Getting just the right-sized fastpitch softball glove is important. If you get the wrong size –
- You’ll feel uncomfortable during the whole game
- The discomfort will affect your reaction
- Slow reaction = missed catches/groundballs = more runs for the batting team
There are a few ways to go about it. When you’re looking for the top fastpitch softball glove and want the perfect size, you need to keep these two things in mind
- Age of player
- Position in the field
I’ll walk you through the stuff in detail. Even when you nail all the technical stuff down, you should know that the player should be at ease with the glove. So, the numbers will give you a foundation, but you have to try to on and see how the glove feels.
Sizing a Fastpitch Softball Glove – Quick Overview Chart
|Age||Pitcher||Third Base||Second Base/Shortstop||First Base||Outfield||Catcher|
Note: The chart here gives you a ballpark estimate of what size glove you should get. However, the ideal size can vary depending on the growth of your kid, gender, and playstyle. All numbers here are measured in inches.
Age And Positions: Going into The Heart of The Matter
Two major determining factors for choosing the right-sized glove are the age group of the player and the player’s position on the field. Plus, each player will have a unique preference, playstyle, and a personal level of comfort that you have to think about.
For junior players (under the age of 14) sometimes parents purchase gloves that are too big for their ages, which usually has a negative impact on their performance on the field. Sometimes, even adult players (players over 14 years and beyond) purchase gloves that are either too small or too large for their needed size. In the next parts of this article, I’m here to provide you with a clear idea of what could be the potential sizes (not concrete) for all of the age groups and all of the positions in the field.
The Impact of Age in Sizing Glove
As I mentioned earlier, age is an important factor to be considered when choosing the right-sized glove. Usually, from the age of 14 and beyond, everyone can use an adult-sized glove, but players under that age should consider using the properly sized glove for their respective ages.
But for the younger players, the size of the ball varies depending upon their age categories. For example, players under the age of 10 most possibly do not have any primary positions. The only matter that should be considered is to have perfectly sized gloves which are suitable for their small hands, so gloves sized somewhere between 9″ and 11″ should perfectly work for the players of that age.
However, once your player has the primary position, you should think of the different sizes. Usually, players over 10 have the primary positions, so you need to curtail the glove size according to the position of the player. For example, 12U fastpitch softball players are shouldn’t wear a glove that’s meant for players 10-year-olds.
So here I’m providing you a list for choosing the right fastpitch softball glove size depending upon the age of the player. I’ll do it by answering a series of questions.
What size fastpitch softball glove should a 10-year-old use?
9 ” to 11″ for players below the age of 10.
What size fastpitch softball glove should a 14-year-old and 13-year-old use?
11 ” to 12.75″ for the players aged between 11-14
What size fastpitch softball glove should an adult use?
11.5″-13″ For the players over 14 and beyond now, these estimations are for fielding gloves (infield and outfield). I didn’t account for the fastpitch catcher’s mitts and pitcher’s gloves.
How Positioning Can Affect Glove Size
Depending upon the player’s position on the field, the glove size changes. For players who are playing in the primary positions, they need to choose specific gloves. But if you’re not in the primary, standard utility gloves are perfect for you, because these gloves work fine for playing in any position.
But from my experience, I can provide you with a quick list of softball gloves that will give you a proper understanding of the perfect sizes needed for the specific positions of the players on the field.
11.75 to 12-inch gloves should be perfect for the players playing in this position. Many players also prefer to wear bigger than 12-inch gloves, like 12.5-inch gloves. Most female players prefer 12-inch gloves, but again, it all depends upon personal preferences.
My preferences are not to exceed the normal size range. Open web gloves (usual gloves with I-WEB or H-Web designs) are perfect for middle infielders.
To get a longer reach, outfielders gloves are larger. Outfielders aged less than 14 years old require a 12-inch to 12.5-inch glove, but players who are over 14 years old require at least a 13-inch glove. I prefer closed web gloves for the outfielders.
11.5 inch to 12-inch gloves are perfect for players below 14 years old, but players aged 14 or over require a 1-inch to 12.5-inch glove. Usually, closed web gloves are the perfect choice for pitchers because they have to hide the ball to surprise the hitter with different pitches. So, a closed web glove gives them all the time they need to bring variety in their pitching style.
Most players prefer to buy 34-inch gloves for this position, but there can be exceptions. For example, youth baseball players can comfortably work with a 32-inch youth catcher’s mitt. Just make sure the pocket is deep enough to secure incoming fastballs ball.
12.5 inch to 13-inch gloves is a good option for this position. For players under 14 years old, 11-inch gloves work fine.
I’d prefer relatively smaller-sized gloves for this position because a larger glove will make it difficult to easily get the ball out. Usually, 11 inches to 11.5-inch gloves are perfect for this position. But for the younger players, you can consider 10.5-inch gloves as well.
A Quick Recommendation
I’ve been in the thick of fastpitch softball for a long time. And I know my way around this maze pretty well. So, I’m going to do a quick highlight of three gloves here that you can use if you’re confused. Don’t worry – I’ve made sure that the three fastpitch gloves I’ve listed are varied and cater to different ages and gender.
Wilson A2000 Fastpitch Series
To my students, I always suggest this state-of-the-art glove because the Wilson glove series is designed by Shigeaki Aso, who’s undoubtedly one of the best-known players in the world and also has a solid forty years of experience designing gloves for both baseball players and fastpitch softball players.
Plus, there are different sizes available for all the positions. However, the smallest size of the Wilson A2000 fastpitch glove is 11.75. So, I wouldn’t recommend getting this for your youngest softball start just yet. Instead, you should look into smaller 10-10.5 inches gloves.
Anyways, this glove is ideal for high-schoolers and adults. The Pro Stock leather comes from US Steerhide. If you don’t know – US Steerhide is thicker than all the other types of material. That’s why it’s hard to break the glove in but the leather will last for years. So, this glove is like a long-term investment.
Plus, there’s the SuperSkin feature. Usually, one of Pro Stock’s weaknesses is the weight. The US Steerhide is thick but it’s heavy. However, the addition of SuperSkin = extra durability minus the extra weight.
And the Velcro wrist close gave me enough flexibility to adjust the glove as I saw fit. Never had to go through the hassle of adjusting laces. The glove adjustments were simple, easy, and quick.
Overall, the Wilson A2000 is a top-notch fastpitch glove. It’s got the big-boy punch you need to own the field. Even if you’re a pitcher, the closed web design that’s available in the series will help you surprise the hitter with unique pitches.
- Size: 11.75 – 12.5 inches
- Material; Pro Stock Leather (US Steerhide)
- Throw: Right-hand throw / Left-hand throw
- Position: Pitcher, Infield, Outfield
Franklin Sports Baseball and Softball Glove – Field Master Series (Good choice for beginners)
Franklin Sports made a name by coming up with some reasonable gloves for beginner fastpitch softball players. If you’re new to fastpitch softball, you should consider this great value for money series of gloves.
People who are learning the ropes can be reluctant about spending a large amount of money on gloves. Franklin Sports has mastered the art of producing decent gloves at a competitive price. So, you should definitely consider this series if you’re tight on budget but still looking for standard quality gloves.
Unlike the Wilson A2000, the Franklin Field Master gloves start from 10-inch and go up to 14-inch. So, you can get a glove for your little leaguer without having to dish out a ton of green.
I’ll admit – the synthetic leather isn’t the best. But it’s perfect for beginners. You won’t have to wait for months or use any advanced break-in techniques to get this glove online. All you have to do is play catch, and you’re good to go.
- Material: Synthetic Leather
- Throw: Right-hand throw/Left-hand throw
- Size: 10 – 14 inches
- Position: Pitcher, Infield, Outfield
Mizuno Franchise Fastpitch Softball Glove Series (Great choice for Female Players)
One of the biggest problems with most of the softball glove series is that these gloves easily fit into the hands of male players. But it is kind of tricky to find proper gloves for female players because most of the manufacturers do not give much attention to considering the hand sizes of female softball players.
However, Mizuno takes a completely different direction. All of Mizuno’s softball gloves (as of the moment of writing this) are designed specifically for female softball players. These gloves have smaller openings and tighter finger stalls than other brands on the market.
So, that’s a huge plus.
The Mizuno Franchise has limited options. You’ll get the 12-inch utility glove and a 34-inch catcher’s mitt. So, there isn’t a lot of options to choose first base, shortstop, or outfielder’s glove. Nonetheless, it’s pretty cheap. And that’s why the all-in-one utility glove makes sense.
This glove has Java leather. The Java leather originates from the cowhides of Indonesia. Cowhides in that region aren’t as thick as the ones we have here in the US. So, the leather is good, but it isn’t as sturdy and durable as the Pro Stock.
But there’s an upside to having Java leather. The break-in time is way shorter than premium gloves. So, the glove will be prepped and ready for the game in no time.
Another big advantage of this series is that it allows users to make a more customized fit because this glove has great foam cushioning in the back of the fingers.
- Material: Leather
- Throw: Right-hand throw/Left-hand throw
- Size: 12″ and 33″
- Position: Infield, Outfield, Catcher
Pulling the Curtains
To become a successful fastpitch softball player, it is really important to choose the right-sized glove based on age and position in the field.
Every action on the field should be accurate to win matches. And the accuracy with which you’d throw and save runs comes down to how comfortable you are with your glove. If your glove is too loose or too tight, then it will surely impact your gameplay.
For beginners, it is difficult to determine the size of the glove, but I hope after reading this article you will be able to determine the perfectly sized glove according to your age and playing position.
And it’s a given that there’s no alternative to practicing to take your game up a notch. Choosing the right equipment won’t be enough if you don’t put the hours into practice.
However, a lot of practice using the wrong equipment also will do more harm than good. There needs to be a delicate balance here – and once you get the comfort right, you’re halfway there.
So, choose the right glove, keep practicing a lot, and make your team proud. Cheers!