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Major Sports to Introduce Rule Changes

Posted January. 03, 2009 06:17,   


In the sports world, the New Year will usher in an era of new teams and rules.

More teams will be added and rule changes are slated to raise fan demand for more excitement.

○ Soccer

Gangwon FC will debut as Korea’s 15th pro soccer team. Former Korean international Choi Sun-ho will be the coach and Lee Eul-yong, a key member of 2002 World Cup team, has joined from FC Seoul.

Four instead of two Korean teams can advance into the Asian Football Confederation Champions League. Last year’s K-League champion Suwon Samsung Bluewings and FC Seoul, Ulsan Hyundai Horang-I and the Pohang Steelers will advance to this year’s Asian Champions League.

○ Baseball

Korea’s baseball league attracted five million spectators last season for the first time in 13 years. The goal this year is six million.

The Korea Basketball Organization will hold a meeting this month on possibly raising the number of games for each team from 126 to 133. It will also discuss whether to allow ties.

A league official said, “We’ll make reasonable changes to help baseball teams draw more spectators and players improve their performances and records.”

○ Basketball

From the 2009-10 season, foreign players will face limits on play.

Each team will still be allowed to recruit two foreign players, but only one foreign player on each team can play per quarter. This is to give more chances to Korean players.

A draft for players who are half Korean will come in February. If they are naturalized as Korean citizens, they can play for the national squad.

○ Taekwondo

Electronic equipment will be introduced to reduce the disputes over decisions. Before the 2012 London Olympics, the World Taekwondo Federation will require the use of electronic equipment at international competitions such as the world championships.

For more dynamic games, scores will be decided on the degree of difficulty. A simple hit earns one point, a reverse body punch two, and a head attack three.

○ Judo

Koka, the lowest scoring technique, will be abolished to encourage players to use more sophisticated techniques.

The duration of a match will be cut from five to three minutes.

niceshin@donga.com hanwshin@donga.com