing a glove that fits well and is designed for the position one plays. Remember the secret to success as a softball player lies in the ability to maintain control of the ball around the gloves.