After CPBL started the season in empty stadiums in China on April 11th, KBO is set to follow the example and start the games on May 5th, reports Yonhap News Agency.
What Is KBO
KBO is the major baseball league from South Korea. It was created in 1982, initially consisting of six franchises. These days, there are ten – and the league is the most successful sports league in the country.
Before the game, each player will have their temperature taken twice. The players will also be required to fill in the health questionnaire. Obviously, high fives and handshakes are off-limits – as well as spitting.
The games will be held behind closed doors until the COVID-19 situation is under control, thus there is no set date as to when fans will be accepted. Players are encouraged to wear masks everywhere outside of the field and in the dugouts and the stadium, staff needs to be fully equipped (masks, gloves) at all times.
If any player was to exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 and test positive, the whole league would go on a three-week shutdown.
What It Means for the MLB
Currently, not much. South Korea is among the most successful countries when it comes to handling the pandemic. The number of new cases on Sunday was just 10. In comparison, the USA was at a whopping 27,488.
Until the number of new cases starts to significantly drop, it is unlikely that the MLB will resume operations. However, South Korea’s preventive plan is a great, – and safe, – way to resume the league without risking the health of the population.
The promise of a bright future for baseball is strong, but it heavily depends on the overall measures taken by the government – and even the baseball fans. Following the quarantine is crucial to reducing the number of new cases, and subsequently moving the start of the MLB season closer.