National Forum

Provincial Championships

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Replying To essmac:  "I agree. Back door also devalued the provincials slightly. If you united them from AI series completely, then I agree it'd reduce them to status of pre-season competitions"
Something I've thought could work would be to have 1 place in the All Ireland series available for the best placed team in the league to not win their province. They'd face the lowest ranked provincial champions in a quarterfinal.

League and provincials would be played in parallel.

This season Kerry would have been the old team to get a second bite at it because they'd have earned it through their league results.

I think you need to give teams more important games than simply just a knockout championship.

The above would keep the Provincial championship at the heart of the competition, not really devalued but that the league competition could also be elevated alongside it.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 25/01/2021 17:46:49    2328909

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If we want to even up the provincials then scrap the current ones and have North, South, East and West conferences.

Have a new cup for each conference and call if after a great GAA person. For example the Dermot Early cup for west, Mick O Connell Cup for South etc etc...

yew_tree (Mayo) - Posts: 10583 - 25/01/2021 18:33:31    2328914

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Replying To yew_tree:  "If we want to even up the provincials then scrap the current ones and have North, South, East and West conferences.

Have a new cup for each conference and call if after a great GAA person. For example the Dermot Early cup for west, Mick O Connell Cup for South etc etc..."
The snag will be - Who are the unlucky teams who won't be playing their traditional rivals any more ?

Try and put together four eights and you'll be doubting yourself as soon as you've finished.

lionofludesch (Down) - Posts: 449 - 25/01/2021 19:08:25    2328918

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Replying To lionofludesch:  "The snag will be - Who are the unlucky teams who won't be playing their traditional rivals any more ?

Try and put together four eights and you'll be doubting yourself as soon as you've finished."
I acknowledge your valid point. I don't know what the answer is. We stay as we are or make big changes?

Either way tradition can be changed. Would say Clare, Longford and Donegal like to be in a new western conference? I guess we would have to ask GAA people in those counties.

yew_tree (Mayo) - Posts: 10583 - 25/01/2021 19:31:05    2328920

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Replying To Whammo86:  "Meath don't want to play an Ulster championship at the expense of playing in Leinster. No team would. You can't logistically run both competitions at anything but the same time. I don't think throwing Carlow and Offaly into Munster after losing a Leinster preliminary is going to do much to refresh the Munster championship."
I'd have the Provs played at same time (like now). Meath would start in Lein for at least 2 rds. If they lose Rd 1 & win Rd 2b, they would relocate to Uls or Muns QF. Even if Meath has no interest in winning a 'foreign' Prov, this would now be their only path to the AI title. If they win Rd 1, they stay in Lein - with Rd 2a win, then to Lein SFs, with Rd 2a loss, then to Lein QFs. This would freshen up the Provs (excl Uls) - although Uls would likely send a stronger team to Lein than what it receives in exchange (price for spreading the wealth).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 26/01/2021 00:46:50    2328962

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Replying To yew_tree:  "If we want to even up the provincials then scrap the current ones and have North, South, East and West conferences.

Have a new cup for each conference and call if after a great GAA person. For example the Dermot Early cup for west, Mick O Connell Cup for South etc etc..."
That's fine - i mentioned earlier that simple re-labelling might be enough to win over some critics.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 26/01/2021 01:18:35    2328964

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Replying To yew_tree:  "I acknowledge your valid point. I don't know what the answer is. We stay as we are or make big changes?

Either way tradition can be changed. Would say Clare, Longford and Donegal like to be in a new western conference? I guess we would have to ask GAA people in those counties."
Relocate 2 guests to each Prov (i.e. one from each neighbouring Prov, Rd 2b winners, based on 2017 C Ring Cup format) ?

This is better than the Qualifiers and has a strong (although imperfect) Prov Conference overlay.

There is something for everyone - and not all for anyone.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 26/01/2021 01:33:38    2328965

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Replying To yew_tree:  "I acknowledge your valid point. I don't know what the answer is. We stay as we are or make big changes?

Either way tradition can be changed. Would say Clare, Longford and Donegal like to be in a new western conference? I guess we would have to ask GAA people in those counties."
I think it's more important to have a tiered competition rather than to have the provincials rebalanced.

The big thing with a tiered competition is that it allows for teams to play many more meaningful games. Winning promotion or avoiding relegation is an important goal to achieve.

In football the competition is just kind of meh. Having a broadly knockout based competition for your championship means it's hard to really define what a successful season looks like, it's very much luck of the draw.

You look in Leinster, if you're in Dublin's half of the draw your chances of getting to an All Ireland quarter final reduces hugely. If you lose in a semifinal you'll have to win through 3 qualifiers to get to the last 8. If you go into the qualifiers you can wind up running into a Monaghan or Tyrone in an early round and be gone.

The competition just has to move away from being a knockout competition.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 26/01/2021 05:58:38    2328967

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I think it's more important to have a tiered competition rather than to have the provincials rebalanced.

The big thing with a tiered competition is that it allows for teams to play many more meaningful games. Winning promotion or avoiding relegation is an important goal to achieve.

In football the competition is just kind of meh. Having a broadly knockout based competition for your championship means it's hard to really define what a successful season looks like, it's very much luck of the draw.

You look in Leinster, if you're in Dublin's half of the draw your chances of getting to an All Ireland quarter final reduces hugely. If you lose in a semifinal you'll have to win through 3 qualifiers to get to the last 8. If you go into the qualifiers you can wind up running into a Monaghan or Tyrone in an early round and be gone.

The competition just has to move away from being a knockout competition."
I agree that a tiered regular season leading to the post season KO is the best way to go.

Tier 1 - 2 groups of 10 (equal rank, mixed quality, 9 match single round robin).

Tier 2 - 2 regional groups (equal rank, a North Six & South Six, 10 match double round robin).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 26/01/2021 23:54:42    2329091

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In lieu of equal rank multiple group play, I am also a fan of a single-table partial round robin (e.g. play 10 of 19 teams in a 20-team tier, or 8 of 15 in a 16-team tier), prior to a concluding KO stage.

The cricket format in the link below, shows how teams play only 8 of 12 opponents, with the combined table top 8 ultimately advancing to the ODI World Cup. The schedule is handicapped, with Afg and Zimb getting the easiest fixture mix (an approach the GAA could take and something I've peddled here in this forum before).

In a separate Qualifying tournament, the last team (13th) can still avoid relegation by placing higher than the Tier 2 champ, while those placed 9th-12th retain Tier 1 league status.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020%E2%80%9323_ICC_Cricket_World_Cup_Super_League

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 27/01/2021 01:12:20    2329093

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Replying To omahant:  "In lieu of equal rank multiple group play, I am also a fan of a single-table partial round robin (e.g. play 10 of 19 teams in a 20-team tier, or 8 of 15 in a 16-team tier), prior to a concluding KO stage.

The cricket format in the link below, shows how teams play only 8 of 12 opponents, with the combined table top 8 ultimately advancing to the ODI World Cup. The schedule is handicapped, with Afg and Zimb getting the easiest fixture mix (an approach the GAA could take and something I've peddled here in this forum before).

In a separate Qualifying tournament, the last team (13th) can still avoid relegation by placing higher than the Tier 2 champ, while those placed 9th-12th retain Tier 1 league status.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020%E2%80%9323_ICC_Cricket_World_Cup_Super_League"
Yeah it's interesting.

I do think a 20 team tier 1 playing 10 matches each could be interesting.

These 10 matches could include provincial championships too and allow flexible numbers of teams in each province.

Say you've a breakdown of 7 Ulster, 5 Leinster, 4 Connacht, 4 Munster of the 20 qualifiers.

Every team could play 3 Ulster teams, 2 Leinster teams, 2 Munster teams, 2 Connacht teams and then half the teams play a 4 game v an Ulster team and the other half play a third game against a Leinster team.

In their schedule teams should play 2 Provincial champions each and 2 Provincial runners up each.

At the end of the 10 game program of games top 8 go to All Ireland quarterfinals.

Top 12 automatically retain their place for the following season.

13-16 playoff for 2 further spots. 17-20 don't retain their place.

Tier 2 finalists get a spot for the following season.

At the start of each season 16 teams are qualified for championship 1 and there's space for 4 more to make up the 20 teams.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 27/01/2021 10:56:33    2329121

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That cricket format reminded me of some of your best layering - top teams to the main tournament, others below them keep top league status, and playoffs to essentially give everyone else a chance of playing their way into the top tier.

How would you do "the 4 more" in your plan - 16 Champp 2 teams play an initial 2-rd Qualifier - so 4 complete 20-team Champp 1, with other 12 to Champp 2 ?

Something like this would make for the best set up - regular season. with Prov KO doubling for some of the games, leading to the concluding AI KO.

To build in half of each Prov into each team's slate of fixtures though, the season schedule would have to be flexible to accomodate - maybe the 1st 2 or 3 rds would have to be all Prov pairings to see which 10 plays the other 10 (Prov Finals could be delayed, played later for excitemet to build).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 28/01/2021 02:31:37    2329271

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If the Provs could be delinked, it would make scheduling a lot easier. Based on finishing positions in the existing 4x8 NFL, the 20-team Champp 1 could be scheduled as "10 teams placed 1st, 8th, 4th & 5th across the first 2.5 divs play 10 teams placed 2nd, 7th, 3rd & 6th".
In following years, this scheduling method could be retained - treating final positions of the 20 teams as top 8, next 8, low 4 (similar to divs).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 28/01/2021 04:00:18    2329273

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Replying To omahant:  "That cricket format reminded me of some of your best layering - top teams to the main tournament, others below them keep top league status, and playoffs to essentially give everyone else a chance of playing their way into the top tier.

How would you do "the 4 more" in your plan - 16 Champp 2 teams play an initial 2-rd Qualifier - so 4 complete 20-team Champp 1, with other 12 to Champp 2 ?

Something like this would make for the best set up - regular season. with Prov KO doubling for some of the games, leading to the concluding AI KO.

To build in half of each Prov into each team's slate of fixtures though, the season schedule would have to be flexible to accomodate - maybe the 1st 2 or 3 rds would have to be all Prov pairings to see which 10 plays the other 10 (Prov Finals could be delayed, played later for excitemet to build)."
On the 4 qualifiers maybe you could have a 6 week Tailteann cup tournament.

4 rounds where each team plays home and away twice.

Top 4 after those rounds to Tailteann cup semifinals, 5-8th to Championship 1 qualifying semifinals.

Tailteann cup finalists to Championship 1.

Tailteann Cup losing semifinalists v Championship 1 qualifying semifinal winners playoff for 2 remaining places.

The 16 championship 1 teams play a 4 round "National League competition" with top 4 best records to semifinals.

You're talking a 19 game week season. Feb and March for first 6. April on for the remainder.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 28/01/2021 11:22:17    2329290

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What do you think of the most recent tweak to the Summer League All-Ireland proposal ?
For the 10-team All Ireland KO stage, they initially proposed Div 1 top 4, Div 2 top 4, Div 3 winner & Div 4 winner (call it 4-4-1-1, awful).

Now, they tweak to 5-3-1-1, with all 5 Div 1 straight to AI QFs (better).

I would prefer to tweak further (to 5-2-1-1) and then use the league for Tailteann Cup KO stage as well - next 0-3-4-4 - with any Tailteann Cup Champ from Divs 2, 3 or 4 going up as well as the top 2 from those divs. In addition, if the losing Tailteann Finalist is from Div 3 or 4, they go up as well (displacing / relegating the 3rd or 4th bottom team from the div above.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 30/01/2021 04:35:34    2329646

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Replying To omahant:  "What do you think of the most recent tweak to the Summer League All-Ireland proposal ?
For the 10-team All Ireland KO stage, they initially proposed Div 1 top 4, Div 2 top 4, Div 3 winner & Div 4 winner (call it 4-4-1-1, awful).

Now, they tweak to 5-3-1-1, with all 5 Div 1 straight to AI QFs (better).

I would prefer to tweak further (to 5-2-1-1) and then use the league for Tailteann Cup KO stage as well - next 0-3-4-4 - with any Tailteann Cup Champ from Divs 2, 3 or 4 going up as well as the top 2 from those divs. In addition, if the losing Tailteann Finalist is from Div 3 or 4, they go up as well (displacing / relegating the 3rd or 4th bottom team from the div above."
I don't really like it. I sort of think 5 from 8 is too many to qualify to a knockout stage.

I don't like lower level teams advancing to knockout stages at the expense of higher level teams.

It kills the stakes that promotion and relegation setup.

A team gets relegated from division 1 and they probably get a better chance at the All Ireland the following season.

I've mentioned before that a 2 leagues a year system could be really good.

League as is 4 divisions of 8. 2 up 2 down after single round robins. Spring league, summer league.

Top 2 from Spring and top 2 from Summer league to All Ireland championship playoffs.

If you qualify twice you get a bye to the final. The big problem is there's no All Ireland semifinals and only 16 teams can win out at the start of the season.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 30/01/2021 13:30:26    2329700

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'5 if 8' - yes, its a lot but maybe limits dead rubbers (and there is a scramble for Sam berths in divs 2-4).
'Relegation to better next yr chance' - yes, to counter, maybe 8-2-1-1 (7th & 8th still go down losing next yr guaranteed berth. and those ones just give low teams a path to glory which won't happen).
'Only 16 teams have chance under 2 league idea' - maybe then 2-tiers of 2x8 - with 2 x (2x2) = 8 teams advancing to AI QFs (or less with likely double ups).

While I like the latter, I think a 14-match regular season is too many as I'd want to take care of the grass roots club players more.
Maybe, 2-league, 2-tier smaller divs -
2 x (5, 6, 5 & 5, 6, 5) - 1 up, 1 down (or 2 up/down for more cut throat) from the 6 groups - 24 teams play in a 6-team group once for max 9 match regular season.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 30/01/2021 15:40:57    2329720

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Re your....

"A team gets relegated from division 1 and they probably get a better chance at the All Ireland the following season"

I don't think a team would tank toward the easier path in the following year, when failure to tank in the current year is near qualification in the current year (6th place exception). We could eliminate that exception - either qualifies too or 3 down.

If a team easily qualifies in year 2, they have to go on the harder road in year 3. This just brings some 'ebb ans flo', or if you like 'handicapping' the stronger teams.

Yes, strictly speaking, it's unfair for lower tier teams to advance at the expense of stronger teams, but maybe this is a price to pay to bridge the opportunity gap to play in the Sam KO stage.

Analogy - income tax - is it fair that people pay varying marginal tax rates based on different income level ? - redistribution may be "unfair" but maybe a price worth paying for a decent society, limit inequality etc.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 30/01/2021 22:02:14    2329783

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Replying To omahant:  "Re your....

"A team gets relegated from division 1 and they probably get a better chance at the All Ireland the following season"

I don't think a team would tank toward the easier path in the following year, when failure to tank in the current year is near qualification in the current year (6th place exception). We could eliminate that exception - either qualifies too or 3 down.

If a team easily qualifies in year 2, they have to go on the harder road in year 3. This just brings some 'ebb ans flo', or if you like 'handicapping' the stronger teams.

Yes, strictly speaking, it's unfair for lower tier teams to advance at the expense of stronger teams, but maybe this is a price to pay to bridge the opportunity gap to play in the Sam KO stage.

Analogy - income tax - is it fair that people pay varying marginal tax rates based on different income level ? - redistribution may be "unfair" but maybe a price worth paying for a decent society, limit inequality etc."
It's more that the hazard of relegation is lessened. Makes a less exciting competition to avoid it.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 30/01/2021 23:36:11    2329787

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I think if the NFL is to be played separately, a good group AIC tournament that could facilitate 'ebb and flo' and motivate weak team progression could go as follows -

Initially, Pot A has 8 div 1 teams, 4 random div 2 and 3 random div 3 teams (15 total).
Open Draw to form 3 groups of 5 (A1, A2, A3) (4 games per team), subject to max 3 div 1 teams per group.
Top 3 from each to seeded AI KO 16.
Group winners seeded 1-3, 2nds 4-6, 3rds 7-9.

Pot B has remaining 17 teams.
Draw to form groups (B1, B2, B3) of 5, 5 & 7 (latter has 3 v other 2 pairs, & pairs play head-to-head), subject to max 3 div 4 teams per group.
Top 2 from each, plus 3rd in B3, to AI KO 16.
Group winners seeded 10-12, others 13-16.

AI KO 16 - 1 hosts 16, 2h15...etc to 8h9.
AI QFs - High seed hosts lowest surviving seed, 2nd high hosts 2nd lowest etc.
AI SFs at neutral provincial venues.
Final at Croke Park.

For following year, 15 of KO 16 to Pot A (omit lowest seeded Rd of 16 loser).
'A Groups' re-drawn subject to max 3 repeat Pot A teams per group.
All prior year non-KO teams to Pot B.
'B Groups' re-drawn subject to min 3 repeat Pot B teams per group.

Finally - if the NFL is not played separately, but is played as one combined competition instead, retain the KO and year-to-year Pot changes as above, but amend as follows -

1) Increase regular season to 10 games per team (up from 4).
2) 'A Groups', and separately 'B Groups', consist of 5, 6 & 5 teams instead.
3) 6-team groups do not play round robins, but play the 10 other group teams instead (so all teams play 10 games).

So, in conclusion - top teams stay in Pot A, the weakest stay in Pot B and the middle teams 'ebb and flo'.

That's it - what do you think ?

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 31/01/2021 18:04:17    2329871

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