For many children, time spent on the baseball field is a part of spring. Boys and girls alike play T-ball, minors, majors and Babe Ruth. A correctly sized baseball glove is important for both the new player and the seasoned player. A glove that is too small can be difficult and uncomfortable to use. A glove that is too large will frustrate a child because they won't be able to open and close it, or it might keep falling off.
Determine if your child will need an infielder's youth glove or an outfielder's youth glove. The outfielder's glove is typically slightly larger than the infielder's glove, although the difference is minimal with young children. And most young children do not play specific positions anyway. The glove will be labeled as an infielder or outfielder's glove.
Locate the right size glove for the child's age. A 5- or 6-year-old requires a glove that is 10 to 10 1/2 inches. A 7- or 8-year-old needs a glove that is 10 1/2 to 11 inches. A 9- to 12-year-old needs a glove that is 11 to 11 1/2 inches. A high school-aged child normally wears a glove between 10 1/2 to 11 1/2 inches. Keep in mind older children typically have set positions, so an outfielder's glove would be slightly larger--in the 12- to 12 1/2-inch range for high school baseball players.
Test the glove for fit. Have the child put on the glove so they can see if it fits. Some children are larger than others, so age is not always the determining factor. The glove should fit so the hand slides easily into the glove. When the hand is pointed toward the ground, the glove should not fall off. Make sure, though, the glove is not uncomfortably tight.
Test to determine if the child can open and close the glove. Some youth gloves are made so that from the time it is bought, the child will be able to open and close the glove easily. Sometimes the leather is too hard to allow the glove to be easily opened and closed. That is OK for an older child willing to wear in the glove; however, this could discourage a very young baseball player.
Tips & Warnings
- Do not purchase a glove that is too big with the idea the child will grow into it. This could cause the child to become frustrated. Smaller gloves are easier to control, which is important to consider when purchasing a youth glove.
- Photo Credit baseball in glove image by leafy from Fotolia.com
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