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
- 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 below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Baseball-bats.net. "Choosing a Baseball Bat." (Accessed 12/28/09)http://www.baseball-bats.net/baseball-bats/choosing-a-baseball-bat/index.html
- Baseball Corner. "Batting Tips and Drills." (Accessed 12/28/09)http://www.baseballcorner.com/battingtips.asp
- Baseball Corner. "Fielding Tips and Drills." (Accessed 12/28/09)http://www.baseballcorner.com/fieldingtips.asp
- QC Baseball. "Baseball Hitting Tips and Mechanics." (Accessed 12/27/09)http://qcbaseball.com/skills/hitting1.aspx
- Denison Little League. "Buying a First Glove." (Accessed 12/28/09)http://denisonll.com/tips/buying_gloves.html
- QC Baseball. "Playing Catch." (Accessed 12/27/09)http://qcbaseball.com/skills/playingcatch1.aspx
- QC Baseball. "Playing Catch -- Catching the Baseball." (Accessed 12/27/09)http://qcbaseball.com/skills/pc_catching1.aspx
- Sheetz, Jamie. "Baseball Fielding Fundamentals for Youth Baseball Players." (Accessed 12/27/09) http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474977343065
- Shpigel, Ben. "Mets Bench Coach Prefers Being Heard Not Seen." New York Times. February 24, 2007 (Accessed 12/29/09) http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/24/sports/baseball/24mets.html
- Suddeth, Olan. "Bunt Loops -- a Hard Charging Defense Drill." (Accessed 12/27/09)http://www.youthbaseballinfo.com/view_article.php?articleid=46
- Suddeth, Olan. "Dugout! Run past First Base on Every Hit." (Accessed 12/27/09)http://www.youthbaseballinfo.com/view_article.php?articleid=5
- TeensHealth. "What Makes a Good Coach?" (Accessed 12/29/09)http://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/sports/good_coach.html
- Youth Baseball Basics. "Basic Baseball Rules." (Accessed 12/27/09)http://www.youthbaseballbasics.com/very_basic_rules.shtml
- Youth Baseball Basics. "Baseball Rules -- What is Baseball's Infield Fly Rule?" (Accessed 12/27/09) http://www.youthbaseballbasics.com/infield_fly_rule.shtml
- Youth Baseball Basics. "Selecting a Youth Baseball Glove -- Appropriate Glove Size for Youth Baseball." (Accessed 12/28/09) http://www.youthbaseballbasics.com/gloves.shtml
- Youth Baseball Basics. "Youth Baseball and Little League Rules and Regulations -- Differences Between Different Leagues and Age Groups." (Accessed 12/27/2009)http://www.youthbaseballbasics.com/basic_rules.shtml