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Football Format Changes Discussion

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Replying To KillingFields:  "
Replying To shaggykev:  "Trying to explain this new system to a casual Donegal fan proved this current format is an actual farce.

Great to hear Tyrone but it wasn't like an Ulster Championship match.


Fix the provinces and go back to cut throat football.

Biggest issues with provinces is unequal games means lopsided championship and Leinster has been bullied by Dublin.

I'd love to see a three-year experiment.
Move Donegal and Westmeath into Connacht (closest counties). Ny don't enter
Move Wexford and Dublin into Munster.

4 provinces of eight that will be very equal. Guaranteed quality product."
Moving teams outside their province and away from traditional rivalries just to get 4 groups of 8 guarantees nothing and in no way guarantees quality"
It's total nonsense and was rejected 9 to 1 or bigger by GAA Congress in 2021.

Seanfanbocht (Roscommon) - Posts: 1616 - 26/05/2024 21:08:16    2547416

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Replying To legendzxix:  "The 12:10:10 format can work with two groups at each tier.
TIER 1 - ALL-IRELAND CHAMPIONSHIP
2 groups of 6. Top team from each group direct to semi-finals. 2nd v 3rd from the other group in the quarter-finals.
The left field part: The two 4th placed teams playing off for the 7th guaranteed qualifying spot for the following year. The two 5th placed teams playing off for a "2nd wildcard spot" for the following year. The two 6th placed teams playing off for a "4th wildcard spot' for the following year.
The All-Ireland 12 would consist of the 4 provincial winners, Tailteann winners and 7 best placed championship performers from the previous year. Where a provincial winner is also a Tailteann winner or has a top 7 ranking from the previous year, wildcards 1 to 4 will be next in line for an All-Ireland spot. At least 1 of the 12 will be in Tier 2 in the following year, as the Tier 2 winner will be in Tier 1.
TIER 2 - TAILTEANN CUP
2 groups of 5. Top 2 to semi-finals in Croke Park. These can be a curtain raiser to All-Ireland quarter-finals. In the unlikely event the 4 provincial winners come from a lower championship ranking, the Tailteann would require a playoff for the 5th Tailteann qualifying position between the 3rd placed teams. The 4th placed teams in a playoff for the 2nd wildcard spot and the 5th placed teams playing off for the 4th wildcard spot.
TIER 3 - NAME TBD
2 groups of 5. Top 2 to semi-finals in Croke Park. The semi-finals can be on the Saturday a week before the Tier 2 semi-finals. The All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals can take the Sunday slot.
NOTES:
With the league detached from championship, the league can start at the beginning of January and finished by early March."
I like that idea. I think it hits up on a few of the problems with the current structure.

- The link between the provincial and All-Ireland should be for provincial winners only
- Winning the tailteann cup should mean a promotion to senior rather than a guest appearance the following year
- Promotion and relegation between the tiers should be based on championship performance
- There are more than 2 tiers in football

brianb (Kildare) - Posts: 310 - 27/05/2024 10:19:32    2547487

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If there are a few errors that were made in coming up with the current system and I think a step back is needed to sort them out.

Teams were finding the National League to be their main competition as a real test of where they were at but it's played in February and March.

Club players didn't know when they were going to be playing but of the qualifiers style schedule.

There wasn't really enough time to play the club championship at the end of the season.

The All Ireland club came in the middle of the National league.

The Provincials were imbalanced and the round teams entered at was more reflective of the quality and structure of their provincial championship rather than their own ability. Getting to the last 8 from winning a weaker province or last 12 from getting a handy draw in 6 team championship didn't feel right either.

The qualifiers were stale and a bit drawn out. A losing first round team was 4 wins from rejoining the main draw.

There was a fixation with having a tiered championship but I think there was a better solution to all of the above but a step back needs to be taken to be able to get to it again.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4280 - 27/05/2024 12:46:28    2547596

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Replying To brianb:  "I like that idea. I think it hits up on a few of the problems with the current structure.

- The link between the provincial and All-Ireland should be for provincial winners only
- Winning the tailteann cup should mean a promotion to senior rather than a guest appearance the following year
- Promotion and relegation between the tiers should be based on championship performance
- There are more than 2 tiers in football"
It'd be a big improvement alright for all the reasons you stated.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4280 - 27/05/2024 12:57:54    2547604

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Replying To SurelyToGod:  "Once again, novel, but I don't understand how it would work year on year. How are teams relegated/promoted. Do Kerry get to buff their top tier group results with wins over Waterford, Clare, Limerick? Mayo/Galway with Leitrim, London, NY, and Sligo?"
After 12 games for all -
Tier 1 top 8 to AIC Series (based on Aussie AFL or AI SHC Last 8, top 4 double chance, 2nd 4 to Prelim QF Rd).

Tier 1 bottom 8 merge with Tier 2 top 4 for "Tier 2 12-team KO" (QF8 in next year Tier 1, 4 Prelim QF losers in Tier 2).

Tier 2 bottom 12 to "Tier 3 12-team KO" (all 12 stay in Tier 2).

Kerry beats Clare in Munster (2 pts, own-tier).

Kerry beat Waterford (stand alone match, inter-tier). One way to include inter-tier games, would be to have all teams playing 2 or 3 games inter-tier, leaving 10 or 9 in own tier. I'm not in favour of that - too many mismatches - but maybe a 20/12 split instead captures more of the "Kerry v Limerick" type games.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2726 - 27/05/2024 13:59:10    2547644

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Some of the low attendances for group games so far should have GAA HQ hatching a plan to add jeopardy to the group stage. The hurling league will have jeopardy next year. The Munster council have a three year rotation of Munster hurling finals in Thurles, Limerick and Cork. It'll be very surprising if they stick with the preliminary quarter-finals beyond the three year trial, if not cut earlier.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 8042 - 27/05/2024 17:28:28    2547733

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Replying To legendzxix:  "Some of the low attendances for group games so far should have GAA HQ hatching a plan to add jeopardy to the group stage. The hurling league will have jeopardy next year. The Munster council have a three year rotation of Munster hurling finals in Thurles, Limerick and Cork. It'll be very surprising if they stick with the preliminary quarter-finals beyond the three year trial, if not cut earlier."
Hard to have jeopardy when there's no relegation.
Each year is a stand alone with just the 1 carryover of the TC winners getting into Sam.
If 2 from 4 was operating in the TC this year there would be 3 dead rubbers next week instead of 1.

Seanfanbocht (Roscommon) - Posts: 1616 - 27/05/2024 18:41:05    2547760

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Which is worse - the GAA Sam method where teams based on league position could be displaced by lower ranked Prov Finalists - or the UEFA hodge podge below?


Atalanta needed to finish fifth in Serie A for a place in the Champions League to pass down to Roma in sixth, but Atalanta's 3-0 win at home to Torino on Sunday secured a top-four place. Roma will take up a place in the Europa League.

If Atalanta had finished fifth, they would have qualified for the Champions League as Europa League titleholders, with the extra spot for Italy earned by their clubs' performance in Europe this season passed to sixth. Instead, that additional place will go to the team that did finish fifth, Bologna.

For consistency, Roma should be in the Champions League as Italy should earn a 6th berth after Atalanta won the Europa League, regardless of their domestic position - this is even more insane compared to GAA Sam method.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2726 - 27/05/2024 19:02:42    2547766

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Replying To omahant:  "Which is worse - the GAA Sam method where teams based on league position could be displaced by lower ranked Prov Finalists - or the UEFA hodge podge below?


Atalanta needed to finish fifth in Serie A for a place in the Champions League to pass down to Roma in sixth, but Atalanta's 3-0 win at home to Torino on Sunday secured a top-four place. Roma will take up a place in the Europa League.

If Atalanta had finished fifth, they would have qualified for the Champions League as Europa League titleholders, with the extra spot for Italy earned by their clubs' performance in Europe this season passed to sixth. Instead, that additional place will go to the team that did finish fifth, Bologna.

For consistency, Roma should be in the Champions League as Italy should earn a 6th berth after Atalanta won the Europa League, regardless of their domestic position - this is even more insane compared to GAA Sam method."
I think a team finishing 6th in a a league and not qualifying for Champions League is probably fairer than Clare displacing Div 3 finalists Fermanagh in the Sam Maguire by way of winning one match vs the bottom team in the Allianz Leagues.

SurelyToGod (Donegal) - Posts: 410 - 27/05/2024 21:54:33    2547797

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Replying To Seanfanbocht:  "Hard to have jeopardy when there's no relegation.
Each year is a stand alone with just the 1 carryover of the TC winners getting into Sam.
If 2 from 4 was operating in the TC this year there would be 3 dead rubbers next week instead of 1."
There are mechanisms for avoiding dead rubbers in Round 3. You want to avoid two teams on two wins playing in Round 3, when two qualify from the group. One way for this is that Seed 1 plays Seeds 2 and 3 in the first two games. The risk though is that Seeds 2 and 3 both win the first two games!
Ideally Round 1 should be scheduled for two weeks before Round 2. This would allow for flexible scheduling where the two Round 1 winners can meet in Round 2. With this approach, it might be better that Seed 1 plays away to Seed 4 first and Seed 2 plays Seed 3. The two Round 1 winners then playing in Round 2.
Balanced seeding would help as well. Provincial winners seeded 1. Seeds 2 to 4 based on league placing. Both provincial finalists could be awarded two home games for going farther than the league qualifiers.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 8042 - 28/05/2024 18:10:00    2547993

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Replying To legendzxix:  "There are mechanisms for avoiding dead rubbers in Round 3. You want to avoid two teams on two wins playing in Round 3, when two qualify from the group. One way for this is that Seed 1 plays Seeds 2 and 3 in the first two games. The risk though is that Seeds 2 and 3 both win the first two games!
Ideally Round 1 should be scheduled for two weeks before Round 2. This would allow for flexible scheduling where the two Round 1 winners can meet in Round 2. With this approach, it might be better that Seed 1 plays away to Seed 4 first and Seed 2 plays Seed 3. The two Round 1 winners then playing in Round 2.
Balanced seeding would help as well. Provincial winners seeded 1. Seeds 2 to 4 based on league placing. Both provincial finalists could be awarded two home games for going farther than the league qualifiers."
I think they should just go with group winners straight into the semi finals if they are going to persist with groups, too many low stakes games, although I'd strongly prefer scrapping grousp altogether, championship should be straight knockout imo, if people would prefer to separate provincial and all ireland series for that, that's fine

joeteor (Donegal) - Posts: 226 - 28/05/2024 19:32:37    2548016

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Replying To legendzxix:  "There are mechanisms for avoiding dead rubbers in Round 3. You want to avoid two teams on two wins playing in Round 3, when two qualify from the group. One way for this is that Seed 1 plays Seeds 2 and 3 in the first two games. The risk though is that Seeds 2 and 3 both win the first two games!
Ideally Round 1 should be scheduled for two weeks before Round 2. This would allow for flexible scheduling where the two Round 1 winners can meet in Round 2. With this approach, it might be better that Seed 1 plays away to Seed 4 first and Seed 2 plays Seed 3. The two Round 1 winners then playing in Round 2.
Balanced seeding would help as well. Provincial winners seeded 1. Seeds 2 to 4 based on league placing. Both provincial finalists could be awarded two home games for going farther than the league qualifiers."
In that scenario there isn't much point in playing the winner of two games v loser off two games match. When you think about it that would be a good way to solve the dead rubber problem. You could also get rid of the preliminary quarter finals.

4 groups of 4
Round 1 - seeded 1 v 4 2 v 3
Round 2 - winners play - winner into 1/4 final; loser into Round 3.
Round 2 - losers play - winner into Round 3 loser out.
Round 3 - one game qualifiers from round 2 - winners into 1/4 final

Every game would have a lot riding on it.

brianb (Kildare) - Posts: 310 - 28/05/2024 21:42:37    2548047

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Replying To KillingFields:  "
Replying To shaggykev:  "Trying to explain this new system to a casual Donegal fan proved this current format is an actual farce.

Great to hear Tyrone but it wasn't like an Ulster Championship match.


Fix the provinces and go back to cut throat football.

Biggest issues with provinces is unequal games means lopsided championship and Leinster has been bullied by Dublin.

I'd love to see a three-year experiment.
Move Donegal and Westmeath into Connacht (closest counties). Ny don't enter
Move Wexford and Dublin into Munster.

4 provinces of eight that will be very equal. Guaranteed quality product."
Moving teams outside their province and away from traditional rivalries just to get 4 groups of 8 guarantees nothing and in no way guarantees quality"
That is true, but a mechanism where provincial championships are rotated on a, say, 4-year basis could. Not that this is my preferred option, but I do see this similarly as pro-active.

My preferred option which has been outlined is to use a rudimental provincial co-efficient, based on the league, to decide where teams enter the All-Ireland series after they've finished their provincial campaigns. Protects the local interest, creates a more balanced AI series, and ensures that the co-efficient/seedings themselves have no direct effect on future seedings.

SurelyToGod (Donegal) - Posts: 410 - 29/05/2024 11:25:01    2548108

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Maybe consider league approach as a guide for our primary competition. 99% of team sports on our lovely planet use this and never complain.

3 divisions, relagation and promotion in each.
Top 4 in top division go into all ireland semi final.

There you go, and you don't have to study the details for 6 hours to understand it. Boom boom

Ban (Westmeath) - Posts: 1443 - 29/05/2024 14:04:19    2548161

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Hurling seems to have a good flow of league, round robin and then knockout rounds. Football having a knockout between league and round robin has teams lying idle mid season, during a hectic split season.
Leinster and Ulster could have two groups of 4 each. Connacht and Munster could have one group of 4 each. The top third of counties from each province qualifying for the All-Ireland 12 in knockout format. That being 3 Ulster, 4 Leinster, 2 Munster, 2 Connacht and the Tailteann winner.
Connacht and Munster would be regular groups of 4, with top 2 into provincial final. Leinster and Ulster being regular groups of 4 with top 2 into provincial semi-finals.
The 4 provincial winners can go direct to the All-Ireland quarter-finals. The 4 provincial runners-up to preliminary quarter-finals. The two Ulster semi-final losers could contest a preliminary round, with the winner joining the Tailteann winner and two Leinster semi-final losers in the preliminary quarter-finals.
Connacht and Munster could have a shared tier 2 group of 4. Leinster and Ulster can also have a shared tier 2 group of 4.
The Tailteann Cup could be contested by the six third placed teams from provincial group stage, the two winners from the tier 2 groups and a Tier 3 winner from the previous year. The Tailteann Cup would be 8 or 9 counties, depending on if the Tailteann winner qualifies for the All-Ireland in the current year.
A third tier then can be contested by the remaining counties, also in knockout format. It would be the 11 or 12 counties to have missed out on the All-Ireland and Tailteann Cup.
It is contentious that Ulster would only have 3 qualifiers when it is so competitive. The top third would apply fairness across all provinces however. Similar to Munster hurling, Ulster would have a very competitive group stage.
Football would then have a better flow to the season through league, round robin and then knockout football all the way.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 8042 - 29/05/2024 18:09:54    2548229

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Replying To Ban:  "Maybe consider league approach as a guide for our primary competition. 99% of team sports on our lovely planet use this and never complain.

3 divisions, relagation and promotion in each.
Top 4 in top division go into all ireland semi final.

There you go, and you don't have to study the details for 6 hours to understand it. Boom boom"
And you can keep provincial championships straight knock out played in between rounds of the league to keep a cup competition and keep rivalries etc

KillingFields (Limerick) - Posts: 3546 - 29/05/2024 21:12:14    2548253

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The RTE podcast are in favour of the Dublin championship approach anyway. 16 teams in 4 groups of 4. Top 2 only qualifying. Round 1 winners playing in Round 2 to avoid both Round 3 games being dead rubbers.
If provincial councils want to continue with provincial draws in October, they could use championship performance from the current year just finished and the league placing for balanced draws.
Again, I'm not a fan of the neutral venues. There is an argument for provincial finalists having an extra home game as a reward for going further in the provincial championships.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 8042 - 29/05/2024 21:47:34    2548258

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Replying To brianb:  "In that scenario there isn't much point in playing the winner of two games v loser off two games match. When you think about it that would be a good way to solve the dead rubber problem. You could also get rid of the preliminary quarter finals.

4 groups of 4
Round 1 - seeded 1 v 4 2 v 3
Round 2 - winners play - winner into 1/4 final; loser into Round 3.
Round 2 - losers play - winner into Round 3 loser out.
Round 3 - one game qualifiers from round 2 - winners into 1/4 final

Every game would have a lot riding on it."
I like this idea, but feel it would be better not to have groups - if all games are won by the higher seed, 2v3 would repeat in Rd 3.

So, maybe better to have all 16-team compete under the same format - like a double-size Christy Ring Cup 2017.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2726 - 29/05/2024 22:38:15    2548269

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Replying To brianb:  "In that scenario there isn't much point in playing the winner of two games v loser off two games match. When you think about it that would be a good way to solve the dead rubber problem. You could also get rid of the preliminary quarter finals.

4 groups of 4
Round 1 - seeded 1 v 4 2 v 3
Round 2 - winners play - winner into 1/4 final; loser into Round 3.
Round 2 - losers play - winner into Round 3 loser out.
Round 3 - one game qualifiers from round 2 - winners into 1/4 final

Every game would have a lot riding on it."
After pages of nonsense from many different quarters finally someone has come up with an idea that is an improvement on the present system. Basically the same as College Baseball "double elimination" system. Gets rid of preliminary quarter finals without leaving the possibility of dead rubbers.

ORIELMAN85 (Monaghan) - Posts: 193 - 30/05/2024 00:32:50    2548276

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Replying To ORIELMAN85:  "After pages of nonsense from many different quarters finally someone has come up with an idea that is an improvement on the present system. Basically the same as College Baseball "double elimination" system. Gets rid of preliminary quarter finals without leaving the possibility of dead rubbers."
Why the need for Groups if you use that system?

Seanfanbocht (Roscommon) - Posts: 1616 - 30/05/2024 10:36:57    2548316

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