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Q & A: How high to make a home run fence

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Most recent answer: 04/27/2016
Q:
We are building a softball field at our church. The homerun fence is 275ft in left field from home plate and the same in center. However in right field it is only going to be 245ft. The fence will be 6ft high. The question is...How high does the right field fence need to be to make the HomeRun distances equal?
- Johnny (age 34)
East Dublin, ga
A:

Hi Johnny,

This is not an easy question to answer because it depends on a lot of variables that you really don't know, such as the actual velocity and the angle which the ball leaves the bat.  The temperature and humidity of the air probably have some influence too.  The flight paths of all home runs of the 2011 Athletics are shown in http://www.101qs.com/258-homerun-flight-paths .  As you can see there is quite a variety of trajectories.

Many ball fields have really weird shapes: Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium come to mind.  If I were you I would just call the odd shape a "feature" and let it go at that.

LeeH

My non-scientific opinion is that it's cool to make that short fence very high. It makes for a lot of doubles, instead of cheap home runs. But like Lee said, there's no one height that makes them equal because you'd need something very high for towering flies and just a few feet for line drives. Mike W.


(published on 04/27/2016)

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