The long-awaited 2023 KBO League will be held on the 1st of next month. The KBO League this season is different in many ways compared to previous years.
The opening game of the KBO League will be held on April 1 at 2:00 pm in Jamsil (Lotte-Doosan), Gocheok (Hanwha-Kiwoom), Incheon (KIA-SSG), Suwon (LG-KT), and Daegu (NC-Samsung). Ahead of the opening, the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) has revealed what will change this season.
First of all, the organization of two-game matches, which has been ongoing since the reorganization of 10 clubs in 2015, will be abolished from this year. It is a measure to improve the performance by reducing the physical burden of the athletes and the risk of injury. Therefore, the plan is to present a more exciting and exciting match to the fans.
Round 3 is held biennially with 5 clubs playing 3 home matches – 1 away match or 1 home match – 3 away matches. Accordingly, the total number of home-away games of the 10 teams is also changed to 73 home games – 71 away games or 73 away games – 71 home games every other year. In order to efficiently organize the schedule that minimizes the number of times and distances traveled, the remaining games (1 home/away game) are organized in conjunction with the rescheduled rain canceled game.
The game speed-up regulations have also been strengthened. From the 2023 season, the mound visit time will be 5 seconds faster, from 30 seconds to 25 seconds. Managers and coaches must move to the dugout within 25 seconds of getting on the mound. At the point where 30 seconds passed, the catcher was ready to catch the ball, and the regulation was supplemented so that the game could be played faster.
Hitters also join the speedup. From the moment you enter the plate, you must keep at least one foot in the plate, and if you violate this rule, you will be fined 200,000 won. The referee will thoroughly check whether the batter has violated the departure rules, except for cases where departure is allowed inevitably.
In addition, a speed-up evaluation is added to the evaluation of the referee. ‘Strict speed-up regulation application’, ‘active speed-up encouragement’, and ‘smooth progress and rapid contribution to the game’ are added to the referee evaluation.
Inspection for foreign substances is also strengthened. Before or during the game, if the referees have doubts or if the opposing team raises an objection, a foreign object inspection will be conducted. The inspection is conducted by the referee and the umpire together. If a sticky special substance or prohibited foreign substance is clearly identified after a close examination of the entire player’s hand, it is considered a foul play. In addition to pitchers, fielders and catchers may also be inspected for foreign substances at the discretion of the referee. A player caught using a foreign object will be subject to immediate ejection and a 10-game suspension under existing Baseball Rules 3.01, 6.02(d) 1.
In addition, a rule was added to allow only approved products to be used, due to concerns that some highly viscous rosin could affect pitching if self-produced and used. In the KBO League, only products approved by KBO, MLB in the US스포츠토토, or NPB in Japan can be used. The rosin to be used in the game must be submitted to the referee one hour before the start of the game to confirm whether or not it can be used.
Regulations such as the size of running gloves worn by ground runners to prevent injury will be introduced. Only gloves within 30 cm in length and 13 cm in width can be used. After wearing it, it must be fixed so that it does not fall out of the hand during play, and if the referee determines that there is an impediment to play in violation of this rule, a penalty of 2 million won will be imposed.
Unnecessary friendships are also restricted. During cleaning time, standby players are prohibited from having private conversations with opposing players on the ground. The KBO explained, “This is a measure to prevent misunderstandings that occur outside of the game in advance and to strengthen fairness.” In addition, the access to the referee room for athletes and team executives is strictly restricted, and personal contact is also prohibited.
After observing the progress of the player’s injury, it was decided to retroactively recognize up to 3 days from the day after the last game trip to the date of entry cancellation (the date of being listed on the injured list) as the date of being listed on the injured list so that the player can decide to be listed on the injured list after watching the progress of the player’s injury. In addition, when applying for an extension of registration due to the same injury, it can be extended only once by submitting an application without an additional medical certificate.
Finally, the KBO Defense Award was newly established. KBO said, “We decided to establish the KBO Defense Award (tentative name) to recognize the value of defense by enacting an official league defense award and to promote improvement in league defense skills.” The selection of candidates and winners will be finalized and announced later by the executive committee.