‘Robot umpires’ debut in U.S. baseball league

Umpire wears an earpiece connected to iPhone and relays the call upon receiving it from a computer system
“Robot umpires” have arrived. The independent Atlantic League became the first American professional baseball league to let a computer call balls and strikes on Wednesday night at its All-Star Game. Plate umpire Brian deBrauwere wore an earpiece connected to an iPhone in his pocket and relayed the call upon receiving it from a TrackMan computer system that uses Doppler radar. “Until we can trust this system 100%, I still have to go back there with the intention of getting a pitch correct because if the system fails, it doesn’t pick a pitch up or if it registers a pitch that’s a foot-and-a-half off the plate as a strike, I have to be prepared to correct that,” Mr. deBrauwere said. It didn’t appear Mr. deBrauwere had any delay receiving the calls at first but players noticed a big difference. “One time I already had caught the ball back from the catcher and he signalled strike,” said pitcher Daryl Thompson, who didn’t realise the technology was being used until after he disagreed with a call. The umpires have the ability to override the computer, which considers a pitch a strike when the ball bounces and then crosses the zone.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-life/robot-umpires-debut-in-us-baseball-league/article28417154.ece

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