National Forum

A Fair Football Championship

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Without requiring the Prov Championships to be scrapped - should they be PUT ON A 3-YR CYCLE?
During the two 'off years' we would see if we miss the Provs - and when they are played in the 3rd year, they might be more refreshing.

In the off years, have 8 groups (1 to 8) of 4, with '1 and 4 seeds' kept apart (groups are 1123 or 2344).
All 32 to the AI KO - top 2 each group get two chances, bottom 2 with one chance.
Top half of AI Series -

A) 1st grp 1 v 2nd grp 8
B) 2nd grp 2 v 1st grp 7
C) 1st grp 3 v 2nd grp 6
D) 2nd grp 4 v 1st grp 5

E) 4th grp 1 v 3rd grp 8
F) 3rd grp 2 v 4th grp 7
G) 4th grp 3 v 3rd grp 6
H) 3rd grp 4 v 4th grp 5

I) Loser A v Winner H
J) Loser B v Winner G
K) Loser C v Winner F
L) Loser D Winner E

Rd of 16 - M) Winners A v J etc.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1289 - 20/05/2018 17:40:11    2102324

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Or, a simpler GPA 8x4 variation -
32 counties with seeding the same as their NFL div.
Draw 8 groups of 4 with BOTH a 2nd and 3rd seed in each, and EITHER a pair of 1st seeds (in groups 1 to 4) OR 4th seeds (in groups 5 to 8).
After 3 games per team, Top 3 in each group to 'AI KO Rd of 24' as follows - [and of which, 12 winners advance (1 best 'group 1-4 record' gets 'quadrant bye' to AI QFs; other 2 go Head to Head, 8 of 12)]:

A) 1st in grp 1 v 3rd in grp 8
B) 2nd in grp 4 v 2nd in grp 5
C) 3rd in grp 2 v 1st in grp 7

D) 1st in grp 3 v 3rd in grp 6
E) 2nd in grp 1 v 2nd in grp 8
F) 3rd in grp 4 v 1st in grp 5

G) 1st in grp 2 v 3rd in grp 7
H) 2nd in grp 3 v 2nd in grp 6
I) 3rd in grp 1 v 1st in grp 8

J) 1st in grp 4 v 3rd in grp 5
K) 2nd in grp 2 v 2nd in grp 7
L) 3rd in grp. 3 v 1st in grp 6

AI SFs are: Winners ABC v DEF; and GHI v JKL.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1289 - 21/05/2018 02:04:59    2102496

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Replying To no.14:  "Gaelic sports are inherently unfair, primarily due to population distribution. But that's sport, most are unfair in some aspect.

The best you can do is try to even the playing field. Gaelic sports is about championship, we all know and love that. But it's hard to think of any championship as completely lopsided as the current Provincial-to-All Ireland football structure.

If Carlow beat Louth they're still 2 games from a Leinster final. They have to win 7 games to win an AI. Roscommon win 1 game and they're straight into a Connaught final (5 games to win AI). This is not right. There are enough disadvantages in our games without the competition structure adding further disadvantages. Success breeds success, interest and participation - it's not fair that some teams start so much closer to success every year than others.

This brings me to the point of this post.
Keep the provincial championships, but play them instead of the early-year Dr.McKenna type cup competitions that nobody cares about. College teams should not participate in these.

The All Ireland competition should remain regional in early stages - local rivalries are great! - but do it roughly geographically instead of by province - 8 teams in each region.

Northern Championship - Donegal, Derry, Antrim, Down, Armagh, Monaghan, Fermanagh, Tyrone
Western Championship - Mayo, Galway, Sligo, Cavan, Roscommon, Longford, Leitrim, London/NY
Eastern Championship - Louth, Meath, Dublin, Wicklow, Laois, Offaly, Kildare, Westmeath
Southern Championship - Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Clare, Tipp, Limerick, Carlow

- Regional ch'ships start at QF stage. Draw seeded based on league position that year. Top 4 seeds drawn against bottom 4. Lower seeded teams have home advantage.
- 4 Winners progress to regional semi finals & final. Winner & Runner Up of final progress to All Ireland Quarter Finals. Regional winners have AI QF home advantage. Semis in Croker and final obviously.
- The 4 losers of each region QFs go into the Paidi O'Se Cup. Open draw of 16 teams, knockout. Semis and final played in Croke Park - final on the Saturday eve of All Ireland weekend. Competition to get equal promotion and coverage as All Ireland. Winning squad gets large cash/incentive prize (maybe play AI winners abroad on holiday).
- Ch'ships are run off 13 weeks from start of May. 2 weeks to prepare after club April, then max 6 games in 11 weeks. Not unreasonable at all, & crucially it's the same criteria for all teams.

Advantages
- All teams get chance to win All Ireland every year
- All teams get still get minimum 2 ch'ship games, max of 6. All must play 6 to win AI, or 5 to win the P.OSe.
- Lower seeded teams get a big home game every year (help improve interest, participation, sponsorship, atmosphere)
- Avoids group format & meaningless games - no team can lose 2 games and still win something.
- Still getting plenty big games in Croke Park (Dublin home games, Eastern Final, then 4 semis & 2 finals)
- All Ireland Final Day becomes All Ireland Final Weekend (all the additional sponsorship/promotion/tourism you can generate off that)
- Format can be easily replicated at minor. More young players get chance to win something / play at Croker.
- Retains club April and club access to players from start of August (earlier if knocked out) to end October.

Disadvantages
There will be heavy defeats in early round. But this is unavoidable/natural in any competition structure.

I can't see many problems with it honestly."
Think it's an excellent proposition. I was suggesting something similar, but calling it ALL IRELAND INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP, which is a hotly contested competition at club level. If it works there it could work at county, but yours is better!!!!!
I had similar idea, regarding the final day, and promoting it as an all Ireland final weekend. Give it time to bed in as well.

However the most important aspect is it's promotion in the media, within gaa circles, Sunday game etc. Have it as curtain raisers, giving it equal air time etc, without the Sneerie comments from our esteemed pundits.

It's all about it's promotion. Hype it and give it the respect that these players, who give up their time, purely for the love of their counties and the game itself, deserve.

I know this is a whole different topic, but the amount of youngsters linning up to play rugby is serious. Leinster are seriously promoting their game within the province, and fair play to them. Gaa need to wake up.

Some examples this year are, st Mela college and moyne community school, here in Longford. St mels is a former hotbed of young footballers from longford and surrounding counties. It has won numerous leinster titles in the past and 7 or 8 Hogan cups. Moyne also, in the 90, contested at senior A level and reached leinster semi finals and finals.

Both Colleges have not contested a leinster colleges football final for years. Moyne are now in a B competition, while st Mels are clinging on to their status in the A competition.........both have contested leinster rugby finals this year...mels won the development cup, while moyne reached its "plate final".

I think your suggestion is a great one. For the sake of my county, who I love(and hate) supporting!!!, if nothing is put in place or attempted, with adequate respect and promotion, interest in playing for my county will be lost. The time, effort, sacrifice required to compete, with little reward, will, I fear, be lost.

Without some sort of intervention, the super 8, could quite possibly become a super 2, in the not so distant future......i for one, don't want to be able to say "I told you so" to GAA hierarchy......my compliments for your suggestions.

Longfordbaz (Longford) - Posts: 105 - 21/05/2018 23:49:25    2102859

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If you want to make it fair then do like what American football does thats a sport designed so no one team can ever dominate. Introduce a limit to what each team can spend on their team, no sponsorships per team just get big big names to sponsor the championships, pool the money together and distribute equally to a pre determined limit across all teams. Receipts to show what that money was spent on, and county boards get reimbursed for what they spent up to that limit. All teams treated equally.

All counties get the same money to spend on underage development, coaching training, backroom staff, phsycologists, medical, physio, equipment etc... All transparent with nothing to hide

Enter the 32 counties into the football champ (yes include kilkenny) along with London, new York and the winner of the British champ. This gives 35 teams. Spilt these Into 7 arranged groups of 5 teams and forget the provincial champs and national league. The pre detirmined and agreed 7 groups of 5 teams never change year on year and every team plays each team in their group home and away once per year (8 games), along with one team (on a rotating basis) from each of the other 6 groups home and away once per year also (12 games) top two in each group qualify plus the 2 best third placed teams qualify for a straight knock out tournament all the way to the final.

I think this ensures all teams enter the championship on a very level playing field and each team gets to play each other at least once home and once away and 5 years later they play that team again. It also means each county gets a trip to new York, London and the British champions at least once every 5 years and they visit them too. By eliminating the league and levelling the playing field it also gives each team 20 games per season and a max of 24 to will the all Ireland. Although when you consider the league runs from January and the all Ireland is in September at the moment then that gives us approx. 9 months to play those 24 games max for the winner and 20 games guaranteed for each team. 

Every team is equal and every team gets to go everywhere home and away. For example the dubs play in sligo this year and 5 years later they play there again so like once every five years of this will happren, u want kerry in longford or sligo it will happen. I want leitrim in croke park and tralee once every 5 years it happens!!! 

I hope this is clear to follow I just the NFL in America model that I followed is just excellent.

Then we will really see what county has the best footballers in Ireland and not who just the richest and more privaliged and better prepared ones

leitrim4sam (Leitrim) - Posts: 384 - 30/05/2018 10:21:32    2105505

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would be ok with provincial group proposal on Hoganstand yesterday. NY would not be able to play the 5 matches though?

suckvalleypaddy (Galway) - Posts: 1036 - 30/05/2018 10:46:32    2105514

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Replying To leitrim4sam:  "If you want to make it fair then do like what American football does thats a sport designed so no one team can ever dominate. Introduce a limit to what each team can spend on their team, no sponsorships per team just get big big names to sponsor the championships, pool the money together and distribute equally to a pre determined limit across all teams. Receipts to show what that money was spent on, and county boards get reimbursed for what they spent up to that limit. All teams treated equally.

All counties get the same money to spend on underage development, coaching training, backroom staff, phsycologists, medical, physio, equipment etc... All transparent with nothing to hide

Enter the 32 counties into the football champ (yes include kilkenny) along with London, new York and the winner of the British champ. This gives 35 teams. Spilt these Into 7 arranged groups of 5 teams and forget the provincial champs and national league. The pre detirmined and agreed 7 groups of 5 teams never change year on year and every team plays each team in their group home and away once per year (8 games), along with one team (on a rotating basis) from each of the other 6 groups home and away once per year also (12 games) top two in each group qualify plus the 2 best third placed teams qualify for a straight knock out tournament all the way to the final.

I think this ensures all teams enter the championship on a very level playing field and each team gets to play each other at least once home and once away and 5 years later they play that team again. It also means each county gets a trip to new York, London and the British champions at least once every 5 years and they visit them too. By eliminating the league and levelling the playing field it also gives each team 20 games per season and a max of 24 to will the all Ireland. Although when you consider the league runs from January and the all Ireland is in September at the moment then that gives us approx. 9 months to play those 24 games max for the winner and 20 games guaranteed for each team. 

Every team is equal and every team gets to go everywhere home and away. For example the dubs play in sligo this year and 5 years later they play there again so like once every five years of this will happren, u want kerry in longford or sligo it will happen. I want leitrim in croke park and tralee once every 5 years it happens!!! 

I hope this is clear to follow I just the NFL in America model that I followed is just excellent.

Then we will really see what county has the best footballers in Ireland and not who just the richest and more privaliged and better prepared ones"
A very sensible proposition. Unlikely to come to fruition though. It would be too painful for the biggest sponsors in the game.

Donegalman (None) - Posts: 3326 - 30/05/2018 13:06:45    2105578

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Replying To leitrim4sam:  "If you want to make it fair then do like what American football does thats a sport designed so no one team can ever dominate. Introduce a limit to what each team can spend on their team, no sponsorships per team just get big big names to sponsor the championships, pool the money together and distribute equally to a pre determined limit across all teams. Receipts to show what that money was spent on, and county boards get reimbursed for what they spent up to that limit. All teams treated equally.

All counties get the same money to spend on underage development, coaching training, backroom staff, phsycologists, medical, physio, equipment etc... All transparent with nothing to hide

Enter the 32 counties into the football champ (yes include kilkenny) along with London, new York and the winner of the British champ. This gives 35 teams. Spilt these Into 7 arranged groups of 5 teams and forget the provincial champs and national league. The pre detirmined and agreed 7 groups of 5 teams never change year on year and every team plays each team in their group home and away once per year (8 games), along with one team (on a rotating basis) from each of the other 6 groups home and away once per year also (12 games) top two in each group qualify plus the 2 best third placed teams qualify for a straight knock out tournament all the way to the final.

I think this ensures all teams enter the championship on a very level playing field and each team gets to play each other at least once home and once away and 5 years later they play that team again. It also means each county gets a trip to new York, London and the British champions at least once every 5 years and they visit them too. By eliminating the league and levelling the playing field it also gives each team 20 games per season and a max of 24 to will the all Ireland. Although when you consider the league runs from January and the all Ireland is in September at the moment then that gives us approx. 9 months to play those 24 games max for the winner and 20 games guaranteed for each team. 

Every team is equal and every team gets to go everywhere home and away. For example the dubs play in sligo this year and 5 years later they play there again so like once every five years of this will happren, u want kerry in longford or sligo it will happen. I want leitrim in croke park and tralee once every 5 years it happens!!! 

I hope this is clear to follow I just the NFL in America model that I followed is just excellent.

Then we will really see what county has the best footballers in Ireland and not who just the richest and more privaliged and better prepared ones"
Being an NFL fan I think this is the obvious solution. I sent a form of this into HQ when they were looking for ideas to change the championship format. However my proposal contained a first and second tier allowing for the fact that population dictates a lot of counties will have a top notch team only one every couple of generations. So for instance the eastern division of for example " level one " Dublin , Meath, Kildare, Westmeath would be linked to the eastern division "level 2" Louth ,Wicklow, Carlow, Laois, permanently. Then bottom level 1 team would be replaced by the top level 2 team every year with the exception that if a team won the overall level 2 championship they would be garunteed two years in level 1. This would mean there would be very few "dead rubber" games. It would help keep the essence of the GAA in that it ensures local rivals meet and then the random games every season would be something different to look forward to.

catchturnscore (Longford) - Posts: 82 - 30/05/2018 15:29:08    2105642

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If you want to make it fair then do like what American football does thats a sport designed so no one team can ever dominate. Introduce a limit to what each team can spend on their team, no sponsorships per team just get big big names to sponsor the championships, pool the money together and distribute equally to a pre determined limit across all teams. Receipts to show what that money was spent on, and county boards get reimbursed for what they spent up to that limit. All teams treated equally.
All counties get the same money to spend on underage development, coaching training, backroom staff, phsycologists, medical, physio, equipment etc... All transparent with nothing to hide
Enter the 32 counties into the football champ (yes include kilkenny) along with London, new York and the winner of the British champ. This gives 35 teams. Spilt these Into 7 arranged groups of 5 teams and forget the provincial champs and national league. The pre detirmined and agreed 7 groups of 5 teams never change year on year and every team plays each team in their group home and away once per year (8 games), along with one team (on a rotating basis) from each of the other 6 groups home and away once per year also (12 games) top two in each group qualify plus the 2 best third placed teams qualify for a straight knock out tournament all the way to the final.
I think this ensures all teams enter the championship on a very level playing field and each team gets to play each other at least once home and once away and 5 years later they play that team again. It also means each county gets a trip to new York, London and the British champions at least once every 5 years and they visit them too. By eliminating the league and levelling the playing field it also gives each team 20 games per season and a max of 24 to will the all Ireland. Although when you consider the league runs from January and the all Ireland is in September at the moment then that gives us approx. 9 months to play those 24 games max for the winner and 20 games guaranteed for each team.
Every team is equal and every team gets to go everywhere home and away. For example the dubs play in sligo this year and 5 years later they play there again so like once every five years of this will happren, u want kerry in longford or sligo it will happen. I want leitrim in croke park and tralee once every 5 years it happens!!!
I hope this is clear to follow I just the NFL in America model that I followed is just excellent.
Then we will really see what county has the best footballers in Ireland and not who just the richest and more privaliged and better prepared one
leitrim4sam (Leitrim) - Posts: 365 - 30/05/2018 10:21:32
Giving all counties the same funding for underage development and everything else then is unfair on bigger counties who have far far more kids to coach and develop. How is that better? No sponsorships per team isnt good for inter county preparation or promotion of the games.
Forgetting provincial championships and the league. Most counties only ever chances of winning something would be incredibly foolish.

DonaldDuck (Tipperary) - Posts: 195 - 30/05/2018 15:51:32    2105653

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Replying To DonaldDuck:  "If you want to make it fair then do like what American football does thats a sport designed so no one team can ever dominate. Introduce a limit to what each team can spend on their team, no sponsorships per team just get big big names to sponsor the championships, pool the money together and distribute equally to a pre determined limit across all teams. Receipts to show what that money was spent on, and county boards get reimbursed for what they spent up to that limit. All teams treated equally.
All counties get the same money to spend on underage development, coaching training, backroom staff, phsycologists, medical, physio, equipment etc... All transparent with nothing to hide
Enter the 32 counties into the football champ (yes include kilkenny) along with London, new York and the winner of the British champ. This gives 35 teams. Spilt these Into 7 arranged groups of 5 teams and forget the provincial champs and national league. The pre detirmined and agreed 7 groups of 5 teams never change year on year and every team plays each team in their group home and away once per year (8 games), along with one team (on a rotating basis) from each of the other 6 groups home and away once per year also (12 games) top two in each group qualify plus the 2 best third placed teams qualify for a straight knock out tournament all the way to the final.
I think this ensures all teams enter the championship on a very level playing field and each team gets to play each other at least once home and once away and 5 years later they play that team again. It also means each county gets a trip to new York, London and the British champions at least once every 5 years and they visit them too. By eliminating the league and levelling the playing field it also gives each team 20 games per season and a max of 24 to will the all Ireland. Although when you consider the league runs from January and the all Ireland is in September at the moment then that gives us approx. 9 months to play those 24 games max for the winner and 20 games guaranteed for each team.
Every team is equal and every team gets to go everywhere home and away. For example the dubs play in sligo this year and 5 years later they play there again so like once every five years of this will happren, u want kerry in longford or sligo it will happen. I want leitrim in croke park and tralee once every 5 years it happens!!!
I hope this is clear to follow I just the NFL in America model that I followed is just excellent.
Then we will really see what county has the best footballers in Ireland and not who just the richest and more privaliged and better prepared one
leitrim4sam (Leitrim) - Posts: 365 - 30/05/2018 10:21:32
Giving all counties the same funding for underage development and everything else then is unfair on bigger counties who have far far more kids to coach and develop. How is that better? No sponsorships per team isnt good for inter county preparation or promotion of the games.
Forgetting provincial championships and the league. Most counties only ever chances of winning something would be incredibly foolish."
I think funding needs to be formula driven so everyone knows how a funding allocation is determined - I would allocate a flat 48% of total funding (1.5% per county), with the remaining 52% proportional (based on club player population or whatever is considered fair).
This still skews funding in favour of the small counties - but I feel we need some of this to stimulate competitive balance.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1289 - 30/05/2018 16:53:06    2105677

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I do like NFL and while I'm not a big fan of socialism, the socialist model seems to fit reasonably well with the NFL. But the thing is, the NFL and the Gaa are two totally different organisations, what works for one would not likely work for the other.

Take for example the suggestion that "All counties get the same money to spend on underage development, coaching training, backroom staff, phsycologists, medical, physio, equipment etc" This sort of socialism clearly, heavily favours those with low playing populations and heavily punishes those with larger playing populations.

Proportionately speaking you could distribute money more evenly based upon say €/registered player, but identical funding is not a good idea and it will never happen anyway.

As for redistributing sponsorship, well look that again isn't entirely fair on those who've earned the attraction of a big sponsor. But maybe you could do a 80& 20% split or something, whereby every county gets to retain 80% of what they generate and 20% from each county goes into a national pot for redistribution based on need.

Htaem (Meath) - Posts: 7911 - 30/05/2018 18:33:20    2105708

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Replying To Htaem:  "I do like NFL and while I'm not a big fan of socialism, the socialist model seems to fit reasonably well with the NFL. But the thing is, the NFL and the Gaa are two totally different organisations, what works for one would not likely work for the other.

Take for example the suggestion that "All counties get the same money to spend on underage development, coaching training, backroom staff, phsycologists, medical, physio, equipment etc" This sort of socialism clearly, heavily favours those with low playing populations and heavily punishes those with larger playing populations.

Proportionately speaking you could distribute money more evenly based upon say €/registered player, but identical funding is not a good idea and it will never happen anyway.

As for redistributing sponsorship, well look that again isn't entirely fair on those who've earned the attraction of a big sponsor. But maybe you could do a 80& 20% split or something, whereby every county gets to retain 80% of what they generate and 20% from each county goes into a national pot for redistribution based on need."
Sponsorship would square that circle very quickly.

Besides sponsorship, if a large populated well funded and organized county found themselves having to suddenly fall back on volunteers to train them, it would be an eye-opener for them in terms of how other counties manage.

Donegalman (None) - Posts: 3326 - 30/05/2018 21:13:20    2105754

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Simple variation on the GPA 8 groups of 4 (remember each group then with a 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th seed = call them in form 1234).
I propose avoiding 1v4 matchups and 21 teams advance to AI Sam KO (down from 24).

a) Draw a 2nd and 3rd seed to 4 strong groups (1 to 4) and 4 less strong pools (5 to 8).
b) Complete draw with a PAIR of 1st seeds to groups 1-4 (call them strong form 1123) and a PAIR of 4th seeds to pools 5-8 (call them less strong form 2344).
c) After all play 3 games - best 11 of 16 group teams/ records (seeded 1-8 & 12-14) and best 10 of 16 pool teams (seeds 9-11 & 15-21) advance.
Teams 1 to 11 to Rd of 16; with 12-21 to 5 playoffs.
AI Sam Rd of 16 (higher seed plays home/neutral) -
a) Seed 1 v (Seed 16 or 17).
b) 2 v (15 or 18).
c) 3 v (14 or 19).
d) 4 v (13 or 20).
e) 5 v (12 or 21).
f) 6 v 11.
g) 7 v 10.
h) 8 v 9.
AI QFs - ah, bg, cf and de; AI SFs - ahde and bgcf.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1289 - 02/06/2018 17:48:28    2106516

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