|Batting Helmet with Face Guard and Chin Strap Required
|All helmets must include a NOCSAE stamp. Popular brands include Easton, Schutt, Rawlings and Worth. Special girls’ models that accommodate ponytails are available. Younger players may prefer the smaller “junior” or “TBall” sized models. Helmet fit is important for safety. The helmet should fit snugly enough to stay in place during running and batting. Many players choose to add colorful airbrushed designs or personalization available at additional cost. During the Spring season, Hernandez Airbrushing will be at evaluations and/or opening day for helmet painting and touch-ups (email email@example.com for specific day and time). If purchasing face guard separately, make sure it is designed to fit your helmet. Some manufacturers offer softball faceguards that have wider openings than baseball models. Always be sure that your age division’s softball (see below) will not fit through any openings in your face guard.
|Practice Ball Recommended
|Please note the Official Game Ball used by SMGSA in each division: 6U and 8U Rawlings SR10RYSA 10-inch RIF Level 1; 10U Rawlings SR11RYSA 11-inch RIF Level 1; 12U and 14/16U Rawlings C12RYLA 12-inch Dream Seam. Many other brands of softballs are also adequate. Be sure to purchase the correct size softball for your daughter’s age division. In the 6U, 8U and 10U divisions, it is important to choose a reduced injury factor ball such as those listed above.
|Fielder’s Glove Required
|Rawlings, Wilson, Mizuno, Easton, Louisville TPS, and Worth are some popular brands. Some manufacturers offer fastpitch softball models specifically designed for the smaller female hand. Be sure to choose a glove that is large enough to hold the ball used in your daughter’s age division. All too often, parents reject a glove as too large if their daughter is unable to open and close it easily. Most new gloves become more flexible with use. Several glove softening oils and applications are available to speed up the break-in period.
|Infielder’s Mask Strongly Recommended for Pitchers in 8U and higher
|SMGSA strongly recommends all pitchers 8U and older wear an infielder’s mask for protection. A mask will be provided by SMGSA to each team for use by pitchers during games and practices. If your player has a personal preference for size and fit, infielder’s masks (Rip-It, Schutt, SKLZ, etc.) are widely available at sporting goods retailers. SMGSA also suggests masks for all players at infield positions.
|Softball Bat Recommended but not required
|SMGSA provides bats for use at games and practices. Popular brands include Easton, Louisville TPS, Worth, Mizuno, Nike and DeMarini. Be sure to purchase a bat stamped with the words “Official Softball” and “ASA 2004 Certified”. Baseball bats are not the same as softball bats and will be disallowed at many post-season tournaments. Prices range from $20 all the way beyond $300. Bat swing speed often improves when using a bat that is light in weight relative to its length. Look for bats that have a drop or length-weight differential of at least (-10). A 30-inch bat that weighs 20 ounces is an example of a (-10) drop or length-weight differential. Some bats have a drop as high as (-13). Recommended bat lengths for each age division: 6U: 25 – 27 inches; 12U: 29-32 inches; 8U: 26 – 28 inches; 14/16U: 30-33 inches
|Softball Cleats Strongly Recommended
|Without cleats, there is a substantial increase in the risk of injury because of poor footing on the field. Several brands and styles are offered. Soccer cleats are allowed, but they lack the toe cleat found on softball models. The toe cleat serves to improve traction/acceleration out of the batter’s box and also improves bite when starting and stopping quickly on the base.
|Catcher’s Equipment Provided
|SMGSA will provide each team with one set of catcher’s equipment (helmet, chest protector, leg guards and catcher’s mitt) available for use by the team’s catcher(s). Note, many players dedicated to the position choose to purchase their own for personal preference and comfort considerations
|Sliding shorts and sliding knee pad, batting gloves, gear bag/backpack are recommended but not required.
Local Sporting Goods Stores and Online Sources:Dick’s Sporting Goods 3359 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena 626-351-1843 Play-It-Again Sports 3640 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena 626-405-9988