How to choose your bat:
- Weight: Generally, bigger, stronger players choose heavier bats to maximize swinging power, while smaller, lighter players choose a lighter bat with greater swing speed.
- Length: Length and weight combine for just the right feel for each individual player. A longer length can give you greater reach, but can add weight.
- Barrel diameter: The standard barrel size for Dixie Youth and Little League baseball players is 2 1/4”. The maximum barrel size for high school and college baseball players is 2 5/8”. The standard softball bat diameter is 2 1/2”, while the standard fast pitch softball bat diameter is 2 3/4”.
- Drop: This length to weight ratio represents how many ounces a bat weighs compared to its length in inches. Therefore, a -13 bat will be easier to swing than a -8 bat.
- League requirements: Bat requirements and restrictions can depend on each individual league. Make sure you know your league's requirements before going bat shopping.
- Alloy: There are many different kinds of aluminum alloys on the market today. These bats are designed to deliver performance and durability.
- Composite: A combination of graphite, fiberglass and resin. These bats have a unique sound and feel, as well as a large and forgiving sweet spot.
- Hybrid: A combination of aluminum alloy with composite materials. These bats provide the batter with a powerful aluminum barrel and a stiff composite handle.
- Wood: Made of solid hard woods like ash and maple, these bats are mandated in professional leagues and some amateur leagues.
More commonly called a catcher's mitt because it does not have separately cut fingers, this glove is designed with extra padding to absorb the shock of catching fastballs. The standard size range for baseball is 30.5-34.5”, and 31.2-35” for softball.
This glove is longer and has less padding than a catcher's mitt. It is flexible for making scoops out of the dirt, but offers more support on the back. Open web patterns allow the pocket to be a little deeper and lighter. The typical size range is 11-13” for baseball and 12-13” for softball.
Pitcher's gloves primarily need to be comfortable and lightweight since pitchers are constantly catching while on the mound. This glove should also be big enough to hide hand movements to avoid giving away the pitch.
With a shorter and shallower pocket, these gloves are designed for quick plays. An open web pattern makes it easy to get the ball out quickly. The standard size range for baseball is 11.25-12”, and 11.5-12.5” for softball.
A deeper pocket makes catching a pop fly easier, while closed webbing offers more support. The typical size range for baseball is 12-13” and 12-14” for softball.