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Baseball Nets – Buyer’s Guide

Baseball nets, used for many different purposes, come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Before you buy, remember that baseball nets vary greatly, despite appearing the same on the surface. Unfortunately, low quality netting saturates the market. Some vendors are aware of this, while others are not.

Receive an instant quote and order baseball netting from our quality selection.

How can I identify low quality baseball nets?

1) Cost

You truly get what you pay for in the baseball netting industry. If you find a “baseball netting for sale” ad on Ebay or Craigslist with rock-bottom prices, it’s likely rock-bottom quality.

Before you buy netting, do your homework researching several companies and their references. Some inexperienced netting companies will unknowingly sell low quality netting based on price alone. However, it’s important to test for quality and talk to coaches/players to ensure the product’s value.

2) References

A legitimate, high-quality company will have a long list of satisfied customers. These clients should be verifiable, such as major colleges and pro teams. Any netting company with a high amount of experience will have a history with some of the larger organizations. Upper level teams only allow high quality netting companies to outfit their facility. Low quality baseball nets fail within a short period of time. In fact, companies that deal in low grade materials are typically not around very long.

3) Experience / Knowledge

The baseball netting business requires a high attention to detail. If you are ordering a large amount of netting in different shapes and sizes, it’s critical that you work with a netting supplier who understands the business. It requires experience to fully grasp what makes (or breaks) a quality netting design and installation. We have received countless calls requesting help fixing netting issues created by inexperienced companies. Before you commit, ensure the company is able to easily discuss netting details with you inside and out.

Here at Practice Sports, netting is second nature after more than a decade of experience. We provide recommendations with consideration to your application, budget, and preferred lifespan. We don’t simply tell customers what they want to hear, we tell them the truth about netting.

Furthermore, if netting seems to be “one of the many things” a company does, look somewhere else.

It’s not just about knowing the names of the materials, but understanding what to recommend based on age level, environment, requirements, and budget. It’s about understanding the differences between hung-square vs. diamond, knotted vs. knotless, sewn borders vs. woven, twisted twine vs. braided, low denier vs. high denier, oil based vs. water based water-proof treatments, extruded vs. dyed, and on and on.

Finally, the netting shop you select should have experience with installation. We strongly believe that you can only know so much about netting until you have actually worked with it in a practical real-world setting. After 1000’s of hours in the field installing baseball nets, you will have a completely different perspective on netting and what to recommend for different levels of use.

Main Styles of Baseball Netting

Barrier / Containment Netting

Barrier netting commonly serves as baseball field backstops, on golf courses and driving ranges, and to shield homes against stray balls, animals, rocks, etc. It is all about keeping things out (or in) so selecting the proper mesh diameter based on the smallest object you need to contain is critical. If you live on a golf course, make sure to order netting with small enough mesh size to stop a high velocity golf ball – not just “driving range containment netting.”

Safety / Protective Netting

Netting provides safety in the game of baseball. Protective screens are essential for batting practice in cages and on the diamond. Safety screens come in the form of L-screens to allow the pitcher to throw overhand within the “cut-out” of the screen. Softball screens have lower cut-outs at the release point of the softball pitcher. Using screens in the field protects fielders during batting practice and so much more.

Batting Cage Nets

Batting cages are a fixture on baseball fields throughout the United States. Many schools and athletic clubs are also adding batting cages as popularity increases. Even home-owners are even building them in the backyard, basement, barn, or garage. They offer baseball and softball players an excellent opportunity to refine their hand-eye coordination. Additionally, if designed properly, they allow the player to track the flight of the ball for instant feedback on their swing. Baseball batting cage nets can make a huge difference in the performance of players on the field.

Typically, batting cages are fully enclosed rectangles with two side walls, two end walls, and a ceiling connected together to prevent ball escape. A typical size for baseball is 70’L x 14’W x 12’H, while a softball batting cage is generally 55’L x 14’W x 12′H.

However, for facilities with the space, a large “shell cage” is a popular option. This allows the walls to slide back and forth, opening the entire facility for “live game simulation” while maintaining covered walls and ceilings with netting to protect lights/ceiling/spectators. A common size for a shell cage is 85’L x 48’W x 20’H with three divider curtains. The curtains allow four lanes of 85’L x 12’W x 20’H, one large open area of 85’L x 48’W x 20’H, or any combination of sizes when slid.

Open-Sided Hitting Cage Nets

Hitting cages are commonly used for limited space baseball practice activities, such as soft-toss, tee-work, and even backstops. This style also works great for golf hitting cages, allowing the golfer to drive and chip balls into the net with a full swing.

Main Reasons Baseball Nets Fail

1) Wrong material

You wouldn’t use a little league bat for high-school play, so the same should be true for netting. Using the incorrect gauge of netting for the wrong level is the #1 reason why netting fails early. #21 gauge netting should only be used for little league, #36 should be used for high-school, #42 for heavy high-school and college, and #60 for heavy college and pro/commercial.

2) Not properly UV treated

Black is hands-down the best color for UV deflection. The darker the color, the better. White netting will fall apart within months of outdoor use. Furthermore, netting should be EXTRUDED with UV inhibitors (which means infused during production) instead of surface coated. This ensures they are protected to the core. Surface UV inhibitors will eventually wear off, leaving you with an unprotected net.

3) Not water-resistant

Outdoor netting should always be water-resistant, even if not in an area that receives much precipitation. Humidity will “water log” a baseball net, and this causes extra stress on the material along with premature deterioration. The best water-resistant treatment is an oil-based/varnish coat, but a water-based latex is also very effective. Varnish will emit a strong odor and latex will not. Keep this in mind if using the netting in an enclosed facility or outdoor space without much airflow.

4) Using knotless and/or braided twine

The bottom line is this: twisted twine results in denser netting. Denser netting has more netting for the ball to break through. Braided netting allows a higher twine diameter using less material due to the over/under method of braiding. This means they can make a net that is rated as the same diameter/gauge as a twisted net, while using significantly less material. Thus, braided baseball nets are cheaper than twisted.

Knotted netting also proves to be superior to knotless netting. The bottom line: netting typically fails at the intersection point. Knotted netting is reinforced at this point, knotless netting is not – no pun intended.

We hope this guide to baseball nets has been informational on the most important things to consider when shopping for the best netting. All of these factors greatly affect the functionality, safety, and lifespan of your netting. We consider our baseball netting to be the best value for the quality in the industry. We proudly offer competitive pricing – should you happen to receive a lower quote for backstop netting, just send it over and we will beat it.

Receive an instant quote and order baseball netting from our quality selection.

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