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GAA Fixture Review Task Force propose two new formats for football championship
Last Updated: 04/12/19 5:52pm
The GAA has released the findings of the Fixtures Calendar Review Task Force, looking at potential layouts of the year for hurling and Gaelic football.
The committee comprised of a range of stakeholders within the GAA community, although the Club Players Association withdrew from the process, unhappy to put their name to the findings.
Of the 32 recommendations it published, the most eye-catching have been radical proposals to restructure the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship.
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New football championship - Format 1
Four provincial football championship competitions would be played, each consisting of eight teams split into two groups of four. Finishing positions in these groups would determine further progress through the All-Ireland championship.
This would require moving counties into different provincial groups to find a numerical balance, although no concrete proposal was offered how this would be achieved.
New football championship - Format 2
The second proposal would see the intercounty year being flipped - with the National Leagues becoming the basis for the summer championship, and the provincial competitions taking up the springtime slot.
The league would then determine the pathway for teams to qualify for the All-Ireland quarter-finals.
Both of the above formats would allow for a second tier competition.
Meanwhile New York's position in the championships may be reviewed, although they noted the importance of a meaningful annual game in the Big Apple.
Reverting to type
Under variations of these two proposed formats, the All-Ireland senior finals in both codes would revert to September
The report also examined retaining the present structure, while simultaneously taking action to improve the overall balance between the time currently available for club and intercounty games.
There were a host of other proposals forwarded, with a view to free up space in the calendar, including:
- Playing the All-Ireland senior hurling and football finals on consecutive weekends
- Increasing the Liam MacCarthy Cup groups to six teams
- Adding tiers to the U17 (minor) intercounty championships
- Reducing all senior county club championships to a maximum of 16 teams
- Moving the Galway senior club hurling champions into Munster or Leinster
- Playing the U20 hurling and football championships as national competitions, removing their provincial element
The report will be presented to Central Council in January, with feedback being sought from the GAA community.
This is with a view for them to be on the table as motions at the 2020 Congress in February.
If adopted, the earliest these recommendations could be implemented would be 2021.