National Forum

Football Format Changes Discussion

(Oldest Posts First) - Go To The Latest Post


Replying To Seanfanbocht:  "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."
So what do you say to the fact that the Copa America (South America) and Gold Cup (North/Central America CONCACAF) soccer tournaments have "guest teams" on an 'ongoing basis'?

Are they violating a golden rule, or enhancing their competitions? - after all, most teams are still from their own region.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2664 - 21/03/2024 21:23:06    2532566

Link

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."
You don't have to like it.

Just a way of freshening up the provinces with the same various titles on the line - as opposed to these cross-province ties being like old-style Qualifiers (that went stale).

I think the Leinster SHC is better with Galway included - Leinster & Munster SFCs could benefit/ be spiced up with annual and variable 'invaders'.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2664 - 21/03/2024 21:39:38    2532569

Link

Replying To omahant:  "So what do you say to the fact that the Copa America (South America) and Gold Cup (North/Central America CONCACAF) soccer tournaments have "guest teams" on an 'ongoing basis'?

Are they violating a golden rule, or enhancing their competitions? - after all, most teams are still from their own region."
I couldn't give 2 proverbials what American Soccer stuff does.

Seanfanbocht (Roscommon) - Posts: 1496 - 22/03/2024 00:00:04    2532580

Link

Replying To omahant:  "You don't have to like it.

Just a way of freshening up the provinces with the same various titles on the line - as opposed to these cross-province ties being like old-style Qualifiers (that went stale).

I think the Leinster SHC is better with Galway included - Leinster & Munster SFCs could benefit/ be spiced up with annual and variable 'invaders'."
They aren't the same titles being on the line.

I'd have very mixed feelings about the LSHC. Yes it'd probably be a lot less exciting if Galway weren't in it but it has come at the cost of developing hurling in the emerging counties of Leinster and a big reason for it being as is comes from trying to protect the MSHC. Again I think a better solution would be to have an All Ireland based championship.

I think the narrow focus on trying to preserve or invigorate the Provinces isn't see the wood for the trees and misses a much more important bigger aim of getting the whole national championship into a better place.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4256 - 22/03/2024 10:38:28    2532618

Link

Replying To Seanfanbocht:  "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."
Couldn't agree more.

Something that I think could be a compromise.

Have them be played at the start of a season.

Have a Provincial champion get a place in the All Ireland.

Have a provincial runner up have a shot at a playoff place for the All Ireland.

The All Ireland championship should be 2 tiers of 2 groups of 8.

You'd have 16 teams preliminary qualified at the end of each season. 13 from tier 1, 3 from tier 2.

Depending on how the following season's provinces go you need play off matches to get the 16 plus finalists down to a final 16.

No team loses a place in the tier 1 because of results in another province without having a chance at playing themselves into the competition.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4256 - 22/03/2024 10:43:43    2532621

Link

Replying To omahant:  "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?"
No more league finals given that choice.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 22/03/2024 17:06:22    2532688

Link

Replying To Whammo86:  "Couldn't agree more.

Something that I think could be a compromise.

Have them be played at the start of a season.

Have a Provincial champion get a place in the All Ireland.

Have a provincial runner up have a shot at a playoff place for the All Ireland.

The All Ireland championship should be 2 tiers of 2 groups of 8.

You'd have 16 teams preliminary qualified at the end of each season. 13 from tier 1, 3 from tier 2.

Depending on how the following season's provinces go you need play off matches to get the 16 plus finalists down to a final 16.

No team loses a place in the tier 1 because of results in another province without having a chance at playing themselves into the competition."
If league finals are to remain and the provincial championships are more or less to remain as they are, using league seeding and playing off the provincial championships in 5 weeks seems to be the only way. If counties want a week off before provincial finals, the only option is:
-1. League finals.
0. Weekend off
1. Leinster and Ulster preliminary round. Munster and Connacht quarter-finals.
2. Leinster and Ulster quarter-finals.
3. All provincial semi-finals.
4. Weekend off
5. All provincial finals
6. Weekend off
7. Start of All-Ireland group stage. Job done! ;-)

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 22/03/2024 17:12:27    2532689

Link

From the Provincial championship thread:

Clare have missed out on promotion from Division 3. Clare will take on Tipperary or Waterford for a place in the Munster final. One of Clare, Tipperary or Waterford will qualify for the All-Ireland instead of a Division 3 finalist.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7752 - 24/03/2024 18:02:50 2533218

It really is a joke that we have a fair system for grading teams and then the unfair provincial system is overlaid on top of this such that our best guess is that Westmeath and Down are better than all of Tipp, Clare and Waterford but one of them will miss out on a place in the All Ireland because of results between the Munster contingent.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 4256 - 25/03/2024 15:02:54    2533611

Link

Replying To Whammo86:  "From the Provincial championship thread:

Clare have missed out on promotion from Division 3. Clare will take on Tipperary or Waterford for a place in the Munster final. One of Clare, Tipperary or Waterford will qualify for the All-Ireland instead of a Division 3 finalist.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7752 - 24/03/2024 18:02:50 2533218

It really is a joke that we have a fair system for grading teams and then the unfair provincial system is overlaid on top of this such that our best guess is that Westmeath and Down are better than all of Tipp, Clare and Waterford but one of them will miss out on a place in the All Ireland because of results between the Munster contingent."
It is bizarre. Counties don't seem too fussed though. Meath accepted their Tailteann Cup place, despite Sligo having an easy route to a Connacht final last year. I suppose Meath knew last year they needed a high league finish with Westmeath in Division 2 and the Connacht draw the way it was. When Clare beat Cork, Meath were out.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 26/03/2024 10:54:19    2533815

Link

Replying To legendzxix:  "It is bizarre. Counties don't seem too fussed though. Meath accepted their Tailteann Cup place, despite Sligo having an easy route to a Connacht final last year. I suppose Meath knew last year they needed a high league finish with Westmeath in Division 2 and the Connacht draw the way it was. When Clare beat Cork, Meath were out."
I think, just as bad maybe worse, is the integrity of league results WITHIN the same division - e.g. after six league rounds, when a team is a guaranteed Finalist, they may rest players in Rd 7, giving a "soft" win to their opponents, who my have needed the win to avoid relegation, and in so doing, sends another team "undeservedly" down instead.

Some commentators (e.g. Canavan) have suggested that disbanding league division finals could address this - but I suppose if some teams are only interested in survival, those teams could also go at "half throttle" in the later games after acquired enough round-robin points.

There is no easy remedy - raising the League's importance or its incorporation into the AIC might be the best solution.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2664 - 26/03/2024 18:22:30    2533961

Link

Replying To legendzxix:  "It is bizarre. Counties don't seem too fussed though. Meath accepted their Tailteann Cup place, despite Sligo having an easy route to a Connacht final last year. I suppose Meath knew last year they needed a high league finish with Westmeath in Division 2 and the Connacht draw the way it was. When Clare beat Cork, Meath were out."
There are distortions within each league division too - e.g. after Rd 6 of the league, if a team has already qualified for the Final, they will likely rest players on the last day, possibly giving their opponents a "soft win". This might result in the winning team avoiding relegation and sending another team 'undeservedly' down instead.

Some commentators have called for the elimination of Finals so the round robin would be better contested. I'm not sure about that as certain teams with three wins might ease up in later games if satisfied with avoiding the drop.

There is no easy remedy - the league needs greater importance, perhaps only achieved if more incorporated in the AIC.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2664 - 27/03/2024 13:18:11    2534085

Link

Replying To omahant:  "There are distortions within each league division too - e.g. after Rd 6 of the league, if a team has already qualified for the Final, they will likely rest players on the last day, possibly giving their opponents a "soft win". This might result in the winning team avoiding relegation and sending another team 'undeservedly' down instead.

Some commentators have called for the elimination of Finals so the round robin would be better contested. I'm not sure about that as certain teams with three wins might ease up in later games if satisfied with avoiding the drop.

There is no easy remedy - the league needs greater importance, perhaps only achieved if more incorporated in the AIC."
In the All-Ireland group stage they have tried to avoid dead rubbers by adding in the preliminary quarter-finals. As I've mentioned before, if they had flexibility in the scheduling for Rounds 2 and 3 to be determined by Round 1, the Round 1 winners should play in Round 3. The worst case scenario is two counties on 2 wins playing to win the group and direct route to the quarter-finals. The other Round 3 game in a worst case scenario is two counties looking for their first win for third a place in the preliminary quarter-finals.
If the likes of Leitrim want to retain a day out in Croke Park, one left field option is all counties to have 3 home league games. There could be one round where all counties play in Croke Park. Each Division could have a different Round that is in Croke Park.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 27/03/2024 18:02:57    2534155

Link

Replying To legendzxix:  "In the All-Ireland group stage they have tried to avoid dead rubbers by adding in the preliminary quarter-finals. As I've mentioned before, if they had flexibility in the scheduling for Rounds 2 and 3 to be determined by Round 1, the Round 1 winners should play in Round 3. The worst case scenario is two counties on 2 wins playing to win the group and direct route to the quarter-finals. The other Round 3 game in a worst case scenario is two counties looking for their first win for third a place in the preliminary quarter-finals.
If the likes of Leitrim want to retain a day out in Croke Park, one left field option is all counties to have 3 home league games. There could be one round where all counties play in Croke Park. Each Division could have a different Round that is in Croke Park."
That Croke Park outing would be 'only' a round robin league game, as opposed to teams' desire to have a "Big Day" out with a trophy on the line (League Division Finals).

I do like the flex AIC group schedule (should be doable).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2664 - 27/03/2024 22:28:08    2534199

Link

A tiered provincial championship still seems the only way to retain league finals and complete the provincial championships over 5 weekends, without teams playing on consecutive weekends.
That would entail limiting Ulster to 8, Leinster to 8, Munster to 4 and Connacht to 4.
The remaining 9 counties, including London and New York could compete in a Tier 2 Provincial Conference that qualifies the winner to their provincial championship in the following year.
9 counties in a tier 2 would require 1 preliminary round and then quarter-finals etc. London and New York could be guaranteed at least a home quarter-final in the Tier 2. Of the remaining 7 counties, whoever hasn't travelled to New York for the longest time can be paired with New York. Next, whoever hasn't travelled to London for the longest time can be paired with London. Of the remaining 5, the lowest 2 on league placing can start in the preliminary round. The tier 2 final could be played in Croke Park on the same day as the Leinster final.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 28/03/2024 11:50:05    2534272

Link

Replying To legendzxix:  "A tiered provincial championship still seems the only way to retain league finals and complete the provincial championships over 5 weekends, without teams playing on consecutive weekends.
That would entail limiting Ulster to 8, Leinster to 8, Munster to 4 and Connacht to 4.
The remaining 9 counties, including London and New York could compete in a Tier 2 Provincial Conference that qualifies the winner to their provincial championship in the following year.
9 counties in a tier 2 would require 1 preliminary round and then quarter-finals etc. London and New York could be guaranteed at least a home quarter-final in the Tier 2. Of the remaining 7 counties, whoever hasn't travelled to New York for the longest time can be paired with New York. Next, whoever hasn't travelled to London for the longest time can be paired with London. Of the remaining 5, the lowest 2 on league placing can start in the preliminary round. The tier 2 final could be played in Croke Park on the same day as the Leinster final."
Well, you certainly have many ideas that would be better than the status quo.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2664 - 28/03/2024 13:56:15    2534307

Link

Connacht Council CEO John Prenty has had his say on the Football Format Changes Discussion:
• The NFL Division 3 winners should be guaranteed a place in the All-Ireland series.
• He has hinted that tweaks to the new SFC structure, now in year two, will be made when it comes up for review.
• Another change he has previously touted is direct access to the SFC quarter-finals for provincial champions.
• There has to be a benefit to winning your provincial championship.
• When people look at it after this year, there is a better chance of getting support than when I said it last year. It (the structure) is going to be tweaked anyway after a three-year cycle.
Provincial champions going direct to the quarter-finals seems extreme. My own suggestion is provincial champions hosting a group stage with 3 home games and all others getting 1 home game. Galway lost to Tipperary a few years ago in the All-Ireland quarter-finals. Not long after the Super 8s came in, provincial champions were to be guaranteed at least 3 games so that they weren't knocked out after one defeat.
Years ago Mickey Harte and myself both agreed under the old qualifier format that there should have been a Champions Round. The winners going forward to the All-Ireland semi-finals. The losers of the Champions Round taking on 2 qualifiers in the quarter-finals.
If John Prenty's call for provincial winners going directly to the quarter-finals gains traction, I would suggest the Champions Round coming back on the table.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 28/03/2024 20:40:35    2534377

Link

..."Provincial champions going direct to the quarter-finals seems extreme"....

I agree. One idea I had was each Prov Final could be placed in a different Tier 1 AIC group (4x4). Then, the Champs would earn two points and be on their way towards the AI QFs, but would still need to perform in the other two games.

I didn't like the Harte idea - it would retain the Prov imbalance and take five qualifying rounds before the two QFs.

The best return to a "revised" Qualifier system came from Whammo:
Rd 1: 16 lowest league-ranked "non-Prov Finalists".
Rd 2: 8 next lowest-ranked "non-Prov Champs" versus 8 Rd 1 winners.
Rd 3: Is the "Rd of 16" with the remaining 8 teams versus 8 Rd 2 winners.
QFs, SFs & Final.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2664 - 28/03/2024 22:00:45    2534393

Link

Replying To omahant:  "..."Provincial champions going direct to the quarter-finals seems extreme"....

I agree. One idea I had was each Prov Final could be placed in a different Tier 1 AIC group (4x4). Then, the Champs would earn two points and be on their way towards the AI QFs, but would still need to perform in the other two games.

I didn't like the Harte idea - it would retain the Prov imbalance and take five qualifying rounds before the two QFs.

The best return to a "revised" Qualifier system came from Whammo:
Rd 1: 16 lowest league-ranked "non-Prov Finalists".
Rd 2: 8 next lowest-ranked "non-Prov Champs" versus 8 Rd 1 winners.
Rd 3: Is the "Rd of 16" with the remaining 8 teams versus 8 Rd 2 winners.
QFs, SFs & Final."
The GAA's original intention with the Tailteann Cup was that it would be a double elimination format. It wouldn't surprise me if they gave that re-consideration.
With the congested football fixtures, one option in football is a Round of 16 over two legs. Provincial winners away in the first leg to the 4 lowest league qualifiers and then at home in the second leg. Provincial runners-up away in the first leg to the 4 highest league qualifiers and then at home in the second leg.
ROUND OF 16 FIRST LEGS USING LAST YEAR'S CHAMPIONSHIP
Kildare v Derry
Donegal v Dublin
Cork v Kerry
Westmeath v Galway
----------------------------------
Roscommon v Clare
Monaghan v Sligo
Mayo v Louth
Tyrone v Armagh
ROUND OF 16 SECOND LEGS
Derry v Kildare
Dublin v Donegal
Kerry v Cork
Galway v Westmeath
----------------------------------
Clare v Roscommon
Sligo v Monaghan
Louth v Mayo
Armagh v Tyrone
QUARTER-FINALS
Derry v Roscommon
Dublin v Monaghan
Kerry v Mayo
Galway v Armagh
SEMI-FINALS
Armagh v Kerry
Dublin v Derry
The above Round of 16 drawn as quadrants of 4 to ensure there isn't a repeat of provincial rounds. Dublin and Kildare for example would have to be in a different quadrant, where possible. Derry and Monaghan would also have to be in a different quadrant. The old fashioned provincial champions semi-final pairings could be returned where the one team coming through each quadrant is paired in the semi-finals based on the provincial champions All-Ireland semi-final pairing rotation, e.g. 2023 would have been Connacht champions v Munster champions and Leinster champions v Ulster champions.
Quadrant 1: Kerry, Louth, Mayo, Cork
Quadrant 2: Galway, Armagh, Tyrone, Westmeath
Quadrant 3: *Dublin, Sligo, ^Monaghan, Donegal
Quadrant 4: ^Derry, Clare, Roscommon, *Kildare
* Dublin and Kildare in different quadrants, where possible.
^ Derry and Monaghan in different quadrants, where possible.
The Round of 16 over two legs makes room for the provincial championships to be completed in the current 6 weekend timeframe, with a weekend off after the league finals.
3/31 League finals
4/7
4/14 Provincial championships weekend 1
4/21 Provincial championships weekend 2
4/28 Connacht and Munster semi-finals
5/5 Leinster and Ulster semi-finals
5/12 Connacht and Munster finals.
5/19 Leinster and Ulster finals.
5/26
6/2 All-Ireland Round of 16 - First legs
6/9
6/16 All-Ireland Round of 16 - Second legs
6/23
6/30 All-Ireland quarter-finals
7/7
7/14 All-Ireland semi-finals
7/21
7/28 All-Ireland finals.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7943 - 29/03/2024 08:14:14    2534411

Link

Replying To legendzxix:  "The GAA's original intention with the Tailteann Cup was that it would be a double elimination format. It wouldn't surprise me if they gave that re-consideration.
With the congested football fixtures, one option in football is a Round of 16 over two legs. Provincial winners away in the first leg to the 4 lowest league qualifiers and then at home in the second leg. Provincial runners-up away in the first leg to the 4 highest league qualifiers and then at home in the second leg.
ROUND OF 16 FIRST LEGS USING LAST YEAR'S CHAMPIONSHIP
Kildare v Derry
Donegal v Dublin
Cork v Kerry
Westmeath v Galway
----------------------------------
Roscommon v Clare
Monaghan v Sligo
Mayo v Louth
Tyrone v Armagh
ROUND OF 16 SECOND LEGS
Derry v Kildare
Dublin v Donegal
Kerry v Cork
Galway v Westmeath
----------------------------------
Clare v Roscommon
Sligo v Monaghan
Louth v Mayo
Armagh v Tyrone
QUARTER-FINALS
Derry v Roscommon
Dublin v Monaghan
Kerry v Mayo
Galway v Armagh
SEMI-FINALS
Armagh v Kerry
Dublin v Derry
The above Round of 16 drawn as quadrants of 4 to ensure there isn't a repeat of provincial rounds. Dublin and Kildare for example would have to be in a different quadrant, where possible. Derry and Monaghan would also have to be in a different quadrant. The old fashioned provincial champions semi-final pairings could be returned where the one team coming through each quadrant is paired in the semi-finals based on the provincial champions All-Ireland semi-final pairing rotation, e.g. 2023 would have been Connacht champions v Munster champions and Leinster champions v Ulster champions.
Quadrant 1: Kerry, Louth, Mayo, Cork
Quadrant 2: Galway, Armagh, Tyrone, Westmeath
Quadrant 3: *Dublin, Sligo, ^Monaghan, Donegal
Quadrant 4: ^Derry, Clare, Roscommon, *Kildare
* Dublin and Kildare in different quadrants, where possible.
^ Derry and Monaghan in different quadrants, where possible.
The Round of 16 over two legs makes room for the provincial championships to be completed in the current 6 weekend timeframe, with a weekend off after the league finals.
3/31 League finals
4/7
4/14 Provincial championships weekend 1
4/21 Provincial championships weekend 2
4/28 Connacht and Munster semi-finals
5/5 Leinster and Ulster semi-finals
5/12 Connacht and Munster finals.
5/19 Leinster and Ulster finals.
5/26
6/2 All-Ireland Round of 16 - First legs
6/9
6/16 All-Ireland Round of 16 - Second legs
6/23
6/30 All-Ireland quarter-finals
7/7
7/14 All-Ireland semi-finals
7/21
7/28 All-Ireland finals."
You'd be hoping for no 1st leg blowouts there. You could negate this by not counting aggregate scores, I suppose - if each team wins one game, regardless of margin, this could lead to extra time after the 2nd leg.
Separately, I "hate" penalty shoot outs - I'd prefer "golden score" extra time - a two-point lead wins it (goal would always be sudden).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2664 - 29/03/2024 21:30:26    2534524

Link

The format as it is is very confusing for a lot of people. I also think it is very unfair that Clare have to win one game to leave themselves guaranteed Sam Maguire football. That is grossly unfair on those who finished ahead of them in the League who both face two games to secure a place in the Championship- two games in a tougher provincial as well.

I also don't like the seedings nor the idea of trying to avoid repeat pairings. The third place into a preliminary round is also so convoluted although the intentions are good to prevent dead rubbers. There must be a simpler way of doing this.

Top 16 in the league qualify for Sam Maguire (Top 15 if Tailteann Cup winners are outside of that). Keep the league finals.

Provincial Championships- winners qualify automatically for Sam Maguire

No seedings in Championship. Open draw. Four groups of four. Top two teams go through to the last eight. That opens up the chance of a group of death and the possibility of some big hitters exiting. Then open draw in the knockout rounds. Anyone can draw anyone.

Tailteann Cup- same format. Open draw. 4 groups of 4. Top two go through. Open draw in knockouts. Winner qualifies for following years Sam.

Jazzyjeff (Derry) - Posts: 174 - 29/03/2024 21:46:15    2534529

Link