Even in this era of high technology, the Internet, and social media, Americans’ love for outdoor sports like baseball has remained strong and solid.
Across the United States, it’s little wonder that batting cages are doing vibrant business in suburbs, towns, and cities. If you plan to throw a party in your backyard or invite your friends over, what better way to introduce a little excitement and create a cohesive gift for weekly and holiday gatherings than by setting up your backyard cage?
Having your hitting backyard cage also allows you to practice your baseball skills with all the privacy you enjoy.
Many people think twice about setting up batting cages in their backyards. First, it can be a big project involving many materials. And being the big project that it is, building a backyard baseball cage also requires advanced planning. But suppose you are an earnest beginner or professional baseball player, and you know what it looks like to have a proper batting cage because of personal preference. In that case, it is a relatively simple project. Nearly everything depends on your imagination. You only need enough space – and if you have more than enough space in your backyard, it offers more possibilities.
While creating a backyard baseball cage, you need to buy commercial nets first. Using high-quality commercial nets will accommodate your baseball or softball practice. If you have a spacious backyard in your home, you can create a batting cage for training, and then you don’t have to rent a field for your baseball or softball practice.
Building DIY batting cage in your backyard
Batting cages can be either portable or permanent. Both options are good, but deciding which type will depend on your specifications, such as:
- What do you plan to use the cage for;
- How frequently will you use the cage;
- Whether or not you need to relocate it;
Take a quick look at what each type of cage has to offer:
Permanent batting cage:
- It is typically more durable and longer-lasting than a portable batting cage.
- It will hold itself strong against frequent usage and harsh weather or seasonal elements.
- It requires reasonably ample space.
Portable batting cage:
- It is quick to assemble and disassemble.
- It can be relocated from one site to another without any hassle.
- It may not be stable as the permanent batting cage.
- It can fit any backyard size.
Things to consider when building a backyard batting cage
Now that you have chosen the type of backyard batting cage consider a few things before you get on with the task:
1. Measure the required space
Don’t buy materials just yet – it is important to measure the space you have available in your backyard.
Once you have correctly measured the space required for your new batting cage, you can buy materials like properly sized netting. Ensure you have everything before you have to put it up.
So, depending on the time you have devoted to the project, and how handy you are, consider one of those pre-built batting cages or build your DIY batting cage from scratch in your backyard.
2. Pitching machine – should you need one?
If your thing is swinging and hitting several balls every day, you should invest in a pitching machine. It’s a must-have addition in any serious backyard batting cage.
Your budget will dictate when it comes to pricing and how professional a machine you need for your young (or not-so-young) hitters.
If you are a beginner, you can try an entry-level automatic pitching machine that can hold as many as 12 baseballs at once and pitch one every eight seconds. It gives you an excellent chance to get in the rhythm with your swing when honing your bat-swinging skills alone before adding more baseballs. Or you can have a partner who will drop one ball at a time for uninterrupted swinging and hitting practice. You can also tilt the machine’s angle to have it throw grounders or pop flies for your fielding practice.
But if you want to seriously improve your hitting game, you can go for a professional-grade pitching machine that literally dials in nearly every type of pitch up to 75 mph. It may be pricey, but when you think about the money you spent at the batting cages for budding or experienced players over several years, it may just be well worth your money.
Building a DIY backyard batting cage
Suppose you choose to build a batting cage in your backyard from scratch instead of buying a pre-built batting cage.
- 8-foot (or 2.5-meter) long, 1 ¾-inch galvanized steel poles. You will need four poles for about 15 feet (or 4.5 meters) of batting cage length, and another four poles for the initial frame.
- 12-foot (or 3.5-meter) long, 1 ¾-inch diameter galvanized steel post. You will need one for every four 8-foot (or 2.5-meter) poles.
- Two elbow and straight joint connectors for each set of poles.
- #21 weight nylon netting with netting squares no bigger than 1 ¾ inches on every side – at least 36 feet (or 11 meters) wide by the length of the batting cage, plus 24 feet (7 meters) extra.
- 12-inch cable ties (they must be extra heavy-duty) – at least four for every set of poles.
- Four ropes or cables, 18-foot (or 5.5 meter) long, for tension.
- Four stakes.
- Measure the size of your batting cage by marking it and the locations of the support posts. The cage will be 12 feet wide (but it can be wider depending on your preference). The support posts must be about 15 feet (4.5 meters) apart, along with the cage’s length.
- Make frames with four 8-foot and one 12-foot poles. Next, connect the two 8-foot poles with a straight joint connector. Attach them to one end of the 12-foot pole using an elbow joint. Do the process again on the other side of the 12-foot pole.
- Next, dig a three- to four-inch-(7.5- to 10-centimeter) diameter hole for each post. The holes must be four feet (120 centimeters) deep. Insert the frames you’ve created into parallel sets of holes.
- Hang your netting over the frames and affix it with the extra heavy-duty cable ropes or ties.
- Pull the rope or cable from each top outside corner of your cage tight and stake it into the ground for support.
And there you have it! A batting cage in your backyard is now ready for practice or recreation. It can just save you thousands of dollars on complete pre-made batting kits or making trips to the field for your hitting practice!