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Football Format Changes Discussion

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Replying To legendzxix:  "Usually winning lower tier championship promotes the winner only."
When designing your own ideas, you are in charge to present what you want.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2701 - 12/05/2024 17:29:48    2544314

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Replying To omahant:  "When designing your own ideas, you are in charge to present what you want."
The GAA tend to make one step changes. What about the one step changes that might improve the current structure? The hurling league for example is bringing in five divisions of 7.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7999 - 12/05/2024 19:15:27    2544346

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Replying To Loughduff Lad:  "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"
Jarlath Burns was interviewed on the BBC today as was saying he's not planning on any tinkering with the championship on his watch.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7999 - 12/05/2024 21:28:29    2544383

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Replying To omahant:  "
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?"]obviously subject to tweaks, don't feel strongly about starting teams in Tier 1, but this gives round numbers and even draw. Consideration must be given to Div 3/4 teams making provincial finals which they will regularly in Munster, Connacht, and Leinster. This would be the one circumstance I would suggest highest-ranking league team(s) could receive bye due to uneven numbers in a draw, but note the highest ranked Round 1 team is likely to be the highest ranked Round 2 team also.

I understand your final point, but this is not the objective of the formatting. What must be achieved (in the scenario that provincial championships are protected) is greater balance between provinces, meaning that winning the strongest or toughest province must be more of an advantage than winning the weakest province.

To clarify, as I notice you wrote Prov Avg above, weighted averages shall not be used to seed provinces as the purpose is to create a more even route to the final. Fixture balancing must be considered to this point. Obviously this system would mean that Leinster and Ulster will on average have better seedings, and therefore finalists play one less match than Connacht/Munster counterparts, but they are guaranteed to play at least one more match to get to that final.

It also must be highlighted that the system where Munster have their semi-finals seeded means that the seedings and All-Ireland group stages are essentially gamed at present. Kerry and Clare, as Munster Finalists, will next year be only one game away from being Seed 1 and Seed 2 next year, and of the 4 teams that they could play to reach that round, 3 are Division 4 and one is Division 2. Munster may as well seed Kerry into the final again at this point like in 1980, when they won the All-Ireland playing three matches.

SurelyToGod (Donegal) - Posts: 410 - 13/05/2024 13:40:24    2544503

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Replying To legendzxix:  "Jarlath Burns was interviewed on the BBC today as was saying he's not planning on any tinkering with the championship on his watch."
Saw that. And they certainly wouldn't be looking at some of the absolute crazy chaos stuff being mentioned here. When you're explaining with huge bodies of text and formulas then you are losing folks. Like anything, they'll give it a few years to stabilise and then see for tweaks from there

Loughduff Lad (Cavan) - Posts: 2422 - 14/05/2024 14:37:12    2544732

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Replying To Loughduff Lad:  "Saw that. And they certainly wouldn't be looking at some of the absolute crazy chaos stuff being mentioned here. When you're explaining with huge bodies of text and formulas then you are losing folks. Like anything, they'll give it a few years to stabilise and then see for tweaks from there"
Hoganstand isn't the forum to get the point across on format changes. Most of the concepts mentioned are small changes that can be illustrated neatly on one page of a copybook.

SurelyToGod (Donegal) - Posts: 410 - 14/05/2024 16:01:57    2544756

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Replying To Loughduff Lad:  "Saw that. And they certainly wouldn't be looking at some of the absolute crazy chaos stuff being mentioned here. When you're explaining with huge bodies of text and formulas then you are losing folks. Like anything, they'll give it a few years to stabilise and then see for tweaks from there"
Seems fair enough. Playing 4 rounds of league, a week off and then 4 more rounds of league will create the week off after the league finals that they are looking for. Rewarding provincial finalists with 2 home games is another straightforward enough incentive tweak for making provincial finals.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7999 - 14/05/2024 17:30:48    2544791

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Replying To legendzxix:  "Jarlath Burns was interviewed on the BBC today as was saying he's not planning on any tinkering with the championship on his watch."
I didn't see that - could you please provide the link if you have it? - thanks.

Separately, I know Gavin's FRC is tasked with playing rules only - competition structures are not part of their mandate - so it's disappointing if Burns prefers "head in the sand" than keeping an open mind on a better season competition flow.

He could save his beloved Ulster while looking to improve outside - why not repeat the hurling model? - Ulster '3 of 5' (after playoffs to get in),
Non-Ulster '3 of 5' (after playoffs to get in) and
Next Best '2 of 6' (to Prelim QFs).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2701 - 14/05/2024 18:26:48    2544804

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Replying To legendzxix:  "Seems fair enough. Playing 4 rounds of league, a week off and then 4 more rounds of league will create the week off after the league finals that they are looking for. Rewarding provincial finalists with 2 home games is another straightforward enough incentive tweak for making provincial finals."
Actually, never mind - I found the 30-seconds odd video clip.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2701 - 14/05/2024 19:26:32    2544820

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Replying To SurelyToGod:  "Hoganstand isn't the forum to get the point across on format changes. Most of the concepts mentioned are small changes that can be illustrated neatly on one page of a copybook."
I get that. But when you're explaining, you're losing. The best Championship formats are the ones that are easier and could be explained to your 80 year old grandfather in a few moments. We have the ability to have one of those Championships but there is some mad stuff flying around both online and from pundits on pods etc about moving provincials, either before League or during League, and then the most convoluted way to set up the Championship from there with all sorts of games or formulas to finally get to what can be easily sorted

We need to go back a bit. Use our current model of seeding after League and Provincials to have our 2 Championships on knockout. A bit of the new, and a bit of the old that worked. And everyone will know how it works. We seem unable to admit when things don't work and either continue with it, or change it again to something new. We never ever think that some old stuff was good too and use some of that again

Loughduff Lad (Cavan) - Posts: 2422 - 15/05/2024 09:54:01    2544861

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Replying To Loughduff Lad:  "I get that. But when you're explaining, you're losing. The best Championship formats are the ones that are easier and could be explained to your 80 year old grandfather in a few moments. We have the ability to have one of those Championships but there is some mad stuff flying around both online and from pundits on pods etc about moving provincials, either before League or during League, and then the most convoluted way to set up the Championship from there with all sorts of games or formulas to finally get to what can be easily sorted

We need to go back a bit. Use our current model of seeding after League and Provincials to have our 2 Championships on knockout. A bit of the new, and a bit of the old that worked. And everyone will know how it works. We seem unable to admit when things don't work and either continue with it, or change it again to something new. We never ever think that some old stuff was good too and use some of that again"
Agreed. Simplicity is key.

The simplistic approach that keeps Ulster, local rivalry, gives GAA enough meaningful games for revenue and is more even matched like the league would be to mimic the hurling system.

Two groups of 6-North & South. Based on league placing. It would be feasible for non Ulster team to end up in Northern group.
Top two play each other in a final. North becomes defacto Ulster final in Clones/Casement at height of summer. Winners go into All Ireland Semi Final, Loser go to quarter final.

3rd from each group play in each group prelim quarter final playoff. Takes place same weekend of the finals. Other quarter final team will be winning Tailtean cup winner which will be run to finish at same stage. This ensures even split of games for each team.

Overall it would mean each team plays every two weeks to the final, with the exception of winning Northern & Southern Group who get small break between group final and All Ireland Semi Final.


Traditional provincials played before league as totally separate competition.

shaggykev (Donegal) - Posts: 228 - 15/05/2024 10:29:34    2544869

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Replying To Loughduff Lad:  "I get that. But when you're explaining, you're losing. The best Championship formats are the ones that are easier and could be explained to your 80 year old grandfather in a few moments. We have the ability to have one of those Championships but there is some mad stuff flying around both online and from pundits on pods etc about moving provincials, either before League or during League, and then the most convoluted way to set up the Championship from there with all sorts of games or formulas to finally get to what can be easily sorted

We need to go back a bit. Use our current model of seeding after League and Provincials to have our 2 Championships on knockout. A bit of the new, and a bit of the old that worked. And everyone will know how it works. We seem unable to admit when things don't work and either continue with it, or change it again to something new. We never ever think that some old stuff was good too and use some of that again"
Would rugby's URC season be good for each AIC tier - 16 teams, 12 matches (18 less 6 intra group), leading to the KO stage?

The 12 matches would include most Provincial ties as well, so like hurling, these matches are more valuable with two points to each match winner.

Does it meet the "simple enough to understand" threshold?

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2701 - 15/05/2024 11:44:53    2544892

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Replying To shaggykev:  "Agreed. Simplicity is key.

The simplistic approach that keeps Ulster, local rivalry, gives GAA enough meaningful games for revenue and is more even matched like the league would be to mimic the hurling system.

Two groups of 6-North & South. Based on league placing. It would be feasible for non Ulster team to end up in Northern group.
Top two play each other in a final. North becomes defacto Ulster final in Clones/Casement at height of summer. Winners go into All Ireland Semi Final, Loser go to quarter final.

3rd from each group play in each group prelim quarter final playoff. Takes place same weekend of the finals. Other quarter final team will be winning Tailtean cup winner which will be run to finish at same stage. This ensures even split of games for each team.

Overall it would mean each team plays every two weeks to the final, with the exception of winning Northern & Southern Group who get small break between group final and All Ireland Semi Final.


Traditional provincials played before league as totally separate competition."
Or we keep it simple. Keep the provincials as they are. The GAA has to actually work at making them viable. Connacht and Ulster need some help but are overall fine. Leinster needs major help. It's no surprise that it was a very good Championship for years up to mid 00s and then with such increased money to Dublin it went off a cliff. Learn from that. Front load funding to other counties. And Dublin likely to naturally drop a bit from where they are when this current generation retires off. Do that, fix them rather than all out of ideas while doing nothing other than killing them. Munster too. Cork need to get better. Clare and Limerick can improve more too. Maybe Munster will forever be the weak province overall. that's fine. Not everything works, but if we had 3 strong provinces, one middling one, and proper funding to lift counties up then the system can work as the history and stories are there.

Over half of all participant counties (17 out of 33) have won a provincial title since 2001 since we went the qualifier route. Over half. And that's with the provincials as they are and no proper work put in. 10 more have reached finals (Louth, Clare, Fermanagh, Antrim etc) since 2001 too. Jeez the rush to want to mess this system up when fixing them and incorporating properly into a Championship with a simple structure is right there. The provincials are most counties only chance of ever winning a title, and we want to kill them?

Like the solution is right there. Do your League. Have a month break in April while you play club. Play provincials in May through early June. Once finalists are known, make your Tailteann draw and start that off. Have the 8 teams who qualify through League/Tailteann winner play a qualifier round on weekend of provincial finals. Then 2 weeks after have the 4 qualifier winners play the provincial losers. The 4 winners of this to quarters vs provincial winners (with no repeats of provincial finals) for your quarters the week after and then onwards for semi and final. With a week break between knockout rounds, we're still finishing the final in late July. We could even allow a week for replays of provincial finals and not do penalties on the first day

With this we maintain the League, the provincials, the seeding, and we go knockout without the frankly stupid round robin system where we give out 24 games over 5 vital game weeks all so we can eliminate 4 teams. Games for the sake of games have people tuning out until we have the jeopardy, and means we lessen the vastly increased costs of county teams by having too many games for little reason and when you're out you are out. We get that time back, we can allow breaks, build up the championship by not having it the week after League finals, everyone plays provincial and gets a 2nd bite at Championship in Sam or Tailteann. Have it actually during summer so you're not competing with other sports during our summer, and we are back to an actual Championship where every team has to be ready for it and only one 2nd chance. This format could be explained to anyone too. A bit of the new and a bit of the old

Loughduff Lad (Cavan) - Posts: 2422 - 15/05/2024 12:43:44    2544902

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Replying To omahant:  "Would rugby's URC season be good for each AIC tier - 16 teams, 12 matches (18 less 6 intra group), leading to the KO stage?

The 12 matches would include most Provincial ties as well, so like hurling, these matches are more valuable with two points to each match winner.

Does it meet the "simple enough to understand" threshold?"
Why can't they be standalone? Why does it have to be this type of system rather than League being League and then do Championship after?

Loughduff Lad (Cavan) - Posts: 2422 - 15/05/2024 12:45:51    2544905

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To take a very simple approach, and bring back a knockout feel to championship, would it be better to keep the seeding as-is from league and provincials, and have an all-Ireland championship in the same format as the current Sigerson cup?

First round seeds 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3,
Second round winners vs winner and losers vs losers, winners of winners straight to quarter finals.
Third round, winners of losers vs loser of winners, winners of this to quarterfinals against the four waiting teams.

Keeps the 2nd chance that the qualifiers brought in 2001, whilst still moving back to games with more jeopardy than the current round robin?

Ciaran359 (Galway) - Posts: 9 - 15/05/2024 15:07:29    2544939

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Something like that. Straight knockout in provincials with semi finalists in Ulster and Leinster and finalists in Connacht and Munster into playoffs.

Four winners into quarter finals as seeds and open draw between the other 8 who are then drawn against the seeds in AI quarter finals. Perfect mathematically even.

BarneyGrant (Dublin) - Posts: 2800 - 15/05/2024 15:18:53    2544943

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Replying To Ciaran359:  "To take a very simple approach, and bring back a knockout feel to championship, would it be better to keep the seeding as-is from league and provincials, and have an all-Ireland championship in the same format as the current Sigerson cup?

First round seeds 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3,
Second round winners vs winner and losers vs losers, winners of winners straight to quarter finals.
Third round, winners of losers vs loser of winners, winners of this to quarterfinals against the four waiting teams.

Keeps the 2nd chance that the qualifiers brought in 2001, whilst still moving back to games with more jeopardy than the current round robin?"
It's better than current format, but doesn't change the fact that Kerry can't possibly find themselves in Round 1.

The most crucial seeding needed is seeding of provincial championships as a whole, where the stronger 2 Provinces enter the AI one round up from the weaker 2. i.e. Kerry, Armagh, Louth, Galway all enter the AI at the same round, while Donegal and Dublin wait in the QF.

SurelyToGod (Donegal) - Posts: 410 - 15/05/2024 15:24:11    2544945

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Replying To Loughduff Lad:  "Or we keep it simple. Keep the provincials as they are. The GAA has to actually work at making them viable. Connacht and Ulster need some help but are overall fine. Leinster needs major help. It's no surprise that it was a very good Championship for years up to mid 00s and then with such increased money to Dublin it went off a cliff. Learn from that. Front load funding to other counties. And Dublin likely to naturally drop a bit from where they are when this current generation retires off. Do that, fix them rather than all out of ideas while doing nothing other than killing them. Munster too. Cork need to get better. Clare and Limerick can improve more too. Maybe Munster will forever be the weak province overall. that's fine. Not everything works, but if we had 3 strong provinces, one middling one, and proper funding to lift counties up then the system can work as the history and stories are there.

Over half of all participant counties (17 out of 33) have won a provincial title since 2001 since we went the qualifier route. Over half. And that's with the provincials as they are and no proper work put in. 10 more have reached finals (Louth, Clare, Fermanagh, Antrim etc) since 2001 too. Jeez the rush to want to mess this system up when fixing them and incorporating properly into a Championship with a simple structure is right there. The provincials are most counties only chance of ever winning a title, and we want to kill them?

Like the solution is right there. Do your League. Have a month break in April while you play club. Play provincials in May through early June. Once finalists are known, make your Tailteann draw and start that off. Have the 8 teams who qualify through League/Tailteann winner play a qualifier round on weekend of provincial finals. Then 2 weeks after have the 4 qualifier winners play the provincial losers. The 4 winners of this to quarters vs provincial winners (with no repeats of provincial finals) for your quarters the week after and then onwards for semi and final. With a week break between knockout rounds, we're still finishing the final in late July. We could even allow a week for replays of provincial finals and not do penalties on the first day

With this we maintain the League, the provincials, the seeding, and we go knockout without the frankly stupid round robin system where we give out 24 games over 5 vital game weeks all so we can eliminate 4 teams. Games for the sake of games have people tuning out until we have the jeopardy, and means we lessen the vastly increased costs of county teams by having too many games for little reason and when you're out you are out. We get that time back, we can allow breaks, build up the championship by not having it the week after League finals, everyone plays provincial and gets a 2nd bite at Championship in Sam or Tailteann. Have it actually during summer so you're not competing with other sports during our summer, and we are back to an actual Championship where every team has to be ready for it and only one 2nd chance. This format could be explained to anyone too. A bit of the new and a bit of the old"
I'm not totally against this BUT one of the biggest issues with every system that involves the provincials is unbalanced and completely unfair.

We have seasons where for instance…Donegal might have to beat Tyrone & Derry to get to the same stage as Kerry or Mayo in their provinces. And from there Kerry might be playing a Waterford, Mayo v Leitrim whilst Donegal have to play Armagh to make a final.

So we are rewarding Kerry that soft route to an All Ireland quarter final.

That's one of the biggest issues. Leinster itself is kinda a different issue. They have enough teams. Unfortunately we can all see the gap that has emerged, maybe some day it will close but that doesn't seem like happening any time soon and playing it in January in wet weather when Dublin haven't got up and running may give a Westmeath etc a better chance.

shaggykev (Donegal) - Posts: 228 - 15/05/2024 15:40:30    2544950

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Replying To Loughduff Lad:  "Why can't they be standalone? Why does it have to be this type of system rather than League being League and then do Championship after?"
While my preference would be to have the League and AIC combined in one exciting competition leading to a concluding KO - keeping them separate would be OK.

I feel more strongly that, like hurling, Prov ties should award match winners two points and the opponents spread around like in a league to make it more balanced overall (that's why I think this is best achieved by creating a bigger league phase).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2701 - 15/05/2024 16:12:44    2544957

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Replying To legendzxix:  "The GAA tend to make one step changes. What about the one step changes that might improve the current structure? The hurling league for example is bringing in five divisions of 7."
Have one-step changes been enough? - I just come at changes from a different perspective - regardless of how the GAA or the audience on this forum feels about my ideas, I just present what I'd like, regardless.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2701 - 15/05/2024 16:25:49    2544960

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