National Forum

Two Tier Competition

(Oldest Posts First) - Go To The Latest Post

Replying To neverright:  "If you were to have a two tier system I suggest you do it in the following way:
Take the top four counties (in truth the only counties likely to win an All-Ireland in the foreseeable future) and have them play some kind of super cup competition, on a league basis among themselves. If this league was attractive enough it might generate enough money to pay the players.

All other counties play for the All-Ireland with an open draw. (Retaining the Provincial c'ships is possible within this set-up but would raise familiar problems. )"
I think my idea is a variation of yours -
Keep existing AI two-stream structure - just simply extend Front Door stream by '1 RD' and Qual 1st rd by '1 MATCH'.
How ? Each existing 1st rd Qual PAIRING draws a Prov SF loser in 8 groups of 3.
Top 2 from each joins 4 Prov Final losers in 20-team KO Rd 2.
10 winners join 2 Prov Champs Playoff Rd losers in 12-team KO Rd 3.
6 rd 3 winners join 2 unbeaten Prov Champs in AI KO QFs.
So you have a 'Super 4' going head to head, and a 24-team Qual Rd 1 that neutralises the Prov imbalance that could remain in place.

omahant (USA) - 11/11/2017 02:30:12    2061690

Link

I think it's more straightforward change to implement a Top 16 as an expansion of the Super 8. The provincial championships can remain. 8 provincial finalists and 8 qualifier counties can enter 4 groups of 4.

Teams outside the Top 16 can enter a second championship with the winner guaranteed a Top 16 spot in the following year.

Every team will continue to start out in their provincial championship. Those not making their provincial final will have an opportunity via two qualifying rounds.

The second championship could be optional. In time teams will be less likely to decline a second championship when they see other counties earning a Top 16 spot by winning the second tier in the preceding year. The second championship will just need time to be established.

The Leinster hurling qualifier group was given a few years and has become established. Now it it a competition on its own with the finalists guaranteed a preliminary quarter-final spot. Sometimes things need time!

legendzxix (Kerry) - 11/11/2017 18:09:38    2061737

Link

Fair enough Top 16 Other 16 - but I just don't like 4 Muns Conn SF byes with guarantee of 2nd Qual Rd, while 12 Lein Uls team have to engage 1st Qual Rd first. Maybe somehow the 24 non Prov Finalists could play 8 groups of 3 for 8 places in the 4x4 Super 16.

omahant (USA) - 12/11/2017 04:35:43    2061768

Link

Replying To omahant:  "Fair enough Top 16 Other 16 - but I just don't like 4 Muns Conn SF byes with guarantee of 2nd Qual Rd, while 12 Lein Uls team have to engage 1st Qual Rd first. Maybe somehow the 24 non Prov Finalists could play 8 groups of 3 for 8 places in the 4x4 Super 16."
I don't like the situation that would happen this year where Roscommon can qualify by simply beating Leitrim.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 12/11/2017 10:10:42    2061775

Link

Replying To omahant:  "Fair enough Top 16 Other 16 - but I just don't like 4 Muns Conn SF byes with guarantee of 2nd Qual Rd, while 12 Lein Uls team have to engage 1st Qual Rd first. Maybe somehow the 24 non Prov Finalists could play 8 groups of 3 for 8 places in the 4x4 Super 16."
I do not like 4 Munster and Connaught SF byes with guarantee of Qualifier Round 2 either, when 12 Leinster and Ulster counties have to engage Qualifier Round 1. I would rank the 24 non-provincial finalists by number of provincial championship games won and league placing using the below as an example from this year:

Bye to Qualifier Round 2:
01. Monaghan 2, 4 (2 provincial championship wins, ranked 4 of 32 in the league.)
02. Donegal 1, 3 (1 provincial championship win, ranked 3 of 32 in the league.)
03. Mayo 1, 5
04. Meath 1, 11
05. Clare 1, 13
06. Louth 1, 15
07. Sligo 1, 20
08. Westmeath 1, 23
Qualfier Round 1:
09. Laois 1, 26 (1 provincial championship win, ranked 26 of 32 in the league.)
10. Carlow 1, 27
11. Leitrim 1, 29
12. Cavan 0, 9 (0 provincial championship win, ranked 9 of 32 in the league.)
13. Tipperary 0, 16
14. Derry 0, 17
15. Fermanagh 0, 18
16. Armagh 0, 19
17. Offaly 0, 21
18. Longford 0, 22
19. Wexford 0, 24
20. Antrim 0, 25
21. Limerick 0, 28
22. Waterford 0, 30
23. Wicklow 0, 31
24. London 0, 32

The top 8 ranked teams should receive the bye to Qualifier Round 2. On this list above, Tipperary who received a bye to the Munster semi-finals and lost have to enter Qualifier Round 1.

I have suggested the Top 16 in the second year onwards should consist of the All-Ireland champions, Championship 2 winners and 8 provincial finalists. Depending on whether the All-Ireland champions and Championship 2 winners make the provincial finals, by the provincial final stage, 8, 9 or 10 of the 16 places will be allocated at that stage.

When 8 places are available through the qualifiers (All-Ireland winner and Championship 2 winner have made a provincial final):
16 teams will start out in Round 1.
8 teams should receive a bye to Round 2. (8 Round 1 winners and 8 byes equates to 16 teams in Round 2)
8 Round 2 winners will qualify for the Top 16.

When 7 places are available through the qualifiers (All-Ireland winner or Championship 2 winner have made a provincial final):
18 teams will start out in Round 1.
5 teams should receive a bye to Round 2. (9 Round 1 winners and 5 byes equates to 14 teams in Round 2)
7 Round 2 winners will qualify for the Top 16.

When 6 places are available through the qualifiers (All-Ireland winner and Championship 2 winner have not made a provincial final):
20 teams will start out in Round 1.
2 teams should receive a bye to Round 2. (10 Round 1 winners and 2 byes equates to 12 teams in Round 2)
6 Round 2 winners will qualify for the Top 16.

legendzxix (Kerry) - 12/11/2017 14:53:16    2061804

Link

Replying To Whammo86:  "I don't like the situation that would happen this year where Roscommon can qualify by simply beating Leitrim."
Absolutely - that's the ultimate example for the broken system - conversely Tyrone needs three wins in 2018 to get to the Uls Final and need two straight wins to avoid a 1st Rd Qual. My 2+6 idea retains these imbalances as well to get two teams thru the Front Door, but I feel the Rd of 20 (2nd rd Qual) is a real field leveller.

omahant (USA) - 12/11/2017 15:28:22    2061810

Link

Replying To omahant:  "Absolutely - that's the ultimate example for the broken system - conversely Tyrone needs three wins in 2018 to get to the Uls Final and need two straight wins to avoid a 1st Rd Qual. My 2+6 idea retains these imbalances as well to get two teams thru the Front Door, but I feel the Rd of 20 (2nd rd Qual) is a real field leveller."
We've had a lot of these discussions.

If we're to keep the Provincial championships but make the competition fair and to offer teams more games I think the Shara style tournament would work.

Round 1: Preliminary rounds for Leinster and Ulster (4 ties). 24 other teams play in 12 Interprovincial ties.

Round 2: Provincial quarterfinals (12 ties). 8 other teams play in 4 Interprovincial ties.

Round 3: Provincial semifinals (8 ties). 16 other teams play in 8 Interprovincial ties. (A round of matches very similar to the current qualifiers round 1)

After round 3: Eliminate 12 teams. So we have 8 Provincial finalists plus 12 best other teams.

Round 4: Provincial finals (4 ties). 12 other teams play in 6 ties.

After round 4: Eliminate 8 more teams. Leave 4 Provincial champions and 8 other teams.

Round 5 Knockout stage 1: 4 teams receive byes to the quarterfinals, not necessarily Provincial champions, for instance if the likes of Roscommon won Connacht but had lost an Interprovincial tie in round 1 or 2 they might drop out of the top 4. 8 remaining teams play off for a quarterfinal place.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 12/11/2017 16:10:25    2061827

Link

Ulster provincial semi-finalists should at the very least be guaranteed a bye from the preliminary round of the following year. By all means have an open draw at the quarter-final stage if they so wish. Ulster can vote for that. It's up to all Ulster counties and their provincial council to sort that out. Either put up or shut up going on about it.

legendzxix (Kerry) - 12/11/2017 16:33:19    2061834

Link

Replying To Whammo86:  "We've had a lot of these discussions.

If we're to keep the Provincial championships but make the competition fair and to offer teams more games I think the Shara style tournament would work.

Round 1: Preliminary rounds for Leinster and Ulster (4 ties). 24 other teams play in 12 Interprovincial ties.

Round 2: Provincial quarterfinals (12 ties). 8 other teams play in 4 Interprovincial ties.

Round 3: Provincial semifinals (8 ties). 16 other teams play in 8 Interprovincial ties. (A round of matches very similar to the current qualifiers round 1)

After round 3: Eliminate 12 teams. So we have 8 Provincial finalists plus 12 best other teams.

Round 4: Provincial finals (4 ties). 12 other teams play in 6 ties.

After round 4: Eliminate 8 more teams. Leave 4 Provincial champions and 8 other teams.

Round 5 Knockout stage 1: 4 teams receive byes to the quarterfinals, not necessarily Provincial champions, for instance if the likes of Roscommon won Connacht but had lost an Interprovincial tie in round 1 or 2 they might drop out of the top 4. 8 remaining teams play off for a quarterfinal place."
I like that.

omahant (USA) - 12/11/2017 16:35:45    2061836

Link

Replying To legendzxix:  "Ulster provincial semi-finalists should at the very least be guaranteed a bye from the preliminary round of the following year. By all means have an open draw at the quarter-final stage if they so wish. Ulster can vote for that. It's up to all Ulster counties and their provincial council to sort that out. Either put up or shut up going on about it."
That doesn't fix the problem where Connacht teams can get to a Provincial final by winning a game against London or Leitrim.

This is where the biggest inequality lies.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 12/11/2017 16:36:29    2061837

Link

Replying To omahant:  "I like that."
I think it's fair. Every team pretty much starts off on an even footing. It's also quite close to the GPA's suggestion of 8 groups of 4 moving on to a last 24. Teams get 3 games with few dead rubbers.

It's simple. It's easily organised where the weekends that a team plays can be predetermined at the start of the season.

It means that there's no advantage to Provincial councils giving teams byes in their championship. Maybe they would then just be removed and you could get more cracking ties throughout the championship.

8 rounds it can be played off in as little as 15 weeks.

The hurling can be played in a similar format without Galway or Antrim needing to play in Leinster, Kerry can also play in Munster. You can have a top 16 in hurling, moving on to top 10 and top 6.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 12/11/2017 17:21:42    2061853

Link

Replying To legendzxix:  "I do not like 4 Munster and Connaught SF byes with guarantee of Qualifier Round 2 either, when 12 Leinster and Ulster counties have to engage Qualifier Round 1. I would rank the 24 non-provincial finalists by number of provincial championship games won and league placing using the below as an example from this year:

Bye to Qualifier Round 2:
01. Monaghan 2, 4 (2 provincial championship wins, ranked 4 of 32 in the league.)
02. Donegal 1, 3 (1 provincial championship win, ranked 3 of 32 in the league.)
03. Mayo 1, 5
04. Meath 1, 11
05. Clare 1, 13
06. Louth 1, 15
07. Sligo 1, 20
08. Westmeath 1, 23
Qualfier Round 1:
09. Laois 1, 26 (1 provincial championship win, ranked 26 of 32 in the league.)
10. Carlow 1, 27
11. Leitrim 1, 29
12. Cavan 0, 9 (0 provincial championship win, ranked 9 of 32 in the league.)
13. Tipperary 0, 16
14. Derry 0, 17
15. Fermanagh 0, 18
16. Armagh 0, 19
17. Offaly 0, 21
18. Longford 0, 22
19. Wexford 0, 24
20. Antrim 0, 25
21. Limerick 0, 28
22. Waterford 0, 30
23. Wicklow 0, 31
24. London 0, 32

The top 8 ranked teams should receive the bye to Qualifier Round 2. On this list above, Tipperary who received a bye to the Munster semi-finals and lost have to enter Qualifier Round 1.

I have suggested the Top 16 in the second year onwards should consist of the All-Ireland champions, Championship 2 winners and 8 provincial finalists. Depending on whether the All-Ireland champions and Championship 2 winners make the provincial finals, by the provincial final stage, 8, 9 or 10 of the 16 places will be allocated at that stage.

When 8 places are available through the qualifiers (All-Ireland winner and Championship 2 winner have made a provincial final):
16 teams will start out in Round 1.
8 teams should receive a bye to Round 2. (8 Round 1 winners and 8 byes equates to 16 teams in Round 2)
8 Round 2 winners will qualify for the Top 16.

When 7 places are available through the qualifiers (All-Ireland winner or Championship 2 winner have made a provincial final):
18 teams will start out in Round 1.
5 teams should receive a bye to Round 2. (9 Round 1 winners and 5 byes equates to 14 teams in Round 2)
7 Round 2 winners will qualify for the Top 16.

When 6 places are available through the qualifiers (All-Ireland winner and Championship 2 winner have not made a provincial final):
20 teams will start out in Round 1.
2 teams should receive a bye to Round 2. (10 Round 1 winners and 2 byes equates to 12 teams in Round 2)
6 Round 2 winners will qualify for the Top 16."
oh sweet lord!

mayotyroneman (Tyrone) - 12/11/2017 17:54:50    2061870

Link

Replying To mayotyroneman:  "
Replying To legendzxix:  "I do not like 4 Munster and Connaught SF byes with guarantee of Qualifier Round 2 either, when 12 Leinster and Ulster counties have to engage Qualifier Round 1. I would rank the 24 non-provincial finalists by number of provincial championship games won and league placing using the below as an example from this year:

Bye to Qualifier Round 2:
01. Monaghan 2, 4 (2 provincial championship wins, ranked 4 of 32 in the league.)
02. Donegal 1, 3 (1 provincial championship win, ranked 3 of 32 in the league.)
03. Mayo 1, 5
04. Meath 1, 11
05. Clare 1, 13
06. Louth 1, 15
07. Sligo 1, 20
08. Westmeath 1, 23
Qualfier Round 1:
09. Laois 1, 26 (1 provincial championship win, ranked 26 of 32 in the league.)
10. Carlow 1, 27
11. Leitrim 1, 29
12. Cavan 0, 9 (0 provincial championship win, ranked 9 of 32 in the league.)
13. Tipperary 0, 16
14. Derry 0, 17
15. Fermanagh 0, 18
16. Armagh 0, 19
17. Offaly 0, 21
18. Longford 0, 22
19. Wexford 0, 24
20. Antrim 0, 25
21. Limerick 0, 28
22. Waterford 0, 30
23. Wicklow 0, 31
24. London 0, 32

The top 8 ranked teams should receive the bye to Qualifier Round 2. On this list above, Tipperary who received a bye to the Munster semi-finals and lost have to enter Qualifier Round 1.

I have suggested the Top 16 in the second year onwards should consist of the All-Ireland champions, Championship 2 winners and 8 provincial finalists. Depending on whether the All-Ireland champions and Championship 2 winners make the provincial finals, by the provincial final stage, 8, 9 or 10 of the 16 places will be allocated at that stage.

When 8 places are available through the qualifiers (All-Ireland winner and Championship 2 winner have made a provincial final):
16 teams will start out in Round 1.
8 teams should receive a bye to Round 2. (8 Round 1 winners and 8 byes equates to 16 teams in Round 2)
8 Round 2 winners will qualify for the Top 16.

When 7 places are available through the qualifiers (All-Ireland winner or Championship 2 winner have made a provincial final):
18 teams will start out in Round 1.
5 teams should receive a bye to Round 2. (9 Round 1 winners and 5 byes equates to 14 teams in Round 2)
7 Round 2 winners will qualify for the Top 16.

When 6 places are available through the qualifiers (All-Ireland winner and Championship 2 winner have not made a provincial final):
20 teams will start out in Round 1.
2 teams should receive a bye to Round 2. (10 Round 1 winners and 2 byes equates to 12 teams in Round 2)
6 Round 2 winners will qualify for the Top 16."
oh sweet lord!"
Ah cool the jets! It's a very straightforward calculation for ranking 24 non-provincial finalists.

legendzxix (Kerry) - 12/11/2017 18:57:23    2061886

Link

Replying To Whammo86:  "I think it's fair. Every team pretty much starts off on an even footing. It's also quite close to the GPA's suggestion of 8 groups of 4 moving on to a last 24. Teams get 3 games with few dead rubbers.

It's simple. It's easily organised where the weekends that a team plays can be predetermined at the start of the season.

It means that there's no advantage to Provincial councils giving teams byes in their championship. Maybe they would then just be removed and you could get more cracking ties throughout the championship.

8 rounds it can be played off in as little as 15 weeks.

The hurling can be played in a similar format without Galway or Antrim needing to play in Leinster, Kerry can also play in Munster. You can have a top 16 in hurling, moving on to top 10 and top 6."
A negative here though - again, Rosc gets an advantage as bye team beating Leit or Lond only in Conn SF after losses in BOTH interprov matches. Without designation as a Prov Finalist, they might not have made your Cut of 20. Instead, maybe have all teams with one win from three matches qualify for potential AI Rd of 32 (this means there is no third-match dead rubber). In reality, certain teams will go out with three losses, giving those with three wins byes to the Rd of 16. Non-bye teams with two wins could be seeded over those with one win.
In my 8 groups of 3, 2nd placed are most likely to advance to AI Last 24 with a group win and loss after a Prov loss as well. This might be neater to achieve something similar.

omahant (USA) - 12/11/2017 22:30:32    2061959

Link

Replying To legendzxix:  "
Replying To mayotyroneman:  "[quote=legendzxix:  "I do not like 4 Munster and Connaught SF byes with guarantee of Qualifier Round 2 either, when 12 Leinster and Ulster counties have to engage Qualifier Round 1. I would rank the 24 non-provincial finalists by number of provincial championship games won and league placing using the below as an example from this year:

Bye to Qualifier Round 2:
01. Monaghan 2, 4 (2 provincial championship wins, ranked 4 of 32 in the league.)
02. Donegal 1, 3 (1 provincial championship win, ranked 3 of 32 in the league.)
03. Mayo 1, 5
04. Meath 1, 11
05. Clare 1, 13
06. Louth 1, 15
07. Sligo 1, 20
08. Westmeath 1, 23
Qualfier Round 1:
09. Laois 1, 26 (1 provincial championship win, ranked 26 of 32 in the league.)
10. Carlow 1, 27
11. Leitrim 1, 29
12. Cavan 0, 9 (0 provincial championship win, ranked 9 of 32 in the league.)
13. Tipperary 0, 16
14. Derry 0, 17
15. Fermanagh 0, 18
16. Armagh 0, 19
17. Offaly 0, 21
18. Longford 0, 22
19. Wexford 0, 24
20. Antrim 0, 25
21. Limerick 0, 28
22. Waterford 0, 30
23. Wicklow 0, 31
24. London 0, 32

The top 8 ranked teams should receive the bye to Qualifier Round 2. On this list above, Tipperary who received a bye to the Munster semi-finals and lost have to enter Qualifier Round 1.

I have suggested the Top 16 in the second year onwards should consist of the All-Ireland champions, Championship 2 winners and 8 provincial finalists. Depending on whether the All-Ireland champions and Championship 2 winners make the provincial finals, by the provincial final stage, 8, 9 or 10 of the 16 places will be allocated at that stage.

When 8 places are available through the qualifiers (All-Ireland winner and Championship 2 winner have made a provincial final):
16 teams will start out in Round 1.
8 teams should receive a bye to Round 2. (8 Round 1 winners and 8 byes equates to 16 teams in Round 2)
8 Round 2 winners will qualify for the Top 16.

When 7 places are available through the qualifiers (All-Ireland winner or Championship 2 winner have made a provincial final):
18 teams will start out in Round 1.
5 teams should receive a bye to Round 2. (9 Round 1 winners and 5 byes equates to 14 teams in Round 2)
7 Round 2 winners will qualify for the Top 16.

When 6 places are available through the qualifiers (All-Ireland winner and Championship 2 winner have not made a provincial final):
20 teams will start out in Round 1.
2 teams should receive a bye to Round 2. (10 Round 1 winners and 2 byes equates to 12 teams in Round 2)
6 Round 2 winners will qualify for the Top 16."
oh sweet lord!"
Ah cool the jets! It's a very straightforward calculation for ranking 24 non-provincial finalists."]Why not just have all initial 24 play two group matches before your KO Rds of 20 and 12.
Then you have my idea :)

omahant (USA) - 13/11/2017 03:13:51    2061982

Link

Replying To omahant:  "A negative here though - again, Rosc gets an advantage as bye team beating Leit or Lond only in Conn SF after losses in BOTH interprov matches. Without designation as a Prov Finalist, they might not have made your Cut of 20. Instead, maybe have all teams with one win from three matches qualify for potential AI Rd of 32 (this means there is no third-match dead rubber). In reality, certain teams will go out with three losses, giving those with three wins byes to the Rd of 16. Non-bye teams with two wins could be seeded over those with one win.
In my 8 groups of 3, 2nd placed are most likely to advance to AI Last 24 with a group win and loss after a Prov loss as well. This might be neater to achieve something similar."
I think it's worth that slight unfairness to allow regularity to the fixtures. You've removed probably 95% of the unfairness.

It retains prestige to the Provincial championship.

In that instance Roscommon will need to win the Provincial final to not be eliminated. So it's not the case that they're reaching the last 20 on an equal footing. Overall I think it's fine.

It means you can have teams know in advance of the season which weekends they'll be playing on for the first 3 rounds. Something similar to the A and B side of the draw. Play these matches over 6 weekends.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 13/11/2017 06:19:58    2061983

Link

I think we all have a fair idea of which level most counties are at? i.e. Mayo will be contesting for Sam next year. I'd rank Westmeath somewhere in the bottom half etc etc

Why are people obsessed with proposing a competition structure which each years tries to establish top 8/16 when we already have a fair idea of who they are?

Ban (Westmeath) - 13/11/2017 13:36:20    2062072

Link

Replying To Ban:  "I think we all have a fair idea of which level most counties are at? i.e. Mayo will be contesting for Sam next year. I'd rank Westmeath somewhere in the bottom half etc etc

Why are people obsessed with proposing a competition structure which each years tries to establish top 8/16 when we already have a fair idea of who they are?"
I think it's more about giving guys, who are putting so many hours into training, a proper season.

Meaningful games in better playing conditions.

Also calls to restructure are to do with the imbalance between the Provinces both in terms of quality and quantity of teams.

Then you've got armchair fans who complain about 1 sided matches. These guys completely forgot that there's always going to be 1 sided matches.

Donegal Galway, Dublin Monaghan, Dublin Tyrone, Mayo Roscommon, Cork Kerry, Meath Kildare, Tyrone Donegal, Galway Kerry are all fixtures that'd be played in a 16 team top tier competition. Some of them would be top 8 matches. They all produced blow out results.

You can achieve a lot by simply moving the league to April/May followed by an All Ireland championship series in June, July and August.

I dislike the qualifiers simply because they complicate the fixtures problem. County teams don't have set weekends that they'll be playing. It's hard to plan club fixtures around that. A tiered league system would improve scheduling.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 13/11/2017 15:10:41    2062101

Link

Replying To Whammo86:  "I think it's more about giving guys, who are putting so many hours into training, a proper season.

Meaningful games in better playing conditions.

Also calls to restructure are to do with the imbalance between the Provinces both in terms of quality and quantity of teams.

Then you've got armchair fans who complain about 1 sided matches. These guys completely forgot that there's always going to be 1 sided matches.

Donegal Galway, Dublin Monaghan, Dublin Tyrone, Mayo Roscommon, Cork Kerry, Meath Kildare, Tyrone Donegal, Galway Kerry are all fixtures that'd be played in a 16 team top tier competition. Some of them would be top 8 matches. They all produced blow out results.

You can achieve a lot by simply moving the league to April/May followed by an All Ireland championship series in June, July and August.

I dislike the qualifiers simply because they complicate the fixtures problem. County teams don't have set weekends that they'll be playing. It's hard to plan club fixtures around that. A tiered league system would improve scheduling."
Maybe my comment was unclear but I agree with most of what you say.

Ban (Westmeath) - 13/11/2017 15:22:51    2062105

Link

I can't believe this conversation is raging on. The Super 8 is only a start. Duffy mentioned they might have to look at tiers. There's no appetite to end provincial championships.

I think I've outlined a reasonable solution for a Top 16. All counties get two bites at the cherry of qualifying. Teams in the second championship have the carrot of a top tier championship placing in the following year. The second championship can be either group stage or straight knockout depending on common and majority agreement.

legendzxix (Kerry) - 13/11/2017 18:37:28    2062142

Link