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Football Format Changes Discussion

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Replying To KillingFields:  "Of course
You should be able for 3 competitions during the year.
Some of main issues with inter county season structure is counties playung far too many gàmes too early in year"
I don't actually think we do have lots of room for 3 competitions. You look at county club championships and they are only getting about 6 weekends allocated to them per code.

When you've say at a push 8 good months (34 weeks) of weather, intercounty plus 2 club codes, it's a lot of time to be eating up 4 weekends plus break weeks with provincial championships.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4265 - 15/04/2024 11:01:11    2537951

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If you had a league based championship and Provincial councils got decent shares of the games being played by teams from their provinces it'd probably be best for all involved.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4265 - 15/04/2024 11:02:41    2537952

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Why is the 4 groups of 4 All Ireland a bad format?

Groups of 4 aren't great in the GAA because there aren't lots of draws and 2 through, 2 out is often decided after 2 of 3 rounds. GAA are aware of this but 3 going through lacks intensity.

Field is split into 4: This was an issue with the old qualifier system and it remains an issue. There aren't enough interesting championship match ups before the quarterfinals.

Not having promotion and relegation be decided solely through championship is a mistake also. It'd allow for more championship games to be played that are meaningful and yet still allow for there to be a high bar for qualifying.

It's not great for the tier 2 engagement if a participant has another route through to tier 1. Fermanagh last year had a terrible championship but were better placed than a lot of other teams to qualify for tier 1 because the were in league division 2. Yes they earned the right to be in division 2 but is the important competition league or is it championship.

Having division 3 teams in tier 1 is quite weird then too. If such a team has a great run in the championship but then don't qualify the following season (they could even win division 3 and only lose to a Dublin or Kerry in their provincial semi) what does that say about the importance of the All Ireland championship relative to league and provincials.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4265 - 15/04/2024 11:19:40    2537960

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Replying To Whammo86:  "If you had a league based championship and Provincial councils got decent shares of the games being played by teams from their provinces it'd probably be best for all involved."
Shares of the gate.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4265 - 15/04/2024 11:31:33    2537971

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Replying To Ciaran359:  "Would there be merit in changing the format to match the hurling championship?

Keep Ulster almost as is (Demote Antrim, as the lowest ranked team based on league), and have a combined group of the best 8 teams based on previous years' league position (Dublin, Kerry, Mayo, Galway, Roscommon, Cork, Meath, Louth)

It would keep the tradition of the Ulster championship, and give the other teams competition at their own level.

Bottom team in Ulster is replaced by Antrim, bottom of other group is replaced by second tier competition winner.

Moving into the All-Ireland series, provincial champion goes straight to semi-final, provincial loser goes to quarter final, 3rd and 4th placed teams cross-play in Preliminary QF to play provincial loser.

It probably has no extra benefits over a league-based championship, bar keeping the Ulster championship."
I think it'd only kind of work in year 1 and sorts of falls apart quickly after that.

Antrim just get into the Ulster championship every other year.

What if it becomes the case that Ulster gets a lot weaker. Even now is it actually good enough to warrant being half the competition.

We had 4 teams in Tailteann last year for instance.

The weakest part of the hurling format is that it's provincial based and also does bring in some awkward features. Munster is harder to qualify from, promotion and relegation isn't actually fair/purely merit based/decided on the pitch.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4265 - 15/04/2024 11:38:52    2537973

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I don't actually think we do have lots of room for 3 competitions. You look at county club championships and they are only getting about 6 weekends allocated to them per code.

When you've say at a push 8 good months (34 weeks) of weather, intercounty plus 2 club codes, it's a lot of time to be eating up 4 weekends plus break weeks with provincial championships."
I have actually mentioned this to you before and you never respond.

I think this is a root cause of some of the scheduling issues in the GAA. Ah it's only 4 weeks. You keep adding in these small extra weeks being needed and soon you find yourself playing too many games in bad weather. It's not unrelated at all.

If the GAA are properly to improve the calendar they need to take the best 34 weeks. They need to try to use as many of those as possible for the 4 core competitions. Football and Hurling inter county championships and Club County championships in each code.

There shouldn't be a split season because that is inefficient with the rest weekends that are needed and maybe club weekends could be used as rest weekends instead.

Having 4 knockout rounds at the business end of the championship is a bit inefficient also.

Inter county league really shouldn't be needed to be played by players competing in Provincial or All Ireland club competitions.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4265 - 15/04/2024 11:51:28    2537980

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I think it'd only kind of work in year 1 and sorts of falls apart quickly after that.

Antrim just get into the Ulster championship every other year.

What if it becomes the case that Ulster gets a lot weaker. Even now is it actually good enough to warrant being half the competition.

We had 4 teams in Tailteann last year for instance.

The weakest part of the hurling format is that it's provincial based and also does bring in some awkward features. Munster is harder to qualify from, promotion and relegation isn't actually fair/purely merit based/decided on the pitch."
The 4th and 5th teams in Munster would likely beat the 3rd team in Leinster 9 times out of 10.

Seanfanbocht (Roscommon) - Posts: 1578 - 15/04/2024 12:06:11    2537989

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Replying To Seanfanbocht:  "The 4th and 5th teams in Munster would likely beat the 3rd team in Leinster 9 times out of 10."
Yeah, the hurling championship works in spite of its bad format.

I think mainly because it just gets good teams playing one another more regularly.

Not splitting the field in 4 is a good start for that.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4265 - 15/04/2024 12:38:25    2538007

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I have actually mentioned this to you before and you never respond.

I think this is a root cause of some of the scheduling issues in the GAA. Ah it's only 4 weeks. You keep adding in these small extra weeks being needed and soon you find yourself playing too many games in bad weather. It's not unrelated at all.

If the GAA are properly to improve the calendar they need to take the best 34 weeks. They need to try to use as many of those as possible for the 4 core competitions. Football and Hurling inter county championships and Club County championships in each code.

There shouldn't be a split season because that is inefficient with the rest weekends that are needed and maybe club weekends could be used as rest weekends instead.

Having 4 knockout rounds at the business end of the championship is a bit inefficient also.

Inter county league really shouldn't be needed to be played by players competing in Provincial or All Ireland club competitions."
I agree on pretty much all of this. But how can you make these changes?

I'd always advocate for a master fixtures list with weekends set aside for club / inter county action. But in practice county boards will make exceptions locally that will end up recreating the pile up of fixtures from the past. Stopping this would have stopped the problem.

I'd add that the standard of county grounds is much higher than ever before; with decent pitches all year round - so inter county action or provincial club seasons can be accommodated outside of the 34 weeks you suggest.

For what it's worth - I think if you had a blank piece of paper and were coming up with a master fixtures list - you'd get very close to September All Ireland finals with county finals in October.

brianb (Kildare) - Posts: 303 - 15/04/2024 13:48:37    2538063

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The Munster council are happy out with the money they are getting from the Munster hurling championship. It outweighs any fairness in a different system. Probably the same for Ulster in football.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 8000 - 15/04/2024 13:58:11    2538069

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Replying To legendzxix:  "The Munster council are happy out with the money they are getting from the Munster hurling championship. It outweighs any fairness in a different system. Probably the same for Ulster in football."
I don't think money is at the center. You have council members afraid that their existence will be deminished if the provincials were removed.
The organisation is not setup to be progressive. Entities far and wide in the world have a bigger say than the players when it comes to an important vote.

Ban (Westmeath) - Posts: 1440 - 15/04/2024 15:24:45    2538116

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Replying To legendzxix:  "The Munster council are happy out with the money they are getting from the Munster hurling championship. It outweighs any fairness in a different system. Probably the same for Ulster in football."
I don't know if that fully tallies with a mission to promote the games. We tend to lose sight of that a bit.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4265 - 15/04/2024 16:11:28    2538130

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Replying To Ban:  "I don't think money is at the center. You have council members afraid that their existence will be deminished if the provincials were removed.
The organisation is not setup to be progressive. Entities far and wide in the world have a bigger say than the players when it comes to an important vote."
Agree with you here. Why would someone on the Leinster Council or Munster Council go for something that could put their role in jeopardy?

Also the provincial structure suits the likes of Dublin and Kerry because and historically has done. They've both been able to breeze through it so change doesn't suit them.

Ulster are going to resist any change for obvious reasons. So it looks like any changes will see the provincials retained, so up to the GAA come up with some kind of change to the rules that forces more of a contest.

hyperache (Meath) - Posts: 215 - 15/04/2024 16:21:24    2538133

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Replying To hyperache:  "Agree with you here. Why would someone on the Leinster Council or Munster Council go for something that could put their role in jeopardy?

Also the provincial structure suits the likes of Dublin and Kerry because and historically has done. They've both been able to breeze through it so change doesn't suit them.

Ulster are going to resist any change for obvious reasons. So it looks like any changes will see the provincials retained, so up to the GAA come up with some kind of change to the rules that forces more of a contest."
I don't know. They were close to being decoupled a few years ago. Their status is falling further.

I think if a better AI format came along they'd be voted to bring g standalone.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4265 - 15/04/2024 16:32:42    2538138

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I don't know. They were close to being decoupled a few years ago. Their status is falling further.

I think if a better AI format came along they'd be voted to bring g standalone."
The Tailteann winner qualifies for the All-Ireland. Provincial winners should qualify as well. Just put the provincial championships at the start of the year, with the winners qualifying. Everyone will know what they have to do in the league then for the 11 qualifying spots.
The key in the league then is rewarding teams for winning their division. Reward of home games seems the straightforward solution. Would Mayo just settle for 4th place in the league and a top seeding if winning the league was being rewarded with 3 home games?

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 8000 - 15/04/2024 17:13:57    2538152

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Replying To legendzxix:  "The Tailteann winner qualifies for the All-Ireland. Provincial winners should qualify as well. Just put the provincial championships at the start of the year, with the winners qualifying. Everyone will know what they have to do in the league then for the 11 qualifying spots.
The key in the league then is rewarding teams for winning their division. Reward of home games seems the straightforward solution. Would Mayo just settle for 4th place in the league and a top seeding if winning the league was being rewarded with 3 home games?"
Mayo would as the home record isn't great in championship for the last 10 years.

tirawleybaron (Mayo) - Posts: 1157 - 16/04/2024 03:28:24    2538226

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Replying To Commodore:  "What if we scrap the National League and the remold the Provincial Championships into a League format,

- Top 2 teams in each Province qualify for All Ireland series and contest a Provincial Final.
- Bottom 2 teams in each Province automatically enter Tailteann Cup.
- Remaining 16 teams play one single seeded knock-out round, with 8 winners enter All Ireland series, 8 losers entering Tailteann Cup.

For Ulster, this would mean 9 games for all teams before the All Ireland Championship or Tailteann Cup Championship.
Currently if a Ulster team wins the National League and wins Ulster from Preliminary round, they play 12 games.

This approach would free up time on the Calendar, keeps the Provincial Championship and league finals, and might finally help get the GAA to drive improvements in Leinster and Munster to make them more competitive."
For Mayo, Galway, Kerry and Dublin it would be a disaster to remove the National League and replace it with a provincial league that they would always finish in the top 2-3 anyway.
Your proposed system would result in only 3-4 games per season where those 4 counties would have a match worth the entrance fee.

Definitely no point in devising a system that tries to kill the game in the places where it is strongest.

tirawleybaron (Mayo) - Posts: 1157 - 16/04/2024 03:40:41    2538227

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Replying To tirawleybaron:  "Mayo would as the home record isn't great in championship for the last 10 years."
I knew that response was coming! ;-) Killarney would welcome 3 games.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 8000 - 16/04/2024 13:04:06    2538335

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Replying To tirawleybaron:  "For Mayo, Galway, Kerry and Dublin it would be a disaster to remove the National League and replace it with a provincial league that they would always finish in the top 2-3 anyway.
Your proposed system would result in only 3-4 games per season where those 4 counties would have a match worth the entrance fee.

Definitely no point in devising a system that tries to kill the game in the places where it is strongest."
The national league for me is the best competition of the year. Competitive games with most games being meaningful.
Imagine if you let someone from the outside free to devise a new format. I'd be excited to see what they would come up with.

Ban (Westmeath) - Posts: 1440 - 16/04/2024 13:16:25    2538338

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Replying To legendzxix:  "The Tailteann winner qualifies for the All-Ireland. Provincial winners should qualify as well. Just put the provincial championships at the start of the year, with the winners qualifying. Everyone will know what they have to do in the league then for the 11 qualifying spots.
The key in the league then is rewarding teams for winning their division. Reward of home games seems the straightforward solution. Would Mayo just settle for 4th place in the league and a top seeding if winning the league was being rewarded with 3 home games?"
But why the league to determine championship qualification. Why not just simplify and go Provincials followed by a National Championship which is more league based and also where there's fewer but better fixtures and they are given a chance to breath.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4265 - 16/04/2024 13:30:32    2538342

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