Is the error correction system broken?

During the 2024 KBO Baseball World Series matchup between the Samsung Lions and the NC Dinos at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu, South Korea, on March 14, umpires were caught colluding over an ABS error. It happened because the multi-step system for correcting errors was not working. It was a ridiculous situation for the world’s first automated ball judgment system (ABS).

In the bottom of the third inning, with NC leading 1-0, Lee Jae-hyun was batting when two pitches from Lee Jae-hak entered the strike zone on a 0-1 count and were called balls. The tablet PC in the dugout showed it as a strike. Manager Kang Kwon-hyung appealed the call after five pitches were thrown. The appeal must be made before the next pitch. According to the rules, the call could not be reversed.

The umpires deliberated and did not accept NC’s appeal. Lee Min-ho, head of the umpiring team, took the microphone and said, “The pitch that Kim Ji-chan pitched when he stole the base was passed as a ball when it was audibly transmitted to the umpire. However, after checking the ABS monitor, it was ruled a strike. NC appealed it, but according to the rules, the pitch must be appealed before the next pitch is thrown to be corrected. The statute of limitations on appeals has passed, so we’re going with the count,” he explained.

The umpires’ discussion was shown live on the screen of SBS Sports, which was broadcasting the game.

A questionable comment caused a stir. Lee Min-ho, the head of the umpiring team, said, “You can hear that the voice was clearly recognized as a ball. That’s the only way we can get out of this, okay? That’s the only way we can get out of this. The voice is a ball, okay? That’s what you have to do if you don’t want to break it.”

Umpire Moon Seung-hoon said, “(The in-ear) crackled and sounded like a ball,” and third base umpire Choo Pyung-ho added, “It sounded like a supportive position.” The call is made by both the umpire and the third base umpire. Judging from the comments of the umpire and third base umpire, it seems that the in-ear communication device for delivering balls was not working properly. They concluded that “the voice was a ball” 안전놀이터 추천 when it could have been corrected by saying that they couldn’t hear the call because of noise. In the heat of the moment, he escalated the situation with a cover-up statement to deflect blame.

There are three problems with this situation

The first is that the umpire didn’t hear the strike call, whether it was a mechanical error like noise or human error. The umpire’s failure to hear the strike call was not followed up with a correction by the ABS field staff. The NC could have gotten the call corrected if they appealed immediately. If the dugout tablet PC was late, this is also a major issue. “To get out…”. The umpire team leader’s provocative words, “To get away with it…,” escalated into a “match-fixing” situation.

The KBO received statements from the umpires. While the umpires may not have been involved in match-fixing, it is clear that they made inappropriate comments on the field. What they said and how they said it should be clear from the broadcasters’ replays. If there’s a problem, it’s a matter of disciplining them appropriately. More importantly, the ABS system needs to be improved by identifying the real problems that have been exposed in this case, and why the error correction function did not work.

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