(This list has been updated to include some excellent ideas from experienced baseball parents) 🙂
If you’re headed out to a sports tournament, chances are that you will be there for several hours and sometimes games are back-to-back to the point where you can’t really leave. Don’t get stuck being without essential tournament items that you may want or need. It’s always better to plan ahead and have a few things ready and packed.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is the number one item that you need to have with you at all games and tournaments, regardless of the sport your child is playing. I particularly like this one from Amazon.com because it comes with 326 pieces and it’s large enough to hold many items in its durable plastic case. It comes with a variety of bandages, antibiotic ointment, burn cream, a cold compress, sterile gauze pads, tweezers, scissors, and more. It’s great because it’s big and can hold additional items if needed. It also has free shipping.
You probably have a cooler packed with some delicious cold drinks so when you pack it, make sure to throw in a Ziplock bag full of ice. In this case it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. And, it’s such an easy thing to do. Bumps and bruises are part of sports and it sure helps when you have some ice handy to keep down the swelling.
If you’re like me, you like to have a soft padding under your buns if you’re going to be sitting on bleachers all day watching your little sweeties play, so make sure you look into some nice sports bleacher chairs. You also want one with a back on it so you can lean back. There’s nothing worse than sitting on hard, cold bleachers and not having back support. There are many to choose from, but this one from Amazon.com is my favorite. It folds flat and has convenient backpack straps for carrying. It adjusts to six different positions and has armrests for ultimate comfort. It’s also available in multiple colors in case you want to match your team. Check out my Bleacher Chairs page for a few more nice options.
Okay, let’s get back to those delicious cold drinks. You could probably run to the store or go to the snack bar, but how nice is it to have your own cooler full of ice cold water, Gatorade, soda, or any other tasty beverage you can think of? Personally, I don’t care to spend $2 – $3 on a drink when I can save a lot of money and bring my own. I also have my own options for what I like. You can also throw some grapes, cheese sticks, strawberries, yogurt, or many other healthy snacks in it so you’re not at the mercy of the snack bar for greasy, unhealthy food all day. I really like this ice chest because it not only has a handle and rolls for easy access, but it’s not so huge that you can’t lift it into your car.
Even if it’s 90 degrees when you leave for the tournament in the morning, please take my advice and bring a jacket with you! If your kids are ballers, they’re going to be playing several games today and once the sun goes down it’s going to get chilly. I like to be warm, but I still like to look cute and I love this fitted fleece yoga jacket. This one fits great and it’s available in several colors in case you want to match the team. It’s available in XS – XL women’s sizes. It’s super soft and cozy, and gets great reviews.
After putting together this list, I realized that another essential item to bring to a tournament or game is sunblock. Dab some on your little player’s nose, cheeks, ears, and neck, and then make sure to lather yourself up.
I added this to my list after an optometrist reminded me how important it is to protect your eyes from the sun. Nike has an awesome selection of sunglasses to choose from and they come with very high-quality lenses.
You’re definitely going to want to take a lot of pictures of your little baller, so make sure to bring a camera with some memory cards. Amazon has a great Canon Rebel bundle that includes everything you need to get set up like a pro at the games.
You don’t want to get stuck with a dead phone battery, especially if you are using your phone to take all of your pictures. I LOVE this SunJack Solar Charger which can be charged outside at the game, and it gets really good reviews. SunJack also makes a low-profile phone charger that can be charged ahead of time and easily carried in your pocket or purse. I like to carry a small portable charger in my purse because my phone always runs out of charge when I take pictures.
You’ll be sorry if you don’t bring some stuff to munch on at the games. And, the snack bar could make you go broke and doesn’t always have the best options for things to eat. Check out my other page with some suggestions for healthy snacks to bring.
Extra baseball pants
Bring along a pair or two of extra baseball pants. If you are staying away from home, you can try washing them, but they may not dry in time. Also, occasionally pants get a rip so it’s a good idea to have another.
Even if you don’t think it will be hot, it will be hot and there may not be shade. Bring yourself a shade umbrella just in case.
Bleacher Umbrella Holder
One of our team moms just had this clamp-on umbrella holder at our tournament over the weekend and it’s a must-have item if you like to be in the bleachers.
Pop-up Canopy Tent
A pop-up canopy tent is a great thing to have if you have multiple people that need to be in the shade. You can set it over bleachers, over chairs, in the outfield, or off to the side between games to save you from the heat.
I hadn’t thought of this, but it is a fantastic idea sent in by a reader. There’s always a chance of injury during sports games, so it’s important to be prepared with insurance information. I put pictures of them in my phone so I always have them with me.
A change of clothes
I can’t tell you how many times I have sweated all the way through my clothes and SO wished I had an extra set with me. You will thank me for this one.
We need to pace ourselves with our sun exposure because baseball parents spend so much time outside. Bring along a sun hat to keep the sun off of your entire face.
We tend to forget to take care of our lips and when we are outside in the sun and dirt, and they will get chapped. Bring something to keep your lips nice and moist.
There are probably many more essential items that you could bring to a tournament. Feel free to leave me any thoughts or suggestions you may have. Happy Sporting!