ON DECK SPORTS FACILITY FEATURE
Designing & Supplying an Elite Baseball & Softball Indoor Training Facility
As baseball and softball training becomes more specialized and players are training more frequently, the demand for elite training facilities is on the rise. For athletes in the Huntsville, Alabama area there is a new indoor facility that brings a professional atmosphere with the best equipment – The Yard.
The Yard opened in 2017 after working with Keith Burke from On Deck Sports. “This was a very unique project because they had shorter batting cages,” Burke said when asked about the project. “They wanted a fielding area, which we were able to deliver inside our shell netting while delivering a safe batting cage environment.”
Jeremy Carter, the owner of The Yard, had worked with On Deck Sports in the past for both equipment supply and other indoor facilities, and all of his research pointed to us as the leader for indoor sports facility design and supply.
For his new facility, Carter decided on Elite artificial turf. This premium turf option is one of the strongest artificial turf options on the market, but still delivers a real grass look. The coaches at The Yard praise the turf for its feel on ground balls compared to other indoor turf options. Carter did decide to go with two colors of elite, green for the main playing area and a clay color around the perimeter of the main field. “I wanted to create the look of a ‘warning track’ from a real ball park,” Carter said when asked about utilizing multiple turf colors in his facility. The results are a good looking, unique baseball facility that players love.
“Elite turf is the best option for fielding activities – especially for baseball and softball,” Burke said when asked about The Yard selecting Elite. “It looks like natural grass, but does not require rubber infill. We call it the perfect hybrid of infill and traditional carpet turf. It is a long-lasting, good looking option that will hold up to daily use.”
“It was also important that we had multiple colors for the ‘warning track’ design element. Being able to deliver this look with the same style of turf made it much easier to lay out and install.”
For the practice area, Burke suggested a custom shell net batting cage that covered nearly the entire facility for a more efficient and safe space. The shell net is our most popular option for indoor batting cages. It allows our installation team to custom fit each facility for safety and maximum use of space. “The building they had dictated this batting cage design,” Burke said. “The building dimensions created some unique spacing challenges, but we were still able to fit a full shell net cage that Jeremy was looking for. In the end the cage running the full length of the facility was the biggest factor. Adding our sliding divider nets made it so they could have a flexible facility that was easy to change over.”
The new batting cage measured 84-feet in length and featured sliding barrier nets that can create six batting cages, or retract to provide a fielding area for training ground balls, practicing base running or creating a strength and conditioning area for Carter and the athletes at The Yard.
“This was the best thing about the design,” Carter said when asked about his new batting cage. “We have the ability to take ground balls up to 90 feet but then separate into six hitting stations. We were able to maximize our space and get the most out of practice in a short amount of time.”
Along with the new turf and batting cage, The Yard also utilized our vinyl backdrops to protect their netting and the Batting Mat Pro to protect their turf from heavy use. These indoor sports facility essentials look great and help extend the life of batting cages by protecting the netting and turf.
Carter said he “absolutely would” open his next facility with On Deck Sports. “The equipment is fantastic and the installers were professional and very knowledgeable. My only regret was that I didn’t have a bigger facility.”