Face masks are usually worn by the pitcher, 1st basemen, shortstop and third basemen because those are the areas where line drives will most likely occur. They are meant to protect your eyes, mouth, teeth and nose from detrimental injuries. Although the NOCSEA standard does not require masks to be worn, it is a precautionary measure to avoid injury and most softball players do not mind wearing them.
Many softball players have been subject to or seen a teammate fall victim to a fast ball hitting their face and experiencing terrible injury, concussions and in some cases temporary blindness.
To feel confident and comfortable out on the field, buy your very own fielder's mask here.
CleatsPhoto: Ringor Website[/caption]
Every player no matter what position they play, wears cleats. They help you run, slide, and jump in the mucky clay and grass. They prevent you from slipping by adding friction between your feet and the ground with either metal or molded studs . Cleats are sold at most sporting goods stores and range in price from $30.00- $120.00
Shin GuardsPhoto: Women's Softball | Head Coach Angela Long[/caption]
Shin guards are generally worn by catchers but some pitchers opt to using them as well for those quick returns that come low to the ground from the bat. Along with a chest protector, catcher's helmet and a catching mitt; catchers are expected to be outfitted before practices and games with all of their gear to avoid serious injury.
Prices range from $35.00 to $150.00.
It is very important for softball players to wear helmets, because of the high velocities the ball travels at. A hit to the head can end in a fatal injury if a player is not wearing a helmet. Most softball leagues mandate that helmets approved by the NOCSEA standard be worn and stamped for approval. (source)
Prices range from $20.00 to around $60.00
To purchase one of the most lightweight and comfortable helmet on the field- order your RIP-IT helmet here.
Most players choose to wear gloves (on the left), which differ from a catcher's mitt in that they have individual fingers and less padding. Players that choose to wear gloves usually wear them for hitting, because when the ball makes contact with the bat it creates a vibration throughout that bat that can be felt all the way up to the handle which creates a harsh sting on your hands. Wearing batting gloves alleviates that burning sting. First basemen and catchers usually wear mitts (on the right) with extra padding to catch balls thrown at higher speeds.
Softball bats most commonly made 34 inches in length, are made from carbon fiber composite materials, each softball bat weighing between 26 and 30 ounces, with softball bat diameters of 2.25 inches to 2.75 inches.
The best softball bats consist of either one solid piece or two pieces that are joined together at the center of the bat.
The most popular softball associations are the ASA (Amateur Softball Association) and the USSSA (United States Specialty Sports Association). These governing bodies require their certification stamps to be printed on the softball bats in order to be legal for use in games they oversee.(source)
Softball Bats usually range in price from $60.00 to upwards of $250.00
A softball backpack is convenient for players to have for practices and tournaments. Most sporting goods store websites will sell an array of different colors and styles of backpacks, but it is important to find a backpack that will last at least a few years and will be able to hold ALL of your gear.
Pre-order the new RIP-IT Pack-It Up Backpack (featured in the picture above) here.
If you are a catcher, it is recommended to find yourself a catcher's bag rather than just a softball backpack. Catcher's bags tend to be longer and larger with sturdy wheels on the bottom for transporting all of the extra catcher's gear that you will need to bring with you.
A typical catcher's bag ranges anywhere from $30.00 to $200.00 It is very important to find a catcher's bag that is durable and easy to transport from field to field. The most common issue catcher's deal with, are holes at the bottom of their bags from dragging and rolling them across rough terrain.
Currently under development, RIP-IT's Catcher's Bag is expected to be delivered by 2017.
If you would like to be updated when the catcher's bag is available, simply click here.
Sliders are thigh length leggings that protect your upper leg from getting scrapped and burned when sliding. They should fit tight like spandex, and should have pads on each outer side of the leg. Softball players wear them underneath their softball pants to be able to slide or dive during a play. Softball sliders can be found at most sporting goods stores and range anywhere from $5.00 to $35.00