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How to Buy a Field Cover

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There are two basic types of infield covers. There are base, or spot covers, and there are full field covers. To help determine which cover or covers you need for your field, you’ll need to consider three factors: field size, how you’ll be using your field covers, and the frequency of field cover use.

 

Field Size and Plate Dimensions

Here’s a list of typical plate and mound area diameters based on field size.

Little League Fields

Pitching Mound – 5’ radius from center of mound (10 ft diameter)

Bases – 9’ radius from center of base

Home Plate – 9’ Radius from apex of home plate

Base Distance –60’

NFHS, NCAA, MLB, MiLB, IBAF

Pitching Mound – 9’ radius from center of mound (18 ft diameter)

Bases – 9’ radius from center of base

Home Plate – 9’ Radius from apex of home plate

Base Distance – 90’

 

How Will You Use Your Field Cover?

The purpose of the spot cover will also determine the size needed. For instance, if the cover is going to be used on a typical 18 foot diameter mound during periods of rain, then you’ll want to purchase a 20 foot diameter rain cover to help push rainwater away from the mound and into the grass.

If, however, the cover is helping to trap moisture, in the mound for example, then you’ll want an 18-foot diameter cover so that the cover doesn’t extend beyond the mound and kill the grass.

 

6oz. Poly Spot Covers, Mound

Weighted vs. Non-Weighted Rain Covers

Weighted rain covers feature a weight hemmed into the circumference of the cover. This weight keeps the rain cover in place without the aid of sandbags or ground stakes, even in high winds. When purchasing weighted rain covers, be sure that the vinyl is of a heavy weight, at least 14 oz. Keep in mind that 18 oz. vinyl will hold up better over time, especially if subjected to daily use. Weighted rain covers are more difficult to maneuver, so you may want to consider an installer device to help move them.

Non-weighted rain covers can be lighter weight and less expensive than weighted rain covers, and they feature grommets for use with ground stakes to help keep them in place when windy.

 

Full Infield Covers

To help prevent water from running under the tarp and soaking your infield dirt, be sure that the rain cover blankets the home plate circle, the coach’s boxes and extends 3-5 feet into the outfield grass.

Little League Fields with 60’ Bases = 100’ x 100’ Full Infield Cover

Baseball with 90’ Bases = 170’ x 170’ Full Infield Cover

Softball with 60’ Bases = 110’ x 110’ Full Infield Cover

 

Frequency of Use

Full Infield Covers can be heavy, so you may be tempted to use a lightweight 4 oz. material. But if your cover is going to be subject to frequent use, you may want to consider a 10 oz. full vinyl cover for your infield to help it stand up to abuse over time.

Wind Weighted(r) Plate Cover

 

By considering these three field cover factors you before you shop you can help make the best purchasing decision for your facility.

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