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League Primer

League Primer: Northern League

There are two minor leagues for the Korea Baseball Organization. Today we’re digging into the first of those two leagues, the Northern League (KNL).


The Northern League has been in existence since 1991. Since that time it has served as a minor league for the KBO. The league continues year-after-year with little fanfare or notice as it is exactly as advertised, a feeder league for the KBO. The one area of note is that even though every KNL team is aligned with a KBO team, it is not required that the teams share the same name and the Goyang Heroes do not have the same name as their parent club, the Kiwoom Heroes.


The league currently operates using a 95+ game regular season schedule. 92 games against actual KNL opponents, and then the league has a varying number of interleague games with the Southern League, and can play barnstorming games against the Police as well as the Western League’s Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks-farm club. The 2020 season begins on March 24th and lasts until September 30th. Games that are tied after 9 innings end in a draw and every team uses a designated hitter, but otherwise, traditional baseball rules apply.

Level of Play

The scale,



The KNL operates at a level significantly below that of the KBO. It is a rudimentary farm league and the talent level found within the league reflects that fact. The KNL is a Rookie-level league.


  • Doosan Bears-farm
  • Goyang Heroes
  • LG Twins-farm
  • NC Dinos-farm
  • SK Wyverns-farm


The KBO website has a landing page just for KNL and KSL which also includes statistics. However, those statistics only date back to the 2010 season. Baseball Reference does not house KNL statistics.

People to Follow

There’s really no one out there posting about, writing about, or covering the KNL. If you’re following some KBO people then they may talk about the league every now and then but nothing more than that.


There isn’t an actual website for the KNL, however, the KBO website does have a section for the KNL and KSL. The league has no social media presence.


There does not appear to be any streaming service for the KNL, nor in general do any of the games appear to be broadcast on any medium. Though I did find highlight packages on the KBO website, so perhaps there once was a way to watch the games or there will be again in the future.

Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – Unknown

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Bill Thompson
Father (human/feline/canine), husband, Paramedic, Socialist, writer Internet Baseball Writers Association of America and Off the Bench Baseball; freelance writer at various online and print publications. Member Internet Baseball Writers Association of America & Society for American Baseball Research.

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