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Football Format Changes Discussion

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Replying To Tirchonaill1:  "It's none of your business what I'm involved in, I'm entitled to my opinions without being questioned by an ideologue like yourself.
The current format is too rushed in my opinion, the intensity is too much for amateur players and we will see more injuries because of it.
Elsewhere I also hope Jim Gavin and his team can come up with some good ideas to improve the game as a spectacle and not have it looking as much like a rugby league match."
I think some of the feedback you gotten given to you is harsh.

The season overall is probably better than it was but I'd agree with you that a full split season wasn't actually necessary.

The big issue was the qualifiers and trying to schedule club games around uncertainty in when a team would be playing.

The Championship being more knockout based meant that it was important to have control over players too.

I'd think if you had a more league based championship you'd be able to schedule games before the start of the year. Have club breaks in the schedule and be able to play the inter county games in a longer window.

Those that argue that players want the split season, well that's compared to the old system and they haven't had an alternative like the above put to them.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4256 - 15/03/2024 15:08:42    2531265

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All county championships have a tiered system. The provincial hurling championships have a tiered system. The provincial football championships need some form of qualification standard as well.
A basic one is limiting the provincial championships to 8 in Ulster, 8 in Leinster, 4 in Munster and 4 in Connacht. 1 Ulster and 3 Leinster counties could contest a shared tier 2 provincial conference. The winner qualifying for their province in the following year. 3 Connacht, (including London and New York) and 3 Munster could also contest their own shared tier 2 provincial conference.
The Ulster and Leinster Championships would have quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals on every second weekend. The Munster and Connacht Championships would have semi-finals and finals on every other second weekend. All provincial championships would be completed within 5 weeks.
The tier 2 provincial conferences would also be in knockout format, in parallel with the provincial championships.
PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
1. Leinster and Ulster quarter-finals.
2. Munster and Connacht semi-finals
3. Leinster and Ulster semi-finals
4. Munster and Connacht finals.
5. Leinster and Ulster finals.
TIER 2 PROVINCIAL CONFERENCES
1. Connacht/Munster quarter-final. (Most likely one county travelling to New York.)
2. Leinster/Ulster semi-finals
3. Connacht/Munster semi-finals
4. Leinster/Ulster final.
5. Connacht/Munster final.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 15/03/2024 15:51:19    2531275

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Replying To legendzxix:  "All county championships have a tiered system. The provincial hurling championships have a tiered system. The provincial football championships need some form of qualification standard as well.
A basic one is limiting the provincial championships to 8 in Ulster, 8 in Leinster, 4 in Munster and 4 in Connacht. 1 Ulster and 3 Leinster counties could contest a shared tier 2 provincial conference. The winner qualifying for their province in the following year. 3 Connacht, (including London and New York) and 3 Munster could also contest their own shared tier 2 provincial conference.
The Ulster and Leinster Championships would have quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals on every second weekend. The Munster and Connacht Championships would have semi-finals and finals on every other second weekend. All provincial championships would be completed within 5 weeks.
The tier 2 provincial conferences would also be in knockout format, in parallel with the provincial championships.
PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
1. Leinster and Ulster quarter-finals.
2. Munster and Connacht semi-finals
3. Leinster and Ulster semi-finals
4. Munster and Connacht finals.
5. Leinster and Ulster finals.
TIER 2 PROVINCIAL CONFERENCES
1. Connacht/Munster quarter-final. (Most likely one county travelling to New York.)
2. Leinster/Ulster semi-finals
3. Connacht/Munster semi-finals
4. Leinster/Ulster final.
5. Connacht/Munster final."
A closer analogy would be that a tiered All Ireland championship should just replace provincial championships much in the way that All County championships replaced divisional competitions in some counties.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4256 - 15/03/2024 19:53:38    2531292

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Replying To Whammo86:  "Yeah in my view they abandoned that plan too quickly.

I thought that vote sort of showed an openness for the provincials to be decoupled from the championship and had the format for the championship been more sensible it might've gotten through.

The Tailteann cup competition that they were coming up with was a mess too.

They got into knots over how to give everyone a shot at the All Ireland and also how to have a 2nd tier championship and I think there was a simpler and more logical solution here that what got brought to congress it just required having 2 tiers of 2 groups of 8 rather than having 4 divisions of 8."
I'm sure Brian McAvoy was not open to "....an openness for the provincials to be decoupled from the championship...."

As a Corkman I love the Muns SHC and as a neutral love the Uls SFC as well and am sympathetic to those who want to preserve the best of the GAA tradition.

Let's not destroy tradition but build it into the bigger picture/ AIC competition.

I think the sweet spot in both codes is a 12-match regular season, incl Prov ties, before AIC KO.

So in football, why not have your 2 divs of 2 groups of 8 with 7 games, plus 3 more intra-tier and 2 more inter-tier games, incorporating (doubling up) any intra- and inter-Prov ties, before each team tops up to 12 matches with other non-group games leading into the AIC KO?

For the AIC KO, I'd have two Tiers - and from Div 1 two groups of 8:
Both Top 2s to Tier 1 double chance (1st v other 2nd)
Both 2nd 2s to Tier 1 Prelim QF KO (3rd v other 4th)
Both 3rd 2s to Tier 2 double chance (v Div 2 top 2s)
Both 4th 2s to Tier 2 KO (v Div 2 2nd 2s).
Tier 2 QF 8 to Tier 1 in the following year (promotion berths therefore variable, 0 to 8, likely 2 to 3).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2664 - 16/03/2024 01:39:58    2531314

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Replying To Whammo86:  "A closer analogy would be that a tiered All Ireland championship should just replace provincial championships much in the way that All County championships replaced divisional competitions in some counties."
Maybe yes. Maybe no.
The GAA aren't alone in world sport in having regional representation. If it wasn't for a lopsided draw last year, Connacht would have had a final involving two of the teams that finished in the top 3 in Division 1.
The Munster and Leinster finals haven't been great to be fair. It's understandable that 4 Munster counties want an open draw or the current arrangement where finalists are given byes to the semi-final but can draw each other in the semi-final. Lower tier counties beating lower tier counties to make a provincial final doesn't earn the respect of their own people. The crowds are low in the provincial finals.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 16/03/2024 11:45:56    2531337

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Replying To legendzxix:  "Maybe yes. Maybe no.
The GAA aren't alone in world sport in having regional representation. If it wasn't for a lopsided draw last year, Connacht would have had a final involving two of the teams that finished in the top 3 in Division 1.
The Munster and Leinster finals haven't been great to be fair. It's understandable that 4 Munster counties want an open draw or the current arrangement where finalists are given byes to the semi-final but can draw each other in the semi-final. Lower tier counties beating lower tier counties to make a provincial final doesn't earn the respect of their own people. The crowds are low in the provincial finals."
Ok but I just don't really know why this is better than giving these teams their own national championship or the old qualifiers system.

It's the same sort of games as the qualifiers brought up.

It's the same sorts of games as the National League.

Why would a team in these competitions want to win them, they have no history.

I just don't really see the sense in them.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4256 - 16/03/2024 13:14:26    2531351

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Replying To omahant:  "I'm sure Brian McAvoy was not open to "....an openness for the provincials to be decoupled from the championship...."

As a Corkman I love the Muns SHC and as a neutral love the Uls SFC as well and am sympathetic to those who want to preserve the best of the GAA tradition.

Let's not destroy tradition but build it into the bigger picture/ AIC competition.

I think the sweet spot in both codes is a 12-match regular season, incl Prov ties, before AIC KO.

So in football, why not have your 2 divs of 2 groups of 8 with 7 games, plus 3 more intra-tier and 2 more inter-tier games, incorporating (doubling up) any intra- and inter-Prov ties, before each team tops up to 12 matches with other non-group games leading into the AIC KO?

For the AIC KO, I'd have two Tiers - and from Div 1 two groups of 8:
Both Top 2s to Tier 1 double chance (1st v other 2nd)
Both 2nd 2s to Tier 1 Prelim QF KO (3rd v other 4th)
Both 3rd 2s to Tier 2 double chance (v Div 2 top 2s)
Both 4th 2s to Tier 2 KO (v Div 2 2nd 2s).
Tier 2 QF 8 to Tier 1 in the following year (promotion berths therefore variable, 0 to 8, likely 2 to 3)."
I actually wouldn't be against Provincial results counting towards an All Ireland championship but it seems others wouldn't be very open to that and it gets very complicated if you want to guarantee a 2nd tier team that's won their province.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4256 - 16/03/2024 13:51:57    2531355

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Replying To Whammo86:  "Ok but I just don't really know why this is better than giving these teams their own national championship or the old qualifiers system.

It's the same sort of games as the qualifiers brought up.

It's the same sorts of games as the National League.

Why would a team in these competitions want to win them, they have no history.

I just don't really see the sense in them."
Sligo's route to the All-Ireland series last year was wins over London and New York. If provincial councils want to keep open draws that result in poorly attended finals that's fine but provincial winners only should be qualifying for the All-Ireland series. All provinces can only produce one winner at the end of the day, regardless of whatever fair or lopsided draw they have.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 16/03/2024 15:56:55    2531394

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Replying To legendzxix:  "Sligo's route to the All-Ireland series last year was wins over London and New York. If provincial councils want to keep open draws that result in poorly attended finals that's fine but provincial winners only should be qualifying for the All-Ireland series. All provinces can only produce one winner at the end of the day, regardless of whatever fair or lopsided draw they have."
Yeah I'm not going to disagree with that.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4256 - 16/03/2024 16:34:19    2531406

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I actually wouldn't be against Provincial results counting towards an All Ireland championship but it seems others wouldn't be very open to that and it gets very complicated if you want to guarantee a 2nd tier team that's won their province."
The GAA needs to decide how many games they want counties to play in a season (not counting any pre season) before the AIC KO (is 12 the number?)

Counting Prov Champp matches towards a League-Championship would ease a lot of pressure. The schedule could be flexible with Uls SFs & Final held over for the second half of the season.

I hear you that 'double counting' may not be popular with some but it provides a path to retaining the Provs (for those who want them and those who don't) and could provide a reasonable compromise in preventing their demise. In Six Nations rugby today, one team is playing for the Triple Crown while both are also contesting the Championship - does the subsidiary competition add or have no effect on the occasion?

A 12:10:10 split seems to be best - 12 games each, including a few crossover games to top up.

Parachuting a Tier 2 Prov Champ into the Tier 1 AIC KO is not ideal, but no worse than the prior year Tailteann Cup Champ earning a Tier 1 AIC group berth before anyone else. Maybe my preference here is that neither Tier 1 or 2 Prov Champs earn Tier 1 KO berths, but through the Tier 1 league table only.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2664 - 16/03/2024 16:52:25    2531411

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Replying To omahant:  "The GAA needs to decide how many games they want counties to play in a season (not counting any pre season) before the AIC KO (is 12 the number?)

Counting Prov Champp matches towards a League-Championship would ease a lot of pressure. The schedule could be flexible with Uls SFs & Final held over for the second half of the season.

I hear you that 'double counting' may not be popular with some but it provides a path to retaining the Provs (for those who want them and those who don't) and could provide a reasonable compromise in preventing their demise. In Six Nations rugby today, one team is playing for the Triple Crown while both are also contesting the Championship - does the subsidiary competition add or have no effect on the occasion?

A 12:10:10 split seems to be best - 12 games each, including a few crossover games to top up.

Parachuting a Tier 2 Prov Champ into the Tier 1 AIC KO is not ideal, but no worse than the prior year Tailteann Cup Champ earning a Tier 1 AIC group berth before anyone else. Maybe my preference here is that neither Tier 1 or 2 Prov Champs earn Tier 1 KO berths, but through the Tier 1 league table only."
Ideally, intercounty players would only have to play every second week. There would then be alternating hurling and football fixtures. There are 27 weekends of intercounty league and championship. Hurling league and championship would have to fit into 13 weeks. Football league and championship would have to fit into 14 weeks.
HURLING
6 weeks for provincial championship.
3 for All-Ireland series.
Only 4 weeks for league!!
FOOTBALL
4 weeks for provincial championship.
6 weeks for All-Ireland series.
Also only 4 weeks for league!
CONSECUTIVE WEEKENDS
If alternating weekends are extreme, they could limit to at least no more than two consecutive weekends for the league and the first two rounds of the provincial championships, and go with alternating weekends from there. The league however would have to be limited to 6 rounds in both codes.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 16/03/2024 18:33:36    2531461

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Replying To legendzxix:  "Ideally, intercounty players would only have to play every second week. There would then be alternating hurling and football fixtures. There are 27 weekends of intercounty league and championship. Hurling league and championship would have to fit into 13 weeks. Football league and championship would have to fit into 14 weeks.
HURLING
6 weeks for provincial championship.
3 for All-Ireland series.
Only 4 weeks for league!!
FOOTBALL
4 weeks for provincial championship.
6 weeks for All-Ireland series.
Also only 4 weeks for league!
CONSECUTIVE WEEKENDS
If alternating weekends are extreme, they could limit to at least no more than two consecutive weekends for the league and the first two rounds of the provincial championships, and go with alternating weekends from there. The league however would have to be limited to 6 rounds in both codes."
Yeah, I think having 'two weeks on, one off' per code might be a better fit, having 'byes' in each code on different weeks.
So, over 27 weeks, 18 weeks on (ample for current game volume) and 9 off for football (I adjust to 17 on/10 off for hurling and would need 'odd' NHL divs play one cross div game to avoid those byes).

Below football (F), hurling (H) and byes (FB or HB):
1. F/HB
2. F/H
3. FB/H

4. F/HB
5. F/H
6. FB/H

Each three-week segment to Week 24 repeats (16 weeks on, 8 off), but then adjust to....

25. F/HB
26. FB/H
27. F/HB

OK to have AI SHC QFs/SFs (weeks 23/24) and AI SFC PQFs/QFs (weeks 22/23) back to back?

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2664 - 17/03/2024 19:11:13    2531737

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Current provincial rankings based on league:
ULSTER
1. Derry
2. Tyrone
3. Armagh
4. Donegal
5. Monaghan
6. Cavan
7. Down
8. Fermanagh
9. Antrim
LEINSTER
1. Dublin
2. Meath
3. Louth
4. Westmeath
5. Kildare
6. Offaly
7. Laois
8. Wexford
9. Wicklow
10. Longford
11. Carlow
MUNSTER
1. Kerry
2. Cork
3. Clare
4. Limerick
5. Tipperary
6. Waterford
CONNACHT
1. Mayo
2. Galway
3. Roscommon
4. Sligo
5. Leitrim
6. London
PROVINCIAL DRAW BASED ON LEAGUE RANKING
ULSTER
Antrim and Fermanagh would start in the preliminary round.
Derry, Tyrone, Armagh and Donegal would be seeded in the quarter-final draw.
The winners of the Derry and Tyrone quarter-finals would be on opposite sides of the semi-final draw.
LEINSTER
Offaly, Laois and Wexford would be seeded in the preliminary round draw.
Dublin, Meath, Louth and Westmeath would be seeded in the quarter-final draw.
The winners of the Dublin and Meath quarter-finals would be on opposite sides of the semi-final draw.
MUNSTER
Clare and Limerick would be seeded in the quarter-final draw.
Kerry and Cork would be seeded in the semi-final draw.
CONNACHT
Mayo will travel to New York and Galway will travel to London in the quarter-finals as per the agreed rotation.
Of the other 3 counties, Roscommon would receive a bye to the semi-finals and Sligo v Leitrim would be the remaining quarter-final pairing.
The winners of the Mayo and Galway quarter-finals would be on opposite sides of the semi-final draw.
The Connacht championship draw by luck of the draw actually worked out like that for this year.
BALANCED PROVINCIAL DRAWS
Balanced provincial draws avoids lopsided draws. Counties will earn a provincial final on reasonable merit. If a lower ranked county can beat a top 2 seeds in their province, the best of luck to them. Otherwise counties are better off qualifying for the All-Ireland or Tailteann through balanced enough provincial championships. If the Tailteann is a county's level for a year, it does still off a fair route for success.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 18/03/2024 08:58:12    2531855

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I do like seeding the Prov Champps like this, despite them being as dull as before (except Uls/ Conn Big 3).

I wonder should the SFs be re-seeded too? - e.g. if Derry loses their Uls QF, should the team that beats them play Tyrone in the SFs - a bit harsh, I know, but would give even more value to seeding and league placing.

I still like my 'guest' idea - would add spice to all 4 Provs - i.e. again, each Prov 'top 4' plays 'double chance' Prelim SFs in own Prov, 8 winners to 'own' Prov SFs, 8 losers 'guesting' in neighbouring Prov QFs (2 losers in each Prov split, one to a different Prov).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2664 - 19/03/2024 23:23:23    2532270

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Replying To omahant:  "I do like seeding the Prov Champps like this, despite them being as dull as before (except Uls/ Conn Big 3).

I wonder should the SFs be re-seeded too? - e.g. if Derry loses their Uls QF, should the team that beats them play Tyrone in the SFs - a bit harsh, I know, but would give even more value to seeding and league placing.

I still like my 'guest' idea - would add spice to all 4 Provs - i.e. again, each Prov 'top 4' plays 'double chance' Prelim SFs in own Prov, 8 winners to 'own' Prov SFs, 8 losers 'guesting' in neighbouring Prov QFs (2 losers in each Prov split, one to a different Prov)."
Reseeding the semi-finals would be over seeding. Best to have the one draw at the start and let them off.
A motion came forward about counties entering other provinces to balance the numbers but counties were not in favour of it. Leinster counties are content to start in a Leinster preliminary round than join Munster or Connacht quarter-final.
Lee Keegan and Peter Canavan have suggested that the league finals should be scrapped. It might be the only option for giving a week off after the league before the provincial championships begin.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 20/03/2024 19:42:55    2532394

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Replying To legendzxix:  "Reseeding the semi-finals would be over seeding. Best to have the one draw at the start and let them off.
A motion came forward about counties entering other provinces to balance the numbers but counties were not in favour of it. Leinster counties are content to start in a Leinster preliminary round than join Munster or Connacht quarter-final.
Lee Keegan and Peter Canavan have suggested that the league finals should be scrapped. It might be the only option for giving a week off after the league before the provincial championships begin."
That "balance the Provs" motion would send the likes of Carlow to Munster. Mine is more appetising - two of the strongest 4 in each Prov would transfer - e.g. Donegal to Connacht, Tyrone to Leinster and Roscommon to Munster.

I agree with Canavan - in addition to relieving pressure from League Finals, his other big point though was that Finalists, or safe teams, often rest players in Rd 7 of the league, which allows their opponents to often get soft wins and possibly/unfairly send another/undeserving team down instead. Based on the latter, a 'first in the table' title would likely incentivise all teams to strive for victory and the relegated teams would be more deserving.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2664 - 21/03/2024 13:59:39    2532502

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Replying To omahant:  "That "balance the Provs" motion would send the likes of Carlow to Munster. Mine is more appetising - two of the strongest 4 in each Prov would transfer - e.g. Donegal to Connacht, Tyrone to Leinster and Roscommon to Munster.

I agree with Canavan - in addition to relieving pressure from League Finals, his other big point though was that Finalists, or safe teams, often rest players in Rd 7 of the league, which allows their opponents to often get soft wins and possibly/unfairly send another/undeserving team down instead. Based on the latter, a 'first in the table' title would likely incentivise all teams to strive for victory and the relegated teams would be more deserving."
If 40,000 people pay €25 to attend the league finals, that's €1M into the GAA coffers. Understandable that they aren't rushing to dispense with them. Unless the provincial councils agree to complete the provincial championships over 5 weekends, the league finals will have to go.
1. Leinster and Ulster preliminary round. Connacht and Munster quarter-finals.
2. Leinster and Ulster quarter-finals.
3. Connacht and Munster semi-finals.
4. Leinster and Ulster semi-finals.
5. All provincial finals.
This seems the best fit within 5 weekends. Granted Leinster and Ulster semi-finals would be a week before the finals but it allows for 2 weeks in a row with preliminary and quarter-finals, a week off, followed by semi-finals and final.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 21/03/2024 17:11:51    2532533

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Replying To omahant:  "That "balance the Provs" motion would send the likes of Carlow to Munster. Mine is more appetising - two of the strongest 4 in each Prov would transfer - e.g. Donegal to Connacht, Tyrone to Leinster and Roscommon to Munster.

I agree with Canavan - in addition to relieving pressure from League Finals, his other big point though was that Finalists, or safe teams, often rest players in Rd 7 of the league, which allows their opponents to often get soft wins and possibly/unfairly send another/undeserving team down instead. Based on the latter, a 'first in the table' title would likely incentivise all teams to strive for victory and the relegated teams would be more deserving."
Why does this make any sense.

If Donegal want to know where this stand relative to non-Ulster counties they have the National championship.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4256 - 21/03/2024 17:24:54    2532535

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Replying To legendzxix:  "If 40,000 people pay €25 to attend the league finals, that's €1M into the GAA coffers. Understandable that they aren't rushing to dispense with them. Unless the provincial councils agree to complete the provincial championships over 5 weekends, the league finals will have to go.
1. Leinster and Ulster preliminary round. Connacht and Munster quarter-finals.
2. Leinster and Ulster quarter-finals.
3. Connacht and Munster semi-finals.
4. Leinster and Ulster semi-finals.
5. All provincial finals.
This seems the best fit within 5 weekends. Granted Leinster and Ulster semi-finals would be a week before the finals but it allows for 2 weeks in a row with preliminary and quarter-finals, a week off, followed by semi-finals and final."
Your "league finals will have to go" - if you were given a binary choice, which would you choose?
1) league finals no more, or 2) have them double up, either as a Prov Champp or AIC group stage match?

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2664 - 21/03/2024 17:33:30    2532537

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Replying To Whammo86:  "Why does this make any sense.

If Donegal want to know where this stand relative to non-Ulster counties they have the National championship."
When I hear "move team X to another Province" I stop reading.
The Provinces are as they are. A Provincial Championship should be for all the Counties in that Province.

Their status, timing and structure is another matter.

Seanfanbocht (Roscommon) - Posts: 1496 - 21/03/2024 19:21:49    2532555

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