Improving at any skill takes practice, and depending on how good you want to become, it can take a lot! When it comes to batting, getting your practice in can be a costly hobby. Regular trips to the nearest batting cage add up. Add on extra costs like the cost of extra pitches and fuel and you’re looking at a healthy sum.
So what is the solution? To build your very own homemade batting cage of course! Imagine being able to get your practice in without having to waste time and money driving to the nearest batting cage, or teach your kids how to bat from the comfort of your own home, well, you can!
Although the thought of building your very own homemade batting cage may seem daunting at first, I can assure you it is a lot easier than you’d expect. This article is designed to ease your worries and make the process from start to finish a walk in the park by letting you know the materials you need, how to assemble the cage and some useful tips to make sure the build goes forward without any issues. Let’s get started!
Prepare Your Finances
Before starting on your baseball batting cage, it is important to sure up your finances beforehand. Make sure you have enough funds for all the materials you need to complete the job before you start. There is nothing worse than getting half way through a project and having to stop because you’re stuck for money!
Build Location and General Guidelines
Deciding where your battling cage is going to be built is equally important. You may already have a space in mind that is ready to go or maybe you need to do some preparation before the work can begin. Look to clear an area 15 feet wide and 45 to 70 feet long. Once you have settled on a location it is important to prepare the surface. This can be done by tending to the turf yourself or laying down artificial turf. Putting down concrete is also an option.
You must also take into account the surrounds to ensure nothing is in the way and gets damaged by a hit pitch. As a general guideline, you should provide a minimum of 5 feet between your netting and easily damaged objects such as windows. At least a foot between your net and overhead beams (the cage should reach a height of around 12 feet) and hard walls to minimize ricochet. Spectators should stand no closer than 5 feet away from the cage netting use during use to ensure their safety.
Also, don’t feel confined to the outdoors. If you have an appropriately sized barn, an indoor batting cage is an excellent option to make the most of unused space and will ensure dry conditions year round, allowing you to practice whenever you want, no matter the weather.
What Materials Do You Need?
For the structure of your homemade batting cage, you will need anywhere from 8 to 10, 4x4’’ wood posts measuring 15 feet tall, you can also use PVC pipe. For the netting, heavy duty nylon is your best choice. You will also need eye bolts for each post to attach the netting to and anchor hooks to secure the cage netting to the ground. As far as the interior of your homemade batting cage, a batting mat is a must have. For manual pitching, you will also need an L-screen. Last but not least, you’ll need some good old fashioned hard work!
Start by digging holes 3 to 4 feet deep every 15 feet for your wood poles. For extra strength and durability, you can cement them into place. Once in place make sure they are anchored properly to ensure they can support the weight of the netting. For indoor builds, you will need post bases to anchor the posts.
Next, screw eye bolts into each post to which you can attach your netting. Make sure the netting hangs low enough as to not leave a gap between the floor. Then, secure the netting to the ground using your anchor hooks, leaving some slack in the netting. This will prevent balls from escaping the cage and save your time fetching them!
Once the cage exterior is complete you can add a few finishing touches to the interior of your cage such as a batting mat, L-screen or pitching machine.
How Much Will it Cost?
Costs vary depending on where you decide to purchase your materials from, however, total costs can range anywhere from $400 for a budget build up to a few thousand. Better yet ask around your neighborhood for any free wood or netting to lower your costs even further!
If for some reason you do not have a pitching machine or it is out of use, do not pitch to the batter inside the cage without the use of a pitching screen.
There you have it, everything you need to know to build your very own custom batting cage, seems easy enough right? Once all the hard work has been put in you can relish in your achievement and be left with a batting cage that will offer hours upon hours of practice time and fun for you, your family and anyone else you want to share it with!
Last update on 2019-06-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API