Frequently Asked Questions
I've never heard of Spinball. How do I know your products are any good? Well, we are relatively new, so most people haven't heard us. Just read our testimonials, or check our reviews. We have 100% positive feedback on ebay and a 4.8/5.0 rating on Google Wallet.
What kind of balls can your machines throw? The Spinball Wizard can throw real leather baseballs and softballs as well as the plastic dimpled balls specifically designed for pitching machines. You can also use our machines with cricket, lacrosse, or tennis balls. Dimpled balls will last longer and be more accurate than laced leather ones. Softer balls are easier on the motors and wheels and also more accurate because they grip the wheels better. We recommend the balls sold on our Accessories page.
How do you set up the machine to throw the various pitches? We include a laminated color chart with each machine for guidance. An explanation of the theory and a pdf version of the chart can be found on our Pitch Chart page. After some practice, most people don't need the chart and can set up custom pitches on their own.
Why don't you use a grooved wheel? We found no improvement in accuracy from adding a groove, and one forms naturally as the machine is used anyway. Grinding a groove into the tread would just reduce wheel life.
Do you have an automatic feeder? Available for purchase on the Accessories page.
How long does it take to convert from baseball to softball? You have to replace the legs (which slide into sockets) and the ball feeder tube (two screws). You also have to move the motors (four screws each) to their proper positions. It should take about five minutes.
Can I use a generator? What size do I need? Yes - we recommend an 800 watt generator at a minimum.
Can I use a car battery and an inverter? Yes, but a gas powered generator is usually the better solution. The battery should be a deep cycle / marine type, and the inverter must be a true sine wave inverter, rated 1000W or higher. Modified sine wave (MSW) inverters will not work.
Do you offer a 230V/240V version? Yes. The majority of our 240V machines go to Australia for cricket, so we use an Australian plug as our standard. To use our machine in other countries, we recommend a simple plug adapter. Customers in Australia and New Zealand may purchase directly from our International page. For shipping to Europe or elsewhere, please email for a quote.
Why 105 mph? Obviously, nobody throws or needs to hit a 105 mph pitch, and we recommend the machine never be used for batting practice at that speed. However, to throw a 90 mph fastball with realistic backspin, you need to set one wheel at 105 and the other at 75. Same thing on a 90 mph slider. To get the ball to spin properly, you need to set one wheel faster than the pitch speed and one wheel slower. 105 mph also makes for a very deep fly ball.
distance can it throw 105 mph? At any distance. We
calibrate the motors and controls to throw a baseball at a legitimate
105 mph top speed, as measured by radar gun. Some competitors try to
confuse the issue by claiming equivalent speeds at shorter distances.
Throwing a ball 50 mph from 30' is not the same as actually throwing
100 mph from 60'. The ball's trajectory is not the same, and that's a
huge part of hitting - to recognize where the ball is headed before it
gets there. Like Pete Rose said, "See the ball, hit the ball."
Can it throw grounders and fly balls? Yes and yes. The Wizard adjusts from 60 degrees above horizontal to 15 degrees below. However, it can not throw catcher's pop ups (straight up). Horizontal adjustment range is limited to 30 degrees, so it is not suited for distributing balls around the entire field.
Is this a good machine for my 8 year old? To hit against, yes. To operate, absolutely not. This machine can throw baseballs 105 mph, which can be lethal. It should only be set up and operated by responsible adults and only at speeds near those that the batter will normally see. Batters should always wear a helmet and be aware that the machine will throw balls and strikes.
How accurate is this machine? That's hard to quantify, and most retailers exaggerate (a lot). It largely depends on the type and condition of the balls you use. The plastic dimpled balls are more accurate because they vary less than leather balls, especially after use. With good quality used leather baseballs, we normally get over 90% strikes on an adult sized zone. With softer dimpled balls, it's more like 95%. ATEC has produced a video showing a pitch knocking an apple off a pedestal on a catcher's head to demonstrate their accuracy. One question: If the machine is so accurate, why does he need the mask?
Why is it
so much cheaper than other machines? There are
several reasons. First, we sell direct so you don't have to pay a
retailer's markup of 25-35% ($400 - $500). Second, it's a smart design
that's cheaper and easier to build so we can charge less. And third,
we're a small company with low overhead that wants to grow quickly.
How long does shipping take? Lead times (time to prepare a shipment) are normally 1-3 business days, depending on the season. Actual time in transport usually takes from 1-5 business days, depending on your location, but Fedex does not guarantee ground shipping times. International orders take 1 week via Fedex International Economy, although clearing Customs can sometimes add a few days.