Baseball: South Korean pro league to adopt robot umpires in 2024

South Korea’s professional baseball has decided to introduce robot umpires next season, ahead of the major leagues, to ensure accuracy and fairness.

The Korea Baseball Organization on Oct. 19 announced the decision on the automated ball-strike system, which uses a tracking system to determine balls and strikes while relaying the call to the home plate umpire through an earpiece, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Yonhap quoted the KBO as saying, “The ABS system has accomplished a precision and consistency of ball-strike calls. We have also reduced the time it takes for the calls to be relayed to the umpires. By introducing the ABS to the KBO, it will ensure fair play for pitchers and hitters alike.”

The league had been working on improving ABS technology in the Futures League, the KBO’s feeder circuit, since 2020, Yonhap said.

In the United States, the independent and minor leagues have trialed the ABS.

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said in June the system is not likely to be used in the majors in 2024.

South Korean baseball watcher Masaya Muroi said the KBO is receiving financial support from the government for the introduction of robot umpires.

By Web Desk