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Merge The League And Championship

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The league has evolved in to an excellent competition in its own right rather than a warmup for the championship. I think the future is a summer based league overlapping with a more streamlined knockout competition. Imagine the atmosphere at county grounds around the country hosting big games during the long evenings in summer. It would be great and everyone has something to play for throughout the summer.

Play the provincials in the spring as I think they are worth keeping but the current format is not fair on anybody for reasons already outlined that I won't repeat

GeniusGerry (Kerry) - Posts: 1372 - 02/04/2019 18:29:38    2177344

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Replying To GeniusGerry:  "The league has evolved in to an excellent competition in its own right rather than a warmup for the championship. I think the future is a summer based league overlapping with a more streamlined knockout competition. Imagine the atmosphere at county grounds around the country hosting big games during the long evenings in summer. It would be great and everyone has something to play for throughout the summer.

Play the provincials in the spring as I think they are worth keeping but the current format is not fair on anybody for reasons already outlined that I won't repeat"
why play provincials in spring then? Why not use them in summer as well with a league and streamlined knockout all ireland competition. Dont disregard provincial competitions by putting them as a preseason tournament?
Give clubs more game time in autumn and spring then

KillingFields (Limerick) - Posts: 125 - 02/04/2019 18:55:15    2177350

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Replying To KillingFields:  "why play provincials in spring then? Why not use them in summer as well with a league and streamlined knockout all ireland competition. Dont disregard provincial competitions by putting them as a preseason tournament?
Give clubs more game time in autumn and spring then"
I've thought of something along these lines for a season

14th April All Ireland club football final
21st April Break
28th April NFL Round 1
5th May NFL Round 2
12th May Provincial championships round 1
19th May Break
26th May NFL Round 3
2nd June NFL Round 4
9th June Provincial championships quarterfinals
16th June Break
23rd June NFL Round 5
30th June NFL Round 6
7th July Provincial championships Semifinals
14th July Break
21st July NFL Round 7
28th July Provincial championships finals and All Ireland championship round 1
4th August Break
11th August All Ireland round 2
18th August All Ireland round 3
25th August Break
1st September All Ireland quarterfinals
8th September All Ireland semifinals
15th September Break
22nd September All Ireland final

Teams would enter the All Ireland championship at a round depending on their seeding.

8 A Seeds Enter in round 3: 4 Provincial champions plus 4 best non Provincial winners from league
8 B seeds Enter in round 2: Any Losing Provincial finalists not A seeds plus teams from the league to make it up to 8 teams
16 C seeds Enter in round 1: Lowest Ranked Teams not making a Provincial final.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2503 - 02/04/2019 20:00:28    2177362

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Replying To GeniusGerry:  "The league has evolved in to an excellent competition in its own right rather than a warmup for the championship. I think the future is a summer based league overlapping with a more streamlined knockout competition. Imagine the atmosphere at county grounds around the country hosting big games during the long evenings in summer. It would be great and everyone has something to play for throughout the summer.

Play the provincials in the spring as I think they are worth keeping but the current format is not fair on anybody for reasons already outlined that I won't repeat"
GeniusGerry I agree with you on this. The GAA is an economic force and if they changed the league structure, in what ever form they want, to have games throughout the summer it would be an economic boost for the country especially the rural counties. Leitrim had a great run in the league and I'm sure there had better attendances than they had in previous years but think what the attendances would be like during the summer months. If they had, at minimum 3 home games, in Carrick on Shannon how much of a boost that it would be to local economy.

Players play more inter county games between January 1st and April 1st in miserable weather and on bad pitches than they do for the rest of the year. Think how much more enjoyable those games would be for the players and the supporters if the games were played during the summer.

JuniorBee (Mayo) - Posts: 32 - 03/04/2019 01:30:18    2177422

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Replying To JuniorBee:  "GeniusGerry I agree with you on this. The GAA is an economic force and if they changed the league structure, in what ever form they want, to have games throughout the summer it would be an economic boost for the country especially the rural counties. Leitrim had a great run in the league and I'm sure there had better attendances than they had in previous years but think what the attendances would be like during the summer months. If they had, at minimum 3 home games, in Carrick on Shannon how much of a boost that it would be to local economy.

Players play more inter county games between January 1st and April 1st in miserable weather and on bad pitches than they do for the rest of the year. Think how much more enjoyable those games would be for the players and the supporters if the games were played during the summer."
It would be magical imo. The issue with a summer league though, and the reason it won't happen is that it would quickly become the main competition, drawing the big summer games away from Croke Park and out to the regions. Croker is a goldmine on big match days.

@killingfields I don't mean to dismiss the provincials but Munster and Leinster are not great competitions at the moment and many bemoan the unfair advantage the status quo bestows on Kerry in particular. I don't know how you can maintain them as part of the main competitions while keeping it fair to everyone. Nobody should have a guaranteed route to the latter stages which is effectively what Kerry and Dublin have right now.

GeniusGerry (Kerry) - Posts: 1372 - 03/04/2019 12:03:57    2177465

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Replying To GeniusGerry:  "It would be magical imo. The issue with a summer league though, and the reason it won't happen is that it would quickly become the main competition, drawing the big summer games away from Croke Park and out to the regions. Croker is a goldmine on big match days.

@killingfields I don't mean to dismiss the provincials but Munster and Leinster are not great competitions at the moment and many bemoan the unfair advantage the status quo bestows on Kerry in particular. I don't know how you can maintain them as part of the main competitions while keeping it fair to everyone. Nobody should have a guaranteed route to the latter stages which is effectively what Kerry and Dublin have right now."
I think having Dublin playing 5 league games say a season in Croker would draw a great crowd.

It'd be great for season ticketing.

Kerry getting Dublin in Killarney every other year in a league based championship would be very special too.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2503 - 03/04/2019 16:22:11    2177526

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I've thought of something along these lines for a season

14th April All Ireland club football final
21st April Break
28th April NFL Round 1
5th May NFL Round 2
12th May Provincial championships round 1
19th May Break
26th May NFL Round 3
2nd June NFL Round 4
9th June Provincial championships quarterfinals
16th June Break
23rd June NFL Round 5
30th June NFL Round 6
7th July Provincial championships Semifinals
14th July Break
21st July NFL Round 7
28th July Provincial championships finals and All Ireland championship round 1
4th August Break
11th August All Ireland round 2
18th August All Ireland round 3
25th August Break
1st September All Ireland quarterfinals
8th September All Ireland semifinals
15th September Break
22nd September All Ireland final

Teams would enter the All Ireland championship at a round depending on their seeding.

8 A Seeds Enter in round 3: 4 Provincial champions plus 4 best non Provincial winners from league
8 B seeds Enter in round 2: Any Losing Provincial finalists not A seeds plus teams from the league to make it up to 8 teams
16 C seeds Enter in round 1: Lowest Ranked Teams not making a Provincial final."
I think I like it. You could maybe really incentivise the lower divisions by giving the winners a place as B or even A seeds too. Imagine a Leitrim or a Wicklow knowing they were skipping round 1 and also avoiding the provincial finalists in Round 2.

Tacaí Liatroma (Leitrim) - Posts: 505 - 03/04/2019 16:36:22    2177530

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Replying To GeniusGerry:  "It would be magical imo. The issue with a summer league though, and the reason it won't happen is that it would quickly become the main competition, drawing the big summer games away from Croke Park and out to the regions. Croker is a goldmine on big match days.

@killingfields I don't mean to dismiss the provincials but Munster and Leinster are not great competitions at the moment and many bemoan the unfair advantage the status quo bestows on Kerry in particular. I don't know how you can maintain them as part of the main competitions while keeping it fair to everyone. Nobody should have a guaranteed route to the latter stages which is effectively what Kerry and Dublin have right now."
Dublin would still have 4 home games in the league. A 5th one in the Super 8s, semi finals and final still in Croke Park. I'd would change the current format of the Super8s to 1 Home, 1 Away, and 1 Neutral Venue (Not Croke Park). Is there any sense in having Roscommon and Tyrone play a meaningless game in Croke Park instead of Carrick on Shannon? One the best attended games last year was Galway v Monaghan in Salthill. That was a n economic boon for the Galway City economy.

Kildare were right to stand their ground and push for the Kildare-Mayo game to be held in Newbridge and as a Mayo man I knew that would be an advantage to Kildare. But that one game was estimated to be worth 400,000 Euros to the local economy.

The Mayo County Board are up to their eyeballs in debt after developing MacHale Park but they aren't guaranteed any home championship games. The GAA needs to look at every aspect of the championship so that it is a level playing field, Kerry and Dublin have no rivals until the Super 8's, and also they have to look at how they can help rural counties economically instead of focusing only on Croke Park.

JuniorBee (Mayo) - Posts: 32 - 04/04/2019 17:13:10    2177729

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Something that is interesting in this whole debate were the new championship proposals in Cork.

They'd 3 proposals to look at. 1 involved not playing championship until August, that proposal met with the least support. Clubs actually preferred playing 2 games without county players than play no games before August.

There have to be games made available to club players throughout the summer. The only way that can be properly organised is through a more league based system.

The qualifiers definitely have to go.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2503 - 04/04/2019 19:35:28    2177744

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I've thought of something along these lines for a season

14th April All Ireland club football final
21st April Break
28th April NFL Round 1
5th May NFL Round 2
12th May Provincial championships round 1
19th May Break
26th May NFL Round 3
2nd June NFL Round 4
9th June Provincial championships quarterfinals
16th June Break
23rd June NFL Round 5
30th June NFL Round 6
7th July Provincial championships Semifinals
14th July Break
21st July NFL Round 7
28th July Provincial championships finals and All Ireland championship round 1
4th August Break
11th August All Ireland round 2
18th August All Ireland round 3
25th August Break
1st September All Ireland quarterfinals
8th September All Ireland semifinals
15th September Break
22nd September All Ireland final

Teams would enter the All Ireland championship at a round depending on their seeding.

8 A Seeds Enter in round 3: 4 Provincial champions plus 4 best non Provincial winners from league
8 B seeds Enter in round 2: Any Losing Provincial finalists not A seeds plus teams from the league to make it up to 8 teams
16 C seeds Enter in round 1: Lowest Ranked Teams not making a Provincial final."
I think your not far away but for a few tweaks.
1. Modify league to 12 team div 1 (A and B), sane for div 2 and 8 team div 3.
2. Merge Connacht and Munster championships. Switch London to Ulster.

Jan - Preseason training
Feb/March - provincial championships - two groups in each province
17th March - Provincial Finals
Rest of March - club football league
April - Club championship
28th April NFL Div 3 round 1
5th May NFL Div1/2 Round 1 - Div 3 Rd 2
12th May NFL Div 1/2 Round 2 - Div 4 Rd 3
19th May Club championship
26th May Break
2nd June NFL Div 1/2 Round 3 - Div 3 Rd 4
9th June NFL Div 1/2 Round 4 - Div 3 Rd 5
16th June Club Championship
23rd June Break
30th June NFL Div 1/2 Round 5 - Div 3 Rd 6
7th July Club Championship extra weekend for replays
14th July County Finals
21st July Div 3 NFL Round 7
28th July All Ireland Top 16/B championship Qualifier round seeded on combined provincial and league performance.

4th August - League Finals
11th August Break
18th August All Ireland round 1 (A and B)
25th August All Ireland round 2 (A and B)
1st September All Ireland round 3 (A and B)
8th September All Ireland semi finals
15th September Provincial Club championship 1st round (seeded so counties in all Ireland Finals get a bye)
21st/22nd September All Ireland finals weekend
29th September Break/final replay
6th October Provincial Club Q finals
13th October Provincial Club Semi finals
20th October Break
27th October Provincial Club finals
3rd November Break
10th November All Ireland Club Semi (GB champions in Ulster champ)
17th November Break
24th November All Ireland Club final.
Dec off season


Ulster and Leinster championships made up of 2 groups - open drawn
Connacht/Munster championship made of Connacht 5 team group and 6 team Munster Group

All Ireland championship qualifier round seeded based on league/provincial results - top 4 in each province plus best remaining 4 from league seeded with home draw v remaining 16.

Qualifier winners in top 16, rest in B champ. (Seeded 4 groups of 4, everyone gets 1 home game, 1 away, 1 neutral venue. Lowest ranked team get home match v highest ranked team, top 2 seeds in each group play at Neutral venue.

Seeding based on points system
provincial champions -20 points
Losing Munster/Connacht finalist 16 points
Losing Ulster and Leinster finalist 10 points
2nd place in Connacht and Munster groups 10 points
Other placings below that in increments of 8,4,2,1,0

League points - 40 for div 1 champ, 36 for R up, 32 for 3rd an so on in 1 point increments.

tirawleybaron (Mayo) - Posts: 753 - 04/04/2019 22:52:13    2177762

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Something else I thought of but again it wouldn't allow for time to play Provincials.

League 3 divisions of 12, 10 and 10 respectively.

3 down from each division but 2 up only.

Move on to 3 tier championship of 11, 10 and 11 in Senior, Intermediate and Junior.

Intermediate champion plays Div 1 league the following season. Junior champion plays division 2 league.

You'd have 22 in the mix to make the All Ireland senior championship each season and meaningful lower tier competitions for the others with real rewards for the winners.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2503 - 05/04/2019 17:56:32    2177841

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Replying To Whammo86:  "Something that is interesting in this whole debate were the new championship proposals in Cork.

They'd 3 proposals to look at. 1 involved not playing championship until August, that proposal met with the least support. Clubs actually preferred playing 2 games without county players than play no games before August.

There have to be games made available to club players throughout the summer. The only way that can be properly organised is through a more league based system.

The qualifiers definitely have to go."
Yes, that Option C allowing for five summer games (2 groups of 6), incl two played for 'half points' and without the inter-county players was too radical for most and didn't attract enough support. Approved Option A approved 4 grades of 12, each with 3 groups of 4, one match in April and two played four months later in August - this keeps the 98% club only player idle during the summer.

My preference would be a blend of A and C, with A engaging inter-county players and C not, but both strands treated independently and both advancing clubs to the KO stage.

Have all 12 play their 11 opponents, but in 2 groups of 6. The 5 intra group games in April/ August (incl 3 games in April) and 6 inter group games in May, June and July - have the top 3 from each of the four groups of 6 advance - teams qualifying twice or most points over 11 games, get byes in 1st KO Rd. A couple of divisional / college teams qualify separately to the 1st KO Rd.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1541 - 07/04/2019 06:17:19    2177940

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Replying To Whammo86:  "Something else I thought of but again it wouldn't allow for time to play Provincials.

League 3 divisions of 12, 10 and 10 respectively.

3 down from each division but 2 up only.

Move on to 3 tier championship of 11, 10 and 11 in Senior, Intermediate and Junior.

Intermediate champion plays Div 1 league the following season. Junior champion plays division 2 league.

You'd have 22 in the mix to make the All Ireland senior championship each season and meaningful lower tier competitions for the others with real rewards for the winners."
I liked your split divisions, two league /split season - what was it - league with divs of 6 or so, promotion/relegation and repeat again for the championship, divs get refreshed every 6 mos, lower tier teams could get into the Race for Sam with two promotions within one year.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1541 - 07/04/2019 06:47:36    2177941

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Replying To omahant:  "Yes, that Option C allowing for five summer games (2 groups of 6), incl two played for 'half points' and without the inter-county players was too radical for most and didn't attract enough support. Approved Option A approved 4 grades of 12, each with 3 groups of 4, one match in April and two played four months later in August - this keeps the 98% club only player idle during the summer.

My preference would be a blend of A and C, with A engaging inter-county players and C not, but both strands treated independently and both advancing clubs to the KO stage.

Have all 12 play their 11 opponents, but in 2 groups of 6. The 5 intra group games in April/ August (incl 3 games in April) and 6 inter group games in May, June and July - have the top 3 from each of the four groups of 6 advance - teams qualifying twice or most points over 11 games, get byes in 1st KO Rd. A couple of divisional / college teams qualify separately to the 1st KO Rd."
I'd actually thought of something similar to this previously.

So say there were 16 teams in the championship that every team would play a single round robin.

The dates of these fixtures would be determined at the start of the season.

What wouldn't be known is whether county players would be eligible to play our not.

Depending on the time frame that the county team gets eliminated at then the remaining rounds of the league phase would become starred fixtures.

So let's say in each county 7 rounds are scheduled before the super 8s. A team not reaching the super 8s will have their county players available for 8 championship league games.

Teams getting eliminated in the Super 8s have their county players available for 6 games.

Teams reaching the semifinals and final maybe have them available for the last 4 rounds of games.

There's 2 different tables for games with a without county players.

Any team finishing top 4 in either table gets a quarterfinal spot plus then however many teams in the combined table to make the playoffs up to 8 teams.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2503 - 07/04/2019 15:21:54    2177966

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So, each table will have teams playing a different number of games - wirh inter-county, 8 or less. How do you compare varying team records - pts per game played ? I prefer June-Aug summer pre-ordained without inter-county players - and could be a symmetic as well - all games inter-group, so group teams have played common opponents.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1541 - 09/04/2019 01:35:28    2178133

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Replying To omahant:  "So, each table will have teams playing a different number of games - wirh inter-county, 8 or less. How do you compare varying team records - pts per game played ? I prefer June-Aug summer pre-ordained without inter-county players - and could be a symmetic as well - all games inter-group, so group teams have played common opponents."
No within a county every team plays the same number of fixtures with or without county players.

If there are 7 rounds before the county players return then the fixtures in those 7 rounds are all without county players. If after the county team has exited and there are catch up games needed for earlier rounds then county players will be ineligible for the catch up games.

If a county is knocked out before the super 8s they might as well have their county players available for as many of the games during that period as possible whilst still keeping the tournament broadly fair.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2503 - 09/04/2019 10:57:50    2178178

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Maybe you intend this but it's not coming across - 16 teams are 2 groups of 8 - with initial 7 rds being intra-group, without county players, so all teams in a group play a full round robin. This is followed by 8 inter-group pairings, so again - all teams in a group plays the same 8-match set, with county players.
I do prefer teams earning byes for 'doubling up' advancing twice in lieu of 'top up to QF 8 teams', as teams get nothing extra for doing well in both halves of the league games.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1541 - 09/04/2019 23:34:11    2178308

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Replying To omahant:  "Maybe you intend this but it's not coming across - 16 teams are 2 groups of 8 - with initial 7 rds being intra-group, without county players, so all teams in a group play a full round robin. This is followed by 8 inter-group pairings, so again - all teams in a group plays the same 8-match set, with county players.
I do prefer teams earning byes for 'doubling up' advancing twice in lieu of 'top up to QF 8 teams', as teams get nothing extra for doing well in both halves of the league games."
There's no intra or extra group games.

There's 1: 16 team single round robin. Teams play somewhere between 4 and 8 games with county players depending on when the county team is knocked out.

There's 2 16 team ladders. 1 for games with and 1 for games without county players.

The playoff rules are flexible.

If it were me I'd maybe guarantee top 6 from the table with county players a place in the quarterfinals, plus 2 best non qualifiers from the 15 match schedule.

I'd have bottom 4 from the 8 non qualifying teams play the relegation play off with their county players.

The key is just to get teams a set schedule that isn't affected by county participation whilst getting county players available for a maximum number of games.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2503 - 10/04/2019 09:41:27    2178320

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.....Teams play somewhere between 4 and 8 games with county players......
So, for the 'WITH inter-county players' table - all clubs would reflects the same match quantity (say, from 4 to 8) but possibly, with wildly different partial round-robin schedule strength. The team with the 3rd toughest, would presumably lose out on the two available KO berths in the 15-match table ?

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1541 - 12/04/2019 04:02:10    2178526

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Replying To omahant:  ".....Teams play somewhere between 4 and 8 games with county players......
So, for the 'WITH inter-county players' table - all clubs would reflects the same match quantity (say, from 4 to 8) but possibly, with wildly different partial round-robin schedule strength. The team with the 3rd toughest, would presumably lose out on the two available KO berths in the 15-match table ?"
It's still fair is the main thing.

Provided it's an open draw and the rules are robust and well defined at the start as to which games will be played with county players then it's all fair.

In an open draw knockout tournament teams play a differing strength schedule and no one cares because it is fair.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2503 - 12/04/2019 12:40:15    2178567

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