KBO to Implement Robot Umpires and Pitch Clocks in 2024

Seoul — The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) has announced that it will introduce robot umpires and pitch clocks by 2024 to enhance game speed and fairness. The decision was finalized during a board of directors meeting on Wednesday, which was attended by the presidents of all 10 KBO clubs.

Yonhap News Agency reported that the automated ball-strike system (ABS), commonly referred to as robot umpires, uses a tracking system to make ball and strike calls, which are then relayed to the home plate umpire via an earpiece. The KBO had initially unveiled plans for implementing ABS in July and has been testing the technology in the Futures League since 2020.

The organization also revealed that the pitch clock will make its debut in the KBO in 2024. The KBO conducted a comprehensive study of the pitch clock's impact on Major League Baseball (MLB), including changes to game length and an increase in stolen bases. Based on its findings, the KBO concluded that a customized set of rules would best suit its league. According to statistics, the average length of a nine-inning KBO game this year was 3 hours and 12 minutes.

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