KBO gives clubs in-ear devices to track automated calls in real time

Umpires are equipped with automated ball-strike system (ABS) devices on their left ears during the 2024 Korean baseball league game between the KIA Tigers and SSG Landers in Incheon SSG Landers Field, April 16. Newsis

In light of recent officiating controversy, the Korean baseball league announced Tuesday it has provided clubs with devices that will follow calls from the automated ball-strike system (ABS) in real time.The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said all 10 clubs will each have an in-ear device that will relay calls from the ABS at the same time as the home plate umpire receives them.The KBO implemented the ABS this season to ensure more accurate ball-strike calls. It determines balls and strikes with a tracking system, and delivers calls to the home plate umpire through an earpiece.The KBO said any member of a team working in the dugout may wear the device. If the umpire’s call is different from the ABS call on the device, then the team official will be allowed to ask the umpire for confirmation, as long as the appeal is made before the next pitch.If the incorrect call is made on a pitch that ends an inning, then the appeal must be made within 20 seconds.

In addition, the KBO will also empower the designated ABS official working at each game to intervene should there be any discrepancy between the ABS call and the umpire’s decision.The KBO decided to equip its clubs with the new device after an incident surrounding a missed call led to the dismissal of a veteran umpire last week.On April 14, home plate umpire Moon Seong-hoon missed a “strike” call from an ABS system during a game between the NC Dinos and the Samsung Lions. Dinos manager Kang In-kwon belatedly tried to argue the call, after the league-issued tablet showed the strike call on a few seconds’ delay.While discussing the situation, umpire Lee Min-ho, crew chief for the game, was heard on a mic during the game broadcast as telling Moon to pretend he’d heard a “ball” on his earpiece so that the entire crew could avoid further trouble.The KBO fired Lee last Friday, and suspended Moon and another umpire from that game, Chu Pyung-ho, for three months without pay.Kang welcomed the KBO’s decision Tuesday, thought he felt it was long overdue.”It will help us to be able to confirm strikes and balls in real time. It’s a shame that we could have prevented problems beforehand, and we only have this in place after some issues had already come up,” Kang told reporters at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul, before playing the Doosan Bears. “I hope 토토사이트 we have no further problems with the ABS.”

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