(Oldest Posts First)
I hope this will at least provoke debate.
Basically, this system is based on making the objective of the league games (i) Reaching the final phases of an open draw championship, rather than (ii) Redundant National league finals.
However Provisional Finals are retained by using a system which is based on to the Conference system used in American Grid-iron Football.
Incentives are supposed to be included at every stage so that teams aren't going through the motions in any match. It's not easy to explain these things on paper, but here goes;
Each Year the 32 Football Counties are divided into 4 "National Conferences" based on a seeding system determined by performance in the previous year.
For Example Dublin, Kerry, Cork and Tyrone might be seeded 1 next year, with each heading up one of 4 conferences.
Similarly Mayo, Donegal, Kildare & Meath might be seeded 2, and would also be placed in different conferences, each made up of 8 teams drawn from 8 pots of 4 teams ranked at levels 1-8.
For example, level 8 teams might include London. Carlow, Waterford and Clare, who would get the chance of seeing the top teams at their grounds using this system.
Each county would play 7 games in this "League" phase of the competition, which is very similar to how the 4 divisional leagues are played now, however without the finals given there is a new objective for these games which is explained as follows;
Later in the year, the 8 Provincial Finalists would be determined, not by championship as at present, but by the top 2 league records from each province, regardless of conference played in. Counties records would be compared across conferences first by points total, followed points difference, then points scored. (In the unlikely event of equal records mid-week play-offs could be used).
The 4 provisional finals would of course produce 4 winners, with these teams getting direct to the AI Quarter final as at present, having 8 competitive games under their belt.
The 4 provincial champions having qualified, conference placings would again be used to determine the 16 other teams with the best "League Records". If losing provincial finalists don't fall in to this category (possible but unlikely) they would exit at that stage.
2 series of an open draw "knock-out" championship, with home field advantage determined by league record, could quickly reduce 16 teams to 4 by the end of July, as is the case now.
8 teams now remaining, All Ireland Quarter finals, would take place and I'd suggest offering home field advantage to the Provincial winners to boost the significance of those titles and make up for the 2/4 week lay-off which they also experience with the current system, but without compensation.
Semi-finals & Final would be played in Croke Park as at present.
The 12 other teams who did not qualify for the All Ireland Series would play in a B Championship, with the prize playing in Croke Park on AI Final day before the AI Final, and a higher seeding the following year for teams which progress.
Although not perfect, the benefits of this system include;
1. Meaningful League Series, giving qualification for, and home field advantage within, the AI series.
2. Coveted Provincial Titles
3. Dublin & Kerry Regularly appearing in places like Aughrim and Carrick on Shannon
4. End of League Finals played in front of 10,000 people.
5. End of Back Door System
6. More meaningful games, and bigger attendances, for all counties.
7. Realistic target for Division 4 Teams.
8. Not playing the same teams year after year
9. And Best of all, all teams in all counties would be playing at the same times of year, leaving proper windows for Club.
spiritof1991 (Down) - Posts: 693 - 12/12/2011 13:56:45 1083279Link 0