Youth softball bats, cleats, uniforms, and gloves are all equipment required for a player.
The ASA (Amateur Softball Association) provides both competitive and recreational leagues for players under the age of 18 years. There are divisions within each league that separates the girls into smaller age brackets and provides the training they need for their level of play. Deciding to be a part of a competitive league is a decision generally made by players who are looking to continue with the sport well through the high school level or further. Youth fastpitch softball is a competitive league, while most recreational leagues are made of slow pitch teams. The desire to play youth girls softball is expanding each year and with roll models like the US Nationals team, girls are proud to be told “you throw like a girl”.
The rules of the game are similar to baseball with a few minor exceptions. The primary difference is the size of the ball and the equipment changes necessary to compensate for that change. Equipment like youth softball gloves are the same regardless of which type of league the player takes part in. In a youth fastpitch softball league, nine players are allowed on the field during defensive play. The same positions found in baseball are found on a softball field, 6 infield players and 3 outfield. In some slow pitch recreational leagues, there will be 4 outfield players with the center field position being shared.
Changes in equipment are the only difference between softball and baseball. Youth softball gloves are manufactured for specific positions on the field just as with baseball. There are infield gloves, outfield gloves, along with pitcher and catcher mitts. They are made to have a larger pocket to compensate for the increase in ball size. The barrels of softball bats are also different then what is found in a baseball bat to provide an increased chance for contact. Specific materials are used to decrease the amount of vibration felt by the batter. Equipment regulations are the same for youth girls softball as well as boys teams.
Any player who is willing to work on their technical, tactical, and mental skills can become a successful softball player. Learning the rules of the game is the foundation to being an effective part of the team. Keeping herself in good physical condition is also important. Quick reactions are required to effectively play the sport, so proper physical training will reduce the risk for injury. Playing the game is fun, so once the heart and determination are there, simply grab your youth softball bats and hit the field.