National Forum

Proposals For 2Nd Tier Championship Pathetic

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A tiered championship could be a good thing for football.

The motives have to be good for the change.

It has to be about giving all players a strong program of games in their season.

The reason has to be to improve the competition structures as a whole. A second tier championship on its own my not be appealing but if it allows for a top quality tier 1 with more meaningful games due to the threat of relegation then you can create meaningful, competitive championships.

If the motive is simply just to give teams a chance at winning a cup and the teams involved are still only guaranteed 2 games and are losing the opportunity for that season of making the last 8 (of which on average 1 division 3 or 4 team has done since the introduction of the qualifiers), then I think it's a terrible change.


I do not rate Horan as a president. This tier 2 championship almost seems like a "legacy making" issue for him. As a dub I don't think he has a strong understanding of what it means to be a Gael in a weaker county.

The prerequisite that the lower tier competition need to be marketable and given tv coverage is wrong also. That should not prevent change which is needed.

These competitions won't be marketable, there aren't enough people interested even within the competing counties, let alone the wider population. That should not prevent Antrim players getting the opportunity at more competitive fixtures and a proper season.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3214 - 14/06/2019 18:18:12    2194967

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Replying To legendzxix:  "
Replying To icehonesty:  "This is the best I've seen link"
Fail = only 1 guaranteed game in the premier competition."
Nothing wrong with that.

icehonesty (Wexford) - Posts: 2481 - 14/06/2019 18:32:40    2194975

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A tier 2 wont work without promotion/relegation.
Also what If a lower team does get to a prov final will we not end up with imbalances in the 2 divisions?

Breezy (Limerick) - Posts: 1113 - 14/06/2019 19:26:53    2195004

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Replying To Breezy:  "A tier 2 wont work without promotion/relegation.
Also what If a lower team does get to a prov final will we not end up with imbalances in the 2 divisions?"
That's not entirely true. Take a look at the Champions League and Europa League. One is the premier competition. The other is the second competition. The winner of the second competition qualifies for the Premier Competition of the following year.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 6261 - 14/06/2019 23:32:06    2195113

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Replying To icehonesty:  "
Replying To legendzxix:  "[quote=icehonesty:  "This is the best I've seen link"
Fail = only 1 guaranteed game in the premier competition."
Nothing wrong with that."]There is an awful lot wrong with that.
16 counties finished on June bank holiday weekend.
13 league games shoved into the worst 4 months of the year and then little or no football in Summer.

The reason the weak counties are getting weaker is because the top teams have more time training collectively and more matches in the Summer.

None of these proposals address this.

Move provincials to February with finals on paddy's day
Change league to old 1A, 1B and 2A, 2B and play in late Spring/summer with gap weekend for club championship
Play All Ireland A and B knockout in August/September - based on performance in previous 2 competitions

tirawleybaron (Mayo) - Posts: 805 - 15/06/2019 09:00:29    2195151

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Replying To tirawleybaron:  "
Replying To icehonesty:  "[quote=legendzxix:  "[quote=icehonesty:  "This is the best I've seen link"
Fail = only 1 guaranteed game in the premier competition."
Nothing wrong with that."]There is an awful lot wrong with that.
16 counties finished on June bank holiday weekend.
13 league games shoved into the worst 4 months of the year and then little or no football in Summer.

The reason the weak counties are getting weaker is because the top teams have more time training collectively and more matches in the Summer.

None of these proposals address this.

Move provincials to February with finals on paddy's day
Change league to old 1A, 1B and 2A, 2B and play in late Spring/summer with gap weekend for club championship
Play All Ireland A and B knockout in August/September - based on performance in previous 2 competitions"]There's a lot to be said for a competition along those sorts of lines.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3214 - 15/06/2019 10:29:10    2195181

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Replying To Whammo86:  "
Replying To tirawleybaron:  "[quote=icehonesty:  "[quote=legendzxix:  "[quote=icehonesty:  "This is the best I've seen link"
Fail = only 1 guaranteed game in the premier competition."
Nothing wrong with that."]There is an awful lot wrong with that.
16 counties finished on June bank holiday weekend.
13 league games shoved into the worst 4 months of the year and then little or no football in Summer.

The reason the weak counties are getting weaker is because the top teams have more time training collectively and more matches in the Summer.

None of these proposals address this.

Move provincials to February with finals on paddy's day
Change league to old 1A, 1B and 2A, 2B and play in late Spring/summer with gap weekend for club championship
Play All Ireland A and B knockout in August/September - based on performance in previous 2 competitions"]There's a lot to be said for a competition along those sorts of lines."]The Tirawley lines I mean.

I don't like the format from the link at all.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3214 - 15/06/2019 11:34:52    2195198

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Replying To PK57:  "https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.rte.ie/amp/1054926/

So the GAA have announced plans of what the new 2 tier championship will look like and they may aswell not have bothered. It basically rehashes the Tommy Murphy cup, with the exception that 16 teams will be forced into a meaningless championship once they are beaten in their province(rather than just division 4 teams). The retention of the provincial system is bad enough but the idea that the only way of staying in the championship is to be in the provincial final is also ridiculous. Use Cork as an example, if they don't get out of division 3 next year, they will still only have to win one championship game in order to avoid being in the new championship, where as any weaker county in Leinster, would need to win 3 games in order to be at the same stage - and be lucky enough to be on the opposite side of the draw to Dublin. This also does not address the issue of one sided games as teams way out of their depth (like my own county) will he forced to still play the likes of Dublin."
The best you can do with Prov structure retention - put those Prov Final 8 thru 2 more rds - with 24 in Quals rd 1 in 8 groups of 3 - 16 advance with 4 Final losers in rd 2 - 10 advance with 2 Champ losers in rd 3 - 6 advance with 2 unbearen Champs.
Everyone gets 3 game minimum with no B Champp.
Although - overall, I support a 3-tier structure with promo/relag between them.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1883 - 15/06/2019 16:14:20    2195288

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The GAA are sending a clear signal that the provincial structure is going to remain. Realistic solutions have to keep that in mind.

Ulster and Leinster have to lobby for their semi-finalists to be treated differently to Munster and Connaught semi-finalists, as all Leinster and Ulster counties have to win a quarter-final.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 6261 - 15/06/2019 16:59:02    2195301

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Replying To Whammo86:  "
Replying To tirawleybaron:  "[quote=icehonesty:  "[quote=legendzxix:  "[quote=icehonesty:  "This is the best I've seen link"
Fail = only 1 guaranteed game in the premier competition."
Nothing wrong with that."]There is an awful lot wrong with that.
16 counties finished on June bank holiday weekend.
13 league games shoved into the worst 4 months of the year and then little or no football in Summer.

The reason the weak counties are getting weaker is because the top teams have more time training collectively and more matches in the Summer.

None of these proposals address this.

Move provincials to February with finals on paddy's day
Change league to old 1A, 1B and 2A, 2B and play in late Spring/summer with gap weekend for club championship
Play All Ireland A and B knockout in August/September - based on performance in previous 2 competitions"]There's a lot to be said for a competition along those sorts of lines."]How much time are you leaving for club games?

Groundball (Wexford) - Posts: 97 - 16/06/2019 08:52:19    2195616

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Replying To Groundball:  "
Replying To Whammo86:  "[quote=tirawleybaron:  "[quote=icehonesty:  "[quote=legendzxix:  "[quote=icehonesty:  "This is the best I've seen link"
Fail = only 1 guaranteed game in the premier competition."
Nothing wrong with that."]There is an awful lot wrong with that.
16 counties finished on June bank holiday weekend.
13 league games shoved into the worst 4 months of the year and then little or no football in Summer.

The reason the weak counties are getting weaker is because the top teams have more time training collectively and more matches in the Summer.

None of these proposals address this.

Move provincials to February with finals on paddy's day
Change league to old 1A, 1B and 2A, 2B and play in late Spring/summer with gap weekend for club championship
Play All Ireland A and B knockout in August/September - based on performance in previous 2 competitions"]There's a lot to be said for a competition along those sorts of lines."]How much time are you leaving for club games?"]Something that could be done along similar lines.

February All Ireland club competitions
March April Provincial championships plus 1 club weekend in each code.

All Ireland championship 2 tiers each with 2 groups of 8

May June July has 13 weekends you could get in 7 intercounty group games plus 3 rounds of club championship in each code.

August/Early September for quarterfinals in each tier.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3214 - 16/06/2019 10:20:08    2195636

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PLEASE NOTE: The GAA are not looking to scrap the provincial championships. As ideal as it might be for many of many formats being suggested, if the provincial championships are remaining, that's the reality that has to be accepted.

I'd be in favour of an All-Ireland series in 4 groups of 4:

- Leinster and Ulster semi-finalists (8 teams)
- Munster and Connaught finalists (4 teams)
- 4 playoff winners. (4 teams)

8 teams outside of the above can enter a playoff:
- Defending All-Ireland champions.
- Tier 2 winner from the year before.
- 6 to 8 wildcards based on a seeding mix of previous year's championship performance and the current league season. (6 to 8 teams because it depends on whether the All-Ireland champions and Tier 2 winner have qualified through their current provincial championship.)

The 16 teams not making the group stage can enter a Tier 2 Championship. The Tier 2 teams will have the carrot of trying to ensure a playoff spot in the following year. Tier 2 structure is up for debate. Possibly double elimination format is best but they might just settle for straight knockout.

Added detail on 4 groups of 4:
+ Provincial finalists should be rewarded two home games.
+ Provincial winners should be rewarded with two home games against the highest 2 seeds in their group.
+ Provincial winners = Bowl A in the draw.
+ Provincial runners-up = Bowl B in the draw.
+ Leinster and Ulster semi-finalists = Bowl C in the draw.
+ 4 playoff winners = Bowl D.
+ If teams Bowl C and D have a higher ranking than a provincial runner-up, provincial winners should play those 2 higher ranked teams at home. It'll ensure provincial winners are not rewarded with a trip to a lions den!

Is mise le meas,

The Legend.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 6261 - 16/06/2019 10:49:19    2195650

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Replying To legendzxix:  "The GAA are sending a clear signal that the provincial structure is going to remain. Realistic solutions have to keep that in mind.

Ulster and Leinster have to lobby for their semi-finalists to be treated differently to Munster and Connaught semi-finalists, as all Leinster and Ulster counties have to win a quarter-final."
Would a watered down Prov structure with AIC groups work ? - Uls 5, Lein 2, Muns 2, Conn 2, Tier Two 2 - The 11 Prov teams consist of 4 reigning Champs plus 7 highest 'Prov specific' NFL ranked (so, NFL is a ProvChampionshio Qualifier).

In Tier 1, have groups U, A & B.
Group U = Ulster 5, round robin, top 2 to Prov Final, top 3 to AI QFs.
Inter-groups A v B - Put a Finalist from Lein, Muns & Conn as well as one from prior year Tier 2 in Group A and their opponents in B.
Each team in Group A plays each in B, in a 4v4 inter-group schedule (incl 3 Prov Finals).
Top 5 of 8 across both groups complete the AI KO QF field (wild cards are best here in case one group wins most games).
AI QF pairings (non repeat) - From Groups A & B, the sole 3rd placed qualifier plays away at its own group winner; Uls 3rd plays away at - and Uls Finalists host - the other 3 AB teams.

Tier 2 (10 teams) - 2 round robin 5s - each top 3 to 6-team KO - Finalists go up, unless Tier 1 AI Champ did not qualify for Provs and replaces losing Tier 2 Finalist instead.

Tier 3 (9 teams) - 3 double round robin 3s - each top 2 to 6-team KO - Finalists go up to Tier 2 (or Tier 1, if qualifying for Provs via NFL instead).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1883 - 16/06/2019 18:20:26    2195918

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Replying To omahant:  "Would a watered down Prov structure with AIC groups work ? - Uls 5, Lein 2, Muns 2, Conn 2, Tier Two 2 - The 11 Prov teams consist of 4 reigning Champs plus 7 highest 'Prov specific' NFL ranked (so, NFL is a ProvChampionshio Qualifier).

In Tier 1, have groups U, A & B.
Group U = Ulster 5, round robin, top 2 to Prov Final, top 3 to AI QFs.
Inter-groups A v B - Put a Finalist from Lein, Muns & Conn as well as one from prior year Tier 2 in Group A and their opponents in B.
Each team in Group A plays each in B, in a 4v4 inter-group schedule (incl 3 Prov Finals).
Top 5 of 8 across both groups complete the AI KO QF field (wild cards are best here in case one group wins most games).
AI QF pairings (non repeat) - From Groups A & B, the sole 3rd placed qualifier plays away at its own group winner; Uls 3rd plays away at - and Uls Finalists host - the other 3 AB teams.

Tier 2 (10 teams) - 2 round robin 5s - each top 3 to 6-team KO - Finalists go up, unless Tier 1 AI Champ did not qualify for Provs and replaces losing Tier 2 Finalist instead.

Tier 3 (9 teams) - 3 double round robin 3s - each top 2 to 6-team KO - Finalists go up to Tier 2 (or Tier 1, if qualifying for Provs via NFL instead)."
We can forget about a three tier championship. That will never pass. Horan will likely go with a second tier based on the results on either the provincials or the League.

Basing the second tier on the provincials won't generate any enthusiasm among the weaker considering the current format. Division 1 and 2 counties which fail to reach their provincial final will still retain their spot in tier 1. This is grossly unfair on the weaker counties.

Horan's second proposal revolves around the League. Divs 1 and 2 counties are in tier 1 and Divs 3 and 4 counties are in tier 2. There is no promotion/relegation between the tiers. This will be a hard pill to swallow for the tier 2 champions.

I'd rather go with the second format. I'd make a few changes. There should be a group stage followed by a knockout stage. The only way to include promotion/relegation is to base the championships on the results of the League and then seperate the competitions entirely after the first year. Tier 1 can have two groups of 8. The bottom team in each group gets relegated. The finalists in tier two are promoted to tier one. The top 4 teams in each tier advance to the knockout stages. This is the same as the format proposed by Kieren Donaghy but it retains the League and consists of three knockout stages rather than two. Donaghy set the barrier too high. We can't wholesale copy the League. My only concern with a tiered championship is whether it will help counties improve to a point where they can compete with the top counties. Paul Coady (Carlow hurler) explained this better than I ever could.

The other option is to stick with one tier and implement the same format as the Champions League. 8 groups of 4 followed by the knockout stages. Combine this with more funding and resources for the weaker counties and it could work. After all, we are only dealing with 32 counties rather than thousands of clubs around Europe.

Hawkeye9212 (Donegal) - Posts: 266 - 17/06/2019 08:55:10    2196202

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Replying To Hawkeye9212:  "We can forget about a three tier championship. That will never pass. Horan will likely go with a second tier based on the results on either the provincials or the League.

Basing the second tier on the provincials won't generate any enthusiasm among the weaker considering the current format. Division 1 and 2 counties which fail to reach their provincial final will still retain their spot in tier 1. This is grossly unfair on the weaker counties.

Horan's second proposal revolves around the League. Divs 1 and 2 counties are in tier 1 and Divs 3 and 4 counties are in tier 2. There is no promotion/relegation between the tiers. This will be a hard pill to swallow for the tier 2 champions.

I'd rather go with the second format. I'd make a few changes. There should be a group stage followed by a knockout stage. The only way to include promotion/relegation is to base the championships on the results of the League and then seperate the competitions entirely after the first year. Tier 1 can have two groups of 8. The bottom team in each group gets relegated. The finalists in tier two are promoted to tier one. The top 4 teams in each tier advance to the knockout stages. This is the same as the format proposed by Kieren Donaghy but it retains the League and consists of three knockout stages rather than two. Donaghy set the barrier too high. We can't wholesale copy the League. My only concern with a tiered championship is whether it will help counties improve to a point where they can compete with the top counties. Paul Coady (Carlow hurler) explained this better than I ever could.

The other option is to stick with one tier and implement the same format as the Champions League. 8 groups of 4 followed by the knockout stages. Combine this with more funding and resources for the weaker counties and it could work. After all, we are only dealing with 32 counties rather than thousands of clubs around Europe."
See this: http://hoganstand.com/Forum/FindPost?MessageID=2196192/[url]

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 6261 - 17/06/2019 12:59:05    2196444

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"]Solid plan but I'm concerned about the imbalances of the provinces. Sligo were drawn into the Connacht semi-final so they would automatically be rewarded with a place in the group stage despite losing their only game.

Hawkeye9212 (Donegal) - Posts: 266 - 17/06/2019 14:11:58    2196510

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Replying To Hawkeye9212:  "We can forget about a three tier championship. That will never pass. Horan will likely go with a second tier based on the results on either the provincials or the League.

Basing the second tier on the provincials won't generate any enthusiasm among the weaker considering the current format. Division 1 and 2 counties which fail to reach their provincial final will still retain their spot in tier 1. This is grossly unfair on the weaker counties.

Horan's second proposal revolves around the League. Divs 1 and 2 counties are in tier 1 and Divs 3 and 4 counties are in tier 2. There is no promotion/relegation between the tiers. This will be a hard pill to swallow for the tier 2 champions.

I'd rather go with the second format. I'd make a few changes. There should be a group stage followed by a knockout stage. The only way to include promotion/relegation is to base the championships on the results of the League and then seperate the competitions entirely after the first year. Tier 1 can have two groups of 8. The bottom team in each group gets relegated. The finalists in tier two are promoted to tier one. The top 4 teams in each tier advance to the knockout stages. This is the same as the format proposed by Kieren Donaghy but it retains the League and consists of three knockout stages rather than two. Donaghy set the barrier too high. We can't wholesale copy the League. My only concern with a tiered championship is whether it will help counties improve to a point where they can compete with the top counties. Paul Coady (Carlow hurler) explained this better than I ever could.

The other option is to stick with one tier and implement the same format as the Champions League. 8 groups of 4 followed by the knockout stages. Combine this with more funding and resources for the weaker counties and it could work. After all, we are only dealing with 32 counties rather than thousands of clubs around Europe."
I agree Tier 2 success should lead to Tier 1 status the following year.

I don't like the 'conventional' 8x4 for 3 reasons - a) Div 1v4 mismatches; b) no Div 1v1 pairings; and c) dead rubbers.

BUT - we could tweak that idea for a better tourney - a) Swap 4th seeds in groups 1-4 for the 1st seeds in groups 5-8; and b) then, play 4-match inter-group matches per team (1v2; 3v4; 5v6; and 7v8 - we now have 8 Div 1v1 matches !) - top 5 of 8 from each 'group pair' advance to 20 team KO - top 4 in paired groups 12 & 34 as well as top 2 in groups 56 & 78 get byes.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1883 - 17/06/2019 23:58:56    2196880

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Replying To Hawkeye9212:  "We can forget about a three tier championship. That will never pass. Horan will likely go with a second tier based on the results on either the provincials or the League.

Basing the second tier on the provincials won't generate any enthusiasm among the weaker considering the current format. Division 1 and 2 counties which fail to reach their provincial final will still retain their spot in tier 1. This is grossly unfair on the weaker counties.

Horan's second proposal revolves around the League. Divs 1 and 2 counties are in tier 1 and Divs 3 and 4 counties are in tier 2. There is no promotion/relegation between the tiers. This will be a hard pill to swallow for the tier 2 champions.

I'd rather go with the second format. I'd make a few changes. There should be a group stage followed by a knockout stage. The only way to include promotion/relegation is to base the championships on the results of the League and then seperate the competitions entirely after the first year. Tier 1 can have two groups of 8. The bottom team in each group gets relegated. The finalists in tier two are promoted to tier one. The top 4 teams in each tier advance to the knockout stages. This is the same as the format proposed by Kieren Donaghy but it retains the League and consists of three knockout stages rather than two. Donaghy set the barrier too high. We can't wholesale copy the League. My only concern with a tiered championship is whether it will help counties improve to a point where they can compete with the top counties. Paul Coady (Carlow hurler) explained this better than I ever could.

The other option is to stick with one tier and implement the same format as the Champions League. 8 groups of 4 followed by the knockout stages. Combine this with more funding and resources for the weaker counties and it could work. After all, we are only dealing with 32 counties rather than thousands of clubs around Europe."
I agree Tier 2 success should lead to Tier 1 status the following year.

I don't like the 'conventional' 8x4 for 3 reasons - a) Div 1v4 mismatches; b) no Div 1v1 pairings; and c) dead rubbers.

BUT - we could tweak that idea for a better tourney - a) Swap 4th seeds in groups 1-4 for the 1st seeds in groups 5-8; and b) then, play 4-match inter-group matches per team (1v2; 3v4; 5v6; and 7v8 - we now have 8 Div 1v1 matches !) - top 5 of 8 from each 'group pair' advance to 20 team KO - top 4 in paired groups 12 & 34 as well as top 2 in groups 56 & 78 get byes.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1883 - 18/06/2019 00:24:44    2196889

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The AI QF 8 could be 1st seeds and Last 16 losers 2nd seeds in the following year. This handicapping allows teams to make their way into the 'Strong 4' groups or the others.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1883 - 18/06/2019 00:28:37    2196891

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Replying To omahant:  "The AI QF 8 could be 1st seeds and Last 16 losers 2nd seeds in the following year. This handicapping allows teams to make their way into the 'Strong 4' groups or the others."
Limerick seperates teams for hurling by their performances in the previous championship. They have two groups: Group 1 consists of the strongest teams. Group 2 is for the weaker teams.

We could base the 1st staging of the championship on the the League. Division 1 and 2 teams will be in Pool 1 (strongest teams) and Divisions 3 and 4 teams will be in Pool 2 (weakest teams). Each pool is divided into 4 groups of 4. The top two teams in each group advance to the knockout stages. We could keep the strongest and weakest teams seperated until the quarter-finals or pool them all together for a round of 16. Alternatively, the top 8 teams in Pool B could play eachother in a knockout round. The 4 teams which win go on to play the teams which finished second in Pool A. The winners of this round play the teams which finished first in Pool A. Then we have the semis and final. This is similar to the system used by Limerick and the GAA for Joe McDonagh teams.

The championship could be based on the results of the League every year but I would prefer to copy the Limerick format for the 2nd staging. Every team which qualifies for the knockout stage will be in Pool A. The remaining teams will be in Pool B. This format still allows for the creation of a two tier championship.

Hawkeye9212 (Donegal) - Posts: 266 - 18/06/2019 13:27:14    2197085

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