National Forum

Alternative to Super 8

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Scrap the Provincials in their current form.
4 Regional Competitions of 8/9 teams each.
Northern Championship, Western Championship, Eastern Championship, Southern Championship.
Open draw but you don't have to play everyone. Say only 3-4 games in the regional group stages.
After this straight knockout in regional semi-finals and final- 1 v 4, 2 v 3.
AI semi-finals is the winner of each region.
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Teams outside top 4 in each region compete in B Championship.
Regional B semi-finals straight knockout, 5 v 8, 6 v 7.
All Ireland B semi-finals is the winner of each B region.

Hardtimes (Cavan) - 07/08/2017 15:59:46    2030353

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Advantages of this system:
Some element of provincials is still maintained to keep traditionalists happy and local rivalries healthy.
Easier to streamline fixtures.
Every team is guaranteed minimum 4 games which will help weaker teams.
Teams still have the opportunity to compete in AI proper but can have no complaints if they find themselves in B Championship.
B Championship would offer a fantastic level of competition and help weaker counties.
While there would be some element of luck/bad luck in the Regional draw in avoiding/getting the big guns you still have plenty other opportunity to make top 4.
This system gives greater freedom to controlling the number of games e.g If you want to reduce the number of games just have one less round of games in the open draw without impacting Championship structure. Likewise you can easily increase the number of games in the same manner without impacting the structure.

Personally I would also leave some scope for moving counties each year. Say in Northern Region some traditionalists in Cavan Fermanagh might want to stay in Northern region. You could alternate border counties each year or maybe have an incentive that if you finish bottom of the regional table you get moved next year.

Hardtimes (Cavan) - 07/08/2017 16:07:55    2030369

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Super 8 has a 3 year trial period. The likes of Roscommon etc value the provincial system. This is a knee-jerk reaction thread to the poor quarterfinals this year, hold your horses there.

maroondiesel (Mayo) - 07/08/2017 16:18:45    2030394

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Replying To maroondiesel:  "Super 8 has a 3 year trial period. The likes of Roscommon etc value the provincial system. This is a knee-jerk reaction thread to the poor quarterfinals this year, hold your horses there."
Not a knee jerk reaction from me. From day one I thought it was a horrific proposal. Not surprised someone from the big 4 would be happy to wait and see.

Hardtimes (Cavan) - 07/08/2017 16:21:22    2030399

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Replying To Hardtimes:  "Not a knee jerk reaction from me. From day one I thought it was a horrific proposal. Not surprised someone from the big 4 would be happy to wait and see."
It was big 3 yesterday, Im actually from #6 Galway, but look the province thing is a good cup still, best to yous.

maroondiesel (Mayo) - 07/08/2017 16:26:09    2030405

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Replying To maroondiesel:  "Super 8 has a 3 year trial period. The likes of Roscommon etc value the provincial system. This is a knee-jerk reaction thread to the poor quarterfinals this year, hold your horses there."
I think that it is more than this years quarter finals that has people dreading the super 8 competition. The indications are that there are a few big teams who peak for august and september. Mayo have vindicated this today. The only time a small team will catch them is in the back door or the provincials, before the all ireland quarter finals come around. Kerry and Dublin simply will not be stopped in the super 8 competition for the same reason. Tyrone are shaping up to be a similar team too. They really walloped all before them this year in ulster.

Unfortunately, there is a 3 or 4 horse race developing every year now, with the likelihood of dublin and kerry playing 2 out of every 3 finals as they will meet at the semi stage in the 3rd year cycle. Those would be the years that Mayo and tyrone will try and make their fixtures count to get to the final.

In 2 years time, it will be so one sided that I would say that sky will look at pulling out and covering something else.

Donegalman (None) - 07/08/2017 16:26:50    2030407

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Scrap everything and just do an open draw between Kerry, Dublin, Tyrone and Mayo,

Then have a B Championship with everyone else.

UPAY4DINNER (Roscommon) - 07/08/2017 16:26:52    2030408

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Replying To maroondiesel:  "It was big 3 yesterday, Im actually from #6 Galway, but look the province thing is a good cup still, best to yous."
It was always big 4 to me. Mayo doing nothing new this year. Slow to get going but always hit the high gears this time of year. I am a huge fan of provincials and wouldn't scrap them but number of teams needs to be evened up and for some reason a lot of people have a huge hang up with moving a county from a province. With this structure you get the best of both worlds IMO.

Hardtimes (Cavan) - 07/08/2017 16:38:36    2030424

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Given the Vatican-esque / glacial pace of change generally within the higher echelons of the GAA, I welcomed the introduction of the Super 8 on the basis that it represented a stepping stone to something better.

The example of an alternative Championship structure as outlined on this thread has considerable merit, far beyond what the Super 8 does.

My point is that going from where we now are, directly to the restructure Hardtimes advocates would be "too much to soon" for too many.

That said, it's by far the better proposal.

Knoxboya (Monaghan) - 07/08/2017 19:31:40    2030541

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I think you either keep the Provincial championships as is or just scrap them and go with an open draw.

The Provincial championships are only meaningful because they've a long tradition of being made up of the same teams.

A simple idea that keeps the Provincials would be to have say 8 groups of 4. Group winners qualify, group runners up go to a playoff to get down to 12 teams.

Play the Provincial championships, Provincial champions who are in the top 12 get a bye to the quarterfinals. A Provincial champion who hasn't made the 12 will get a place in the AI series, there'll be fewer byes but they get made up by extra 1st knockout round games so that you still get left with 8 teams.

It's a close enough system to what the GPA wanted without removing the Provincial championships from the All Ireland championship.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 07/08/2017 21:09:12    2030609

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I think you either keep the Provincial championships as is or just scrap them and go with an open draw.

The Provincial championships are only meaningful because they've a long tradition of being made up of the same teams.

A simple idea that keeps the Provincials would be to have say 8 groups of 4. Group winners qualify, group runners up go to a playoff to get down to 12 teams.

Play the Provincial championships, Provincial champions who are in the top 12 get a bye to the quarterfinals. A Provincial champion who hasn't made the 12 will get a place in the AI series, there'll be fewer byes but they get made up by extra 1st knockout round games so that you still get left with 8 teams.

It's a close enough system to what the GPA wanted without removing the Provincial championships from the All Ireland championship."
You're going to have massive fixtures congestion and still a lob sided nature to number of games/waiting periods if you go that route. The provincials were so popular because of the derby element they provide. Local rivalry is the heart beat of the GAA. An open draw nationwide is a bad idea IMO. You should consider travelling distances too for fans in the early rounds. There doesn't look to be an implementable B Championship in your proposal either.
I think the structure above ticks a lot of boxes.
A provincial element is still maintained and existing Provincial Councils can administer each region.
Simple format, fixtures are streamlined.
No waiting periods.
B Championship catered for with seamless crossover between 2 competitions.
Knockout element to the Championship re-introduced with scope for upsets and massive prize for winning the provincial i.e AI semi final.
Weaker counties get to compete on a level footing but still get a crack at main competition.

If the above system was in use with say 4 games in the Provincial group stage then:
32 teams are guaranteed 5 Championship games.
16 teams are guaranteed 6 Championship games.
The number of games in the group stages can easily be reduced or increased without altering the format.

Hardtimes (Cavan) - 08/08/2017 09:23:26    2030790

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Replying To Hardtimes:  "You're going to have massive fixtures congestion and still a lob sided nature to number of games/waiting periods if you go that route. The provincials were so popular because of the derby element they provide. Local rivalry is the heart beat of the GAA. An open draw nationwide is a bad idea IMO. You should consider travelling distances too for fans in the early rounds. There doesn't look to be an implementable B Championship in your proposal either.
I think the structure above ticks a lot of boxes.
A provincial element is still maintained and existing Provincial Councils can administer each region.
Simple format, fixtures are streamlined.
No waiting periods.
B Championship catered for with seamless crossover between 2 competitions.
Knockout element to the Championship re-introduced with scope for upsets and massive prize for winning the provincial i.e AI semi final.
Weaker counties get to compete on a level footing but still get a crack at main competition.

If the above system was in use with say 4 games in the Provincial group stage then:
32 teams are guaranteed 5 Championship games.
16 teams are guaranteed 6 Championship games.
The number of games in the group stages can easily be reduced or increased without altering the format."
Players don't want a secondary championship.

The intercounty game doesn't exist in a vacuum. There's Club to be played too. If a teams out they're out, they can go back to club.

There should be more games within the main championship though.

You can schedule things more evenly and keep the Provincials also.

So every team plays say 4 games no matter what to include their Provincial championship matches.

A team not playing Provincial championship plays an open draw match instead.

So this season Monaghan would have played 3 Provincial championship matches and 1 open draw match.

The weekend of Ulster and Leinster preliminary rounds the other 28 teams would play open draw. The weekend of Provincial quarterfinals would see 12 quarterfinals and 4 open draw matches, the weekend of semifinals would see 8 semifinals and 8 open draw matches and the weekend of the finals would see 4 finals and 12 open draw matches.

Some number of teams go forward to the All Ireland knockout series.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 08/08/2017 14:42:50    2031056

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Players want the chance to compete in Championship proper and not be treated like lepers. That does not equate to not wanting a secondary championship. If they cannot qualify for provincial semi finals they have the B championship to compete in and try and improve as a team. Top quality players with weaker counties could also have the chance to compete for an All-star this way.
Club football would still be there once you get knocked out. In fact it would leave more time for club across the board. With so much resources pumped into county football and the commitments put in by players, having meaningful games for them to compete in would be welcomed.

Hardtimes (Cavan) - 08/08/2017 15:38:45    2031108

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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Tommy_Murphy_Cup

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 08/08/2017 17:39:37    2031196

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Replying To Whammo86:  "https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Tommy_Murphy_Cup"
You can literally write anything you want on wikipedia so it may not always be the best source of information. My memory is hazy but was it not for Division 4 teams only? Like I said, players don't want to be treated like lepers.

Hardtimes (Cavan) - 08/08/2017 17:47:22    2031200

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Replying To Hardtimes:  "You can literally write anything you want on wikipedia so it may not always be the best source of information. My memory is hazy but was it not for Division 4 teams only? Like I said, players don't want to be treated like lepers."
As far as I can remember in its first season it was open to division 3 and 4 teams who lost in the opening 2 rounds of the qualifiers. When there was no take up in it for future years they removed division 4 teams from the qualifiers and they played the Tommy Murphy cup.

I've personally nothing against there being a B competition, but I think realistically it just isn't wanted. That's why I didn't provide for it in my suggestion.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 08/08/2017 18:31:30    2031230

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Replying To Whammo86:  "As far as I can remember in its first season it was open to division 3 and 4 teams who lost in the opening 2 rounds of the qualifiers. When there was no take up in it for future years they removed division 4 teams from the qualifiers and they played the Tommy Murphy cup.

I've personally nothing against there being a B competition, but I think realistically it just isn't wanted. That's why I didn't provide for it in my suggestion."
Just done a bit of looking. You were a bit liberal with the facts there Whammo. Initial interest in the competition was lukewarm but it started to get some traction. By 2006 13 teams competed and it had the makings of a very decent competition. In 2007 they decided to make it an exclusively Division 4 competition which completely pulled the rug out from under it. After 2008 it was scrapped. There is nothing to suggest, that run properly, and given the respect it deserves, that the competition could not be a big hit with the players.

Hardtimes (Cavan) - 08/08/2017 18:47:03    2031240

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Time to scrap Provincial championship, what,s the point of winning it and then been soundly beaten by a team from same provience? Open to any positive changes that will keep game alive.

seadog54 (Meath) - 08/08/2017 19:00:28    2031246

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Replying To maroondiesel:  "Super 8 has a 3 year trial period. The likes of Roscommon etc value the provincial system. This is a knee-jerk reaction thread to the poor quarterfinals this year, hold your horses there."
The truth is the quarters have been poor enough for the last few seasons, I'd hardly call it a knee jerk. The All Ireland doesn't begin now until mid/end of August it seems at semi final stage.

Chops (Westmeath) - 08/08/2017 19:07:49    2031249

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Replying To Hardtimes:  "Just done a bit of looking. You were a bit liberal with the facts there Whammo. Initial interest in the competition was lukewarm but it started to get some traction. By 2006 13 teams competed and it had the makings of a very decent competition. In 2007 they decided to make it an exclusively Division 4 competition which completely pulled the rug out from under it. After 2008 it was scrapped. There is nothing to suggest, that run properly, and given the respect it deserves, that the competition could not be a big hit with the players."
Fair enough. Maybe there would be demand for tiered championships then.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 08/08/2017 19:17:45    2031254

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