New batting cage software and app combine the thrill of swinging a bat with a live video game experience, bringing a new level of fun to the sport
NEW YORK, Jan. 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Batting Challenge Holdings, Inc. officially debuts Bat Around™, a new batting cage software and app that gamifies the batting cage experience for teams, players and novices, at the American Baseball Coaches Association conference in Nashville, Tenn. Jan. 5-8, 2023. Bat Around is part baseball and part video game, inspired by some of the greatest hitters in Major League Baseball history, including David Eckstein, Fred McGriff, Matt Holliday, Luis Gonzalez and more.
The game is for all ability levels and brings fun and competition to batting cages. The beta version of Bat Around is powered by HitTrax and is available at batting cage test locations in Colorado, Florida, Georgia and New York. The Bat Around app is now available for download through the App Store and Google Play for iOS and Android phones.
“We get so consumed with teaching people a swing and chasing metrics that we forget the game is supposed to be fun,” said Clint Hurdle, Bat Around co-founder and former MLB manager and player. “With Bat Around, we are introducing a whole new level of excitement to baseball and softball, reinforcing strategy and overall hitting skills through a game that is fun to play for anyone wanting to swing a bat.”
“Bat Around is a new player in the “sporttainment” industry and is perfect for growing usage at batting cages, challenging existing players and introducing new people to the game,” said Matt Farrell, CEO of Batting Challenge Holdings. “We’re looking forward to expanding Bat Around’s availability across the U.S. to batting cages and entertainment venues.”
The game is designed to help teams make batting practice more fun and purposeful through competition, allow players to try news skills or improve existing ones, and encourage novices to grab a bat for the very first time and take a swing. It is an exciting way to connect with people and the ball to have a good time while improving skills.
Bat Around is inspired and advised by some of the greatest hitters in Major League Baseball, including:
- Sean Casey—3x MLB All Star, TV personality on MLB Network
- Jeff Cirillo—2x MLB All Star, 1,598 hits, 343 doubles (5x 30+)
- Darnell Coles—World Series Champion, Washington Nationals hitting coach
- David Eckstein—World Series MVP, 2x MLB All Star and 2x World Series Champion
- Luis Gonzalez—World Series Champion, 5x MLB All Star, 2,591 hits, 596 doubles, 354 home runs
- Travis Hafner—250 doubles (5x 25+), 213 HR (4x 24+), 731 RBI (4x 100+)
- Matt Holliday—7x MLB All Star, 4x Silver Slugger, National League batting and RBI champ
- Fred McGriff—2023 Baseball Hall of Fame electee, 5x MLB All Star, 3x Silver Slugger, 2x HR Champion, World Series Champion
- Juan Pierre—2,227 hits and led National League 2x in hits, World Series Champion
- Ryan Spilborghs—Career .272 and popular TV/radio broadcaster
- Kevin Young—Two seasons 40+ doubles, three with 20+ HR and two 100+ RBI
This list of clutch hitters comprises the Bat Around Hitting Legends Council, who advise on the game and will be featured throughout the app, providing pro tips to players.
“Bat Around makes batting practice better because it takes the tradition of just swinging and turns it into a game and a competition that everyone loves,” said David Eckstein, two-time MLB All Star and World Series MVP. “With this game, we have the opportunity to put a bat in everyone’s hand, and they are going to enjoy hitting!”
When playing Bat Around, hitters move through six rounds of play, keeping the practice fresh and fun, while developing different hitting skills and game strategy. The initial six rounds include:
- Liñas – barrel it up and hit a line drive to center
- Around the World – hit two balls to left, two to center and two to right
- Lunchbox – go to work and move runners in various situations
- Gamer – the pressure is on to score runs in three minutes or three outs, whichever comes first
- Laser Show – just hit it hard
- Walk-Off – the dream scenario of bases loaded, two outs, bottom of the ninth
Other features of the game include the Bat Around Metric, known as BAM™, measuring overall skill. Players will see their stats in the app and can track how they performed in each skill. BAM is also a handicap system allowing people with different ability levels to play each other and compare stats.
The game is accessible to all levels, and hitters can play off a tee, soft toss, front toss, pitching machine or live pitching on three skill levels.
The Bat Around app features your stats, including your BAM, and a digital player card that allows users to create their own digital baseball card that can be shared. Pro tips can be accessed through videos from the Hitting Legends Council, whose members have more than 25,000 collective professional hits. A future version of the game will feature leaderboards showing how players rank against others.
“Bat Around brings out fun and competition,” said Fred McGriff, who was recently elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2023. “When you see kids and adults step into the box, they are immediately energized, have fun and enjoy the competition.”
Bat Around is featured for the first time at the American Baseball Coaches Association conference in Nashville, Tenn. Jan. 5-8, 2023. Show attendees can see and demo the game and app at booth number 75.
To learn more about Bat Around, visit www.letsbataround.com or follow us on Instagram at @letsbataround.
Batting Challenge Holdings, Inc. is a New York-based company specializing in sports technology mixed with innovative games. Follow Batting Challenge Holdings on LinkedIn.
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SOURCE Batting Challenge Holdings, Inc.