KBO to check pitchers’ hands for foreign substances starting in 2023

SEOUL– The South Korean baseball league said Tuesday umpires will start checking pitchers’ hands for possible foreign substances starting next year, with violators to face immediate ejection from the game and suspension.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) made the announcement following a rules committee meeting earlier in the day.

The latest move will allow the umpiring crew to check a pitcher’s hands before or during a game, or to conduct checks when an opposing team requests such an inspection.
For the inspection, the home plate umpire and another umpire together will check a pitcher’s hand and fingers for any illegal, sticky substances intended to improve spin.

Umpires may also inspect catchers or position players for foreign substances.

Pitchers who are caught using such substances will be immediately tossed from the game and will face a 10-game ban.

The KBO said it will also crack down on the use of custom-made rosin bags and will only permit products authorized for use in the KBO, Major League Baseball or Nippon Professional Baseball. Teams must submit rosin bags for approval by the umpiring crew at least one hour before first pitch.

The size of the sliding mitt for base runners will be limited to 30 centimeters in length and 13 centimeters in width. The protective glove must not come loose during plays, and anyone using illegal mitts will be fined 2 million won (US$1,550).

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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