Introduction of robot referees from this year, KBO’s firm will… Camp’s biggest task ‘surge’

The 2024 KBO League is facing big and small changes. Players, coaching staff, and referees should be aware of many things.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced on the 11th, “We held the first board meeting in 2024 and finalized the application of ABS (automatic pitch judgment system) for this season.” In addition, it said, “In consideration of the importance and urgency of major systems such as pitch clock and expansion of base size, we have confirmed the timing of sequential introduction and application, and revised regulations related to non-FA player multi-year contracts.”

The so-called “robot referee,” the ABS that drew most attention, will be introduced from the 2024 season. KBO has also decided to expand the size of its bases in both the primary and future leagues from the first half, and to complete the installation of new bases in each stadium in February. The defense shift restriction will also be applied to the primary and future leagues from the first half.

However, the Peach Clock will be piloted in the first team during the first half. “The Peach Clock, which we pushed for to speed up the game, will be applied from the first half of the Futures League, and the first team will decide whether to apply it from the second half after a trial run in the first half,” the KBO said. “As players need time to adjust to the Peach Clock in the actual game, the measure is taken to minimize confusion and ensure a smooth game.”

KBO has decided to apply the system against three batters first only to the Futures League, and then decide whether to introduce the first team or not based on the results of a trial operation. It has also decided to discuss again whether to introduce overtime payouts, which has been in effect in the Futures League since 2022, to the first team after combining opinions from the field. The decision was made in consideration of the urgency of each system in line with rapid changes in the system this season.헤라카지노주소

The most noticeable thing is the introduction of ABS. At the fourth board meeting in 2023, KBO announced on October 18 last year that it would plan the 2024 season for ABS and Pitch Clark to introduce the KBO League, which had been discussed in depth by the executive committee and relevant working-level departments, and build related facilities and systems.

In particular, KBO, which has repeatedly emphasized the need to introduce ABS, said, “We have been upgrading the ABS system in the Futures League for the past four years since 2020, and have achieved results such as maintaining the sophistication and consistency of ball-strike decisions, and reducing the time for the judgment results to be delivered to the referee.” “If ABS is introduced into the KBO League, all pitchers and batters can be subject to the same strike zone judgment, enabling fair play.” He expressed confidence that he will introduce the 2024 season exhibition game by elaborating on hardware selection that can be most efficiently combined with the accumulated ABS system.

KBO President Heo Gu-yeon won the “2023 Achievement Award” at the Elena Hotel in Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul on Nov. 30 last year, and said, “I hope fans understand the introduction of ABS. Players, clubs, referees and fans are all complaining. Referees are under a lot of pressure. Some even say they can’t handle the referee because it’s too hard.”

“I’m trying to do my best, if not 100% (in the introduction of ABS). Because it’s not perfect, there can be technical problems. We have to do our best in the beginning to prevent such problems, but I hope you can gather strength and understand so that we can achieve our purpose together,” he added.

Players who played in the Futures League have become accustomed to ABS. The Korean national baseball team, which participated in the 2023 Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) in November last year, also briefly experienced ABS during a practice game with Sangmu when it was conducting a convocation training session at Daegu Samsung Lions Park. “Players will also be subject to the rule from next year and it is also the closest zone to the rule,” a KBO source said. “We decided that it is necessary to provide it as soon as possible, and all systems are in place.”

Some players didn’t notice much difference compared to human referees, while others answered that ball or strike declaration was a little late. “According to the type of pitcher, Ryu Joong-il, who led the Korean national team at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games and APBC 2023, said, “Some pitchers do not catch strikes or not. I think the call was about one second late. At first, I didn’t realize it, but when I struck out, I didn’t get the call.”

Referees are also busier than ever before. The KBO’s referee committee conducted simulation training on pitch clock and ABS use at Doosan Bears Park in Icheon, the venue for the Doosan Bears’ secondary league, from April 4 to 8. ABS training focused on stable game management by adapting to walkie-talkies and earphones and familiarizing them with how to cope with errors, while pitch clock training focused on communication with the monitoring staff and application by situation.

Governor Heo Gu-yeon, who visited the site and encouraged the judges in person, delivered a message that the role of judges is important for stable operation of the system, and asked ABS operation engineers to check the judgment system and prepare thoroughly.

Governor Huh, who announced his New Year’s address on the 3rd, said, “We will introduce ABS to the KBO league this season to ensure fair play. Through ABS, all pitchers and batters play in the same strike zone decision. KBO will make every effort to ensure that the great power of trust can be together on the ground,” he said once again.

Although ABS is the biggest change, it is highly likely that the pitch clock ahead of the pilot operation, the restrictions on defensive shifts, and the expansion of base size will also have a significant impact on players’ performance. Major League Baseball (MLB), which has a long history, experienced changes through pitch clock and base size expansion last year. However, ABS has not been introduced to the big leagues.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *