|Written by Thomas Conroy|
Introduction: Anyone who loved to play baseball as a kid can remember the drill vividly - throw the ball, hit the ball, chase the ball. Very few among us were fortunate enough to be able to play on a real field everyday with enough people for a regulation game, so the backyard version of baseball is basically how we sharpened our playing skills.
Although in our youth the possibility of having a batting cage in our backyards were pure fantasy, nowadays it is not unreasonable at all to build one fairly simply and inexpensively, the only prohibitive factor being that a yard is of adequate proportion. Making a backyard batting cage is an excellent weekend project that will be remembered by your child long after they get to the major leagues, and even if they don't make it you will get to the parents hall of fame for trying.
Step 1: Prior to spending any money on materials, draw a rough sketch with dimensions and materials of what you want your backyard batting cage to look like. Take this sketch to your local community building inspector to see if a building permit is required (in many communities it is unnecessary because a batting cage is not considered a permanent structure). If a license is required, don't be intimidated - it's just a formality and the forms are easy to complete. Most often you can discuss your project with the proper authorities beforehand and they will help you to steer clear of possible pitfalls.
Tips: Take your time and make the construction a family effort.