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Dobbs Ferry Youth Little League

Dobbs Ferry Youth Little League

DFYLL - Softball Equipment Guide

(Updated, Fall 2023)


  • A lot of what we discuss below is aimed at 10U and up, but for the families with younger players, it’s probably a good idea to start familiarizing yourselves with these things should you decide to continue the softball path. 
  • This is not meant to suggest any family must be spending $300 on a glove or $400 on a bat. Its not even necessary at the higher levels. This is just meant to serve as a guidebook for quality equipment and a starting point, and you can always work down from here


Gloves 🥊

As the kids get bigger and are moving up through the levels, it's important to procure an age/level appropriate softball glove. We see there are still a lot of gloves the kids have which are designed for a lower-level of play, and/or are now just too small for them entirely. As the ball gets bigger, it's getting more challenging for them to catch as the game speeds up. This applies specifically for players 10U and up.

There are a few models to consider, but we generally recommend everyone begin moving away from the youth sized gloves and more into a true fast pitch softball-sized glove if they plan to continue playing softball.

The following examples are right-sized for 10U/12U play. For some of the older players, you might want to consider 12.5 inches and up, but that’s a matter of comfort, preference, and in some of their cases, style:

Rawlings R9:

Wilson A1000:

Rawlings Liberty:

Then of course there are the pro lines if you really want to exercise your credit card. They’re great and if you go to their websites, you can personalize and customize them for a lot of extra (and unnecessary) bucks:

Wilson A2000:

Rawlings Heart of the Hide:

44 Pro Gloves:

The bigger gloves can be an adjustment, but these examples will serve them well for several years. 

In the end, the brand or model matter less than that of the design and the size of the glove for the players. Whatever you choose, make sure one is chosen with the, “fastpitch softball” label on the glove. The younger players will also grow over the winter, so it's important to consider that if you're planning on purchasing a glove during an off-season.

To break in a new glove, We recommend Nokona glove conditioner in addition to wrapping a ball in the glove with rubber bands:

The best break in tool is to actually use the glove, but not immediately in a game. Use it in practice, go outside and have a catch with it, ie break it in naturally with the conditioner/under the mattress method.

Bats 🦇

Bats are a different animal, but it's important everyone has the right size. It’s also important to monitor the size of the bat with respect to your player’s height, as they are quickly outgrowing their bats at these ages. Like the gloves, competitive bats are unquestionably expensive. But good equipment, the right equipment and the safest equipment in any sport is expensive.

Just ask a pickleball player how much a good racket is (or whatever they’re called).

Several umpires have recently told us some of the players are using illegal bats. For instance, some have T-ball bats and in the spring, the umpires will be stricter on that policy at our levels. And in tournament play, they’ll be removed from the field before the game. So it's going to be really important to procure a true softball bat ahead of the spring season.

The chart below pretty much spells out the recommendation on the length of the bat, and we recommend a weight differential of 10-12 ounces with respect to the length (for instance, if you're looking for a 31 inch bat, you'll want to look for a 21-19 ounce bat). The weight is a matter of preference and comfort, so a trip to Dick’s Sporting Goods to test out bat weight/length would be a good first step for this (they also have some of the bats listed below at the White Plains location).

Of course, some kids might prefer a shorter or longer bat. If that’s the case, We recommend going no more than 1 inch in either direction from the chart below.

Per little league and USSSA rules, all bats must have a 1.20 BPF label as follows. Umpires reserve the right to remove any illegal bat at anytime, and the coach is subject to ejection from a game should an illegal bat be in play, especially during tournament play:

Here are a few good (albeit expensive) examples to consider:

Louisville Slugger Meta:

Louisville Slugger LXT:

Demarini Prism:

Axe Bat Avenge Pro (this seems to be a favorite among the 12U because of it’s handle):

Easton Ghost Double Barrel and Advanced:

There are others of course and less expensive options too, such as the Demarini Spryte:

It’s worth mentioning many of these bats could have been had at fire sale prices during bat day yesterday. So, I hope some of you were able to take advantage of that!

Helmets ⛑️

We strongly recommend each player have a helmet with a faceguard on it. As the kids are getting bigger and stronger, they’re throwing harder and harder and the pitchers are only 35-40 feet away. We don’t want any broken faces! Also – some leagues require this for all players even though there’s no specific rule anywhere that mandates the faceguard. But, why willfully have your player step into the box without one?

There isn’t much of a science to them as long as it’s not built like a helmet you might get soft serve ice cream in at the ballpark. And the Yankee ones are especially flimsy which is pretty representative of their performance this season, but that’s a whole other story (the Mets of course were 10x worse, so save your return fire on that one!).

Evoshield XVT:

Cleats 🥾

We want to make sure everyone is aware the kids should have baseball/softball specific cleats. It's dangerous to play without them, as its very easy to slip and fall on the dirt or the wet grass/turf. Soccer cleats can suffice for now, but they're different than that of a softball cleat/shoe in their shape and cleat placement.

For the younger players - at this point, just get them plain ol’ softball cleats. They don’t need Jordans, the Trout, or the Harper cleats, they don’t need customized shoes, etc. Their feet are growing like weeds. Get them what is on sale, period end of story. Because, you’re just going to be buying new ones in the spring anyway.

Last, but not least! 🛑

The house rule in Dobbs Ferry is that any player below 12U must be wearing a face shield in the field at all times during practices and/or games. No ifs, ands or buts. You may see kids in other leagues or organizations not wearing them in the field, but we ask that all of ours do regardless of the venue or what they see other players doing or not doing.

Please respect and follow this rule – it is in the best interest of every one of our players and their safety.

If you need a faceguard, please connect with your coach and we will provide one immediately.


Dobbs Ferry Youth Little League
P.O. Box 277 
Dobbs Ferry, New York 10522

Email: [email protected]

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