Approximately 4 to 6 players may enter the facility through an entry vestibule. When the doors close, the vestibule will begin to pressurize to match the hitting cage facility. Pressurization will feel much like being seated in a jet airplane while descending to a sea-level location. In order to minimize discomfort in the ears, the pressurization time frame will be 7 to 10 minutes. Seating, internet, and other entertainment will be available. Food and drink may be accessible if desired.
When pressurization precisely matches the hitting cage, the sliding doors will open for entry. Coaches, pitchers and catchers should be already warmed up and ready to provide exposure to good pitching. A ProBatter™ pitching machine for either Baseball or Fast-Pitch Softball will be installed and available at the decision of coaches.
The hitters will take their turns entering the netted cage and hit the number of pitches the coaches prefer. Cameras and video screens will be able to capture activity and display actual conditions via the “Neeley Scale.”
When those 4 to 6 players have finished their session, they will enter the exit vestibule and close the exit door. The de-pressurization will begin and last 3 to 5 minutes. The ears will feel like driving up a mountain. A light popping sound may be detected, depending on the natural elevation level and the sensitivity level of the player’s ears.
Opening the entry vestibule will coincide with the closing of the exit vestibule, so that entry and exit of each group session is not cumbersome. The hitting cage may remain pressurized during the entire day’s session and all mechanical features may be turned off during non-operational hours.
The operations room will include a computer station, with backup for the computer, keyboard and monitor. There will be monitors for viewing all camera angles including all mechanical features such as doors, equipment rooms for air conditioning and heating units. Protected fresh air supply will be continuous, providing a slight breeze.
All medical, fire and community safety features shall be installed. These include doors wide enough for emergency access, required pressurization release valves, and any handicap accessible features requested or required by the contract or local authorities.
The facility may be above or below grade, inside an existing or customized building, or under stadium seating. It may be placed under the playing surface or parking lot with nearby access built for convenience and safety.