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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What to Consider When Choosing Fastpitch Softball Equipment

By Scott Mathewson

Before purchasing your Fastpitch softball equipment, here are some tips to consider before making your final selections.

Most companies now are really concentrating on the growing popularity of the game of Fastpitch softball. They have dedicated a great deal of research and development into the proper fit and the demands of the female athlete. In many of the top vendors, such as Mizuno, Easton, Louisville, Ringor and Schutt they have sections of their inventory dedicated specifically to female athletes.

Selecting fastpitch softball bats is pretty straightforward. All bats legal for fastpitch play must be stamped with an official softball on the bat. The one thing to keep in mind is if the bat is a slow-pitch or fastpitch bat. Most but not all slow-pitch bats are legal in fastpitch play, but must have an ASA stamp on the bat.

Choosing catchers gear in the past was simple because the vendors did not make female specific catchers gear. Today you have a wide variety of choices from manufactures who make catchers gear specifically for fastpitch softball. The cut and fit is designed to properly fit a female frame. Keep in mind when looking for gear for your girl’s team.

When looking for fielding gloves the same is true. Top manufactures like Mizuno, Glovesmith, Louisville Slugger, and Rawlings make female specific gloves in their choices. Typically the gloves are a little larger to accommodate a larger ball than a baseball. The pocket and web of these gloves are usually deeper and wider than a baseball glove. The fingerstalls are narrower and shorter to help fit the smaller hand of females. The size range on these gloves usually ranges from 12"-13.5". Most manufactures try to put an adjustable strap on these specific gloves to allow the athlete to fit the glove down on their wrist for a secure fit. Female athletes can keep this choice in mind when selecting a fastpitch fielding glove.

Making a choice on new bating gloves is very similar to a fielding glove. If you are having trouble finding batting glove, the finger stalls and wrist opening are smaller to fit a female hand better.

A few companies Mizuno, Ringor, make female specific softball shoes. These shoes are not as wide as a unisex. Shoes and are developed by top female Olympic athletes to fit and perform to the demands of fastpitch softball players at all levels.

Keep in mind that you have choices when you are getting ready to make purchases for your female athletes. In today’s market you have a wide variety of choices from different companies that will accommodate your needs. The fit and performance is worth the time spent in choosing the right equipment.

Scott Mathewson is owner of Prime Time Sporting Goods an online and offline supplier of baseball and softball gear and equipment in Omaha, NE, home of the College World Series. Scott knows baseball and you can find find him in his store and get great information from the Coaches Corner - THE source for baseball and softball information and commentary For Fastpitch products see their huge selection.

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