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National Hurling League

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Replying To CeachtPeile:  "I see there are new proposals for the structure of the hurling league in 2025, with finishing positions in 2024 being used to place teams in any new structure. See some details here:

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On the face of it, the third option (7 teams per division) looks to be the best to me although it does add two rounds of games to the league and there is the disadvantage of having odd numbers of teams.

Proposal 1 is just a reversion to the previous 1A and 1B system with presumably 1 up and 1 down between the divisions. But there's a dearth of detail, particularly about both proposals 2 and 3.

Does anyone have any more information?"]Hopefully this URL will work:

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CeachtPeile (Cavan) - Posts: 94 - 09/09/2023 14:56:47    2503591

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From the RTE article, it seems the 1B winner will join the top 3 from 1A in semi-finals. The 1B winner should be promoted only.
While divisions of 7 are not ideal if they go with that option, the carrot of 2 teams being promoted means teams are less like to be stuck in Division 2 for more than a year if they are in the top 9.
While odd numbers of teams is not ideal, the fairest option there is that the lowest ranked promoted team gets a bye in Round 7, meaning they could be watching a game on TG4 that condemns them to relegation.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7698 - 09/09/2023 17:01:08    2503604

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Replying To legendzxix:  "From the RTE article, it seems the 1B winner will join the top 3 from 1A in semi-finals. The 1B winner should be promoted only.
While divisions of 7 are not ideal if they go with that option, the carrot of 2 teams being promoted means teams are less like to be stuck in Division 2 for more than a year if they are in the top 9.
While odd numbers of teams is not ideal, the fairest option there is that the lowest ranked promoted team gets a bye in Round 7, meaning they could be watching a game on TG4 that condemns them to relegation."
Yes, I agree regarding proposal 1. Allowing a team from a lower division to compete for the league title is wrong - it actually incentivises a team to be relegated to have an easier route the following year.

Proposal 2 is very unclear from the brief description. It seems to be similar to the current championship format in Cavan and Leitrim (except with seeding being included). This is like the Swiss-system format being introduced from 2024 for soccer's Champions League.

It's not clear in proposal 3 whether there are finals or not. Presuming that there are, that would mean eight weeks to complete the league as opposed to the current seven.

It takes seven weeks for proposal 1 and the number of weeks for proposal 2 depends on how many play-off rounds follow the six league rounds.

CeachtPeile (Cavan) - Posts: 94 - 10/09/2023 17:19:15    2503661

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Proposal 2 adds an additional game against a team of similar quality - but the other 5 games are against a spread of mixed quality opponents like now. The new combined 12-team table and league schedule does nothing to increase jeopardy from the existing structure.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2474 - 13/09/2023 04:32:22    2504060

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Replying To legendzxix:  "From the RTE article, it seems the 1B winner will join the top 3 from 1A in semi-finals. The 1B winner should be promoted only.
While divisions of 7 are not ideal if they go with that option, the carrot of 2 teams being promoted means teams are less like to be stuck in Division 2 for more than a year if they are in the top 9.
While odd numbers of teams is not ideal, the fairest option there is that the lowest ranked promoted team gets a bye in Round 7, meaning they could be watching a game on TG4 that condemns them to relegation."
Remember the "Team 6" issue in football's failed "Proposal B"? - well, that 7th-ranked "Div 1B winner" displaces "Team 4" in the semi-finals - so we are trying to do the same thing over and over again in the hope of getting better results? - a process Einstein referenced to define "insanity".

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2474 - 14/09/2023 14:29:44    2504264

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Football has divisions of 8 with similar rules, top 2 promoted and bottom 2 relegated. Hurling with divisions of 6 or 7 should all have similar rules for promotion and relegation.
Divisions of 7: 2 up and down.
Divisions of 6: 6th placed teams relegated. 2nd v 3rd in semi-finals. Divisions 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A and 3B winners promoted.
The hurling lower tier championships are all groups of 6. Divisions of 7 might offer a bit more variety in opposition.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7698 - 20/09/2023 20:48:42    2505015

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Yup, my native Cork reformed their county championships in recent years too. Now both hurling and football have identical formats - the top 60 clubs are divided into 5 tiers of 12, each has three groups of four, with the top 2 in each to the 6-team KO (two best group winner byes in each and the Divisional winner is a 7th KO team in Tier 1, with one bye).
I think it works great with one up, one down.

Both the NFL & NHL would work great too with 7-team divisions over 5 tiers (NFL 7-7-7-7-4, double round robin Div 5). The smaller NFL divisions could give the AI SFC a bit more breathing space too, especially if the NFL Finals are discontinued as well.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2474 - 21/09/2023 17:47:16    2505103

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The Examiner has an article on the three options. The 12 teams playing 6 games lacks relegation jeopardy. It could be worse than the current system.
The 1B winner joining the top 3 in 1A in semi-finals is needless. Division 1A should be 2nd v 3rd in the semi-final, with the winner taking on 1st in the final. Division 1B should be 2nd v 3rd in the semi-final, with the winner taking on 1st in the final. Division 1B winner promoted.
The five divisions of 7 is probably the best and least convoluted of the options brought forward. One team not playing on the final day of the regular league rounds though could be perceived as a flaw. A solution there could be that the lowest ranked team in a division based on the year before are the team to have a bye in the final round. That would be for example the loser of the Division 2 final. While the division finals would consist of two promoted teams, the carrot of winning the final would be avoiding a bye in the final round of the following season.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7698 - 23/09/2023 08:43:37    2505279

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Replying To legendzxix:  "The Examiner has an article on the three options. The 12 teams playing 6 games lacks relegation jeopardy. It could be worse than the current system.
The 1B winner joining the top 3 in 1A in semi-finals is needless. Division 1A should be 2nd v 3rd in the semi-final, with the winner taking on 1st in the final. Division 1B should be 2nd v 3rd in the semi-final, with the winner taking on 1st in the final. Division 1B winner promoted.
The five divisions of 7 is probably the best and least convoluted of the options brought forward. One team not playing on the final day of the regular league rounds though could be perceived as a flaw. A solution there could be that the lowest ranked team in a division based on the year before are the team to have a bye in the final round. That would be for example the loser of the Division 2 final. While the division finals would consist of two promoted teams, the carrot of winning the final would be avoiding a bye in the final round of the following season."
The goal of some counties has always been to turn the league into a prep for the championship with guarantee that they can't be relegated. Cats in their pomp never bothered with that, they competed in everything and as a consequence were never reduced to whinging about their god given right to be in the top division in perpetuity!

A league without relegation is meaningless. And I say that as a Dub who have spent most of last 50 years going up and down. We've earned our ten year plus stay in the top flight, and won't complain if we lose it again because it would be deserved.

BarneyGrant (Dublin) - Posts: 2413 - 23/09/2023 11:11:38    2505291

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Replying To BarneyGrant:  "The goal of some counties has always been to turn the league into a prep for the championship with guarantee that they can't be relegated. Cats in their pomp never bothered with that, they competed in everything and as a consequence were never reduced to whinging about their god given right to be in the top division in perpetuity!

A league without relegation is meaningless. And I say that as a Dub who have spent most of last 50 years going up and down. We've earned our ten year plus stay in the top flight, and won't complain if we lose it again because it would be deserved."
If lessons have been learned in recent years, the league needs jeopardy. The divisions of 7 seems to be striking a fair balance. 2 counties will be out of Division 1 for a brief year without being cut off for too long.

Projected National Hurling League 2025:

Division 1
Limerick
Kilkenny
Tipperary
Cork
Galway
Waterford
Clare

Division 2
Dublin
Wexford
Antrim
Westmeath
Offaly
Laois
Carlow

Division 3
Kildare
Kerry
Down
Derry
Meath
Wicklow
Donegal

Antrim in recent years would fancy their chances of making a Division 2 final. 4 MacCarthy Cup will be in Division 2 with 3 McDonagh counties. That's a fair enough composition. 3 McDonagh counties will in Division 3 with 4 Ring counties. Not ideal preparation for Kerry for example before a McDonagh Cup campaign but the jeopardy of not being in Division 2.
On the remaining divisions, Division 4 will have 2 Ring and 5 Rackard. Division 5 will have 1 Rackard and 6 Meagher. Some years Division 4 will have 2 Ring, 4 Rackard and 1 Meagher, with Division 5 having 2 Rackard and 5 Meagher.
Divisions of 7 should help have more fresh encounters between league and championships.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7698 - 23/09/2023 12:53:09    2505310

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Replying To legendzxix:  "The Examiner has an article on the three options. The 12 teams playing 6 games lacks relegation jeopardy. It could be worse than the current system.
The 1B winner joining the top 3 in 1A in semi-finals is needless. Division 1A should be 2nd v 3rd in the semi-final, with the winner taking on 1st in the final. Division 1B should be 2nd v 3rd in the semi-final, with the winner taking on 1st in the final. Division 1B winner promoted.
The five divisions of 7 is probably the best and least convoluted of the options brought forward. One team not playing on the final day of the regular league rounds though could be perceived as a flaw. A solution there could be that the lowest ranked team in a division based on the year before are the team to have a bye in the final round. That would be for example the loser of the Division 2 final. While the division finals would consist of two promoted teams, the carrot of winning the final would be avoiding a bye in the final round of the following season."
Yeah, 5 sevens is the best of the three on offer.

Option 2 - There is not much "new and innovative" here, or hard for "people to fully understand" - as this is the current structure, albeit with an extra game and a 12-team table.

If the current groups are truly "balanced with mixed quality", then teams are already playing two from each seeding category, except their own (one). Accordingly, the current incentive in being a higher seed (avoiding a team of similar quality) is lost under Option 2.

Fixtures could consist of six 'inter-group' pairings based on the existing groups. Then, to mitigate "some teams getting an easier draw", have the two group winners advancing to the Final, instead of the 'top 2 of 12' (latter could apply instead, only if a group winner fails to obtain a certain minimum points threshold).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2474 - 24/09/2023 03:46:51    2505393

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Replying To omahant:  "Yeah, 5 sevens is the best of the three on offer.

Option 2 - There is not much "new and innovative" here, or hard for "people to fully understand" - as this is the current structure, albeit with an extra game and a 12-team table.

If the current groups are truly "balanced with mixed quality", then teams are already playing two from each seeding category, except their own (one). Accordingly, the current incentive in being a higher seed (avoiding a team of similar quality) is lost under Option 2.

Fixtures could consist of six 'inter-group' pairings based on the existing groups. Then, to mitigate "some teams getting an easier draw", have the two group winners advancing to the Final, instead of the 'top 2 of 12' (latter could apply instead, only if a group winner fails to obtain a certain minimum points threshold)."
It is an alternative. It is six in one and a half dozen in the other. When it comes down to small details either way like that, best leave it to the administrators.
With divisions of 7, the important detail will be that the lowest ranked team from the year before gets a bye in the final round. It will give lower division finals a bit of a carrot to play for. Noone wants a bye in the final round. You could be a sitting duck with your opponents knowing the results needed to finish above you. Avoiding a bye in the final round on the field of play is the fairest way. Even in Division 5 with no relegation, finishing above 7th will avoid the bye of the final round in the following year, if being positive the county were going to challenge for the final in an improved season!

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7698 - 24/09/2023 12:42:18    2505423

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There is nothing wrong with the current system. 1A is slightly stronger than 1B but nothing suggested looks like an improvement. They are obsessed with changing things for the sake of it.

BarneyGrant (Dublin) - Posts: 2413 - 24/09/2023 13:51:47    2505430

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Replying To BarneyGrant:  "There is nothing wrong with the current system. 1A is slightly stronger than 1B but nothing suggested looks like an improvement. They are obsessed with changing things for the sake of it."
Current D1 HL is a series of Challenge games to keep the Big 9 safe from any relegation.
1 out of 12 gets Relegated while it's 1 out of 6 in D2A, 2B, 3A.

Seanfanbocht (Roscommon) - Posts: 1275 - 24/09/2023 14:46:18    2505432

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Replying To BarneyGrant:  "There is nothing wrong with the current system. 1A is slightly stronger than 1B but nothing suggested looks like an improvement. They are obsessed with changing things for the sake of it."
The current format was designed to reduce jeopardy. There is everything wrong with it. It is not fit for purpose.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7698 - 24/09/2023 21:10:00    2505485

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Replying To legendzxix:  "If lessons have been learned in recent years, the league needs jeopardy. The divisions of 7 seems to be striking a fair balance. 2 counties will be out of Division 1 for a brief year without being cut off for too long.

Projected National Hurling League 2025:

Division 1
Limerick
Kilkenny
Tipperary
Cork
Galway
Waterford
Clare

Division 2
Dublin
Wexford
Antrim
Westmeath
Offaly
Laois
Carlow

Division 3
Kildare
Kerry
Down
Derry
Meath
Wicklow
Donegal

Antrim in recent years would fancy their chances of making a Division 2 final. 4 MacCarthy Cup will be in Division 2 with 3 McDonagh counties. That's a fair enough composition. 3 McDonagh counties will in Division 3 with 4 Ring counties. Not ideal preparation for Kerry for example before a McDonagh Cup campaign but the jeopardy of not being in Division 2.
On the remaining divisions, Division 4 will have 2 Ring and 5 Rackard. Division 5 will have 1 Rackard and 6 Meagher. Some years Division 4 will have 2 Ring, 4 Rackard and 1 Meagher, with Division 5 having 2 Rackard and 5 Meagher.
Divisions of 7 should help have more fresh encounters between league and championships."
Here we go again damaging the game for no reason.

It nearly killed wexford and limerick, and did kill offaly.

That division two will do nothing for Laois, offaly, westmeath or antrim.

Doylerwex (Wexford) - Posts: 2536 - 24/09/2023 22:27:15    2505496

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Replying To Doylerwex:  "Here we go again damaging the game for no reason.

It nearly killed wexford and limerick, and did kill offaly.

That division two will do nothing for Laois, offaly, westmeath or antrim."
And of course the presumption that Dublin and Wexford belong in there, rather than, oh, Waterford maybe...

BarneyGrant (Dublin) - Posts: 2413 - 24/09/2023 22:51:21    2505501

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Replying To legendzxix:  "The current format was designed to reduce jeopardy. There is everything wrong with it. It is not fit for purpose."
There is relegation and the promoted team has a chance of surviving. That has benefitted Antrim.. There ought also be relegation of course from other section. Waterford are living on muscle memory. Would be doing well to avoid relegation battle in Leinster championship never mind league.

BarneyGrant (Dublin) - Posts: 2413 - 24/09/2023 22:53:49    2505502

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Replying To BarneyGrant:  "And of course the presumption that Dublin and Wexford belong in there, rather than, oh, Waterford maybe..."
Well, if that list was done up on the basis of finishing positions in this year's League, then Dublin and Wexford would belong there.

Div. 1 would include the top three teams from this year's Div. 1A (Cork, Limerick, Galway) and the top three from Div. 1B (Tipperary, Kilkenny, Waterford).

The seventh team in Div. 1 would be the better of this year's two fourth-place finishers:
- Clare had five points and score difference +36
- Dublin have five points and score difference -1

Therefore Clare would go into Div. 1 and Dublin would go to Div. 2, on a basis that's as open, transparent, and logical as possible. It's not a "put the Dubs down for no good reason" conspiracy.

Pikeman96 (Wexford) - Posts: 2146 - 25/09/2023 12:30:21    2505595

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Replying To Pikeman96:  "Well, if that list was done up on the basis of finishing positions in this year's League, then Dublin and Wexford would belong there.

Div. 1 would include the top three teams from this year's Div. 1A (Cork, Limerick, Galway) and the top three from Div. 1B (Tipperary, Kilkenny, Waterford).

The seventh team in Div. 1 would be the better of this year's two fourth-place finishers:
- Clare had five points and score difference +36
- Dublin have five points and score difference -1

Therefore Clare would go into Div. 1 and Dublin would go to Div. 2, on a basis that's as open, transparent, and logical as possible. It's not a "put the Dubs down for no good reason" conspiracy."
And in year 2 2 of the other 7 teams will be in div2. I don't see what the problem is. I think it's a great idea.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 11207 - 25/09/2023 12:32:49    2505596

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