National Forum

SPLIT SEASON SPLIT GAMES

(Oldest Posts First)

I see now that they are talking about having the All Ireland Finals in July and leaving the remainder of the year to club competitions. Personally, I think this is crazy. It looks like that there will be a feast of matches for a few Sundays of the year and then nothing for the remainder. I also believe that from the point of view of game promotion we should not be leaving nearly half the year with no inter county activity. So, I would like to submit the following plan and see what ye think about it.
It now seems to be a given that we will have split season ie half the year for club activity and half the year for county activity. With this as the template I propose the following
Close season December January

From 1st February to June 30th play all Inter county Football and club Hurling
From 1st July to November 30th play all Inter county hurling and club Football
As this is a template the dates are flexible as is the decision of whether the county hurling or the county football to be played first.

Advantages
1. Defined club season
2. Master calendar can be made out long term and club players know well in advance when their matches will be played and are not at the whim of "how far the county team get in the championship.
3. Better spread of gamed throughout the year
4. Not have the situation like at present when there is a full round of hurling league and football league played the one day (this normally happens over a few Sundayys in March) and all the lower league games in both codes get very little coverage
5. Same as above also happens in the qualifiers
6. Probably suit dual clubs and dual club players
7. Reasonable level of GAA activity for ten months of the year

What do you think? Any reasons why this would not work?

seventyniner (Galway) - Posts: 5 - 18/12/2020 21:31:26    2323553

Link

Replying To seventyniner:  "I see now that they are talking about having the All Ireland Finals in July and leaving the remainder of the year to club competitions. Personally, I think this is crazy. It looks like that there will be a feast of matches for a few Sundays of the year and then nothing for the remainder. I also believe that from the point of view of game promotion we should not be leaving nearly half the year with no inter county activity. So, I would like to submit the following plan and see what ye think about it.
It now seems to be a given that we will have split season ie half the year for club activity and half the year for county activity. With this as the template I propose the following
Close season December January

From 1st February to June 30th play all Inter county Football and club Hurling
From 1st July to November 30th play all Inter county hurling and club Football
As this is a template the dates are flexible as is the decision of whether the county hurling or the county football to be played first.

Advantages
1. Defined club season
2. Master calendar can be made out long term and club players know well in advance when their matches will be played and are not at the whim of "how far the county team get in the championship.
3. Better spread of gamed throughout the year
4. Not have the situation like at present when there is a full round of hurling league and football league played the one day (this normally happens over a few Sundayys in March) and all the lower league games in both codes get very little coverage
5. Same as above also happens in the qualifiers
6. Probably suit dual clubs and dual club players
7. Reasonable level of GAA activity for ten months of the year

What do you think? Any reasons why this would not work?"
A big one. Hurlers are not going to be happy playing in winter while the footballers get to play in the summer.

Rolo2010 (Donegal) - Posts: 263 - 18/12/2020 21:53:10    2323573

Link

Replying To seventyniner:  "I see now that they are talking about having the All Ireland Finals in July and leaving the remainder of the year to club competitions. Personally, I think this is crazy. It looks like that there will be a feast of matches for a few Sundays of the year and then nothing for the remainder. I also believe that from the point of view of game promotion we should not be leaving nearly half the year with no inter county activity. So, I would like to submit the following plan and see what ye think about it.
It now seems to be a given that we will have split season ie half the year for club activity and half the year for county activity. With this as the template I propose the following
Close season December January

From 1st February to June 30th play all Inter county Football and club Hurling
From 1st July to November 30th play all Inter county hurling and club Football
As this is a template the dates are flexible as is the decision of whether the county hurling or the county football to be played first.

Advantages
1. Defined club season
2. Master calendar can be made out long term and club players know well in advance when their matches will be played and are not at the whim of "how far the county team get in the championship.
3. Better spread of gamed throughout the year
4. Not have the situation like at present when there is a full round of hurling league and football league played the one day (this normally happens over a few Sundayys in March) and all the lower league games in both codes get very little coverage
5. Same as above also happens in the qualifiers
6. Probably suit dual clubs and dual club players
7. Reasonable level of GAA activity for ten months of the year

What do you think? Any reasons why this would not work?"
I actullay agree with the madness of the intercounty season from feb to july. In most cases most counties will be gone by early june which is madness. I have spoken to a good few club players and all would be happy with a club season gone by june. How many students arent going to travel due to club championship (very few) , Having the summer off would enable married players to have a life like plan hols, go to weddings and do family things that don't revolve around matches and training. It would also enable people to follow their intercounty team in decent weather of july august and september. You can't compare this year to next or the future as one of the reasons for the success was that every player was available as no one was allowed to travel.

Not sure if you could play club hurling along with intercounty football (In laois where im from that would be inpossible, id say the same for wexford /offaly/carlow/westmeath as well.

My suggestion would be : Club Feb to June 30th _ (Id scrap the all ireland club)

Intercounty - July/August leagues Sept/Oct- Championship - Finals to be played on Oct Bank hol weekend. Latter stages in oct so no issue with pitches! Most counties gone by end of sept.

Ben (None) - Posts: 100 - 18/12/2020 22:05:12    2323581

Link

Replying To Ben:  "I actullay agree with the madness of the intercounty season from feb to july. In most cases most counties will be gone by early june which is madness. I have spoken to a good few club players and all would be happy with a club season gone by june. How many students arent going to travel due to club championship (very few) , Having the summer off would enable married players to have a life like plan hols, go to weddings and do family things that don't revolve around matches and training. It would also enable people to follow their intercounty team in decent weather of july august and september. You can't compare this year to next or the future as one of the reasons for the success was that every player was available as no one was allowed to travel.

Not sure if you could play club hurling along with intercounty football (In laois where im from that would be inpossible, id say the same for wexford /offaly/carlow/westmeath as well.

My suggestion would be : Club Feb to June 30th _ (Id scrap the all ireland club)

Intercounty - July/August leagues Sept/Oct- Championship - Finals to be played on Oct Bank hol weekend. Latter stages in oct so no issue with pitches! Most counties gone by end of sept."
All-Ireland club won't be scrapped. It's a good competition and provides an oppurtunity to win a national trophy.

Rolo2010 (Donegal) - Posts: 263 - 18/12/2020 23:26:22    2323605

Link

Replying To Ben:  "I actullay agree with the madness of the intercounty season from feb to july. In most cases most counties will be gone by early june which is madness. I have spoken to a good few club players and all would be happy with a club season gone by june. How many students arent going to travel due to club championship (very few) , Having the summer off would enable married players to have a life like plan hols, go to weddings and do family things that don't revolve around matches and training. It would also enable people to follow their intercounty team in decent weather of july august and september. You can't compare this year to next or the future as one of the reasons for the success was that every player was available as no one was allowed to travel.

Not sure if you could play club hurling along with intercounty football (In laois where im from that would be inpossible, id say the same for wexford /offaly/carlow/westmeath as well.

My suggestion would be : Club Feb to June 30th _ (Id scrap the all ireland club)

Intercounty - July/August leagues Sept/Oct- Championship - Finals to be played on Oct Bank hol weekend. Latter stages in oct so no issue with pitches! Most counties gone by end of sept."
I guess 2021 will be different due to a lack of travelling. However if the model being discussed is to the norm from 2022 I think this notion all players are dedicated and committed to the club will be tested.

The club had a fantastic window in 2020; resulting in the best club championships in years; it was exceptional circumstances though and wouldn't be repeated.

The inter county game has become younger; a significant number of inter county players are students so come June when their inter county season is over; why wouldn't they head off travelling and earn money for playing football; in a lot of cases the old parish narrative of it's championship in a few weeks will be replaced by see you I'm out of here for the summer.

You make a lot of good points however I wouldn't scrap the All Ireland club; it's a fantastic competition as is the club championship in general. It needs to find a window but this agenda of condensing and condensing the inter county season so the club gets all it's best players gracing fields during the early part of the summer is laughable. It's 2020, not 1960 and the world has changed as have the opportunities to travel.

All the GAA will do is cut off it's best marketing period; the IRFU in particular will be smirking and the club championships will actually reduce in standard as a significant number of players will be flying to America and London.

I'd have the inter county season from March to September and the club championships from late September to Feb including county, provincial and All Ireland club. However most counties could start August.

sam1884 (UK) - Posts: 789 - 19/12/2020 07:39:46    2323637

Link

We could have a conversation on whether intercounty players play with their clubs at all. There are many reasons why players leave clubs..work, emigrate, other sports, injury etc..being on an inter county team COULD be another (that is IF managers decide that playing a game with one's club is a hindrance and it is better to train with inter county team).

We could have another conversation on the size of intercounty panels, the power of intercounty managers, curtailing when they can train to make it a more even playing field. Intercounty could be like international soccer. Players play with their clubs and get called up to play with their counties. We had a model not too dissimilar to this.

But we are not talking about any of this. We are talking about a model where we shut down club activity for the great majority of players so that we placate a few. Even the CPA acknowledges this now. All clubs suspend activity so their intercounty players train and just end up getting hammered by Dublin or Kerry (maybe once in 50 years get a run going).

bennybunny (Cork) - Posts: 3815 - 19/12/2020 10:02:28    2323658

Link

Replying To seventyniner:  "I see now that they are talking about having the All Ireland Finals in July and leaving the remainder of the year to club competitions. Personally, I think this is crazy. It looks like that there will be a feast of matches for a few Sundays of the year and then nothing for the remainder. I also believe that from the point of view of game promotion we should not be leaving nearly half the year with no inter county activity. So, I would like to submit the following plan and see what ye think about it.
It now seems to be a given that we will have split season ie half the year for club activity and half the year for county activity. With this as the template I propose the following
Close season December January

From 1st February to June 30th play all Inter county Football and club Hurling
From 1st July to November 30th play all Inter county hurling and club Football
As this is a template the dates are flexible as is the decision of whether the county hurling or the county football to be played first.

Advantages
1. Defined club season
2. Master calendar can be made out long term and club players know well in advance when their matches will be played and are not at the whim of "how far the county team get in the championship.
3. Better spread of gamed throughout the year
4. Not have the situation like at present when there is a full round of hurling league and football league played the one day (this normally happens over a few Sundayys in March) and all the lower league games in both codes get very little coverage
5. Same as above also happens in the qualifiers
6. Probably suit dual clubs and dual club players
7. Reasonable level of GAA activity for ten months of the year

What do you think? Any reasons why this would not work?"
You can have a defined club season and play inter county at the same time if the authorities are strict and i mean very strict on those who breach the guidelines set in place.
Not all counties play hurling and football to the same affect and that puts a lot on dual players. Also you havent taken into account third level and all who play that.
Why do you need high levels of activity within the top level for 10 months of the year? Even pro sports dont have that for most of their players. english soccer season is middle of August to May.

KillingFields (Limerick) - Posts: 2272 - 19/12/2020 10:28:29    2323666

Link

I'm surprised the gas are thinking of inter county first..especially with talk of vaccines in later year which would allow for crowds back into grounds..if club is later in year I'd be expecting problems with the county senior hurler going on holidays,traveling or being invited to play games in America..where will this leave clubs if there is a mass exit of players?one thing clubs would be helped with is the expense of managers,if club wasn't started til August no need to go back training in January..there is a lot to be thought about before final decision..

CTGAA10 (Limerick) - Posts: 1232 - 19/12/2020 11:17:09    2323679

Link

Replying To KillingFields:  "You can have a defined club season and play inter county at the same time if the authorities are strict and i mean very strict on those who breach the guidelines set in place.
Not all counties play hurling and football to the same affect and that puts a lot on dual players. Also you havent taken into account third level and all who play that.
Why do you need high levels of activity within the top level for 10 months of the year? Even pro sports dont have that for most of their players. english soccer season is middle of August to May."
"english soccer season is middle of August to May". I agree but soccer is one game. I am talking about accomodating two different games hurling and gaelic Football so players are not playing at the top level for 10 months but for 5 months
As to why we need levels of activity for 10 months of the year we need to keep our games in the shop window for role model and recruitment purposes. Ronan O Gara had an article in the paper the other day and he expressed concern that the Limerick hurlers would be role models for young lads growing up in limerick and that many may be lost to rugby as a result. That is why I believe that all sports have to use whatever advertisement or whatever that they have at their disposal in order to encourage youth to play their games

seventyniner (Galway) - Posts: 5 - 19/12/2020 12:24:56    2323701

Link

Replying To sam1884:  "I guess 2021 will be different due to a lack of travelling. However if the model being discussed is to the norm from 2022 I think this notion all players are dedicated and committed to the club will be tested.

The club had a fantastic window in 2020; resulting in the best club championships in years; it was exceptional circumstances though and wouldn't be repeated.

The inter county game has become younger; a significant number of inter county players are students so come June when their inter county season is over; why wouldn't they head off travelling and earn money for playing football; in a lot of cases the old parish narrative of it's championship in a few weeks will be replaced by see you I'm out of here for the summer.

You make a lot of good points however I wouldn't scrap the All Ireland club; it's a fantastic competition as is the club championship in general. It needs to find a window but this agenda of condensing and condensing the inter county season so the club gets all it's best players gracing fields during the early part of the summer is laughable. It's 2020, not 1960 and the world has changed as have the opportunities to travel.

All the GAA will do is cut off it's best marketing period; the IRFU in particular will be smirking and the club championships will actually reduce in standard as a significant number of players will be flying to America and London.

I'd have the inter county season from March to September and the club championships from late September to Feb including county, provincial and All Ireland club. However most counties could start August."
I can see why they are doing it. Players want to go on holiday in August before the schools start in September again. Remember a lot of players are teachers or have families. Feb to July/early Aug seems like a good season. Sep to Dec can be exclusive to clubs.

Rolo2010 (Donegal) - Posts: 263 - 19/12/2020 12:26:53    2323703

Link

The split season is a good idea to me.

There's no problem with having a short but intense period of activity.

Look at the NFL for instance. Their season is only 22 weeks long or so and it's one of the most heavily followed leagues in the world.

The GAA's current long drawn out season where there's a lot of fluff until things get interesting at the quarter final stage is not great.

If there was a tweak that could be done, it'd be the following.

February/March Club Provincial and All Ireland championship.

April to August Inter County championship

September on for club championships for however long they require.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 19/12/2020 13:03:37    2323720

Link

Replying To seventyniner:  ""english soccer season is middle of August to May". I agree but soccer is one game. I am talking about accomodating two different games hurling and gaelic Football so players are not playing at the top level for 10 months but for 5 months
As to why we need levels of activity for 10 months of the year we need to keep our games in the shop window for role model and recruitment purposes. Ronan O Gara had an article in the paper the other day and he expressed concern that the Limerick hurlers would be role models for young lads growing up in limerick and that many may be lost to rugby as a result. That is why I believe that all sports have to use whatever advertisement or whatever that they have at their disposal in order to encourage youth to play their games"
How many people across the country as a whole are involved in both sports especially at the elite top level of the game.

You havent taken into account third level as well. A split season puts too much on people who want/like to play both sports.
It doesnt make sense to separate the two especially when in some counties hurling doesnt exist tbh.

KillingFields (Limerick) - Posts: 2272 - 19/12/2020 13:36:09    2323729

Link

Replying To Rolo2010:  "I can see why they are doing it. Players want to go on holiday in August before the schools start in September again. Remember a lot of players are teachers or have families. Feb to July/early Aug seems like a good season. Sep to Dec can be exclusive to clubs."
True, however the motivation isn't players holidays; August isn't left free for that. The narrative is we have to get the club season started as early as possible. In a way we do as the club is important but this obsession with condensing the inter county season will in the end harm the GAA.

The GAA had an exclusive marketing window in August/September when other sports don't tend to have big games or seasons are just starting. It was wall to wall GAA coverage which can only benefit the association. June when the majority of big championship games will be played is a busy sporting month with major finals and tours in other sports. The GAA won't get the same coverage for their big games by playing them earlier.

Whilst some are teachers yes there is still a number of students; I'm happy for them in the sense they've worked hard all year so fair play to them if they can go and enjoy sunshine and professional sport during July/August. In a strange way there will be a very good American and London championship in the summer; will probably end up being a better standard than what's being played in Ireland due to the number of inter county players participating.

Hopefully from 2022 the GAA continue with the split season but for the sake of the GAA as a whole at least push the inter county season to the end of August.

sam1884 (UK) - Posts: 789 - 19/12/2020 14:13:09    2323738

Link

Replying To sam1884:  "True, however the motivation isn't players holidays; August isn't left free for that. The narrative is we have to get the club season started as early as possible. In a way we do as the club is important but this obsession with condensing the inter county season will in the end harm the GAA.

The GAA had an exclusive marketing window in August/September when other sports don't tend to have big games or seasons are just starting. It was wall to wall GAA coverage which can only benefit the association. June when the majority of big championship games will be played is a busy sporting month with major finals and tours in other sports. The GAA won't get the same coverage for their big games by playing them earlier.

Whilst some are teachers yes there is still a number of students; I'm happy for them in the sense they've worked hard all year so fair play to them if they can go and enjoy sunshine and professional sport during July/August. In a strange way there will be a very good American and London championship in the summer; will probably end up being a better standard than what's being played in Ireland due to the number of inter county players participating.

Hopefully from 2022 the GAA continue with the split season but for the sake of the GAA as a whole at least push the inter county season to the end of August."
August should be left free for someone to go on holiday with their family and enjoy some of their summer. The London championship wouldn't start until September so you won't see a lot of intercounty players leaving for one month to play a few league games if even that. Feb to early August is fine for intercounty.

Rolo2010 (Donegal) - Posts: 263 - 19/12/2020 15:36:27    2323763

Link

August should be left free for someone to go on holiday with their family and enjoy some of their summer. The London championship wouldn't start until September so you won't see a lot of intercounty players leaving for one month to play a few league games if even that. Feb to early August is fine for intercounty.
Rolo2010 (Donegal) - Posts: 246 - 19/12/2020 15:36:27
I wouldnt leave August free for people to go on holidays. Just set a season structure that could allow players go on holiday in summer at any stage. Like any other summer sport.

I actullay agree with the madness of the intercounty season from feb to july. In most cases most counties will be gone by early june which is madness. I have spoken to a good few club players and all would be happy with a club season gone by june. How many students arent going to travel due to club championship (very few) , Having the summer off would enable married players to have a life like plan hols, go to weddings and do family things that don't revolve around matches and training. It would also enable people to follow their intercounty team in decent weather of july august and september. You can't compare this year to next or the future as one of the reasons for the success was that every player was available as no one was allowed to travel.

Not sure if you could play club hurling along with intercounty football (In laois where im from that would be inpossible, id say the same for wexford /offaly/carlow/westmeath as well.

My suggestion would be : Club Feb to June 30th _ (Id scrap the all ireland club)

Intercounty - July/August leagues Sept/Oct- Championship - Finals to be played on Oct Bank hol weekend. Latter stages in oct so no issue with pitches! Most counties gone by end of sept.
Ben (None) - Posts: 94 - 18/12/2020 22:05:12
The all ireland club championships have been one of the best competitions in the GAA. Scrapping them would be madness. Every club player should be able to start off the year with the possibility of playing in an all ireland final in croke park....
playing the inter county solely from february to may/june means going against the conclusion of the soccer and rugby seasons as well as so much else. It doesnt make sense to do that
get a far better season structure with dates and games set far more in stone and players can arrange holidays and anything else.

I'd have the inter county season from March to September and the club championships from late September to Feb including county, provincial and All Ireland club. However most counties could start August.
sam1884 (UK) - Posts: 727 - 19/12/2020 07:39:46 2323637
why not put something in place to get club and inter county games at the same time like any sport with teams playing at the same time. you cant hold the vast majority of players from playing games because of less than 1% of the playing population.

KillingFields (Limerick) - Posts: 2272 - 19/12/2020 16:27:23    2323806

Link

"english soccer season is middle of August to May". I agree but soccer is one game. I am talking about accomodating two different games hurling and gaelic Football so players are not playing at the top level for 10 months but for 5 months
As to why we need levels of activity for 10 months of the year we need to keep our games in the shop window for role model and recruitment purposes. Ronan O Gara had an article in the paper the other day and he expressed concern that the Limerick hurlers would be role models for young lads growing up in limerick and that many may be lost to rugby as a result. That is why I believe that all sports have to use whatever advertisement or whatever that they have at their disposal in order to encourage youth to play their games
seventyniner (Galway) - Posts: 3 - 19/12/2020 12:24:56
How many players in how many counties are truly dual players that are playing both sports?

KillingFields (Limerick) - Posts: 2272 - 19/12/2020 16:28:52    2323808

Link

Seems to be a funny narrative that players don't want to play games? Ridiculous. I'm a player itching to get back. Give me games from February-November.. brilliant! It would be nice to have advanced knowledge of a couple week break to be able to get a holiday in, but generally Kildare are quite good at that. I'm all for having the inter county season done by July. Gives the county lads plenty of time back with their clubs and will do wonders for promoting club games. Don't tell me he didn't love watching county finals from around the country on TG4 and RTE.

Sweetspot (Kildare) - Posts: 211 - 19/12/2020 16:39:16    2323813

Link

Replying To seventyniner:  ""english soccer season is middle of August to May". I agree but soccer is one game. I am talking about accomodating two different games hurling and gaelic Football so players are not playing at the top level for 10 months but for 5 months
As to why we need levels of activity for 10 months of the year we need to keep our games in the shop window for role model and recruitment purposes. Ronan O Gara had an article in the paper the other day and he expressed concern that the Limerick hurlers would be role models for young lads growing up in limerick and that many may be lost to rugby as a result. That is why I believe that all sports have to use whatever advertisement or whatever that they have at their disposal in order to encourage youth to play their games"
I don't agree with the shop window argument.

A big problem has been that we haven't had good quality games for those that are playing.

The shop window isn't much good if you then don't provide fixtures for those wanting to participate.

Your idea above doesn't legislate for players who could play duel for their club on top of playing for the county team in one code.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 19/12/2020 16:39:22    2323814

Link