Windscreen banners are a common sight on baseball and softball field fences. Although a common sight, you many not have thought much about their purpose beyond just the visual. Here are a few of the things you should know about the benefits, design considerations and construction best practices for baseball and softball field windscreens.
There are many reasons why windscreen can be beneficial for your baseball and softball fields. Outside of improve your facility’s appearance, baseball windscreens block out distractions, increase privacy, and as the name suggests, reduce wind that can affect play.
While all sports are beneficiaries, baseball and softball have an additional advantage—improved ball visibility. There is a term in baseball called “batter’s eye”. Batter’s eye is a solid-colored area in center of the outfield fence and beyond. It is the direct line of sight of a batter, while waiting for a pitch. This clean visual backdrop allows the batter to better see the ball contrasting against a dark and uniform background. This is not only helps the batter perform better at the plate, it helps keep them safe by allowing them to keep their eyes on the ball.
INDIAN HILL HIGH SCHOOL, OH
The solid space in the middle of this windscreen keeps the “batter’s eye” free of distraction.
As alluded to above, it is important to make sure your windscreen provider includes a clean and preferably dark-colored batter’s eye in the center of the design. This is not the only design consideration however.
Adding visual impact to your facility is another large benefit. Windscreens can be a tremendous chance to show off your school’s logo, colors and display text such as a slogan, mascot image or school name. This branding of your school lends a professional look to your fields and quickly upgrades mundane chain-link fencing.
URBANA UNIVERSITY, OH
Windscreen featuring bold logos and text, Facebook callout and a subtle background pattern. Read more about their project here.
Some coaches also choose to include sponsor advertising on their windscreen. This can be a great way to generate additional revenue, offset the cost of the windscreen or show appreciation to team supporters.
One final design inclusion to consider is the distance to the fence. Instead of purchasing separate outfield distance markers there is no reason the distances can’t be incorporated directly into the design of your windscreen.
MATERIALS AND CONSTRUCTION
Premium windscreens start with the quality of their mesh material. It’s important that your windscreen provider use mesh rather than solid banner material. Mesh is a woven material that has many tiny holes that allow wind to pass through. This is unlike banner material that is solid and can act like a sail straining your fence and ultimately causing the product to fail.
Proper finishing methods are equally important to ensuring your windscreen holds up to the wind and weather. For maximum durability, make sure your provider includes webbing on all sides. Reinforced webbing is a cross-stitched strap of nylon that is double sewn into the edges of the windscreen. This webbing combined with the heavy-duty stitching add strength, prevent stretching and are essential for any windscreen. Finally, make sure metal eyelets, or grommets, are installed at least every two feet around the perimeter of the windscreen banner. This will allow you to securely attach the windscreen to your outfield fence.
Team Fitz has a talented in-house design department that will help you develop the perfect custom windscreen banner for your ball-field fencing. Contact one of our sales representatives today to get started or download our free windscreen toolkit for additional information.