Playing Little League sports is worthwhile for so many reasons that it justifies the investment we make for our children to participate. Children learn teamwork and discipline and they develop all the skills needed to play the game. But intangibles like learning social skills, making new friends and developing trust will develop by being part of a Little league team. Once the gear and league fees are paid, our sons and daughters are ready to begin a new and important chapter in their lives and in their personal development.
So, how much does it cost to play Little League Baseball? Although enrollment and registration fees differ from one local Little league to the next, then factoring in the cost of equipment (gloves, bats, cleats and accessories), you should anticipate spending anywhere from $250.00 to $300.00. Ultimately, the cost depends on the type of equipment you buy and the amount of time you’re willing to invest.
Educating yourself about what’s out there will ensure you won’t spend any more than is needed for quality equipment. It’s also a great idea to understand the finances of your local Little League, and how the money they collect is invested.
Understand Your League’s Financial Operations
The Little League organization operates on a not-for-profit basis and its stated mission is to give kids in every community a chance to be a part of the game of baseball. The coaches and some support staff work on a volunteer basis, keeping costs as low as possible.
src=”https://baseballboom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/little-league.jpeg” alt=”baseball little league” width=”348″ height=”279″ />Little League holds board meetings and parents can attend, where they can find out how much money it costs to operate a league. At registration, parents can ask how funds are allocated. Common expenses include the cost of using local baseball fields and facilities that Little League does not own, either on a monthly or annual basis. Sometimes, these fees can be quite steep. Even if the league owns the facilities, they require upkeep and routine maintenance which increases expense. Batting cages, dugouts, concession stands and the playing field will require repair form time to time, so funds are set aside for this purpose.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions at board meetings or directly to the league office about how the money you pay to register your son or daughter is spent. Costs are kept as low as possible so that even those with limited means are able to participate.
Most of the Cost Goes to Your Child’s Equipment
The best way to economize when it comes to buying your child’s baseball equipment is to know what they need to play at their highest level, and what they don’t need. There are literally thousands of different buying options for gear such as baseball bats, gloves, batting gloves and cleats, so it can get overwhelming.
On my blog, you will find articles about how to pick the best baseball gloves, bats and cleats and other necessities, but here I’ll summarize what to look for to help narrow down your search. I’ve created a handy buying guide that lists the 6 essential items your ballplayer needs to play at the top of their game. Here’s the link:
I’ve learned a lot about baseball equipment in my years coaching little league teams, and I’ve made purchases of bats, gloves, and baseballs for the team and for my children. Today, more than ever, there’s a lot more to choose from and it can get very confusing.
What kind of baseball bat should I get for my child?
Measure according to your child’s size and weight
Today most teams use either aluminum, composite or BBCOR bats. Composite bats have wider barrels (the “sweet spot’ on the part of the bat that makes contact with the ball) and their lighter weight makes them easier to swing for power. The size of the bat, when stood on its end, should reach just about as high as your child’s hip.
Baseball bats are priced higher than any other piece of equipment you’ll get for your child, so make sure they’re broken in properly and don’t get exposed to rain or land in puddles.
Easton has gained an excellent reputation and is a premier manufacturer of youth player baseball bats. Little League regulations change form time to time, so Easton stays abreast of which kinds of bats are allowed for play and which ones can’t be used. Assume a cost of anywhere between $70 and $150.00 for a good quality youth baseball bat.
I’ve seen Baseball Gloves cost anywhere from under $20.00 upwards to hundreds of Dollars. Which Glove provides the Most Value to my Child at the Lowest Cost?
Get a glove that’s made from full-grain pigskin leather for best performance and a low cost
Parents are encouraged to spend as much time as they need to make sure players are fitted with the right glove. It’s a fact that as children get older they will outgrow the use of their gloves. However, remain careful about the glove you choose. Getting a synthetic glove doesn’t work for every player because they’re not as flexible as leather gloves. A synthetic glove can make it harder to catch the ball snugly in the glove’s pocket, when either fielding ground balls, or when snapping the glove shut when catching fly balls.
In my coaching experience, I’ve found that the kids whose gloves are comfortable because they are easy to manipulate are the ones who field better and who gain confidence in their playing abilities more quickly.
A leather glove will outlast a synthetic glove and won’t underperform when the weather changes. Full-grain pigskin leather is softer than thick cowhide leather gloves, so they break in faster and will mold better to a child’s smaller hand. The best gloves are those that seem like a natural extension of the player’s hand.
It’s important that the glove is sized to fit your child’s hand, so you should avoid buying a larger glove that he or she will grow into. A glove should be sized according to the child’s size at the moment it’s purchased. Full-grain pigskin leather gloves should last about two years and it should be easy finding the right glove for around $40.00. Top brands for youth players are Rawlings and Mizuno.
Which Baseball Cleats are Recommended for Little league Play?
I’m often asked by parents what kinds of bats, helmets, gloves, and shoes I’d recommend for their kids. When I bought equipment for my own kids to use I gained first-hand experience and was able to answer questions with authority.
When it comes to baseball cleats, I looked for those that fit snugly and didn’t cause foot discomfort. More than anything else kids do during weekly baseball practice and in games, they are moving on their feet all the time. Running, fielding, hitting the feet require constant movement, so cleats are critically important to play at the highest level possible.
This is where good fit and the quality of material is so important. Synthetic cleats have risen in popularity because they’re lightweight and less expensive while still allowing kids to move without discomfort. Youth players will outgrow their cleats in a year or two, so getting the right shoe that fits them perfectly right from the start is the best way to go. You can allow some room for the feet to grow in the cleat but keep in mind that you want them to last for the baseball season, and to be as good as possible during that time.
Under Armour is the brand I used for my youngest, who was 7 years old when I got him his first pair, and they really worked well for him. Good quality cleats for younger players can range from $30 to $40.00.
Are Batting Gloves Needed to Play in Little League?
More and more young players use batting gloves now in youth baseball. Wearing gloves for going to bat started a few decades ago in the major leagues and has since been adopted more and more in Little League play. The vibration of the bat when it contacts the ball can sting the hands, and it stings even more in colder weather. Gloves absorb vibration and they also prevent hands from getting callused.
Batting gloves make hitters grip the bat better, and most gloves now are designed to allow a lot of flexibility at the joint areas. The hands, like the feet, are used the most playing baseball, and safeguarding the hands means kids will be prepared week after to week to play in their top condition.
Expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $20.00 for a good pair of well-designed gloves, made from sheepskin. Easton is the brand of batting gloves I’ve often recommended to parents for their kids.
What Should I Look for in a Batting Helmet?
Parents more and more choose their own batting helmets for their kids, and manufacturers have responded to the increased demand. A good batting helmet should absorb shock and fit snugly around the head. They should also release heat and if possible, extend out so they will protect the jaw. I’ve recommended the batting helmet Rawlings makes for years. A good protective helmet is priced at about $30.00.
Taking time to understand how little league allocates their fund and how it impacts the parents of players will help you know what registration fees are used for. Little League has operated for over a hundred years and has remained the standard for youth baseball. Being a wise shopper and avoiding paying more than you need to will help keep your budget at a minimum.