National Forum

Two Tier Competition

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Replying To Whammo86:  "Yeah I'm not saying they are the gospel on this stuff. I just gave an example that there is some appetite to have the league become the championship.

I can't see it happening within the next 10 years but I do hope it happens sometime.

I agree also that I don't see intercounty finishing any earlier than they are going for this year.

That's another reason why I think league based intercounty championship could work.

All games are important but none are of the importance of a knockout match. It may be easier to have players released to clubs during the regular season.

There are 22 weeks in March to July inclusive. 15 intercounty weekends plus then clubs get access to 7 weekends.

Counties don't have to have free weekends at the same time but they will be decided from the off. So they GAA can guarantee say 4 division 1 matches every week."
The hurling format agreed for next year is likely to be in place for over a decade and beyond.

The Super 8 format will change after 3 years. The most likely changes is to a Top 16.

In a move not too dissimilar to hurling, 6 Provincial groups of 4 and 2 qualifier groups of 4 (Tier 2) could be a good option.

In Munster and Connaught: The non-finalists of the previous year could contest a preliminary round. Winners advance to their respective provincial group stage. Losers drop into qualifier group tier 2.

In Ulster the preliminary round loser of the previous year and the loser of a play-off between the bottom team of both Ulster groups should contest a preliminary round. Winner into provincial group stage. Loser into qualifier group tier 2.

In Leinster the 3 preliminary round losers of the previous year, the bottom teams from both groups and the loser of a playoff between the two 3rd placed teams should enter the preliminary round. The 3 winners should advance to their provincial group stage. The 3 losers into qualifier group tier 2.

Congress probably will want to reward provincial winners with a quarter-final. In that case qualifying rounds will have to remain:

Preliminary Round: 6 3rd placed teams.
Qualifier Round 1: 4 losing semi-finalists of Ulster and Leinster. 3 Preliminary Round winners. Tier 2 winner from the two qualifier groups.
Qualifier Round 2: 4 Provincial runners-up and 4 Qualifier Round 1 winners.
All-Ireland quarter-finals etc. after that.

legendzxix (Kerry) - 07/12/2017 22:07:47    2064642

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I was musing over the following for football: Two-thirds of all counties should contest their provincial championships. One-third of all counties should make the All-Ireland series. This can be achieved as follows: Munster - 1 group of 4 (4 of 6 counties), Connaught - 1 group of 4 (4 of 6 counties), Ulster - 2 groups of 3 or 1 group of 6 (6 of 9 counties) and Leinster - 2 groups of 4 (8 of 11 counties (-Kilkenny)). 2 teams from Munster, 2 teams from Connaught, 3 teams from Ulster and 4 teams from Leinster should advance to the All-Ireland series. A 12th team in the All-Ireland series should be awarded to a Tier II winner consisting of all counties outside of the provincial championships. Provincial winners would qualify for the quarter-finals. 4 provincial runners-up would be drawn against the 4 non-provincial finalists in a play-off. The Tier II winner would have to be promoted to their provincial championship in the following year. The GAA in their greatness would have to sort out the finer details on how other Tier II teams would earn promotion to their provincial championship. They could have the Tier II level consist of 2 groups; Group I: 2 Connaught and 3 Ulster. Group II: 2 Munster and 3 Leinster. Top teams from both groups into the Tier II final and automatic promotion to their provincial championship in placed of the lowest team. The second placed teams in both groups could playoff against the next lowest teams in their provincial championship. New York and Kilkenny can be invited to join the tier II groups. The Ulster championship could be granted an exemption to allow 2 even groups of 4 as only 3 of the 9 would still be allowed to make the All-Ireland series and it would be lowering their chance of a Tier II winner. In such a scenario the Tier II groups could be; Group I: 2 Munster and 2 Connaught. Group II: 3 Leinster and 1 Ulster. Again, New York and Kilkenny would possibly be welcome to join the Tier II groups.

legendzxix (Kerry) - 09/12/2017 17:27:56    2064744

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@legendzxix

Those formats would be improvements on what we are due to get.

I still think that it'd be better to have a league incorporated into the All Ireland series.

The 2 divisions of 16 could be improved upon.

14 team division 1 18 team division 2.

Division 1 single round robin

Division 2 Every team plays a 10 round schedule finishing with a 3 round playoff competition. A 16 team division 2 with a single round robin will have a lot of dead rubber games. Making it shorter would probably improve it.

I'd have top 6 playoff for the title. Top 10 remain in promotion contention. 2 finalists automatically promoted, 2 other teams play off against division 1 11th and 12th placed teams.

Top 6 from division 1 plus the division 2 champion into the All Ireland playoffs.

Week 1

Preliminary quarterfinal: 6th division 1 v Division 2 champion. (Neutral venue)
Quarterfinal 1: 4th division 1 at home to 5th division 1

Week 2

Quarterfinal 2: 3rd division 1 at home to Preliminary quarterfinal winner
Semifinal 1: 1st division 1 v winner quarterfinal 1 (Croke Park)

Week 3

Semifinal 2: 2nd division 2 v winner quarterfinal 2 (Croke Park)

Week 4

Free week (Hurling final)

Week 5

Football final

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 10/12/2017 17:33:36    2064786

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You can't claim me for this ongoing discussion - you are just as addicted :)

omahant (USA) - 10/12/2017 19:01:58    2064792

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Replying To Whammo86:  "@legendzxix

Those formats would be improvements on what we are due to get.

I still think that it'd be better to have a league incorporated into the All Ireland series.

The 2 divisions of 16 could be improved upon.

14 team division 1 18 team division 2.

Division 1 single round robin

Division 2 Every team plays a 10 round schedule finishing with a 3 round playoff competition. A 16 team division 2 with a single round robin will have a lot of dead rubber games. Making it shorter would probably improve it.

I'd have top 6 playoff for the title. Top 10 remain in promotion contention. 2 finalists automatically promoted, 2 other teams play off against division 1 11th and 12th placed teams.

Top 6 from division 1 plus the division 2 champion into the All Ireland playoffs.

Week 1

Preliminary quarterfinal: 6th division 1 v Division 2 champion. (Neutral venue)
Quarterfinal 1: 4th division 1 at home to 5th division 1

Week 2

Quarterfinal 2: 3rd division 1 at home to Preliminary quarterfinal winner
Semifinal 1: 1st division 1 v winner quarterfinal 1 (Croke Park)

Week 3

Semifinal 2: 2nd division 2 v winner quarterfinal 2 (Croke Park)

Week 4

Free week (Hurling final)

Week 5

Football final"
The only thing I don't like here - why drive on for promo from 10th Div 2 with no playoff spot and needing to make the top 6 Div 1 next year ?
I'd prefer - top 10 Div 2, with top 2 in Div 2 final both promo and to AI Last 14, with next 8 play 2 rds for 2 promo and KO 14 spots. Top 10 Div 1 to KO 14, with top 2 in Div 1 final, both to KO QFs, next 8 join 4 Div 2 promo teams in 1 rd to get 6 more to AI QFs.

omahant (USA) - 11/12/2017 01:14:07    2064807

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Replying To omahant:  "The only thing I don't like here - why drive on for promo from 10th Div 2 with no playoff spot and needing to make the top 6 Div 1 next year ?
I'd prefer - top 10 Div 2, with top 2 in Div 2 final both promo and to AI Last 14, with next 8 play 2 rds for 2 promo and KO 14 spots. Top 10 Div 1 to KO 14, with top 2 in Div 1 final, both to KO QFs, next 8 join 4 Div 2 promo teams in 1 rd to get 6 more to AI QFs."
I think the league needs to be competitive so you don't want to offer too many play off spots.

Division 1 in itself is prize worth going for. The division 2 champion only gets to a preliminary quarterfinal. So in division 1 gives teams a shot at an automatic semifinal or quarterfinal spot.

I think for developing most teams would want to be in division 1. 13 games against the top teams is more beneficial than a slightly easier route to the playoffs.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 11/12/2017 10:50:29    2064819

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Lads, the league is not going to be combined with the championship. It is a complete waste of time to be going on about it. The football championship will consist of a provincial group stage or an All-Ireland series group stage. The league is not going to change that much. The football and hurling leagues are serving their purpose pre-championship. Hurling will have a provincial group stage next year. Football will have an All-Ireland series group stage. It will be interesting to see how both play out for real.

legendzxix (Kerry) - 11/12/2017 21:55:25    2064904

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In football, if the choice is between provincial group stage or All-Ireland group stage, I think the Super 8 expanding to a Top 16 is the best approach. The top third from each province should make the final 16. I would suggest Ulster take in London and New York so that the 4 quarter-final winners of Ulster, 4/11, would qualify for the final 16.

Top third from each province qualifying for final 16:
Munster - 2/6, semi-final winners should be guaranteed final 16.
Connaugth - 2/5, semi-final winners should be guaranteed final 16.
Ulster - 4/11 (9 counties, London and New York), quarter-final winners should be guaranteed final 16.
Leinster - 4/11, quarter-final winners should be guaranteed final 16.

This would see 12 of the Top16 places taken from the provincial championships.

The remaining 20 teams, excluding New York who currently do not enter the qualifiers but they can be included, shall compete over 3 qualifying rounds:

20 teams vying for the final 4 Top 16 places:
Qualifier Round 1: 8 teams - 8 provincial preliminary round losers.
Qualifier Round 2: 16 teams 4 Qualifier Round 1 winners and 12 teams who lost in the Munster semi-finals, Connaught semi-finals, Ulster quarter-finals and Leinster quarter-finals.
Play-off Round: 8 teams - 8 Qualifier Round 2 winners. 4 winners into the Top 16.

With 12 places being rewarded through the provinces, it wouldn't really fit to have a second championship winner qualifying for the Top 16 group stage of the following year. The GAA could give all non-qualified counties the option to enter a second championship. The second championship winner could be guaranteed a Play-Off round spot in the following year as a token carrot for winning at that level. This would natually require some re-alignment of qualifiers:

20 teams vying for the final 4 Top 16 places: (Tier II winner receiving bye to play-off round)
Qualifier Round 1: 10 teams - 7 or 8 provincial preliminary round losers (excludes Tier II winner). 2 or 3 lowest placed league teams of the remaining 12 qualifier counties.
Qualifier Round 2: 9 teams - 5 Qualifier Round 1 winners and 9 or 10 of the 12 teams who lost in the Munster semi-finals, Connaught semi-finals, Ulster quarter-finals and Leinster quarter-finals.
Play-off Round: 8 teams - 1 Tier II winner from the previous year. 7 Qualifier Round 2 winners. 4 winners into the Top 16.

The All-Ireland winner could also be guaranteed a Play-Off round spot in the exceptional circumstance that they would also fail in qualifying for the Top 16 through their provincial championship in the following year. It would require a similar re-alignment as the previous two examples.

The Top 16 should be slotted into 4 groups of 4.
Seeds 1: Provincial champions.
Seeds 2: Provincial runners-up.
Seeds 3: Provincial semi-finalists of Ulster and Leinster.
Seeds 4: 4 Play-off Round winners.

Teams from Seeds 1 and Seeds 2 should contest their match in Croke Park.
Provincial winners should have home advantage against both of the lowest seeds.
All other teams should have one home game each.

- Provincial champions are rewarded with a game at Croke Park and 2 home games.
- Provincial runners-up are also rewarded with a game at Croke Park.
- All teams are guaranteed at least 1 home game in the group stage. This is a boost for provincial grounds.
- All-Ireland quarter-finals could be hosted by the group winners. This is also a boost for provincial grounds.

Format of Tier II:
Round 1: 16 teams - 16 teams failing to make the play-off round.
Round 2: 8 teams - 8 Round 1 winners.
Quarter-finals: 8 teams - 4 Play-off losers and 4 Round 2 winners.

- A Tier II competition guarantees all teams at least 3 games.
- Some will scoff at a Tier II but after 2 bites at the Top 16, they cannot complain too much.
- There's very little wiggle room for rewarding the Tier II winner. Guaranteeing a play-off spot in the following year and thus avoiding Qualifier Rounds 1 and 2 seems a fair enough option.
- Ideally the Tier II final would be played in Croke Park.

New York and/or Kilkenny, if they had the appetite for it, could even enter the Tier II competition. They could take on the lowest Qualifier Round 1 loser(s) based on league placing in a preliminary round.

legendzxix (Kerry) - 12/12/2017 21:08:47    2065030

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I think the league needs to be competitive so you don't want to offer too many play off spots.

Division 1 in itself is prize worth going for. The division 2 champion only gets to a preliminary quarterfinal. So in division 1 gives teams a shot at an automatic semifinal or quarterfinal spot.

I think for developing most teams would want to be in division 1. 13 games against the top teams is more beneficial than a slightly easier route to the playoffs."
As you say the debate is endless -
but I have top 2 Div 1 to As, next 8 and top 2 Div 2 to KOI 14, along with next 2 of 8 Div 2 to KOI 14.
I think it's fair !

omahant (USA) - 13/12/2017 01:31:33    2065053

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I like US NFL style 8 Div of 4.
Each of 4 dvs contain two Prov SFs (two Provs) is drawn after Prov QFs are played.
Other 4 Divs each contains a beaten team from both Uls and Lein As.
Each plays 12 match regular season - two other divs, own div, and one extra game.
Top2 from strong groups and Top 1 (after 1 rd KO of top 2) in weak group to AI KO Last 12.

omahant (USA) - 13/12/2017 01:46:37    2065055

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I like US NFL style 8 Div of 4.
Each of 4 dvs contain two Prov SFs (two Provs) is drawn after Prov QFs are played.
Other 4 Divs each contains a beaten team from both Uls and Lein QFs.
Each plays 12 match regular season - two other divs, own div, and one extra game.
Top2 from strong groups and Top 1 (after 1 rd KO of top 2) in weak group to AI KO Last 12.

omahant (USA) - 13/12/2017 01:48:06    2065056

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I could go with a variation of my Antrim friend -
12-team Div 1 - 11 matches - 3rd to 8th join league finalists 1st 2nd in AI Last 12.
Two 10-team Div 2 Regions - North and South - 9 matches.
2nd to 5th in each play 2 inter region KO rds with 2 unbeaten joining 2 Div 2 finalists - top in each - as 4 promo teams and also in Last 12.

omahant (USA) - 13/12/2017 02:06:40    2065057

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There has been no indication of provincial championships being separated from the All-Ireland series. There is also no indication of the league being combined with the championship. Solutions within the confines of those limitations are more realistic.

legendzxix (Kerry) - 13/12/2017 18:43:01    2065126

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