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Leagues and Governing Bodies

MLB to test robot umpires in Triple-A this season

Robot umpires "will be just one step from the major leagues this season," as MLB is "expanding its automated strike zone experiment to Triple-A," according to the AP. MLB's website posted a hiring notice seeking seasonal employees to "operate the Automated Ball-Strike system." MLB said that it is "recruiting employees to operate the system." The robot umpires "will be used at some spring training ballparks in Florida, will remain at Low A Southeast and could be used at non-MLB venues" (AP, 1/20). SPORTTECHIE's Andrew Cohen notes MLB is "looking to hire tech support in 11 Triple-A cities." Low-A games last season used Hawk-Eye's optical cameras to "call balls and strikes, while the human home plate umpire wore an AirPod in his ear to receive and execute the call from the software." TrackMan's 3-D Doppler radar system has "piloted MLB's initial ABS deployment in the Atlantic League since 2019." The job posting said that ABS "will leverage 'optical tracking data' to call balls and strikes -- indicating Hawk-Eye and not TrackMan to be the preferred tech provider moving forward" (SPORTTECHIE.com, 1/21).

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