Baseball in Korea went through many changes in its rules, including the number of innings per game. The games have 12 innings as the limit from as early as 2009. But matches have been limited to Korean baseball 9 innings for one game if two teams play each other twice on the same day.
Korean baseball is also a widely enjoyed sport in the country. Aside from knowing how many innings in Korean baseball, let us also understand all about its history, rules, and the significant differences with MLB rules.
Korean Baseball Organization: the Rules
The Korean Baseball Organization, or the KBO, is the highest and most esteemed organization for baseball in South Korea.
One distinct difference between the KBO and the MLB is that KBO allows a smaller number of teams to participate per season (10 versus 30). Because of this, the schedule is a lot more balanced for the players.
Another important rules differences to note is the number of innings in KBO baseball. Games would be designated as tied after having 12 to 15 innings, with the latter limit applying to post-season games.
The KBO league abolished this limit back in 2008. However, the rule was brought back in 2009!
South Korea baseball does not impose extra innings during the second half of the season. The 9 innings are in professional baseball, making it extra important that teams score runs whenever they can.
Overview of Korean Baseball
The KBO, addressed as Han-Kook Pro Yagoo in South Korea, is a professional league founded back in 1982. The number of Korean baseball teams competing in the league went from six at the beginning to ten today, with each team playing about six matches per week.
The very first game played in this league was held on March 27, 1982, between MBC Chungyong and the Samsung Lions. You might find the brand names here familiar, as it is very common for teams to be named after companies or businesses that own them.
Korean baseball scores are well-recorded and each year, MVPs are awarded in celebration of their hard-earned success. The best player in KBO history was noted to be Lee Seung-yuop, who earned a record of 5 MVPs.
KOB’s league has a regular and postseason structure (also known as the Korean series). The Korean series is the culminating event and highly anticipated part of the season. Five teams with the best Korean baseball standings would qualify to play against each other.
In KBO history, the Kia Tigers had an iconic 11-0 record in the series. Meanwhile, the Samsung Lions are also well-known as they had 18 appearances in the series, which is the most out of the history of KBO!
Most of this information about Korean baseball pertains to South Korea. Note, still, that North Korean baseball has also been around for quite long! Since the 1890s, amateur teams have played in different schools and companies, including Pyongyang in North Korea.
These used to compete from spring to autumn and in two-week tournaments. World War 2 did not end the games in North Korea, as the country still had national teams competing up to the 1990s.
Now, how about the players? The majority of the players in the KBO are, of course, Koreans. However, foreign players are also allowed to be team members. For example, the KBO has seen Americans, Cubans, and Canadians competing.
If you are a new viewer, here are some of the famous players with teams having the best Korean baseball league scores:
- Yang Hyeon-jong
- Yang Eui-ji
- Park Byung-ho
- Choi Jeong
- Kang Baek-ho
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a Korean baseball game last?
A game in KBO back in 2016 had about 3 hours and 23 minutes of game time. Then, the number went down slightly to 3 hours and 17 minutes in 2017. It may be safe to say that a Korean baseball game can last for around 3 hours.
How long is the Korean baseball season?
There are 144 games in the regular season for Korean baseball. This has been the usual amount of games since 2015. The post-season event, meanwhile, often has five to seven games.
What are the differences between MLB and KBO?
Aside from the Korean baseball extra innings rules, there are other differences in contrast to how the MLB does it.
First, the KBO uses a universal designated hitter, a role only available in American League teams. And do not forget that if games remain tied after 12-15 innings, the KBO would still declare the game as tied.
Meanwhile, the MLB doesn’t put a limit on how long a game lasts, allowing teams to compete until a winner is decided.
Is baseball a popular sport in Korea?
South Korea has always anticipated baseball games through the years. In fact, baseball is their most popular sport, and the KBO is among the highest-ranking leagues of baseball worldwide.
Baseball is a sport enjoyed by many countries around the globe. Since different organizers are handling them in different countries, some rules may be unlike what you are used to in your home court.
One common question is how many innings in Korean baseball? As we know, South Korea loves the sport, and the KBO has specific rules on their innings.
Games are usually limited to twelve innings. However, a limit of 9 or 15 applies to other situations, such as the first doubleheader match or a postseason tie.
Overall, Korean baseball is highly anticipated, and many professional athletes have made their way to the hearts of the cheering audience!
A powerful swing and the ball is flying across the field, just one hit, and we might never forget the thrill it brings. I do not know about you, but I never do. Every baseball game is the chance to compete with others and cooperate with your teammate. It is among my biggest passions.