Blitzball Strike Zone

A couple of years ago, I played a few rounds of whiffleball with my friends Ryan and Travis Lowdermilk.  Travis went so far as to build a strike zone out of PVC and sheet metal, and it was an amazing amount of fun.

Since that time, I’ve seen all sorts of awesome things about the Blitzball, including the guys over at Dude Perfect.

This past weekend, I decided I needed to make one for myself.  This is the final product:


The rest of this post is about how I built it, so if that sort of thing isn’t for you, here’s something fun to watch instead.

The Supplies

It’s a pretty affordable setup, made entirely of PVC, sheet metal, and zip ties.

Total cost?  $41.45 with 7.5% sales tax.

The Frame

I knew that I didn’t want to have to cut the sheet metal.  I’d do a poor job, and it was pretty close to the standard strike zone size, give or take an inch or two.  This meant that I needed to make a PVC frame that would hold a 24″ x 36″ piece of metal, with a little space to give.  I ended up setting my dimensions of the inside of the frame to be an inch larger in both directions, 25″ x 37″.

This meant cutting out these pieces:

  • 2 x 37″ (sides)
  • 1 x 25″ (top)
  • 2 x 4.25″ (bottom)
  • 1 x 12″ (bottom)

Because we’re using the Tee joints to connect to the base, I had to break the bottom up into three separate pieces, that’s why you see those cuts in the list.  The entire frame should be able to come from ONE of the 10′ PVC pipes.


When it’s assembled, it looks like this:


The Base

I know, I know, you’re all about that base.  I saw some photos of a strike zone that another person had built, and it had angled legs that reminded me of how a catcher sits behind the plate.  I decided to emulate that look, because it looks cooler.

The cuts you need for the base are here:

  • 1 x 23″ (front)
  • 2 x 16″ (sides)
  • 2 x 12″ (legs)
  • 2 x 7″ (connect to frame)


When you assemble the base, it should look like this, where the legs tilt in towards the center a bit:



I would generally recommend using some PVC primer and cement at this point.  It will make your strike zone virtually indestructible.  That being said, I simply used a rubber mallet to make sure all of my pieces were completely connected, and that seemed to make it strong enough.

Put Them Together!

Once you’ve gotten the two sections cut and assembled, put them together!  Your strike zone should resemble the one below.  (See how much cooler the angled legs look?)


Paint It!

At this point, you could say you’re done with the frame, but I highly recommend painting it.  Pick your favorite team colors, or just go with black.  Either way, a coat of paint will do wonders.


Prepping the Sheet Metal

I also painted my sheet metal, but you certainly don’t have to.  The galvanized steel finish looks good on its own, but some color really makes it look finished.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of my sheet metal when I was painting it, but you can see what it looked like from the first photo at the top of this post.

Drill Your Holes

I’ve seen some folks that just hammer a nail through their sheet metal to make the holes for the zip ties, but I think that would result in some bends to the metal that I wanted to avoid.  I just used a simple drill bit that was slightly larger in diameter than the zip ties.

On the top and bottom (24″ edges), I punched holes at 3″, 12″, and 21″ across.  Especially on the bottom, these measurements are important, because you don’t want your drill holes to be over the Tees that connect to the base.

On the sides (36″ edges), I drilled holes at 6″, 12″, 18″ 24″, and 30″.  You can space these out however you’d like, but make sure they’re evenly spaced on both sides, or your sheet metal might hang slightly crooked.

Attach the Sheet Metal

Run the zip ties through each of the holes, and tighten.  I don’t recommend over-tightening them, because your PVC will just pull towards the center.  Hand-tightening should be plenty.


Take Advantage of the Power of Magnets

You’ve got a magnetic surface, so why not add some flair?  I had a large Cleveland Indians logo hanging on a refrigerator in my basement that added the perfect finishing element to my PVC strike zone.  You can get one for just about any team on Amazon.

So, that’s it!  Time to get some pitching practice in!  Let me know if you build one…I’d love to see it!


22 thoughts on “Blitzball Strike Zone

  1. My son has been after me for months to build one for him and his friends. Came across your design and it came out awesome! I included a link to a pic below. Thanks for the plans…

    1. Jeff, thanks so much for taking the time to put this out. I was designing one in my head with a piece of wood I had lying around. Then I figured someone had to have already done this. Your design was perfect, and I went with the sheet metal instead of wood. We haven’t finished, but it was easy to build. Got to spend some quality time with my 13 y/o building this. We used glue, but won’t be gluing the base to the frame for easy transport. Thanks for the Lowes links. We ended up paying around $60, and made memories. Thanks again!

  2. Thanks for all dimensions, been playing a lot of blitz ball with friends an the no strike zone. This is gonna do great. It only costed 12 bucks too without sheet metal, I’ll have to ad it later.

  3. Hey Jeff!

    I created a 2 minute whiteboard video of this exact page, that took me at least 5 hours to make.

    Would you like to see it?

    I would like to upload it to YouTube and give you a shout-out.

    Is that okay with you?

    Please let me know.

    Thanks and have a great one.

    – Javier H.


    I actually have a wordpress blog,as well.

    The address is, if you’d like to check it out.

    Thanks, I can’t wait for your response.

      1. Sorry for the late response, I didn’t receive a notification.


        Do you have an email, that I can use, to share the video?

        You are completley welcome!

    1. Riiiiiiiight, ummm so what are the official strike zone dimensions for each 3b games? Otherwise is there anybody that doesn’t know how to construct a simple backstop?

  4. Thanks for the quick reply!

    I’ll send it over to you later today.

    Sorry for the late response, by the way, I’m not receiving notifications of your replies, so I have to manually check to see if you have replied.

    Thanks once more for the quick replies. I appreciate that you take the time to message me back.

  5. Hi Jeff!

    I just sent the video to the E-mail you just gave me!

    I hope you like the video, since I want to make sure those 5 hours will pay off.

    Thanks once again, I’m looking forward to your response.

    Have a great day.

    – Javier H.

  6. Hi Jeff!

    I just sent the video to the E-mail you just gave me!

    I hope you like the video, since I want to make sure those 5 hours will pay off.

    Thanks once again, I’m looking forward to your response.

    Have a great day.

    – Javier H.

  7. Thanks, Jeff. Two of my kids asked for a backstop as a shared birthday present. Instead of buying one, we kicked off the summer by following your design and building our own. It’s been a great couple weeks of wiffle ball, so I wanted to thank you.

    We’re Cub fans, so the colors are a bit different. Also, we made sure not to cement in the almost-vertical tubes connecting the base to the frame; our thinking is that, with younger kids, we can lower the frame for a kid-sized strike zone.

    I’m trying to paste a photo into this message, but I’m finding myself computer illiterate. If you’re interested in seeing it, please let me know a good email address (or hack) that will do the trick.

    Again thanks for your creativity,

    — Joe

  8. Gonna use netting instead of sheet metal. Work at a hospital that had some above a courtyard to keep the birds out of the tree, got rid of the trees and the netting is no longer needed.

  9. Perfect and easy to build. I actually walked my son through it and he built it. Thanks great design.

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