The KBO announced on the 19th that it will introduce robot umpires (an automated ball judgment system) and a pitch clock system from next year to provide fans with fairer and more exciting games.
The KBO held its 2023 fourth board meeting on the 18th and announced that it has planned to introduce robot umpires and pitch clocks to the KBO League next year, which have been discussed in depth by the executive committee and its working departments, and will build related facilities and systems.
The robot umpire has been upgrading its system in the Futures League for the past four years, starting in 2020, and has achieved results such as maintaining the precision and consistency of ball and strike judgments and reducing the time it takes for the results to be delivered to the umpire.
When the KBO introduces ABS to the KBO League, all pitchers and batters will be subject to the same strike zone judgment, making the game fairer. The KBO will elaborate on the selection of hardware that can best integrate with the accumulated ABS system and introduce it in a trial game next year.
Lee Hyun-yoon, a former catcher for Samsung and LG, appeared on the YouTube channel “Korea Sports Authority” and shared his thoughts on the impact of introducing robot umpires. He said, “I am 1000% in favor of the introduction of robot umpires. Both teams can play under the same conditions,” he said, welcoming the new system.
“With certain umpires who had controversial calls, the same strike ball call could look different to the fans, but now that’s gone,” he said, adding, “I think the umpires will be happy because they won’t have the stress of calling strike balls.”토토사이트
Framing, one of the main criteria for evaluating a catcher, has also become irrelevant, according to Hyun. “If robot umpires are introduced, framing will be meaningless,” he said, adding that the value of Lotte’s Yoo Kang-nam, who is considered to have the best framing ability among Korean catchers, could absolutely drop.
He also predicts that the type of catcher he prefers will change depending on the introduction of robot umpires. “When I was playing, pitchers liked catchers who caught the ball well, but now it’s best if you block well, have good shoulders, and hit the bat well,” he said, adding that “framing will be left out of the equation to evaluate the value of a catcher.”
Meanwhile, the KBO will proceed in stages to stabilize and upgrade the system and hold briefings for players and coaching staff to quickly adapt to the new system so that it can be settled and operated stably. In addition, the league will continue to implement the ‘League Level Up Project’ to realize ‘Fan First’ and present more valuable and entertaining games to fans.