Baseball players can practice their batting skills in an enclosed cage normally called a batting cage. A pitching machine is at one end while the batter stands at the other end. At times although not often, a human pitcher will take its place when no pitching machine is available. Depending on the type of pitch wished to practice hitting on or on the skill of the batter, the pitching machine can be set to various levels. The batting cage serves its purpose to keep the baseballs within a certain range so that they are retrieved easily and not lost. With batting in an enclosed space, there are fewer chances of stray balls hurting others who could be close by.
Before buying a batting cage, there are some basic points that one must know. It’s an investment that should provide one with many years of top quality batting practice. Hence, remember these batting cage buying basic tips:
- With the length, width and height of the netting, the sizes of the cage varies. Narrow cages should be carefully avoided so as to allow older batters to take a comfortable swing and finish of the game.
- Black is the most often available colour. UV is added to the netting and the twine is dyed black. They don’t only look better but black cages seem to last longer.
- Most commonly available in three common twine sizes – #21, #36 and #42. The lesser the numeral, the smaller the twine used in construction and the cage will be light-weight.
- One must also calculate the cost of shipping and not just consider the cost of the cage, when buying a batting cage.
- A support structure from which the cage will be hung is required. To hold it in place the longer the cage, the more support sections will be required. For small and more light-weight batting cages, less support structure is required.
- One cannot fit the space to the batting cage but instead must fit the batting cage to the available space. To allow great batting practice work, small cages on the 35, 40 and 50 foot lengths are long enough.
- The chosen area must drain well and be level.
- During batting practice, one will need a plate for batter and pitcher reference. The batter will use it to adjust it to certain situational hitting drills and the pitcher will use the plate to throw the various pitch locations.
- To protect the pitchers throwing batting practice, one requires purchasing a protection L-screen. To insure that it will withstand the heavy-duty abuse it will be subjected too, make sure that the L-screen is a sock style made of #42 netting.
- If one has plans to light the cage or use a pitching machine, a power source will be needed.
With about 2 hours of work, most of the batting cages can be assembled by two persons. In the off-season, these can be easily taken down and stored wherever required.