Whether you’re playing at a softball training session or in an official league game, you’ll need some basic equipment. As you play in more competitive leagues, you’ll find restrictions on the type of equipment you can use.
Softballs used within the BSL are bright yellow and 12 inches in circumference and weigh around 180-200 grams. They are not “soft,” as the name of the sport implies; rather, they are made of hard leather filled with cork, rubber and synthetic materials.
Softball gloves are often larger than those used in baseball because the ball is bigger. First basemen and catchers usually wear mitts with extra padding to catch balls thrown at higher speeds.
Softball bats are made out of aluminum or composite materials. A bat must be as long (in inches) as it weighs (in ounces), and the weight cannot be any more than three ounces less than the number of inches it is long. In appearance, softball bats have thinner, more tapered handles than baseball bats.
The most important piece of safety equipment in softball is the batting helmet. Constructed of rigid durable plastic and foam, softball helmets help to distribute the forces of any ball that strikes the batter’s head.
You can use dirt patches, T-shirts, pieces of plastic or any other flat material for bases in casual softball games. Safety is key, so make sure your material won’t cause someone to trip as they run the bases. Organized leagues require ASA-approved bases that attach to the ground.