Ultimate Sizing Guide to Baseball Equipment

What You Should Know

  • Complete resource guide to properly measure and size for all baseball related equipment and accessories
  • Manufacturers may have a slightly different measurement definition so check for fit and comfort

Intro

There are so many different pieces of equipment, manufacturers, models, etc., it can make your head spin.

Because manufacturers mass produce products with as few size variations as possible to lower cost, it can be difficult to find the right piece of equipment for your child.

In addition, the industry lacks the standard sizing reference guide, a same-sized baseball fielding glove from one manufacturer may be significantly different than the one from another maker.

I am going to hopefully alleviate some of these confusions by providing you with a clear, concise “how-to-size” information for your child.

Table of Contents

  • Size Categories
    • CDC size chart, Age, Height and Weight
  • Sizing a baseball glove
  • How to size a baseball Bat
  • Sizing a catcher’s gear set
    • helmet / mask
    • chest protector
    • leg guards
    • knee savers
    • forearm pads
    • thumb guard
    • index guard
  • Sizing baseball accessories
    • athletic cups
    • sliding shorts
    • chest guard shirts
  • wrist pads
  • Sizing Baseball
  • Sizing Cleats
  • Sizing Shirts
  • Sizing Pants
  • Sizing Socks

Size Categories

Most baseball equipment manufacturers create size designations using the US CDC Growth charts.

Broadly speaking, companies try to target sizes based by capturing roughly 75% of the children belonging to a particular age bracket.

To assess where your child falls in one of these brackets, follow these instructions:

Step # 1 – print the applicable chart(s):

Step # 2 – Measure your child’s height and weight and plot it on the chart.

For example, this where a 10 year old boy measuring 57″ in height and 90 lbs in weight would plot on the chart:

What the chart is showing is that this hypothetical child is at 90% percentile in height (green line) and weight (blue line). Another words, your child is taller and heavier than 90 percent of his peers.

Step # 3 – Determine the size of a particular piece of equipment and compare that with the growth chart.

For example, let’s hypothetically say that a youth-sized catcher’s chest protector from Rawlings is designed for 8-10 year olds. Since your child is 10 years old and is at the 90% percentile among his peers, you probably would want to look at the intermediate-sized catcher’s chest protector as well.

It is important to remember that this is just a guide to help you determine the proper baseball equipment size for your child so please don’t forget to focus on their comfort!

Sizing a Baseball Glove

One of the most important factor in making sure that your child is having fun playing baseball is to choosing the right-sized glove for their position.

There are three types of “gloves” used in baseball:

  • Batting Gloves
  • Fielding Gloves + First baseman mitts [1]
  • Catcher’s Mitts

[1] Fielding gloves have deep and individual finger pockets to allow maximum control to field a batted baseball; mitts have few finger / shallower pockets for enhanced receiving capability (from a thrown ball)

When it comes to sizing, batting, fielding gloves and first baseman mitts are all measured the same way:

  • Youth – recommended for younger players under 12 years of age
  • Intermediate – recommended for 13+ year old players with smaller hands
  • Adult – recommended for 13+ year old players [4]

Catcher’s mitts are measured differently because their job is to catch and block baseballs (more on that later).

[4] Some manufacturers make specialized gloves for players with smaller than average hands (i.e. Wilson’s Pedroia Fit model). In addition to having shorter and narrower finger pockets (or stalls) and smaller openings, heels come with thinner pads to make the closing and break-in of the glove much faster.

Batting Gloves

For some reason, parents of 5 to 8 year old players seem to neglect the use of batting gloves.

I found this to be peculiar since one of the biggest factors of kids quitting at this age is due to a bat sting (an “off the sweet spot” batted baseball will produce a nasty vibration on a bat).

A simple way to reduce such bat sting is to wear a pair of batting gloves while practice batting.

Measuring for batting gloves

The easiest way is the plop your child’s hand on a piece of white paper and trace it with a pencil.

Then measure from the tip of the middle finger to the base of his hand (just above the wrist)

Baseball Batting Glove Sizes

5.25″ – 5.50″ = XX-Small
5.50″ – 5.75″ = X-Small
5.75″ – 6.00″ = Small
6.00″ – 6.25″ = Medium
6.25″ – 6.50″ = Large
Franklin Youth Batting Glove Sizes
Small = 6.75″ – 7.00″
Medium = 7.00″ – 7.25″
Large = 7.25″ – 7.75″
X-Large = 7.75″ – 8.00″
XX-Large = 8.00″ – 8.25″
Franklin Adult Batting Glove Sizes

If you need a pair of baseball batting gloves, check out the 2022 Best Batting Gloves post

Fielding Gloves and First baseman Mitts

Fielding gloves are further broken down into five categories [2]:

  • Infield gloves – tends to be smaller with shallow ball pocket to allow quick transition time
  • Outfield gloves – tends to be oversized with a deep pocket to allow extended reach
  • Pitcher’s gloves – similar to infield gloves but with closed webbing to prevent batters from seeing pitcher’s grips [2]
  • Utility gloves

[2] Because most young players in the 6 to 8 year old bracket play pretty much all positions, you can ignore the above categories and just get infield glove.

Measuring for infield gloves, first baseman mitts, outfield gloves and pitcher’s gloves

Unlike fitting for a pair of batting gloves, there is no direct way to measure your child’s hand and translate it into a fielding glove size.

You may also see a size label with the word “youth” on it. Youth gloves are generally defined as gloves worn by players under 10 years of age.

Bigger fielding gloves better than smaller gloves?

Lots of newbie parents think that buying a large glove will make it easier for their young player to catch the ball.

Based on my experience, I can tell you that buying a smaller glove will actually allow young players to better control their body and allow proper glove position to catch and secure the ball.

Regardless of the position, make sure that your child can squeeze and close the glove. If they cannot do this task, try on a smaller size or different manufacturer/model.

Youth gloves are primarily made with less rigid leather for a reduced break-in period (i.e. players can immediately start using their games).

Functionally speaking, youth fielding gloves have smaller and shallower finger pockets than adult fielding gloves in the same size.

Baseball fielding gloves (for all baseball positions) are made in several size categories based on age and position:

  • Kids 7 and younger should look at 9 to 11 inch youth fielding gloves
  • Kids 8 to 12 years old should try on 11″ to 12.00″ inch youth fielding gloves
  • By the time kids hit 13 years of age, they start using intermediate or adult gloves

Fielding Glove Size – Pitcher’s Glove

Pitcher’s gloves are sized fairly close to an infield glove.

The primary difference is that most pitcher’s gloves will feature a closed-web ball pocket to conceal pitcher’s baseball grip when throwing a pitch.

  • T-ball = use a regular fielding glove between 9.00″ – 10.50″
  • Youth = 10.75″ – 12.50″ gloves
  • Adult = 11.50″ – 12.50″ gloves

In addition, a pitcher’s glove tends to have less padding to make the glove lighter to reduce fatigue.

Why are pitcher’s gloves lighter than other gloves?

A pitcher’s primary responsibility is to pitch and he does not need heavy padding to field an infrequent batted baseball. Besides, having a heavy glove while repeatedly throwing would make it more difficult for a pitcher to stay consistent.

Fielding Glove Size – First Baseman’s Mitt

First baseman’s primary responsibility is to catch all thrown (good, bad and the ugly) baseballs.

Unlike the other infielders, a first baseman’s glove is referred to as “mitt”.

First baseman and catcher’s mitts do not have individual finger pockets (hence the name “mitts”). Rather, they come with two or three finger pockets (including a thumb pocket) because their primary responsibility is to hold on to a thrown baseball.

First base mitt sizes will range anywhere from 11.50 inches all the way up to 13 inches.

  • T-ball = use a regular fielding glove between 9.00″ – 10.50″
  • Youth = 10.75″ – 12.50″ gloves
  • Adult = 11.50″ – 13.00″ gloves

Fielding Glove Size – Second Baseman

Second baseman, along with a shortstop, are the two middle infielders responsible for handling the most number of batted balls.

A second baseman tends to choose a smaller glove to achieve the balance between the glove length and shallow ball pocket to allow quick transfers.

  • T-ball = use a regular fielding glove between 9.00″ – 10.50″
  • Youth = 10.75″ – 11.75″ gloves
  • Adult = 11.25″ – 12.25″ gloves

Fielding Glove Size – Shortstop

Unlike the second baseman, shortstops field the majority of grounders so the ball pocket needs to be bit deeper to securely field a ball.

  • T-ball = use a regular fielding glove between 9.00″ – 10.50″
  • Youth = 10.75″ – 11.75″ gloves
  • Adult = 11.25″ – 12.25″ gloves

Fielding Glove Size – Third Baseman

Third base is commonly referred to as the “hot corner” because a third baseman is positioned closest to a batter.

This position requires a quick reaction time to grab line drives or hard grounders at fast speeds so the ball pocket is even deeper than that of a shortstop.

  • T-ball = use a regular fielding glove between 9.00″ – 10.50″
  • Youth = 10.75″ – 11.75″ gloves
  • Adult = 11.25″ – 12.25″ gloves

Fielding Glove Size – Outfielders

Outfield gloves are usually larger with deeper pockets because outfielder’s primary responsibility it to catch.

Larger and longer gloves allow players to have an extra reach when chasing down baseballs.

The same glove can be used when playing left, center or right field positions.

  • T-ball = use a regular fielding glove between 9.00″ – 10.50″
  • Youth = 10.75″ – 12.50″ gloves
  • Adult = 12.50″ – 12.75″ gloves

Utility Gloves

Utility gloves are used by players who play multiple infield and outfield positions (very common in youth baseball).

Because of this, utility gloves tends to be on the larger size for an infield glove along with a closed-web design for those players who also fill in as pitchers.

  • T-ball = use a regular fielding glove between 9.00″ – 10.50″
  • Youth = 11.00″ – 12.00″ gloves
  • Adult = 12.75″ – 12.50″ gloves

Tricks of the trade from a coach

Infielders and outfielders can choose to place their fingers into a)each pockets or b) combine the ring and pinky fingers into the pinky pocket.

Placing each fingers into their individual finger pockets make the ball pocket flat. A flat ball pocket allows faster glove movement to stop the ball but the ball tends to pop out more often.

When you combine the ring and pinky into the pinky finger pocket, the overall finger configuration allows you to create a natural wrapping motion when a ball is received. Outfielders love this setup because they can hold on to the ball better when hitting the ground or colliding with a wall.

Catcher’s Mitt

Please refer to my post, “Complete Guide to Youth Baseball Catcher’s Equipment Gear” for more information on catcher’s mitt sizing.

What size baseball bat do I need?

Selecting a correctly sized bat is critical in making consistent hard contact at the plate.

I have seen too many young players make the mistake of thinking that swinging a longer and heavier bat (than what they can handle) makes them “look cooler” and hit more home runs.

This is absolutely false and parents should not fall into the same trap.

Hopefully I can cut through the clutter so that you can help identify and properly size a baseball bat for your child.

But first, I highly recommend my post “What Should I look for in a baseball bat?

Bat Length

When a batter steps into the batter’s box,

Bat Weight Classifications

Baseball bat weight is measured by the “drop weight” designation where drop weight is the difference between the length and weight of the bat.

That means you don’t go around looking to buy a 28 oz or 32 oz bats.

Instead, you first settle on the proper length then look at the “drop minus” number.

Bat weight is measured by the minus or drop weight. Drop weight is the difference between the length and weight of the bat, so a bat that is 30 inches long and has a drop weight of -10 will weigh 20 ounces. The bigger the drop weight is, the lighter the bat will weigh (i.e. The higher the drop weight, the easier it will be to swing; Drop Weight = Bat Length (inches) subtracted from Bat Weight (oz))

Baseball batplease remember that weight varies greatly among manufacturers. I recommend checking teh actual weight

Bat sizing for 5 and 6 Year old players

Kids in this age group normally play in T-ball and the primary focus should be having fun and teach some solid swing mechanics.

Because kids in this age group are physically weak, you want a lighter, not heavier, bat to develop proper swing mechanics. I would rather see a t-baller with a shorter bat than a long one which will allow him to make frequent swings without slowing him down.

The same goes for the barrel size. If your child is considerably bigger than their peers, you may want to go with a 2 5/8″ barrel. Otherwise 2 1/4″ barrel is fine.

All being equal, if you have some extra money, I would consider buying a composite bat because it tends to have a larger sweet spot than a single-piece alloy bat and many composite bats come with better grips. A larger sweet spot and better hand grips work together to minimize the hand stings.

If your league requires you to buy a USA Baseball approved bats, the bat should indicate “ONLY FOR USE IN TEE BALL”. As far as I know, USSSA approved bat manufacturers do NOT make tee-ball bats.

Body Measurements

Bat Specs

  • Height for 5 Year Olds:
    • 45″ or shorter, go with a 24″ tee ball bat
    • 46″ or taller, go with a 25″ tee-ball bat
  • Height for 6 Year Olds:
    • 46″ or shorter, go with a 25″ tee ball bat
    • 47″ or taller, go with a 26″ tee-ball bat
  • Weight for 5 Year Olds:
    • 46 lbs or heavier – consider getting a 25″ bat with 2 5/8″ barrel
  • Weight for 6 Year Olds:
    • 51 lbs or heavier – consider getting a 26″ bat with 2 5/8″ barrel
  • Common lengths: 24″, 25″ or 26″
  • Drop: -12 (i.e. bat will weigh 12 ounces)
  • Barrel size: 2 1/4″ or 2 5/8″

To see the latest T-ball bat recommendations, read my pos, Age-by-Age Guide to Best Baseball Bats for T-ball

Bat for 6 and 7 Year old players

Bats come in a mind-numbing assortment of sizes, lengths and weights and are fashioned from several  different materials. So choosing the right bat size is no simple task, unless you know what to  look for. And that’s what we’re going to discuss here: how to measure for a bat to ensure the proper fit. 

hollow vs solid end cap for wood bats

Key Takeaways

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • What size baseball glove Should a 14 year old use?
    • The best way to learn the fundamentals of fielding and catching is by wearing a glove that fits well. 14 year old player generally can wear intermediate or adult baseball gloves
  • What age is an adult baseball glove?
    • Once a player reaches 13 years old they should consider using an adult style glove
  • What size baseball glove do adults use?
    • Adult 11.00″ to 11.75″ is the typical baseball glove size
    • Second basemen prefer a smaller glove to help make those quick throws while still having control. Shortstops typically use something in the middle for grounders and quick throws. Third basemen generally prefer a larger glove.

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