How you protect spectators and surrounding areas from stray golf balls, baseballs even soccer or volleyballs boils down to the netting around your facility.
If you watch television, we're sure you've seen the ad for Desjardins Insurance - 'Oh No My Car' - where a spectator is watching a baseball game when a ball leaves the field and goes through the windshield of his car, knocking the emergency break off and sending the car through a neighbouring homeowner's fence and breaking a sprinkler head. Just on the off-chance you haven't seen the ad, we've provided it for you...
While this ad is a little dramatic, protecting spectators, passers-by, neighbouring homeowners or businesses must be a priority for sports fields and facilities. As a sporting facility you want to do everything possible to protect those participating at your events as well as anyone or thing in the perimeter of your facility that may be affected by a stray ball, flying bat or car parts in the case of a race track as examples.
Installing barrier netting at your facility not only protects you from potential lawsuits, but also protects those outside your facility or even in the spectator seating area.
A few tips for acquiring and installing barrier netting:
1. Select the right netting for the application. The types of netting vary dramatically from the material used, knotted or not, the size of the spacing between the webbing, u.v protected and whether it is meant to absorb an impact or not.
2. Select a reputable company to help with specifications and installation requirements. Off-the-shelf netting is not what you're looking for. Take the time to have the area to be protected specifically designed for your facility. At Turf Net Sports Supplies, we will help with the design and specifications, we can provide the netting and hardware for the project and also install it or provide expert instruction for your personnel to do it in-house.
3. Consider height required and impact weight and size. At baseball fields and golf courses in particular height of the nets is important, along with the size of the webbing and the force of the impact. Nets can only be built so high - that height is a key factor in whether you are protecting what's on the other side or not. Build the net too low the risk increases dramatically.
4. Inspect, repair, maintain netting and hardware monthly. (or after an impact of any kind to the netting). It is important to inspect all netting monthly or before and after each game where the netting sustained an impact. In the case of golf courses we highly recommend retracting the netting throughout the winter (and provide a service for this) to ensure the nets are not exposed to the damages of high winds, snow, ice and hail - prolonging the life of the netting).
Regardless of how cautious you are, how diligent you are in maintaining your netting, things happen as in the case of this lady where her car was struck by a stray golf ball on the highway. Pat Foran of CTV NEWS Consumer Alert - explains the complaint to the golf course and the resulting communication.
It is the responsibility of your facility to protect all those participating and surrounding the area. Provide that security with sports netting supplied and installed by Turf Net Sports Supplies.