Sports in Quarantine: Korean Baseball League

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One of the best thing about baseball is that it goes on for at least 7 months and there are games scheduled every day. Watching baseball at the end of the day becomes a part of your life. However, with quarantine greatly limiting our gatherings and activitiesmany professional sports leagues around the world, including Major League Baseball (MLB), have suspended all games. In South Korea, though, with the situation improving lately with about 30 new cases per day, professional baseball, KBO League, has officially begun on May 5 with no fans in attendance. It officially became one of the first professional leagues to return to action after COVID-19. 

There are few strict rules in the stadium, though. Players are not allowed to chew gum during the game or spit on the field. Coaches, interpreters (for international players), and other spectators must wear masks. Most importantly, everyone gets their temperature checked before entering the stadium.  

This unprecedented series of events has changed the dynamic in the baseball industry. Usually fans and scouts will be divided during a season to focus on different leagues around the world, however, the postponement of other major baseball leagues like MLB and NPB caused the international attention to be solely focused on KBO League. American baseball lovers have shown a particularly significant amount of interest to the league, with ESPN broadcasting the games live.  

Baseball is now back in full swing in South Korea. Although it isn’t the same as usual with the absence of fans, this doesn’t mean less support. In fact, more people than ever are paying close attention to the league. In these challenging times, the comeback of baseball is helping us return to some semblance of normality. 

 

Reference 

“ESPN Brings Korean Baseball as ‘Savior’ for US Baseball Fans.” The Korea Times, 13 May 2020, www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2020/05/662_289466.html. 

“How KBO Prepared for the Season through COVID-19.” ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures, 2020, www.espn.com/espn/feature/story?_slug_=how-korean-baseball-organization-prepared-season-covid-19&id=29107387&redirected=true. 

박기묵 . “씹는 담배 금지·주루코치 마스크 착용…KBO 코로나19 규칙.” 씹는 담배 금지·주루코치 마스크 착용…KBO 코로나19 규칙, CBS노컷뉴스, 29 Apr. 2020, www.msn.com/ko-kr/news/sports/씹는-담배-금지·주루코치-마스크-착용…kbo-코로나19-규칙/ar-BB13kZjI