Players should have well labeled:
- Running shoes/cleats
- Water bottle
- Fielding mask (if desired and only at the U7/U9 level)
Team equipment bags should have:
- 12 indoor balls
- 12 whiffle balls
- 3-4 batting tees
- 2 sets of bases (carpet or rubber bases are fine for one set)
- 4-6 bats (age appropriate size)
- 2 sets of catching gear
- 6 markers/pylons
- 3-4 hitting sticks (whiffle balls and hockey sticks)
- 2 stop watches
Local Association should provide if possible:
- 12 carpet bases
- 2 large targets (3 x 3)
- 6-8 hula hoops
- 6-8 bean bags/ 6 tube socks/ 3- 4 playground balls – teaching tools for pitching
- 3-4 traffic pylons (can be used as hitting tees too)
- 12 soft balls
- 3-4 buckets
- 2-4 hitting sticks
- 1 set of bases
It is important to get creative with your equipment. Using balloons, stuffed animals, socks, etc. can make activities seem sillier to kids, but keeping them fun. Pool noodles, tennis racquets or even rubber chickens can be great additions to your equipment bag! Many useful items can be found at your local discount dollar store.
- Softball Canada strongly recommends the use of the Rawlings Reduced Injury Factor (RIF) or NC12S/NC11S softballs for the Timbits Softball Program.
- Fear of being hit by a hard ball is a deterrent for children learning softball skills so a softer ball will increase the child’s confidence when engaging in the activities of the program. The Rawlings RIF or NC12S/NC11S softballs come in a variety of hardness as well as sizes to meet the needs of your association.
- As the child’s skills improve, a harder softball can be introduced.
- Parents often make the mistake of letting their child use a glove that they can grow into. A glove that is too large or clumsy makes it difficult for your child to catch and control the ball with. This can lead to errors and injuries.
- Softball and Baseball gloves are different. Softball uses a bigger sized ball therefore the glove is a bit longer and has a deeper pocket than baseball gloves.
- Brands of gloves fit differently so it is important to try a glove on. Standard Glove Sizes are as follows:
- 11 -11.5 inch — Youth/ 9 and 10-year-old
10 -10.5 inch — Youth/ 7 and 8-year-old
9 - 9.5 inch — Youth/ 6-year-old
- 11 -11.5 inch — Youth/ 9 and 10-year-old
- Softball gloves should be snug. Check for full wrist movement by opening and closing the glove firmly. Look for a glove that stays firmly on and is easy to grip and release. Gloves with wrist adjustment straps are easiest to fit on youth players.
- Players need to pick the glove that fits them best, rather than being swayed by the choice of friends or how a glove looks. If you aren’t sure, then have your child try on other teammates gloves to see what fits best.
- Softball and Baseball bats are different. Softball bats have a smaller diameter in the barrel and are thicker in the handle. Most bats will be marked for either Softball or Baseball.
- Players should be able to swing their bat with a smooth level motion and be in control when swinging at full speed
- For younger players, a lightweight bat is important for them to learn to swing correctly.
- Have the player hold the bat for 20 seconds. If their arm starts to shake, the bat is too heavy.
- There are two methods commonly used for sizing the correct bat for your child. To use the “Wingspan” method, have your child stand up tall with their arms straight out (arms parallel to the ground). Measure from the very center of their chest to the tip of their fingers. That measurement will give you the ideal bat length.
- You can also use the Standard Bat Sizing Chart as follows:
- 28-29” — Youth 9 year old
- 26-28” — Youth/ 7-8 year old
- 24-26” — Youth/ 4-6 year old
- While the use of a softball diamond is suggested, an open field can also be used.
- The number of diamonds used will depend on the resources of the Association and the number of participants registered.
- If there are many participants, a softball diamond can be divided into different regions for each team to participate on at the same time (i.e. on an adult sized field, the diamond can be divided into 3 regions in the outfield and two regions on the infield). Using the set-up, 5 teams can safely use one diamond. If more than one team is sharing a diamond, it is suggested to rotate the teams into the infield, so all players get a chance to play on the dirt infield.