An umpire works a game with the pitch clock and the automated ball-strike system in operation at Masan Stadium in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, provided by the Korea Baseball Organization, Feb. 19. Yonhap

The Korean baseball league announced Wednesday its new automated ball-strike system (ABS) is working almost to perfection during the ongoing preseason. The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said the ABS has had a 99.9 percent success rate in identifying balls and strikes through 19 preseason games. The league has decided to adopt the ABS, colloquially called the robot umpire, starting in 2024. It uses a tracking system to make calls on balls and strikes and relays the information to the home plate umpire through an ear piece. The KBO said rare misses have come when the weather changed abruptly during a game and when camera wire got in the way and disrupted the tracking device.

The league hopes the ABS will ensure fair and accurate calls and eliminate unnecessary arguments from players over decisions by home plate umps. In another change for the season, the KBO plans to test the pitch clock through the first half and then decide whether to use it on a full-time basis for the second half of the campaign. Pitchers must deliver a pitch within 18 seconds with the bases empty and 23 seconds with runners on. The catcher must be in his box with nine seconds left on the clock, and the batter must be ready to hit with eight seconds to go. Major League Baseball adopted the pitch clock for the 2023 season and saw the average length of a nine-inning game fall by 24 minutes to two hours and 40 minutes. The KBO said the clock has had a similar effect on its preseason games so far, with the average time of a nine-inning affair decreasing by 23 minutes to 2:35.A pitch clock violation will result in a ball for the pitcher or a strike for the hitter. The KBO has recorded 46 violations by hitters, 38 by pitchers, and 카지노사이트 one by a catcher so far in the preseason.

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