Special Congress votes to restructure All-Ireland SHC

September 30, 2017

A view of GAA Congress at Croke Park.
©INPHO/Tommy Dickson.

There will be a new All-Ireland SHC format in place for the next three years after the Central Council motion for change was carried at today's Special Congress in Croke Park.

The motion received 62% support, which means the Liam MacCarthy Cup will be reduced to 10 teams, and will play the five-team Munster and Leinster championships on a round-robin basis. The top two teams in each provincial group will face off in the provincial final.

The bottom two teams in either group play-off to reach the quarter-finals. The quarter-final winners play the provincial champions in the All-Ireland semi-finals.

An amendment to the motion from Laois, Offaly and Meath was carried by 87% to 13%. This will see the Tier 2 championship finalists participating in preliminary All-Ireland quarter-finals against the third-placed team in each province with the Tier 2 teams having home advantage.

There will also be promotion and relegation between the new Tier 2 Championship and the Liam MacCarthy Cup. The Tier 2 championship will include the four counties currently in the Leinster championship qualifier group and two other counties based on finishing positions in 2017 championship.

It would be run on a round-robin basis with the top two teams contesting the final. The finalists from the Tier 2 competition meet the third-placed teams in Munster and Leinster in the All-Ireland preliminary quarter-finals.

The participants in all three lower tiers (Christy Ring/Nicky Rackard/Lory Meagher) are to be based on finishing positions in this year's championship, and they'll all be played on a round-robin basis.

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