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Wednesday, May 20, 2009
12 Things You Must Know Before You Purchase a Batting Cage
12 Things You Must Know Before You Purchase a Batting Cage
By Nick Dixon
Purchase a Batting Cage Only After You Have Considered These 12 Things. There are some basic points that you must know before you buy a batting cage.
1. Batting cages nets come in a variety of sizes but they are all rectangles. The net itself must have square corners to save construction time and cost. The sizes of a cage vary with the length, width, and height of the netting. Be careful not to purchase a batting cage that is too narrow. These cages do not allow older batters to take a comfortable swing and finish.
The greater the width and height of the batting cage, the better sensation a batter has when a ball is hit. The wider and higher cages allow the batter to read the path of the ball when it comes off the bat. A short and narrow cage tends to “smother” a hitter. The higher and wider cages are also safer for the coach, player or parent throwing batting practice.
2. Batting cage netting is most commonly available in three common “twine sizes” #21, #36, and #42. The lower the number the smaller the twine used in construction and the lighter-weight the cage. Heavy-duty cages such as the #42 better withstand the elements of time and use therefore they offer more durability and added years of use.
3. Batting cages are most often available in black. The twine is dyed black and UV is added to the netting. Black cages seem to last longer and in my opinion, they look better.
4. When you purchase a batting cage, don’t just consider the cost of the cage, but also calculate the cost of shipping. Many companies have shipping managers that provide you with an added service of securing the lowest shipping cost possible.
5. When you purchase a batting cage, you must also purchase or build a frame for the batting cage net. All cages require a support structure from which the cage will be hung. The longer the cage, the more support sections that will be required to hold it in place. The smaller and more light-weight a batting cage is, the less support structure it must have. You can depend on putting a support section at both ends and every 20 ft’ if you want your cage to be hung adequately without a lot of droop. So a 60’ batting cage would require at least 4 supports for a heavy-duty net and you may get by with three supports for a light-weight net. You may also need cable or heavy duty rope suspended between your supports to maximize cage support.
6. When you purchase a batting cage remember that you can not fit your available space to the batting cage. You must fit the batting cage into the space you have available. Step off you or measure the area you have available. Make sure to purchase a batting cage that will best suit your available space. Do not allow space to deter your commitment to a batting cage purchase. Small cages in the 35’, 40’ and 50’ lengths are long enough to allow great batting practice work.
7. Your chosen area must be level and it must drain well. If you can afford the additional cost, you may want to add a floor to your cage. There are two materials that make a great floor. Cement or concrete is the most costly. You may want to cover your hitting zone with indoor-outdoor carpet to extend the life of your leather baseballs. If you use rubber pitching machine balls in a pitching machine, they will withstand the abrasive properties of the cement cage floor.
Another great floor alternative is to use weather treated 2 x 4’s to build a raised floor. You will border all sides and ends of your batting cage floor with the 2x4’s and stake them into place. You will then fill the inside floor area with a commonly used infield material, crushed stone. This provides a raised dry hitting surface that will offer a safe and less abrasive surface upon which to hit.
8. When you purchase a batting cage, you are going to need to purchase a “L” protection screen to protect the pitchers throwing batting practice. Make sure that your “L” screen is a “sock” type with at least #42 netting to insure that it will withstand the heavy-duty abuse it will be subjected to.
A “square” screen is also a great investment to consider if you will be using a pitching machine often. There are screens specially designed to protect the person operating the pitching machine.
9. You will need a plate for batter and pitcher reference during batting practice. The pitcher will use the plate to throw the various pitch locations and the batter will use it to adjust to certain situational hitting drills. If your cage has a suitable floor, you may want to paint a plate and batter’s box to add a much appreciated feature.
10. You will need a power source if you have plans to light your cage and to use a pitching machine. Make sure that you can reach a source with extension cords or run a permanent source if you can do so safely.
11. When your purchase a batting cage, I recommend first talking to the supplier by phone. This allows you to ask questions and get answers. Depending on the description and details listed on a website, may cause you to purchase a batting cage that is not suitable for your needs. Most reputable batting cage companies have toll-free phone numbers and a staff available during business hours to offer you advice and information before you buy.
12. For many families the best and most “user-friendly” approach to buying a batting cage is to buy a complete batting cage package. These packages contain the nest size and weight of your choice and a “pre-fab” batting cage frame specifically designed to match the net. These packages are easy to assemble. Most of these “batting cage packages” can be assembled by two persons with about 2 hours of work. These “batting cage packages” can easily be taken down in the off-season and stored if there is a need to do so. Many of these packages include everything you need including the “L” protection screen. When the package arrives, all you have to do is carefully read and follow the step-by-step instructions to assemble your new batting cage.
I hope that these 12 points helped you gain a better prospective on how to buy your new batting cage. If you need additional help, please feel free to call our toll free customer service number, 1-877-431-4487. Our friendly staff will be glad to help you anyway they can. Trey and Bill are in the office from 8:00 to 5:00 CST, each day. Our company specializes in “Complete Package Systems” for home, school, team or commercial use. You may also visit one of our company sites: CoachesBest.com, BestBuyBattingCages.com, BattingCagesDirect.com, or BattingCagesrUs.com.
Good Luck in your buying process. See you next time, Nick. Purchase a Batting Cage Frame and Net Package From BattingCagesDirect.com and Save Time, Money and Construction Time.
Posted by Coach's Profile: at 4:05 AM