backyard batting cage

How To Build A Backyard Batting Cage (A Step-By-Step Guide)

backyard batting cage

Batting cages serve an essential purpose in the sports of baseball and softball. They assist athletes in getting on the right track by honing fundamental abilities, including pitching, batting, throwing, and catching while in an enclosed environment. In this article, we will walk you through the benefits of having a backyard batting cage and the step-by-step process for building one.


How To Build A Backyard Batting Cage

You have probably experienced the rapid accumulation of youth baseball costs as a parent or a coach. So, it could be challenging to find additional funds for a backyard setup among all the costs associated with the equipment, supplies, and transportation to and from practices and games.

On the other hand, a DIY backyard cage may be the best option if you are on a small budget but still want your kid to get plenty of practice reps. Many parents and coaches are going to great lengths to ensure their child is set up for success so it isn’t surprising to see some of these elaborate home training areas.

That’s why we compiled this detailed instruction manual for making your very own customized DIY cage at home.


Before Putting A Home Batting Cage On Your Property

Constructing a residential batting cage for use in the backyard can be challenging. However, ensure you’ve double-checked these nine essentials before starting the job so you don’t have to worry about them halfway through the project.

  • Organize the space that you have so that you can get the most of out it.
  • It’s not easy to do the surface work. Recruit some pals or any other kind of assistance to aid you.
  • Always consider high-quality turf. That’s an area where you shouldn’t try to save money.
  • Get as much assistance as possible in erecting the batting cage’s framework.
  • Always use high-quality netting. Nets made of polyester are enough for the task at hand.
  • Pitching machines have ridiculously high price tags but could be a great addition to your setup. Otherwise, get used to playing the pitcher role and throwing lots of BP.
  • Eliminate any potential ricochet locations while designing and framing the cage.
  • Ensure that your cage can withstand the weather in your region.
  • To extend the life of your very expensive netting and to prevent rodents from chewing through it, you should hang it up while it’s not in use.

Permanent vs Portable Structures

When it comes to batting cages, there are two main types: permanent and portable. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs. 

Permanent batting cages are strong and usually made of metal or steel. You can have them stand on their own or attach them to a building. They cost more than the ones you can move around, but they last longer and handle bad weather better.

A standout feature of these cages is their customizability. Tailor the dimensions, design, and layout to seamlessly fit your space, often resulting in a more visually appealing setup than portable alternatives.

However, they come with challenges. Installation can be both intricate and costly, and their fixed nature means they lack the flexibility of relocation. If you anticipate relocating or modifying your facility, a permanent cage might not be the optimal choice.

backyard batting cages

Portable batting cages, often crafted from wood or PVC, offer the convenience of easy assembly and disassembly. While they tend to be more budget-friendly than their permanent counterparts, they trade off some durability and weather resistance.

Their primary allure lies in their mobility. Whether you’re transitioning between facilities or catering to traveling teams, these cages can be swiftly relocated. Additionally, their compact nature makes storage a breeze.

However, their lightweight design might not withstand intense usage, and their susceptibility to weather elements can limit outdoor applications.

When in the market for a batting cage, align your choice with your requirements and financial capacity. For a robust, weather-proof, and customizable cage, permanent structures are ideal. But if portability and affordability are paramount, numerous cost-effective portable cages await your selection.


Batting Cage Dimensions

The size of the batting cage you need depends on a few factors. First, consider the age and level of the player. A younger or less experienced player will likely need a shorter cage, while an older or more experienced player can handle a longer one.

Next, think about the type of pitching the player will be using. If they’ll be hitting live pitching, the batting cage dimensions should be longer to give the pitcher enough time to get the ball to the hitter.

However, if they’ll only be hitting off a pitching machine, a shorter cage will suffice. Finally, consider the space you have available. A longer cage will take up more space than a shorter one. If you have limited space, a shorter cage may be the way to go. 

Here are some general guidelines for batting cage dimensions: 

  • Kids aged 7 and under: 30-44’ feet long 
  • Kids aged 8-12: 45-55’ feet long 
  • Kids ages 13-18: 60’ and up
  • Players ages 18+: 70’ and up – A 70’ batting cage frame is going to be much more expensive

How Wide Should A Batting Cage Be?

A batting cage should be wide enough to allow the batter to swing comfortably without hitting the cage. It should also be tall enough so that the ball can be hit over the top of the L-screen. The standard batting cage width is typically 12-14’ and this size is sufficient for players through high school. You may want to expand to at least 14’ for older/bigger players. 

12-foot ceilings should be plenty of height for batting cages but depending on the size of the player, 8’ ceilings could also potentially work. 


New Backyard Batting Cage vs DIY

As a baseball or softball player, you know the importance of practice. Hitting a moving target is hard enough, but when you’re trying to do it in your backyard, it can be even more challenging.

If you’ve been thinking about adding a batting cage to your home practice setup, you may be wondering if it’s worth it to buy a pre-made cage or if you should turn it into a DIY project.  Here’s a look at a few things to consider when making your decision. 

Cost 

One of the biggest considerations when deciding whether to buy or do a DIY batting cage is cost. A pre-made cage can be quite expensive, especially if you want high-quality frames that will last. If you’re handy and have access to the right materials, you can build a batting cage for a fraction of the cost of buying one. 

When you factor in the batting cage cost per hour at indoor facilities, building a backyard cage seems like a no-brainer.

Time 

Another important consideration is time. If you go the DIY route, it will likely take you a lot longer to build a batting cage than it would if you were to buy one. If you’re short on time or just don’t want to deal with the hassle of building one yourself, buying a pre-made cage is probably the way to go. 

Quality 

When it comes to quality, there’s no clear winner. A high-quality, well-built baseball batting cage will last for years and provide a great practice environment. But if you’re on a budget or don’t mind sacrificing a little bit of quality, you can probably build a perfectly serviceable cage yourself. 

Ease Of Use 

If you’re not handy or don’t have a lot of experience working with tools, a DIY baseball batting cage is probably not the best idea. It can be difficult to build something sturdy and stable, and if you make a mistake, it can be hard to fix. If you want something easy to set up and use, buying a pre-made cage is probably the way to go. 

Bottom Line 

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding whether to buy or install a DIY batting cage. It all comes down to your individual needs and preferences. If you’re on a budget and don’t mind sacrificing a little bit of quality, DIY may be the way to go. But if you want something easy to set up and use then purchase a batting cage frame kit with the net.


Backyard Batting Cage Recommendations (Our Top 3)


Step By Step Guide: How To Build A Batting Cage In Your Backyard

The process of building your backyard batting cage doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Simply said, before beginning to assemble the cage, you should take the necessary measurements for the area, collect the necessary equipment and materials, and then get to work. 

Let’s take a look at the step-by-step guide. 

Step One: Determine The Dimensions Of Your Working Area

The first step in setting up a residential baseball cage is deciding whether you want a permanent or portable structure. You may choose a location from there and calculate how much room you’ll need.

From there, measure the available space and write down the exact dimensions you need for your cage (Length x Width x Height).

Mark out the four spots where the corner posts will go. And outline the area you want to dig in by drawing a circle around each marker; this should be large enough to accommodate a hole two feet deep.

Please remember to add two feet to the total height of the cage when figuring out how deep to drive the posts or poles into the ground. So, if you want a cage that’s 12 feet tall, you’ll need poles that are 14 feet tall.

Step Two: Acquiring Necessary Supplies

After you have your dimensions, you may start collecting your highest-quality material. While the specific equipment and materials you’ll need to create your batting cage’s structure may vary, here is a list of the minimum requirements:

  • Shovel or auger to dig holes
  • 4-6 sturdy posts or poles [3”-4” width x 13’-15’ length] 
  • Cable system if you prefer less than 6 posts 
  • Pitching machine (optional)
  • Real baseballs or batting practice baseballs
  • 4 bags of cement for securing the poles in the ground
  • Heavy duty batting cage nets
  • 4 stakes for marking posts
  • Wheelbarrow to mix cement 
  • Astroturf to lay as flooring (optional)
  • Connectors for posts [screws, anchor bolts, etc.] 
  • Home plate (optional)
  • L screen (optional)
  • Eye bolts & clips for netting and any additional hardware
  • Batting cage door if you don’t want to just lift up the net to enter and exit

Step Three: Assembly Of The Batting Cage

At the very top of each post, screw in two eye bolts. The two eye bolts should be installed so that they face opposite directions from their respective posts, one along the length of the cage and the other along its breadth.

Install the posts in holes dug to a depth of two feet. Afterward, pour the mixed cement around each post. However, before moving the posts, take time until the cement has fully hardened.

After you have your stakes in place, you can drape your netting over the framing and hang them down all four sides of the cage. Permit an additional 1 to 2 feet of netting to droop on the floor outside the cage.

Attach the net by clipping it to each eye bolt in the corners. It’s essential to keep the netting from being stretched too tightly between the bolts because otherwise, balls struck forcefully would bounce dangerously back at the hitter.

Incorporating versatile and heavy-duty netting will help it withstand the elements. The nets will eventually wear but not as quickly as some of the cheaper options.

Finally, you may customize the batting cage by adding artificial turf flooring, a pitching machine, a home plate, or an L screen.


Best Artificial Turf For Batting Cages

There are many differing opinions on outdoor artificial turf for batting cages.

Some say to install a full-length concrete pad before laying turf but there are mixed reviews regarding the issue of drainage. Creating a full-length concrete pad will be very costly so our recommendation would be to do a concrete edge with a road base under the turf. 

If you are unable to secure free turf, our favorite is unpadded short pile nylon turf in our outdoor cage. Check out: seventy8sports.com, Turf Factory Direct, Sports Turf Warehouse, On Deck Sports and Net World Sports for some great options.

They usually sell turf by the yard and either lightweight or heavier options should fill your needs just fine. The price of your setup will certainly increase if you add turf so be sure to check if there are any coupon offers.


Final Thoughts

With the help of the above guide, you should be able to design a well-constructed batting cage.

Now, this will allow you to get many hours of batting practice in by yourself or with the whole team without having to pay for a batting cage rental. If you want to see more hits in real games then get in there, run through some drills, and improve your game. There are no excuses now that you have access to unlimited reps.

Chris F.

Chris F.

Chris Forbes is the founder and editor of BaseballMode.com, a leading blog in the youth baseball space. As a lifelong baseball player, coach and fan, he decided to team up with his young son to offer advice and share their experiences with the sport they both love. Chris lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children.
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