National Forum

Restructure The Football League To Reduce Between The Top Teams & The Rest

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Replying To omahant:  "
Replying To KillingFields:  "I don't think a group format in the championship is the answer as it favours the stronger teams. A shock result in that format is less likely to put a big gun out. It could also lead to teams "settling" for keeping scores down, rather than having a cut at a big team. Any momentum gained from winning a provincial would be lost from knowing another of spate of games are coming up before an All Ireland Quarter/Semi Final could be reached.

People saying the championship format needs to change are looking at the wrong competition (although 4 provinces of 8 would be preferable). Teams use the league to prepare for the championship & to develop players. What drives differences in standards is the level of prepatory work teams do. Increasing the size of division 1 to 16 would would instantly bring up the standard of preparation required by the current division 2 teams.

On the evidence of tonight, Cavan had a cut at times but were outclassed by a team on a higher level. If Cavan want to get to that level, they need to play more games at that standard. They would stand a much better chance of achieving that in a revised league structure.

Manners5 (Westmeath) - Posts: 6 - 05/12/2020 21:00:02
As opposed to the current system that has seen 7 teams in all ireland final in last 17 years and only 5 winners.
We already have teams settling to keep scores down in plenty of the early provincial championship games especially sides playing the big sides like Dubs, Kerry.
Where would you play all these league games by expanding division 1 of the league to 16 teams?"
You could play a balanced 'half round robin'.
For the Top 16 league, you could have teams finishing say, 1st, 8th, 4th & 5th from both existing Divs 1 & 2 play those in 2nd, 7th, 3rd & 6th from BOTH divs (after merging divs and promo/relag issues are settled) for the following year (8-match schedule). Do the same with Lower 16.

Or, go Top 20 / Lower 12.
Top 20 - (1, 10), (4, 7) & 5 plays (2, 9), (3, 8) & 6 from BOTH halves (10-match schedule).
Lower 12 - Form groups A (1, 12, 6, 7) & B (2, 11, 5, 8) & C (3, 10, 4, 9). Then, A hosts B, B hosts C & C hosts A (8-match schedule).
AI KO - 1st 8 in Top 20 combined table to AI KO QFs (1 hosts 8, 2h7, 3h6 & 4h5).
Bottom 6 to Relag KO Playoffs - 15h20, 16h19 & 17h18 (3 losers go down).
Tier 2 KO - 1st 6 in Lower 12 combined table to 1st Rd KO - 1 hosts 6, 2h5 & 3h4 (3 winners go up and conclude Tier 2 KO, highest seeded winner to Final, other 2 to SF)."
Thats just a wall of numbers. Why do you love as convuluted proposals as possible.
Why not just post all your own ideas in one thread and let people vote on them
You need a simple format rather than something you would have to explain over and over to people.

KillingFields (Limerick) - Posts: 2549 - 06/12/2020 19:29:45    2319427

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Replying To mhunicean_abu:  "Many a poster on here, including some from my own county say that the league is not important and that championship is everything, well if Dublin are the yardstick then here is the reality.
Since 2015 Dublin's average winning margin against lower division teams is 17.5 points, mainly in the championship playing in second gear
Dublin's overall average winning margin against division 1 teams for the same period is 4.5 points (for championship only it is 4.8 points ). Not playing in second gear.
The point is very obvious if you're not playing in division one you have no hope against them in the championship. The association seem happy for this to continue, especially the Leinster Council"
This would explain the logic behind going to a 1A/1B league format.
Success in the league isn't as relevant as success in the championship. However, playing at a higher level in the league to prepare for the championshio is vitally important.

Manners5 (Westmeath) - Posts: 20 - 06/12/2020 19:46:52    2319438

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Replying To Manners5:  "Maybe even up was the wrong choice of words, but it will bring on the teams outside of the top 5/6 & reduce that gap.

For the greater part, league games are not nearly as relevant as championship games; that goes for every level of GAA, be it county, club, schools etc. Hence, I don't understand the idea of flipping the order of the competitions as currently is. Tipp's division 3 league title in 2017 pales in comparison to their Munster title this year.

Regarding reducing the gap in standards, compare the championships from 1998-2007 (when old 1A/1B format was in place) to 2008-2017 (current structure).
14 provincial winners from 98-07, 11 provincial winners from 08-17
8 NFL Winners from 98-07, 4 NFL Winners from 08-17.
Under the old league format, there was a greater spread of winners of the main competitions. Additionally, perceived weaker counties came very close to claiming provincial honours (Tipperary 02, Limerick 04, Fermanagh 08), whilst there were also novel league finalists such as Cavan (02), Laois (03) & Wexford (05). I accept that including 2020 winners would change these stats but the year could be seen as an anomoly given how it has played out."
The game was a lot more even during that period. The league probably had something to do with that but it's not the only reason.

The S&C age and level of tactical analysis has also changed the game and top teams lose less than they used to.

I like the current league format but still think it'd be better for championship to be tiered with a league style format.

2 groups of 8 would be one way in which that'd work well.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3625 - 06/12/2020 20:24:32    2319463

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Replying To KillingFields:  "
Replying To omahant:  "[quote=KillingFields:  "I don't think a group format in the championship is the answer as it favours the stronger teams. A shock result in that format is less likely to put a big gun out. It could also lead to teams "settling" for keeping scores down, rather than having a cut at a big team. Any momentum gained from winning a provincial would be lost from knowing another of spate of games are coming up before an All Ireland Quarter/Semi Final could be reached.

People saying the championship format needs to change are looking at the wrong competition (although 4 provinces of 8 would be preferable). Teams use the league to prepare for the championship & to develop players. What drives differences in standards is the level of prepatory work teams do. Increasing the size of division 1 to 16 would would instantly bring up the standard of preparation required by the current division 2 teams.

On the evidence of tonight, Cavan had a cut at times but were outclassed by a team on a higher level. If Cavan want to get to that level, they need to play more games at that standard. They would stand a much better chance of achieving that in a revised league structure.

Manners5 (Westmeath) - Posts: 6 - 05/12/2020 21:00:02
As opposed to the current system that has seen 7 teams in all ireland final in last 17 years and only 5 winners.
We already have teams settling to keep scores down in plenty of the early provincial championship games especially sides playing the big sides like Dubs, Kerry.
Where would you play all these league games by expanding division 1 of the league to 16 teams?"
You could play a balanced 'half round robin'.
For the Top 16 league, you could have teams finishing say, 1st, 8th, 4th & 5th from both existing Divs 1 & 2 play those in 2nd, 7th, 3rd & 6th from BOTH divs (after merging divs and promo/relag issues are settled) for the following year (8-match schedule). Do the same with Lower 16.

Or, go Top 20 / Lower 12.
Top 20 - (1, 10), (4, 7) & 5 plays (2, 9), (3, 8) & 6 from BOTH halves (10-match schedule).
Lower 12 - Form groups A (1, 12, 6, 7) & B (2, 11, 5, 8) & C (3, 10, 4, 9). Then, A hosts B, B hosts C & C hosts A (8-match schedule).
AI KO - 1st 8 in Top 20 combined table to AI KO QFs (1 hosts 8, 2h7, 3h6 & 4h5).
Bottom 6 to Relag KO Playoffs - 15h20, 16h19 & 17h18 (3 losers go down).
Tier 2 KO - 1st 6 in Lower 12 combined table to 1st Rd KO - 1 hosts 6, 2h5 & 3h4 (3 winners go up and conclude Tier 2 KO, highest seeded winner to Final, other 2 to SF)."
Thats just a wall of numbers. Why do you love as convuluted proposals as possible.
Why not just post all your own ideas in one thread and let people vote on them
You need a simple format rather than something you would have to explain over and over to people."]How could you possibly know my needs when you can't even follow my post ? Elaborate ideas are never made for simple minds.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2150 - 07/12/2020 02:26:00    2319594

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Could amend the KO for the 'Top 20 / Lower 12' as follows -

AI Tier 1 KO - 1st 8 in 'Top 20 combined table' to AI KO QFs (1 hosts 8, 2h7, 3h6 & 4h5).
Bottom 6 to Relag KO - 15 hosts 18 & 16h17 (2 losers join 19th & 20th - 4 go down).

Tier 2 KO - 1st 6 in 'Lower 12 combined table' to KO - 3 hosts 6 & 4h5 in QFs (2 winners join 1st & 2nd in Tier 2 SFs - all SF 4 go up).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2150 - 07/12/2020 02:51:06    2319596

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Replying To omahant:  "
Replying To KillingFields:  "[quote=omahant:  "[quote=KillingFields:  "I don't think a group format in the championship is the answer as it favours the stronger teams. A shock result in that format is less likely to put a big gun out. It could also lead to teams "settling" for keeping scores down, rather than having a cut at a big team. Any momentum gained from winning a provincial would be lost from knowing another of spate of games are coming up before an All Ireland Quarter/Semi Final could be reached.

People saying the championship format needs to change are looking at the wrong competition (although 4 provinces of 8 would be preferable). Teams use the league to prepare for the championship & to develop players. What drives differences in standards is the level of prepatory work teams do. Increasing the size of division 1 to 16 would would instantly bring up the standard of preparation required by the current division 2 teams.

On the evidence of tonight, Cavan had a cut at times but were outclassed by a team on a higher level. If Cavan want to get to that level, they need to play more games at that standard. They would stand a much better chance of achieving that in a revised league structure.

Manners5 (Westmeath) - Posts: 6 - 05/12/2020 21:00:02
As opposed to the current system that has seen 7 teams in all ireland final in last 17 years and only 5 winners.
We already have teams settling to keep scores down in plenty of the early provincial championship games especially sides playing the big sides like Dubs, Kerry.
Where would you play all these league games by expanding division 1 of the league to 16 teams?"
You could play a balanced 'half round robin'.
For the Top 16 league, you could have teams finishing say, 1st, 8th, 4th & 5th from both existing Divs 1 & 2 play those in 2nd, 7th, 3rd & 6th from BOTH divs (after merging divs and promo/relag issues are settled) for the following year (8-match schedule). Do the same with Lower 16.

Or, go Top 20 / Lower 12.
Top 20 - (1, 10), (4, 7) & 5 plays (2, 9), (3, 8) & 6 from BOTH halves (10-match schedule).
Lower 12 - Form groups A (1, 12, 6, 7) & B (2, 11, 5, 8) & C (3, 10, 4, 9). Then, A hosts B, B hosts C & C hosts A (8-match schedule).
AI KO - 1st 8 in Top 20 combined table to AI KO QFs (1 hosts 8, 2h7, 3h6 & 4h5).
Bottom 6 to Relag KO Playoffs - 15h20, 16h19 & 17h18 (3 losers go down).
Tier 2 KO - 1st 6 in Lower 12 combined table to 1st Rd KO - 1 hosts 6, 2h5 & 3h4 (3 winners go up and conclude Tier 2 KO, highest seeded winner to Final, other 2 to SF)."
Thats just a wall of numbers. Why do you love as convuluted proposals as possible.
Why not just post all your own ideas in one thread and let people vote on them
You need a simple format rather than something you would have to explain over and over to people."]How could you possibly know my needs when you can't even follow my post ? Elaborate ideas are never made for simple minds."]I can follow it but its still a wall of numbers.
You just post random competition structure proposal after random competition structure proposal why not at least keep them in one thread and let people vote on them. Then you can stop putting all these proposals across all different threads.
I dont find it confusing but the more you have to explain how your competition is structured the less good it is.

KillingFields (Limerick) - Posts: 2549 - 07/12/2020 11:27:39    2319687

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Yeah I definitely do have the odd complex solution myself but o think ultimately the best solution will just be really simple.

I find it hard not to think that 2 tiers both with 2 groups of 8 wouldn't make for an excellent championship competition.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3625 - 07/12/2020 15:56:05    2319813

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My Top 16 has essentially 2 groups of 8 for scheduling (8 inter group matches, in lieu of a 7 match round robin). The alternative Top 20 has 2 groups of 10.

In lieu of possibly drawing unbalanced mixed quality groups, I got into the weeds in pairing specific seeds (essentially, in the Top 16, each seeding 'pair' has a total of 17, e.g. 1&16, 2&15 etc.) If a team played Dublin, they'd play the weakest in Div 1 team as well (16th - or 20th, in the expanded version).

I think that Top 20 would be a fair competition, very inclusive and with a sprinkling of attractive pairings across an unburdened 10-match program. With 4 up/ 4 down, there is ample opportunity to go up, or stay at the top table. Maybe the Lower 12 doesn't need groups for scheduling - just have an 11-match round robin instead. I don't think this would be a bad season at all. Certain league pairings could 'double up' as Prov KO pairings (4x8), where possible, as well.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2150 - 09/12/2020 04:28:58    2320528

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Replying To Whammo86:  "The championship could look something like this, basing it roughly on the National league this year and Provincial championships.

4 Provincial champions
Dublin
Cavan
Tipperary
Mayo

10 teams from Previous season's championship 1.

Kerry
Galway
Tyrone
Donegal
Monaghan
Roscommon
Armagh
Meath
Kildare
Westmeath

Then let's say Cork and Down were the previous season's tier 2 finalists.

You'd have groups like
1
Dublin
Cavan
Galway
Cork
Kildare
Armagh
Roscommon
Tyrone

2
Mayo
Tipperary
Meath
Donegal
Kerry
Down
Westmeath
Monaghan

3 teams from each section qualify for knockout rounds, top teams getting a bye to the semifinals.

4th and 5th placed teams guaranteed a Championship 1 place the following season.

6th and 7th placed teams qualify depending on provincial winners.

8th placed teams would have to win their Provincial championship to qualify.

Championship 2 North would look something like
Fermanagh
Derry
Antrim
Louth
Sligo
Leitrim
Longford
London

Championship 2 South
Limerick
Wexford
Waterford
Clare
Wicklow
Carlow
Laois
Offaly


Top 4 from each tier 2 group go to those playoffs. With top 2 teams in each section getting home advantage. Semifinals would also be home/away with teams seeded by group stage position. First in each group guaranteed a home semi final if they make it."
That's a fine championship if you had the time
You'd have to get rid of leagues and provincials to make that happen between Feb and July

I'd make league in 3 x top division and 3 x lower division
1A/B/C - 2020 div 1 and 2 with Cork and Down - split in 3 groups of 6
2A/B/C - 2 groups of 4 plus a group of 5

Finals on Easter weekend

Ulster and Connacht as normal and amalgamate Munster and Leinster into 1 championship- finals mid May
All ireland A,B and C championships
A = provincial winners plus top 9 in league
B = next 12 in league
C = bottom 8 plus New York

A = 4 groups of 3 with semis and final
B = as per above
C = 3 groups of 3 with semis having 3 group winners and a best r up

A championship groups would be
1 = Dublin, Donegal, Meath
2 = Mayo, Monaghan, Roscommon
3 = Cavan, Galway, Armagh
4 = Kerry, Tyrone, Kildare

B
1 = Westmeath, Longford, Limerick
2 = Laois, Derry, Wicklow
3 = Clare, Down, Offaly
4= Cork, Fermanagh, Tipp

C
1 = Leitrim, Sligo, Waterford
2 = Louth, Carlow, London
3 = Antrim, Wexford, New York


There is no one in the above groups who wouldn't fancy their chances of making a championship semi final bar Meath and Kildare maybe - and if all matches had to be actual home or away (Dublin in Parnell park) - you'd never know

tirawleybaron (Mayo) - Posts: 879 - 09/12/2020 06:22:54    2320529

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Replying To Whammo86:  "Yeah I definitely do have the odd complex solution myself but o think ultimately the best solution will just be really simple.

I find it hard not to think that 2 tiers both with 2 groups of 8 wouldn't make for an excellent championship competition."
3 tiers would be better
12, 12 and 9 (with New York)
Current div 4 teams wouldn't say no to a funded trip to New York)

Being realistic, a two tier system would have two many one sided matches in top tier and still give div 4 teams little chance of winning anything

tirawleybaron (Mayo) - Posts: 879 - 09/12/2020 06:29:04    2320530

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Replying To tirawleybaron:  "3 tiers would be better
12, 12 and 9 (with New York)
Current div 4 teams wouldn't say no to a funded trip to New York)

Being realistic, a two tier system would have two many one sided matches in top tier and still give div 4 teams little chance of winning anything"
But don't you have a 2-tier NFL ?

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2150 - 09/12/2020 21:42:17    2320878

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Let me take another stab at this -

- Structure initially formed from the final positions in the existing NFL's 4 divs of 8.
- Top 20 (Tier 1) consists of top half of Div 3 and all teams in Divs 1 & 2.
- Teams are assigned to Groups A & B based on div position and 'balanced pairs'.
- Assign to Group A all teams positioned in 1st, 8th, 4th & 5th in any of the divisions 1 to 3.
- Assign to Group B all teams positioned in 2nd, 7th, 3rd & 6th in any of the 3 divisions.
- All 10 teams in Group A play 10 in Group B.
- Top 8 from a combined 20-team, 10-match table advance to AI KO QFs.
- Relegation playoffs has 15th v 18th & 16th v 17th (2 losers join 19th & 20th for 4 down).

- Lower 12 (Tier 2) with a North 6 & South 6.
- Teams play a 10-match, 2x regional rd robin.
- Top 3 in each to Tier 2 KO, with 2nd v 3rd crossover QFs (2 winners join both 1sts in SFs, and the SF 4 go up).

- Prov 4x8 KO Championships played with NFL matches counting for both, where possible.
- Prov Champs placed outside the 1st 8 of the Top 20 increases the Tier 1 AI KO field.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2150 - 09/12/2020 23:35:44    2320918

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Staying conventional, why not just have -

Div 1A (10 teams, 9 matches, top 4 to QFs)
Div 1B (equal rank, 10 teams, top 4 to QFs)
Relegation Playoffs - A 8th hosts B 9th and
B 8th hosts A 9th (2 losers & both 10ths are 4 teams to go down).

Div 2N (6 teams, 10 matches)
Div 2S (6 teams, 10 matches)
Tier 2 QFs - 2N 2nd hosts 2S 3rd and 2S 2nd hosts 2N 3rd (2 winners & both 1sts to SFs and the SF 4 go up).

Plenty of opportunity for all - BUT, we still need to solve the Dubs dominance issue !

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2150 - 10/12/2020 03:28:55    2320940

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Replying To tirawleybaron:  "3 tiers would be better
12, 12 and 9 (with New York)
Current div 4 teams wouldn't say no to a funded trip to New York)

Being realistic, a two tier system would have two many one sided matches in top tier and still give div 4 teams little chance of winning anything"
I prefer 2 tiers because then a team is only one promotion away from getting into the big time.

The championship is replacing the league.

The season starts with provincials in March to Mid April and are used for seeding the top championship.

Mid-April to Jun for the league phase.

July for knockout rounds.

Teams can win their provincial championship to qualify for tier 1.

Getting to the B championship also qualifies them.

With only 6 from 16 going through it's a high bar to qualify for the knockout stages in the A championship.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3625 - 10/12/2020 05:39:20    2320944

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Replying To omahant:  "Staying conventional, why not just have -

Div 1A (10 teams, 9 matches, top 4 to QFs)
Div 1B (equal rank, 10 teams, top 4 to QFs)
Relegation Playoffs - A 8th hosts B 9th and
B 8th hosts A 9th (2 losers & both 10ths are 4 teams to go down).

Div 2N (6 teams, 10 matches)
Div 2S (6 teams, 10 matches)
Tier 2 QFs - 2N 2nd hosts 2S 3rd and 2S 2nd hosts 2N 3rd (2 winners & both 1sts to SFs and the SF 4 go up).

Plenty of opportunity for all - BUT, we still need to solve the Dubs dominance issue !"
Something like that would be a very good format in my mind. Simple and easy to follow. Teams are playing the teams they should be playing.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3625 - 10/12/2020 08:54:23    2320952

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Replying To omahant:  "But don't you have a 2-tier NFL ?"
NFL is 4 tiers.

Rolo2010 (Donegal) - Posts: 456 - 10/12/2020 13:05:49    2321022

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