Outdoor cricket nets are the standard and most generic form of practice nets. They take shape and form in many different guises, with some nets being homemade whilst others are professional manufactured and installed, and this is reflected throughout the world. Regardless of their design and construction, outdoor crickets all have the same purpose of allowing batting and bowling practice within an enclosed space where the ball is contained.
The design and construction of outdoor cricket nets tends to be based around two factors; the frequency and age of those who will use it, and the space which is available. In schools and cricket clubs where levels of use will be high the construction of the cricket cage will be tailored to suit these requirements. A further unfortunate consideration must be made into the likelihood that the cricket nets will be subject to misuse or vandalism. Therefore, the frames of cricket cages are often constructed out of heavy duty galvanized steel with an overall diameter ranging from 34mm – 50mm, the steel tube is then joined by galvanized key-clamp brackets.
This system requires ground sockets to be concreted into the ground, although these cannot be removed the actual frame of the cage can still be dismantled. There are variations in the design of outdoor nets such as a pulley and ratchet system where the net is mounted on a cable which spans posts located at either end of the practice net.
Garden cricket nets are frequently DIY and quite often take the form of a professional design with locally sourced components. This occurs primarily due to cost implications, but also due to the fact cricket nets are fundamentally simple in design and purpose and thus greatly increase the feasibility of constructing a homemade cricket net.
There are few rules of thumb to follow particularly with size. The width should be no less than 9 ft, with 12 ft being optimum. The height should be no less than 9 ft if the length of net is longer than 24 ft, this is increased to 10 ft up to a length of 36 ft and nets with roof lengths beyond 36 ft should have a net height of 12 ft – this is to prevent balls ending up on the roof of the cricket net after being bowled. The length of the net is flexible, however the longer the net the more ball containment and the safer the surround training area is. There is a further type of outdoor cricket nets, this is a mobile cricket net.
A steel framed cricket cage can be adapted with wheels to allow them to be become completely portable.
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