To buy 12 inch softball glove or 13 inch softball glove. That is the question. Now, let’s see if we can find an answer that works for everyone. This question comes up a lot on the forums and at the field. It seems no one knows what size girls softball gloves to buy. Let’s take a look at the options.
Nearly every day I see a question about glove sizes. Girls softball gloves have evolved over the years and now there are so many options it sometimes is hard to make a choice.
Parents want to be sure they order the proper size for their daughters position and physical size. They also usually don’t want to have to buy another one for a couple of years at least.
Fastpitch softball, or softball fastpitch as my friends up north call it is a really fast game. Not just the pitching. Although that is where the name came from of course. But the dynamics of the game of fastpitch softball are impressive. The shorter base paths, the closer pitching distance compared to baseball makes everything happen so much quicker and dynamically.
For that reason there are different glove sizes available now. Mainly they differ by position. Infielders tend to like a smaller glove and outfielders tend to like a longer glove. So what do you do if you play both?
Infield gloves come in a few styles, there are those for the middle infield usually in the 12.5-13 inch size with 12.75 or 13 being the most used size. This size is small enough for the player to have quick hand movement but large enough for them to catch the fly balls that are often hit to them.
There are a lot of players, such as 3rd base that prefer a shorter glove. That’s where the 12 inch softball glove is used most. I do see some shortstops that use 12 inch gloves too. The 12 inch glove is still large enough to grab the full size – 12 inch softball, but smaller and lighter to help make those ultra fast plays off the bat. You know, when you are playing bunt and she drives a hard line drive right at your head.
Outfielders usually like the 13 inch glove, and some kids will choose an even bigger 14 inch glove. However, in my opinion that is too much glove for most female fastpitch softball players. A lot of men that play softball love that really big glove. But of course they usually have bigger hands to fit that large glove.
The larger 13 inch softball glove is truly multipurpose and works for infield and outfield. It is large enough to grab that over the head fly to deep center yet small enough to make those quick plays at 2nd base.
It also often times come down to the size of the kid that is going to use the glove. I have seen some 18 Gold players using 10.5 inch gloves. Now, that girl was kind of on the smaller size, so she had small hands. Thus she was comfortable with a really tiny glove.
For most kids starting out. Those that are 10 to 12 years of age, the 12 inch glove would be a very good choice. Searching for a 12 inch fastpitch glove should yield several choices. Be sure to look for one that is designed for females.
Female softball gloves or softball gloves for girls will have smaller finger stalls. They will be closer together and a little shorter. That makes the glove more manageable on the smaller hands. Several will have adjustable wrist straps to make snug fit on the wrist for comfort and control.
Find a ball glove made of Steerhide, Kip or just make sure it is real leather, that will last several years. She will likely grow out of it before it wears out. You may have to pay a little more for it, but it will be worth it in the long run.
If you need a beginners softball glove, go with the 12 inch softball glove. If you are looking for a step up or multi- use glove, go with the 13 inch softball glove.