Softball Ace https://softballace.com The Best Softball Glove Reviews and Advice Fri, 19 Jun 2020 20:08:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Best Softball Gloves Reviewed for 2020 https://softballace.com/best-softball-gloves-overall/ https://softballace.com/best-softball-gloves-overall/#respond Fri, 19 Jun 2020 20:08:19 +0000 http://softballace.com/?p=899 Last updated on June 19, 2020 Softball Ace has one purpose: to make sure you get the right softball gear. With so many softball gloves on the market, the choices can be mind boggling. Softball Ace is your source for in-depth softball glove reviews and advice on choosing your next […]

The post The Best Softball Gloves Reviewed for 2020 first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>
Last updated on June 19, 2020

Softball Ace has one purpose: to make sure you get the right softball gear. With so many softball gloves on the market, the choices can be mind boggling. Softball Ace is your source for in-depth softball glove reviews and advice on choosing your next glove.

The first thing you should consider when narrowing your selection is what size softball glove you need.

Next, you should be aware that players at different positions traditionally use different size gloves. Manufacturers tend to make gloves for certain positions in sizes that cater to these player preferences. For example, adult outfielders will use the longest gloves on the field, up to 14 inches, while infielder’s gloves tend to be 11 to 12 inches. Catcher’s mitts are measured using the circumference of the mitt.

Manufacturers group gloves in different sizes by position and for different ages. The actual measurement of the player’s hand doesn’t really matter. The only thing that matters is the fit. Youth softball players with smaller hands may need to use a glove intended for players younger than themselves.

What to Look For in a Good Softball Glove

Quality material

A great softball glove is usually made of a material that is durable and workable. The most durable material for softball gloves is leather, which these days is often made from pig or cow skin. Those sources make for the most resilient glove material and can last you for years, even decades! Old baseball gloves are often handed down from generation to generation, thanks to the premium quality of leather that was used to construct them.

Great fit and feel

This may be somewhat subjective, but a great glove just has a great feel to it; primarily because it has a perfect fit. To achieve a great fit, you need to determine the right glove size for you. Glove sizes can vary greatly, especially for youth-sized gloves, but for adults you should strive for a more permanent solution and invest in a glove that fits you perfectly and the most comfortably.

Quality of build

From the fingers to the padding to the wrist lock, a softball glove should display a high level of quality and craftsmanship throughout. You can get a feel for the craftsmanship by examining the smallest details like the stitching back up to the more holistic characteristics like the overall feel.

Our Top Pick

If you need an inexpensive glove that is ready to use off the shelf, doesn’t require much break in, and feels great on your hand, the Mizuno Premier Glove is a great choice.

Sale
Mizuno GPM1405 Premier Series Slowpitch Softball...
  • Butter soft palm liner: PU palm lining for increased durability, feel, and comfort
  • Full grain leather palm/pigskin back: for great durability
  • Power lock wrist strap for secure fit
  • Right hand Throw= worn on left hand, left hand Throw= worn on right hand
  • Right Hand Throw = Left Hand Glove, Left Hand Throw = Right Hand Glove

How to Find the Best Softball Glove

softball catching fielding

Finding the best softball glove is ultimately a matter of personal preference, but there are a few things you should consider when looking for the best softball glove for you or your youngster. First, determine the size of the glove you need. Youth gloves in particular come in different sizes to accommodate the needs of growing kids. But regardless of your age, a poor-fitting glove is a severe handicap for any softball player, so it’s paramount to determine the right glove size before going any further.

Next, look for a glove that is manufactured with high of standards of quality. You can look up trusted brands to see which gloves are superior before you make an investment. Because some of the best gloves can actually be handed down between generations for years to come, you really can consider your glove purchase as an investment that will continue pay dividends (of fun!).

Finally, choose a glove that feels and performs right for you. Even the highest-end softball glove can be wrong for someone who is able to play better with a lower cost glove. Make sure you have information on the fit of the glove yourself before choosing to buy it and look up reviews to get general feedback on any glove you are eyeing for purchase.

To begin with, here’s an overview of the top gloves on the market:

Top Youth Gloves

Image
Louisville Slugger 2019 Diva 10.5" Infield...
Easton Black Magic Series Baseball/Softball...
Mizuno Prospect Fastpitch Softball GPL1200F2...
Easton Natural Elite Fastpitch Series Softball...
Franklin Sports Softball Glove - Left and Right...
Mizuno 312467.R913.11.1150 Prospect Finch...
Product
Louisville Slugger 2019 Diva 10.5" Infield...
Easton Black Magic Series Baseball/Softball...
Mizuno Prospect Fastpitch Softball GPL1200F2...
Easton Natural Elite Fastpitch Series Softball...
Franklin Sports Softball Glove - Left and Right...
Mizuno 312467.R913.11.1150 Prospect Finch...
Position
Infield
Infield/Outfield
Infield/Outfield
Infield/Outfield
Infield/Outfield
Infield/Outfield
Inches
10.5"
13"
12"
11"
12"
11.5"
Rating
Price
from $21.01
from $43.99
from $28.00
from $24.95
from $19.46
from $20.49
Image
Louisville Slugger 2019 Diva 10.5" Infield...
Product
Louisville Slugger 2019 Diva 10.5" Infield...
Position
Infield
Inches
10.5"
Rating
Price
from $21.01
Find on Amazon
Image
Easton Black Magic Series Baseball/Softball...
Product
Easton Black Magic Series Baseball/Softball...
Position
Infield/Outfield
Inches
13"
Rating
Price
from $43.99
Find on Amazon
Image
Mizuno Prospect Fastpitch Softball GPL1200F2...
Product
Mizuno Prospect Fastpitch Softball GPL1200F2...
Position
Infield/Outfield
Inches
12"
Rating
Price
from $28.00
Find on Amazon
Image
Easton Natural Elite Fastpitch Series Softball...
Product
Easton Natural Elite Fastpitch Series Softball...
Position
Infield/Outfield
Inches
11"
Rating
Price
from $24.95
Find on Amazon
Image
Franklin Sports Softball Glove - Left and Right...
Product
Franklin Sports Softball Glove - Left and Right...
Position
Infield/Outfield
Inches
12"
Rating
Price
from $19.46
Find on Amazon
Image
Mizuno 312467.R913.11.1150 Prospect Finch...
Product
Mizuno 312467.R913.11.1150 Prospect Finch...
Position
Infield/Outfield
Inches
11.5"
Rating
Price
from $20.49
Find on Amazon

Top Adult/Teen Gloves

Image
Top Pick
Mizuno GPM1405 Premier Series Slowpitch Softball...
Wilson A360 13" Utility Slowpitch Glove - Left...
Mizuno MVP Slowpitch Glove, Brick Dust, 14", Left...
Mizuno 312463.R887.13.1200 Franchise GFN1200F2...
Top Pick
Mizuno GMVP1250PF3 MVP Prime Fastpitch Softball...
Product
Mizuno GPM1405 Premier Series Slowpitch Softball...
Wilson A360 13" Utility Slowpitch Glove - Left...
Mizuno MVP Slowpitch Glove, Brick Dust, 14", Left...
Mizuno 312463.R887.13.1200 Franchise GFN1200F2...
Mizuno GMVP1250PF3 MVP Prime Fastpitch Softball...
Style
Slowpitch
Slowpitch
Slowpitch
Fastpitch
Fastpitch
Position
Infield/Outfield
Infield/Outfield
Infield/Outfield
Infield/Outfield
Infield/Outfield
Inches
14"
13"
12.5"
12"
12.5"
Rating
Price
from $49.10
from $32.63
from $105.00
from $51.81
from $80.70
Top Pick
Image
Mizuno GPM1405 Premier Series Slowpitch Softball...
Product
Mizuno GPM1405 Premier Series Slowpitch Softball...
Style
Slowpitch
Position
Infield/Outfield
Inches
14"
Rating
Price
from $49.10
Find on Amazon
Image
Wilson A360 13" Utility Slowpitch Glove - Left...
Product
Wilson A360 13" Utility Slowpitch Glove - Left...
Style
Slowpitch
Position
Infield/Outfield
Inches
13"
Rating
Price
from $32.63
Find on Amazon
Image
Mizuno MVP Slowpitch Glove, Brick Dust, 14", Left...
Product
Mizuno MVP Slowpitch Glove, Brick Dust, 14", Left...
Style
Slowpitch
Position
Infield/Outfield
Inches
12.5"
Rating
Price
from $105.00
Find on Amazon
Image
Mizuno 312463.R887.13.1200 Franchise GFN1200F2...
Product
Mizuno 312463.R887.13.1200 Franchise GFN1200F2...
Style
Fastpitch
Position
Infield/Outfield
Inches
12"
Rating
Price
from $51.81
Find on Amazon
Top Pick
Image
Mizuno GMVP1250PF3 MVP Prime Fastpitch Softball...
Product
Mizuno GMVP1250PF3 MVP Prime Fastpitch Softball...
Style
Fastpitch
Position
Infield/Outfield
Inches
12.5"
Rating
Price
from $80.70
Find on Amazon

For a quick overview on breaking in your glove, important glove features you might need, and what gloves are the best for different positions, check out the video below.

Softball Glove Sizing Guide

softball glove sizing diagram
How to measure a softball glove’s length (in inches)

The measurement of most gloves is stamped into the outer perimeter of the leather, but you can measure a softball glove yourself using a fabric tape measure. Measure from the top of the index finger through the pocket and down to the bottom of the heel. Keep the tape in contact with the leather at all times, measuring by increments.

Fastpitch Gloves

AgeCatcherFirst BaseMiddle InfieldThird BasePitcherOutfield
7 and under29.5-30"11.5"8-10.5"8-10.5"8-10.5"9-10.5"
8-1030-31"11.5-12"10.5-11.25"10.5-11.5"10.5-11.5"10-12"
11-1330-32.5"11.5-12"

11-11.5"11-11.75"11.5-12"12-12.75"
14 and over32-34.5"12-13"11.25-11.5"11.5-12"

11.5-12"12-12.75"

Slowpitch Gloves

AgeFirst BaseMiddle InfieldThird BasePitcher
14 and over 12-13" 11.5-12.5" 11.75-13" 11.5-13"

Note: If you need additional information on how to figure out your glove size, please see our detailed article on how to measure your glove size and the differences for each position.

The Best Adult Gloves

Mizuno Premier 14-Inch Adult Softball Glove

The Mizuno Premier 14-Inch Adult Slowpitch Utility Softball Glove has it all. It comes with a good shock-absorbing system to keep your hand comfortable and protected; a securing strap; lightweight padding material; and leather material that is durable and efficient at the same time.

Features

  • 14-inch size with Arched Tartan Web
  • Full-grain leather with mesh inserts
  • Parashock palm padding
  • Powerlock strap
  • Open-back design

Advantages

The Mizuno Premier 14-Inch Adult Slowpitch Utility Softball Glove has a 14-inch length that accommodates most adult hand sizes. It comes with a unique Arched Tartan Webbing that is unlike most conventional softball glove webbing available, and is matted in a utility pattern that us dependable, so your glove can keep up with you as you develop your skills and gameplay ability. This also ensures that despite its low cost, the Mizuno Premier 14-Inch Adult Slowpitch Utility Softball Glove can last a lifetime. Aside from its unique and durable construction, the glove is also made of full-grain leather, further adding to the Mizuno’s lifespan. It comes with mesh inserts which make for lighter-weight play. But despite the lightweight material, the glove is easy on the palm since it comes with special Parashock palm padding to protect you from the ball’s impact whether you’re catching a long fly ball mid-air or grabbing a scorching grounder. The Mizuno also comes with a polyurethane material Powerlock strap that makes sure it stays secured on your hand throughout the every play. And finally, for optimal flexibility, the glove comes with an open-back design that accommodates different sizes and shapes of hands.

Disadvantages

A few particular buyers have been concerned that the leather material used for the Mizuno Premier isn’t the best quality, despite the “premier” claim in its product labeling. The leather quality and the feel of it accordingly might not be up to the standard set by the original Mizuno gloves that came out in years past.

Verdict

The Mizuno Premier 14-Inch Adult Softball Glove generally has all the features you need from a basic softball glove. It is lightweight, thanks to its mesh padding; its shock absorption protects you from the impact of an oncoming ball; it comes with a strap that secures it to your hand quite snugly so you get the security you need while in motion, and it is made up of fine grain leather which can last you a long time even with frequent and regular use. Read our full review here, or Buy on Amazon

Wilson A360 Slowpitch Softball Glove, Right Hand Throw, 13-Inch

The Wilson A360 Slowpitch Softball Glove was created for all player positions in the field. Its 13-inch size model is a great in-between size and is even available in both right and left-handed models. The Wilson A360 was made with the different needs of many types of players in mind. A great glove for slowpitch softball, it’s an exceedingly flexible choice.

Features

  • 13” size model, ideal for all positions
  • Available for both right and left-handed players
  • Ideal for slowpitch softball
  • Made with Wilson-assured quality

Advantages

Whether you are an infield or an outfield player, the Wilson A360 Slowpitch Softball Glove is an ideal choice. It comes in a perfect “in between size” of 13 inches, making it not too big for an infield play (which requires speed and flexibility), while not being too small for outfield play, which requires maximum catching power in a glove’s length and pocket depth. The A360 is also the perfect glove for slowpitch softball due to its length that is well suited for the game. The deep-set pockets are also perfectly sized specifically for softball use. Overall the glove is built with the same attention to detail and determination that you would approach the game with yourself — the excellent standards set by the Wilson Company. Each glove is built with the determination to break boundaries and exceed expectations when it comes to play, flexibility, and performance.

Disadvantages

According to some users of the glove, the item they received was not actually the same product as pictured in the promotional material because the pocket of the gloves they received were just a regular gray leather without the black leather accent shown in the pictures. Also, there was no yellow “W” logo outside of the pocket, as the product pictures had claimed! This has caused some to complain that they did not receive the exact glove as shown in the product materials, which was a pretty disappointing experience.

Verdict

The Wilson A360 Slowpitch Softball Glove is an excellent and economical glove. It’s a great glove to have as backup or a just-in-case glove because it does all the basic functions of a Wilson Glove while solidly getting the job done. If you’re a recreational player, or just starting out, and want to get a feel for the game; or if you’re a more serious player who needs a backup glove, the Wilson A360 Slowpitch Softball Glove is ideal for you. Read the full review here or Buy on Amazon

The Best Youth Gloves

Louisville Slugger 10.5-Inch FG Diva Softball Infielders Glove

The Louisville Slugger 10.5-Inch FG Diva Softball Infielders Glove is specifically made to match the needs of a younger player stepping onto the field for the first time. The glove will give your child the confidence to easily stay on top of his or her game.

Features

  • 5” in size
  • Ideal for softball infielders
  • Softened pig leather palm make with mesh padding
  • 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty

Advantages

The 10.5-Inch FG Diva Glove was specifically built for softball infielders, coming with an extra deep pocket to accommodate a large softball, despite its kid-sized 10.5 inch proportions. It gives youth players enough flexibility and performance to be able to develop catching skills, and — more importantly — to learn to appreciate the game and to cultivate a passion for softball as they play more with the glove. This glove is made with a softened pig leather palm that makes it comfortable and ready to use right off the shelf, with no break-in requirement and no compromise to its quality and durability. Since it is made from genuine pig leather, you are assured of its durability versus a synthetic material. Despite its durable material and make, the FG Diva is still able to maintain a light weight because of its special mesh padding. The mesh padding cushions the impact of the oncoming ball while still maintaining minimal glove weight for optimal comfort, control, performance, and enjoyment. Louisville Slugger stands behind the 10.5-Inch FG Diva’s quality, promising a full year’s manufacturer’s limited warranty on it. The company prides itself on its long history of quality sports equipment, so you can be sure that you are secured and protected when you purchase an FG Diva glove.

Disadvantages

One disappointed user claimed that after less than a year of use, the glove’s fingers bowed outwards at the tips, and that the fingers became floppy, which made it difficult to make and hold onto catches cleanly. Additionally, after a few months of regular use, catches began to sting, which might have been a sign that the glove was past its break-in point and was well into its deteriorating phase.

Verdict

If you have a young infielder who is just starting out in softball or baseball, the Louisville Slugger 10.5-Inch FG Diva Softball Infielders Glove would make the perfect gift. It is just the right size for youth leagues and is made up of softened leather which does not require any breaking in; so your youngster will be able to use it right off the shelf without any discomfort at all. Read the full review here or Buy on Amazon

Easton BX1300B Softball Glove (13-Inch)

Genuine baseball equipment can be too expensive when you’re afraid that your child may change his or her mind after a month of trying out the sport. Or that he or she might quickly outgrow the glove’s size, for that matter! It is a good idea to initially buy a starter glove that will offer your child the experience of the game without you having to unnecessarily splurge; such as the Easton BX1300B 13-Inch Softball Glove.

Features

  • With a lock-down Velcro strap
  • May be used for both baseball and softball
  • Leather laces
  • An embroidered logo
  • A contoured index finger pad

Advantages

The Easton BX1300B comes with a lock-down Velcro strap that makes sure that it stays secured and fastened onto your hand the entire game. Leather laces wrap up the BX1300B in a stylish and functional weave. The leather laces also ensure that you get extra tough durability with your glove so that you can use it in many games for years to come. The glove is also ideal for both baseball and softball. It comes with a sizing that falls right in between, as well as a pocket-size that can fit either a baseball or a softball; this also means that it can be used by either infielders or outfielders for the same reason.

Disadvantages

Some parents who bought the Easton BX1300B for their children complained of poor fit. Also, accordingly, the glove is of fairly thin construction, which could cause pain to your child’s hand, even on just a somewhat-hard throw.

Verdict

If you have a young and eager slugger who has just gotten into the game, the Easton BX1300B Softball Glove would make a good choice for beginner players who are going to take it a bit light at first. It is also a good glove for a casual game of catch with the kids on lazy weekend afternoons.Read the full review here or Buy on Amazon

Mizuno GPL1200F2 Prospect Fastpitch Series Right Handed Throw Youth Softball Mitt

A unique innovation that allows your youth player better precision, better protection, better stability, and an overall better game—nothing will make them love the game more than the Mizuno Prospect Fastpitch Series Youth Softball Mitt.

Features

  • PowerClose tech
  • PowerLock
  • V-Flex Notch
  • ParaShock palm pad

Advantages

The Mizuno Prospect is built with PowerClose technology which is designed to make it much easier to catch the ball, especially for young players who are still trying to get the hang of the game. Nothing compares to being able to consistently catch the ball for building a child’s confidence and encouraging further love of the game. Beyond the psychological benefits, the PowerClose technology also enables an improvement in playing statistics and overall gameplay. Additionally, it is made with PowerLock technology, which makes sure that it stays secure and fit on your hand all throughout the game—all the time and every time you step out onto the field. Despite the advanced nature of this technology, it’s still very simple to use, and even the youngest junior league player will have no trouble securing it onto their catching hand. The mitt’s V-Flex Notch is yet another design feature that enables a player to make the perfect catch every time. To pair with its ease of catching, the Mizuno GPL1200F1 also comes with ParaShock palm padding that minimizes the sting of catching by reducing the shock from the impact of an oncoming ball.

Disadvantages

According to one parent, the Mizuno Prospect Fastpitch Series Youth Softball Mitt was too small for her 9-year-old daughter. Another user commented that the webbing gave in after just a few months, allowing the ball to push the webbing back, which caused more than the occasional dropped ball on makeable catches. Yet another parent noted that just after a month of use, its lacing dry rotted completely, then broke off, rendering the mitt completely useless.

Verdict

If you are looking for a starting glove for your young softball player, the Mizuno Prospect Fastpitch Series Youth Softball Mitt has the essential features to give them a good game. It comes with all the innovative technology your youth will need to ensure a good game and awesome performance.Read the full review here or Buy on Amazon

Further Information: The Parts of a Glove

A softball glove is made up of many smaller pieces, and each piece has a name. This system helps manufacturers explain key attributes of their equipment, and it also helps players discuss what may have happened on a given play. The way that these pieces are cut and assembled makes a particular glove’s pattern, much like a garment is made on a pattern. When discussing its parts, it is best to divide the glove between its front and back. Let’s begin with the front of the glove — the business end.

The parts on the front of the glove all act either to secure the ball or to hold the glove together. No piece is there for decoration. The pocket and the web act together to form a place for the glove to come to rest. Some gloves include devices such as slits or softer material to aid the player in closing the glove. This is most common in youth softball gloves, though. By the time players reach the higher levels of the sport, these crutches are deemed unnecessary.

Still looking for a glove?

Check out our top pick: The Mizuno Premier 14 inch glove

The post The Best Softball Gloves Reviewed for 2020 first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>
https://softballace.com/best-softball-gloves-overall/feed/ 0
How to Relace a Softball Glove https://softballace.com/how-to-relace-a-softball-glove/ https://softballace.com/how-to-relace-a-softball-glove/#respond Sun, 01 Oct 2017 23:17:53 +0000 http://softballace.com/?p=644 Last updated on March 23, 2018 Are you having trouble getting over losing your personal ol’ reliable? It has happened to the best of us. You will simply be playing in a game just like any other game, and all of a sudden the ball just decides to rip directly […]

The post How to Relace a Softball Glove first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>
Last updated on March 23, 2018

Are you having trouble getting over losing your personal ol’ reliable? It has happened to the best of us. You will simply be playing in a game just like any other game, and all of a sudden the ball just decides to rip directly through your glove. As the lace rips apart just like your heart did the moment you felt it happen, you think to yourself, “Well, now what am I supposed to do?”

There are times to relace a glove that aren’t just the breaking point. You can decide to relace your glove at any time. A good time to do such a thing would be when you first start to seriously realize that those laces are breaking down. If they are starting to feel softer and thinner than they once did, or if the leather surrounding the laces looks like it’s deteriorating, you most likely will want to relace soon. Another time that would be ideal to relace your glove is when you first get it if you know the lacing is not very well constructed.

If you are going to take the task upon yourself, make sure to first take a look at the damage that has occurred. See how bad the puncture is, and make a determination on how to go about the relacing. Draw it out if you have to! Sometimes simplifying jobs out will really save you time and effort. For this job, you are going to need a lacing needle as well as your new lace.

First, remove the original lacing from your glove if you feel it is necessary. Untie and pull the lacing through the glove and get a good look at how the leather is holding up. Obviously, if your laces are ripped, you are going to need to replace the laces with your new ones. Insert your needle into the hole closest to the damage and then thread the needle with your lace. Next, pull the needle through the other side of the hole so the lace goes through cleanly. Make sure to manually fix any twists in the lacing, and pull the needle with your hand to tighten it as much as you want. Continue to lace that baby up, intermingling every single hole with each other with the lacing. The process should seem to flow.  Try to follow the original lacing pattern of the glove. This will make for the best possible feel on the glove when it is done. Your hand will not feel restricted in any way if you stick to the original pattern. Go very slow and carefully the first time you do it if you do not feel comfortable. If you do this, you will most likely not damage the glove any further if you were to make a mistake.

Catchers will usually have to relace their mitts more than any other position due to the amount of high-speed catches their gloves have to endure, over and over again. Outfield gloves usually last the longest because that is where the least action will usually be going on during games. Outfielders do not have to deal with high speed softballs coming directly at them like a catcher does. The outfielder’s glove just has to be able to endure a season or two of catching fly balls. Infielders are definitely the middle of the pack when it comes to relacing, with first baseman’s mitts definitely leading the way. While first baseman do have to catch throws from infielders at decent speeds, it still does not compare to the toll that catcher’s mitts take. Other infielders (second base, third base, and shortstops) use gloves that usually can take a pretty solid beating. They will break down, but it will take longer than a catcher’s mitt or first baseman’s.

It really is a traumatic experience when your favorite glove finally just  gives. Sometimes it is just time to let your baby retire, but at other times your glove just needs a relacing. Do not go out and spend a boatload of money on a new glove when all you needed was some new lacing!

The post How to Relace a Softball Glove first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>
https://softballace.com/how-to-relace-a-softball-glove/feed/ 0
Is Your Softball Glove Illegal? https://softballace.com/is-your-softball-glove-illegal/ https://softballace.com/is-your-softball-glove-illegal/#respond Tue, 19 Sep 2017 22:45:26 +0000 http://softballace.com/?p=641 At all levels in the game of softball there are specific regulations considering gloves. From youth softball to professional fastpitch, players can be penalized for not wearing the correct type of glove on their hand when playing the field. If you are not totally sure what your league’s regulations are […]

The post Is Your Softball Glove Illegal? first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>
At all levels in the game of softball there are specific regulations considering gloves. From youth softball to professional fastpitch, players can be penalized for not wearing the correct type of glove on their hand when playing the field. If you are not totally sure what your league’s regulations are when it comes to gloves and other equipment, find the rulebook online or ask a league representative about what is and is not allowed. What about that old baseball glove – can you use it instead? If you still cannot figure out what you can or can not use, pay attention to the following rules and you can try to determine what your league most likely allows.

NSA Rules

The NSA (National Softball Association) “is a full service organization that offers a division of play and a level of competition that youth through adult can enjoy.” The NSA is a well-respected group that has a fair share of influence on softball around the world. Many different leagues and tournaments are a direct result of the NSA’s hard work.

Their regulations for softball gloves state that the glove cannot be entirely white, gray, or “optic in color”. Also, the glove must meet a couple of different size requirements. The height of a glove (from the bottom edge to the very top of the glove) must be in between 8 and 15 inches.

softball glove sizing diagram
How to measure a softball glove’s length (in inches)

The width must be 8 inches “from the bottom edge of the webbing farthest from the thumb in a horizontal line to the outside edge of the little finger”. The webbing on the glove must be measured at 5 and ¾ inches from the top of the webbing down parallel to the very bottom of it. If a glove does not meet any of these specifications, it is deemed illegal.

NCAA Rules

The NCAA (National Collegiate Amateur Association) is a countrywide organization which runs just about everything that involves American collegiate athletics. The athletes are some of the most talented young softball players in the country. The rules are more specific for NCAA, which means that if you follow the specifications that they set out for their players, you will most likely be okay in whatever league you play in.

The NCAA actually has similar rules to the NSA when it comes to illegal fielding gloves. The palm width has to be 8 inches, the height can not exceed 14 inches, (NSA allows 15 inches) and the web cannot exceed 7 ¾ inches tall. Aside from those stipulations, the NCAA actually has more specifications than the NSA. The thumb height cannot exceed 9 ¾ inches. Also, catchers must use catcher’s mitts only.

Catchers cannot wear position players’ gloves because of the injury they could sustain on their hand, as well as any unfair advantages they might be able to glean. Adding any adhesives to the glove that may give the glove more stickiness will deem the glove illegal as well. If any of these specifications are not met, an umpire can tell the collegiate player to remove the glove.

If a warning is issued and the glove is found being used in the field of play again (where it is not supposed to be) the umpire can eject the player from the ballgame. If a play is made with an illegal glove it can be nullified at the umpire’s and opposing coach’s discretion. The umpire should give the coach the opportunity to stick with the result of the play, or completely nullify the play due to the illegal glove. The player will then be given a warning, and will be told to take the glove off.

There are many different types of softball. You could find yourself in a competitive fastpitch tournament, or an over-40 slowpitch league. No matter the case, you have to play by the rules. Illegal gloves are against the rules. Make sure to do your research on the league before joining or before purchasing a glove that is not allowed. Every adaptation of the game is different, so be aware of that before you make any big decisions. The fact of the matter is that if you purchase a standard-issue Rawlings, Wilson, Nokona, or a glove from any leading brand, it will most likely meet the requirements of a standard softball league. Just make sure to check before taking the field. You don’t want to be the one who costs your team an inning-ending double play because you used a glove that was too big.

The post Is Your Softball Glove Illegal? first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>
https://softballace.com/is-your-softball-glove-illegal/feed/ 0
The Best Places on the Web for Building Softball Practices https://softballace.com/the-best-places-on-the-web-for-building-softball-practices/ https://softballace.com/the-best-places-on-the-web-for-building-softball-practices/#respond Wed, 06 Sep 2017 18:21:15 +0000 http://softballace.com/?p=587 Coaching softball in game situations is stressful and requires the ability to multitask. Coaching in practice requires multitasking as well, but should be a much less stressful endeavor. A wise coach utilizes every minute of available practice time, and that requires organization. If players do not move briskly from one […]

The post The Best Places on the Web for Building Softball Practices first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>
team practice youths

Coaching softball in game situations is stressful and requires the ability to multitask. Coaching in practice requires multitasking as well, but should be a much less stressful endeavor. A wise coach utilizes every minute of available practice time, and that requires organization. If players do not move briskly from one activity to the next, the wasted time will reduce the amount of work the team can do in a practice.

The ability to run a well-organized practice is a fundamental of coaching in the same way that keeping the glove down on grounders is a fundamental of fielding. Coaches build respect, and a bit of awe, in players when they provide them with individualized instruction that produces results on the field. Great coaches are thieves: They rob from the successful to provide the best instruction for the players in their charge.

Formulating a practice plan is as simple as slotting different drills and scenarios for different blocks of time within the practice. The following websites are great places to find beneficial activities that will help any team improve. Take what works; throw out what doesn’t and remember to schedule every exercise.

Softball Spot

The softball spot is a great resource for softball coaches and backyard coaches alike to find drills and practice fodder. Regardless of the age of the players, there is a trove of information on this blog. The drills are written out in a simple tone that most everyone will appreciate, with no fluff or filler. All the free content is laid out intuitively, and all the important bases are covered.

Though the addition of new material appears to be sporadic, the dearth of drills and tips Softball Spot has accumulated warrants a visit. There is no way to go through it all in one sitting, and no doubt that some of the suggestions will earn slots in the practices of coaches at any level. If the site consisted only of the conditioning section, which gives drills for building position-specific strength and endurance, it would be worth the time to look into it.

Fastpitch TV

fastpitchtv

One of the great things about Fastpitch TV is that it varies its contributors. As a player, it is wise to listen to fewer voices, but for coaches the opposite is true. The different voices on Fastpitch TV represent a wealth of viewpoints and experiences. The site has been in existence for a while, so the build of material is extensive.

The drills on Fastpitch TV are all presented in uncomplicated article form, and each is a short and direct read. To zero in on the type of drill you need, scroll to the bottom of the page and find the Categories drag-down menu. Under Drills, you will find categories like hitting, fielding, pitching, etc. For a nonstop barrage of useful drills, be sure to check out the “100 Coaches-100 Drills” segment.

Life in the Fastpitch Lane

life in the fastpitch lane

Drills are fine and dandy. They serve their purpose and they undeniably have their benefits. But, practices are more than just a collection of drills, or, at least they should be. Longtime softball coach Ken Krause takes a more practical approach to practices, and his Fastpitch Lane blog puts his philosophy at your fingertips.

Articles like “Helping young hitters with a fear of the ball,” and “Crazy stuff people teach about hitting,” empower softball coaches to devise common-sense practices. Practicality is sorely missing in youth sports, particularly in select softball and baseball. Krause posts new material regularly, though by the nature of his blog, not every article is coaching-focused. However, the easy-to-navigate collection is full of tips for individualized instruction, with a sprinkling of well-informed drills and instruction.

Team Snap (Skills and Drills)

team snap

Team Snap is a software firm that facilitates better operation of team systems. Its “Drills and Skills” section is full of brief explanations of simple drills in article and video form. Most of the skills videos are available on YouTube, but with Team Snap’s blog there is no need to sift through mounds of videos in hopes of stumbling upon a good one.

To get to the “Drills and Skills” section from the homepage, click on the “Community” tab, then “Skills and Drills” will appear on a secondary tab bar. Scroll down to find “Softball.” The drills are divided into clickable categories that, while light on topics such as base running and catching, are loaded with content for the pillars of hitting, pitching and fielding.

Team Snap is still a thriving operation, but most of the links in the “Drills and Skills” section are from 2013. Softball does not change much over time, though, so the drills are still useful and will be for years to come. The written drills are accessible only through this site, though, and many of them are worthy of entire segments of practice time. 

For our other blog rundowns, you can also check out the best places for team culture, competitive mindset, and practical advice.

The post The Best Places on the Web for Building Softball Practices first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>
https://softballace.com/the-best-places-on-the-web-for-building-softball-practices/feed/ 0
Softball Blog Rundown: The Best Blogs for Winning https://softballace.com/softball-blog-rundown-the-best-blogs-for-winning/ https://softballace.com/softball-blog-rundown-the-best-blogs-for-winning/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:43:46 +0000 http://softballace.com/?p=559 For our previous blog rundowns, please check out our article on the best softball blogs for team culture and the best blogs for practical advice. If the strongest, most talented players and teams always finished on top, softball would be a boring sport. To be sure, gifted players bring a tangible […]

The post Softball Blog Rundown: The Best Blogs for Winning first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>
softball team celebrating

For our previous blog rundowns, please check out our article on the best softball blogs for team culture and the best blogs for practical advice.

If the strongest, most talented players and teams always finished on top, softball would be a boring sport. To be sure, gifted players bring a tangible advantage to any team, but there is another side to the sport. The scrapper, the underdog, the Cinderella… champions are born in these ranks as often as in the ranks of superior athletes.

The reason less talented players and teams beat more talented ones is often because they have a mental edge. Whether these players are born with a will to win, or if they learned it from parents, coaches or other players, they often level the playing field simply by approaching the game the right way. The following blogs are some of the best sources on the web for developing the mental fortitude to overcome adversity and become a winner.

Softball Smarts

softball smarts

http://www.softballsmarts.com

Where better to glean information on the mental approach to success than from a coach whose whole spiel is the mental side of the game. John Kelly has been coaching fastpitch softball at various levels since 1996, and has preached the importance of having a winning mentality for two decades. His site is a trove of confidence-building strategies, and he guides readers toward improving focus and attitude to achieve success.

Kelly has made a business out of his ideas on winning through improving mentally. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, but perusing his site leaves a reader with the sensation that the best information is contained in the courses he sells. Again, nothing wrong with making a buck — everyone has to make a living — and the available articles are dense and numerous. It is just worth knowing going into it that your interest will be piqued to know what’s hiding behind the curtain.

Fastpitch TV

fastpitchtv

https://fastpitch.tv/category/fastpitch-softball-blog

Fastpitch softball internet pioneer Gary Leland’s blog is loaded with information on the mental approach that leads to winning. There isn’t much in the way of fluff pieces here. Mental toughness and preparation are front and center. These articles focus on the mentality that leads to success rather than just winning tactics. Crucially, much attention is also paid to how focusing solely on winning is self-defeating.  

The site is not intuitively navigable, but there are a couple ways to narrow a search for information. The search function narrows things down nicely, and a clickable list of categories rests hidden at the bottom of the page. New content is uploaded regularly, which runs the gamut of fastpitch topics, from drills and tips to the mentality and philosophy of success.

Softball Spot

softball spot

http://www.softball-spot.com/

Longtime softball coach Becky Wittenberg’s blog is geared toward her fellow coaches. The blog is loaded with older content, and new articles are posted regularly. Players and parents can easily apply the information presented in the articles to backyard and offseason practice sessions.

While the blog is mainly focused on the physical side of the game, and is loaded with drills, the mental and philosophical side feature prominently in the content. To access this type of content, simply type mental into the search bar, and an abundance of articles will be at your fingertips. Players can gain insight on topics like the mental approach to hitting, while coaches can get ideas for practices and drills to hone their players’ mental toughness and acuity.

Softball is for Girls

softballisforgirls

https://softballisforgirls.com/

This site is content-focused, and the articles are varied in the sense that they target players, coaches and parents separately. The density of material is such that you can get lost in the content. Hours after you begin your search for a given topic, you can easily be learning about things you had not intended to research. That may be problematic, in the sense that the site lacks a cohesive organization. Articles are tagged into basic groups, though, and the search bar function works well.

The mental side of the game is a definite focus of the content. Players can gain perspective from the experiences of others, whether in breaking out of slumps or improving focus. Parents and coaches will also find a wealth of information on improving their players’ focus and steeling their attitudes. The information can get technical, but there is often a takeaway beyond the mere physical side of softball.

Fastpitch Lane

life in the fastpitch lane

https://fastpitchlane.softballsuccess.com/

As much as we all tend to see them as distinct facets of the game, the mental and physical parts of the game are intertwined. Ken Krause, the softball coach operator of the Fastpitch Lane blog, seems all too aware of that connection. Unlike other blogs, the articles on the Fastpitch Lane are organized into easily accessed categories, and are often cross-located.

The keys to winning in an age when players all train year-round are mostly mental, whether that be in mental toughness or focus, or simply getting players to get out of their own way. It can take years of experience in the game to develop an understanding of the link between mental preparation and success. The information on Krause’s site clues parents, coaches and players with less experience into a level of perspective that would otherwise require seasons of trial and error to accumulate.

 

The post Softball Blog Rundown: The Best Blogs for Winning first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>
https://softballace.com/softball-blog-rundown-the-best-blogs-for-winning/feed/ 0
Top 5 Glove-Buying Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make https://softballace.com/top-5-glove-buying-mistakes-you-shouldnt-make/ https://softballace.com/top-5-glove-buying-mistakes-you-shouldnt-make/#respond Wed, 02 Aug 2017 17:59:57 +0000 http://softballace.com/?p=574 There is nothing more frustrating than a season spent struggling with ill-suited equipment. A bat that’s too long, cleats that are too tight, etc., ruin the fun of softball. A softball glove should be a bit clumsy at first, but should become buttery smooth as it is worn and used. […]

The post Top 5 Glove-Buying Mistakes You Shouldn't Make first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>
softball girl looking through fence

There is nothing more frustrating than a season spent struggling with ill-suited equipment. A bat that’s too long, cleats that are too tight, etc., ruin the fun of softball. A softball glove should be a bit clumsy at first, but should become buttery smooth as it is worn and used. The following are some simple but common errors to avoid for a fun season and a rewarding experience.

Spending Too Much

In sporting goods, the price tag will often tell you much about the construction of the product. This is as true in softball as any other sport. Just as composite bats can cost more than aluminum, higher grades of leather usually cost more than synthetics, for example. But problems arise when well-meaning parents blow large amounts of money on gloves for their young daughters.

Fastpitch gloves utilizing exotic leathers can cost in the hundreds of dollars, but the feel and longevity these gloves offer are often lost on the youngest of players. Bear in mind, too, that these young players will outgrow their first gloves in no time. Save the expensive, pro-quality gloves for a later time, when players can use them, appreciate them and care for them.

Spending Too Little

The flipside of the cost coin is when parents decide to save money and buy a cheap glove for their player. Of course, for many of us, the cost of even a cheap glove can be bankrupting. The key is to purchase the best glove you can afford for your player’s skill level. If your daughter is showing prodigy-like form, she deserves the best equipment her parents can provide.

In truth, buying a more expensive glove can save money in the long run. When properly cleaned and oiled, a quality leather glove can last for years. Rather than replacing and breaking in a new glove every season, a player with a top-tier glove becomes accustomed to it, and she will not want to part with it, even for a more expensive glove.

Looking for Bells and Whistles

We are all human, and we are all susceptible to the allure of advertising. Companies will often tout some gimmick or another as the next big thing in softball gloves, but these add-ons are typically useless — at best. At worst, gloves that offer assisted closing and other user aids mask problems that could be addressed, or cause problems that would otherwise not exist.

That is not to say that you should ignore innovation. Just be sure that any such extras address some issue, and that they are needed. Also, make certain the advertising isn’t simply spinning a shortcoming. High-tech, synthetic lacing, for example, may be shorthand for cheap plastic. And all-leather lacing isn’t a selling point. You should accept nothing less. Manufacturers reached relative perfection in leather softball gloves years ago. Innovation from here on out should be slow and steady. Beware the next big thing.

Getting the Wrong Size

This common error encompasses more than just the usual advertised sizes of softball gloves. Finding the right measurement of glove for a certain position is easy enough with the use of a sizing chart, and many models are suitable at various positions. This is especially true in slow pitch softball. The crucial error, though, lies in purchasing a glove that does not fit the hand.

The size of the hand space is relative to the size of the finger wells. Manufacturers do not give a measurement for the finger wells or the hand openings of their gloves, but they usually give clues to help approximate a proper fit in the model names and descriptions.

Slow-pitch gloves are usually designed for men, for example, with larger finger wells and hand openings. Fastpitch gloves are made with smaller hand openings and finger wells, because females tend to have smaller hands. There is no rule that says one cannot be used for the other game, though.

Buying the Name

Herein lies the most insidious of buying mistakes: getting what’s cool. It is not uncommon to watch youth players on a team go through an entire lineup with each player using the same brand name of bat. There is no way that bat suits every player on the team, but the urge to conform often outweighs our better judgement — especially when we’re young. The same peer pressure exists on the defensive side of the ball, in the form of overpriced gloves.

Purchasing a glove just to be seen with the correct embroidered emblem on the back is a sure way to struggle, and no one looks cool making errors in the field. Often, the correct glove is more affordable than the cool-for-the-moment brand, but players and parents pass it up. The result is wasted money, time and effort. Purchasing quality, appropriate equipment is more important than who makes it.

The Take Away

When searching for your next glove or mitt, try not to look at the manufacturer’s name at all. Players need to have confidence in their equipment. Focus on what suits a player’s eye, and narrow down the search from there. There will always be compromises, but choosing the best glove that you can afford, which requires the fewest compromises, is always a good route to take.

For tips on what you should consider, check out the video below and read the guide on our home page.

The post Top 5 Glove-Buying Mistakes You Shouldn't Make first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>
https://softballace.com/top-5-glove-buying-mistakes-you-shouldnt-make/feed/ 0
Review: Easton Salvo Series 13.5-inch First-Base Mitt https://softballace.com/review-easton-salvo-series-13-5-inch-first-base-mitt/ https://softballace.com/review-easton-salvo-series-13-5-inch-first-base-mitt/#respond Wed, 26 Jul 2017 17:30:36 +0000 http://softballace.com/?p=567 If you’re new to slow pitch, the Easton Salvo Series may not be familiar to you. But, if you’ve spent any time in the game, you will have either seen them in play or experienced them first hand. The Salvo series has earned its reputation of provide a functional mix […]

The post Review: Easton Salvo Series 13.5-inch First-Base Mitt first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>
If you’re new to slow pitch, the Easton Salvo Series may not be familiar to you. But, if you’ve spent any time in the game, you will have either seen them in play or experienced them first hand. The Salvo series has earned its reputation of provide a functional mix of value and quality, and the current-generation first-base mitts continue that tradition.

These mitts provide the best of materials for durability and longevity, while keeping costs down with a functional mesh backing. Do not be confused, though: The Easton Salvo Series SVSM3 first base mitts are a compromise only in the sense that they bring superior material and functionality into the hands of the softball player on a budget. You will never know you saved money on your mitt until you check your bank statement.

Features

  • High quality 365 steerhide leather provides great feel
  • LOCK DOWN wrist strap keeps the mitt secure
  • Open, single-post web provides great visibility
  • VRS Shock Pad takes the sting out of hard throws
  • Nylon mesh backing in strategic locations, saves weight and cash
  • Easton’s DOUBLE DEEP pocket provides forgiveness for secure catches

Advantages

365 Steerhide Leather

Steerhide is a tough and tight-grained option for softball gloves. If properly treated, it will last for years. This durability comes at a cost beyond the monetary, though. The SVSM3 requires an extended break-in period to get to game-ready pliability, and is stiff off the shelf. It is also heavy, though the weight is mitigated in this model thanks to the mesh backing. Once broken in, there will be no more durable glove, nor one with better feel, on any diamond.

VRS Shock Pad

Many gloves and mitts intended for the slow-pitch market come with little to no padding whatsoever. First basemen, though, will receive the hardest throws on the slow-pitch field with the greatest regularity. To this end, Easton included its cushioning VRS Shock Pad in these mitts. While the padding is not as thick as it is on first-base mitts meant for baseball, it is still functional. It reduces the painful sting of the hardest throws, though it does not eliminate it.

Extra Large Pocket

The DOUBLE DEEP pocket on the SVSM3 is truly enormous. At any other position on the soft-pitch field, a pocket of this size might be a liability, even in the outfield. Throws made to first base bring their own set of variables, though, and players at that position must make concessions. The larger the pocket, the more forgiving it will be when the mitt is positioned just millimeters from the optimal location. When throws are offline or skipped, the larger pocket provides forgiveness that will make everyone in the infield look better.

Disadvantages

Mesh Backing

To what extent a nylon mesh backing is a disadvantage is up to the individual. It certainly adds a bit of flexibility to a new glove, while providing cooling air flow. However, there is nothing to be done to increase the mesh’s lifespan. It will last as long as it lasts, it saves weight and dirt will get into the openings. An all-steerhide glove would be longer-lasting, though inevitably more expensive, investment.

Not for Fastpitch or Large Hands

The fingerstalls in the SVSM3 mitt are larger than usually found on a fastpitch glove, so it would be a good option for girls with large hands. The hand opening, though, is on the small side. This creates a slight mismatch between the hand opening and fingerstall sizes that may confound male players with large hands. That group of player should find the interior comfortable, though never roomy, but taking the mitt off and putting it on might be frustrating.

Requires Extended Break In

The 365 steerhide in the SVSM4 is treated, and the mesh backing is already flexible, so the length of break in on these Easton mitts is a bit confusing. Once it is ready for play, the SVSM3 becomes pliable, providing excellent feel and superior strength. The issue is that breaking the glove in properly may take weeks of repeated use and oiling. This is not the glove you want to purchase the day of the big game.

Verdict

When money is no object, finding the perfect softball glove is a simpler task. Players who need value as well as quality often have a tougher time finding perfection. The Easton SVSM3 manages to provide players with superior quality at a reasonable cost. The compromises players must make to put one in play have nothing to do with playability, which will be impressive. If you play first base and you want a quality mitt, you already likely know that your options are limited. With the SVSM3, you get quality and durability where you need it, and affordable synthetics where you don’t.

Still looking for the perfect slowpitch glove?  Check out our picks for the best ones here.

The post Review: Easton Salvo Series 13.5-inch First-Base Mitt first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>
https://softballace.com/review-easton-salvo-series-13-5-inch-first-base-mitt/feed/ 0
Softball Blog Rundown: The Best Blogs for Parents and Team Culture https://softballace.com/softball-blog-rundown-the-best-blogs-for-parents-and-team-culture/ https://softballace.com/softball-blog-rundown-the-best-blogs-for-parents-and-team-culture/#respond Wed, 19 Jul 2017 14:57:41 +0000 http://softballace.com/?p=547 You can find the first in our series of Softball Blog rundowns here, where we feature the best blogs for practical playing tips.     As parents, we all want the best for our kids. This desire, obviously, extends to the softball field. The softball community is as much of […]

The post Softball Blog Rundown: The Best Blogs for Parents and Team Culture first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>

You can find the first in our series of Softball Blog rundowns here, where we feature the best blogs for practical playing tips.

parents watching their kids play baseball

 

As parents, we all want the best for our kids. This desire, obviously, extends to the softball field. The softball community is as much of a family as that of any other sport, both because of the fewer options girls have to compete in athletics and because of the elite nature of the competitions. Parents and coaches tend to rally around each other and their players, and they usually have the players’ best interests at heart.

This sense of community should naturally translate to the playing field, but it sadly often does not. From parents in the stands berating players for errors, to personality clashes inside the fences, otherwise good teams often fail to reach their potential, thanks in large part to poor chemistry in the dugout. Thankfully, blogs such as those in this brief list exist to help parents, players and coaches develop winning relationships.

Softball Journey

softball journey blog

http://softballjourney.com/

This informative blog contains tips and advice from travel ball coach and softball parent Greg Cruthers from his nearly two decades of involvement in fastpitch softball. While the blog certainly contains valuable instructional information, as one would expect from a coach, the parental advice and information sets this blog apart from the rest. Parents considering involvement in travel ball will definitely want to peruse this site.

Cruthers has obviously experienced many extremes in his years spent coaching his daughters and bringing them through the fastpitch game. His talks on the economic costs of raising an elite softball player have the potential to ease families’ transitions from recreational ball to traveling. And, for those parents hoping a daughter will transition to college softball, Cruthers offers the insight of his experience with his youngest daughter in NCAA ball. Though it is not often updated, this blog offers a real-world view into softball life that few others deliver.

Life in the Fastpitch Lane

life in the fastpitch lane

https://fastpitchlane.softballsuccess.com/

In addition to instruction and tips, travel ball coach Ken Krause provides insights into the fastpitch softball experience. Use the side bar to narrow the categories of articles to your specific needs. The sections on the mental side of the game, the parents’ side and the team-building side have a tremendous ability to help those hoping to institute a culture of success on a softball team.

As blogs go, the Fastpitch Lane is easily navigable and chock full of interesting and useful content. Krause is an authority on fastpitch softball, but is not authoritarian. He regularly contributes to other reputable publications in the sport, and his style is informing in a caring way that coaxes rather than instructs. This blog is regularly updated with new material, with a new article posted about every week or two.

Softball is for Girls

softballisforgirls

https://softballisforgirls.com/

Softball is for Girls is a great softball blog in general, but it excels in the team-building department. Fastpitch coaches looking for strategies that work to build team chemistry can get lost in the information laid bare in this blog. Players interested in learning what they can do to develop skills that will make them a better leader on a team will also find valuable information.

Softball is for Girls also has a great section of articles for softball parents. The articles in this category are often grouped with those from the “Coaches’ Corner,” exemplifying the fact that the issues that affect both groups of adults involved in the game affect them equally. The site might not seem very intuitive at first, but the search bar is useful, and each article has category tags beneath it to help you find similar content. There is a wealth of content on this blog, and new content appears regularly.

I Love to Watch You Play

i love to watch you play

http://ilovetowatchyouplay.com/

While not specifically for softball, the blog at I Love to Watch You Play covers a broad array of information sports parents will find invaluable. From game-day nutrition to college recruiting, the information contained within the articles of this blog will help parents of softball players make sense of the confounding world of youth sports. Even former athletes-turned-parents will glean useful tidbits from the articles, but inexperienced parents will likely get the most help from this blog.

Fastpitch TV

fastpitchtv

https://fastpitch.tv/

This is a popular blog in softball circles, and for good reason. The articles are informative and span a broad range of topics, and the information is both authoritative and exhaustive. The team-building articles, like much of the information on Fastpitch TV, deliver tactics that coaches, players and parents can all work to institute when they want to institute a culture of success. The parents’ section is not quite as exhaustive, but there the information it contains is valuable.

The articles on Fastpitch TV are not easy to isolate by subject, but the search function is useful. Simply punch “team” into the search bar, for example, and a plethora of team-building articles will appear. Multiple articles are uploaded in a typical week, making this a go-to for those immersed in softball life.

 

The post Softball Blog Rundown: The Best Blogs for Parents and Team Culture first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>
https://softballace.com/softball-blog-rundown-the-best-blogs-for-parents-and-team-culture/feed/ 0
Rawlings Shutout Series Review https://softballace.com/rawlings-shutout-series-review/ https://softballace.com/rawlings-shutout-series-review/#respond Wed, 12 Jul 2017 14:22:23 +0000 http://softballace.com/?p=542 It can be tough raising an athlete. As parents, we want to give our children every possible advantage in life and in sport. Softball gloves are a prime example of the conundrum. Throw cost out the window, and high-quality, long-lasting gloves are everywhere. Go cheap, and you may be costing […]

The post Rawlings Shutout Series Review first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>
It can be tough raising an athlete. As parents, we want to give our children every possible advantage in life and in sport. Softball gloves are a prime example of the conundrum. Throw cost out the window, and high-quality, long-lasting gloves are everywhere. Go cheap, and you may be costing your child a chance to shine on the diamond. For parents who can’t throw hundreds of dollars at a glove, but who refuse to cheap out on their player, the choices quickly get limited to a select few options.

Rawlings new Shut Out series gloves fill that gap. They provide a quality option to players and parents for whom money is an issue but quality is a requirement. Available in different length patterns for players who specialize at certain positions, these new Rawlings gloves meet the needs of demanding players, without necessitating a second mortgage. They are a legitimate alternative to the exotic-leather gloves that price out the majority of families, and will handle the softball equally as well as any of them.

Features:

  • Full-grain leather shell, oil treated
  • Adjustable strap on back
  • Finger-shift design
  • Cushioned palm and index finger well
  • Small hand opening for female players
  • Closed, basket web
  • Quick break-in period
  • Pro Micro lining

Advantages

Closed Web

The closed web on the Rawlings Shut Out series works well at any position on the field. Players who sometimes find themselves in the circle can move from any positon on the field straight into pitching without having to run to the dugout and dig for their pitching gloves. Hiding the ball is easy with a basket web, but it works equally well in the infield or outfield.

Full-Grain Leather

Rawlings pre-oils the leather in these gloves to provide a quick break-in period. The company claims players will have only 20 percent of break-in time remaining at purchase. This means the gloves can legitimately be put straight into play, though it is best to allow at least a couple practices before thrusting the Shut Out into actual game play.

Redesigned for Balance

Rawlings put extra effort into balance with its redesign of the venerable Worth Shutout, and the results are impressive. These gloves have no discernible tipping points, and players can flip the glove from the fingers-up position to the basket position with a minimal amount of effort. Over time, this balance provides an even break-in, as there are no compensatory movements required of the player to utilize her glove properly.

Disadvantages

Small Hand Opening

Like many fastpitch softball gloves, the Shut Out is purposely designed with a small hand opening and finger wells to accommodate female players. While this sizing works well for the typical high school and travel ball player, those with larger hands may find these Rawlings gloves have too tight of a fit.

Finger Shift Design

The finger-shift design is a love-it-or-leave-it feature. Essentially, Rawlings has included added material on the outside of the index finger well to allow that finger to move back and away from hard-hit or hard-thrown balls. Intended to reduce the sting from these situations, the resulting freedom of movement it gives to the finger can be distracting to players who prefer a tighter fit in their gloves — a common requirement for fastpitch softball players.

Excessive Lacing

The all-leather laces on the Shut Out gloves are a nice touch. Good looking and tough, they will help these gloves last through several seasons of hard play. However, like their Worth predecessors, these laces have an inordinate amount of extra material, leaving leather strings hanging all over the place. Some players like this look, but others will have to get to work trimming them down to size.

Verdict

As Americans, one of the things we love about baseball and softball is that they are truly democratic sports. On the high school field, it doesn’t matter how much money your parents have, and players from either side of the tracks have equal opportunity to play well and to succeed. Unfortunately, when money is an issue, parents must take absolute care to ensure the equipment they purchase for their player is the best that they can afford.

The Rawlings Shut Out gloves fit well into this category. They are not a compromise, and parents can rest assured they are getting their player one of the best gloves in the game, at any price. The Shut Out is a redesign of the Worth Shutout gloves, which are no longer made but are still available from certain retailers. The name has been synonymous with affordable quality since it appeared. Players who cannot spend money blindly still deserve every chance to succeed on the softball field. These Rawlings gloves provide them that opportunity.

The post Rawlings Shutout Series Review first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>
https://softballace.com/rawlings-shutout-series-review/feed/ 0
Review: Rawlings RSB Series Slowpitch Gloves https://softballace.com/review-rawlings-rsb-series-slowpitch-gloves/ https://softballace.com/review-rawlings-rsb-series-slowpitch-gloves/#respond Wed, 05 Jul 2017 18:52:33 +0000 http://softballace.com/?p=523 The most serious of slow-pitch softball players will spend serious funds on their equipment. These players know that the materials in high-end gloves mature and improve over time, and that they are worth the investment. Players that can really flash leather need gloves that like to be flashed. To a […]

The post Review: Rawlings RSB Series Slowpitch Gloves first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>
The most serious of slow-pitch softball players will spend serious funds on their equipment. These players know that the materials in high-end gloves mature and improve over time, and that they are worth the investment. Players that can really flash leather need gloves that like to be flashed. To a large portion of the slow-pitch playing public, though, the hundreds of dollars pro-level gloves cost would be so much wasted money.

If you are one of those players, gloves like Rawlings’ RSB series slow pitch gloves may be just the thing you need. These gloves are playable and serviceable, and they provide a lot of bang for the buck. They are not for everyone, though. Let’s look a little closer at this series of gloves and see which players they would benefit, and which ones should keep looking.

Features

  • Leather palm
  • Velcro strap closure
  • Closed, Basket web
  • Cushioned palm and index finger
  • Deep, wide pocket

Advantages

Soft Leather

The leather palm of the RSB series gloves is soft and pliable straight from the factory. Extraordinarily little break in is required on the part of the user. Rawlings claims a 10-percent user break in, but players can put the RSB series in play right away. After couple of practice sessions, though, the RSB begins to truly shine. The synthetic, Neo Flex back is pliable when new as well, further speeding break in.

Cushioning

While the cushioning on Rawlings’ RSB series gloves is not in and of itself spectacular, it is not always found in a slow-pitch glove. Many of these types of gloves are completely without padding, and stinging line drives are a hazard with them. The RSB takes a bit of the sting out of those hard-hit shots. The padding also means the RSB series is useful as a baseball glove, though the large pocket may be a problem with the small ball.

Large Pocket

In softball, a large pocket such as the one on RSB series gloves is a welcome addition, especially in the outfield. Rawlings markets these gloves as adult outfielder’s gloves but, unless you have an aversion to it, the larger pocket works equally well in the dirt. Large pockets like these can mask a lack of overall skill, as they provide a margin for error when making a catch. Infielders and outfielders can each use forgiveness in equal measure. Wherever it is used, the RSB’s wide and deep pocket make securing drifting flies and tailing liners easier.

Disadvantages

Synthetic Back

The advantage of the synthetic Neo Flex back material is its pliability, but that softness also hints at a lack of structure. The leather provides a great deal of the RSB’s structure and, as it matures, the leather will stretch and lose its form. The synthetic material will never have the supple texture and sensitive feel of genuine leather. It will be the same material after years of use as it is on day one, minus its looks.

Small Hand Opening

The hand opening on Rawlings’ RSB series is abnormally small for an adult slow-pitch glove. Men with large hands may not be able to get their hands through the opening, and should probably look elsewhere. However, one person’s too small is another’s just right, and the RSB series works great for younger people and adult women. These groups often must consider fastpitch gloves for a secure fit, but the RSB provides them with an affordable option that is adequate for slow-pitch softball.

Longevity Issues

The soft leather palm on the RSB series may break in quickly, but the tradeoff is that the leather will continue to soften and lose its shape. The natural degradation of the leather means the palm is good for two seasons at a maximum. The Neo Flex back should keep its form longer, but it is not a durable material. To make it through a second useful season, RSB series gloves must be well-looked-after. They won’t take kindly to being thrown around.

Verdict

Slow-pitch softball players who want a versatile glove have a thousand options, but those on a budget do not. If you fit that description, Rawlings’ RSB series gloves deserve your consideration. The leather palm provides similar feel to much more expensive gloves, but the synthetic back keeps costs down. The basket web is useful anywhere on the field, as is the oversized pocket. Though they aren’t built for the long haul, the RSB series gloves provide all the playability most players will ever need, at least for a season or two.

The post Review: Rawlings RSB Series Slowpitch Gloves first appeared on Softball Ace.

]]>
https://softballace.com/review-rawlings-rsb-series-slowpitch-gloves/feed/ 0