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Football Format Changes Discussion

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As a compromise, a season with elements of league and attractive AIC KO could be:

- 2 equally-ranked league groups of 16.
- One group (A) consists of teams ranked 1st, 4th, 5th & 8th from each of the current 4 league divs.
- Teams play 12 of 16 crossover opponents (AvB), to right-size the inter-county season.
- To limit mismatches, crossover ranked teams avoided are:
Strongest 4 avoids Weakest 4; and
Middle 4 avoids Remaining/Other 4.

- AIC KO Tier 1: top 12 of a combined 32-team table advance to the KO, with 'intra/own group' ties preferred to avoid repeat pairings.

- AIC KO Tier 2: next 12 of a combined 32-team table advance to the KO, with 'intra/own group' ties preferred to avoid repeat pairings.

- AIC KO Tier 3: last 8 of a combined 32-team table, plus 4 Tier 2 Prelim QF losers, advance to a 12-team KO, with 'intra/own group' (or Tier 2v3) ties preferred to avoid repeat pairings.

In Year 2, Group A could again consist of teams ranked '1st, 4th, 5th & 8th' (before or after KO) from each of the 4 quartiles of the 32-team table.
Provincial Championships played separately, if retained.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2701 - 03/05/2024 18:10:53    2542706

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Replying To ORIELMAN85:  "The main protagonists in this are the players,and they were listened to and rightfully so. Here's hoping for a Championships as enjoyable as last year's."
Horrendous to say so, but continually over history, we find that the players are not the best arbiters about what is best. It's like asking a child if they want one ice cream cone or two. They'll say two regardless. That doesn't make it the best option.

Players need to train. They won't like it mostly. But needs must. Ask a player if they want a game every 2 weeks, or 2 games a week they'll likely pick the games so as not to train. That's not the best option though for the game. Sometimes they need to be protected from themselves here

Loughduff Lad (Cavan) - Posts: 2422 - 03/05/2024 20:34:43    2542717

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Ideally within the current structure, provincial finalists would qualify and others would have to at least win a knockout playoff to qualify.
Possibly the most jeopardy in the current format would come from 4 provincial winners qualifying and the Tailteann winner. You'd want 14 counties then playing off for 7 more places in the top 12.
The All-Ireland could then be competed in two groups of 6. 2 groups of 5 then for Tailteann and a third tier. There would have to be a reduction in league games to accommodate more group games in championship.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 8000 - 03/05/2024 22:47:03    2542735

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Can nobody grasp the situation here… it's less championship games we need not more… All these going around in circles games are only putting people off hence the pity full attendance figures.. nobody will be interested until the quarterfinals or preliminary QF's at least which proves the point that supporters are only really interested in knock out games… Time for less games not more

ForeverBlue2 (Cavan) - Posts: 2110 - 04/05/2024 10:24:20    2542769

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Replying To legendzxix:  "Ideally within the current structure, provincial finalists would qualify and others would have to at least win a knockout playoff to qualify.
Possibly the most jeopardy in the current format would come from 4 provincial winners qualifying and the Tailteann winner. You'd want 14 counties then playing off for 7 more places in the top 12.
The All-Ireland could then be competed in two groups of 6. 2 groups of 5 then for Tailteann and a third tier. There would have to be a reduction in league games to accommodate more group games in championship."
Not wanting to revert to old systems ....but a group system without relegation isn't the best idea.

Seanfanbocht (Roscommon) - Posts: 1579 - 04/05/2024 10:33:55    2542773

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Replying To ForeverBlue2:  "Can nobody grasp the situation here… it's less championship games we need not more… All these going around in circles games are only putting people off hence the pity full attendance figures.. nobody will be interested until the quarterfinals or preliminary QF's at least which proves the point that supporters are only really interested in knock out games… Time for less games not more"
You could have a tier 1 with fewer teams qualifying and there being relegation. Keeps the intensity up.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4265 - 04/05/2024 11:27:58    2542780

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There's 2 Provincial finals on this weekend and all I hear on the media is talk about a rugby game in Croke Park. The GAA is destroying and devaluing it's own blue riband tournament. Maybe hosting rugby and concerts etc is making the suits more money?
Also I said it on another thread here but having the group draws before the Provincial finals is just about the stupidest idea I've seen yet.

Tirchonaill1 (Donegal) - Posts: 2824 - 04/05/2024 11:55:43    2542786

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Replying To Tirchonaill1:  "There's 2 Provincial finals on this weekend and all I hear on the media is talk about a rugby game in Croke Park. The GAA is destroying and devaluing it's own blue riband tournament. Maybe hosting rugby and concerts etc is making the suits more money?
Also I said it on another thread here but having the group draws before the Provincial finals is just about the stupidest idea I've seen yet."
Correct…. The GAA are top class at shooting themselves in the foot…

ForeverBlue2 (Cavan) - Posts: 2110 - 04/05/2024 12:33:14    2542796

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How about copying the Kerry Club championships but as follows
League as the intercounty Championship - 3 divisions.
1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4 - 7 groups of 5

1A - Dublin, Armagh, Tyrone, Derry, Monaghan,
1B - Kerry, Mayo, Galway, Donegal, Roscommon
2A - Down, Meath, Louth, Cavan, Fermanagh
2B - Cork, Clare, Sligo, Offaly, Westmeath
3A - Antrim, Laois, Wicklow, Kildare, Wexford
3B - Longford, Leitrim, Limerick, Carlow, Waterford
4 - Tipperary, Kilkenny, London, New York, Warwickshire

Top 4 in 1A and 1B enter Sam Maguire - bottom team relegated to div 2 for following year. Top 4 play off for league title also

Top 2 in div 2A and 2B play off for Tailteann cup

Once all the above are played off

Top 2 in div 3A and 3B play off for all Ireland intermediate championship

Top 2 teams in div 4 play off for all Ireland Junior championship

8 regions join up to enter Sam Maguire along with (based on this year's league) - Derry, Dublin, Kerry, Mayo, Tyrone, Galway, Donegal, Armagh

1. East Ulster - Antrim, Down, Monaghan
2. West Ulster - Cavan, Fermanagh
3. Connacht - Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim
4. Thomond - Limerick, Clare,
5. Desmond - Cork, Waterford, Tipp
6. South Leinster - Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow, Kilkenny
7. North Leinster - Louth, Meath, Longford
8. Mid Leinster - Westmeath, Offaly, Laois, Kildare

County teams play off (open draw knock out) for All Ireland intercounty title and place in All Ireland final.
Regional teams play off for place in All Ireland final.

If you did the above, then different regions would be stronger in different years but the best players in every country have a shot at an all Ireland senior final.

It would also encourage the smaller counties in the various regions to collaborate more and pool resources/sponsorship etc, allowing them compete with the bigger counties.

If the likes of Mayo, Galway, Donegal, Armagh, Derry, Tyrone have a bad year, then they drop into a regional team and you would have a serious all Ireland contender on your hands.

tirawleybaron (Mayo) - Posts: 1157 - 04/05/2024 15:19:01    2542830

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Replying To legendzxix:  "Ideally within the current structure, provincial finalists would qualify and others would have to at least win a knockout playoff to qualify.
Possibly the most jeopardy in the current format would come from 4 provincial winners qualifying and the Tailteann winner. You'd want 14 counties then playing off for 7 more places in the top 12.
The All-Ireland could then be competed in two groups of 6. 2 groups of 5 then for Tailteann and a third tier. There would have to be a reduction in league games to accommodate more group games in championship."
Maybe use a similar system for the league - 2x6, 2x5, 2x5 - group winners up, lasts down.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2701 - 04/05/2024 20:33:02    2542952

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Replying To ForeverBlue2:  "Can nobody grasp the situation here… it's less championship games we need not more… All these going around in circles games are only putting people off hence the pity full attendance figures.. nobody will be interested until the quarterfinals or preliminary QF's at least which proves the point that supporters are only really interested in knock out games… Time for less games not more"
The Munster hurling championship seems to have the right blend of competitive teams chasing 3 places.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 8000 - 05/05/2024 00:03:56    2543009

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Replying To omahant:  "Maybe use a similar system for the league - 2x6, 2x5, 2x5 - group winners up, lasts down."
You have a system like that in the league, if the number of rounds had to be reduced. The two 5th placed teams in Division 1 could play a relegation final. The two 2nd placed teams in Division 2 could play a promotion playoff. Similarly the two 4th placed teams in Division 2 could also play a relegation final. The two 3rd placed teams in Division 3 could play a promotion playoff.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 8000 - 05/05/2024 00:08:42    2543011

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Replying To omahant:  "As a compromise, a season with elements of league and attractive AIC KO could be:

- 2 equally-ranked league groups of 16.
- One group (A) consists of teams ranked 1st, 4th, 5th & 8th from each of the current 4 league divs.
- Teams play 12 of 16 crossover opponents (AvB), to right-size the inter-county season.
- To limit mismatches, crossover ranked teams avoided are:
Strongest 4 avoids Weakest 4; and
Middle 4 avoids Remaining/Other 4.

- AIC KO Tier 1: top 12 of a combined 32-team table advance to the KO, with 'intra/own group' ties preferred to avoid repeat pairings.

- AIC KO Tier 2: next 12 of a combined 32-team table advance to the KO, with 'intra/own group' ties preferred to avoid repeat pairings.

- AIC KO Tier 3: last 8 of a combined 32-team table, plus 4 Tier 2 Prelim QF losers, advance to a 12-team KO, with 'intra/own group' (or Tier 2v3) ties preferred to avoid repeat pairings.

In Year 2, Group A could again consist of teams ranked '1st, 4th, 5th & 8th' (before or after KO) from each of the 4 quartiles of the 32-team table.
Provincial Championships played separately, if retained."
In lieu of 12-12-8, maybe the KO is best flipped to
8-12-12 instead:

32-team ranking table
1st-8th to Tier 1 QFs (or top 4 as AFL double chance?)
9th-12th to Tier 2 QFs
13th-20th to Tier 2 Prelim QFs
21st-24th to Tier 3 QFs
25th-32nd to Tier 3 Prelim QFs

AND, instead preceded by two 16-team tables
- 2 hierarchical leagues of 16, each with 2 groups of 8.
- One Group (1A) consists of teams ranked 1st, 4th, 5th & 8th from each of the current league top two divs (with other teams in Group 1B); while another Group (2A) has the same referenced ranked teams from the lower two divs (with other teams in Group 2B).
- Teams play 8 crossover opponents (1A v 1B and 2A v 2B) and 4 own group teams (1sts/8ths v 4ths/5ths and 2nds/7ths v 3rds/6ths).
- Tier 2 QF8 to next year top 16 league groups; with Tier 2 Prelim Rd losers to lower 16 league groups.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2701 - 05/05/2024 03:39:25    2543021

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Replying To tirawleybaron:  "How about copying the Kerry Club championships but as follows
League as the intercounty Championship - 3 divisions.
1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4 - 7 groups of 5

1A - Dublin, Armagh, Tyrone, Derry, Monaghan,
1B - Kerry, Mayo, Galway, Donegal, Roscommon
2A - Down, Meath, Louth, Cavan, Fermanagh
2B - Cork, Clare, Sligo, Offaly, Westmeath
3A - Antrim, Laois, Wicklow, Kildare, Wexford
3B - Longford, Leitrim, Limerick, Carlow, Waterford
4 - Tipperary, Kilkenny, London, New York, Warwickshire

Top 4 in 1A and 1B enter Sam Maguire - bottom team relegated to div 2 for following year. Top 4 play off for league title also

Top 2 in div 2A and 2B play off for Tailteann cup

Once all the above are played off

Top 2 in div 3A and 3B play off for all Ireland intermediate championship

Top 2 teams in div 4 play off for all Ireland Junior championship

8 regions join up to enter Sam Maguire along with (based on this year's league) - Derry, Dublin, Kerry, Mayo, Tyrone, Galway, Donegal, Armagh

1. East Ulster - Antrim, Down, Monaghan
2. West Ulster - Cavan, Fermanagh
3. Connacht - Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim
4. Thomond - Limerick, Clare,
5. Desmond - Cork, Waterford, Tipp
6. South Leinster - Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow, Kilkenny
7. North Leinster - Louth, Meath, Longford
8. Mid Leinster - Westmeath, Offaly, Laois, Kildare

County teams play off (open draw knock out) for All Ireland intercounty title and place in All Ireland final.
Regional teams play off for place in All Ireland final.

If you did the above, then different regions would be stronger in different years but the best players in every country have a shot at an all Ireland senior final.

It would also encourage the smaller counties in the various regions to collaborate more and pool resources/sponsorship etc, allowing them compete with the bigger counties.

If the likes of Mayo, Galway, Donegal, Armagh, Derry, Tyrone have a bad year, then they drop into a regional team and you would have a serious all Ireland contender on your hands."
I like a lot of this - but wonder if it would be better to have eight 'County v Region' 1st Rd ties? This would weed out the weaker regions early on and likely target the best two teams for the AI Final (likely, both counties).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2701 - 05/05/2024 03:56:06    2543022

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Clare are one of the top 3 teams in Munster. Luck of the draw had Kerry and Cork on the other side of the draw. Personally I would prefer seeding based on league. I was envious of the competitive Connacht final. At the same time, if some of us are in the minority and the majority want an open draw, who are we to disagree?
Same goes for provincial runners-up being Seed 2. Clare should be a Seed 4 and Derry should be a Seed 2. If the majority disagree though, what can anyone do? The imbalanced draws will continue but lower league counties have a route to big day out.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 8000 - 06/05/2024 10:23:49    2543287

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Replying To legendzxix:  "Clare are one of the top 3 teams in Munster. Luck of the draw had Kerry and Cork on the other side of the draw. Personally I would prefer seeding based on league. I was envious of the competitive Connacht final. At the same time, if some of us are in the minority and the majority want an open draw, who are we to disagree?
Same goes for provincial runners-up being Seed 2. Clare should be a Seed 4 and Derry should be a Seed 2. If the majority disagree though, what can anyone do? The imbalanced draws will continue but lower league counties have a route to big day out."
There are imperfections in other sports too - e.g. Euro 2024 soccer pre-tournament playoffs, which try to pair up teams from the same Nations League tier.

So a team (Georgia) from the League C "path" goes to the Finals at the expense of many teams above them - looks like the GAA have their fingerprints on this - a bit like giving weak Prov Finalists a Sam berth.

It's nice to give minnows opportunity in any sport, even while eliminating stronger teams - but is it fair?

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2701 - 06/05/2024 17:14:42    2543357

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Replying To omahant:  "There are imperfections in other sports too - e.g. Euro 2024 soccer pre-tournament playoffs, which try to pair up teams from the same Nations League tier.

So a team (Georgia) from the League C "path" goes to the Finals at the expense of many teams above them - looks like the GAA have their fingerprints on this - a bit like giving weak Prov Finalists a Sam berth.

It's nice to give minnows opportunity in any sport, even while eliminating stronger teams - but is it fair?"
It is unbalanced anyway. Clare could have a good run in the Tailteann Cup, which would appear to be their current level having finished 3rd in Division 3.
Some might argue that all provinces have two places. Down knew going into the Division 3 final that they had to win at least.
Clare's Seed 2 reward is a home game against Cork. Win, they stand a good chance of progressing to the preliminary quarter-finals. Lose, they'll probably be knocked out after Round 2.
Louth's Seed 2 reward will be a home game against Meath that they'll probably have to play in Parnell Park Dublin due to their own ground not meeting requirements. Navan was their home venue last year. Similar to Clare, if Louth beat Meath, they stand a good chance of making the preliminary quarter-finals, lose and they could be out after two rounds.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 8000 - 06/05/2024 20:23:58    2543389

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Replying To legendzxix:  "It is unbalanced anyway. Clare could have a good run in the Tailteann Cup, which would appear to be their current level having finished 3rd in Division 3.
Some might argue that all provinces have two places. Down knew going into the Division 3 final that they had to win at least.
Clare's Seed 2 reward is a home game against Cork. Win, they stand a good chance of progressing to the preliminary quarter-finals. Lose, they'll probably be knocked out after Round 2.
Louth's Seed 2 reward will be a home game against Meath that they'll probably have to play in Parnell Park Dublin due to their own ground not meeting requirements. Navan was their home venue last year. Similar to Clare, if Louth beat Meath, they stand a good chance of making the preliminary quarter-finals, lose and they could be out after two rounds."
It's a bit daft that one win puts a team on course for at least the Prelim QFs. Despite the flaws, the system works better than the Euro 24 Finals, where group winners advance to the same Prelim QF Rd/Rd of 16 as the best 3rd placed teams (no byes).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2701 - 07/05/2024 14:15:04    2543497

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Replying To omahant:  "It's a bit daft that one win puts a team on course for at least the Prelim QFs. Despite the flaws, the system works better than the Euro 24 Finals, where group winners advance to the same Prelim QF Rd/Rd of 16 as the best 3rd placed teams (no byes)."
One win isn't a guarantee to be fair. Clare would just be hoping Cork wouldn't pick up a win elsewhere. Similar for Louth, if they beat Meath, they would be hoping Meath wouldn't pick up a win elsewhere. If the scenario arises that Cork lose to Clare, it will be up to Cork to try and pull off a shock win elsewhere, similar for Meath in a similar scenario.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 8000 - 07/05/2024 17:44:17    2543547

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Start the season with the Prov Champps and after Prov SFs are played, form two 16-team AIC groups (A & B):

To Group A: Draw one Prov Finalist from each Prov.
To Group B: Put the other 4 Finalists.

Then put the losing SF 8 in the other group from the team that beat them (4 to each group).

Then put the losing QF 12 (excl NY QF) in the other group from the team that beat them (6 to each group).

There are now 14 teams in each group - and as Lein Prelim losers will split 2/1, add the Uls Prelim loser to make 2/2 (latter might, or might not, be in group opposite the team that beat them) to complete 16-team groups.

All 29 Prov pairings (excl NY QF and possibly Uls Prelim tie) 'double up' as AvB results towards a combined League Championship.

To avoid mismatches and reduce the game count, teams play only 11 of 16 crossover opponents - top 5 seeds in one group avoid bottom 5 in the other; and middle 6 in one group avoid 5 of middle 6 in the other.

To counter this "schedule handicap", perhaps the top 5 in each group could start with 10 bonus points (in lieu of what would be 'near certain' wins against 5 weak/avoided opponents) and the middle six in each group could start with 5 bonus points (as if they drew against 5 avoided opponents of similar quality).

After 11 games per team, a combined 32-team table determines who advanced to the three-tier AIC KO phase - say, top 10 (tier 1 and 10 pts bonus for next year), middle 12 (tier 2 and 5 pts bonus) and last 10 (tier 3).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2701 - 07/05/2024 18:08:02    2543550

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