Picking the proper size softball glove can be a simple task as a youth player under the age of 12. During your early playing years there really is no need to get position-specific gloves.
Each position on the field requires a certain type of glove with many different characteristics to help you perform at your very best. As a youth player, there really is no telling what your best position will be, so most coaches will have you play in multiple positions.
The only players that would be required to get a specific position glove, even at a younger age, would be first base and catcher. Having said that, at first base, having a regular glove is sufficient if it’s larger in size, more like an outfield glove.
The catchers glove may be the only glove on the field you shouldn’t sacrifice because of its ability to protect the hand more than just any old glove.
Sizing the softball glove in general for youth players should be relative to the player's hand. General sizing charts for youth players in the infield can be anywhere from 11.5” to 12.5”, depending on the players hand size.
8-11 years old in youth softball will use an 11” ball so getting too big of a glove isn’t that necessary if your player has smaller hands. For outfielders, the softer supple leather for youth players makes the glove more manageable for them to open and close.
The sizes can range from 12.75” up to as big as 14”. For the youth players from 8-11 years old, we recommend staying away from anything over 13” because the are still using the 11” ball.
Once you reach 12 years old and up, you may want to look into going slightly bigger to accommodate for the bigger 12” ball. As youth players are trying to navigate their way on a softball diamond, it would be most beneficial to find a glove that fits on the small side of an outfield glove but the bigger side of an infield glove.
Sizing comes down to the size of the webbing, size of the pocket, and the chamber or the cell - which is the inside of the glove and fingers and how tight it will fit on your hand.
Players 8-10 years old are recommended to have a youth chamber. Sizing a first base glove has the pocket and webbing designed in the glove, so now we just have to pick a length. First base gloves range from 12” to 13.5”. The only thing to decide is whether or not to get a youth chamber.
The youth chamber will make the glove more manageable for players with smaller, weaker hands. The catchers glove measures in circumference, not length. So, when you see ranges from 32” to 34.5”, don’t be confused. The catchers glove is already designed like a tank, so you won’t have to do a lot of designing.
Sizing it will come down to picking the chamber size and circumference. 32” would be 8-10 year olds, generally with a youth chamber. 11 years old and up can range from 33” to 34.5”.