Not everyone has the space or the need for a baseball backstop or batting cage in their yards, but if you have children who love the game, building one or both of these could be a great way to encourage practice and protect your home.
Building a Backstop
A chain link baseball backstop can keep the ball -- or the bat -- from traveling towards your windows or other areas you want to keep safe. It can also protect other people who may want to use the yard for other recreation.
You can purchase pre-assembled panels and install them yourself, but a fencing contractor may offer a comparable price -- and will be sure to install the poles and fencing panels correctly. You may find that your kids want to climb on the backstop as well as use it for baseball, and that requires it to be very sturdy. A qualified installer can ensure your backstop stays in place and can be used for years.
How big should your backstop be? You likely don't need it to be the full size of a backstop used for games, but you want it to be large enough to contain balls that are pitched or let your kids set up tees and have batting practice into it. Consider the age of your children now and how long they may use the backstop for practice. A typical backstop for most uses will measure 20 feet across in the rear panel with 10 foot wings on each side.
You may not need the same size in your backyard. Tee ball backstops with an 8 to 10 foot back panel and 6 foot wings may be more realistic. Rather than try to mimic a Little League field, determine the size of your yard and the area that you need to have protected.
You can build a traditional style of backstop with a top or a dome type that is well suited to keeping pop-up balls from going over. This arch style can be more attractive but may require more work to install.
Building a Batting Cage
Creating a batting cage in your yard may be slightly easier than building a backstop. Netting is an option for a batting area, but chain link fencing is much more durable and can withstand many more years of use.
A standard batting cage is 70 feet long, but you don't need that much space for kids in your yard. Build it to the space that you have available and work with your fencing contractor to design a size that is most cost effective. You do want to make the width at least 12 feet to provide enough space for a full swing as your kids grow.
Because a batting cage is fully enclosed, you don't need to worry quite so much about its placement in your yard. It can be close to an outbuilding or garage without causing damage, as the chain link fencing will contain balls much better than netting.
Talk to your fencing contractor, such as Town & Country Fence, for design suggestions and pricing on a chain link baseball backstop or batting cage that can provide great practice opportunities for your kids for years to come.