Backstops are high fences installed around or on a section of an athletic field’s perimeter. They serve as barriers that stop stray and overhit balls to keep them within the field during play or practice.
Typically made from chain-link fabric or special netting, backstops are an important installation on playing fields for sports like baseball, softball, tennis, and even soccer.
Benefits of Installing Backstops on Sports Fields
There are many benefits to installing a durable backstop on your athletic field or sports practice facility. Below we discuss some of the benefits:
Prevent liability lawsuits for injuries and accidents caused by stray balls
Besides keeping balls within the confines of the field, backstops also help to prevent spectator injuries from stray balls. In one high profile case, a fan was hit in the eye by a stray golf ball during a Ryder Cup match. She lost eyesight in the injured eye and was reported to be planning to sue the organizers.
If your baseball field adjoins a public space or street, stray balls can easily hit and injure passersby. In the event the stray ball hits a moving car, it can distract the driver and cause an accident. You can easily get sued for all this. A backstop will, thus, protect you from legal liability suits.
Maximize practice time
Without a backstop around your practice tennis court, you would lose a lot of balls as many stray balls will end up on neighboring private properties. The cost of all the lost balls will eventually start to punch holes in your budget. On practice pitches for sports like soccer, a backstop will prevent constant hold-ups of practice because players and coaches have to run after balls hit out of touch. A backstop or basic chain-link fence around the pitch will keep the ball on the field and help you maximize your practice time.
Prevent pitch invasions and safeguard player safety during games
Around a football stadium, a chain-link fence around the pitch aids crowd control and prevent pitch invasions, which can compromise players’ safety.
Arch backstops are especially useful for crowd control. They make it hard for unruly fans to scale the fence and invade the pitch. Even when used to stop stray balls and keep them within the field, arch backstops are more effective than the standard, straight type.
Prevent property damage caused by stray balls
It is not uncommon to find sports practice facilities for sports like tennis and cricket on residential properties. Some homes have full-size tennis courts, while others have cricket or baseball batting cages. Such facilities give athletes the benefit of practicing their skills in private, without the distraction of fans and spectators.
But without a backstop, there is a real danger that stray balls will break windows on the house and cause other damage to yours and surrounding properties. If the damage is on a neighbor’s property, they may sue you for damages. Strays balls can even hit and injure people going about their normal business, which can also invite lawsuits.
What Do Bylaws In Ontario Say About Backstops On Athletic Fields?
Cities across Ontario do not have explicit bylaws on the installation of backstops on both public and private athletic fields. That said, if you are mulling installing a tennis court on a residential property, it is best to ask your city authority on what their bylaws say.
However, as we have pointed out above, installing a backstop on your multi-sport facility can save you from quite a few headaches and costs.
Jay Fencing is a reputed athletic backstops contractor in Ontario. You can trust us for backstops and athletic fences made to professional standards, from high-grade steel wire. The steel wire we use for the chain-link fencing on our backstops and athletic fences is galvanized for maximum corrosion protection.