Welcome to Miss Manatee Softball League (MMSL)! Softball requires a variety of sport-specific equipment. Some of the equipment required to participate in MMSL is provided by the league, while other items are the player's responsibility to supply. Most items can be purchased new or used. Most items can be purchased at Play it Again Sports in Bradenton, who has been a generous MMSL sponsor for many seasons. MMSL also offers a Swap Shop for those on Facebook. Your Daughter's Coach and Team Mom can be a great resource for any questions or concerns, but the following is a description of the equipment that is needed:
1. Balls - Your team will provide balls that will be used for MMSL practices and games. You should purchase balls to practice with your daughter at home.
(a) Tball, 8u, and 10u all use an 11" Softball.
(b) 12u and 13+ both use a 12" Softball.
(c) In 8u, players will pitch using a softee ball.
(d) Softballs are actually hard, tennis balls are a good training tool when first teaching a young child to catch.
2. Bats - We recommend you work with your team's coach to select the correct size bat for your daughter. All fastpitch softball bats have a 2 1/4" barrel, but come in a variety of length and weight combinations. Factors such as height, strength and swing speed will dictate the proper sizing. A basic sizing chart and/or professionals at your local sporting goods store are helpful, but we recommend working with your coach to establish the proper fit.
3. Gloves - MMSL recommends you work with your team's coach to select the correct size glove for your daughter. As a general rule, an infielders glove works well for all age divisions and the sizes would be (a) 6u: 10" - 11", (b) 8u: 11" - 12" and (c) 10u, 12u & 13+: 11.5" - 12.5". Especially for younger girls with a weaker grip, it is very important to break-in a new glove to maximize performance.
4. Fielders Mask - Fielders masks in MMSL are required for all positions in the 8u Division. Fielders masks are currently optional in the other age divisions, however, MMSL recommends infielders (especially inexperienced players and pitchers) in all age divisions wear a fielders masks.
5. Helmets - Your team will provide helmets that can be used for MMSL practices and games. Most children prefer to use their own helmet. All helmets must have a facemask. When purchasing a helmet, it is recommended to purchase a helmet with a facemask already attached. Helmets and facemasks can be purchased separately and installed at home, but installation can be challenging.
6. Shoes - MMSL does not allow metal cleats. A proper sports shoe, such as running shoes or molded cleats, is required. Open toe shoes, flip flops, and crocs are not acceptable footwear for softball.
7. Uniforms - All players will be provided a jersey to be worn during games. Black pants are preferred, however, any color of softball pants, shorts, or sweat or athletic pants are acceptable. For cold weather games, a long sleave shirt under the jersey is recommended. Jackets covering the jersey and number are permissible, please use your discretion.