National Forum

Merge The League And Championship

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Replying To PK57:  "My suggestion is to make the league into the championship. Keep the 4 divisions as is, but play home and away, this in turn guarantees every county at least 14 matches a year. Under the current system, a county like my own, will probably play around 10 matches a year(excluding O'Byrne cup). In division 1, the top 4 would go into the AI semi-final, while in the other divisions, the usual 2 promoted and 2 relegated would apply. As for the provincial championship's, what's the point? For Louth this year, a win over Wexford will see us then lose by 20 points + to Dublin."
I think the Provincial championships will remain.

They are important still for the likes of Louth. The Provincials currently still have a profile that can't be matched by a division 3 campaign. A county like Louth relies on this sort of profile to get sponsors in.

Carlow beating Kildare and getting a shot against Laois in a winnable semifinal would have been high enough profile for them. It's the chance of these sorts of runs or say Fermanagh's run to an All Ireland quarterfinal that can help those outside of the elite to get recognition and bring in sponsors.

The big problem though is that the current season of a league played in crap conditions, with a championship played 2 to 3 months later with only 2 guaranteed matches is not a good season for players or fans.

An NFL played alongside the provincial championships would be an ok answer.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2373 - 22/03/2019 20:03:35    2174430

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Yes, I agree. To make things a bit more interesting - have 2 Prov Champs (after a KO Playoff Rd) join 6 teams that advance from the 3-division played-in-paralel NFL.

KO Provs - played as now, but with an exciting 4 Champs Playoff Rd and more equitable entry rds - 8 prior yr Finalists enter current yr 16-team SFs: 8 prior yr SF losers enter current yr QFs.
In Uls, 3 prior yr QF losers enter new current yr Rd 2 and 2 others play in Rd 1; while in Lein 1 QF loser and 6 other teams enter Rds 2 and 1, respectively.
Weakest teams in Muns still start in QFs; while Conn has the NY rd bfore their Last 6.

Championship/NFL- Divs 1, 2 & 3 of say, 11, 11 & 10.
Championships 2 & 3 - Top 4 in each to KO -
Final in each 1v2; (both promoted); Promotion Playoff 3v4 (winner only is 3rd promoted team).
Championship 1 - Top 6 to AIC KO with 2 Prov Champs (teams advancing twice to AIC SFs) - KO seeding based on NFL position.
Three up / three down.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1480 - 24/03/2019 00:39:12    2174608

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I think the Provincial championships will remain.

They are important still for the likes of Louth. The Provincials currently still have a profile that can't be matched by a division 3 campaign. A county like Louth relies on this sort of profile to get sponsors in.

Carlow beating Kildare and getting a shot against Laois in a winnable semifinal would have been high enough profile for them. It's the chance of these sorts of runs or say Fermanagh's run to an All Ireland quarterfinal that can help those outside of the elite to get recognition and bring in sponsors.

The big problem though is that the current season of a league played in crap conditions, with a championship played 2 to 3 months later with only 2 guaranteed matches is not a good season for players or fans.

An NFL played alongside the provincial championships would be an ok answer."
I don't think the championship is going away anytime soon but I do think they have outlived their usefulness. If you were starting a competition today with 32 teams you'd never come up with the present format. It would take some getting use to but I think playing at minimum 3 home games with larger crowds and on better field conditions will be a boost to local economy will help bring in sponsors. Under the current system teams aren't guaranteed any home games in the championship.
In the system that I'm proposing 4 teams from lower divisions will have an opportunity to compete in the play offs meaning 20 teams would compete on the playoffs after playing 7 games in the league.

If they ever change the system they have got to move the start of the league to April because playing games in hurricanes and wet pitches is not good for the game.

JuniorBee (Mayo) - Posts: 29 - 24/03/2019 18:00:25    2174821

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Replying To JuniorBee:  "I don't think the championship is going away anytime soon but I do think they have outlived their usefulness. If you were starting a competition today with 32 teams you'd never come up with the present format. It would take some getting use to but I think playing at minimum 3 home games with larger crowds and on better field conditions will be a boost to local economy will help bring in sponsors. Under the current system teams aren't guaranteed any home games in the championship.
In the system that I'm proposing 4 teams from lower divisions will have an opportunity to compete in the play offs meaning 20 teams would compete on the playoffs after playing 7 games in the league.

If they ever change the system they have got to move the start of the league to April because playing games in hurricanes and wet pitches is not good for the game."
Yes I 100% agree the league should be starting in April.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2373 - 24/03/2019 23:59:56    2175066

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Guys - I have a few basic questions to aid in this discussion -
1) How long should the off season be during the Winter break (with no IC nor club activity at all) ?
2) How many club matches per year should be targetted/ scheduled each year for the non-IC club player (club championship/league breakdown) ?
3) How many matches should be targetted/ scheduled each year for the IC player (IC, club championship/league breakdown) - should there be an incremental increase in match count for these 2% of players ?

Then we can compare what we think is optimum versus today's reality - and see how many periodic off weeks a player should have during the 'on season'. How many matches of any description does an amateur GAA want or should play in any given year ?

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1480 - 25/03/2019 03:10:09    2175086

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Based on the final league tables the 1-16 seeds would be the following. I then swapped teams that were an equal seed so as to keep as many local rivalries as possible. Example Galway and Monaghan would be both the 3rd seeded team in their division. It would end up with Munster/Ulster division and a Leinster/Connaught division. The league would played from April 1st-July. Then you'd have the Super 8s.

Division 1 A Division 1 B
KERRY MAYO
TYRONE DUBLIN
GALWAY MONAGHAN
MEATH DONEGAL
ROSCOMMON CAVAN
FERMANAGH KILDARE
ARMAGH CLARE
LAOIS DOWN

Swap matching seeds to maintain rivalries
KERRY MAYO
TYRONE DUBLIN
MONAGHAN GALWAY
DONEGAL MEATH
CAVAN ROSCOMMON
FERMANAGH KILDARE
ARMAGH CLARE
DOWN LAOIS

JuniorBee (Mayo) - Posts: 29 - 26/03/2019 17:53:57    2175615

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That's a lot of Kerry travel.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1480 - 26/03/2019 23:00:20    2175717

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Maybe Conn/Uls (incl London, Louth) & Lein/Muns (excl Louth, Kilk) in a 3-div set up is better.

Each region has a Championship 1, 2 and 3 of 4, 6 and 6 teams, respectively.
Each team plays an own region 'double round robin', with the Div 1 teams only playing the other region once as well - so all 32 teams play a 10-match schedule.

Championship 2 & 3 - The 4 group winners are promoted and contest the two inter-region Finals. Each of the 4 x 2nd-placed host intra-region playoffs against 2nd-last (5th or 3rd) in the div above for up to 4 more promotion places. Effectively, it's 1.5 up / 1.5 down between all divs.

Championship 1 - The 2 group winners advance to AI SFs along with 2 from retained KO Prov Champs (after a Champs Playoff Rd). Teams advancing twice go straight to the AI Championship 1 Final.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1480 - 26/03/2019 23:26:43    2175719

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There is a simple solution staring everyone in the face:
January - sigerson - move all exams to before Xmas ffs
February - warm up competitions
March - provincial championships - All open draw
April/May - league
June/July - tiered knockout all Ireland championships
All Ireland final on August Bank holiday
August/September - club championship
October/November- all Ireland and provincial clubs plus intercounty leagues

December for Beer.

4 months for league - 5 divisions similar to hurling - with knock out rounds in October/November

All Ireland tiers decided by combination of provincial championships and league finishing positions -
Tier 1 (16) 8 provincial finalist plus best other 8 league teams
Tier 2 (16) everyone else

tirawleybaron (Mayo) - Posts: 698 - 27/03/2019 06:55:52    2175732

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Replying To omahant:  "That's a lot of Kerry travel."
They'd still have 4 games at home. If Cork and Tipp get promoted they would be put in the division as Kerry.

JuniorBee (Mayo) - Posts: 29 - 27/03/2019 15:54:09    2175836

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There is a simple solution staring everyone in the face:
January - sigerson - move all exams to before Xmas ffs
February - warm up competitions
March - provincial championships - All open draw
April/May - league
June/July - tiered knockout all Ireland championships
All Ireland final on August Bank holiday
August/September - club championship
October/November- all Ireland and provincial clubs plus intercounty leagues
December for Beer.
4 months for league - 5 divisions similar to hurling - with knock out rounds in October/November
All Ireland tiers decided by combination of provincial championships and league finishing positions -
Tier 1 (16) 8 provincial finalist plus best other 8 league teams
Tier 2 (16) everyone else
tirawleybaron (Mayo) - Posts: 674 - 27/03/2019 06:55:52
why should it be the case that all exams should move to before christmas? To suit some sports matches??
i wouldnt finish provincial championships before a league starts. Do it like a lot of sports do and have cup competition in between weeks of the league competition and again same with a tiered knock out all ireland.
and why should you have to limit club championships to when the inter county season is over. mix it between the inter county games and then you can have proper off season for more than just one month.

KillingFields (Limerick) - Posts: 87 - 27/03/2019 16:09:22    2175845

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Replying To JuniorBee:  "They'd still have 4 games at home. If Cork and Tipp get promoted they would be put in the division as Kerry."
Or 3 every 2nd year. Why not align Uls with either neighbouring Prov to reduce travel ?

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1480 - 28/03/2019 14:29:33    2176027

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Replying To omahant:  "Or 3 every 2nd year. Why not align Uls with either neighbouring Prov to reduce travel ?"
Under the system if Cork and Tipp are promoted they would be put in the same division as Kerry. Also under this format the top 4 teams in each division would have 4 home games. This gives an added incentive to finish in the top 4.

JuniorBee (Mayo) - Posts: 29 - 28/03/2019 15:04:14    2176034

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Replying To omahant:  "Or 3 every 2nd year. Why not align Uls with either neighbouring Prov to reduce travel ?"
When you look at the final league tables and you see that there are only 2 teams from Munster playing in the top 2 divisions next year it shows how broken the provincial championship system is. Kerry will have an automatic Super 8's place because there is no competition for them in Munster and the same goes for Dublin in Leinster.

That's why I think merging the league and championship is needed because it creates all teams will have a balanced schedule and who ever wins the All Ireland will have competed against the best teams in the country and not just play one or two competitive games towards the end of the season.

JuniorBee (Mayo) - Posts: 29 - 28/03/2019 16:07:40    2176046

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Replying To JuniorBee:  "When you look at the final league tables and you see that there are only 2 teams from Munster playing in the top 2 divisions next year it shows how broken the provincial championship system is. Kerry will have an automatic Super 8's place because there is no competition for them in Munster and the same goes for Dublin in Leinster.

That's why I think merging the league and championship is needed because it creates all teams will have a balanced schedule and who ever wins the All Ireland will have competed against the best teams in the country and not just play one or two competitive games towards the end of the season."
I agree on giving everyone the same road to travel. However, if the GAA authorities stay wedded to the imbalanced structure, I'd like if they ensure the Kerrys and Dubs go through a Playoff Rd and the narrow 'two-berths gate' to the AI QFs. The other 6 berths could come from that 'travelled road' above. While this still not be perfect (Kerry and Dubs with still easier Front Door path), one could say it's a significant improvement on the present and fairness.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1480 - 28/03/2019 17:18:35    2176059

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Replying To omahant:  "I agree on giving everyone the same road to travel. However, if the GAA authorities stay wedded to the imbalanced structure, I'd like if they ensure the Kerrys and Dubs go through a Playoff Rd and the narrow 'two-berths gate' to the AI QFs. The other 6 berths could come from that 'travelled road' above. While this still not be perfect (Kerry and Dubs with still easier Front Door path), one could say it's a significant improvement on the present and fairness."
The top 8 teams will end up in the playoffs so it is good chance that both Kerry and Dublin will be in the playoffs every year. It isn't fair that at the best of times Kerry have to play one competitive game to reach the quarter finals or before that the great Kerry teams of the 70's and 80's only had to win 3 games in the year to win the All Ireland.

I think that if the league was moved back to April you'll have a more competitive games on better pitches played in front of larger crowds. Mayo have spent a small fortune on updating MacHale Park yet they are not guaranteed a home championship game. Under the new format they'd have at minimum 3 home games with 20,000 plus at each game.

I don't know if the GAA would be willing to make such a drastic change but for over 100 years we only had 4 provincial championships and now we have the back door system and the Super 8s so things do change.

JuniorBee (Mayo) - Posts: 29 - 29/03/2019 03:23:10    2176121

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As a Mayo man I was thrilled with Mayo winning the league especially for this group of players. The final was a great advertisement for the game. However it still doesn't change my mind that there needs to be changes to the All Ireland format because Kerry wont play a competitive game again until mid-July in the Super 8sand if this was last year and Mayo won the league they'd be playing Galway in just over 4 weeks. Surely a system where teams are playing on a regular basis against quality opposition is the way for the game to move forward.

JuniorBee (Mayo) - Posts: 29 - 01/04/2019 22:04:02    2177123

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Replying To JuniorBee:  "As a Mayo man I was thrilled with Mayo winning the league especially for this group of players. The final was a great advertisement for the game. However it still doesn't change my mind that there needs to be changes to the All Ireland format because Kerry wont play a competitive game again until mid-July in the Super 8sand if this was last year and Mayo won the league they'd be playing Galway in just over 4 weeks. Surely a system where teams are playing on a regular basis against quality opposition is the way for the game to move forward."
Congrats on the NFL success - I wish you much success in the AIC as well if my native Cork goes no where, as expected.
In response to your prior email - I think adjusting the format so two Champs make the AI Last 8 (after a Champs Playiff Rd) and 6 others from a 'level playing field' stream, both preserves tradition and brings a semblance of fairness.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1480 - 02/04/2019 00:44:34    2177160

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Play the provinces Jan to April. then use the result in the provinces as seeding for league based championship.

4 divisions in championship

Top 4 in division 1 get into quarter final.

Top of division 4
Top 2 in division 3
Top 3 in division 2
5th and 6th division 1
playoff to fill the last 4 spots in quarter final

no meaningless matches, everyone has a shot at sam and would allow proper fixturing

centerfield (Mayo) - Posts: 233 - 02/04/2019 09:05:44    2177180

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Something that could be interesting would be to have the following 2 tier system.

Championship 1 of 20 teams. Split into 2 sections of 10 teams in each. The split would be a geographical split of Championship 1 North and Championship 1 South. Top 4 from each into the All Ireland quarterfinals.

Championship 2 would be 12 teams in a single round robin. Top 6 into playoffs.

At the end of the season only 16 teams are guaranteed a place in championship 1.

14 teams from Championship 1, plus the Championship 2 finalists.

At the start of each season the non-qualified teams would play a qualifying tournament for the remaining 4 places.

This would give every team a shot at the All Ireland but it would still incentivize teams to not get relegated.

I don't like the systems where a team gets relegated and has an easier path to the playoffs the following season.

9 championship league games seems like a good amount of games for teams.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2373 - 02/04/2019 15:15:49    2177301

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