Beginner’s Guide: How to Choose a Glove
From All-Stars playing in the big leagues to a young player taking his or her first at bat in a game, when it comes to gloves, how a glove fits and feels on the player’s hand are the most important points.
When initially practicing skills and developing a love for the game of baseball or fastpitch, having a glove that properly fits the player’s hand and wrist will immediately make a difference in how comfortable he or she feels on the field. If the player feels like the glove is going to slide off his or her hand when his or her arm is down by their side, chances are, the glove, or at least the hand opening is too large for the player. Wilson incorporated features into baseball and softball gloves for younger players to offer a smaller and more tailored fit, allowing for a more secure, snug feel. Equipment that fits comfortably not only allows young players to focus on skill development, but it also increases the likelihood that they have fun.
Ball Glove Construction
Especially for younger players, choosing a glove comes down to fit and function. In other words, how a glove performs when on your hand is paramount. Additionally, it must be easy to close, lightweight enough to maneuver and help inspire confidence on the field.
For fastpitch players, Wilson offers multiple design options to improve the fit of the glove for players including a drawstring closure or an adjustable velcro pull strap. Both closure systems make adjusting the fit of the glove simple, even in the middle of a game, and offer a complete custom fit for the glove to fit snug and secure to the player’s hand and wrist. In addition, Wilson fastpitch gloves are built with a thinner heel pad and deeper pocket design, which combine to make it easier to handle the size of a softball. Altogether, Wilson fastpitch gloves allow players to field the ball with confidence and quickly transfer the ball to their throwing hand to make the quick plays the sport demands.
Quick Reference: Baseball and Softball Glove Size Chart
Size is the most misunderstood aspect of ball gloves. Some parents might think a small glove will make it harder for a player to catch the ball – but that’s not the case. A smaller glove allows for easier for a young player. The more control of the glove a player has, the better they can get their body and glove in position to catch and secure the ball. If a player is using a glove that is too large, it will feel awkward and potentially be a distraction. Function can be boiled down to this: can a player easily and successfully squeeze the glove closed? If a player cannot close a glove, the player should try another glove size. That is why Wilson designs all youth patterns with game-ready materials, meaning there is little to no break-in period for these gloves.
Understanding Glove Sizes by Position
Infield Gloves are often the smallest gloves on the field. They feature a shallower pocket, allowing infielders to quickly transfer the ball from their glove to throw out baserunners. A common misconception is that infielders need larger gloves, but even professional baseball players use gloves as small as 11.25” to allow them to transfer the ball quickly. For youth players, infield gloves range in length from 10.75”-11.75”. For high school through adult baseball gloves range from 11.25” to 12.25”. Fastpitch infield gloves range from 11” to 12”. Slowpitch Softball gloves range up to 13”
Outfield Gloves are typically larger gloves designed to help players have extra reach as they track down fly balls. These gloves feature a deeper pocket that prioritizes securing the ball after the catch. For baseball players, outfield gloves range in size from 10.75”-12.5” for youth players and 12.5”-12.75” for adults. Fastpitch and slowpitch outfield gloves tend to be larger, ranging from 12”-13” and 13”-14”, respectively
Pitcher’s Gloves tend to be sized more closely to an infield glove, while featuring a closed-web pattern to conceal the player’s grip when throwing a pitch. They range in size from 9”-10.5” for tee-ball, 10.75”-12.5” for youth, and 11.5”-12.5” for adult baseball and fastpitch players, and can be as large as 14” in length for slowpitch players.
Utility Gloves are designed for players who play multiple positions and need a glove that can handle the needs of both the infield and outfield. They tend to be on the larger end of the spectrum for an infield glove, and often feature a closed-web design to accommodate players who also pitch. For baseball players, utility gloves range in size from 11”-12” for youth and 11.75”-12.5” for adults. Fastpitch utility gloves typically range from 11.5”-12”, and slowpitch utility gloves can be up to 13” in length.
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