KBO Announces Early Season Start and Implementing Doubleheaders to Streamline Calendar

SEOUL — In a move to prevent a late-season calendar squeeze, the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) will commence the 2024 baseball season on March 23, about a week earlier than in recent years, and will introduce doubleheaders from the outset.

According to a new release by Yonhap News Agency, games that are canceled on Fridays or Saturdays will be rescheduled as doubleheaders to be played the following day. This change comes in addition to another new rule that allows teams to add two extra players to their active rosters during doubleheaders. The KBO specified that games scheduled during the summer months of July and August will not be part of the doubleheader policy.

The annual All-Star break will also be shortened from the current seven days to four days. The All-Star Game for the 2024 season will be played on July 6, and the midseason break will run from July 5 to 8.

These amendments are designed to ensure that the regular season does not extend into mid-October, which would consequently delay the postseason into mid-November. In 2023, the regular season ended on October 17, and the Korean Series champions will not be crowned before November 11.

Managers and players in the KBO have historically resisted the idea of doubleheaders, citing concerns over fatigue and the increased risk of injuries. Nonetheless, the KBO argues that incorporating doubleheaders earlier in the season will alleviate these issues by preventing a tighter schedule later on.

The KBO also noted that the postseason must conclude before November next year because the national team is set to participate in the World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier12 tournament, which begins on November 10.

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