As a small town league equipment can become like gold because it is difficult and costly to replace if it gets stolen. When equipment is stolen it can prevent players from practicing and be able to play games. Whether it is individual or team equipment securing the equipment is of top priority. Here are a few tips to keep your equipment safe.
- Put your name on it. This is especially true of personal equipment. Whether it is marked with a permanent market or adhesive labels, marking equipment can prevent the equipment from being misplaced and if you leave a piece of equipment at the field it will be easier to locate the owner if there is a name attached to the gear.
- Purchase a gear bag. This again is especially true for personal equipment. A gear bag provides a consolidated place to put your gear, thus decreasing the chances of it being left at the field. Or even left at home, and then not be able to be used in practice. Many gear bags have multiple pockets and will store everything from shoes to gloves, bats and helmets. Often it is thought that only catchers need gear bags to hold catchers equipment, but this is not so. If every player who carried more than a glove to and from the field had a gear bag a lot less equipment would be lost. Keep the gear in the bag until it is used. Then it will always be ready for the game. You can tape a checklist inside of the bag so you can do a quick check and make sure you have all your gear. This is the best way to ensure your equipment does not get left behind.
- Have the coach take the team equipment home. The safest way to protect team gear is for the coach to keep the gear at his residence. If the gear if placed in bags that are easy to identify than it will be easy for the coach to load and unload the gear safely without worrying about misplaced items. By keeping gear at his residence this decreases the chances of gear being stolen in between games.
- If the coach cannot keep the gear at his home, or you are between coaches or seasons keeping the gear in a locked shed at the field is the next best option. It has also been found that often schools, next to the fields, are willing to store gear. This can be safer than an outside storage unit. The reason being that outside storage units could potentially have the lock broken and the gear stolen. Schools have better security during the off season, where fields may be abandoned during the off season.
Keeping the gear inventoried and secure is the best way to reduce loss and reduce stress. If the team is ready to play and gear is missing, this can result in more than an inconvenience. It can result in the team not being able to play.