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AI SFC 8X4 - With Mcdonagh Cup-Style Tier 2

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To Wham -
Btw - my inter-group approach is kind of a Shara variant - within a Tier, teams play 2 higher/2 lower seeds leading to a common table - I use the grouping just for order - I take your point that it doesn't reflect conventional intra-group round robin. I'm curious - I was suprised when you previously thought there was some good in Shara - but find it inconsistent with not liking my quirks.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1403 - 06/11/2018 18:11:24    2149941

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Replying To omahant:  "To Wham -
Btw - my inter-group approach is kind of a Shara variant - within a Tier, teams play 2 higher/2 lower seeds leading to a common table - I use the grouping just for order - I take your point that it doesn't reflect conventional intra-group round robin. I'm curious - I was suprised when you previously thought there was some good in Shara - but find it inconsistent with not liking my quirks."
Yeah it is just a Shara format. Europe is not overly confident with them, despite being quite common elsewhere. Any league with an unbalanced schedule, like all the US sports or the AFL are enlarged Shara formats.

In Europe though it's very much a round robin group type culture we are accustomed to.

I was lazy when I read your OP. It isn't overly complicated really it just looks that way because you went into a lot of detail and the format of the forum has some of those sorts of posts look unwieldy.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2167 - 08/11/2018 18:30:08    2150268

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Lads. Ye are doing great work putting these together. However, you need to factor in club games as well. Put something simple together that incorporates club games to keep everyone happy. That is the hard part. You must keep everybody happy. You need to factor a hurling championship that is integrated with a football championship. You need to factor in different formats for football championship and hurling championships in each county, different number of teams, different prevalance of dual players from say almost none in Fermanagh to loads in Wexford say. Factor in the need to get big games in to ger the money and keeping TV happy also.

So Omahant and Wham, the complications are in the parameters, your challenge is to provide a simple solution to all of it. Club and intercounty games are to be completely wrapped up by Mid November 1. November 1 to January 31 is to be kept for colleges, international rules or just a break for players full stop. I would love to read what structures you would come up with.

bennybunny (Cork) - Posts: 3662 - 08/11/2018 22:34:44    2150292

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Replying To bennybunny:  "Lads. Ye are doing great work putting these together. However, you need to factor in club games as well. Put something simple together that incorporates club games to keep everyone happy. That is the hard part. You must keep everybody happy. You need to factor a hurling championship that is integrated with a football championship. You need to factor in different formats for football championship and hurling championships in each county, different number of teams, different prevalance of dual players from say almost none in Fermanagh to loads in Wexford say. Factor in the need to get big games in to ger the money and keeping TV happy also.

So Omahant and Wham, the complications are in the parameters, your challenge is to provide a simple solution to all of it. Club and intercounty games are to be completely wrapped up by Mid November 1. November 1 to January 31 is to be kept for colleges, international rules or just a break for players full stop. I would love to read what structures you would come up with."
I can't quite come up with a solution to your precise parameters. I can get close and am looking for solutions in line with similar goals to what you suggest. I'll start with the calendar because that's most important. It's a 44 week season. 3rd Sunday February to 2nd Sunday in December. With Provincial and AI club it's practically impossible to play a shorter season and keep the Intercounty Provincial championships and provide an exciting season for all.
I'll explain the competitions after

This would be a Leinster calendar.

17th Feb NFL1
24th Feb NFL2 NHL1
3rd March Football Break NHL2
10th Mar NFL3 Hurling Break
17th Mar NFL4 NHL3
24th Mar Provincial Football 1 NHL4
31st Mar Football Break NHL5
7th April Club Football 1 Hurling Break
14th Apr Football Break Club Hurling 1
21st Apr NFL5 Hurling Break
28th Apr Provincial Football QF NHL6
5th May Football Break Provincial Hurling QF
12th May Club Football 2 Hurling Break
19th May Football Break Club Hurling 2
26th May NFL6 Hurling Break
2nd June Provincial Football SF NHL7
9th June Football Break Provincial Hurling SF
16th June Club Football 3 Hurling Break
23rd June Football Break Club Hurling 3
30th June NFL7 Hurling Break
7th July Provincial Football Final NHL8
14th Jul AI football Playoffs 1 Provincial Hurling Final
21st Jul AI Football QF Hurling Break
28th Jul Football Break NHL9
4th August AI Football SF AI Hurling QF
11th Aug Football Break AI Hurling SF
18th Aug AI Football Final Hurling Break
25th Aug Football Break AI Hurling Final
1st Sep Club Football 4
8th Sep Club Hurling 4
15th Sep Club Football 5
22nd Sep Club Hurling 5
29th Sep Club Football 6
6th Oct Club Hurling 6
13th Oct Club Football 7
20th Oct Club Hurling 7
27th Oct Club Football 8
3rd November Club Hurling 8
10th Nov Club Football 9
17th Nov Club Football 10
24th Nov Club Club Hurling 9
31st Nov Club Football 11
7th Dec Catch up weekend
14th Dec AI Club Finals

There's very little margin for error there though. There can be no replays. Rescheduled games just have to get played mid week. Maybe the season can start 1 weekend earlier and include an intercounty Catch up weekend.

Club action can't be messed around with to accommodate College games.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2167 - 09/11/2018 06:00:11    2150312

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The intercounty competitions themselves are:

A merged National League and championship in both.

National Football League

Division 1 with 2 sections of 8 teams
Division 2 with 2 sections of 8 teams (divided North and South sections to reduce costs for weaker counties)

Division 1 Top 4 in each section to AI playoffs.

Playoffs also include any Provincial champions not already qualified.

Preliminary quarterfinals are held between Non Provincial champions (based on worst League performance) and the not already qualified Provincial champions.

Quarterfinals from there on out.

Provincial champions should be kept apart in the quarterfinals though.

3 teams relegated from division 1. 8th place in each section automatically, plus 7th place playoff loser

Division 2

Top 2 in each section into division 2 semifinals
3rd/4th in each section into promotion playoffs

Division 2 finalists promoted.

1 other team emerges from the Promotion playoffs.

Hurling division 1

1 section of 10 teams

5 teams into AI playoffs
Joined by Munster and Leinster Provincial champions not already qualified

Any Top 5 Provincial champions plus best ranked Non Provincial champion gets a bye to AI semifinals.

Remaining teams play an AI quarterfinal.

Relegation

10th team in division 1 automatically relegated.
9th placed team plays losing division 2 finalist for promotion.

Division 2

8 teams Top 4 to playoffs final. Champion promoted, runner up into Promotion playoff.

Division 2 teams qualify for Provincial championships up to a maximum of 8 in Leinster.

Division 3 of 10: 4 to semifinals, Champion Promoted runner up plays off against division 2 7th place

Division 4 of remaining 7 or 8 teams 4 to semifinals Champion promoted, runner up plays 9th place division 3 team

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2167 - 09/11/2018 06:25:59    2150313

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Replying To bennybunny:  "Lads. Ye are doing great work putting these together. However, you need to factor in club games as well. Put something simple together that incorporates club games to keep everyone happy. That is the hard part. You must keep everybody happy. You need to factor a hurling championship that is integrated with a football championship. You need to factor in different formats for football championship and hurling championships in each county, different number of teams, different prevalance of dual players from say almost none in Fermanagh to loads in Wexford say. Factor in the need to get big games in to ger the money and keeping TV happy also.

So Omahant and Wham, the complications are in the parameters, your challenge is to provide a simple solution to all of it. Club and intercounty games are to be completely wrapped up by Mid November 1. November 1 to January 31 is to be kept for colleges, international rules or just a break for players full stop. I would love to read what structures you would come up with."
Something that could make the season more efficient would be to do away with the league.

Have an official GAA ranking system, along similar lines to the rugby system, put in its place.

Teams play 10 regular season fixtures, to include the 4 rounds of their Interprovincial championships.

At the end of the 10 round of games teams are divided into their All Ireland grade.

In football you'd have 12,10 and 10.

The Previous season's All Ireland Champion, plus the Previous season's Tier 2 champion plus the current season's Provincial champions are guaranteed a place in the Sam Maguire cup. The remaining teams are allocated based on All Ireland ranking.

I'm hurling you'd have 11, 8, 8, 8 in the tiers.

Each county's hurling and football team's 10 game schedule would have predetermined weekends of action with both teams playing on the same weekends.

There'd be lots of opportunities for club games to be scheduled around these fixtures.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2167 - 10/11/2018 12:04:37    2150501

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To Bennybunny -

In lieu of getting into too much detail, for me the biggest scheduling issue is that players serve different masters  (club, county, college etc) with overlapping/ competing calls on time slots. My solution would be to have intercounty players leave their clubs - then you could schedule club games in parallel with the intercounty Championships during the summer, with all getting even spread of games. Alternatively, I like the 'Monaghan' club set up that awards more points for match wins with county players and less when county players are on duty.

For scheduling, I back into it as follows -
-  Calendar has 52 weeks.
-  Close season has say, 13 wks (Nov-Jan, like you suggest).
- Open season then has 39 wks - incl say an off week every 3 wks - so, players play 26 games per year.

-  If intercounty players have to stay with clubs too, like now - intercounty matches should be max 16 games (like current Dubs who play NFL 8, Lein 3 and AIC 5, excl pre-season etc., which could be scrapped).

- With Tier 1 teams subject to say 3-4 KO AIC rds and 2-3 in Prov KO, that only leaves 9-11 for a merged NFL / AIC group phase. 

Most problems have a solution - it's just what does one want to give up to attain it.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1403 - 12/11/2018 19:19:06    2150845

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Replying To Whammo86:  "Something that could make the season more efficient would be to do away with the league.

Have an official GAA ranking system, along similar lines to the rugby system, put in its place.

Teams play 10 regular season fixtures, to include the 4 rounds of their Interprovincial championships.

At the end of the 10 round of games teams are divided into their All Ireland grade.

In football you'd have 12,10 and 10.

The Previous season's All Ireland Champion, plus the Previous season's Tier 2 champion plus the current season's Provincial champions are guaranteed a place in the Sam Maguire cup. The remaining teams are allocated based on All Ireland ranking.

I'm hurling you'd have 11, 8, 8, 8 in the tiers.

Each county's hurling and football team's 10 game schedule would have predetermined weekends of action with both teams playing on the same weekends.

There'd be lots of opportunities for club games to be scheduled around these fixtures."
What you have suggested for the football is similar to the CONCACAF Nations League Qualifiers currently in progress. This is probably Shara's best success story regarding an implementation breakthrough on the international stage - like most HS posters, Shara gets the door closed in his face - by FIFA and others.

The GAA could adopt a Shara variant incorporating and combining Prov and NFL results in a 32-team table leading to 3 tiers, like you have it, to determine AIC tiering - have Sam, POSe and a 3rd.

Sometime recently you had a good mechanism allowing certain teams a playoff to the top table - with intra-year oscillation between NFL and AIC, keeping interest alive for a maximum number of teams - you had plenty ebb and flo - what was it again - AIC 20 and 12 with NFL 14 and 18 ?

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1403 - 12/11/2018 21:32:52    2150869

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Most realistic proposal I have seen is the one Sean Kelly put forward where the winners of each province plus the next 12 top placed teams in the league go in to a 16 team knockout championship.

You'll have a second tier championship of 16 made up of the next 16 by league placing then. The winners would be guaranteed a spot in next years top tier championship after the first year. The two competitions could run on alternate days or weekends to ensure they both get proper media coverage.

This will keep the sacred provincial championship and increase the importance of the league as well. I like the 8 x 4 idea but a root and branch tear-down of what we have will never be allowed to happen, the above is the best you could hope for.

GeniusGerry (Kerry) - Posts: 889 - 12/11/2018 22:17:17    2150876

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Replying To GeniusGerry:  "Most realistic proposal I have seen is the one Sean Kelly put forward where the winners of each province plus the next 12 top placed teams in the league go in to a 16 team knockout championship.

You'll have a second tier championship of 16 made up of the next 16 by league placing then. The winners would be guaranteed a spot in next years top tier championship after the first year. The two competitions could run on alternate days or weekends to ensure they both get proper media coverage.

This will keep the sacred provincial championship and increase the importance of the league as well. I like the 8 x 4 idea but a root and branch tear-down of what we have will never be allowed to happen, the above is the best you could hope for."
I don't like it Gerry because I don't know what it properly offers developing counties when you actually get into the nuts and bolts of it.

There's no increase in matches from the qualifiers system. There's 1 fewer game than the pre super 8 system.

The sorts of teams who are struggling to get a further game in the championship will still struggle to get a further game in this competition. The qualifiers are populated by and large by the same sorts of teams that will be playing in the second tier competition. If we take Antrim we've lost our first round qualifiers to Limerick and Sligo over the last 2 seasons. These are B championship fixtures. We're not going to get on average a great increase in championship games from this system.

For the teams with aspirations of winning the competition. You're looking at the sort of teams around the bottom of division 2 and top of division 3.

You're talking Armagh, Fermanagh, Down, Clare, Tipperary.

These are teams that have gotten to All Ireland quarterfinals, last 12s in recent seasons. Middling teams can emerge to play high profile matches in the current system. Would you rather be involved in a B championship final or an All Ireland last 12 game. Which is the bigger prize? To win a competition to be the 17th ranked team or to reach the last 8 proper.

Which prospect is likely to keep players sticking around for a summer.

They'd also have to stick around because the won't get a second championship game until after the Provincial championships are over.

This is the big problem with a lot of the commentary on a second tier championship it is so low resolution and when any probing is done it's clear to see that it doesn't stack up.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2167 - 13/11/2018 06:20:22    2150887

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To solve a few of those issues the two last sixteen competitions could be run on a 4 x 4 group basis to give teams more games.

Restructure the league and the provincials to overlap on alternate weekends meaning nobody is waiting weeks for games and both competitions finish roughly the same time.

The likes of Armagh, Tipp, Fermanagh and some of the others you mentioned should be aiming to be in tier 1.

It's not totally perfect but like I said radical proposals that get rid of the provincials (this would be my preference btw) will not go anywhere.

GeniusGerry (Kerry) - Posts: 889 - 13/11/2018 07:43:58    2150892

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I don't like it Gerry because I don't know what it properly offers developing counties when you actually get into the nuts and bolts of it.

There's no increase in matches from the qualifiers system. There's 1 fewer game than the pre super 8 system.

The sorts of teams who are struggling to get a further game in the championship will still struggle to get a further game in this competition. The qualifiers are populated by and large by the same sorts of teams that will be playing in the second tier competition. If we take Antrim we've lost our first round qualifiers to Limerick and Sligo over the last 2 seasons. These are B championship fixtures. We're not going to get on average a great increase in championship games from this system.

For the teams with aspirations of winning the competition. You're looking at the sort of teams around the bottom of division 2 and top of division 3.

You're talking Armagh, Fermanagh, Down, Clare, Tipperary.

These are teams that have gotten to All Ireland quarterfinals, last 12s in recent seasons. Middling teams can emerge to play high profile matches in the current system. Would you rather be involved in a B championship final or an All Ireland last 12 game. Which is the bigger prize? To win a competition to be the 17th ranked team or to reach the last 8 proper.

Which prospect is likely to keep players sticking around for a summer.

They'd also have to stick around because the won't get a second championship game until after the Provincial championships are over.

This is the big problem with a lot of the commentary on a second tier championship it is so low resolution and when any probing is done it's clear to see that it doesn't stack up."
Lost to Offaly last year, not Sligo

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2167 - 13/11/2018 09:55:52    2150903

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I don't like it Gerry because I don't know what it properly offers developing counties when you actually get into the nuts and bolts of it.

There's no increase in matches from the qualifiers system. There's 1 fewer game than the pre super 8 system.

The sorts of teams who are struggling to get a further game in the championship will still struggle to get a further game in this competition. The qualifiers are populated by and large by the same sorts of teams that will be playing in the second tier competition. If we take Antrim we've lost our first round qualifiers to Limerick and Sligo over the last 2 seasons. These are B championship fixtures. We're not going to get on average a great increase in championship games from this system.

For the teams with aspirations of winning the competition. You're looking at the sort of teams around the bottom of division 2 and top of division 3.

You're talking Armagh, Fermanagh, Down, Clare, Tipperary.

These are teams that have gotten to All Ireland quarterfinals, last 12s in recent seasons. Middling teams can emerge to play high profile matches in the current system. Would you rather be involved in a B championship final or an All Ireland last 12 game. Which is the bigger prize? To win a competition to be the 17th ranked team or to reach the last 8 proper.

Which prospect is likely to keep players sticking around for a summer.

They'd also have to stick around because the won't get a second championship game until after the Provincial championships are over.

This is the big problem with a lot of the commentary on a second tier championship it is so low resolution and when any probing is done it's clear to see that it doesn't stack up."
To have the best of both worlds -
Top 4x4 (4 Prov Champs + 1 prior yr Tier 2 Champ + 11 Other NFL top 11) - After 3 'conventional' group games / team (or 4 Shara games), top 11 of 16-team table to KO (5 byes to QFs);
Other 4x4 - After 3 group games (or 4) / team, top 11 of 16-team table ro KO (5 byes to QFs).

Tier 2 SFs and Final as curtain raisers to respective Tier 1 pairings.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1403 - 14/11/2018 02:47:26    2151064

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Replying To GeniusGerry:  "To solve a few of those issues the two last sixteen competitions could be run on a 4 x 4 group basis to give teams more games.

Restructure the league and the provincials to overlap on alternate weekends meaning nobody is waiting weeks for games and both competitions finish roughly the same time.

The likes of Armagh, Tipp, Fermanagh and some of the others you mentioned should be aiming to be in tier 1.

It's not totally perfect but like I said radical proposals that get rid of the provincials (this would be my preference btw) will not go anywhere."
It's a good system and it points to a real key here. The main championship has the be a good competition. If teams are being made to qualify for a top competition it needs to be something worth qualifying for and they get real reward for their progress.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2167 - 14/11/2018 20:02:19    2151159

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Replying To GeniusGerry:  "Most realistic proposal I have seen is the one Sean Kelly put forward where the winners of each province plus the next 12 top placed teams in the league go in to a 16 team knockout championship.

You'll have a second tier championship of 16 made up of the next 16 by league placing then. The winners would be guaranteed a spot in next years top tier championship after the first year. The two competitions could run on alternate days or weekends to ensure they both get proper media coverage.

This will keep the sacred provincial championship and increase the importance of the league as well. I like the 8 x 4 idea but a root and branch tear-down of what we have will never be allowed to happen, the above is the best you could hope for."
I think that 4+11+1 idea came from Jim McGuinness - and would be my preference over Sean Kelly's similar 8 Prov Finals +6 NFL +2 prior Tier 2 Finalists.
I too like your NFL and Provs played on alternating wkds.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1403 - 15/11/2018 03:35:54    2151185

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As reported in the Irish Indy, I see there are two Tier 2 options under consideration.
Option 1) All Div 3 and 4 teams play in Qualifiers, with losers in Rds 1 and 2 entering the Tier 2.
Option 2) All Div 3 and 4 not making Prov Finals do not play Qualifiers but enter Tier 2 instead.

Option 1 seems to be favoured, but is essentially a 3rd chance tourney, which could kill enthusiasm.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1403 - 15/11/2018 13:09:06    2151219

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