National - Dynamic Football Championship

There's a lot of talk about the need for a multi-tier All Ireland football championship with the perception often being given that the championship is a boring, repetitive, predictable competition that only gives opportunity for the few. It is interesting to consider the following facts, which show that over time it's considerably less predictable and more dynamic than you'd think and, whilst not everyone can aspire to reach the highest levels, it does give opportunities for the many and hope to most teams of some degree of achievement.

* Since the qualifiers were introduced in 2001 there have been seven different winners, three other teams who've got to a final, five who've got to a semi-final and eight who've got to a quarter-final - so that's 23 in total who've made it at least to a quarter-final, which is a very high proportion for any competition. Of the remaining nine (excluding New York and Kilkenny and including London) six have got to the last-12 and the remaining three have got to the last-16 (Carlow being the last one this year). So every team has got at least as far as qualifier round 3 - granted some teams get lucky with the draw and start at round 2 but it's still a sign of opportunity and a potential sense of achievement for most.

* Since 2001 (when for the first time it was possible to reach the semi-finals without having won a province) there has been at least one semi-finalist each year who was not there the previous year. In fact, on average, there were two such teams each year.

* Since 1991 the only teams to retain the title were Kerry in 2007 and Dublin in 2016. Historically, the longest sequence of successive title wins has been Kerry (twice) with four-in-a-row (1978-81, 1929-32) and Wexford (1914-18). Three-in-a-row has only been achieved on six occasions Dublin (x3) 1921-23, 1906-08 and 1897-99, Kerry (x2) 1984-86 and 1939-41 as well as Galway 1964-66.

* Every year since 1989 has seen at least one of the All Ireland finalists being a team that wasn't there the previous year. In fact the only years since 1920 where the two finalists were the same as the previous year were 1988 (Cork and Meath), 1985 (Kerry and Dublin), 1982 (Offaly and Kerry), 1979 (Kerry and Dublin), 1976 (Kerry and Dublin), 1965 (Galway and Kerry), 1941 (Kerry and Galway), 1927 (Kildare and Kerry) and 1924 (Kerry and Dublin). Granted the three-year rotation of the provinces that meet up in the semi-finals meant that for a long period it wouldn't have been possible to have the same teams meet three years in a row in the final but the small number of repeat pairings over the years shows a healthy variation and a dynamic competition.

* Quite surprisingly, considering the cycles of domination by particular teams in each province, the last year in which all four provincial winners were the same as the previous year was 1942 (when Cavan, Dublin, Kerry and Galway won their respective provinces for at least the second year running). The only other years when that has happened since 1920 were 1937, 1934, 1930 and 1924.

* Similarly there has not been a single year where all eight provincial finalists were the same as the previous year. In fact there has been an average of four provincial finalists changing in every year since 1920.

CeachtPeile (Cavan) - Posts:25 - 17/07/2017 19:49:54   2018349

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Replying To CeachtPeile:  "There's a lot of talk about the need for a multi-tier All Ireland football championship with the perception often being given that the championship is a boring, repetitive, predictable competition that only gives opportunity for the few. It is interesting to consider the following facts, which show that over time it's considerably less predictable and more dynamic than you'd think and, whilst not everyone can aspire to reach the highest levels, it does give opportunities for the many and hope to most teams of some degree of achievement.

* Since the qualifiers were introduced in 2001 there have been seven different winners, three other teams who've got to a final, five who've got to a semi-final and eight who've got to a quarter-final - so that's 23 in total who've made it at least to a quarter-final, which is a very high proportion for any competition. Of the remaining nine (excluding New York and Kilkenny and including London) six have got to the last-12 and the remaining three have got to the last-16 (Carlow being the last one this year). So every team has got at least as far as qualifier round 3 - granted some teams get lucky with the draw and start at round 2 but it's still a sign of opportunity and a potential sense of achievement for most.

* Since 2001 (when for the first time it was possible to reach the semi-finals without having won a province) there has been at least one semi-finalist each year who was not there the previous year. In fact, on average, there were two such teams each year.

* Since 1991 the only teams to retain the title were Kerry in 2007 and Dublin in 2016. Historically, the longest sequence of successive title wins has been Kerry (twice) with four-in-a-row (1978-81, 1929-32) and Wexford (1914-18). Three-in-a-row has only been achieved on six occasions Dublin (x3) 1921-23, 1906-08 and 1897-99, Kerry (x2) 1984-86 and 1939-41 as well as Galway 1964-66.

* Every year since 1989 has seen at least one of the All Ireland finalists being a team that wasn't there the previous year. In fact the only years since 1920 where the two finalists were the same as the previous year were 1988 (Cork and Meath), 1985 (Kerry and Dublin), 1982 (Offaly and Kerry), 1979 (Kerry and Dublin), 1976 (Kerry and Dublin), 1965 (Galway and Kerry), 1941 (Kerry and Galway), 1927 (Kildare and Kerry) and 1924 (Kerry and Dublin). Granted the three-year rotation of the provinces that meet up in the semi-finals meant that for a long period it wouldn't have been possible to have the same teams meet three years in a row in the final but the small number of repeat pairings over the years shows a healthy variation and a dynamic competition.

* Quite surprisingly, considering the cycles of domination by particular teams in each province, the last year in which all four provincial winners were the same as the previous year was 1942 (when Cavan, Dublin, Kerry and Galway won their respective provinces for at least the second year running). The only other years when that has happened since 1920 were 1937, 1934, 1930 and 1924.

* Similarly there has not been a single year where all eight provincial finalists were the same as the previous year. In fact there has been an average of four provincial finalists changing in every year since 1920."
Fair play Ceacht.

Great work for a Cavanman !

Seriously, always good to see actual facts to contradict the perceived wisdom.....

Nicely put together....

PearseBro (Monaghan) - Posts:410 - 17/07/2017 22:40:48   2018411

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Replying To CeachtPeile:  "There's a lot of talk about the need for a multi-tier All Ireland football championship with the perception often being given that the championship is a boring, repetitive, predictable competition that only gives opportunity for the few. It is interesting to consider the following facts, which show that over time it's considerably less predictable and more dynamic than you'd think and, whilst not everyone can aspire to reach the highest levels, it does give opportunities for the many and hope to most teams of some degree of achievement.

* Since the qualifiers were introduced in 2001 there have been seven different winners, three other teams who've got to a final, five who've got to a semi-final and eight who've got to a quarter-final - so that's 23 in total who've made it at least to a quarter-final, which is a very high proportion for any competition. Of the remaining nine (excluding New York and Kilkenny and including London) six have got to the last-12 and the remaining three have got to the last-16 (Carlow being the last one this year). So every team has got at least as far as qualifier round 3 - granted some teams get lucky with the draw and start at round 2 but it's still a sign of opportunity and a potential sense of achievement for most.

* Since 2001 (when for the first time it was possible to reach the semi-finals without having won a province) there has been at least one semi-finalist each year who was not there the previous year. In fact, on average, there were two such teams each year.

* Since 1991 the only teams to retain the title were Kerry in 2007 and Dublin in 2016. Historically, the longest sequence of successive title wins has been Kerry (twice) with four-in-a-row (1978-81, 1929-32) and Wexford (1914-18). Three-in-a-row has only been achieved on six occasions Dublin (x3) 1921-23, 1906-08 and 1897-99, Kerry (x2) 1984-86 and 1939-41 as well as Galway 1964-66.

* Every year since 1989 has seen at least one of the All Ireland finalists being a team that wasn't there the previous year. In fact the only years since 1920 where the two finalists were the same as the previous year were 1988 (Cork and Meath), 1985 (Kerry and Dublin), 1982 (Offaly and Kerry), 1979 (Kerry and Dublin), 1976 (Kerry and Dublin), 1965 (Galway and Kerry), 1941 (Kerry and Galway), 1927 (Kildare and Kerry) and 1924 (Kerry and Dublin). Granted the three-year rotation of the provinces that meet up in the semi-finals meant that for a long period it wouldn't have been possible to have the same teams meet three years in a row in the final but the small number of repeat pairings over the years shows a healthy variation and a dynamic competition.

* Quite surprisingly, considering the cycles of domination by particular teams in each province, the last year in which all four provincial winners were the same as the previous year was 1942 (when Cavan, Dublin, Kerry and Galway won their respective provinces for at least the second year running). The only other years when that has happened since 1920 were 1937, 1934, 1930 and 1924.

* Similarly there has not been a single year where all eight provincial finalists were the same as the previous year. In fact there has been an average of four provincial finalists changing in every year since 1920."
CeachtPeile by name and by nature

MesAmis (Dublin) - Posts:10989 - 18/07/2017 00:31:36   2018450

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Pretty sure my own lovely Leitrim never made it to Round 3 :(

Tacaí Liatroma (Leitrim) - Posts:385 - 18/07/2017 00:35:47   2018451

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CeachtPeile (Cavan)- Nice to read some very interesting facts put together.

browncows (Meath) - Posts:1507 - 18/07/2017 01:00:51   2018454

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8 different teams won in in the 17 years previous to the start of the back door.

Inaroundehouse (Cavan) - Posts:199 - 18/07/2017 08:39:18   2018480

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Nice to see some of the stats but how many of the teams that make it to a semi-final or quarter final build on that and maybe challenge for their provincials the following year? A team can go on a run and it's a breath of fresh air but does that establish a standard in that county going forward. I think most people's issue and talk of restructuring is that while a team can progress in a year, is there tangible reward for them other than "we made it to the last 12 of the All-Ireland".

I still think Jim McGuinness' restructuring idea is the best one. It gives everyone a clear path and links all the competitions together so every game does matter for every side. It gives teams something to work towards and potential national titles to fight for regardless of their ability that year.

Finance is obviously important as well and I think counties need help from HQ in terms of games development and structures to be put in place.

The qualifiers have been a decent system and my own county went on a great run to the All-Ireland semi-final as a result of them in 2003. That day against Armagh is still one of the best atmospheres I've ever experienced. I don't think the qualifiers are perfect but they have given counties opportunities to progress. However I think we have outgrown them in a way and need to look at ways to give the likes of Carlow a tangible reward after a very good summer for themselves. A very good league should give you some kind of reward come championship time too. If you're playing a team in a division above you should get home advantage. All those kind of things should be looked at to help competitiveness for all counties, not just one or two that might go on a run.

JoeSoap (Donegal) - Posts:600 - 18/07/2017 10:31:33   2018512

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Replying To JoeSoap:  "Nice to see some of the stats but how many of the teams that make it to a semi-final or quarter final build on that and maybe challenge for their provincials the following year? A team can go on a run and it's a breath of fresh air but does that establish a standard in that county going forward. I think most people's issue and talk of restructuring is that while a team can progress in a year, is there tangible reward for them other than "we made it to the last 12 of the All-Ireland".

I still think Jim McGuinness' restructuring idea is the best one. It gives everyone a clear path and links all the competitions together so every game does matter for every side. It gives teams something to work towards and potential national titles to fight for regardless of their ability that year.

Finance is obviously important as well and I think counties need help from HQ in terms of games development and structures to be put in place.

The qualifiers have been a decent system and my own county went on a great run to the All-Ireland semi-final as a result of them in 2003. That day against Armagh is still one of the best atmospheres I've ever experienced. I don't think the qualifiers are perfect but they have given counties opportunities to progress. However I think we have outgrown them in a way and need to look at ways to give the likes of Carlow a tangible reward after a very good summer for themselves. A very good league should give you some kind of reward come championship time too. If you're playing a team in a division above you should get home advantage. All those kind of things should be looked at to help competitiveness for all counties, not just one or two that might go on a run."
Cavan won ulster in 97 making the all ireland semi final.

The following year we were beaten by a strong Derry side.

Had there been qualifiers I think we'd have better built on the previous years success.

That team made a national league final and narrowly lost another ulster final but never really pushed on. On a couple of occasions they lost 1 game and it was game over for the year.

cavanman47 (Cavan) - Posts:2673 - 18/07/2017 10:50:47   2018523

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Replying To cavanman47:  "Cavan won ulster in 97 making the all ireland semi final.

The following year we were beaten by a strong Derry side.

Had there been qualifiers I think we'd have better built on the previous years success.

That team made a national league final and narrowly lost another ulster final but never really pushed on. On a couple of occasions they lost 1 game and it was game over for the year."
Well yes, the qualifiers are definitely better than the old system in giving teams another chance. Our own team in '92 were similar in that there was probably another All-Ireland in them. But I still think we've outgrown it as a system and need to come up with a better way to help counties progress and compete.

JoeSoap (Donegal) - Posts:600 - 18/07/2017 11:27:33   2018546

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Replying To JoeSoap:  "Nice to see some of the stats but how many of the teams that make it to a semi-final or quarter final build on that and maybe challenge for their provincials the following year? A team can go on a run and it's a breath of fresh air but does that establish a standard in that county going forward. I think most people's issue and talk of restructuring is that while a team can progress in a year, is there tangible reward for them other than "we made it to the last 12 of the All-Ireland".

I still think Jim McGuinness' restructuring idea is the best one. It gives everyone a clear path and links all the competitions together so every game does matter for every side. It gives teams something to work towards and potential national titles to fight for regardless of their ability that year.

Finance is obviously important as well and I think counties need help from HQ in terms of games development and structures to be put in place.

The qualifiers have been a decent system and my own county went on a great run to the All-Ireland semi-final as a result of them in 2003. That day against Armagh is still one of the best atmospheres I've ever experienced. I don't think the qualifiers are perfect but they have given counties opportunities to progress. However I think we have outgrown them in a way and need to look at ways to give the likes of Carlow a tangible reward after a very good summer for themselves. A very good league should give you some kind of reward come championship time too. If you're playing a team in a division above you should get home advantage. All those kind of things should be looked at to help competitiveness for all counties, not just one or two that might go on a run."
If you'd some sort of linking between league and championship where by your league placing determines what round you enter championship at and then your championship run determines what division you play in the following season.

So that a last 24 team plays division 3, last 16 plays division 2, last 8 plays division 1 in the following season.

I don't know exactly how It'd work but it would reward a good championship performance with a better league standard the following year.

Take Antrim this year we'd have done badly in league and would start championship at an early round but the rest of our season would still be of benefit because we could be playing to not be in division 4.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts:1594 - 18/07/2017 13:53:26   2018638

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Replying To PearseBro:  "Fair play Ceacht.

Great work for a Cavanman !

Seriously, always good to see actual facts to contradict the perceived wisdom.....

Nicely put together...."
Why, thank you! Not a lot else to be doing in these barren times for Cavan!

CeachtPeile (Cavan) - Posts:25 - 18/07/2017 18:37:02   2018850

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Replying To Tacaí Liatroma:  "Pretty sure my own lovely Leitrim never made it to Round 3 :("
Lovely Leitrim made it to the last 16 in 2012. They beat London and lost to Mayo in Connacht and then beat Wicklow in Round 2 of the qualifiers before losing narrowly to Laois in Round 3.

CeachtPeile (Cavan) - Posts:25 - 18/07/2017 18:44:03   2018856

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No matter how you organise a competition there can only be one winner. All the rest are losers, whether they lose in the first round or the final. The qualifers give counties an opportunity to maybe get a couple of wins, stay in the competition a bit longer, get a bit of pay back for all their training and maybe grab the interest of a badly needed sponsor or two. Players are happy enough that they take part in the really big one, the race for Sam and, in years to come, maybe their most cherished memory will be of the day they ruffled the feathers of one of the 'big ones'. The Provincials provide a bonus in that they provide four 'minor' prizes while still leaving you in the race for the big one.

neverright (Roscommon) - Posts:839 - 18/07/2017 19:24:12   2018880

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Actually was trying to find a source of qualifier results since 2001 in one place.

Can you point me in the right direction Ceacht Peile ? I'm interested in Round 3 margins of victory.

I'm guessing there are rarely one sided matches at this stage as both teams have regained momentum after provincial defeat, but I'd love to be able to back up my theory with facts, as you have done !

PearseBro (Monaghan) - Posts:410 - 18/07/2017 21:51:08   2018961

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Replying To PearseBro:  "Actually was trying to find a source of qualifier results since 2001 in one place.

Can you point me in the right direction Ceacht Peile ? I'm interested in Round 3 margins of victory.

I'm guessing there are rarely one sided matches at this stage as both teams have regained momentum after provincial defeat, but I'd love to be able to back up my theory with facts, as you have done !"
PearseBro, I don't know of any one place where all the qualifier results can be found. However, there is a very comprehensive Wikipedia page for each year's championship that includes all the detailed results e.g.
for 2001 link
for 2002 link
etc.

CeachtPeile (Cavan) - Posts:25 - 18/07/2017 23:58:13   2019017

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Replying To CeachtPeile:  "PearseBro, I don't know of any one place where all the qualifier results can be found. However, there is a very comprehensive Wikipedia page for each year's championship that includes all the detailed results e.g.
for 2001 link
for 2002 link
etc."
Thanks Ceacht Peile, I had got those alright. Was hoping I might find them all together somewhere.

I'll have to try get a few hours to put them together. Depends on how badly I want to support my point I suppose !

PearseBro (Monaghan) - Posts:410 - 19/07/2017 11:24:14   2019166

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