How To Build A Batting Cage In Your Backyard
Enjoy the convenience of practicing your swing at home by constructing your own batting cage. Assemble the cage in your yard for summer and fall play, then simply fold it up and store it during the winter. Depending on the quality of materials used and the store you purchase them at, expect to spend between $500 and $700, and one day of construction time. Also, purchasing a baseball pitching machine fully recreates the batting cage experience, allowing you to bat repeatedly without the need for another person.
- Batting cage netting, purchased from a sporting equipment store or website
- Frame posts in metal, plastic or treated wood
- Connector pieces and elbow joints to secure and connect the frame pieces
- Wire or vinyl ties to connect the net to the batting cage frame
- A baseball pitching machine, if you would like one
1. Clear enough space in your yard for the batting cage. While it may seem simple, batting cages can reach up to 70 feet long. Clearing the area of rocks, debris, plants and other obstacles is necessary. Cage length can be adjusted to the amount of space you have available, so properly reviewing how large a cage your yard can accommodate is necessary to select the appropriate amount of materials.
2. Choose the length of your cage, based on your needs. If you plan to use the batting cage for children's practice, 20 to 40 foot long areas will suffice. If adults plan to bat in your home cage, 70 feet is the recommended length. It is important to keep in mind that the longer the cage is, the more expensive the project becomes, as more materials will be required.
3. Once you have determined what size cage you'd like, order a professionally made batting cage net. Many are available online, and can be bought used at a lower price. Typical dimensions for a full sized net are 70 feet long, by 12 feet high, by 12 feet wide.
4. The next step is building your frame. This will support the net and define the boundaries of your batting cage. Metal or plastic pipes, as well as treated wooden planks can be used to construct the frame.
5. Three frame pieces will be needed to support the cage, in the front, middle and back end, each in the shape of a rectangle (minus the bottom). Each frame should be stuck several feet into the ground inside of a ground sleeve to secure it against the force of being hit by baseballs, while still being removable for winter storage.
6. Fill each frame post hole half-way full with concrete. Place the ground sleeve inside and allow the concrete to dry. Bags of mixable concrete can be purchased at a local hardware or home improvement store.
7. Once each of the six ground sleeves have been set in concrete in the holes, the three frames can be erected, with each post resting in a ground sleeve. No concrete should touch the frame inside the ground sleeve, and each frame post should be able to slide in and out easily.
8. You may attach the net while the frames are still on the ground, or after they have been erected. Use vinyl ties or wire to secure each end of the net to the end frames, to ensure that the net is not pulled inward by the force of the baseballs hitting it.
9. Raise the middle frame first, then the two ends. This step will require the assistance of several people.
10. Several wires should be strung along the top of each frame, running down the length of the batting cage, for extra support under the net. They will keep the netting from dipping too low in between each frame, and in the middle.
11. Once the frame has been erected and the set secured in place, you may want to install a pitching machine. These machines can cost from $500 to $2000, depending on their size and capabilities. Check online sports equipment stores for good deals and purchasing used models.
Building a home batting cage requires a sizeable amount of space in your yard, but only a few simple materials from a local hardware and sporting goods store. Depending on who plans to use the cage, the size can vary greatly, making this backyard sporting accessories customizable to your individual needs. For a complete, professional batting cage feel, install a baseball pitching machine, and enjoy the thrill of baseball in your very own backyard.