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Ordering the Right Sports Netting Mesh Size (to SAFELY contain balls)

Sports Netting Mesh Size

Sports netting comes in a variety of “mesh sizes”.

Mesh size refers to the size of the openings of the net.

The smaller the opening, the more material required to build the net, so consequently the price increases.

If you’re on a tight budget, it’s important not to over-buy a smaller mesh than you actually need.

Golf / Baseball Netting (White = indoors only / Black = outdoors)

The key question to ask, is “What will the smallest ball / object I will ever need to contain inside or outside this netting?” It’s important to consider if you will ever have a need to contain a smaller ball than your primary purpose, such as a golf ball; if so, you should order netting mesh to contain golf balls AND baseballs. This is key – read more to find out why.

IMPORTANT: If this will be multi-sport netting, it’s critical to order the proper GAUGE for the highest impact sport. Gauge represents the twine diameter / thickness of the netting strands. In the example above, this is #36 gauge which is adequate for both baseball & golf. If using for both sports, you should avoid the traditional light-weight #18 golf netting, used on golf course driving ranges. The picture to the left shows an example of the wrong netting to order for BOTH baseball & golf. This should only be used for light indirect golf applications, such as driving ranges.

Golf Netting Only

Ordering Smaller Mesh for your Needs

Although it may seem strange, there are circumstances when ordering a smaller sports netting mesh than you actually need, is a good idea. Keep in mind that netting wears down because of stress on the fibers. When the impact of the ball is distributed across a wider surface area, the stress is spread out. This minimizes the damage to an isolated spot, and extends the life-span of those strands. Instead of 1-2 strands each receiving 100 lbs of impact force, now 4-5 strands will each receive 25 lbs of impact.

Large Ball Netting

This is an important factor towards netting life-span. When netting wears out, individual strands begin to break. A smaller mesh size will extend the life-span of your net. In addition, when a strand does finally break, you will not be exposed. What does this mean?

Think about it like this. If you order netting material which is 2″, and the ball you are containing is 3″, as soon as a single strand breaks, there will be an opening large enough for that ball to escape.

If you are using 1″ mesh, it would take 2-3 strands breaking to allow a hole large enough for a ball to escape!

This gives you a safety margin, in case you don’t notice the damage for a period of time – you just bought yourself some extra time to repair the netting before something is damaged, or even worse someone is hurt. As much as we all hate the idea of more insurance, that is essentially what this is.

Exhibit A below shows a smaller mesh than required to contain the puck, but is a safer all round net with a longer life-span than when compared to Exhibit B, which uses a netting mesh just small enough to contain the puck.

Below are 2 additional examples of tennis netting – Exhibit A is a smaller mesh, which will prove to be more durable & longer lasting. Exhibit B is not a bad choice, but won’t have as long of a life-span, and would allow the ball to escape after a single strand breaks.

Exhibit A (Hockey Netting)
Exhibit B (Hockey Netting)
Exhibit A (Tennis Netting)
Exhibit B (Tennis Netting)

As you can see, it’s vital to select the proper mesh for your needs, budget, planned usage, and required life-span. If you’re on a tight budget and this is just a short-term hobby, then ordering a lighter weight mesh is just fine. If this is for commercial purposes and you depend on it for safety & income, it’s never a good idea to compromise on quality when it comes to safety & money. Most people prefer to do it right the first time and not have to hassle with replacing & repairing broken netting on a regular basis.

Thanks for reading our Netting Mesh Selection tutorial!

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