Putting in a batting cage???

Discussion in 'General Softball Discussions' started by frenchy101010, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. frenchy101010

    frenchy101010 Member

    I’m putting a batting cage in, in the backyard. I’ve got exactly 42’, I want to put 4 poles cemented in, to make a 10x10x40 cage. Do I need 2 more poles in the middle or should the 4 be enough?

    I plan on running 2 wires/cables on the 40’ runs so I can attach the net with d-rings so I can move it easily to cut the grass. An ideas/help would be appreciated.
  2. allcorners

    allcorners Member

    I built one in my pole building and I was surprised by how heavy the net was. As long as you are able to pull the wire tight, the net will not sag. You can never go wrong with having to many poles. It would really stink to get it all up and realize you should have used a couple extra poles. Then you have to take it all apart. I would go with the extra poles from the start.
  3. daboss

    daboss Well-Known Member

    Stringing ANY size cable a distance over 16' can be very taxing on your frame. While I am not an expert, I have constructed many buildings including pole barns and have worked with milrights on tall structures using guide cables for support on grain storage facilities. I'd like to add a few things to think about that may help you decide what you really expect out of your efforts.

    Drive down most any road and look at the power lines most anywhere you live. Keep in mind those lines are installed by professionals with years of guidance and experience. No matter what, there will be some element of sag to the cables and the only true way to avoid it is place poles closer together for support. One of the things you may consider is running 2x8 boards or something of size similar across the top for the net to drape over and hang downward. With this structure you could include cross supports to help keep the "roof" of the net from sagging into the hitting area. Place the poles at least 4ft in the ground and space them 16' on center will allow for plenty of overhead structure to keep the net stretched out into a usable presence. What you will give up is the net being able to slide on a cable so you can push it back to mow and maintain the area. This idea really doesn't work. The more you bunch a net and slide it together the heavier and more difficult it is to handle. However; there is an alternative to consider. Put ropes at a position on every pole and pull the net upwards off the ground, then tie the ropes off like raising a sail on a mask. This way you can get it high enough to mow and maintain the structure and easily let it back down when you want it. The net will always be functional when you want to use it and the overall design of the structure will be somewhat camouflaged from the look in the backyard, making it more appealing to the eyes of any neighbors. The kids will be able to hoist the net upwards since you'll only be lifting sections at a time and be able to lower it to use while a bunched up net on a cable will normally require adults with some physical effort to fold it to one end and bunch up. A normal gauge hitting net 40-50ft long and 14ft high will weigh almost 400lbs.

    Just food for thought before you start.
    TheSoftballZone likes this.
  4. Fairman

    Fairman Member

    If you can possibly build the cage longer, please do so. I'd recommend at least 50'. That way you can get the pitching distance 43' plus the batters box plus a catcher. If you are going use this a lot then I'd also recommend that you get on 12' wide. There will be a lot fewer bats hitting the net in a 12' cage and kids tend to shorten up their swing in a tight cage. Finally get one tall enough, you have to leave some fabric on the ground or the balls will just fly out of the cage. (I tried putting fishing weights on one once but they were even more dangerous)

    Finally you will need more than 4 posts. The cage will just sag to much to be useful. On a 50' cage 8 will be the right nu,mmber. Place the posts away from the netting a few feet so that the netting eats the balls before they hit the posts. (we've all been in cages where the posts are in play!) Suspend cables between the posts and then drop wires to to pick up the net. Don't make the net to tight, you don't want it to sling-shot the ball back at you. The netting should be draped so that it just engulfs the ball.

    Good Luck
  5. Fairman

    Fairman Member

    If you really want to have a sliding cage then you will have to go with no middle posts. The way to do that wold be to install your four posts and then guy them into the ground like a utility pole. This will put a lot of stress on the poles so they should probably lean into the wire and NOT be installed vertically. You will need to install some turnbuckles of some size to tighten the carrying wire.

    Again, Good Luck
  6. frenchy101010

    frenchy101010 Member

    Got a fence guy coming this week to get an estimate. Gonna have a pro do the wire/cable, so it is taunt.
    knuckle-ball-crazy likes this.
  7. frenchy101010

    frenchy101010 Member

    This is what I'm going to go with. Homemowners association won't let me cement in poles so this is it. Like I said I've only got 40-41' total and the all inclusive 40' cages run 42' or so. I guess it will be better than nothing. And with the 5 year anything goes wrong warranty, not a bad deal I guess.
  8. daboss

    daboss Well-Known Member

    With all due respect, save your money and find a facility with hitting cages and spend the money on tokens. This unit will not hold up nor will the neighbors be happy after about 2 weeks of use. The top will be sagging, the poles will not stay erect and straight. Poles are light gauge metal I assume and the stringer cables will stretch out of shape with every tick of a clock. If you live in an area with a Homeowners Association and need their approval I'd be willing to give you odds they will be upset before the summer is complete.

    FYI, if you consider my plan for a frame, do not set the wooden poles in concrete. Tamp them in but put them deep for stability. When the kids are grown simply pull the p[osts and fill the holes back with dirt and seed the spots. Ohio Edison does not set electric poles in concrete. They've been putting them in longer than any of us. I'd suggest using 4x4 or 6x6 inch poles, 20ft in length. 2x6 boards across the top. Back in the day, 2x4's would have worked but modern day boarding has been made smaller again a few years back. Today's 2x6 is yesterday's 2x4. That's why new houses are offering 2x6 walls as an option when constructing.

Share This Page