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Essential T-Ball and Coach Pitch Equipment for Beginners

As a proud parent of a young ballplayer, I learned first-hand how important it is to get the right equipment to help them succeed.

Start your first season off right with this list of equipment!

Start your first season off right with this list of equipment!

Youth Tee Ball Equipment

Signing up your child for his or her first year of T-Ball or Coach Pitch is a very exciting time for both the parents and the child. Filling out the consent forms and paying the registration fee is often the easy part. Selecting the right kind of equipment for your new ballplayer could be a little more difficult.

After starting our first ball season last spring, I have compiled a list of essential equipment that your T-Ball or Coach Pitch beginner will need to ensure a great first season.

  1. Glove
  2. Bat
  3. Ball
  4. Helmet
  5. Cleats
  6. Bat Bag

Note to parents: When shopping for all the essential equipment, bring along your child to ensure you buy items that fit properly. I know it may be tempting to go ahead and buy that larger size to save money in the long run, but it is highly recommended to buy equipment that fits the size of your child. A proper fit will ensure a successful first ball season!

1. Glove

Choosing the right size glove for your T-Ball or Coach Pitch player is so important. Depending on your child's hand size, glove sizes for ages 3 to 6 years are between 8 and 11 inches in length.

To ensure a proper fit, have your child try the glove on and ask if they are able to open and close it. Opening and closing the glove is a good indicator that it is the right size for your child. For our 5-year-old, we bought an 11-inch glove, which was a great fit for his first year of Coach Pitch.

It is important to remember that most new gloves will be very stiff. You can remedy that problem by "breaking in" the glove with a leather conditioning oil and following the directions in the highlighted box.

2. Bat

Whether you are starting out in T-Ball or Coach Pitch, the bat size for your beginner is basically the same. The average length of bats for 3–6 years is between 24 and 27 inches. The weight may also vary anywhere from 13 to 17 oz.

To ensure the correct length and weight for your child, don't be afraid to let him or her test it out. Oftentimes, sporting goods stores will allow your child to take practice swings with the bat in a safe place inside or outside of the store to make sure you are purchasing the correct size for your new ballplayer.

3. Ball

The ball size in weight and diameter will vary within different leagues. Be sure to ask the dimensions of the ball your league will be using in games. The balls used in both T-Ball or Coach Pitch are typically a little bit larger and much softer than a regular size baseball. This type of ball helps lessen the severity of injuries for first-time ballplayers. Our son's Coach Pitch team used an 11-inch diameter soft training softball in his games.

4. Helmet

Another essential piece of equipment for both T-Ball and Coach Pitch is a batting helmet. There are many different options for helmets, including color, an optional face mask, and ones with a detachable chin strap. Most leagues encourage all players to buy their own helmets to help prevent the spreading of lice.

We originally bought the helmet with a face mask and chin strap. We quickly found out our son had issues with the face mask making the helmet too heavy on his head. He did so much better when we removed the face mask, making the helmet much lighter for him. We did keep the chin strap attached to ensure the helmet did not fall off while he was running the bases.

T-Ball or Coach Pitch Cleats

T-Ball or Coach Pitch Cleats

5. Cleats

Depending on league rules and regulations, your child may need a pair of cleats to play T-Ball or Coach Pitch. The rubber-studded cleats are best suited for the 3- to 6-year age group.

Wearing cleats rather than tennis shoes is better for your child since cleats provide more traction while fielding and running the bases. Though it may be tempting to buy that next larger size for your child, stick with the ones that fit properly to ensure no unnecessary blisters on your ball player's feet.

6. Bat Bag

Keeping up with all this essential equipment is often a challenge for both first-time ball players and parents. I highly recommend going ahead and purchasing a bat bag to carry it all. For the younger age group, find a smaller size bat bag for your child to carry. Be sure to make certain the batting helmet also fits in the bag.

Most sporting goods stores carry both the one-shoulder-strap bat bag and also a backpack style for the younger ballplayers. Struggling the first couple of practices trying to haul all that equipment back and forth from the car to the field taught me a valuable lesson: A bat bag is a necessity for every ballplayer!

Ending our first Coach Pitch season with a trophy!

Ending our first Coach Pitch season with a trophy!

Selecting the Right Equipment for a Successful First Season

Along with the above essential pieces of equipment for your young player, you may also have to make other purchases, such as:

  • Sliding pants/shorts
  • Baseball/softball athletic socks
  • Batting gloves

You will usually receive a list of any other necessary items from the coaching staff within the first couple of team practices.

Enjoy Your Child's Games!

Selecting and purchasing all the essential equipment for your beginner ball player will ensure a successful first season for both you and your child. I hope this information has been helpful to prepare your little one. If you have any questions or want to leave feedback about this information, feel free to add these in the comment section below. Enjoy all the fun, laughter, and the many memorable moments of your child's first season of T-Ball or Coach Pitch!

Comments on March 06, 2019:

Thank you for all your information on t-ball

Dr Brad Kayden from Atlanta, GA / Chicago, IL on March 05, 2017:

Hi Alissa - it is a fun time for families but it can get overwhelming. I am going to share your article with our community of families with early learners in sports on Facebook. Many are also entering this early phase of baseball or soon will be.

It seems so logical until you combine the rest of our daily parenting responsibilities on top of it and that is what makes your list so valuable. We tend to forget the most basic things, as parents, and need reminders like you've provided. An evergreen article, thanks for sharing Alissa.

Jeanna on January 31, 2016:

Thanks for all the info . I just signed my grandson up for T ball last weekend and it has already cost me a ton $200 just to register and that just allows him to play and includes his team shirt . I've already went out and bought him his batting gloves , helmet , bat , bag of balls , batting T , and that cost me a around $100 but I never even thought about a bat bag I'm going to have to for sure go and get that it will make things much easier . And also thank you for Bruce for bringing up the " cup" I didn't think of that either that's going on my list of things to get . I'm almost their Cleats , cup, bat bag , glove .... It may have cost more then I thought but in the long run the smile on my grandsons face is going to be PRICELESS . Thank you for your help I would have went to the store without him thinking it would have been easier

ann on March 18, 2014:

Does anyone know if a cup is necessary for t-ball? I am concerned about my 4 year old playing.

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on March 10, 2013:

Thanks andyglean! I have never had any experience in dealing with catchers gear due to neither of my boys have ever played that position. Sorry for not being able to help but I appreciate you stopping by!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on May 03, 2012:

Thanks so much baseballbrains! Appreciate you stopping by!

baseballbrains on March 12, 2012:

Wow, lots of great information here, good job!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on February 21, 2012:

Lol another reason I am glad I am a girl and not a boy :) In our league, it was not a requirement (not even addressed really) but I do think it is a good idea for little boys to wear one just to be safe. I am sure I will see this as a requirement once he moves up to the older leagues.

Bruce A. Beaudet from Canada on February 20, 2012:

Hi Allissa,

On any team that I have ever coached it has been mandatory to wear such protection...and required by our baseball association. When players get older we do "can" checks with bats...the guys that flinch aren't wearing them! :) Most sliding shorts these days have a "cup holder" that is probably as comfortable as it gets.

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on February 20, 2012:

Thanks Bruce for the mention of that valuable piece of equipment for the boys :) That one was a much debated topic among the moms of the boys on the team. Some felt at 5 years old they were too young to have to wear one and the others took the better safe than sorry route and went ahead and bought one. Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

Bruce A. Beaudet from Canada on February 20, 2012:

Nice hub but you are missing the Most essential piece of baseball equipment...the cup! AKA "the can."

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on February 15, 2012:

Absolutely they are vital and so much fun to watch at that age! Thanks so much KDF for stopping by and commenting!

KDF from Central Illinois on February 15, 2012:

Couldn't agree more, youth sports is vital!!!!!!!!!!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on January 28, 2012:

So happy to hear that this hub will be useful to others :) Thanks so much Arian for stopping by, commenting, and for the follow!

Arian Rey from Pearl of the Orient Seas (PHILIPPINES) on January 27, 2012:

This is a must-hub for parents whose kids are into baseball. I might as well follow your tips, Coach A. :D

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on January 27, 2012:

Yay daisyflowrs! Grandparents are the best! You all are going to have so much fun this ball season!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on January 27, 2012:

Thanks so much Lori! Happy to hear that! Appreciate you taking the time to read and comment!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on January 27, 2012:

Thanks so much prasonline! Hub of the Day was a nice surprise! Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

daisyflowrs from Richmond, VA on January 27, 2012:

Thank God for grandparents! My son can play T-ball!!!!

LoriSoard from Henryville, Indiana on January 27, 2012:

The information in this hub is nicely presented. Congrats on making Hub of the Day.

Prasanna Marlin from Sri lanka on January 27, 2012:

Very informative hub.Congratulations on Hub of the Day!

Have a nice weekend - Prasanna

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on January 27, 2012:

Thanks so much Keeley! The chin strap does work wonders helping that helmet stay on the head. They are indeed so cute and funny to watch at that age! We are really looking forward to this season! Appreciate you taking the time to read and comment!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on January 27, 2012:

Thanks so much Cliff! Hub of the day was a nice surprise to wake up to this morning! Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on January 27, 2012:

Thanks so much amilypitt! Although both my husband and I played ball growing up, it was difficult choosing the right equipment for our son. There were just so many options to choose from. I also hope this will be helpful to other parents whose little ones are just starting out. Appreciate you reading and leaving your comment!

Keeley Shea from Norwich, CT on January 27, 2012:

Great Hub and Congrats on Hub of the Day! My 5 year old will be getting his own helmet this year. We used the team helmets last year and it kept falling off his head. We did have him put his baseball hat on backwards under the helmet - that did help but I would love to have the chin strap! Love t-ball - super funny to watch!!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on January 27, 2012:

Oh my daisyflowrs $130!! The registration fee in our area is only $40. But I did spend over $125 on all the equipment. Technically you only have to get a glove, helmet, and cleats. But if you want to practice at home then you will need the bat, ball, and maybe a tee since your son is starting out in t-ball. I suggest the bat bag too because hauling all that stuff and keeping it together was quite a struggle for us. It is expensive but was well worth all the fun we had last year. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

Cliff Mendrez from Philippines on January 27, 2012:

Alissa, this is an excellent hub. Easy to read and covers all essential details very well. Congratulations on Hub of the Day! You deserve it!

amilypitt from Washington, USA on January 27, 2012:

Very informative hub. Although everyone knows the things but are not able to take the right decision at the the time of first shopping. I wish this hub will help to choose the right things at the right time.

daisyflowrs from Richmond, VA on January 26, 2012:

My son will start t-ball this summer. It costs $130!!! Now I find that all this equipment is needed as well? Very informative hub. Why is T-ball so expensive? It's T-ball. I vote up and useful.

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on January 26, 2012:

Thanks so much Simone! It's not too bad of a list. I did learn the hard way having your child with you while you shop is really important. The first bat we bought him was way too long and unfortunately we couldn't return it. Oh well, he will already have the bigger bat when he outgrows his current one :) Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on January 26, 2012:

Great overview! That's not as much equipment as I thought might be needed- total bonus! Thanks for sharing your advice!