When professional, semi-professional, and amateur baseball season ends, players continue practicing through scrimmage games, drills, and batting cages.

If your school, club or youth group wants to practice or play baseball indoors, you may be able to use a large concrete facility for this purpose. While the diamond may be covered in some sort of non-sip material, it is not quite the same as soft, green turf.

Without the turf, it just does not feel like baseball.

Natural or Synthetic?

There are two basic choices when it comes to laying down turf: natural or synthetic. Batting cages and other practice areas often use artificial turf because, unlike natural turf, it can stand up to the wear and tear of constant use. Another advantage is that it can be installed indoors. With natural grass, this would be impractical.

Maintenance Required

Natural grass must be kept well-watered and well-trimmed. Because it is a plant and it is often watered, it is sometimes wet when games are being played. Wet grass is slippery and leaves tough stains on expensive uniforms. Synthetic grass, on the other hand, does not need to be watered and, because of the way it is installed, sheds water easily when the weather turns rainy. It tends to be less slippery than natural grass in all conditions.

Year-round Use

A ball field or practice area covered in natural grass will always need some down time. Each year, grass turns brown and goes dormant for a certain season and may be more delicate. One solution for this is to plant a mixture of cool-season grass and warm-season grass, so that when one type is dormant the other type is thriving. Even when this is done, however, natural grass tends to die off in areas with heavy traffic, so fields cannot generally be used for more than one sport in any season. With synthetic turf, you don’t have to worry about this. You can make better use of a limited practice area because different sports teams can use the same field or indoor practice area without disturbing the turf.

Whichever choice you go with, be sure that you have considered all of the facts. Think, not only about the initial cost of installation, but also the overall value in terms of available practice time, maintenance time and water consumption.