FAQ: Softball and Baseball Windscreens

Posted by  Seth Thitoff on 01/14/2019

Winter is winding down and spring is right around the corner. As attention turns from the gym to the ballfield, we get a lot of interest from baseball and softball coaches for custom windscreen. A quality windscreen performs a number of functions including blocking unsightly views, reducing wind flow, and providing a visual backdrop to help athletes concentrate. Perhaps the biggest pro is they help build a professional looking atmosphere by making your field look great!

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There are a few things to keep in mind when considering a windscreen. Check out this list of most frequently asked questions when it comes to windscreen banners for outfield fences.

What do most people include in their windscreen design?

Outfield windscreens are an excellent way to showcase your program’s branding adding visual impact and personality to your facilities. Every windscreen we design is unique, but there are a few design elements that are common including oversized type, school or mascot logos, and of course brilliant color. The name of the sport, advertiser logos, and relevant hashtags used by the program are also commonplace.

One other element that is often included on baseball and softball field windscreens is “Batter’s eye”. This is the area along the outfield fence that is directly behind the pitcher. It is best to make this area a solid, dark color so there is a sharp contrast against the white ball when it is pitched. Approximately 50 to 80 feet is usually left uncluttered to increase safety and performance of the athletes.

How do I make sure the windscreen can be read from the stands?

Because windscreens are viewed from a distance, it is important to ensure the design is readable with accessible text. To give a rough idea of what’s appropriate, we typically recommend a 3- to 5-foot-tall type size. Most of the population can read 3-foot-tall lettering from about 360 feet away. Your salesperson will be happy to work with you and our design team to make sure your needs are met.

Aside from size, other factors affect readability including the typeface chosen and even the color scheme. Selecting a design with a high contrast between the lettering and the background helps tremendously to increase readability.

Lastly, it is important to keep it simple. While intense graphic patterns and detail may look great blown up on screen, much of the subtle detail will not be visible from the stands and may even limit readability. Less is often more when it comes to good windscreen design.

What kind of material do you use for your windscreens?

Premium windscreens are made with a material most commonly called mesh. Mesh is a woven material that is perforated throughout allowing wind to pass through. This is the most important difference between a high-quality windscreen versus one that is made with a standard banner vinyl. Banner material is solid and can act like a sail which puts unnecessary strain on fencing and ultimately will not hold up to wind and weather.

We offer a choice of two different mesh options. The cost is the same, it is really just a matter of what will work best for your ball park. Our standard material is a 30% mesh, which allows 30% of the wind to flow through unobstructed. This is our most popular material and appropriate for most projects.

We also have a 70% mesh option, which as the name suggests, allows 70% of the wind to pass without resistance. We typically recommend this material to customers that have particularly windy stadiums or who have had trouble with windscreen in the past. The only tradeoff on the 70% mesh is the print clarity is not quite as sharp due to the larger perforations.

Once a material is chosen, all Team Fitz windscreens are finished with reinforced webbing, heavy-duty stitching, and grommets around the entire perimeter to ensure maximum outdoor durability.

What is the best way to measure for a windscreen?

Start with the horizontal measurement. Measure the fence from tension bar to tension bar (just inside the vertical post). Do not include the end posts in your measurement. Windscreens should only cover the fence mesh. Measure any doors or gates in the same way.

Next, measure the height. The height should be measured from the bottom of the top rail to the top of the bottom rail. Keep in mind, it is not necessary to cover the full height. If you decide you would like the entire fence covered, we recommend reducing the total height by 6 inches. This will leave space at the bottom of the fence to allow mowers and trimmers to pass without harming your windscreen.

You will want to submit your measurements in feet and inches. Exact measurements are important, so don’t just guess. For best results, put together a rough sketch of your fence with the measurements included. This can help our design team fully understand the layout and provide you with the best design.

Would you like more info on a windscreen for your outdoor athletic facility? Reach out to one of our reps today and our knowledgeable sales and design staff will get started on a free design mockup and quote.

For a full list of instructions and a diagram, please download our free windscreen toolkit.

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