Home  |  About Us  |  Product Categories  |  Search  |  View Cart  |  Login  |  Affiliates  |  Contact Us  |    
  
Order status View Order Status Checkout Checkout Email Email Store
Search our store   
 



    BATA PITCHING MACHINES FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    Bata Pitching Machines

    Can you use real leather balls?
    Can any type of ball be used in BATA machines and feeders?
    More info about balls
    If the maximum speed is 70 miles per hour, at what distance is it 70 mph?
    Why is the Starter Pitching Machine so inexpensive? Is it made "cheaper"?
    How does a machine make the ball "curve"?
    How does a single-wheel machine like the B1-Curveball throw a curve?
    Which BATA machine throws the best curveball?
    Which machine is best for grounders and flies?
    Which machine is best for softball?
    What maintenance is required on the pitching machines?
    Can the machines be left outside?
    Do I need to put some kind of screen in front of the machine to protect it?
    How long do the wheels last?
    What parts wear out on the machines?
    How much do replacement wheels cost?
    How much do replacement motors cost?
    Can BATA machines throw a "rise ball"?
    How many balls do the pitching machines hold?
    Which machines can be used with Auto-Feeders?
    How does the feeder connect to the pitching machine?
    How long does it take to put up a BATA batting cage?
    Are BATA batting cages portable?
    How much does the BATA batting cage weigh?
    How do you set up a BATA batting cage without using ground sleeves?
    Does the net hang over the frame?
    How is the net attached to the frame?
    How long does it take to get a machine, feeder, or batting cage?
    Are there distributors in my area?
    Where can I go to look at BATA products?

     

    Can you use real leather balls?

    BATA machines are designed to use regulation real leather balls and BATA Dimpled Baseballs and Softballs.

    When auto-feeding, you may use only BATA Dimpled Balls. The seams on leather balls have a tendency to hang up in the feed chutes.

    When hand-feeding, you may use real leather balls or dimpled balls. Leather baseballs pitch well in our machines, as do BATA Dimpled Baseballs. Some leather softballs pitch well, and some don't. DO NOT auto-feed leather baseballs or softballs.

    Back to top


     

    Can any type of ball be used in BATA machines and feeders?

    No. Our machines are guaranteed to work only with our BATA Dimpled Baseballs and Softballs, and with regulation baseballs and 11" and 12" softballs.

    Our feeders are guaranteed to work with BATA Dimpled Baseballs and Softballs only. Our Big-80 Auto-Feeder is guaranteed to work with BATA Dimpled Baseballs only.

    Our machines will also pitch some of the "safety" or "RIF" balls.

    Back to top


     

    More info about balls

    The balls that you use in your BATA machine are critical to its performance. The relationship between the gripping of the wheels onto the outer surface of the ball is what makes it pitch. Any inconsistency in the surface or the weight of the ball, any moisture or debris, any slickness, will cause the ball to pitch inconsistently.

    Vinyl-type covered balls are not recommended in the machines. They are covered with a thick plastic-like "paint", and tend to leave a slick residue on the surface of the pitching wheels, which will effect their ability to grip the ball.

    BATA machines are designed to use regulation real leather baseballs and softballs, and BATA Dimpled Baseballs and Softballs. Our machines and feeders are not guaranteed to work with other brands of dimpled balls.

    BATA Dimpled Baseballs and Softballs are designed specifically for use in our pitching machines. BATA Dimpled Balls will pitch more consistently than leather balls because there is one consistent surface on the ball. Where as leather balls have seams (and the area between the seams), depending on whether the wheels grip the ball by the seams or not will determine how it will pitch. Also note that leather balls, because of the abrasive nature of the seams, will wear out the wheels faster.

    To ensure proper performance in your BATA pitching machine and/or auto-feeder, we strongly recommend that you do not use other brands of dimpled balls.

    Our BATA Dimpled Baseballs are made 16% lighter (4.2 ounces) than a regulation leather baseball (normally 5 ounces). This makes the ball pitch faster, curve more, and have less impact on the bat.

    Back to top


     

    If the maximum speed is 70 miles per hour, at what distance is it 70 mph?

    Any distance.

    The distance has nothing to do with the speed. When we say that a machine has a maximum speed of 70 mph, that is the speed at which the ball comes out of the machine.

    When people talk about the speed at different distances, it is important to understand that the machine does not actually pitch a different speed if you are standing closer to it or farther away. What they are referring to is the comparison of the time that it takes the ball to travel different distances at certain speeds.

    For example, if you set the machine to pitch 70 mph, and you set it 30 feet from home plate, the pitch will get to home plate in half the time (or "twice as fast as") it would take the same pitch to go 60 feet. Therefore, one could say that it seems like 140 mph at 30 feet, but in reality, the ball still travels at 70 mph.

    When calculating the comparative speed between 60 feet (High School and above) and 46 feet (Little League distance), you are really comparing the amount of time that it takes for the ball to go 46 feet rather than 60 feet.

    To compare the "ball travel time" of any two distances, divide the longer distance by the shorter distance and multiply the result by the mph. For example, 60' divided by 46' equals 1.30. Multiply 1.30 times 70 mph, and you have 91.

    That's why we say that 70 mph from 46 feet equals 91 mph from 60 feet. But remember, the pitch is not actually traveling 91 mph. It just seems like 91 because it is being pitched to you from a shorter distance, so the ball is getting to home plate sooner.

    Back to top


     

    Why is the Starter Pitching Machine so inexpensive? Is it made "cheaper"?

    The Starter is less expensive because it has less capacity than our other machines. It is made with the same high-quality solid-state components in the control box, and the same heavy-duty solid steel construction.

    The main differences between the Starter and our other machines is the size. Since it only has to pitch up to 50 mph, it doesn't require as much girth. The wheel and motor are physically smaller, but the motor is the same horsepower as the motors on our other machines.

    The Starter was designed specifically for young players and leagues where pitching machines are used in the actual games. Pitches are generally thrown in the mid-30-mph range in these games.

    Back to top


     

    How does a machine make the ball "curve"?

    What makes a ball "curve" is the spin.

    If you throw an overhand fastball, the ball has backspin. If it were not for gravity, this ball would curve upward. Because gravity counteracts the effect of the spin and prevents it from curving upward, the ball appears to travel in a straight line.

    If you throw an overhand curve, the ball actually spins in the opposite direction. The spin goes forward, which causes the ball to curve downward. Since the ball is curving toward the ground, gravity does not prevent it from curving. It actually helps it.

    Our machines make the ball curve by putting different spins on the ball. On a BATA-2 this is done by setting one wheel to rotate faster than the other.

    Back to top


     

    How does a single-wheel machine like the B1-Curveball throw a curve?

    It is done in much the same way as it is done on the BATA-2, except that instead of one wheel going faster and one wheel going slower, you have one wheel rotating, and a compression pad that does not move, which would be the equivalent of a second wheel which was not rotating at all (which would represent the slower wheel).

    All of the spin is produced by the one rotating wheel, which basically rolls the ball off of the compression pad. If you have the wheel below the compression pad, the spin goes backward, and the machine throws a fastball.

    If you rotate the head of the machine so that the wheel is above the compression pad, the spin will go forward, and the machine throws a curve. The machine may also be tilted so that the spin is more sideways, making the ball curve more to the side, rather than just straight down.

    Back to top


     

    Which BATA machine throws the best curveball?

    The B1-Curveball and the Sidewinder throw the hardest breaking curve. Because there is only one wheel, the wheels on these machines spin much faster than the wheels on the BATA-2. This, combined with the fact that the compression pad is equal to a wheel spinning at zero speed, the B1 and the Sidewinder put more spin on the ball than the BATA-2.

    The advantage the BATA-2 has over the other two machines is that with the BATA-2, you can throw breaking balls with varying degrees of break. In other words, you can throw a curve or slider that breaks a little, or a lot.

    Back to top


     

    Which machine is best for grounders and flies?

    The BATA-2 is the best machine for fielding practice.

    The 2-wheel design allows you to put any amount of spin on the ball that you want. So, if you want to throw flies, you can set it to have a slight amount of backspin to simulate a realistic flyball. If you want to throw grounders, you may want to set it to have a slight amount of forward spin.

    Back to top


     

    Which machine is best for softball?

    The BATA-2 is the best machine for softball.

    Again, the 2-wheel design allows you to regulate the amount of spin on the ball, so you can throw pitches that "rise", sink a little, sink a lot, tail, etc.

    Back to top


     

    What maintenance is required on the pitching machines?

    The only maintenance, really, on our machines is to make sure that nothing has loosened up. Check the nuts and bolts on a regular basis. Other than that, as long as you keep the machine dry and relatively clean, it should last you a long time.

    Back to top


     

    Can the machines be left outside?

    Yes, as long as they are not allowed to get wet.

    These machines are electric and have solid-state components in the control box. Water can damage the components. If you do leave the machine outside, it must be covered well enough to keep it dry.

    Back to top


     

    Do I need to put some kind of screen in front of the machine to protect it?

    Yes, a screen is recommended.

    Our machines have heavy-duty steel plate in the front, but any line-drive hit can cause damage, especially to the Auto-Feeders. Protective screens are required when using an Auto-Feeder. The warranty does not cover damage from batted balls.

    Back to top


     

    How long do the wheels last?

    This depends on how much you use the machine, at what speeds, and what type of balls you use.

    Leather balls will wear out the wheels faster than dimpled balls. Higher speeds will wear out the wheels faster than lower speeds. Generally speaking, you can expect to throw somewhere around 150,000 pitches before you need to replace the wheels.

    Back to top


     

    What parts wear out on the machines?

    There are five things that will likely wear out over time. The wheels, the motors, the speed control circuit boards and switches, and the adjustment lock handles. However, our motors have been known to last over ten years with normal use.

    Back to top


     

    How much do replacement wheels cost?

    Replacement wheels cost $200 each for all machines except the Starter. Starter wheels cost $85.

    Back to top


     

    How much do replacement motors cost?

    Replacement motors cost $220 each on all machines except the Starter. Starter motors cost $125.

    Back to top


     

    Can BATA machines throw a "rise ball"?

    Yes, and No.

    Yes, our machines CAN throw the pitch that people perceive to be a "rise ball". No, there is actually no such thing as a "rise ball". At least, not with a real baseball or softball.

    It would be nearly impossible to convince a softball player that the ball does not actually rise, but the fact is, it doesn't. What people perceive to be a "rise ball" is a ball that starts at the knee and ends up at the shoulder, but actually arcs downward (a lot more than you might think).

    In order for a pitch to really be a "rise ball", it would have to curve upward from it's original plane. It doesn't. In fact, our machines are able to put many times the amount of backspin on the ball than a human can.

    When we throw a 6 ounce softball 43 feet, it actually sinks about 2 feet. It may start out 2 feet high and end up 5 feet high, but the trajectory of the ball must be aimed at a point about 2 feet higher than the height where it ends up.

    If you saw this pitch, you would swear that it was a "rise ball", when in fact it actually sunk about 2 feet.

    When we set up the BATA-2 to pitch an 85 mph fastball with a realistic amount of backspin for a fastball, the ball sinks about 30" over 60'.

    So, how much does a curveball break (from 60 feet)? A good curveball actually breaks about 6 feet. That is to say, if you want the curveball to end up at 1 foot high when it crosses home plate, you would have to aim it about 7 feet high.

    These are not theories, they are measurements. They are data recorded from real tests using real balls at realistic distances at realistic speeds.

    Back to top


     

    How many balls do the pitching machines hold?

    The pitching machines do not hold any balls.

    The machine itself would have to be fed manually, one ball at a time, unless you use an Auto-Feeder. The pitching machines and Auto-Feeders are priced separately.

    Back to top


     

    Which machines can be used with Auto-Feeders?

    All of our machines can be used with our Auto-Feeders.

    We have a 32-Baseball / 24-Softball Combo Auto-Feeder which can be used to auto-feed either baseballs or softballs. We also have an 80-Baseball Auto-Feeder (baseballs only).

    Back to top


     

    How does the feeder connect to the pitching machine?

    Our feeders do not actually connect to the machines. They stand behind the machine on their own stand.

    When you purchase an Auto-Feeder, a Feed Chute Extension (transition chute) is included. This chute extension connects to the Feed Chute on the pitching machine. The feeder releases one ball about every 7 seconds, which then rolls into the transition chute and into the machine.

    Back to top


     

    How long does it take to put up a BATA batting cage?

    It takes two or three people about two hours to put up the frame, and about 1 hours to put up the net the first time.

    Back to top


     

    Are BATA batting cages portable?

    No. Well, not really.

    Our cages can be set right on top of the ground if you wish. So, one could say that they are portable, but it would require disassembling the cage to move it.

    Back to top


     

    How much does the BATA batting cage weigh?

    It depends on the cage, but anywhere from about 300 - 500 pounds.

    Back to top


     

    How do you set up a BATA batting cage without using ground sleeves?

    Our frame kit is designed to have metal tubes running vertical, across, and longitudinally. Our frame fittings are made of heavy gage welded steel tubing, and each fitting holds 5 inches of tube. Therefore, our fittings provide superior sheer strength, which allows the frame to stand up on it's own.

    Because there are tubes running in all three directions, ground sleeves are not required. We do sell ground sleeves, however, and recommend them for areas where high winds are a factor.

    Back to top


     

    Does the net hang over the frame?

    No. The net hangs inside the frame. See photo.

    Back to top


     

    How is the net attached to the frame?

    On our nets, there are thicker ropes woven into each corner. These ropes extend beyond the ends of the net about 4 feet or so. The net is tied off at the corners using these ropes.

    As you can see in the photo, there are several smaller ropes and metal clips holding the upper edge of the net to the longitudinal tubes. We call these hangers. They help to keep the net pulled tight, and prevent it from sagging.

    Back to top


     

    How long does it take to get a machine, feeder, or batting cage?

    We ask that you allow 14 days for delivery. Usually, we can get it to you much sooner than that, depending on your geographic location.

    Back to top


     

    Are there distributors in my area?

    There are no BATA distributors. There are other companies that buy and resell our products. We call them dealers or brokers. Dealers do NOT carry the products in stock. They simply order them from us and have us drop-ship them to you.

    Back to top


     

    Where can I go to look at BATA products?

    As stated above, there are no dealers that carry our products in stock. The only places where our products can be viewed are at our production facility, on the internet, or in use on a field or batting cage somewhere.

    Back to top

 

Copyright © 2008
SLAM Sports, LLC
Click Here to see our Wood Bat Selection Chart!
 
 Credit Card We Accept: Visa Mastercard American Express Discover

Home | About us | Product Categories | Affiliates | Search | View Cart | Contact Us
Company Profile | Refund Policy | Privacy Policy | Shipping Information | Wood Bat Materials | Wood Bat Knowledge
Why Hit with Wood | Why Buy a Maple Bat? | Wood Bat Sizing Chart | More Info on Wood Bats  |  Links

100% Safe Shopping Guarantee.
We use state-of-the-art technology to protect your
data & secure your transactions.