Frequently Asked Batting Cage Questions
- Q: Which type of netting would you recommend to be used outdoors in a state with a lot of sunlight?A: For outdoor usage in areas that receive a lot of sunlight, we recommend polyethylene because polyethylene will lose only 10% of its strength over its life.
- Q: Which type of netting would you recommend for backyard / family use?A: Twisted and knitted polyethylene are excellent for backyards and little leagues. We recommend #42 twine size for high schools and colleges.
- Q: If you are using a pitching machine, which net should you use?A: All our nets can be used with any pitching machine. We do suggest using a backstop to save wear and tear on the net. For pitching machines used at 60 mph or less any net can be used. If the machine is pitching balls 80+ mph to high school or above, we recommend using the #42 twisted poly and nylon.
- Q: What is the difference between twisted and knitted (knotless) netting?A: Twisted netting has knots and consists of three strands twisted together and knitted netting is knitted like golf netting. Twisted is stronger than knitted netting, but knitted netting is excellent for under high school level baseball. If the mesh leg size is over 1 7/8", the knots may move and balls sometimes will go through the mesh. Knotless (knitted) netting has all the meshes at a fixed size and balls cannot escape the net unless a mesh breaks. All of the twisted nets are hung on the square. The knitted nets are hung on the diamond which makes the net stretch more from side to side, therefore absorbing the blows of the balls, hitting against it, over several meshes.
Batting Cage Facts
- Material used in batting cages - Batting cages are primarily made of two materials, nylon and polyethylene(PE). Generally, neither nylon nor polyethylene will blend with other materials.
- Properties of Nylon - Nylon is the strongest material used in batting cages and nylon's ability to stretch increases the life of the nylon nets. The negative feature of nylon is that it loses its strength in the sun and retains moisture.
- Properties of Polyethylene - Polyethylene batting cages are generally the best value for the price. Chemicals are added and embedded in every strand to provide UV protection. Tinuvin 788 and Irganox B-215 are the two chemicals used in the SkillBuilder batting cages that provide the maximum UV protection.
- Nylon vs. Polyethylene - Both nylon and polyethylene have excellent abrasion resistance characteristics. However, laboratory tests show that polyethylene has a higher abrasion resistance than nylon. Nylon has greater tensile strength than polyethylene, but tensile strength mostly applies to tennis rackets, etc. Batting cages are hung loose to absorb impact. Therefore, tensile strength has little benefit. Abrasion resistance is one of the most important factors in purchasing a batting cage.
Material construction - Batting cages are basically made from two different procedures:
- The netting is made on a knitting machine whereby the netting is knotless and called knitted or braided.
- The netting material is first made into twisted twine and then manufactured into knotted netting. Most of the twine used in knotted netting is twisted twine.
In our experience, twisted polyethylene netting has a much longer life than the knitted/braided. When put in front of batters, in a batting cage facility with pitching machines, the twisted/knotted netting lasted about 50% longer than the knitted/braided polyethylene did.
SkillBuilder batting cages are thoroughly treated with chemicals to maximize their lives. Compare, and you will agree. When you purchase a batting cage, purchase it from a company you can trust.
Residential Batting Cage
Residential Backyard batting cages are a popular choice for many who do not happen to live near a sports complex or commercial batting cage facility. Commercial batting cages are frequently very busy during season which usually results in lengthy wait times and advance scheduling. It's easy to see the benefits of owning a backyard batting cage with no wait times, advanced scheduling or lengthy drive required; a home batting cage allows the player concentrate on batting practice! The terms "home batting cage" and "backyard batting cage" are synonymous; however, there are an overwhelming variety of batting cage styles and types, along with a number of different batting cages manufacturers.
Before selecting a backyard batting cage you will need to consider the following
- Batting practice space required and space available; see batting practice information below.
- If not permanent, the period of intended use such as a season or weekend.
Batting cage size will vary depending on the specific requirements. For example, a batting cage suitable for T-ball would not require as much room as a professional batting cage. The common sizes for junior batting cages are 11 to 12 feet tall by 12 feet wide and 25, 35 or 48 feet long. The residential and commercial sizes are usually 12 feet tall by either 12 or 14 feet wide and 55 or 70 feet long. Most cages will require some additional room for the batting cage frame which should be 2 to 4 feet wider than the batting cage.
The residential batting cage frames or "junior batting cage frames" will either be standalone or fixed. Generally the standalone cages can be disassembled fairly easily while others are designed to stay in place. Regardless of which model you may choose, a stand alone batting cage or fixed type batting cage, if you live in an area with unfavorable weather such as ice or snow, your batting cage net will need to be taken down during those times of unfavorable weather. The batting cage frame can either be left in place or disassembled. If you would like to avoid mowing inside the batting cage and keep your baseballs out of the dirt and mud you may want to cover the ground with a quality synthetic baseball turf or golf turf. When the batting cage is not in use this area becomes your own personal putting green. By using a golf net insert the batting cage can also serve as your own personal driving range. The home batting cage can provide years of enjoyment for the entire family.
The ideal length of a batting cage will equal or exceed the distance measured from the pitchers mound to home plate. The best results for practice hitting can be obtained by using the same pitching distance in practice as used in the game. Frequently shorter distances are used for batting practice; shorter pitching distances work well also. A shorter pitching distance will force a faster reaction time from the practice hitter. When using a decreased distance during batting practice the pitched ball appears to travel at higher speed due to the decreased reaction time.
The pitching distances shown below can be used as a guide to help determine an ideal pitching distance along with an appropriate batting cage size. Pitching distances shown below are measured from the front of the pitchers plate to the rear of the home plate.
College and adult Men's
College and adult Women's
|Under 18 Male||46 feet|
|Under 18 Female||40 or 35 feet|
|Under 18 Male||46 feet|
|Under 18 Female||50 feet|
|Pro, College, High School, Babe Ruth and Colt||60 feet 6 inches|
|Little League||46 feet|