It was the case Wednesday night in the match of the stars of the Atlantic League, bringing them a little closer to the jackpot.
The referee of the match in York, Pennsylvania, wore a headset that allowed to know if a throw was a ball or a hit based on a computer evaluation.
The referee then relays the call, as usual, to the players and supporters present. The referee can also cancel the call.
"I think that once people see this happen, they will realize that this is not a big problem," said Atlantic League President Rick White. , at the Washington Post.
White said the system would be deployed throughout his league in the coming weeks.
The independent Atlantic league and the major league baseball have an official partnership since the lower league sets new rules, innovations and equipment to be studied by the MLB.
The Strike Zone System, provided by MLB, was created by Trackman, a sports data company. The software present in the press transmits the call to a smart phone, which also transmits it to the Bluetooth earpiece that the referee wears. A square row well behind the base plate monitors the attack zone.
Morgan Sword, executive vice president of the MLB's economy and operations, told ESPN that this evening was "exciting for MLB".
"One of our goals is not to replace the referee," said Sword. "In fact, we try to empower the referee with the technology.The referee at home has a lot more to do than call balls and strikes, and he will be asked to do all this We are in touch with our umpires "union, and that's the first step of the process."
Many referees believe that the move to robotic help is a matter of time and the MLB would have already experienced it in two stages.
"I've seen this happen, it's inevitable," said the Atlantic League referee Derek Moccia. "The game is changing, baseball has to accelerate to keep up with the world, and if you want to participate in that you have to follow, the game is bigger than you, bigger than any player."
Among the new rules to test in the Atlantic league? Allow a player to steal the first goal. As can now be done when a third hit is not caught cleanly, the new rule allows the batter to attempt to take the first on any leader if a throw is not caught properly. .
All of this comes before the negotiation of a new collective agreement in 2021, when the owners and players of the MLB will have to accept such rule changes.
– Media level field