KBO Commissioner Heo Koo-yeon has called for fans to understand the automated ball judgment system (ABS) and pitch clock, which will be introduced next season.
He was honored with the Achievement of the Year Award at the 2023 KBO Sports Seoul Year of the Year Award ceremony held at the Elena Hotel in Nonhyeon-dong, Seoul on March 30. Upon receiving the award, Heo said, “I was surprised when I heard that I had been selected for the award. It’s not often that sports organizations receive awards. I am grateful, but the responsibility is heavy. Thanks to the support of our fans, I think this year ended well, but there are still many challenges that remain. We will do our best to fill in the gaps,” he said in accepting the award.
On October 19,
the KBO held its fourth board meeting and decided to introduce ABS and Pitch Clock for the 2024 season. The KBO ABS system has been piloted in the Futures League for the past four years, starting in 2020, and the system has been upgraded. The KBO said, “It has achieved results such as improving the accuracy and consistency of ball and strike judgments and reducing the time it takes for judgment results to be delivered to umpires. Along with ABS, PitchClock, which is scheduled to be introduced in the 2024 season, was also used this season to comprehensively analyze changes in game duration, changes in game indicators such as stolen bases, and spectator satisfaction in the Major Leagues. 온라인카지노 We also analyzed the average pitching intervals of all pitchers in the KBO, as well as detailed indicators such as the average number of blocking attempts and when a batter is ready to hit,” explains the background of the introduction.
ABS is a completely new system that neither Major League Baseball nor Nippon Professional Baseball has adopted yet, so initial confusion is inevitable. “I’m actually very worried,” said Heo, who admitted, “I’ve been having meetings about ABS and PitchClock. Fans need to understand why we are introducing ABS,” he said.
“There are a lot of complaints from players, clubs, umpires, and fans,” he pointed out, “and some umpires are feeling so much pressure that they can’t do it anymore,” he lamented. The KBO hopes that the introduction of ABS will reduce controversy over ball judgment.
“It’s not 100% perfect yet, but we’re doing our best to prepare,” said Heo. Of course, we will do our best to ensure that there are no problems, but there may be some noise at the beginning. I hope the fans will understand and pull together as one,” he said.
“We need to become a deficit-free professional baseball organization and move forward as a sports industry,” said Heo, who also spoke of long-term challenges. “The Korean population is declining and the number of newborns is dropping rapidly. I am very worried about the survival of professional baseball in 20 to 30 years. The supply and demand of players will be difficult, and spectators will disappear. We are always thinking about how to keep baseball alive in the future.”
There are many challenges, but things are getting better.
“In fact, when I was a commentator, I had given up on building new stadiums in Gwangju and Daejeon. But now Gwangju has a new soccer stadium and Daejeon is finally getting one. I’m really looking forward to the opening game in Daejeon in 2025. Finally, all the stadiums are close to 20,000 seats, so I’m looking forward to the era of 10 million spectators, which was only a dream,” he said, hoping for the KBO’s prosperity.