National Forum

Merge The League And Championship

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The vast majority of players hurling and football will most of their inter county games by April in the worse weather conditions and on the bad pitches which makes playing entertaining games almost impossible. I suggest merging the league and championship. Divisions 1 and 2 are merged with the teams seeded 1-16. The teams are divided into 2 divisions Odds vs Evens. The league section would start in early April with teams playing every second week and the end of the league the top 4 teams in each division play in the Super 8's or All Ireland Quarter Finals and the championship would play out as normal.

JuniorBee (Mayo) - Posts: 28 - 08/03/2019 19:13:19    2171134

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Your idea has some merit. However, it will be resisted at all points by the backwards-looking Provinnce's who insist on provincial championships.

Ho hum.

TearsIn85 (Monaghan) - Posts: 69 - 08/03/2019 23:19:43    2171174

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Replying To JuniorBee:  "The vast majority of players hurling and football will most of their inter county games by April in the worse weather conditions and on the bad pitches which makes playing entertaining games almost impossible. I suggest merging the league and championship. Divisions 1 and 2 are merged with the teams seeded 1-16. The teams are divided into 2 divisions Odds vs Evens. The league section would start in early April with teams playing every second week and the end of the league the top 4 teams in each division play in the Super 8's or All Ireland Quarter Finals and the championship would play out as normal."
Yep it would be a big improvement to have the league being the championship.

I'd love to see 2 consecutive NFL campaigns become the championship.

You'd have Leitrim going straight into a division 3 campaign now to test their mettle after showing strong progress.

You'd have Fermanagh, Meath all on the cusp on division 1 promotion.

You'd have a Spring League Feb, March April with a final weekend on the May Day bank holiday.

You'd have summer league May, June, July with a final weekend on the August bank holidays.

All Ireland playoffs would be top 2 teams from Division 1 of each of the Spring League and the Summer League.

If a team qualifies through both leagues they go straight to the final, otherwise they play a semifinal against another team that's only qualified once.

The division 1 relegation battle and division 2 promotion battle would both be huge right now as teams battle to stay in the All Ireland race.

In the Summer League the division 2 relegation and division 3 promotion battles are huge to keep teams in the running for the following years All Ireland.

You'd have hard intense games constantly for all teams.

Only 16 teams would start the year with a shot at the All Ireland but it'd be possible for a team starting in division 4 in one season to make their way to division of the summer league by the next year.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2369 - 09/03/2019 09:59:00    2171205

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We all know that type of model makes the most sense in terms of balance, fairness and fixture planning. Nobody has argued with that.
The problem associated with history and tradition remains however. Getting rid of the provincial championships would be needed. It's the elephant in the room any time a revised format is discussed.

WanPintWin (Galway) - Posts: 431 - 09/03/2019 10:33:59    2171209

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Replying To WanPintWin:  "We all know that type of model makes the most sense in terms of balance, fairness and fixture planning. Nobody has argued with that.
The problem associated with history and tradition remains however. Getting rid of the provincial championships would be needed. It's the elephant in the room any time a revised format is discussed."
If the players like Provincial championships still it's fine they probably should be kept.

If it's just about money for Provincial councils, it would probably be better if the could just get funding as a share of the central pot.

There certainly would be a lot of money in it.

2 Division 1s a season alone would involve 56 games with 7 home games each a season. You'd be able to get good season ticketing options for fans.

You really would maximise the number of good games a year whilst still being able to fit time in for the clubs.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2369 - 09/03/2019 11:50:00    2171223

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2 tier combined league/cup with 2 groups of 8 and a playoff could work for football but i think hurling has got the formula right now in terms of the AI and just need to revert to a simpler 8 or 10 team straight league

Breezy (Limerick) - Posts: 28 - 09/03/2019 18:19:16    2171274

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Replying To Whammo86:  "If the players like Provincial championships still it's fine they probably should be kept.

If it's just about money for Provincial councils, it would probably be better if the could just get funding as a share of the central pot.

There certainly would be a lot of money in it.

2 Division 1s a season alone would involve 56 games with 7 home games each a season. You'd be able to get good season ticketing options for fans.

You really would maximise the number of good games a year whilst still being able to fit time in for the clubs."
We have had games played in hurricanes and snow this year. By April 1st most hurlers and footballers will have played more games than they'll play for the rest of the year in bad weather conditions and on poor playing surfaces. Not to mention they'll have played in front of small crowds.

Mayo will play 4 home games in the league with an average attendance of 12,000. By moving the start of the league to after April 1st to take advantage of better weather conditions it is conceivable that they could double the average attendance. Not to mention increased revenue from tv rights. Also there have been years where Mayo were not guaranteed a home game in the championship so MacHale Park went a whole year without sold out.

The GAA can drive a local economy. It was estimated that the Kildare-Mayo game last year was worth 400,000 Euros to the local economy and that based on a an attendance of 10,000. So you can imagine the benefit of 4 games in Castlebar would be to the local economy.

JuniorBee (Mayo) - Posts: 28 - 10/03/2019 21:51:08    2171519

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Replying To JuniorBee:  "We have had games played in hurricanes and snow this year. By April 1st most hurlers and footballers will have played more games than they'll play for the rest of the year in bad weather conditions and on poor playing surfaces. Not to mention they'll have played in front of small crowds.

Mayo will play 4 home games in the league with an average attendance of 12,000. By moving the start of the league to after April 1st to take advantage of better weather conditions it is conceivable that they could double the average attendance. Not to mention increased revenue from tv rights. Also there have been years where Mayo were not guaranteed a home game in the championship so MacHale Park went a whole year without sold out.

The GAA can drive a local economy. It was estimated that the Kildare-Mayo game last year was worth 400,000 Euros to the local economy and that based on a an attendance of 10,000. So you can imagine the benefit of 4 games in Castlebar would be to the local economy."
Yeah I'm with you.

There's a reduction in attendance at championship games but an increase in attendance at league fixtures.

It's time the GAA started to grow their loyal support.

The casual fan who goes to 1 or 2 big games a season is fading away.

The GAA owe to players and supporters to look after their needs more going forward.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2369 - 10/03/2019 22:02:44    2171524

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The provincial championships suit everyone. The stark difference in attendances between provincial games and qualifiers shows this.

Obviously only Ulster, Connacht and Leinster (without Dublin) are generally competitive but as counties are closer together it generates more interest among fans as the games are handier to get to.

OGarmaile (Tyrone) - Posts: 78 - 12/03/2019 10:14:43    2171806

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Would love to see this.

2 x 16 team league - 15 games - top in each league qualify for an open draw last 8, then last 4 and final.

Games played every 2 weeks, Starting in early February, ending mid-late September with a little 3 week mid season break from say mid-late April up until early-mid May.

Sounds fantastic.

Would give the Division 1 teams that dont always play the Dubs Kerrys and Mayos of the world a chance to play them. And a huge incentive for Division two teams made up from a merging of d3 and 4 a real hunger to take the 15 league game seriously cause they know if they finish top 4 they'll be playing a Dublin/Kerry etc.

Shame it will never happen.

waynoI (Dublin) - Posts: 13234 - 12/03/2019 14:38:59    2171870

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Would love to see this.
2 x 16 team league - 15 games - top in each league qualify for an open draw last 8, then last 4 and final.
Games played every 2 weeks, Starting in early February, ending mid-late September with a little 3 week mid season break from say mid-late April up until early-mid May.
Sounds fantastic.
Would give the Division 1 teams that dont always play the Dubs Kerrys and Mayos of the world a chance to play them. And a huge incentive for Division two teams made up from a merging of d3 and 4 a real hunger to take the 15 league game seriously cause they know if they finish top 4 they'll be playing a Dublin/Kerry etc.
Shame it will never happen.
waynoI (Dublin) - Posts: 13121 - 3/12/19 2:38:59 PM

KillingFields (Limerick) - Posts: 83 - 12/03/2019 17:16:37    2171901

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Would love to see this.
2 x 16 team league - 15 games - top in each league qualify for an open draw last 8, then last 4 and final.
Games played every 2 weeks, Starting in early February, ending mid-late September with a little 3 week mid season break from say mid-late April up until early-mid May.
Sounds fantastic.
Would give the Division 1 teams that dont always play the Dubs Kerrys and Mayos of the world a chance to play them. And a huge incentive for Division two teams made up from a merging of d3 and 4 a real hunger to take the 15 league game seriously cause they know if they finish top 4 they'll be playing a Dublin/Kerry etc.
Shame it will never happen.
waynoI (Dublin) - Posts: 13121 - 3/12/19 2:38:59 PM
Surely smaller divisions and allowing for cup competitions would be better value for season. would have awful amount of dead rubber games considering its not like rugby/soccer with european qualification on top of relegation battle etc.
A smaller league with 10/12 teams and 3 divisions and then a cup competition or two allows for more games and for teams knocked out of cups early time off to allow them have inter county players play club games in inter county season

KillingFields (Limerick) - Posts: 83 - 12/03/2019 17:18:43    2171902

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Replying To JuniorBee:  "We have had games played in hurricanes and snow this year. By April 1st most hurlers and footballers will have played more games than they'll play for the rest of the year in bad weather conditions and on poor playing surfaces. Not to mention they'll have played in front of small crowds.

Mayo will play 4 home games in the league with an average attendance of 12,000. By moving the start of the league to after April 1st to take advantage of better weather conditions it is conceivable that they could double the average attendance. Not to mention increased revenue from tv rights. Also there have been years where Mayo were not guaranteed a home game in the championship so MacHale Park went a whole year without sold out.

The GAA can drive a local economy. It was estimated that the Kildare-Mayo game last year was worth 400,000 Euros to the local economy and that based on a an attendance of 10,000. So you can imagine the benefit of 4 games in Castlebar would be to the local economy."
. The GAA can drive a local economy. It was estimated that the Kildare-Mayo game last year was worth 400,000 Euros to the local economy and that based on a an attendance of 10,000. So you can imagine the benefit of 4 games in Castlebar would be to the local economy."

This is all very true, was in omagh, salthill and newbridge for super 8 games last year and the towns were packed,even in newbridge after the game every bar was filled watching the kerry monaghan game. Omagh was a brilliant atmosphere as well as was Salthill, these could be replicated

It was a pity mayo missed out on them, castlebar wouldve been filled and wouldve been a cracking atmosphere

leamhcanhill16 (Dublin) - Posts: 14 - 12/03/2019 19:16:53    2171924

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Replying To KillingFields:  "Would love to see this.
2 x 16 team league - 15 games - top in each league qualify for an open draw last 8, then last 4 and final.
Games played every 2 weeks, Starting in early February, ending mid-late September with a little 3 week mid season break from say mid-late April up until early-mid May.
Sounds fantastic.
Would give the Division 1 teams that dont always play the Dubs Kerrys and Mayos of the world a chance to play them. And a huge incentive for Division two teams made up from a merging of d3 and 4 a real hunger to take the 15 league game seriously cause they know if they finish top 4 they'll be playing a Dublin/Kerry etc.
Shame it will never happen.
waynoI (Dublin) - Posts: 13121 - 3/12/19 2:38:59 PM
Surely smaller divisions and allowing for cup competitions would be better value for season. would have awful amount of dead rubber games considering its not like rugby/soccer with european qualification on top of relegation battle etc.
A smaller league with 10/12 teams and 3 divisions and then a cup competition or two allows for more games and for teams knocked out of cups early time off to allow them have inter county players play club games in inter county season"
Divisions 3 & 4 would be merged as well. Then there would relegation and promotion between the top tier divisions and the bottom tier divisions. In a 8 team division where the top 4 teams compete for the All Ireland and the bottom 2 teams are relegated you are going to have competitive games throughout season.

JuniorBee (Mayo) - Posts: 28 - 12/03/2019 19:18:55    2171925

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Replying To Whammo86:  "
Replying To JuniorBee:  "The vast majority of players hurling and football will most of their inter county games by April in the worse weather conditions and on the bad pitches which makes playing entertaining games almost impossible. I suggest merging the league and championship. Divisions 1 and 2 are merged with the teams seeded 1-16. The teams are divided into 2 divisions Odds vs Evens. The league section would start in early April with teams playing every second week and the end of the league the top 4 teams in each division play in the Super 8's or All Ireland Quarter Finals and the championship would play out as normal."
Yep it would be a big improvement to have the league being the championship.

I'd love to see 2 consecutive NFL campaigns become the championship.

You'd have Leitrim going straight into a division 3 campaign now to test their mettle after showing strong progress.

You'd have Fermanagh, Meath all on the cusp on division 1 promotion.

You'd have a Spring League Feb, March April with a final weekend on the May Day bank holiday.

You'd have summer league May, June, July with a final weekend on the August bank holidays.

All Ireland playoffs would be top 2 teams from Division 1 of each of the Spring League and the Summer League.

If a team qualifies through both leagues they go straight to the final, otherwise they play a semifinal against another team that's only qualified once.

The division 1 relegation battle and division 2 promotion battle would both be huge right now as teams battle to stay in the All Ireland race.

In the Summer League the division 2 relegation and division 3 promotion battles are huge to keep teams in the running for the following years All Ireland.

You'd have hard intense games constantly for all teams.

Only 16 teams would start the year with a shot at the All Ireland but it'd be possible for a team starting in division 4 in one season to make their way to division of the summer league by the next year."
That's good Wham - and there would be a Championship feel to Divs 2 to 4 as well.
Thinking more about it - would NHL-style 6-team divs 1-4 (and 4-team local double rds in Divs 5 North and 5 South) be even more exciting with 2-up / 2-down after each campaign ?

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1477 - 13/03/2019 00:53:48    2171976

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Replying To Whammo86:  "If the players like Provincial championships still it's fine they probably should be kept.

If it's just about money for Provincial councils, it would probably be better if the could just get funding as a share of the central pot.

There certainly would be a lot of money in it.

2 Division 1s a season alone would involve 56 games with 7 home games each a season. You'd be able to get good season ticketing options for fans.

You really would maximise the number of good games a year whilst still being able to fit time in for the clubs."
Could have 4 Prov Champs with top 2 from each Div 1 league to AI QFs.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1477 - 13/03/2019 01:01:30    2171977

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Replying To OGarmaile:  "The provincial championships suit everyone. The stark difference in attendances between provincial games and qualifiers shows this.

Obviously only Ulster, Connacht and Leinster (without Dublin) are generally competitive but as counties are closer together it generates more interest among fans as the games are handier to get to."
If you were starting a new competition with 32 teams you'd never go with the provinces as a basis for the divisions. Dublin and Kerry have no competitive games before they get into the Super 8. In Connaught with 3 teams there are only 2 games that competitive and Ulster is the only competitive provincial championship. As for proximity of the counties to each other we don't have an issue with making teams and their supporters travel long distances during the worst weather of the year. This year Mayo travelled to Tyrone and the attendance was less than 10,000. Put that game on in June and you'd have, at least, 20,000 at that game and that not counting how many people would be watching on tv. Also the you'd get a better game on a better pitch and better weather conditions.

JuniorBee (Mayo) - Posts: 28 - 13/03/2019 17:11:06    2172078

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League has been far more entertaining and competitive the last few seasons than the championship. Teams are playing at their natural level. Get rid of the championship. Have seeded groups playing home and away. Top 2 from each group to play quarters, semis, and a final for the All Ireland. The provincial system is dying.

The_Biler (Westmeath) - Posts: 32 - 13/03/2019 17:40:20    2172086

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Something relatively simple would be the following.

2 Tiers with 16 in each.

2 Groups of 8 in each tier.

Finalists in tier 2 guaranteed a spot in the following season's tier 1.

This series of games is played in June and July. With the playoffs in each tier in August.

Before this All Ireland series there's the Provincial championships played in May.

The 4 Provincial champions are guaranteed a spot in the top tier.

The remaining places are filled in based on the previous season's tier 1 finishes.

So at the end of each season 12 teams are guaranteed their place in the following season's tier 1.

Top 5 in each group plus the Tier 2 finalists.

The final 4 spots are dependent on how many Provincial champions have already qualified.

Most of time the time the previous season's 6th and 7th placed teams from each tier 1 group will qualify but it's not guaranteed until after the Provincial championships.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2369 - 13/03/2019 20:49:11    2172117

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Seed the teams 1-32 (Based on current league divisions)

Divide them first into 2 groups 1-16 and 17-32.

Then divide each group into 2 divisions odds and even seeds; Division 1 A & Division 1 B Division 2 A & Division 2 B

Start the league on the first weekend in April and play every second week (7 Games0

Top 2 teams in Division 1 A & B goes automatically into Super 8s

The winners & second placed teams of Division 2A and 2B play the 3rd and 4th place team in Division 1 A & 1B play each other with winners going in to the Super 8s

Bottom 2 teams in Division 1 A & B relegated to Division 2 being replaced by the top 2 teams in Division 2 A & B

This would give the teams in the lower divisions an opportunity to compete for the All Ireland.

JuniorBee (Mayo) - Posts: 28 - 13/03/2019 22:22:31    2172140

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