‘Professional baseball robot umpire’ strike zone expanded by 2cm on each side
The upper and lower pitching time is limited to 28-56% of the batter’s height , and if there are no runners, it is 18 seconds.
Starting this year, the professional baseball strike zone will be expanded by 2 cm on each side of the home plate, for a total of 4 cm.
The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) held the first executive committee (general managers’ meeting) of this season on the 24th and confirmed the implementation rules for the Automatic Ball and Strike System (ABS), commonly called ‘robot umpire’. Starting with the new season, the KBO will leave strike decisions to robot referees.
The KBO said, “If the strike zone is applied as written in the baseball rules, walks may increase. “We decided this way to minimize on-site trial and error due to rapid zone changes,” he explained. “We referenced the case of expanding the ABS by 2.5 cm on both sides when operating the ABS in the American professional baseball minor league.”
The upper and lower areas of the strike zone were determined to be 27.64 to 56.35% of the batter’s height based on the average judgment results of ‘human referees‘. Baseball rules define the strike zone as the area from ‘below the knees of the uniform’ to ‘the horizontal line between the top of the shoulder and the top of the pants.’
A ball thrown by a pitcher must meet all of these criteria when it passes the middle and end of home plate to be a strike. It has nothing to do with where or how the catcher catches the ball.
In addition, the KBO decided to set the pitch time limit (pitch clock) to 18 seconds when there are no runners and 23 seconds when there are runners. Each is 3 seconds longer than the major league. The ball must be thrown within 30 seconds between batters. The catcher must sit in the catcher’s box until 9 seconds remain on the pitch clock, and the batter must be ready to bat until 8 seconds remain. If this is violated, the defending team receives a ball and the attacking team receives a strike. The pitch clock is being piloted in the first half of this season, so even if you violate this rule, you will only receive a warning. 섯다