Whatever business you’re trying to start, chances are you’ll get a little bit obsessive about the details. If you’re opening a coffee shop, you’ll obsess about the beans. If you’re starting a design agency, you’ll obsess about your logo. It’s natural. So when I decided to start a batting cage business, I got a little bit obsessed with the ideal dimensions for a batting cage.
You’d think it would be fairly straightforward. And then you start visiting batting cages and you start to see how wildly they vary.
So, what are the ideal dimensions for a batting cage?
It depends on who you ask.
If you’re setting up a facility for kids, then you’d go by the Little League dimensions to replicate the distance from the pitcher’s mound to the plate. But sometimes you want to push the pitching machine back and bring in a real-life pitcher. And adult baseball players will need much more space than kids. A Major League Baseball diamond is around 60 ft from the mound to plate. So you’re going to want at least 70 ft to give your batter and machine somewhere to stand.
Many online sources will tell you that you can compromise on length, provided you’re using the cage to practice the mechanics of the swing and not the timing. Timing is difficult to learn in a cage. It gets more difficult when the distance from the pitching machine to the plate is shorter.
And what about the height?
In theory, you can set up a batting cage in any indoor space. Some lucky ducks even have them in their homes or offices. But what happens when the balls pops up, hits the roof and launches right back at the batter? Giving yourself a little extra clearance in the roof is much safer.
For indoor facilities, it’s recommended that you have the net at least 12 ft high and then leave extra clearance between net and ceiling to give then net space to do its thing.
(At this point, I was looking at warehouse spaces to give the batting cage the floor space and height clearance to make it safe and accurate.)
Is width most important?
Although the height and length of the batting cage will have an impact on the experience, the width of the cage is where you really decide how much fun you want it to be. Give them enough space and you can swing for hours. Cram them into a narrow batting cage and anyone with a half decent swing will be injured fairly quickly.
As the bat passes in front of your body, you should (in theory) release the bat from your right hand and let it swing around in your left (reversed for lefties). If the cage is too narrow, your bat will hit the side of the cage and this can be incredibly painful if you’re in a chain link batting cage. This is one I learned from experience.
Another factor to consider when thinking about the width of your batting cage is tracking the ball flight path. If you’re in a narrow cage, you’re going to instinctively try to aim right down the middle. In a game situation, this isn’t ideal because you’re hitting it right back at the pitcher. A great way to strike out every time. If you have a wider cage, you’ll approach it more like you would in a game situation. You’ll see the corners of the plate as the foul lines and fire off balls to “left field” and “right field”.
These are all the things I learnt from experience and from reading nuggets of information available online. If you’re thinking about setting up your own batting cage, you can consider this to be one more answer to the age-old question: what are the ideal dimensions for a batting cage.
What about our cage?
Our dimensions are around 60 ft long by 20 ft wide and 15 ft high. It works for us and it allows us to adjust for baseball and softball, bring in a pitcher, and set it up indoors or outdoors. If you want to hire the batting cage for your next training or rookie session, get in touch to check availability!