How to Build Your Own Batting Cage At Home
A guide to building the perfect batting cage at home for summer fun with sluggers of all ages!
Summer is the time where baseball dominates the sports landscape with the ending of the NBA season and football not set to return until the fall. For many blue-blooded Americans, nothing says summer like having a catch at home out in the yard and celebrating our national pastime. With summer just around the corner, it is also time to begin thinking of fun home projects to accomplish!
A perfect way to start, while also beginning your slugger’s road to the Majors, is to turn that extra space at home into a batting cage for a personal baseball/softball training facility.
Practice makes perfect. Nothing will give your little leaguer (or yourself if you can’t get rid of those glory days) the edge on the competition like having your very own batting cage at home. After all, being the best takes hours of hard work; Rome wasn’t built in a day. I don’t want to beat a dead horse, so please see below for some steps to build a batting cage before I run out of clichés.
What you will need:
- Heavy-duty netting (nylon or polyethylene)
- 6 treated wood posts (4×4, 12-15 feet tall each) or PVC pipe
- Post bases
- Anchor hooks
- Eye bolts
Let’s get started:
Figure out the best space inside or outside of your home for your batting cage. The cage should be at least 15 feet wide by 40 feet long, so make sure the space you choose allows for those dimensions. Be wary of finding an area that is as flat as possible, make sure the netting is away from power or cable lines and remove any large rocks or debris from the site before building the cage.
If you choose a spot outdoors, your cage will have to endure the harsher weather of all seasons, so plan accordingly. Additionally, choose an area that will be the least disruptive for neighbors.
If you want an indoor cage for winter training, be aware that batted balls may still strike walls or your ceiling if there is not ample room. Noise will be a factor indoors as well!
Make the initial skeleton of the cage by placing three wood posts about 12-14 feet apart along (for a 40-foot-long cage) on each side. You may also use PVC pipe (at least 1 inch diameter) to create the frame for the cage.
For outdoor cages, dig a hole in the ground 3 feet deep for each 15 foot tall post so it can be secured with concrete into the ground.
For indoor cages, you will need to attach the posts to post bases using anchor hooks to secure those bases to the surface of the floor.
Screw in eye bolts (to clip netting) along each post. An alternative to using eye bolts to secure the netting is to use sand bags or stakes that are made to endure outdoor weather.
Drape netting over the top of the post and extend the netting down evenly, leaving about one foot of leftover netting on the ground.
Clip the netting to each eye bolt. Do not stretch too tightly; leave some slack so batted balls do not ricochet dangerously back into the cage.
Once it is is up and ready to go, it is time to get some additional equipment your cage. Line your floor with either artificial turf or natural grass. An “L” screen and a batting mat are both absolute musts. For the more advanced ballplayers, a pitching machine is a great way to crank up the training! And it doesn’t matter how advanced you are, a helmet (for both batter and pitcher) is mandatory.
Invite the entire little league (or beer league) team over for some fun while you perfect that swing in the summer sun!
Header image via Flickr user Roy Luck.
JohnMarch 9, 2016
Thanks for posting this. It’s definitely important to leave some slack in the netting. Nothing discourages someone from practicing quite like a baseball coming back at them after they hit it.
Sam ShalomMarch 11, 2016
Thank you, John! I definitely agree. A ricocheted baseball to the face could hinder a young slugger’s career!
SteveMay 24, 2016
How do you keep the balls from ricocheting off the polls, if the net is on the outside?