skip navigation

Glove Buying Guide

 

baseball-softball-glove-buying-guide

When buying a glove, there are a few basic terms that have to be defined first. The most common term when buying a glove is what “type of throw” the glove is; a righty or a lefty for common terms. This is asking what hand the player uses to throw the ball with, not what hand the glove goes on. A right hand thrower (RHT) throws with his or her right hand and the glove is on his or her left hand. A left hand thrower (LHT) throws with his or her left hand and the glove is on his or her right hand. Other important parts of the glove are as followed:

the-different-parts-of-a-baseball-softball-glove

How to Measure the Size of a Glove

When trying to find out how long a glove is, it is normally written on the thumb or pinky finger. The sizes range from 8 to 15 inches, and to 35 inches for catcher gloves. To measure a glove that does not have a size, take a fabric tape measure and measure from the top of the index finger, down along the glove, to the center of the heel of the glove.

how-to-find-the-size-of-a-baseball-softball-glove

How to Choose the Right Size Glove for Your Position

The most important thing when it comes to buying a glove, is buying the right size, which depends on the age and position of the player. The size of a glove is important for a specific position because it is designed to maximize the performance of the player. The charts below show an estimate of the size range of the glove for a specific player for both baseball and softball.

baseball-and-softball-glove-sizing-chart

Youth vs. Adult gloves

A youth glove is designed for younger players with smaller hands. They are typically cheaper than the adult gloves and are much easier to close. The youth gloves are not made of the same high quality leather, but the materials they are made of make them easier to close. Youth gloves have smaller, narrower fingers and should be used for a player under 10 years old. They can be used for a player up to 12 years old, but after then, they should be using adult gloves. To fit an adult glove onto a younger player’s hand, the back of the wrist can be tightened. This is done on softball gloves with a Velcro strap, but on baseball gloves, the glove needs a minor re-lacing. The picture below shows the difference of how a tightened glove looks compared to a non-adjusted one.

how-to-tighten-the-back-of-a-baseball-softball-glove

Catcher’s Gloves

A catcher’s glove is more commonly referred to as catcher’s mitt because it does not have separately cut fingers like other positions. A catcher glove is designed to give the player the ability to catch fastballs all game long without hurting their hand or wearing down the glove quickly. For this reason, catcher’s mitts tend to be very stiff right off the shelf and take a while to break in. Many catchers buy their replacement glove a few months before they think their old glove will wear out so the new glove has time to break in. Catcher gloves tend to have a closed pocket because they can be attached with the most lacing and take the most abuse without breaking. There is a difference between baseball and softball gloves, the softball catcher’s glove has a deeper pocket and thinner side walls to accommodate for the bigger wall. Catcher gloves are also measured differently, instead of the standard measuring; they are measured around the circumference of the glove to display the catching area of the glove. The standard size range is from 30.5 to 34.5 inches for baseball and from 31.5 to 35 inches for softball.

baseball-and-softball-catchers-glove-sizing-guide

First Baseman’s Gloves

A first basemen’s glove is very similar to a catcher glove, except it is longer and has less padding on the fingers. It is designed to have the same catching area as a catcher’s glove, but is flexible for making scoops out of the dirt. The first basemen’s glove is stronger than a standard glove so that to fingers do not flop back like how a regular fielder’s glove would. They also have open web designs to allow the pocket to be a little deeper and lighter than a closed pocket. First basemen’s gloves normally start being worn at age 10 or higher, because it can be difficult for younger kids to close the big glove. The typical size range is from 11 to 13 inches for baseball and from 12 to 13 inches for softball.

baseball-and-softball-first-base-glove-sizing-guide

Pitcher’s Gloves

A pitcher does not need to be as worried about the performance of their glove as much as other players, and instead have to worry about comfort. The comfort is important since they are constantly catching with it. Pitchers in higher levels of play want to worry about having a glove that is big enough to hide their hand movement and band to avoid giving away the pitch to a batter. It is also important to make sure the glove isn’t too heavy. Many manufacturers make light versions of the high end gloves with special materials that are significantly lighter than standard gloves.

baseball-and-softball-pitcher-glove-sizing-guide

Infield Gloves

Infield gloves are designed for the quick plays that infielders have to make. They are shorter and have a shallower pocket than other gloves. Infielders typically want an open pocket that makes it easy to get the ball out quickly. This is typically an I-web, post web, H-web, or modified trapeze pocket. The only position that sometimes wants a closed pocket is third base. This is because third base gets harder hits that a closed pocket can handle better than an open one. The standard size for a baseball infield glove is 11.25 to 12 inches, and 11.5 to 12.5 inches for softball.

baseball-and-softball-infield-glove-sizing-guide

Outfield Gloves

Outfield gloves are designed to catch high fly balls and making diving catches. This means that the gloves are longer and deeper with extra support in the fingers. The pocket designs are typically open with the main options being a trapeze and an H-web. These pockets are the best for long extension plays that need to keep the ball in the glove, such as diving plays and snow cones. For Softball, the pockets can be closed webs, because they need to be extra deep to account for the size of the softball. The typical size of an outfielder’s glove is 12-13 inches for baseball and 12-14 inches for softball.

baseball-and-softball-outfield-glove-sizing-guide

Glove Care and Break-in Tips

How to Break-in Your Brand New Glove

We recommend that you try using our glove steamer if you are near one of our superstores. The glove steamer is a great tool that along with our expert staff can help take your glove to game ready in about 15 minutes.

If you are not near one of the superstores, or do not like the glove steamer, it’s ok, we still have some tips for you. We recommend that you use only approved glove oils on your glove. The reason that manufacturers make specific glove oil is because it is designed for your glove. Products such as shaving cream are not recommended for your glove because they are not designed for leather. When it comes to choosing which oil is right, the more expensive oils are a more concentrated formula and are more of a cream than a liquid. This makes it much easier to control how much oil you use on your glove. It is best to oil your glove very lightly, and re-apply as necessary to avoid over oiling the glove. Over oiling will make the glove very heavy and make the glove break down much faster than it normally would.

To break in the glove once it is oiled, we recommend playing with the glove in your house. This includes shaping it with your hands without a ball. Folding the fingers how you like, and creasing the heel where you like it to fold. The most common way is to have the thumb bend over to the ring finger.

Once the glove has started to get loose, then it is time to start playing catch. Lots of catch. This is the best way to break the glove into your hand. It will fold how you want it to and have your palm shape. Once you are done playing catch, it is important to keep a ball or two in the glove to prevent it from becoming flat in your bag. It is ideal to keep one ball in the pocket and one ball in the palm and then wrapping the glove with one of the many aftermarket glove wraps, but something such as an old belt will also work.

Taking proper care of your glove can help make your glove last for many years; no matter how expensive or stiff it was when you first bought it. If you ever have questions about glove care tips and tricks, give us a call and we will gladly help you out and give you further advice.

 


BASEBALL BAT INFORMATION

K-2nd Grade

 Bats must have USA Baseball Stamp on bat.   Bat lengths range from 25 inch to 27 inch. Bat weight is measured in weight drop, which varies between brands and models. Recommended bats would have drops of -10 to -12

3rd-6th Grade

Bats must have USA Baseball stamp on bat.  Bat lengths range from 27-29  inches for 3rd and 4th graders and 29-30 inches for 5th and 6th graders.  Weight of bat recommended would be a drop of -10 to -12 

* Weight Drop = Length of bat minus the weight.

Example = 29in., 17oz. bat is a drop 12 or referred to as a -12

7th/8th Grade Bats

Bats must have USA Baseball stamp and be no more than -5 drop or can be a -3 BBCOR bat.  Bat lengths are typically 30-31 inches. 

9th-12th grade Bats

Bats must be -3 BBCOR bats

Composite Baseball Bats

A word about Composite Baseball Bats
Composite Baseball Bats, are fairly new to the Baseball scene. They have been used in softball for many years. Early on, there seems to be some mixed reviews on the Composite baseball bats. I believe this is because the baseball world is not fully educated on these bats, and don't realize how to make a composite bat work for them.
To start off with, composite bats have a much longer break-in period than aluminum bats, and hitting jugz balls will not do it. If you plan on breaking in these bats in the cages, you need to use real baseballs. Another common complaint in some reviews is the poor durability of these bats. But, what players and coaches must realize is that they are not just swinging a hunk of metal anymore. Composite bats should not be used in cold weather; temperatures less than 70 degrees they can easily break, as many are finding out. Another common complaint is the cost. Yes, they are expensive, but if broken in correctly and used correctly, you will get so much more out of your bat than the aluminum or hybrids of past years.
There are several Pros and Cons (and misconceptions) about composite bats, but players and coaches need to have the correct information before making a judgment. At first, the ball will sound like it came off a wooden bat, which was another complaint in many reviews, but with proper effort and care you can break them in to the point where it sounds more like a rifle than wood. Players, coaches and parents need to know what they are buying. Without proper knowledge, they are just buying a $300 or $400 Bat, but with the correct knowledge they could be buying $300 Lightning Rod. Composite bats give a whole lot more forgiveness for the imperfect swing, and have the potential to make the average hitter a clean-up hitter. 
 
Composite Baseball Bat FAQ's

Q. How do I break in a composite bat?
A. It usually depends on the bat, but commonly you just need a lot of good BP with the bat. You have to have between 100 to 200 hits to break it in. Some bats take longer than others. You need to be hitting goods balls, leather cover solid baseballs. Hitting off a tee will not break it in very effectively. You need to be hitting live balls thrown 40mph or better. A machine works good if it is set up to throw real baseballs. Each time you make good contact you need to turn the barrel about 1/8 turn so you break in the bat evenly.
Q. What do you recommend for proper care and maintenance of composite bats?
A. If there is a problem with the bat while it is under warranty, you will need the receipt when you send it to the manufacturer. Here are a few tips for proper care and maintenance:
1) Never leave any bat, especially a composite bat, in cold weather for an extended period of time. Cold weather is very bad on composites. So make sure when you get home you take it with you into your warm house. Never hit a composite bat in weather below 65 degrees or it will have a greater chance of breaking.
2) Try not to hit off the handle - this is where most breaks occur. Composite bats have flex to them in the handles, so a good impact blow off the handle can cause them to break.
3) Only hit leather cover solid baseballs.
4) Avoid having it become a team bat.
Q. You say not to hit a composite bat in cold weather. What about the heat (90+ degrees)?
A. Basically, the warmer it is, the bigger your sweet spot becomes. Keep in mind that in some areas, such as Coastal areas or certain areas in the Midwest, with the heat there is usually higher humidity. So, although the bat is warm, the air is heavy. This doesn`t affect the bat, but can affect the ball and its flight - you may notice a difference, especially on high flies.
Q. Are half & half composite handle bats also bad in cold weather?
A. Half and Half typically do have some problems in cold weather at the handle, however it is not in performance but durability. To be safe, try to avoid using them in cold weather (below 65 degrees). 

Q. Is a Composite bat better than Aluminum?
A. It is basically a matter of opinion and manufacturer. It is my opinion that in most cases, a full composite bat is better than aluminum and is the best technology available today. There are pros and cons to each bat however. Which is better for you depends on what you are looking for in a bat, such as durability, sweetspot, break-in time, warranty, flex, and other factors. 

Q. Will a Composite bat hit the ball farther than an Aluminum bat?
A.Given that contact is made on the barrel of the bat, not on the handle, research and testing suggest that the composite bat does have more pop. However, this is only after the composite bat has been broken-in. Straight out of the wrapper, the aluminum bat will be equally as effective, but after break-in period, the composite will surpass it.
        Q. What is Half & Half technology?
A. Half & Half technology, in most instances, is where the handle is composite and the barrel is aluminum, alloy, or a hybrid material. These bats incorporate "two piece" technology. With the handle being composite, it allows for flex or whipping action. With the barrel being aluminum, alloy, or hybrid material, it gives the bat more durability. The main advantages of this technology are the durability of the barrel and the whipping action. These are typically very good bats and cost less than full composites, however, they will usually not have the pop of a full composite.
Q. What is Hybrid technology?
A. Basically, it is the process of combining two different materials to create the bat, such as combining SC900 aluminum with carbon, or combining different alloys of steels and aluminums. 

Q. If bats are regulated by BPF what advantage do the alloys make? I understand stronger alloy allows for thinner walls therefore a lighter bat, but why not just find a light bat at a good length and buy the cheapest? Or do stronger alloys make a difference as far as performance?
A. Stronger alloy bats and composite bats usually have better performance for the imperfect swing. Composites allow for mistakes to happen during the swing and still give you a little more pop. A lot of it has to do with how the composite material or alloys are formed to the bat shell; some bat manufacturers braid, weave, string, or float the alloys to make the shell of the barrels. All have their advantages and disadvantages. There are some composites that are great in some areas such as POP, but poor in other areas such as durability. Some are the opposite. Also remember that BFP is a rating, some bats clearly make it, some just make it, some perform at it, and others do not get approved. 

Q. A kid on my team has a bat marked with "Demo" on the handle. Are these demo bats any different than store bought versions?
A. NO.
Q. I was wondering how does a bat actually lose its "pop" and how would a person actually know the pop is gone?
A. Bats can lose their pop several different ways - cracks, end cap separation, sometimes you can just get a bad bat out of the batch. Every bat will start to break down in time and eventually will crack or start losing pop as the material breaks down. How long this takes depends on many factors, including proper care and use of the bat. You can usually tell when a bat starts to lose its pop by the sound. It won't have the same solid sound and will sound a little flat. Sometimes you can tell by the feel of the bat at impact, where it does not feel the same as it previously had, and you may notice the velocity of the ball off the bat is not be like it had been.  

Q. My new composite bat has a certain sound that I've never heard before. Does this mean that it is broken or is going to crack?
A. If the sound you're talking about is like a wooden bat sound, welcome to the world of composite bats. It's a hard sound to get used to, but the more you break-in your bat, the more Crisp the sound will become. If you're referring to another sound such as a rattle or thud, you may have an issue with the bat and should contact the manufacturer. 

Q. If my bat breaks and I have my receipt what do I do?
A. Don’t take it back to the place you bought it from. You will need to find the manufacturers contact number, which is usually on the warranty information that comes with the bat, or you can find it online. Call them up and arrange an exchange - they will tell you what to do. 

Q. If my bat breaks and I don't have my original receipt what do I do?
A. If you bought your bat with a credit card there is still hope. The company you bought your bat from should be able to look up the transaction and get you a copy of the receipt. If you paid cash or are unable to get a copy of the receipt, you are probably out of luck and will have to buy a new bat. 

Q. If my bat breaks and I send it in for a replacement can I get a different size?
A. It usually depends on the manufacturer, but typically the size and weight can be changed from the original. Keep in mind that sometimes you may not be able to get the same model. You may have an older model that is no longer available. In that case, they will usually send you a newer model of equal or higher value for the exchange.
 
Important Note on Bat Warranties

Each manufacturer has their own terms and conditions on bat warranties. Be sure to read the bat warranty policy for your particular bat before using it. Most bat warranties cover manufacturing defects from normal field usage. Most warranties do not cover bats used in commercial batting cages, altered in any way, or mistreated. Remember to save your original receipt. You will need to submit a copy of the receipt to be covered under the warranty.
- General Terms -
 


Weight Drop

Weight Drop is a term used to describe the weight of the bat. Weight Drop is shown as a minus number, such as minus 3 or minus 12. It refers to the difference between the length of the bat (in inches) and the weight of the bat (in ounces). Weight drop varies between brands and models. For example, a Little League DeMarini F3 bat is minus 10. It is available in lengths from 28 inch to 32 inch. The weight of the 28 inch would be 18 ounces, the weight of the 32 inch would be 22 ounces. Weight drop for Little League bats range from approx minus 7 to minus 13. The higher the weight drop, the lighter the bat. High school and college bats must be minus 3.


Barrel Size

This is the diameter of the largest part of the bat. Little League bats are 2 1/4 inch in diameter. Senior League bats are available in 2 5/8 inch and 2 3/4 inch (big barrel). High school and college bats are 2 5/8 inch.
The longer and larger the barrel, generally, the larger the sweet spot for hitting the ball.
Some players prefer baseball bats with smaller barrels and lighter weight, which allows for more bat speed.
Bat Taper (diameter of the bat's handle)
Standard baseball bats are tapered 31/32 of an inch but can be slightly larger or smaller depending on whether you want a lighter or heavier bat.
Some players like a narrower taper for the lighter weight and to rotate their wrists faster when hitting. Other players prefer the feel of a bigger bat taper, which can also reduce the sting when a ball isn't struck on the sweet spot.
Grip (covering on the handle of aluminum bats)
Baseball bats with leather or synthetic leather grips give a tackier feel for a surer grip.
Rubber grips absorb more of the shock.
Some bats come with a cushioned grip to decrease the shock even more.


 
- Choosing Youth Baseball Bats -

 
First, three words about bats: "Lighter Is Better"

Barry Bonds, who weighs 195 pounds, uses a 28 ounce bat! A light bat is easier to control, and, contrary to old-school thinking, you can hit a ball harder and farther with a light bat than with a heavy bat because you can swing a light bat much faster. As acceptance of this fact has grown in recent years, the overwhelming trend in both baseball and softball has been to lighter bats. In case you need convincing, consider that NCAA and high school reviewing sports bodies have rules prohibiting baseball bats from being more than 3 ounces lighter in weight than the length of the bat in inches. This was done for safety reasons-it was thought that big, strong players swinging ultralight bats hit the ball so hard that infielders were at risk. 

In Little League, however, light bats are not considered to be unsafe for defenders, because the players aren’t nearly as big and strong as their older counterparts. Even using an ultralight 19 ounce Little League bat, a typical 90 pound kid won’t be able to make up for the disparity in size and strength between himself and a college player. In fact, to have any chance of swinging with proper technique, most Little League players need an ultralight bat. 

It’s a bad idea to get a baseball bat that’s too heavy for your Little Leaguer with the thought that he or she will "grow into it". Instead, your kid will learn bad habits trying to swing a bat that is too heavy. When in doubt about two bats, go with the lighter bat.

THE RULES

Little League baseball bats must be 32" or less and have barrels no more than 2¼ in diameter. The bat must also be made of an approved material. In practice, every major manufacturer uses approved materials.

LENGTH AND WEIGHT

Manufacturers typically print the bat’s length in inches on the barrel or the handle. They also print the weight, either in ounces, or as "- something". The "-" stands for weight in ounces less than length in inches. In other words, a 30 inch bat designated as "-10" weighs 20 ounces. Weight: In general, buy a bat that is "-10" or lighter. 

The table below probably covers 80% of the players in a given division, but, as they say, "your mileage may vary". Some kids are bigger than others; some are strong for their size; some have already developed good technique. The best any article can give you is a rule of thumb. 

Parent Involvement

Parents can play many roles in sport: current or former athlete, coach, fan, motivator, role model or critic. A few studies have shown that family members may influence an athlete’s involvement and achievement in sport more than coaches. Parents also are the first and most critical agents at socializing sports.


PARENTS AND ATHLETES

Parents and athletes need to manage their SportsEngine accounts to ensure they get the most out of their Fondy Youth Baseball experience during each sporting season. With their accounts properly configured, athletes and their families will receive communications according to their preferences and be able to complete registrations more efficiently.  SportsEngine has created a Team Management Guide for Parents and Athletes that will help our members with frequently asked questions about our website and mobile app.

New to SportsEngine?

Here is your quick start guide to creating an account and using the SportsEngine platform as an athlete or parent.

STAY CONNECTED TO YOUR TEAM

Keep connected to your team(s). Get schedules and team updates for every athlete in the house, plus a way to message other members on your team and a way to give coaches a heads up about practice. Enjoy unlimited access to scores & stats, photo/video sharing, and more.


ESSENTIAL PARENT HOW-TO'S

Adding an additional guardian

In many instances, more than one parent or guardian needs to be in the loop with a child's sports life. Using the mobile app, you can add additional guardians to an account. Guardians can 1) View games and events 2) RSVP to games and events 3) Send and receive messages to coaches and team members 4) participate in team chat

Adding a Mobile Phone

Once you've created your account, add your mobile phone so you can receive text messages from your team manager or coach.

Enabling Text Messaging

Now that you have your mobile phone on your account, make sure you enable text messaging and any other notifications.

Following a Team on the SportsEngine Mobile App

Are you a family friend, grandparent or fan that wants to follow a specific team on the SportsEngine platform? Here is a quick guide to follow teams on the mobile app.

Forwarding Athlete Messages

Do you need a second parent, other family member or nanny to get messages about schedule changes or game times? Add a second email address to forward all communications.

Sending a Message

Do you need to send a question to your team manager or another parent about a ride? Follow these instructions on how to send messages using the mobile app.

RSVP to Game or Event

Coaches and team managers need to know if you are going to able to attend a game or practice. You can easily RSVP using the mobile application.

Team Management Guide for Parents & Athletes

Is your team using SportsEngine Team Management to manage RSVPs, schedules, and communication? This list of articles will provide you with everything you need to know for a successful season!

Bookmark your Website to the Home Screen of your Mobile Device

Access your website with a single tap from your mobile device's home screen.

Reset My Login Password

Having troubles logging in? Reset your password to view your MySE dashboard.