National Forum

Football Format Changes Discussion

(Oldest Posts First) - Go To The Latest Post


Replying To omahant:  "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)."
You can't have bonus points and you can't have handicapped schedules in a serious competition with competitive integrity.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4265 - 08/05/2024 09:14:43    2543608

Link

An All-Ireland Round of 16 over two legs is still the best fit within the current timescale. An example using this year's draw:
ROUND OF 16 FIRST LEGS
Westmeath v Galway
Derry v Ulster runner-up
Cavan v Dublin
Roscommon v Mayo
Cork v Ulster winner
Tyrone v Clare
Meath v Kerry
Monaghan v Louth
ROUND OF 16 SECOND LEGS
Westmeath v Galway
Ulster runner-up v Derry
Dublin v Cavan
Mayo v Roscommon
Ulster winner v Cork
Clare v Tyrone
Kerry v Meath
Louth v Monaghan
The drawback of course is that one county might have a big win in the first leg. It is supposed to be the All-Ireland championship though, teams should be of a good level.
If the above was considered, ideally there wouldn't be a repeat of any provincial ties e.g. Mayo and Roscommon. In the quarter-final draw, ideally provincial champions would be kept apart until the semi-finals at least. The advantage in winning a province would be avoiding the Seed 3s in the Round of 16.
After the provincial finals, all rounds can be every second week.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 8000 - 08/05/2024 20:04:55    2543739

Link

Replying To Whammo86:  "You can't have bonus points and you can't have handicapped schedules in a serious competition with competitive integrity."
This is what I was saying the other day. There are some wild things being said in here with little thought on how it'll work

Loughduff Lad (Cavan) - Posts: 2422 - 09/05/2024 07:16:45    2543754

Link

Replying To legendzxix:  "An All-Ireland Round of 16 over two legs is still the best fit within the current timescale. An example using this year's draw:
ROUND OF 16 FIRST LEGS
Westmeath v Galway
Derry v Ulster runner-up
Cavan v Dublin
Roscommon v Mayo
Cork v Ulster winner
Tyrone v Clare
Meath v Kerry
Monaghan v Louth
ROUND OF 16 SECOND LEGS
Westmeath v Galway
Ulster runner-up v Derry
Dublin v Cavan
Mayo v Roscommon
Ulster winner v Cork
Clare v Tyrone
Kerry v Meath
Louth v Monaghan
The drawback of course is that one county might have a big win in the first leg. It is supposed to be the All-Ireland championship though, teams should be of a good level.
If the above was considered, ideally there wouldn't be a repeat of any provincial ties e.g. Mayo and Roscommon. In the quarter-final draw, ideally provincial champions would be kept apart until the semi-finals at least. The advantage in winning a province would be avoiding the Seed 3s in the Round of 16.
After the provincial finals, all rounds can be every second week."
But why? 2 legs is mad stuff in GAA due to the scoring levels we see. Jeez just go knockout once you're that far along...

Loughduff Lad (Cavan) - Posts: 2422 - 09/05/2024 07:30:28    2543757

Link

Replying To legendzxix:  "An All-Ireland Round of 16 over two legs is still the best fit within the current timescale. An example using this year's draw:
ROUND OF 16 FIRST LEGS
Westmeath v Galway
Derry v Ulster runner-up
Cavan v Dublin
Roscommon v Mayo
Cork v Ulster winner
Tyrone v Clare
Meath v Kerry
Monaghan v Louth
ROUND OF 16 SECOND LEGS
Westmeath v Galway
Ulster runner-up v Derry
Dublin v Cavan
Mayo v Roscommon
Ulster winner v Cork
Clare v Tyrone
Kerry v Meath
Louth v Monaghan
The drawback of course is that one county might have a big win in the first leg. It is supposed to be the All-Ireland championship though, teams should be of a good level.
If the above was considered, ideally there wouldn't be a repeat of any provincial ties e.g. Mayo and Roscommon. In the quarter-final draw, ideally provincial champions would be kept apart until the semi-finals at least. The advantage in winning a province would be avoiding the Seed 3s in the Round of 16.
After the provincial finals, all rounds can be every second week."
If you want to cut the competition into 6 weeks and have all games meaningful you could have teams playing 2 matches and to an end result. If you win both you are into the quarterfinals, if you lose both you are out and if you win 1 you move into the preliminary round.

That's better than a 2 legged system.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4265 - 09/05/2024 07:36:17    2543759

Link

Replying To Loughduff Lad:  "But why? 2 legs is mad stuff in GAA due to the scoring levels we see. Jeez just go knockout once you're that far along..."
The old international rules series used to be played over two games. It's the only format that fits the current timescale. It gives all counties a home game.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 8000 - 09/05/2024 12:31:06    2543819

Link

Replying To Whammo86:  "You can't have bonus points and you can't have handicapped schedules in a serious competition with competitive integrity."
I'd argue that most sporting tournaments have a handicap by way of seeding - a feature I believe doesn't give everyone an equal shot in the competition to be played. Why does Germany & Brazil avoid each other in every World Cup because of 'past performance'? Likewise, Kerry has little competition in Munster but avoids Dublin as a result - surely, Ulster's 2nd best deserves as much.
At least next season's Champions League is more even - despite seeding pots, every team plays the same team quantity from each pot, including their own, so there is no advantage.

Below is my best shot at embedding the Provincial Championships into the AIC:

In football, I suggest 12 matches for both AIC Tiers 1 & 2 - played utilising rugby's URC 'four groups of four' 18-match schedule, less the six intra-group ties.

Upon conclusion of 'early-season' Provincial SFC QFs, AIC groups could be drawn with the SF4 from each province spread across four different groups to ensure the SFs & Finals, yet to be played, are part of the 12-match 'crossover' schedule ('intra-tier/inter-group" only, with any inter-tier ties played separately). In addition, to incorporate QF & Preliminary Rd results into the 12-match schedule, each of the '12 QF & 4 Preliminary Rd losers' is similarly drawn to a group that does not contain the team that beat them.

At the conclusion of the 12-match regular season, the Tier 1 'top 8 of 16' from a combined table, advance to an Aussie AFL-style "AIC Tier 1 Series" (top 4 with a double chance, '2nd 4' to Preliminary QFs).

The 'Tier 1 bottom 8 of 16' and 'Tier 2 top 4 of 16' could merge to compete in a '12-team KO' for the "AI Shield" (four Preliminary Rd losers go or stay down).

The 'Tier 2 bottom 12 of 16' could compete in a '12-team KO' for the "AI Plate" (tier 3 series, all 12 stay down).

I believe a 'URC-like' structure would create a 'fair & exciting' competition that is allowed 'to breathe' and yet, the Provincial Championships are embedded in the structure, to mitigate political risk.

In hurling, in lieu of the league schedule, the Provincial groups could play all 'crossover ties' (5v6) instead, and along with the Provincial Championship results, complete an 11-team, 10-match round robin. The 'top 6 of 11' and two Provincial Champions advance to the AI KO QFs, with the latter (or 10-match table top 2) likely earning byes for advancing twice (Provincial Finalists are still based on 4-5 intra-group, round-robin results only, no change).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2701 - 09/05/2024 12:51:58    2543824

Link

Replying To legendzxix:  "The old international rules series used to be played over two games. It's the only format that fits the current timescale. It gives all counties a home game."
I just gave you an alternative that gives a team 1 home and 1 away game.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4265 - 09/05/2024 15:15:59    2543854

Link

Replying To omahant:  "I'd argue that most sporting tournaments have a handicap by way of seeding - a feature I believe doesn't give everyone an equal shot in the competition to be played. Why does Germany & Brazil avoid each other in every World Cup because of 'past performance'? Likewise, Kerry has little competition in Munster but avoids Dublin as a result - surely, Ulster's 2nd best deserves as much.
At least next season's Champions League is more even - despite seeding pots, every team plays the same team quantity from each pot, including their own, so there is no advantage.

Below is my best shot at embedding the Provincial Championships into the AIC:

In football, I suggest 12 matches for both AIC Tiers 1 & 2 - played utilising rugby's URC 'four groups of four' 18-match schedule, less the six intra-group ties.

Upon conclusion of 'early-season' Provincial SFC QFs, AIC groups could be drawn with the SF4 from each province spread across four different groups to ensure the SFs & Finals, yet to be played, are part of the 12-match 'crossover' schedule ('intra-tier/inter-group" only, with any inter-tier ties played separately). In addition, to incorporate QF & Preliminary Rd results into the 12-match schedule, each of the '12 QF & 4 Preliminary Rd losers' is similarly drawn to a group that does not contain the team that beat them.

At the conclusion of the 12-match regular season, the Tier 1 'top 8 of 16' from a combined table, advance to an Aussie AFL-style "AIC Tier 1 Series" (top 4 with a double chance, '2nd 4' to Preliminary QFs).

The 'Tier 1 bottom 8 of 16' and 'Tier 2 top 4 of 16' could merge to compete in a '12-team KO' for the "AI Shield" (four Preliminary Rd losers go or stay down).

The 'Tier 2 bottom 12 of 16' could compete in a '12-team KO' for the "AI Plate" (tier 3 series, all 12 stay down).

I believe a 'URC-like' structure would create a 'fair & exciting' competition that is allowed 'to breathe' and yet, the Provincial Championships are embedded in the structure, to mitigate political risk.

In hurling, in lieu of the league schedule, the Provincial groups could play all 'crossover ties' (5v6) instead, and along with the Provincial Championship results, complete an 11-team, 10-match round robin. The 'top 6 of 11' and two Provincial Champions advance to the AI KO QFs, with the latter (or 10-match table top 2) likely earning byes for advancing twice (Provincial Finalists are still based on 4-5 intra-group, round-robin results only, no change)."
Seeding doesn't impact competitive integrity because it rewards strong performance.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4265 - 09/05/2024 15:17:16    2543855

Link

The solution for Sam is very, very simple and laid out below. Example below provided for this year.

Remove the group stage, and seed the provinces 1 - 4 based on number of pts gained in Div 1 and 2.

Create two qualifiers rounds:
Round 1 includes 16 teams, 14 highest non-provincial finalists based on same ranking system as Tailteann Cup, plus RU from Province 3 & 4. Winners progress to Round 2, Losers join Tailteann Cup.
Round 2 includes 8 R1 winners plus RU from Province 1 & 2, plus Champions of Province 3 & 4, making 12 teams
Quarter Finals - Champs of Prov 1, 2 are seeded on opposite sides of draw. Rest unseeded. No provincial final repeats.

Round 1 (16 teams. Open draw, no repeat pairings.):
Westmeath, Louth, Meath, Cork, Cavan, Monaghan, Roscommon, Tyrone, Connacht RU, Derry, Munster RU

Round 2 (12 teams. Province 4 Winners can't meet Province 4 RU. Seeded in bold):
Munster Champs, Ulster RU, Leinster RU, Connacht Champs + 8 qualifiers

Quarter Finals (8 teams, Provincial Champs seeded, rest unseeded, no provincial final repeats):
Ulster Champs, Leinster Champs + 6 Quals

Seedings (Methodology up for debate but for sake of this example, PTS in Div 2 are weighted at half the value of Div 1):
Ulster (12 + 6 + 2) + (13 + 12 + 7 + 5) / 2 = 38.5
Leinster (10) + (6 + 6) / 2 = 16 [+49.5 pts diff]
Connacht (8 + 5 + 3) = 16 [- pts diff]
Munster (10) + (7) / 2 = 13.5

SurelyToGod (Donegal) - Posts: 410 - 09/05/2024 17:35:12    2543889

Link

Replying To Whammo86:  "I just gave you an alternative that gives a team 1 home and 1 away game."
Guaranteeing a home game might have to go out the window or just be available or else be a reward. The old Christy Ring double elimination format is an option.
Round 1A:
4 provincial winners (Seed 1) at home to Seed 4.
Round 1B:
4 provincial runners-up (Seed 2) at home to Seed 3.
Round 2A:
Round 1A winners v Round 1B winners. Higher seed with home advantage. Incentive for winning provinces.
Round 2B:
Round 1A losers v Round 1B losers. Draw for home advantage.
Preliminary Quarter-finals:
Round 2A losers at home to Round 2B winners. Incentive for winning Round 1.
Quarter-finals in Croke Park:
Round 2A winners v Preliminary Quarter-final winners.
Notes:
Round 2, the preliminary quarter-finals and the quarter-finals can be on consecutive weekends. Advantage of winning rounds 1 and 2 is a weekend off before the quarter-finals. This format takes a week less to run, allowing for a weekend off after the league finals.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 8000 - 09/05/2024 18:05:18    2543892

Link

Replying To Whammo86:  "Seeding doesn't impact competitive integrity because it rewards strong performance."
I don't think historical good performance in unrelated tournaments by a team should not be used to give that team "a leg up" in the next tournament. When there is a direct link between qualifiers and a tournament, rewarding higher placed qualifier teams is then OK.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2701 - 09/05/2024 21:13:40    2543908

Link

"....The old Christy Ring double elimination format is an option...."

Yeah, there is more of an edge to that old CR format and it takes only 20 games prior to QFs (28 in current AIC groups/Prelim Rd).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2701 - 09/05/2024 21:36:48    2543909

Link

Replying To legendzxix:  "The old international rules series used to be played over two games. It's the only format that fits the current timescale. It gives all counties a home game."
Ah yes, for a hybrid game no one cared about, which went to aggregate for 2 games because we couldn't find agreement for a 3rd game like they used to use for total wins

Loughduff Lad (Cavan) - Posts: 2422 - 10/05/2024 08:06:47    2543915

Link

Replying To Loughduff Lad:  "Ah yes, for a hybrid game no one cared about, which went to aggregate for 2 games because we couldn't find agreement for a 3rd game like they used to use for total wins"
The 3 game format was discontinued as where a team won the first 2 games the 3rd game was meaningless …….

ForeverBlue2 (Cavan) - Posts: 2110 - 10/05/2024 09:01:38    2543926

Link

Replying To SurelyToGod:  "The solution for Sam is very, very simple and laid out below. Example below provided for this year.

Remove the group stage, and seed the provinces 1 - 4 based on number of pts gained in Div 1 and 2.

Create two qualifiers rounds:
Round 1 includes 16 teams, 14 highest non-provincial finalists based on same ranking system as Tailteann Cup, plus RU from Province 3 & 4. Winners progress to Round 2, Losers join Tailteann Cup.
Round 2 includes 8 R1 winners plus RU from Province 1 & 2, plus Champions of Province 3 & 4, making 12 teams
Quarter Finals - Champs of Prov 1, 2 are seeded on opposite sides of draw. Rest unseeded. No provincial final repeats.

Round 1 (16 teams. Open draw, no repeat pairings.):
Westmeath, Louth, Meath, Cork, Cavan, Monaghan, Roscommon, Tyrone, Connacht RU, Derry, Munster RU

Round 2 (12 teams. Province 4 Winners can't meet Province 4 RU. Seeded in bold):
Munster Champs, Ulster RU, Leinster RU, Connacht Champs + 8 qualifiers

Quarter Finals (8 teams, Provincial Champs seeded, rest unseeded, no provincial final repeats):
Ulster Champs, Leinster Champs + 6 Quals

Seedings (Methodology up for debate but for sake of this example, PTS in Div 2 are weighted at half the value of Div 1):
Ulster (12 + 6 + 2) + (13 + 12 + 7 + 5) / 2 = 38.5
Leinster (10) + (6 + 6) / 2 = 16 [+49.5 pts diff

Connacht (8 + 5 + 3) = 16 [- pts diff]
Munster (10) + (7) / 2 = 13.5"]Something novel, fair play!

Starting with 22 teams in AIC Tier 1 (Prov 8 + League 14), perhaps Div 4 Champ could get that 22nd seed, ahead of Div 3 bottom 3?

Maybe ok as is - but I wonder instead of Prov Avg of all counties in a Prov (which helps poor counties benefit from the boost of one strong member, e.g. Dublin or Kerry, and vice versa), maybe just give byes to the higher '2 of 4' actual team rankings based on the league in Rds 1, 2 & QFs?

Just crossed my mind - if all 4 RUs finished high in the league, maybe all should avoid Rd 1 - how would you feal with that?

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2701 - 10/05/2024 13:29:48    2543974

Link

The league could be reduced to 7 rounds, allowing rest weekends after rounds 2, 5 and 7, this allowing a rest weekend before provincial championships. The provincial championships can be played over the current 6 weekend timeframe.
The current All-Ireland series then can remain as is. The only debate being around preliminary quarter-finals or not.
One way to reduce the league to 7 weekends is Division 1 in two groups of 6, Division 2 in two groups of 5 and Division 3 in two groups of 5. 3 up and down between divisions.
DIVISION 1 (Two groups of 6)
1st and 2nd into semi-finals. 1st placed teams at home.
5th placed teams into relegation playoff.
6th placed teams relegated.
DIVISION 2 (Two groups of 5)
1st and 2nd into semi-finals. 1st placed teams at home. Finalists promoted.
Semi-final losers into promotion playoff.
4th placed teams into relegation playoff.
5th placed teams relegated.
DIVISION 3 (Two groups of 5)
1st and 2nd into semi-finals. 1st placed teams at home. Finalists promoted.
Semi-final losers into promotion playoff.
Division 1, 2 and 3 finals in Croke Park. The promotion playoffs in Division 2 and 3 could also be brought to Croke Park. The Division 3 promotion playoff, Division 3 final and Division 2 promotion playoff as a triple header on the Saturday. The Division 2 and Division 1 finals then being the double header on the Sunday.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 8000 - 10/05/2024 18:01:35    2544002

Link

To maximise the avoidance of dead rubbers where two teams qualify from a four team group, ideally Seed 1 plays Seed 4 and Seed 2 plays Seed 3 in Round 1. The two Round 1 winners would then meet in Round 2. The worse case scenario is that Seed 2 beats Seeds 3 and 1 in the first two rounds and are then playing a Seed 4 who have no wins. While Seed 2 are already qualified in that scenario, Seed 1 v Seed 3 are battling for the second qualifying position.
For the GAA to adopt the above, ideally provincial runners-up would be seeded based on league. Optionally provincial finalists could be guaranteed two home games for going further in the provincial championships than the league qualifiers.
Ideally Seed 1 would have home advantage against Seeds 2 and 3, being rewarded with home games against their two tougher opponents. If provincial runners-up are Seed 2, they would have home games against Seeds 3 and 4. If provincial runners-up are Seed 3, they would have home games against Seeds 2 and 4. If provincial runners-up are Seed 4, they would have home games against Seeds 1 and 2.
EXAMPLE:
Cavan v Dublin win, Mayo win v Roscommon
Dublin - 2
Mayo - 2
Roscommon - 0
Cavan - 0
Dublin win v Mayo, Roscommon win v Cavan
Dublin - 4
Mayo - 2
Roscommon - 2
Cavan - 0
Dublin v Roscommon, Mayo v Cavan
Mathematically Roscommon and Mayo can still qualify in Round 3. Cavan can also qualify in Round 3 but require Dublin helping them. This all in the scenario where only two qualify from the groups.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 8000 - 11/05/2024 13:14:41    2544055

Link

Replying To legendzxix:  "The league could be reduced to 7 rounds, allowing rest weekends after rounds 2, 5 and 7, this allowing a rest weekend before provincial championships. The provincial championships can be played over the current 6 weekend timeframe.
The current All-Ireland series then can remain as is. The only debate being around preliminary quarter-finals or not.
One way to reduce the league to 7 weekends is Division 1 in two groups of 6, Division 2 in two groups of 5 and Division 3 in two groups of 5. 3 up and down between divisions.
DIVISION 1 (Two groups of 6)
1st and 2nd into semi-finals. 1st placed teams at home.
5th placed teams into relegation playoff.
6th placed teams relegated.
DIVISION 2 (Two groups of 5)
1st and 2nd into semi-finals. 1st placed teams at home. Finalists promoted.
Semi-final losers into promotion playoff.
4th placed teams into relegation playoff.
5th placed teams relegated.
DIVISION 3 (Two groups of 5)
1st and 2nd into semi-finals. 1st placed teams at home. Finalists promoted.
Semi-final losers into promotion playoff.
Division 1, 2 and 3 finals in Croke Park. The promotion playoffs in Division 2 and 3 could also be brought to Croke Park. The Division 3 promotion playoff, Division 3 final and Division 2 promotion playoff as a triple header on the Saturday. The Division 2 and Division 1 finals then being the double header on the Sunday."
Rinse & repeat for the AIC too?

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2701 - 11/05/2024 20:35:26    2544172

Link

Replying To omahant:  "Rinse & repeat for the AIC too?"
Usually winning lower tier championship promotes the winner only.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 8000 - 11/05/2024 21:20:19    2544184

Link