U20 championship on the way

September 10, 2008
One of the new proposals at the upcoming Special Congress is for the U21 championships to be replaced by a new U20 championship. Motion 13 on the Clar seeks to amend the championships at club and county level from U21 to U20, with the aim of reducing burnout among players. A motion to replace both the minor and U21 grades with an U19 competition was recently rejected, so the GAA have come up with this new proposal. Minor competitions would still take place but no player eligible for minor would be allowed play U20 at county level, while at club level as long as a player is over 16 they could tog out at U20. Central Council will allow five players who are actually U21 to participate with weaker counties, as long as the players in question have not represented their county at senior level in either league or championship. The motion is likely to come in for strong opposition from counties who were successful at minor grade in 2006, as their expected dominance at U21 grade next year could be wiped out in one fell swoop. The motion is certainly not likely to be well received in Roscommon or Tipperary, who were hoping to add U21 titles to the minor successes they achieved in football and hurling respectively in 2006. Seperate motions propose that the U20 football championship takes place at the same time as the national football league and that players who are part of the U20 panel will not be allowed represent their counties in the NFL as long as their county is still involved in the U20 championship. The motion in full reads: A) That the existing Under 21 Competitions at County and Club levels be altered to Under 20 Competitions by "Under 20" replacing "Under 21" in Rules 19, 34, 60(c), 122(h), 129 and 134 O.G.. (B) Amend Rule 134 O.G. - Age Grades by replacing Under 21 Grade with the following: "Under 20: Club - Be over 16 and under 20 years. Inter-County - Be over 18 and under 20 years Other Rules affected: Rules 19, 34, 60(c), 122(h) and 129 O.G.. (C) That the following Exception be added to Rule 134 - Under 20 - Inter County:- "Exception" In the Inter County Under 20 Football Championship, Counties that are allowed by Central Council to avail of Rule 33 Home County (C) shall be permitted to play a maximum of five Under 21 Players (i.e. be over 18 and Under 21 years on the 1st of January of the Championship Year) who have not played at Senior Football level in either Championship or National League". Other Rules affected: Rules 19, 34, 60(c), 122(A) and (H), 129 and 141 O.G..

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