Make sure you’re properly protected with the right catcher’s gear this softball season.
As a catcher, it’s crucial that you are equipped with the right gear in order to safely play and dominate behind the plate. Basic softball catcher’s gear includes four main components: a mask, chest protector, leg guards and a mitt. You can choose to buy these items separately or in a bulk set, but make sure that the gear meets the safety regulations set by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE).
So, before you or your child steps onto the field this spring, make sure you have everything you need for a successful season.
When you’re catching heaters during the game, you’re going to want something solid and reliable. Thankfully, catcher’s mitts have been designed to not only protect your hand and wrist, but to make those game-changing plays as well.
They are made of thick and durable material — often leather — which helps protect the catcher’s hand from a pitch’s sting. They are also larger in order to handle the softball’s weight and density. When it comes to webbing, you can choose from either an open or closed webbing style.
A vital element of protection is a catcher’s helmet, which breaks down into two key designs.
Not only do chest protectors guard the obvious, they also shield the entire torso area and sometimes the upper arms, too. They are lined with foam that molds to the catcher’s body to absorb shock from softballs, bats and even other players during collisions at the plate. Elastic straps go around your shoulders and waist to clip in the back and keep the shield in place.
Protecting the ankles, shins and knees, leg guards also provide comfort for a catcher who kneels for long periods of time. They extend from the top of the cleat all the way up above the knee. Leg guards are constructed of soft padding for comfort on the inside and a hard external shell on the outside to protect the catcher from balls and other players. This protective gear hinges at the ankle and knee for mobility. Elastic straps wrap behind your legs and fasten to the other side of the guard to keep it sturdy on your body. Leg guards can also be paired with pads on the calf muscles to provide a cushion for catcher’s when they squat down. This is a separate, optional item to consider.
Now that you’ve selected the big gear, complete your suit of armor with some of these helpful accessories.
Remember that helmets, chest protectors and leg guards can also be purchased in a set. This can be especially beneficial for beginners or coaches looking to provide the essentials to their team.
Now that you have the right gear, it’s time to suit up and take the field. Play ball!