MLB debuts 'robot umpires' for some Triple-A games as emergence in the majors loom

Umpire accuracy is a frustration for fans and players in nearly every game

Fill in some text

This season, MLB has launched so-called "robot umpires" in 11 Pacific Coast League Triple-A teams, putting it one step away from reaching the major leagues, to improve accuracy and reduce delays.

Fill in some text

As cool and bizarre as it would be to see "Jetsons"-style robots on the field, most fans won’t notice the actual device — eight surveillance-looking cameras at the top of the bleachers.

"Yelling at the umpire, just having a good time. You know, it makes the game feel authentic, makes it feel real," said Ronaldo Echeverria, a Las Vegas Aviators fan.

But umpires make human errors, so MLB introduced an automated ball and strike system to increase the accuracy of calls and reduce delays.

Cameras located at the top of the bleachers detect the strike zone based on the players’ height.

"At the core, sport is a human endeavor, and we like to cheer for our fans. We like to vilify the umpires," said Rayvon Fouché, a Purdue University professor of American Studies. "It’s a theater of sport and part of that would be lost if we moved to robotic officiating."

He said there’s not yet enough evidence of whether this technology is improving umpires’ accuracy.

"It's good in some ways, but not in baseball. Baseball's an old-fashioned game,"

MLB has said it’s possible the system could eventually roll out in major league games, but they haven’t released a potential timeline.

For more such stories, please click the below link