New York Companies Hit Grand Slam by Proving Fans are Safe from Line Drives and Foul Balls

Innovative Test Solutions and Sportsfield Specialties Verify See-Through Baseball Netting as Extremely Durable, Long-lasting and Excessively Safe for Play

A new series of impact tests performed on the netting that is installed in stadiums across North America demonstrated that the product, Ultra Cross® baseball netting, is extremely safe and was able to handle more than 4,700 high-speed impacts to the same location without failure.

The testing was performed by Innovative Test Solutions (ITS), a Schenectady N.Y. company with an international reputation for excellence in materials and component testing, at the request of Sportsfield Specialties, Inc., the exclusive provider of the product.

In 2016, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred recommended extending protective netting at league ballparks and since then Sportsfield Ultra Cross® Knotless Baseball Netting has become the preferred product of NCAA, MiLB, and MLB clubs and is at the vanguard of barrier netting technology.

This is the second time ITS has tested the product and it has performed beyond expectations in each occurrence. ITS Co-owner Lou Fiorini said, “We wanted to design a test that would simulate real world baseball impacts in extreme circumstances, and subjecting netting to nearly 5,000 high-speed impacts at 10 feet of distance is more strain than any normal net will ever have to withstand. The product held up extremely well and it was our pleasure to work with Sportsfield Specialties to independently confirm that this product is making players and fans alike safer at the ballpark.”

According to Keegan Mulholland, Director of Projects at Sportsfield, the company contracted Innovative Test Solutions (ITS) in 2016 to put their Ultra Cross® product to the test. “We wanted to show that Ultra Cross® could, without a doubt, withstand rigorous impact testing without failure,” Mulholland said. He explained that to simulate a field installation, a scaled 10’x10’ netting model was constructed to replicate a full-scale system. After 600 baseball hits at an average speed of ~100mph, and with distances ranging from 60’ to 10’, the Ultra Cross® net experienced an impressive feat: no failures.

Seeking to further demonstrate the strength, durability and safety of the product, in early 2021, Sportsfield reached out to ITS once again with a new challenge – subject Ultra Cross® Knotless Netting to as many high-speed baseball hits from a 10’ distance as possible until the twine failed.

Using a pitching machine, ITS launched baseballs at a scaled 10’x10’ netting model that was constructed to replicate a full-scale system. With ball speeds set to between 95 and 105 mph, the netting was put under extreme stress. Remarkably, the lightweight, nearly see-through netting was able to withstand more than 4,700 impacts to the same location without failure.

The product’s success is a result of engineered durability, a low-profile design, and exceptional performance, which is certified through 3rd party testing at Innovative Test Solutions.

About ITS

Innovative Test Solutions, Inc., is a full-service mechanical engineering and testing laboratory in Schenectady, N.Y. specializing in the mechanical behavior of structures and structural material with a particular emphasis in the areas of thermal barrier coatings (TBCs), vibration, fatigue, fracture mechanics, creep/rupture, and friction and wear.

About Sportsfield Specialties, Inc.

Since 1998, Sportsfield Specialties, Inc. has been the innovative leader in the manufacture and sale of athletic field equipment for high school, college, and professional levels of competition. With over 30 patents awarded for their game-changing designs, Sportsfield is integral to moving the sports construction and venue renovation industries forward. Our commitment to client-centered service, strategic partnerships, and building world-class equipment gives customers the highest level of confidence that their facility will look great and function efficiently using Sportsfield equipment.

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