Can a radar gun be used at distance of less than 60ft? I would like to be able to use one in my garage to get velocity readings. Also if I was throwing into a net. Where should the Radar gun be located? Behind the net? To the side?
Yes, radar guns can be used at less than 60’…as long as the distance is less than the maximum range of the gun your measurements should be perfectly fine.
If you are throwing into a net, radar guns will take readings perfectly well through the net mesh.
The location of the gun, or rather its angle relative to the flight direction of the pitch, is very important. Accurate results are only obtained when the gun is aimed at the release point with a 0 degree angle (that is, no angle) to the ball’s flight trajectory. Small angle errors are unimportant; however, at about 10 degrees or more, angle errors will give you significantly lower speed readings than your actual pitching speed. If you were to aim the radar gun at a right angle (90 degrees) to the direction of flight, your measurement would be 0 mph, no matter how fast the ball was actually going.
Radar gun manufacturers usually include a chart that gives the measurement error as a function of angle from the line of flight of the ball.
You should note, radar measurements can be taken from behind the pitcher equally as well as in front of the pitcher–that makes no difference whatsoever to the measurement.
The way we do it at my school is we have it behind a net about 20 or 30 feet away from where we throw it