These rebounders/pitchback return nets are perfect for backyard fielding drills when your obsessive kid won't call it quits even after the sun goes down.
Your kid isn’t going to wait around for baseball practice to work on short hops. These rebounders/pitchback return nets are perfect for backyard fielding drills when your obsessive boy or girl refuses to call it quits even after the sun goes down. A few disclaimers:
Here’s a list of a few of the most common styles of rebounders across multiple price points you’ll find in 2023:
This black and yellow pitchback from SKLZ is a nice big target for young players to focus their training with plenty of room for error. Many other rebounds are angled in one or two spots so you can aim at different parts to produce a grounder, line drive, or fly ball. This rebounder net is flat and requires manual adjustment to change the tilt. The angle of the rebound is consistent across the whole surface, so you don’t have to thread the needle to get the precise rebound you’re looking for. A good pick for younger kids just getting started who really need to focus on developing the muscle memory of catching the ball in different ways – without having to worry so much about throwing accurately. High marks for durability/sturdiness, which for my money is the most important attribute.
Here’s a 2-for-1 option you can use both as a rebounder/pitchback for fielding drills and a collector for pitching practice. Hit your spot in the strike zone and you’ll be rewarded by not having to bend over to retrieve the ball from the collection bag. The rebounder half can be adjusted to several angles. Combined with multiple angles on the netted area itself, you can recreate just about any rebound angle you’re looking for. This is a good option if you’re raising the next Shohei Ohtani but don’t have the storage space for separate pitching and fielding trainers. Steel construction and a strong 30Ply all-weather net means this thing should last you a while. And as I’m writing this you can get it at a pretty good price, well under $100.
Rukket always makes good stuff. Here’s a tough one with an industrial strength frame and tough bungees. Bungees so tough they’re apparently really difficult to install. But once you’ve got it set up it’s ready to take a beating. Despite my early disclaimer, Rukket does bill this as a pitching trainer. I’d still recommend NOT holding out hope an older kid or adult could use this for pitching practice with a reasonable rebound for quick repetition. For fielding drills this net has three tiers like many other models, meaning you have to throw it to the right spot on the net to get a grounder/line drive/fly ball. You can adjust the tilt of the overall net as well, so you can find just the right set of rebound angles for whatever you’re working on. Rukket includes a few weighted balls to help you build your strength (6oz, 8oz, and 10oz – standard baseballs are between 5 and 5.25 oz).
Here’s a 2-tier rebounder which pivots right in the middle of the net, so you can create a more extreme downward rebound to create choppy grounders at closer range. You can practice those quick sidearm flips into a downward angle and simultaneously practice reacting to unpredictable hops. Step back, aim lower and take a few pop-up reps without having to adjust a thing. I like the additional width on this one. Most others are 4 feet or less. This one comes in at 4’3” wide. This one is also rated for lacrosse. Good if your kid is pulling double duty.
This rebounder from Victorem is the heaviest duty on the list with 1.25” steel frame construction and 45ply netting. For good measure they even include an extra net. Doesn’t get much better in terms of durability/longevity. It’s a few more bucks than the others on this list but potentially well worth it. It’s got all of the same levels of adjustability and does include a target zone so you have a visual point of reference. At 73” high this is the tallest item listed. You’ve got even more room for vertical error. For what it’s worth, this is probably the slickest looking rebounder on the list. If that matters to you. Personally, I’m not a fan of some of the big bright orange and green rebounders out there. But you might disagree.
References & notes