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New to catching - advice on gear needed

May 7, 2015
Did your DD ever get a chance to work with Campbell?
Yes, started with him right when we went to the org.. Crazy story, Campbell picked my DD out of 75+ in the tryout and never really left her side. Head coach wasn't a fan and was going to pass on DD, Campbell said "no way" and pushed for her to be last girl picked. 1 month after training asked DD if she could weekly bullpen catch for one of his pitchers, ended up being a Senior in HS and OU commit, DD was 12 at the time!

We were seriously bummed about his passing. He was HARD AS NAILS, but he would go to the end of the world for his players. Was playing on the field right next to him when he had his trouble. RIP...
Mar 10, 2016
As an actively playing catcher -- I can't help but chime in on the mask on or off debate -- and borderline irresponsible if I didn't chime in.

I have been a catcher since near the start of softball season during my freshman year of high school. This is the board I came to for advice when transitioning from pitcher to catcher and all the advice I ever got on here told me to keep my helmet on my head at all times never to take it off when on defense. I followed that advice to a tee and it's never impeded me in being able to catch a rise ball, see a ball going into the dirt, a ball that took a bad hop and was going over my head, or a popup. The only times I ever lost a ball was when it went into the sun and I couldn't see because of the sun. I've never lost a ball because of my mask.

Also, my facemask has saved me in other ways too. It's saved me in collisions at the plate. It's saved me from getting certain concussions and other facial injuries from foul balls. It saved me from breaking my nose when the first baseman never seen me or heard me trying to catch a foul ball and was calling her off and her and I had a collision. She didn't wear a fielder's mask and broke her nose and orbital bones. She now wears a mask.

It's just a good idea to wear the mask. Yes, it takes a little to get used to. But she won't be able to see herself playing without wearing it.
Mar 10, 2016
Hi all, my 10U DD has been transitioning to catcher from 1B and I need advice on which gear, size, etc. She is 4’7 and about 85 lbs, so I’m guessing youth size. Is there any gear to stay away from or must haves? I’m hoping to stay under $200 as we don’t believe this will be her permanent role, but also don’t want to settle for inadequate gear. I see a lot of catchers in our league using fielding gloves. Could she get away with a 1B mitt? I’ve avoided buying one so far because I wanted to wait until she could handle a bigger glove since she will be moving to 12” ball this coming spring for JR. High.
Equipment advice for a 10u player getting into catching.

When I started out, catching, I started out using Under Armour catchers gear. It's decent, cheaper gear. It lasted me for my freshman and part of my sophomore season. When I saw my role was more permanent, I moved to Diamond brand catcher's gear. I think their ix5 gear is the best I've used. I think they have a youth model as well. I ordered the set I'll be using through the first few years of college ball during the end of my senior season and the beginning of my last travel season. I'll order another set while I'm transitioning to my junior season. As some others have pointed out, don't be afraid to mix brands. Also, don't be afraid to go into your local Dick's, Dunham's or local sporting goods store and try on the gear to see what fits best. As far as a glove, I used my brother's old...I think it was a Mizuno mitt but I could be wrong and I don't feel like going back through my threads and find the exact post. When I saw my role was more permanent, I went and got a Vinci mitt for a lefty. I still use the same mitt today and it's held up beautifully.

As far as optional gear, I use Evoshield guards for my wrists along with my coach's list wrist thingie. I use a throat guard that attaches to my mask. I use a palmgard glove on my glove hand to prevent my hand from stinging when I'm catching repetitive hard throws. I wear sliding shorts to protect my pelvis and I wear knee savers on the straps of my shin guards.

Onto cleats. I started with Under Armour cleats. I went through them like crazy. It got to where my parents spent a small fortune on cleats. I now wear Ringors and I love them. They hold up through an entire school and travel season and could still go kinda strong. I replace them when they don't really come clean anymore and look worn. The best pieces of advice I can give is to get them at least a half size larger and try them on in a Ringor store or somewhere that carries them. Also another piece of advice...get them with a pitcher's toe. They hold up a lot better especially with all of the toe slides and stuff catchers do.

EDIT: Something I remembered while tailgating at Beaver Stadium that I wanted to add to this post about cleats. I don't know what rules your league has about cleats...particularly at the 10u level. But I also recommend getting metal cleats if the rules of your league allow them. Metal cleats are all I use anymore because they grip in the dirt so much better than plastic cleats, imo. If your league doesn't allow metal cleats, then the plastic ones will work just about as well. I feel as if plastic cleats degrade more quickly...especially if your daughter will be playing a lot of softball. One drawback to metal though is that it feels heavier on the foot but she will get used to it over time as her legs get stronger. But that's one person's opinion.
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Jul 31, 2013
If you can find a "Play It Again Sports" in your area, that is a great way to try on several different brands and sizes...even mixing and matching chest, mask, and shins. I'm not a fan of buying used catchers gear; gear needs to be shaped to the catcher. But it will help you narrow down what your catcher likes and doesn't like. I would also check the strap stitching and hardware on used gear. It will help you find out doesn't hold up over time.
Jul 16, 2019
I went with the All-Star Players Series set, my really problem is finding a left hand throw catchers mitt. I looked at the All-Star mentioned, but can’t find it in left hand. Also, waiting on one of the DFP members about the Vinci.

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