Tuesday, 18th June 2024


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Its KBO Umpire’s Confusing Pitch Clock Adaptation Period

It was a joke, but there is a bone. A ‘time limit’ system will be introduced in the KBO League starting in 2024. 

Since the average game time exceeds 3 hours, in order to reduce this, it was decided to introduce the ‘pitch clock’

which was introduced by the Major League (ML) in the 2023 season and has had great results. In ML, the average game time decreased to 2 hours and 40 minutes after the introduction of the pitch clock. 토토사이트

The ‘pitch clock’ limits pitchers’ pitching time. The main idea is to provide visual pressure by installing a clock in the stadium. 

ML required pitchers this season to throw the ball within 15 seconds if there were no runners and within 20 seconds if there were runners. 

There is also a time limit for batters, who must come to the plate within 8 seconds. In case of violation, a penalty of 1 ball is automatically given to the pitcher and 1 strike to the batter.

For example, if the pitcher exceeds the time limit four times when there are no runners, the batter can walk away without even seeing the ball. 

This is why there was a saying among umpires, “Now you can get a hit even if you don’t throw the ball.”

As this is a newly introduced system, not only players in the KBO League but also referees have begun training to adapt to the pitch clock. 

The KBO Umpire Committee conducted pitch clock adaptation training along with a simulation of the use of the Automatic Ball Decision System (ABS) earlier this month. 

Adaptation training will continue in spring camp.

The public’s focus was on ABS. A camera installed in the stadium reads the ball flying over the home plate to determine whether it is a ball strike. 

There was a lot of talk about the uselessness of umpires and the uselessness of catchers’ framing techniques. 

In fact, it was the pitch clock, not the ABS, that made the referee pull his hair out during actual training, which attracted attention.

Referee Deokhyeong Yoo, who has 12 years of refereeing experience, laughed and said, “(As of the 7th) it was the 4th day of training, and when I experienced the pitch clock on the first day, I had no idea what it was.” Referee Yoo said, “ABS is rather convenient. 

When the robot makes a decision, you can listen to the sound and shout out a slogan. 

However, Peach Clock was so confused that I thought, ‘How do I do this?’ “I’m gradually getting used to it,” he said.

In fact, the referees put a lot of effort into adaptation training by acting out various situations that could occur when the pitch clock is introduced.

“time! Time over! One ball! One ball!”

In the hypothetical situation, when the pitcher fails to throw the ball within the time limit, the umpire first shouts “time over” loudly, then warns the pitcher by saying “one ball,” then turns around and heads toward the KBO scorer’s office again.

One ball,” he shouted, gesturing with his hand. Conversely, when the batter was unable to stand at the plate and take a batting stance within 8 seconds, he warned the batter, “One strike!”

There was also some confusion. When a pitcher keeps a runner in check, according to ML standards, if he fails to put the runner out on the third check, a balk is declared. 

The referees seemed to have not yet mastered this rule and discussed it with their heads together. 

The umpires also discussed whether it was against the rules for an umpire to encourage a batter who did not step to the plate when the time limit was imminent, and whether replacing the ball was included in the time limit.

Umpire Seung-hoon Moon, a 21-year veteran, predicted a new point to watch next season, saying, “During the third check

runners with quick feet will likely have a longer lead.” Umpire Choi Soo-won, another 20-year veteran, said, based on his personal opinion

I don’t think domestic pitchers and hitters will be able to adapt based on ML standards. 

Personally, I think they should be given a little more time than ML,” he said, expressing his thoughts on the pitch clock.

Heo Woon, Chairman of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Umpire Committee, said, “We plan to finalize the details of the newly introduced regulations, such as the pitch clock, as soon as possible and deliver them to the field coaches and players.”

He added, “We will improve the proficiency of the umpires through repeated training before the start of next year’s season.” “I will raise it,” he said.

Referees are focusing on communication with measurers and application to each situation through the first winter training. The KBO plans to gather opinions from referees and prepare its own bylaws regarding the pitch clock.

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