There are several important uniform items for playing softball. Some of them are provided by Aliso Viejo Girls Softball (AVGS), but others you need to get yourself.
AVGS-Provided Uniform Items
Every season AVGS provides a different uniform (jersey and socks) as part of participating. Its fun to collect and see how many uniforms you have from seasons past. Teams independently decide if they want to do additional items such as crazy socks, hair bows, head bands, etc., consult your Team Mom.
Required Items that Must Be Purchased Separately:
Black Softball Pants
Our league color for softball pants is black, and can be purchased at most big box stores in the area. Please check with your coach for what is to be worn to practice, based on the drill (ie. sliding days you want to wear pants, but on batting practice days you can wear shorts).
A batting helmet is a necessary item whenever a player has a bat in their hand. Not only does it protect them from stray balls, but it also keeps them from hitting themselves in the head with the bat. If you are practicing at home with a new player, they should always have a helmet on if they have a bat in their hands. Borrowing a helmet from other players does not work well during game play, due to batting lineup and head sizes varying. Some requirements:
- Bats must have a face mask. Chin straps are optional.
- Make sure the helmet is “NOCSAE” approved. Ask the salesperson to show you the stamp.
- Make sure the helmet fits properly. While trying it on, players should shake and nod their head vigorously and the helmet stays snugly in place. However, make sure it isn’t uncomfortably tight. Don’t look for larger sizes to grow into. Heads actually don’t grow that much, so find one that fits now and it will last a while.
Glove (or mitt)
Glove size & ball size should correlate. If your division plays with an 11″ ball, use an 11″ glove MINIMUM. A slightly larger glove (11.5″ or 12″) wouldn’t hurt as it gives more area to catch the ball. Larger gloves will be heavier & harder for young players to use.
A good, comfortable pair of cleats are a must. You can use soccer cleats for softball, but you cannot use softball cleats for soccer. On our fields, you cannot use metal cleats.
All girls in the 8U, 10U, 12U and 14U age groups are required to slide. So, sliding shorts are must. 6U players do not need sliding shorts.
Some coaches have bats that a player can share. However, it is helpful to have your own so that you can practice when you aren’t with the team. Some basics when buying a bat:
- It MUST be a softball bat, not baseball bat.
- It MUST have an ASA approval logo stamped on its side
- Rule of thumb for length: Have child stand up straight, arms hanging comfortably at side. Stand bat up on its end & the knob should come to about the wrist bone. An inch longer or shorter will not make much of a difference, but weight does.
- Rule of thumb for weight: Have player hold bat with dominant hand at knob & hold bat straight out in front of her with one hand. She should comfortably hold bat in this position for 5-10 seconds. If she can’t hold it up, then it may be too heavy. If there is no lighter bat at that length, then go a bit shorter & lighter.
- Resist temptation to buy a bat to grow into. If she can’t handle the bat, she will not hit comfortably. A simple aluminum bat for beginners will work fine.
Face masks for fielding are required in our league for all infield positions. Many of our players, choose to wear their face masks in any position they play and most divisions require one inning in the infield, so borrowing from another player isn’t an option.
Equipment Bag or Backpack
This is not required, but is helpful to keep track of your glove, batting gloves, bats, helmet, water bottle, etc. Pick one that is easy & comfortable to carry.
Again, not required, but helpful when your daughter is batting and sliding.
For practicing at home, its nice to have your own softballs.
Here are the sizes:
- 6U and 8U: 10″
- 10U: 11″
- 12U and 14U: 12″