The East Lincoln Optimist Club is a voluntary organization of civic-minded men and women banded together for to provide sports programs and activities for Youth in the East Lincoln community in Denver NC.
Knowing what equipment is required may not be as simple as it sounds. Also, while some equipment will work just fine, there are other options that may be better to protect your athlete(s).
This is a good place to start:
Fielder's Mask: Must be warn by the infield (including the pitcher). Can be substituted in the outfield for an appropriate mouth guard. I would recommend a mask like this. RIP-IT
Non-Metal Softball/Baseball Cleats: It's important to consider a low top or high top cleat based on the ankel stability of your athlete.
Batting Helmet: This is arguably the most important safety equipment on the field. Worry less about color and more about NOCSEA certification stamped on the helmet. The helmet should fit snug on the athletes head, not bounce around when they run, and should provide good visibility (not hide the eyes).
Fielding Glove: While this certainly has a lot to do with the size of your athlete's hands, there is some size guidance available under the Fastpitch Softball section.
Batting Gloves: While not all athletes wear them (or like them), batting gloves help to absorb bat-shock when hitting a ball. They also help to keep a good firm grip on the bat and keep hands warmer in cooler weather.
Softball Bat: While a helmet is the most important safety feature, the bat is the most important performance feature; and likely your most costly set of investments. I say set because if your athlete loves the game... you'll buy a few good bats as their interest and skills improve. Use this chart as guidance when deciding on the weight and length of bat.
Equipment Bag: Now that you've collected all this great equipment ... you're going to have to have a good way to get it all to the ball field. The best guidance that I can provide here is to not underestimate the size of the bag that you'll need. While a wheeled bag normally isn't necessary unless your athlete is also a catcher - or you've amassed so much gear that it's too heavy for a backpack, your athlete may prefer to drag their bag around vs. wearing a back-pack. Most softball/baseball-specific backpacks are very good and are easiest to store in the off-season.
Fastpitch Softballs: You can never have too many softballs. You'll quickly learn that there are 'good' softballs and then there are 'better' softballs. I recommend buying by the dozen (yes you'll use them all).