Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Ultimate Guide to Coaching Little League Baseball


Little League Baseball Equipment

Leagues will usually provide some equipment, but players will be often be expected to bring some of their own gear. Leagues or teams typically have

  • Batting helmets
  • Catcher's gear, including a mask, chest protector, shin and knee guards and sometimes a catchers' mitt
  • Bats
  • Balls for practice and games
  • Full uniforms or uniform shirts

In addition, some coaches try to have extra gloves handy in case players cannot afford to purchase their own.

Players typically provide a glove and a sturdy pair of athletic shoes or plastic-cleated shoes, and they may also bring their own bat. Baseball caps, when not part of a team-provided uniform, are helpful in shielding players' eyes from the sun. Boys should wear athletic supporters.

Parents may ask you to give advice in choosing a bat or glove. In that case, you may find the following helpful:

Little league baseball bats are usually made of aluminum or composite materials. The appropriate bat length varies with the age and height of the player. For example, the youngest players, ages 5 to 7 years old, should use 24 inch to 26 inch (60.9 cm to 66.1 cm) bats; 8 and 9-year-olds generally use 27 inch to 28 inch (68.6 cm to 71.1 cm) bats; and 10 and 11-year-olds use 28 inch to 30 inch (71.1 cm to 76.2 cm) bats. Players from 5 feet (1.5 m) to 5 and a half feet (1.7 m) use a 32-inch (81.3 cm) bat; players from 5 and a half feet (1.7 m) to 6 feet (1.8 m) use 33-inch (83.8 cm) bats; and taller players use 34-inch (86.4 cm) bats [source: baseball-bats.net].

In choosing a glove, parents should try to balance quality with cost. Remind them that while youth baseball gloves shouldn't be a major expense, gloves made of leather parts are more durable and provide better protection. In addition, the way leather stretches over time to form a "pocket" in the glove will help balls stay inside rather than bounce out [source: Youth Baseball Basics]. Be aware that gloves vary in size and that there are different types of gloves for some positions [source: Sheetz].

For more information on coaching Little League baseball, check out the links on the next page.