In softball, many things can make you wonder about whether something is allowed, and one of them is definitely whether you can use a 1B mitt as an outfielder or in any other position for that matter. I too wondered this once, and the answer may surprise you.
Official rules of softball rule 3 section 4 state, that only the first baseman and catcher may use mitts, but any player can use gloves. Thus, you can’t use a first base mitt in the outfield. The difference between a mitt and a glove is that mitt’s don’t have fingers separated, as gloves do.
Think about the difference as you would compare winter mitts and gloves. Mitt’s don’t have finger holes separately as gloves do. But if that is the difference, why you aren’t allowed to use a 1B mitt anywhere else than as a first baseman or catcher? Let’s take a closer look at that.
Note that if your association is relaxed, you can probably use any gloves or mitts in any position. However, when looking at the official rules and the associations running with the rules as most do, it is so.
- Why You Can’t Use a 1B Mitt In Other Positions?
- Do You Need a First Base Mitt as a First Baseman?
- Difference Between an Infield and Outfield Softball Glove?
- What Size Is the Best for a Softball Glove?
- Can You Use a Baseball Glove for Softball?
- My Favorite Softball Equipment
Why You Can’t Use a 1B Mitt In Other Positions?
Before determining why you can’t use a first baseman glove on another position, you must understand how and why it is different.
The first baseman and a catcher can use mitts, but no one else can, and there is a good reason for that. These two positions require catching, as every defending position does, and a lot of picking up the ball from the ground. Mitts often have a specified curved design on the edges, making it easier to pick up softballs.
In addition to the unique design, the mitts often are wider and deeper than other softball gloves used by the infield or outfielders.
For example, the Rawlings Fastpitch Glove is sized at 12,5 inches, whereas the Shoeless Joe Fastpitch 1B Mitt can be acquired at a bigger size of 13 inches. And if you look at the pictures seen on Amazon, you can clearly notice the difference between the curve and design.
How does this difference make it so that you can’t use a mitt in other positions?
As the first baseman mitt is larger, deeper, and designed in a certain what that it’s easier to pick up the softball from the ground, it is only allowed for the first baseman and catcher to use.
These are the official rules, and every player must abide by them to ensure fair and great game for all.
Do You Need a First Base Mitt as a First Baseman?
If you want to maximize your performance as a first baseman, you will need a first base mitt. There are many advantages in first base mitts compared to other position gloves, such as a unique shape making it easier to pick up softballs, a bigger overall size, and a deeper web for easier catching.
That being said, if you take softball seriously and want to perform as well as you can, then I highly recommend getting a first base mitt.
However, it isn’t required by the rules to use a first base mitt as a first baseman, but you can use any other glove as well. It isn’t the same for other positions as they can’t use a mitt except for a catcher.
Difference Between an Infield and Outfield Softball Glove?
There are also differences between the infield and outfield softball gloves. Let’s start with the infield glove
Infield softball glove
Infield softball gloves are smaller in size than outfield softball gloves. This is because the infielders need to get the ball out of the pocket as fast as possible to prevent the offensive team from running to bases and home. Infield gloves often are between 11.5 to 12.5 inches.
Outfield softball glove
Outfield softball gloves need to be bigger than infield softball gloves because they catch high balls coming fast, making them harder to catch. Softball gloves for outfielders can be as big as 12 to 15 inches, which can be considerably bigger than a first base mitt.
What Size Is the Best for a Softball Glove?
It can be overwhelming to decide what size would be best for your softball position, especially when there are different age groups and many positions. However, you don’t need to decide that with intuition. There are specific sizes best for each position, so take a look a the size chart below!
Softball Glove Size Chart
|Age||Catcher||Pitcher||First Base||Second Base||Third Base||ShortStop||Outfield|
Can You Use a Baseball Glove for Softball?
There are no rules that you can’t use a baseball glove for softball. However, baseballs and softballs are different in size, which is why the gloves are as well. Therefore, using a baseball glove for softball is far from optimal because it is much smaller than a softball glove.
For casual and non-consistent recreational use, I wouldn’t get a new glove just for softball. However, if I were to play softball slightly more often, I would get a new glove, even for recreational use.
You definitely should get a softball glove if you play seriously, and it would be surprising that you wouldn’t already have one.
So, in essence, you can use a baseball glove for softball, but it isn’t recommended because of decreased performance on the field.
My Favorite Softball Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Here are my top softball equipment recommendations that I think will take your game to the next level.
- Bat: My favorite certified fastpitch softball bat is the Easton Ghost. This bat has a double-barrel construction which is incredible if you are looking for a great feel and are a fan of satisfying pop and sound. The handle is a great bonus as it’s great to hold on to and very thin. The technology used for this bat provides great durability and flexibility. This bat comes in various styles and sizes.
- Softball: The best softballs, in my opinion, are the Franklin Sports Official Softballs. These affordable yet official featured balls are perfect for practice if you want to train with a similar ball as in a real game. These balls have the official 12-inch circumference and weight. The yellow color makes it easy to spot, and the flat seams enable minimal air resistance so that they will fly consistently and far.
- Glove: Rawlings Liberty Advanced Fastpitch Glove should be introduced to every softball player. The 12.5″ size makes it a breeze to catch and secure softballs. The glove is very comfortable as it’s made from full-grain leather, and the pull-staps will perfect the fit. The design is breathtaking as well. Be prepared for a little break-in time tho.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.