It Takes ‘Good Bones’

Unlike indoor batting cages, outdoor cages are susceptible to forces that can threaten the structural integrity of the entire system. Depending on where your facility is located geographically, your batting cages may be threatened by wind, snow and/or freezing rain. A properly designed and engineered support structure will help to ensure that your batting cage frame has a long and productive life.

A good cage starts with “good bones”. When it comes to the support structure, you get what you pay for. Low cost cages are often constructed using thin-wall steel or aluminum tubing. While these cages easily please your budget, they may not perform for you in times of weather-inflicted stress. Beacon has seen numerous cases over the years of competitors’ cages or DIY projects that were constructed using materials too lightweight for the environmental forces they would inevitably need to endure. Beacon has several stories of customers whose Beacon batting cages have stood strong through mother nature’s wrath such as wind storms, flooding and heavy snow.

The support structures of our outdoor cages all use schedule 40 galvanized pipe. Our competitors will claim they use “Heavy Duty” tubing for their support structure. Unlike “Schedule 40”, which is a defined manufacturing specification for pipe thickness, “Heavy Duty” is an arbitrary description by the manufacturer made to make the frame sound like it is strong. Below are the specifications for the schedule 40 pipe we use in our outdoor cage designs.


TUBING vs PIPE

Compare our pipe specs, especially the wall thickness, to the tubing specs of our competitors. It’s likely only their high-end cages will approach Beacon’s everyday, tough standards. Whenever you are spending money on a feature item for your sports complex, such as a batting cage, do your homework before making that decision to purchase. You want to be right the first time, because there may not be a second opportunity for that money should the system you select, fail. Do it right!

Paul Zwaska

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1984 with a Bachelor's in Soil Science with a specialty in Turf & Grounds Management. Paul took over as head groundskeeper for the Orioles’ final season at old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and then was heavily involved throughout the design and construction phases of Oriole Park at Camden Yards which debuted on April 4, 1992. Paul has led Technical Sales Support at Beacon Athletics since the summer of 2000. In 2012, Paul authored and oversaw the launch of "Groundskeeper University", the first online ballfield maintenance training venue. Over the years, Paul has donated thousands of hours working with West Madison Little League, which also plays a critical role in the research and development for many of Beacon’s innovative field maintenance tools.