Softball is a sport for warm weather, at least most of the time, so wearing a hat would be a good idea. Do softball players wear hats, and if they do, what kinds of hats are there?
Softball players do wear hats. The most used headwear type is a visor, which is a cap without the crown. Caps are also widely in use in addition to thicker softball headbands used as a hat. Then there are helmets & face masks that technically aren’t hats, but they are headwear used in softball.
So there is more than one type of hat used in softball. Now, it’s important to grasp why athletes use hats in softball as they don’t in soccer, for example.
Related: Do Caps Make You Look Older?
- Why Do Softball Players Wear Hats?
- Why Do Girls Wear Visors Over Caps?
- What are Different Kinds of Hats Used In Softball?
- My Favorite Softball Equipment
Why Do Softball Players Wear Hats?
Essentially, there are three reasons why you should use a hat in softball, even if it isn’t mandatory.
1. Head protection
The first reason why one might use a hat in softball is protection. Baseball bats shouldn’t be used below 50-60°F (10-15°C.), meaning that if that is the recommended minimum temperature, it is usually quite hot on the field. Especially when wearing all of the softball equipment.
This means that there is a high risk of heat stress, which can cause a decrease in physical performance. In fact, professor Lars Nybo from the Department of Nutrition says that direct exposure to sunlight, especially to the head, impairs motor and cognitive performance.
In addition, there are more heat stress hazards such as;
- Heat exhaustion
- Heat cramps
- Heat rashes
Heat and direct sunlight are extra effective to the head, so some hats are recommended for softball, especially when the temperatures are high.
2. Vision protection
The second reason why softball players wear hats is the vision protection from sunlight. Again, sunlight makes it harder for softball players to perform at maximum capacity, including eyesight.
A cap or a visor generates a shade over the eyes, protecting the eyes from sunlight improving vision. Also, it will decrease UV-B rays by as much as a third of the cap’s brim generates shade over the eyes.
If you play a lot of softballs and never wear a hat or sunglasses, many issues come with it over time. These can include;
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Excessive tearing
These issues aren’t common, and it widely depends on how much softball you play, where you play it, and other activities you do in your life. However, you should always use a hat that protects your vision or a pair of sunglasses.
3. Personal reasons
The final reason why a softball player uses a hat can be personal. Personal reasons can be;
- Feeling more comfortable with a hat
- Preventing hair from coming into your eyes
- Identity reasons & more
Wearing a hat in softball is optional; however, in baseball, it is a rule. The only exception in baseball is that you can ditch the cap if you wear a helmet.
This is because a baseball is smaller and lighter in color, which makes it harder to see. In addition, it comes with a stronger force, so if a player didn’t wear a hat in baseball, it would increase the risk of it hitting a critical area, which can cause major injuries.
Why Do Girls Wear Visors Over Caps?
If you are a softball player or have watched a lot of it, the chances are that you have noticed that women softball players rarely use caps but visors instead. Why is that?
1. Better for long hair
First of all, visors are much better for long hair than caps. Think about it, if you have long hair and a tight cap where they can’t come out of reality, then it’s bound to feel uncomfortable.
Visors, on the other hand, don’t have the crow, which allows the hair to be most freely, which is much more comfortable, especially with long furry hair or a ponytail.
2. Cooler and more air flow
Second, it’s common that girls have more hair than men, which is why caps and other hats can get too steamy and hot for comfort. As a man myself, I know that it can get hot on the head when wearing a cap, so I can’t imagine what it feels like with much more hair.
Visors allow airflow to the crow of your head, which makes it much more comfortable to use. However, the sunblock isn’t as powerful when compared to a full cap.
What are Different Kinds of Hats Used In Softball?
So, there are many reasons why softball players wear hats. But what are all of the options you could use? Below you can find three of the main types of softball hats and one bonus that isn’t a hat exactly, but it’s still headwear.
Visors are probably the most used headwear in softball. They are like caps without the crown part, allowing better airflow and comfort, especially for people with long hair.
There are many kinds of visors, but if you want a visor for comfort and airflow, one such as the Nike Aerobill Visor is great as it is slender with perforated material for extra airflow and sweat resistance.
Caps are probably the most common headwear globally, and it is a great option for softball as well. Caps provide more protection from direct sunlight, so in my opinion, it is a better choice for areas with high temperatures and high sun. Even though it can get slightly hotter in there.
There are thousands of different caps and designs you can use, but my personal favorite is a cap like the Adidas Relaxed Adjustable Cap that has a simple but quality design and can be worn outside of the field.
Headbands are popular as well, as they are the most comfortable to wear of all the headwear, but they don’t provide much sun protection from the head or the vision.
That being said, headbands are most used for keeping the vision clear from hair. A great example of a good headband is the TrailHeads Ponytail Headband that is very comfortable given that it is made from fleece. Also, it is wide and has a ponytail hole, which keeps the hair well out of the way.
4. Helmet & face masks
Finally, there is the helmet and a face mask. Helmets are used whenever a player is at bat, waiting for their turn to bat, and running the base. These helmets are batting helmets, and they are used when the team has an offense turn.
When the team has a defensive turn, catchers and pitchers are the most common softball positions that wear helmets as they have the biggest risk of getting a softball on their heads. The facemask is implemented on the helmet that specifically guards the face.
An example of a great helmet & facemask is the Rawlings Highlighter Series Softball Helmet, which has many color options, is made from highly durable materials, and has a well-designed face mask.
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.