A glove is one of the most important pieces of equipment to a player. Not all gloves are the same, so getting the right glove for you and your position is essential and can really help you to improve your performance.
Outfielders spend most of the time catching fly balls. To catch these balls effectively and efficiently, keep a couple of factors in mind. The factors are pocket depth, sizing, material and web design. Let’s dig further into these subjects.
A deep pocket gives you more of a secure feeling when catching a fly ball. You want to be sure it stays in the pocket when catching. The deep pocket allows a player to get a good hold of the ball during the catch and prevents the ball from popping out.
Outfielders have a choice between an open web and a closed web. The open web provides more visibility when catching a fly ball. Other players prefer a closed web, this helps them to catch a larger softball better.
Softball gloves are, in general, larger than baseball gloves. There is also a size difference in between the softball positions. Outfielders have the largest gloves on the field. These often range from 12” to 13” in length from the heel to the tip. This allows players to have a bigger range while catching a ball.
Youth outfielder gloves are normally sized between 12” and 12,5”. The size from a softball player aged 13 and up is between 12,5” and 13”. Adult players should look for a glove sized between 13” and 14”.
Keep in mind that the glove should feel as an extension of your hand, not as an obstruction when playing. A player should never sacrifice the ability to control their glove and the ball. Most of the softball gloves come with an adjustable Velcro strap, this makes it easier to adjust the tightening to the player’s needs.
Please note: Softball gloves usually have smaller hand openings for a slimmer hand, this is often a female hand.
Players have the option to choose from different types of leathers, such as synthetic, cowhide, full-grain, steerhide or pigskin. Cowhide and pigskin are often better for your wallet. But the Full-grain and steerhide leather gloves tend to last longer. This is the reason why premium and pro series gloves are made out of these two types of leather. The decision of the material is still up to the player.
As a player, it is important that you are comfortable with your glove. Evaluate the important factors and you can find the right softball glove to catch those fly balls.