In softball, a fielding glove is another important tool aside from a softball bat. It is an important tool to stop the opponent’s line drive down the base line. But not all softball gloves are the same. They differ in size and materials used.
The size of your softball glove will depend on your position. There are also other factors that will help you determine which type of glove to buy.
Parts of a Glove
The above image shows the parts of a glove. You might encounter these basic terms when choosing a glove:
- Type of throw – this refers to which hand you uses in throwing a ball. It depends if you are a lefty or a rightly.
- Right hand thrower (RHT) – this means that the player uses the right hand in throwing. He wears the glove on his left.
- Left hand thrower (LHT) – means the player uses his left hand to throw the ball. He wears the glove on his right hand.
Guidelines in buying gloves
According to softball guide, the following factors also help to find out the type of glove to use.
POCKET SIZE – the pocket size of a middle infielder is smaller than the pocket size of an outfielder. This allows outfielders to catch fly ball easily. The second baseman and shortstops have shallow pocket. It enables them to quickly get the ball out of the glove.
WEBBING– There are various types of webbing:
The Basket web, I-web, closed web, Modified Trapeze web, Single Post web and Dual Post web. Infielders usually use webbing which contains a looser stitch. This gives them more control in getting the ball fast.
WRIST ADJUSTMENTS – some gloves have wrist adjustments. It could be made of Velcro, laced, a buckle system or a D-ring fastener. This gives the glove a snug fit to the players’ hand. They can also easily put on and take off the glove.
PADDING– this is another thin you should consider. Depending on the position you play, the amount of padding could be less or more. Catcher’s mitts have more padding as well as the first and third base.
MATERIAL– a glove can be made of leather, treated leather, mesh or synthetic materials. Most players prefer the leather type because of its comfort and durability.
Others like the treated leather as it is already pre-conditioned. This is intended for easy break in period. Synthetic glove and mesh suits younger players because these are lightweight.
More Tips when Choosing Glove
|First baseman’s Glove||Pitcher’s Glove||Infield Gloves||Outfield Gloves|
It doesn’t have separate cut fingers like the other gloves.This takes a while to break in and is usually stiff.It has usually has closed pocket.
This is longer and has less padding than the catcher’s mitt. It is also designed similar with catcher’s mitt but is more flexible. It has open web designs
It doesn’t have as much padding as the other. It is also more comfortable to use since it is larger than other gloves.
These are shorter gloves that allow players for quick plays. It also has shallow pockets and usually has post web, Dual pot web and I-web
These are larger and specifically made for catching fly balls and diving catches.It typically has the modern Trapeze web.
To measure a glove, take a tape measure and start measuring from the top of its index finger down to center of the heel. The catcher’s glove has a usual size of up to 35 inches. Common gloves’ sizes range from eight to 15 inches. Some gloves have an etched size on its thumb or little finger.
Youth glove is also different from adult glove. The first one is designed for little players with little hands. It costs cheaper compared to adult glove. It also has narrower fingers and suit players 10 years old and below.
Always choose the glove that suits your preference and play position. Also learn the effective ways to break in your glove so you will feel comfortable using it.