Winter weather can be brutal. And it’s even worse for softball players who have to brave the cold and the rain to go to practice. According to the NCAA Big Sky Conference, if it is less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit, a game should be called off.
When the temperature drops to freezing, many leagues will cancel all games for the day, but some players are willing to brave the cold, no matter how bad it gets. For them, rain and freezing temperatures is a part of the game.
Benefits Of Playing in the Cold
The best part about playing in the cold is that you get a lot of exercise. It takes more energy to keep warm than to stay warm. That means that you will be burning more calories and working your muscles harder than you would if you were playing in the heat.
Of course, it also depends on how cold it is. If it’s below freezing, you shouldn’t play in the game. In that case, you are better off staying inside where it’s warm.
If it’s not freezing, go out and play. You will have fun, you will get a good workout, and you will build your character.
How Cold is Too Cold For A Softball Bat/Balls?
The NCAA recommends that you store your balls and bat at room-temperature (72 degrees Fahrenheit).
You can probably get away with storing your bat and balls in your garage or in the trunk of your car. But don’t leave it in your trunk with the windows rolled up on a hot day. Conversely, unless you have a heated garage, it is best to keep your equipment inside during the winter.
How to Avoid Cold Weather-Related Injuries
Despite the benefits of playing softball in the cold, if you don’t take proper precautions, you can risk injury. Below are a few other tips that will help you avoid cold weather related injuries:
- Always keep your hands and fingers warm. If you keep them warm, it’s easier to keep your whole body warm.
- Wear multiple layers of clothing so you can remove them as needed.
- Use hand and body lotions to keep your skin moisturized.
- Wear a hat to keep your head warm.
- If you don’t have access to a bat bag, place two batting helmets in your bat bag with your bats. Then take one out and wear it as you play.
- Use hand warmers in your gloves.
- Keep your bat grip warm by putting it in your pocket between pitches.
What Type of Glove is Best for Cold Weather Softball?
There are two types of gloves that are the best for cold weather. One is a full glove, and the other is a three-quarter glove. The full glove covers your entire hand while the three-quarter gloves cover your hand below the wrist.
You can get either of these types of gloves. I would recommend the full glove because it keeps your hand warm and its grip makes it easier to catch the ball. If you don’t like the full glove, you can try the three-quarter glove.
What Type of Material Is Best For Cold Weather Softball Gloves?
The cold weather can also make it harder to catch a ball. Putting a tight glove on a cold day can be uncomfortable. A softball glove is a complex piece of equipment. It needs to be stiff enough to hold a ball, but flexible enough to move easily. It needs to be able to hold a ball, but not so tightly that it hurts you when you catch it.
The best way to make your glove work for you in the cold is to pick a model that is made of a softer material. For example, steerhide is a good, durable material, but it is stiff. If you put a steerhide glove on when your hands are cold, it could hurt your hands.
Suede is a good alternative in cold weather. Suede is soft and flexible, which will make it easier to catch the ball. It is also very durable, so you won’t have to worry about ripping it.
Best Clothes For Cold Weather Softball
Some people use layers to help them stay warm, but you should choose your layers carefully. If you pick the wrong layer, it can hurt your performance. Some people use a base layer of polyester, which helps wick moisture away from their skin.
This can be a good choice, especially if you are going to be sweating a lot. However, polyester is very static-prone, meaning that if the polyester shirt gets sweaty, it will attract small bits of dirt. This can make it hard to catch the ball, especially if you are gripping the ball with your bare hands.
A better option is to use a synthetic blend, such as polyester and nylon. This is more expensive than polyester, but it will last longer and be more comfortable.
If you wear a base layer, you should wear a sweat-wicking outer layer. This will keep you dry and warm. A windbreaker is a good choice, but if you are going to be throwing a lot, you may want to wear a full-fledged jacket. You will be able to move more easily in a sport jacket than in a windbreaker.
Playing softball in the cold can be difficult, but with the right equipment and safety precautions, you can enjoy it just the same. Get out there and start playing!