National Forum

Two Tier Competition

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For greater 'common games' between div teams - 12-match schedule includes 3 matches against div opponents, 1 match against the same ranked team in the other region/same div, and 8 matches against two other divs in own region.

omahant (USA) - 30/11/2017 05:21:50    2064072

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Something that'd be quite simple but exciting and structured would be just 2 divisions of 16.

Top of division 1 straight into the semifinals, 2nd to 6th into 3 quarterfinals along with the top of division 2.

2nd to 4th get home advantage. In the quarterfinals with a draw to decide which team plays which. 2nd place is kept apart from 1st place for the semifinal draw.

Have relegation playoffs.

15th and 16th of division 1 straight down

13th and 14th of division 1 into relegation playoff.

Top 3 in division 2 automatically promoted.

4th to 7th into promotion playoffs.

6 team promotion playoff tournament to decide which team is in division 1 the following season.

18 week season. Can be planned around from the start.

Can be played March to July regular season. August for playoffs.

7 weekends can be set aside for club games with county players available during that time. Different teams will get different weekends off, but a county's hurling games will be played the same weekends as it's football.

The hurling should be 3 tiered with 12, 12 and 10 or 11 teams depending on entry by the likes of Cavan and the English counties. The hurling league is played so that the top 4 teams make the semifinals.

The 2 competitions are simple but exciting and the club game can more easily be fitted in around that schedule.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 02/12/2017 14:32:33    2064265

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Replying To Whammo86:  "Something that'd be quite simple but exciting and structured would be just 2 divisions of 16.

Top of division 1 straight into the semifinals, 2nd to 6th into 3 quarterfinals along with the top of division 2.

2nd to 4th get home advantage. In the quarterfinals with a draw to decide which team plays which. 2nd place is kept apart from 1st place for the semifinal draw.

Have relegation playoffs.

15th and 16th of division 1 straight down

13th and 14th of division 1 into relegation playoff.

Top 3 in division 2 automatically promoted.

4th to 7th into promotion playoffs.

6 team promotion playoff tournament to decide which team is in division 1 the following season.

18 week season. Can be planned around from the start.

Can be played March to July regular season. August for playoffs.

7 weekends can be set aside for club games with county players available during that time. Different teams will get different weekends off, but a county's hurling games will be played the same weekends as it's football.

The hurling should be 3 tiered with 12, 12 and 10 or 11 teams depending on entry by the likes of Cavan and the English counties. The hurling league is played so that the top 4 teams make the semifinals.

The 2 competitions are simple but exciting and the club game can more easily be fitted in around that schedule."
Three things -
1) I like when Div 2 teams who go to AI KO also happen to be the only promoted teams. Otherwise, why does say a team finishing Div 2 in 7th push to go up and make life harder for AI KO next year - unless somehow winning the Div 1 league was separately prestigious ?
2) As an amateur sport, I think a Div 1 15-match schedule against the top 16 is both too long and too intense. In my idea, I have 12 matches, 4 each against div 1, 2 and 3 opponents.
I prefer your shorter 2x Regional 10 in Div 2 for variety.
3) Having my 8 divs of 4 allows a quarter of the teams to claim a NFL title at their own level.

omahant (USA) - 02/12/2017 16:38:30    2064272

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Replying To omahant:  "Three things -
1) I like when Div 2 teams who go to AI KO also happen to be the only promoted teams. Otherwise, why does say a team finishing Div 2 in 7th push to go up and make life harder for AI KO next year - unless somehow winning the Div 1 league was separately prestigious ?
2) As an amateur sport, I think a Div 1 15-match schedule against the top 16 is both too long and too intense. In my idea, I have 12 matches, 4 each against div 1, 2 and 3 opponents.
I prefer your shorter 2x Regional 10 in Div 2 for variety.
3) Having my 8 divs of 4 allows a quarter of the teams to claim a NFL title at their own level."
2 divisions of 16 is just very easily understood.

Playoff places and relegation and promotion systems are flexible.

I don't really see why 15 regular season games is too much. Amateur soccer players/rugby players play many more games than that.

They're spread out over 5 months. It's 1 game every 10 days on average. It's really not bad plus players want more games and less training.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 02/12/2017 20:03:35    2064283

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Replying To Whammo86:  "2 divisions of 16 is just very easily understood.

Playoff places and relegation and promotion systems are flexible.

I don't really see why 15 regular season games is too much. Amateur soccer players/rugby players play many more games than that.

They're spread out over 5 months. It's 1 game every 10 days on average. It's really not bad plus players want more games and less training."
I agree simple 2x16 symmetry - I'm just saying the GAA county player has a club/county schedule. It's like
Eng Prem L players being limited for Intl games (say, max 10 per yr ?).
Years ago, the Rugby Provs were representative until they became Super Clubs to compete in Europe.
Maybe, I'd like the county GAA players to go this route - serve the county master only and have your wider schedule, even grow it - play 23 counties once (all but no 1st 8 v 4th 8, nor 2nd 8 v 3rd 8) ?
- or like your 2x16, play all in own div, plus half in other.

omahant (USA) - 02/12/2017 21:24:35    2064288

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With 2 divs of 16 -
I'd like a regular season of 12 matches in both divs (12 of 15 from own div).
Top 11 in div 1 (seeds 1 to 11) to AI KO 16; with top 10 in div 2 (seeds 12 to 21) playing off for 5 Rd of 16 berths.
Rd of 16 has 1v16or17; 2v15or18 etc to 5v12or21 to 8v9.
Rd of 16 teams form Div 1 next year, same as saying
5 Div 2 playoff winners also go up; 12 to 16 in Div 1 go down.

omahant (USA) - 03/12/2017 06:45:00    2064295

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Replying To omahant:  "With 2 divs of 16 -
I'd like a regular season of 12 matches in both divs (12 of 15 from own div).
Top 11 in div 1 (seeds 1 to 11) to AI KO 16; with top 10 in div 2 (seeds 12 to 21) playing off for 5 Rd of 16 berths.
Rd of 16 has 1v16or17; 2v15or18 etc to 5v12or21 to 8v9.
Rd of 16 teams form Div 1 next year, same as saying
5 Div 2 playoff winners also go up; 12 to 16 in Div 1 go down."
I really feel the way the GAA needs to go is to make a much more meaning for the league.

To do this really properly I think you need to make qualification to an playoffs exclusive. 6 from 16 seems like a decent number. You then have relegation to keep things exciting.

Having 1 team from division 2 go to the playoffs I could take or leave. Really it'd be just a way of making sure that in the second tier there are some really big matches. Getting toward the end of the division 2 season the fight for first place could be huge.

Realistically I don't think teams would tank to get an improved chance of qualifying for the playoffs.

Playing division 1 football would be a huge goal for all these players. I think most teams would rather play 15 games against top teams rather than going to play against Leitrim in front of no crowd.

I don't think Irish people would be receptive of a league where not all teams play one another.

These structures would in my opinion make up for the loss of income from not having Provincial championships.

Selling a season ticket for the Dublin fans alone for 15 football and 11 hurling matches would be a huge money spinner.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 03/12/2017 11:06:02    2064299

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I really feel the way the GAA needs to go is to make a much more meaning for the league.

To do this really properly I think you need to make qualification to an playoffs exclusive. 6 from 16 seems like a decent number. You then have relegation to keep things exciting.

Having 1 team from division 2 go to the playoffs I could take or leave. Really it'd be just a way of making sure that in the second tier there are some really big matches. Getting toward the end of the division 2 season the fight for first place could be huge.

Realistically I don't think teams would tank to get an improved chance of qualifying for the playoffs.

Playing division 1 football would be a huge goal for all these players. I think most teams would rather play 15 games against top teams rather than going to play against Leitrim in front of no crowd.

I don't think Irish people would be receptive of a league where not all teams play one another.

These structures would in my opinion make up for the loss of income from not having Provincial championships.

Selling a season ticket for the Dublin fans alone for 15 football and 11 hurling matches would be a huge money spinner."
I don't get the point of over complicated formats? The football and hurling structures for next year are straightforward enough. The preliminary quarter-finals are confusing for some people but hey it is what it is.

If there's no appetite to end provincial championships and there's an appetite to expand the Super 8, I've already offered the solution. The only other option are provincial groups not too dissimilar to hurling.

Discussions need to move on to different matters? Can the championships start in April and end around the August Bank Holiday weekend, allowing the rest of the months for club action?

Counties could play club league games until July. August to December then for club championships right up to and including All-Ireland quarter-finals.

legendzxix (Kerry) - 03/12/2017 15:55:23    2064325

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Replying To legendzxix:  "I don't get the point of over complicated formats? The football and hurling structures for next year are straightforward enough. The preliminary quarter-finals are confusing for some people but hey it is what it is.

If there's no appetite to end provincial championships and there's an appetite to expand the Super 8, I've already offered the solution. The only other option are provincial groups not too dissimilar to hurling.

Discussions need to move on to different matters? Can the championships start in April and end around the August Bank Holiday weekend, allowing the rest of the months for club action?

Counties could play club league games until July. August to December then for club championships right up to and including All-Ireland quarter-finals."
Mine is in no way complicated.

2 divisions of 16.

Single round robin in each.

Then playoffs can be decided to make sure there are meaningful games in both divisions until the end of the season. Like what happens in many sports.

My gripe with the competitions at present is that they don't make the most of the league.

The hurling proposals are better than the football in my mind. In football you still have the stupid qualifier system and the problem that creates for county boards in scheduling matches.

Just play 2 divisions in football, 3 divisions in hurling and teams fixtures will be set in stone from the start of the season.

It'll be really exciting also, if the playoffs are organised correctly.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 03/12/2017 17:02:29    2064328

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Replying To Whammo86:  "Mine is in no way complicated.

2 divisions of 16.

Single round robin in each.

Then playoffs can be decided to make sure there are meaningful games in both divisions until the end of the season. Like what happens in many sports.

My gripe with the competitions at present is that they don't make the most of the league.

The hurling proposals are better than the football in my mind. In football you still have the stupid qualifier system and the problem that creates for county boards in scheduling matches.

Just play 2 divisions in football, 3 divisions in hurling and teams fixtures will be set in stone from the start of the season.

It'll be really exciting also, if the playoffs are organised correctly."
The Super 8 is a stepping stone. The GAA have acknowledged that. It's going to be trialled for 3 years. Pádraig Duffy has said they will have to look at tiers or whatever after that.

The Super 8 realistically was the only change that could have gotten through congress.

Realistically any further change will be a step from the Super 8. Expanding to 16 does that. They can simply run qualifier rounds 1 and 2 in parallel with provincial semi-finals and finals, and enter the 8 provincial finalists and 8 round 2 winners into the top 16.

legendzxix (Kerry) - 03/12/2017 18:58:39    2064340

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Replying To legendzxix:  "The Super 8 is a stepping stone. The GAA have acknowledged that. It's going to be trialled for 3 years. Pádraig Duffy has said they will have to look at tiers or whatever after that.

The Super 8 realistically was the only change that could have gotten through congress.

Realistically any further change will be a step from the Super 8. Expanding to 16 does that. They can simply run qualifier rounds 1 and 2 in parallel with provincial semi-finals and finals, and enter the 8 provincial finalists and 8 round 2 winners into the top 16."
Yeah I know change will be incremental.

I'm talking here what I think the end point should be.

I think with a league style system you can have regular big matches throughout more of the year.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 04/12/2017 11:57:07    2064373

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I think some of the feelings towards the Provincial championships are a bit irrational.

The way I see them is they're just the opening stages of the tournament. One sided games are to be expected. They're also just a marketing tool. Ulster semifinal is a better sell to me than Championship round 2. The regional rivalries adds a bit of spice.

There's some problems that comes with them. They're not balanced. Them and the qualifiers make scheduling difficult.

That'd be the main reason to get rid of them.

Realistically they're going nowhere. The GAA know they're money spinners.

The players like them also as evidenced by the feedback the GPA received last year. I think they are sometimes forgotten in all this.

I think there are lots of ways they can be kept without hurting scheduling, making the system fairer and incorporating league into championship."
The GAA are hopeful that the hurling championship will remain as planned for next year for many years to come with maybe some slight tweaks. That suggests the league will remain as is for both codes. They are not going to have championship and league combined in either code. The closest you'll get to your 16 team division is 4 groups of 4 in two tiers.

Now, the appetite for tiers in football is low. I think the best solution for a second championship is similar to the Europa League and European Club Rugby Challenge Cup. The teams not making the Top 16 after two bites of the cherry via provincial championship and qualifiers could enter a second championship guaranteeing the winner a Top 16 spot in the following year.

legendzxix (Kerry) - 04/12/2017 22:02:19    2064435

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Replying To legendzxix:  "The GAA are hopeful that the hurling championship will remain as planned for next year for many years to come with maybe some slight tweaks. That suggests the league will remain as is for both codes. They are not going to have championship and league combined in either code. The closest you'll get to your 16 team division is 4 groups of 4 in two tiers.

Now, the appetite for tiers in football is low. I think the best solution for a second championship is similar to the Europa League and European Club Rugby Challenge Cup. The teams not making the Top 16 after two bites of the cherry via provincial championship and qualifiers could enter a second championship guaranteeing the winner a Top 16 spot in the following year."
As I've said before I like this solution.

There are some flaws with it but overall it'd be a natural step in the right direction.

Basically all I'm saying is that if I could rip up the intercounty season and start again this is what I'd go with.

It's not perfect either. Division 2 would have a lot of dead rubber games. I'd be worried about removing the Provincial championships as they do provide high profile matches for lower tier counties.

What I'd view as the ultimate goal of any competition structure is that the number of top quality games is maximised within the constraints that are there.

I think the major constraint is the accommodation of the club game. Anything I come up with has a maximum number of rounds of 18 weeks that a team can play games on.

This is where I'm coming from.

The reason I don't like the current leagues is at the end of the day they are simply a preseason competition. I think that's a waste.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 05/12/2017 06:19:24    2064444

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Replying To Whammo86:  "As I've said before I like this solution.

There are some flaws with it but overall it'd be a natural step in the right direction.

Basically all I'm saying is that if I could rip up the intercounty season and start again this is what I'd go with.

It's not perfect either. Division 2 would have a lot of dead rubber games. I'd be worried about removing the Provincial championships as they do provide high profile matches for lower tier counties.

What I'd view as the ultimate goal of any competition structure is that the number of top quality games is maximised within the constraints that are there.

I think the major constraint is the accommodation of the club game. Anything I come up with has a maximum number of rounds of 18 weeks that a team can play games on.

This is where I'm coming from.

The reason I don't like the current leagues is at the end of the day they are simply a preseason competition. I think that's a waste."
The league has become more established in recent years. It isn't dismissed as only the league anymore. It's also generating good revenue. I don't sense any appetite for combining the league and championship. We need to deal with the reality that the league will remain as is.

If football doesn't opt for provincial groups there are two options:
1. Provincial championships and qualifiers feeding into group stages.
2. Provincial championships separated from All-Ireland championship. All-Ireland championship consisting of group stage. Tiered championship being optional.

Flaws in the top 16 I've suggested can be ironed out:
Provincial championships should be looked on as 6 groups of 4:
- 4 Munster semi-finalists
- 4 Connaught semi-finalists
- 4 Ulster quarter-finalists (A side)
- 4 Ulster quarter-finalists (B side)
- 4 Leinster quarter-finalists (A side)
- 4 Leinster quarter-finalists (B side)

The 12 winners should advance to the Top 16. The remaining counties should battle it out over qualifying rounds for the remaining places available.

Another alternative is the above to be a provincial group stage of 6 groups of 4:
- Top 2 in each group advancing to Round of 16.
- Six 3rd placed teams playing off for 3 spots in the final 16.
- 8 provincial preliminary round losers entering second championship 2 groups of 4. Winner of this tier taking the final place in the Round of 16.
- Provincial champions drawn at home against 3rd placed teams or tier 2 winner.
- Provincial runners-up drawn against 4 losing semi-finalists of Ulster and Leinster, with a draw to determine home team.
- Advantage of winning provincial title is guarantee of home game in Round of 16.

legendzxix (Kerry) - 05/12/2017 18:38:05    2064499

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Replying To legendzxix:  "The league has become more established in recent years. It isn't dismissed as only the league anymore. It's also generating good revenue. I don't sense any appetite for combining the league and championship. We need to deal with the reality that the league will remain as is.

If football doesn't opt for provincial groups there are two options:
1. Provincial championships and qualifiers feeding into group stages.
2. Provincial championships separated from All-Ireland championship. All-Ireland championship consisting of group stage. Tiered championship being optional.

Flaws in the top 16 I've suggested can be ironed out:
Provincial championships should be looked on as 6 groups of 4:
- 4 Munster semi-finalists
- 4 Connaught semi-finalists
- 4 Ulster quarter-finalists (A side)
- 4 Ulster quarter-finalists (B side)
- 4 Leinster quarter-finalists (A side)
- 4 Leinster quarter-finalists (B side)

The 12 winners should advance to the Top 16. The remaining counties should battle it out over qualifying rounds for the remaining places available.

Another alternative is the above to be a provincial group stage of 6 groups of 4:
- Top 2 in each group advancing to Round of 16.
- Six 3rd placed teams playing off for 3 spots in the final 16.
- 8 provincial preliminary round losers entering second championship 2 groups of 4. Winner of this tier taking the final place in the Round of 16.
- Provincial champions drawn at home against 3rd placed teams or tier 2 winner.
- Provincial runners-up drawn against 4 losing semi-finalists of Ulster and Leinster, with a draw to determine home team.
- Advantage of winning provincial title is guarantee of home game in Round of 16."
I like all those championship formats. I have suggested similar to these in the past also.

I don't agree that there isn't an appetite to combine league with championship.

I see the format of the Super 8 as something looking to get more of the match ups that you see in division 1 of the NFL.

The hurling format isn't dissimilar to the NHL formats from a few years ago when division 1a and 1b were of equal strength and moved onto to 3 more rounds.

One of the CPA's 3 proposals is a 16 team division 1 of 2 groups of 8 teams playing a double round robin and hurling 2 groups of 6 playing a double round robin.

Peter Canavan contributes to Today FM on GAA and regularly speaks of how the GAA's season is the wrong way around and that the league should be the championship.

There have been articles in national newspapers stating similar.

The one big problem I'd have with it is that the players have stated they like the Provincial championship and they don't like a tiered championship. So a lot of what I'm saying would be provided that players were on board with it.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 05/12/2017 19:29:41    2064503

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I like all those championship formats. I have suggested similar to these in the past also.

I don't agree that there isn't an appetite to combine league with championship.

I see the format of the Super 8 as something looking to get more of the match ups that you see in division 1 of the NFL.

The hurling format isn't dissimilar to the NHL formats from a few years ago when division 1a and 1b were of equal strength and moved onto to 3 more rounds.

One of the CPA's 3 proposals is a 16 team division 1 of 2 groups of 8 teams playing a double round robin and hurling 2 groups of 6 playing a double round robin.

Peter Canavan contributes to Today FM on GAA and regularly speaks of how the GAA's season is the wrong way around and that the league should be the championship.

There have been articles in national newspapers stating similar.

The one big problem I'd have with it is that the players have stated they like the Provincial championship and they don't like a tiered championship. So a lot of what I'm saying would be provided that players were on board with it."
The CPA are making good suggestions but that does not mean everything they say or suggest has to be seen as some sort of new gospel.

The inter-county scene generates a lot of revenue for the GAA, including revenue that goes back to clubs. It is also important for the promotion of the games.

It is difficult to envisage the All-Ireland championship ending before August. May, June, July and August are the months for intercounty. Discussion to be continued... :)

legendzxix (Kerry) - 06/12/2017 21:59:42    2064580

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Replying To legendzxix:  "The CPA are making good suggestions but that does not mean everything they say or suggest has to be seen as some sort of new gospel.

The inter-county scene generates a lot of revenue for the GAA, including revenue that goes back to clubs. It is also important for the promotion of the games.

It is difficult to envisage the All-Ireland championship ending before August. May, June, July and August are the months for intercounty. Discussion to be continued... :)"
Yeah I'm not saying they are the gospel on this stuff. I just gave an example that there is some appetite to have the league become the championship.

I can't see it happening within the next 10 years but I do hope it happens sometime.

I agree also that I don't see intercounty finishing any earlier than they are going for this year.

That's another reason why I think league based intercounty championship could work.

All games are important but none are of the importance of a knockout match. It may be easier to have players released to clubs during the regular season.

There are 22 weeks in March to July inclusive. 15 intercounty weekends plus then clubs get access to 7 weekends.

Counties don't have to have free weekends at the same time but they will be decided from the off. So they GAA can guarantee say 4 division 1 matches every week.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 07/12/2017 10:14:29    2064597

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I see that there calling it the Joe McDonagh Cup, personnally prefer if they called it Div 2 or or some name like that with the the winner presented with the Joe McDonagh cup, same goes with the other tiers

PyatPree (Cork) - 07/12/2017 16:42:36    2064621

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Replying To PyatPree:  "I see that there calling it the Joe McDonagh Cup, personnally prefer if they called it Div 2 or or some name like that with the the winner presented with the Joe McDonagh cup, same goes with the other tiers"
Agreed. Should 5 tiers of hurling championships should be called as follows:
1. All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship
2. Intermediate Premier Hurling Championship
3. Intermediate Hurling Championship
4. Junior Premier Hurling Championship
5. Junior Hurling Championship

By all means name cups after people but give the championships a proper name reflection their status in the hurling championship pyramid.

legendzxix (Kerry) - 07/12/2017 18:29:50    2064631

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Replying To legendzxix:  "Agreed. Should 5 tiers of hurling championships should be called as follows:
1. All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship
2. Intermediate Premier Hurling Championship
3. Intermediate Hurling Championship
4. Junior Premier Hurling Championship
5. Junior Hurling Championship

By all means name cups after people but give the championships a proper name reflection their status in the hurling championship pyramid."
Completely agree

PyatPree (Cork) - 07/12/2017 20:06:41    2064634

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