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Features Of Batting Cages And What To Look For When Purchasing

February 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 153

Batting cages are synonymous with softball and baseball practice. With spring arriving soon, many sports enthusiasts are looking for the best baseball equipment to enhance their skills, or the overall team's talents, from choosing the best pitching machines to finding the best softball for practice. However, many people overlook the science behind batting cages; the size of the netting and the frame material are only a few factors that must be evaluated for the safest pitching and hitting practice. These baseball nets prevent balls from striking observers and damaging property. Consumers should look at a number of key factors before purchasing a cage.

Players can practice in a variety of venues, from a true baseball field to an indoor facility. As a result, the batting cages must be sized accordingly. Outside use normally requires a cage that is shaped like a backstop, either permanently mounted into the ground or in a portable version. This protective backstop needs to be wide enough to catch any rogue balls that the batter and catcher miss during play.

Alternatively, indoor practice usually requires a completely enclosed batting cage, called a tunnel. As the name suggests, players are encapsulated within a mesh tunnel; the ball can be thrown and struck without any concern over striking other people or property in the area. These tunnels are normally made as portable constructions so that they can be easily broken down for transport.

Netting material is normally constructed of either nylon or polyethylene. Nylon is a traditional netting material that is extremely durable; but, it can become damaged from moisture or rain. As a solution, many coaches choose nylon for indoor use only to stretch their baseball equipment dollar. Outdoor batting cages are usually constructed of polyethylene. Specialized melted strands of plastic entwine to form a strong mesh; manufacturers will commonly treat the mesh with UV (ultraviolet) protection. The sun's rays can easily damage batting cages without the UV protection applied across the entire netting.

Many consumers do not realize that there is a stark difference between hanging the mesh along the frame in a diamond or square shape. Most baseball enthusiasts prefer that the mesh is hung in a square orientation; this strategic placement of the cage netting will ensure that observers can see through the mesh during games or practice. It also establishes strength over time. Diamond hung mesh will lose its shape from natural gravity over time, whereas the square shape will keep its form for a more appealing appearance and better functionality.

Frames on batting cages play a large part in strength as well. In general, most frames are constructed from steel or aluminum. Heavier steel frames are commonly for more permanent structures since they can be difficult to transport. In contrast, batting cages with aluminum can be built for portable netting needs.

Spacing the framing is another consideration; large gaps between frame sections will result in a sagging cage. Most experts suggest to space the framing out between 12 and 18 feet. However, staying closer to a 12 foot spacing is preferred for the best structural support. Consumers need to evaluate the best spacing for their particular application since more framing can add up to an expensive batting cage design.

Although not as aesthetically pleasing, knotted batting cages are the best choice for high impact sports. Each intersection of the mesh will have a small knot; this knot provides a strong barrier from a fast moving ball, compared to a knot-less design. The only main drawback to the knotted cage is the view. It will be more difficult to see through the knotted mesh compared to the knotless. Overall, most consumers will decide on functionality, rather than appearance.

Purchasing protective netting is a must in the sports world. Both coaches and players will feel more comfortable striking the ball without hurting anyone nearby. Batting cages keep the fun enclosed so that everyone can enjoy the ball game.

Jacob Bennet loves to coach his son's baseball teams and watch his team progress in their baseball skills. His reviews of various baseball pitching equipment including batting cages are found in multiple social publications and is eager to help both players and coaches make good sound decisions when it comes to outfitting themselves or team with the proper pitching machines, batting cages and other types of baseball equipment. You can find out more detailed information by watching our video on batting cages the that we carry at

Source: EzineArticles
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