The controversial “Speed-Up Rule” has finally come up to a conclusion. The debate mainly circled around the automatic strike awarded to the pitcher whenever a batter does one of the following:
- Batter has both feet out of the batter’s box after the point he takes his position in the batter’s box (unless his actions are categorized under the exceptions).
- Batter does not take position in the batter’s box before his walk-up music ends (10 seconds).
- Batter leading off an inning does not take position in the batter’s box before the inning-break ends (two minutes).
The severity of the penalty was not the only issue. Home-plate umpires acutally experienced trouble paying attention to the batters, as fairness of the rule was brought to question. However, there were people who supported the idea, claiming pitchers are finally provided with a rule that is friendlier to them.
In any case, the automatic strike has been replaced with a 200,000 KRW (181 USD) fine, which will be deposited and used for youth baseball development.
Baseball is a slow-paced game per se, and the game as a whole does not have a time limit. However, the KBO League also had a time when games, at an average, took less than three hours. Moreover, there is somewhat of a correlation between duration time and offense. Scoring an average of one run a game would add about 20-30 minutes of game time. Yet, people who are new to the game may not be able to appreciate pitching duels very well. With the league attempting to break pass the 10-million-in-attendance mark, they are pretty much in a dilemma.
- KBO, 경기 스피드업 규정 확정, Korea Baseball Organization/Sports2i, Mar. 16, 2015.