Players’ Association communicates with KBO on ABS for the first time

“No players opposed to ABS…lack of explanation is disappointing”

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) and the Korean Professional Baseball Players Association (KPA) have held their first communication regarding the automated pitch judgment system (ABS).

The KBO will introduce ABS at the start of the 2024 season. The ABS was expected to solve the strike-and-ball issue that has plagued the game for years.

However, after the league started, some players expressed doubts about the accuracy of ABS. It was also pointed out that different stadiums have different strike zones. Some players publicly expressed their dissatisfaction with ABS, and the KBO responded by releasing the data.

On the 13th, the Korean Baseball Players Association announced that it has initiated its first communication with the KBO, more than two months after the introduction of ABS in the 2024 KBO League.

The Players’ Association explained, “The reason why the Players‘ Association did not speak out on the ABS, which was introduced through a unilateral notification, and expressed its position based on the players’ experiences after experiencing it firsthand as much as possible was because there was a strong will to create an advanced professional baseball environment and to be welcomed by fans by empowering the KBO, which is responding quickly to global trends.”

“It is safe to say that there are no KBO players who are against the introduction of ABS,” said Jang Dong-cheol,
“While the players welcome the advanced environment created by the introduction of ABS, we are very disappointed and regret the lack of clear explanations for the voices on the field during the process.”

The Players’ Association believes that it is time for the KBO to provide clarity to the players and delivered a three-page official position paper to the KBO on March 3.

The position paper asks for the immediate installation of ABS in all Futures League stadiums and for specific plans to be shared; asks for an explanation of why the KBO League is introducing ABS strike zones this year after never having used them in the Futures League; and asks for input on whether ABS could be replaced or upgraded to address inaccuracies and inconsistencies in calls, clarification and technical improvements to ABS calls that are made at the point of impact (before the ball crosses home plate) on a home run or a hard-hit foul ball; and ▲ a request to develop a system to make it easier for players to access ABS data long after the game is over if they want to review games from days earlier.

Along with the above five points, the players’ association conveyed to the KBO that Korean professional baseball players should actively work on the introduction, stabilization, and successful settlement of ABS. They also expressed their disappointments 토토사이트 in the process leading up to the introduction of ABS and the voices of the field that are currently being heard.

On May 9, the KBO sent a reply to the Players’ Association, expressing that it will continue to collect various opinions from clubs and players and make efforts to operate ABS.

According to the KBO’s response, ABS will be installed and operated in four stadiums in the Futures League in May, and clubs in stadiums that do not meet the installation criteria, such as the lack of space or the angle of the installation, will be reviewed to ensure an equal number of games for each club. For stadiums that are currently unable to install ABS due to unstable installation and operation factors (wind, installation height, difficult maintenance conditions, etc.), the answer was that additional measures are being explored.

The Players’ Association said, “The Players’ Association is definitely aware of the situation where ABS installation is being delayed at all Futures League stadiums due to various reasons, and we will continue to monitor the KBO’s efforts and actively work with the Players’ Association if necessary.”

The KBO also explained that the ABS strike and ball zones, which have not been piloted in the Futures League for the past four years and are now being introduced directly to the 2024 KBO League, were piloted in the Futures League to ensure the stability of the system and verify the accuracy of ABS, and to identify the most appropriate strike zone and operation method for the KBO League.

The Players’ Association pointed out that “it would have been better to have piloted the ABS system in the Futures League for at least one season, in line with the ABS system introduced in the KBO League this year.”

In response to the players’ request for a system that would allow players to easily access ABS-related data even after the game ends, the KBO said that it will share a club-specific username and password to allow clubs and players to access the tablet ABS page during non-game hours within the next week (before May 12), and that it plans to launch a separate page in mid-May that will provide graphical information about the previous game’s pitches, their location, the difference between the pitch location and the zone in the case of a ball call, and a video of each pitch, staggered after the game ends (expected to be in the afternoon of the day after the game ends). “The Players’ Association hopes that the KBO’s quick response will alleviate some of the frustration on the field,” the organization said.

In response to a request for technical clarification on instances where ABS calls are made at the time of a home run or a big home run foul hit (before the ball crosses home plate), the KBO stated that ABS makes the call and delivers the call regardless of whether the ball is hit or not, based on the accuracy of the actual measurement.

However, the Players’ Association expressed regret that “in the ‘2024 KBO Automated Pitch Judgment System (ABS) Player Guidance Material’ provided by the KBO to the players, it is stated that the left and right criteria are passed both the middle and end of home plate are passed within the set criteria both criteria must be met to be called a strike, and players and club representatives who received this information may have experienced suspicions or phenomena that the call was made in advance, increasing their suspicion of the system.”

Finally, the Players’ Association said, “We will continue to collect players’ opinions on the problems and improvements related to ABS in the field, and will communicate with the KBO based on technical data to ensure the successful implementation of ABS.”

7 thoughts on “Players’ Association communicates with KBO on ABS for the first time

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