Age/speed when a catchers glove becomes necessary

Welcome to Discuss Fastpitch

Your FREE Account is waiting to the Best Softball Community on the Web.

Feb 6, 2020
75
18
Question came up for rec league that supplies equipment. At what age or maybe more importantly at what velocity does a catchers glove become needed? If the pitchers aren't sniffing 40 mph, would a catchers glove be worth it? Would it be needed even in the mid to upper 40s? Developmentally, would getting used to one be important for when they get older?
 
Apr 17, 2019
304
63
I think it's more about ability to manage the ball. A fielder's glove is made to get the ball out of the glove and into your throwing hand as fast as possible. A catcher's glove is made to secure the ball (as well as pad the hand). So even if your 12u pitcher is throwing 30, you might want it to manage the dropped 3rd strike anyway. (Though I've started recommending 1st base mitts for beginning catchers. Accomplishes the goal of securing the ball but are lighter weight.)
 
Oct 11, 2010
8,245
113
Chicago, IL
My glove is 35 years old, big old thing which was bought for slow pitch. People would take it during practices. Used it to C DD more times then I can count.

1 game we shorthand so I needed to warm up P. I did not bring my glove so a C let me use her C Mitt. I was impressed. Dang glove just sucked the ball into it.

If DD was a C we would have purchased a C Mitt for her.

DD did C a few times with her requalur glove and did Ok.
 
Nov 18, 2015
1,437
113
Apologies for resurrecting an old thread. Surprised RAD didn’t add to this one - check out her posts, and you’ll come across pictures of a DI catcher in a CWS game using a regular fielders glove.

(And a mask that could also have been worn by Beowulf or an actual Roman gladiator…)

I think it’s all about preference. And glove quality. Above 40 mph, I’d hope they weren’t bringing a $30 finch Mizuno back there.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

radness

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
7,272
113
Can speak from my own experience and from teaching catching.

Myself I never cared for a catching glove because they did not seem to have a big enough pocket and they had too much padding.

Also I think how a player holds their glove with arm/hand is more important than the glove someone chooses to wear.

In my experience I have found more range with easier movement for receiving the ball with a arm/hand starting out in front like a stop sign with fingers up, thumb east and west.
(Not arm/hand sideways thumb pointing down)

Equipment in general I think is a personal preference. Because it has to do with comfortability, weight and also price.

Particularly with younger kids breaking in a glove tends to take a long time if just done trying to play catch-with because the ball is not thrown very hard to cause that glove leather to break in.

The catcher's I am familiar with have used different style gloves and not only one or two that I could make a suggestion of.

👉As for young kids getting used to catching~
Many times I suggested the young player to continue using their 'Fielding Glove' while they were catching because a catching glove can weigh a lot more and un-necessarily needed. Most of time very stiff. Small tiny pocket.
The ball simply is not traveling that fast.
*Consider this perspective that if they were to be playing 3rd Base how hard of a line drive would be hit versus how hard is a pitcher throwing to them.
* in many cases how they throw the ball overhand just playing catch is faster than or equal to the pitching speed.

An easy way to figure out if a glove is good is to be able to play catch regular overhand and not have any difficulties.
Also do some Fielding work with your catching glove (like receive grounders)
if there is a difference between the regular Fielding glove ability versus the catching gloves ability you know the catching glove maybe a limitation if it doesn't work as well.
( simple useful suggestion figuring out if it's mechanics or the glove.)

Nothing worse than a young catcher trying to be a catcher and having a glove that's the limitation. There may be a slight adjustment to learning to use a catching glove but I don't think we should be struggling with that while we're learning to be a catcher.

👉 Ability is more relevant than age.
 
Last edited:
Jun 6, 2016
2,346
113
Chicago
Question came up for rec league that supplies equipment. At what age or maybe more importantly at what velocity does a catchers glove become needed? If the pitchers aren't sniffing 40 mph, would a catchers glove be worth it? Would it be needed even in the mid to upper 40s? Developmentally, would getting used to one be important for when they get older?

I don't know that age matters.

I'd start using one when pitchers are throwing around 40 for sure. I'll use one for pitchers throwing 35, but that's probably more out of habit than anything. Upper '40s has enough zip to feel it, especially when you're catching a hundred pitches. The hand/thumb will get sore with a regular glove.
 
May 7, 2015
755
93
SoCal
I think any player that wants to be a catcher should have the proper equipment. There's an appropriate mitt for every age and very likely available as a hand me down when they are young.

If a kid is put behind the dish because the team needs them there, then use whatever is available, it won't really matter. From what I've seen from DD's teams is that its always been catchers behind the dish from 1st year 10's on.
 
Jun 19, 2016
826
63
It starts to sting when the consistently hit 50 mph...but in general I would start using one way before then. They need to be proficient with the mitt way before they get to 50 MPH pitchers.
 
May 7, 2015
755
93
SoCal
I don't know that age matters.

I'd start using one when pitchers are throwing around 40 for sure. I'll use one for pitchers throwing 35, but that's probably more out of habit than anything. Upper '40s has enough zip to feel it, especially when you're catching a hundred pitches. The hand/thumb will get sore with a regular glove.

thumb soreness is definitely a technique issue that needs to be addressed early on in a catchers development. Once the thumb gets sore, it takes a long time to go away.
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
41,455
Messages
651,948
Members
20,291
Latest member
mcnairjk32
Top