Tips for Choosing the Right Sports Equipment for Your Child

Looking for a perfect gift for your child, one that they’ll love to receive and that will encourage them to be active? How about a ball for their favorite sport, or a new sport they will try next year? While many organizations like the YMCA provide balls in their youth sports programs, kids love to have their own ball that they can bring to practices and use when practicing at home.

If you’re shopping for youth sports equipment, here are YMCA guidelines that you may find helpful:

  • Basketball - At the YMCA, preschool players use a 22-inch mini or 27.5-inch junior basketball. K-2 players use a 27.5-inch junior ball. Grade 3-4 boys use a 28.5-inch intermediate. Grade 3-8 girls use a 28.5-inch intermediate. Grade 5-12 boys use a 29.5-inch official ball. Grade 9-12 girls use a intermediate size ball 28.5.
  • Volleyball - Grades 2-6 use a Volley Lite. Grade 7-8 use a regulation ball. We recommend that players wear knee pads.
  • Soccer - Our K-2 players (and younger) use a size 3 ball. Grades 3-6 use a size 4 ball. We recommend that they wear shin guards. Cleats (no metal cleats) are optional.
  • Flag Football - Grades 3 and under use a pee wee ball. Grades 4-6 use a junior ball. We recommend that players wear mouth guards. Cleats (no metal cleats) are optional.
  • Baseball - K-2 players (and younger) use a Level 1 RIF baseball. Grade 3-6 boys use a regulation baseball. Grade 3-6 girls use an 11-inch regulation softball. Players may also want their own bat, helmet and cleats (we do not permit metal cleats.)

Mouth guards and eye goggles may also be worn in youth sports but are not mandatory. Spill-proof, non-breakable water containers are needed for all sports.

Happy giving!

Information provided by Jon Grush, sports director, Carondelet Park Rec Complex and South City Family YMCA.



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