Finding the Perfect Glove
Many parents will agonize over the perfect bat, but choosing the right softball gloves? A good glove will outlast a bat every time if the correct one is chosen initially.
The two key elements in ensuring a long life are: Choosing the right size and breaking the glove in properly. Follow the link to find out how to break it in properly. On this page, we will focus on getting the size right.
One of the things that I frequently saw with younger players is that they came to practice with what amounted to a peach basket. The glove was WAY
too big for her. The thinking was she would grow into it eventually. What was far more likely is that she would get frustrated and give up on this "stupid" sport. The size, besides age, is dictated by position she will play. Generally speaking, the infielder will want a glove that is 12.5" and smaller, while the outfielder's is 12.75" and larger. A youth size is generally between 9" to 11". An infielder's glove need to be smaller for quick transfer of the ball from the glove hand to the throwing hand. A larger one could foul that transition.
The size is generally emblazoned on the glove. To be sure, you can measure from the tip or the middle finger of the glove through the inside to the heel.
A mitt is different from a glove because it does not have the fingers like gloves do. The mitt allows for better control of the ball, hence the reason you have a first base mitt and catcher's mitt, two positions that handle the ball regularly. Catcher's mitts are measured by circumference and range from 31 to 34 inches, with youth mitts ranging from 31 to 32 inches. For your first baseman, the mitts range in size from 11" to 13", with youth sizes being 11" to 11.5". Note that first base mitts and catcher's mitts can only be used at those particular positions. If a first base mitt or catcher's mitt is used at another position (say second base)and the ball is fielded with the mitt, the umpire will immediately call the play dead and award the batter first base and all runners will advance one base. So, if your daughter plays more than first base or catcher, she will need a regular fielding glove as well.
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The better gloves are made from leather. Some gloves are also made from treated leather which aids the break-in period. You will also find gloves made from synthetics. If your young player is just learning and not really committed, this may be okay as it is lighter and cheaper, but be aware that it is not likely to withstand a lot of playing.
Below you will find fastpitch softball gloves and mitts either grouped by function (fielding gloves, catcher, first base) or by manufacturer. If you are looking for a glove/mitt but with no preference to manufacturer, click on one of the first three links. If, on the other hand, you do have a preference to manufacturer, click on the name of the manufacturer. You will find a number of different e-stores on these pages, including Amazon, Baseball Express, Online Sports and Shopzilla to name a few. You will also find a coupon section that will help you find the current deals. Each page has directions on how to find exactly what you are looking for.
If you are like me, you hate to give up on something unless you know that it is beyond repair, especially like a dear and trusted friend like my softball glove. Why not try and repair it first before taking the plunge into buying and breaking in a new one? Don't know how to fix it? Well, here is just the e-manual to help you Fix That Glove
Fix That Glove!!!
will walk you through step by step and top make the needed repairs. Fix those dry and broken laces to make your old friend as good as new.
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