It’s no secret that baseball and softball teams that get the most practice are often the most successful. Selecting the right outdoor batting cages can go a long way toward giving your teams an on-the-diamond advantage.
Cost is always important, especially for schools. But simply choosing the lowest cost batting cages isn’t necessarily the best decision. There are several characteristics to consider, especially for outdoor batting cages, and every school’s needs are different. Naturally, you’ll want to weigh all the factors before making your final selection.
Think about these five features:
If you expect your ball programs to grow in the next few years, look for a batting cage system that’s easy to expand. Planning ahead can save you money in the long run. Expandable batting cages are also budget-conscious — purchase what you can afford now, then add on later.
This is perhaps the most important component of outdoor batting cages. Netting has to withstand the sun’s ultraviolet light without fading, shrinking or rotting and, in some locations, extreme cold, snow and wind. Batting cages have to endure repeated abrasion from baseballs. All without sagging or fraying.
So get the strongest netting you can afford. If your budget is limited, you may find it more cost-effective to purchase shorter tunnels with heavier netting. Consider adding extra netting in the strike zone behind the batter.
Outdoor batting cages should last for several years, so quality materials matter. Look for well-built, rust-resistant frames to ensure durability. Removable sleeves are a popular option.
Batting tunnels should be easy to assemble and take down, if necessary, with elbows and feet that are easy to connect. With some systems, frames are permanently installed; others allow the entire structure to be put away during the off-season.
Let’s face it. Outdoor batting cages are there for everyone to see — not just players and other students, but parents and the rest of the community. Good looking batting cages reflect pride in your school and your teams.
The complete package
Even the cheapest product will look good and work fine at first. But well-chosen outdoor batting cages will last for several years without looking shabby or loss of performance.
Comparing your school’s needs with size, netting, durability, practicality and appearance options will help you make the right purchasing decision for your school’s sports programs and budget.