Take a look at any ballpark and you will see that fences help differentiate specific areas of sporting fields, including the dugouts and bleachers, as well as providing protection for spectators. During game days, these fences are also providing crowd control and venue security.
When you look out at the outfield, you may also see a safety cap on top of the fence. The cap provides protection against injury to the players by covering the barbs at the top while adding a decorative element to the overall fence.
Did you realize that the backstop that protects spectators from foul balls is also a fence?
Backstops are used to create a barrier that will stop a foul ball or wild pitch, keeping the ball in play, and spectators safe from injury. There are different styles available, depending on the needs of the facility.
The traditional fence style for baseball fields is a Panelized Backstop. It is made by attaching several panels together to create the backstop, hence its name. It provides a rectangular look around home plate.
An Arch Backstop provides better foul-ball protection, is harder to climb, and can withstand wind gusts of 150 miles per hour, due to the way the fence arches at the top. It provides an overall rounder look to home plate.
Most backstops use a combination of 6-gauge chain link fence fabric for the bottom sections of backstops where more balls are frequently hit, along with 9-gauge chain link fence fabric on the top and overhang portions. They are usually built with galvanized chain link or black vinyl-coated chain link and will match the fence design of the overall ballpark.
In additional to ballparks, there are other recreational facilities that use fences. They include everything from fences for tennis courts and skate parks to stadiums and dog parks. Depending on the type of activity at the facility, a safety cap may also be added to the top of the fence.