National Forum

Provincial Championships

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Replying To omahant:  "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 ?"
I don't like it really. Just don't see people liking it. I don't like any of your suggestions that give easier schedules to weaker teams to give them access to the knockout rounds.

It's weird then too that division 2 and 3 teams get either a much harder or much easier draw by the luck of the draw.

I know stream 1 teams are then given a seeding preference at the knockout stage. Still I just don't think it's enough.

I really do think you over engineer your solutions to keep division 1 teams apart from division 4 teams.

Really it's not necessary.

If you want to keep them apart just put them in different competitions.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 31/01/2021 20:18:01    2329898

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You don't have to like my schedule 'handicapping' approach. Yes, while ideally it would be better to keep strong and weak teams in seperate competitions (like the hurling championship), there is an official endeavour to keep all in the race for Sam (so I try to accomodate that).

I probably do overly engineer - getting into details/weeds to defend elements I've put in - when big picture, this is all hypothetical.

At a high level, what I have is like the basic Champions League (CL) idea with a few tweaks-

Group phase leading to KO Rd of 16.
Groups, now mostly of 5 (and 1 of 7) - should be better than the 4-team variety.
Each 5 has 2 mid ranked counties (like CL).

I deviate with regards concentration of stronger and weaker groups (a blend of NFL with CL) to have better pairings. This is also not unprecedented in World sports (i.e. Rugby League World Cup).

No team can advance to the KO from my weaker groups 2 yrs in a row - and any team missing the KO from the stronger groups in a given year, gets the easier path the following year. This is a bit like your 2 leagues in one year idea - e.g. div 2 team can win Sam (when certain div 1 teams don't make the KO), if they go up in league 1 first before getting a KO spot in league 2.

I could have a draw to allocate the mid 12 teams to the stronger and weaker groups - but like you wrote - there is too much luck of the draw in that. So, I have them oscillating between A and B instead.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 02/02/2021 00:02:59    2330065

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You don't like......."suggestions that give easier schedules to weaker teams to give them access to the knockout rounds."

While I also don't like giving a div 4 team an automatic AI SFC KO Last 10 berth (a la official GAA proposal), giving div 4 teams a spread of games vs. div 2-4 opponents, while div 1 teams get a spread of div 1-3 opponents seems to be a modest enough 'handicap' difference.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 02/02/2021 01:00:40    2330069

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Replying To omahant:  "You don't like......."suggestions that give easier schedules to weaker teams to give them access to the knockout rounds."

While I also don't like giving a div 4 team an automatic AI SFC KO Last 10 berth (a la official GAA proposal), giving div 4 teams a spread of games vs. div 2-4 opponents, while div 1 teams get a spread of div 1-3 opponents seems to be a modest enough 'handicap' difference."
I think if the GAA want to give every team a chance maybe they can have a quick qualifying tournament at the start of the season before moving onto the more league based tournament.

If you'd 16 teams qualified for Championship 1 from the previous season and have 4 spots left open you could do something like.

Qualifying week 1 and week 2: All 16 teams play 2 fixtures, 1 home 1 away, games played to a winner.

Teams that win twice straight through to week 4, teams that win once playoff in week 3, teams that lose twice are out.

Week 3: Playoff week with a variable number of fixtures.

Week 4: 8 remaining teams playoff for the 4 places available in Championship 1.

Championship 1:

2 groups of 10.

Top 3: To playoffs (with top team straight to the semifinals)
4th-6th in each retain their place
7th hosts 8th from the other group for 2 more places in the following season.
9th and 10th placed teams have to qualify.

Championship 2 finalists also qualify for following season's championship 1.

Every gets a chance. No handicapped schedules.

The worst teams don't play the top teams.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 02/02/2021 14:18:23    2330116

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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..."
Seems a pretty easy proposal, no matter what though, something has to be done. Some of the GAA proposals are as complicated as Ireland's PR election system.

arock (Dublin) - Posts: 4625 - 02/02/2021 15:48:28    2330127

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I think if the GAA want to give every team a chance maybe they can have a quick qualifying tournament at the start of the season before moving onto the more league based tournament.

If you'd 16 teams qualified for Championship 1 from the previous season and have 4 spots left open you could do something like.

Qualifying week 1 and week 2: All 16 teams play 2 fixtures, 1 home 1 away, games played to a winner.

Teams that win twice straight through to week 4, teams that win once playoff in week 3, teams that lose twice are out.

Week 3: Playoff week with a variable number of fixtures.

Week 4: 8 remaining teams playoff for the 4 places available in Championship 1.

Championship 1:

2 groups of 10.

Top 3: To playoffs (with top team straight to the semifinals)
4th-6th in each retain their place
7th hosts 8th from the other group for 2 more places in the following season.
9th and 10th placed teams have to qualify.

Championship 2 finalists also qualify for following season's championship 1.

Every gets a chance. No handicapped schedules.

The worst teams don't play the top teams."
That works - like the 20 / 12 split we both liked last week (11th post on page 5) - which has the Prov Championships blended in as well.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 02/02/2021 17:51:11    2330147

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UEFA has something new under consideration for the Champions League.....

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-9009113/How-Champions-Leagues-Swiss-revamp-look-Liverpool-facing-Real-Bayern.html

Hmm, 32 teams, one league table, 10 mixed quality games per team, leading to KO 16 (1v16, 2v15 etc.) - sounds so familiar - I wonder where we have seen that before ? Only thing they are missing is the pot 1v4 restriction.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 04/02/2021 22:17:50    2330310

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Replying To omahant:  "UEFA has something new under consideration for the Champions League.....

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-9009113/How-Champions-Leagues-Swiss-revamp-look-Liverpool-facing-Real-Bayern.html

Hmm, 32 teams, one league table, 10 mixed quality games per team, leading to KO 16 (1v16, 2v15 etc.) - sounds so familiar - I wonder where we have seen that before ? Only thing they are missing is the pot 1v4 restriction."
I think if this sort of tournament were popularised through soccer that it could be implemented in GAA.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 05/02/2021 11:28:16    2330324

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I think it's only a matter of time before the rich European clubs go rogue and set up their own shop. Money talks and I'm not sure if getting banned from the international team would be enough of a threat to keep players 'onside' under sanctioned competitions.

Up to now, as UEFA has reformed its Champions League every 5-10 years, it has satisfied the rich clubs with increased concessions - this Shara-style plan is their latest pitch but may not be enough to prevent a breakaway - we will see.

And I agree, a successful launch of this could prompt the GAA to copy - why don't they just take a lead and do it anyway.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 06/02/2021 01:14:34    2330409

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Could you do a season where things start with the Provincial championships and they just count towards the All Ireland too.

So the All Ireland is 3 divisions of 12, 10 and 10 but those teams aren't decided until after the Provincial series is over and there's also a second knockout competition played at the same time for those knocked out of their province.

February and March:

Provincial championships played as normal.
4 Provincial champions all qualify for Championship 1.
4 Provincial winners qualify for New Ireland Cup semifinals.

Tailteann cup played as teams exit their provincial championship in the same format as the qualifiers.
What would normally be qualifiers round 4 becomes Tailteann cup quarterfinals.

Tailteann cup is played to completion.

12 Teams will be qualified for Championship 1 after New Ireland cup and Tailteann cup are completed.

4 Provincial champions
Tailteann Cup Champions
Previous Season's championship 2 Finalists
5 Remaining best teams from previous season's championship 1.

Any fixtures already played between teams in the Provincial Championships/New Ireland Cup/Tailteann Cup carry forward into Championship 1, 2 and 3 competitions.

April, May, June to complete Championship 1 fixtures, each team playing any team they haven't already played.
Top 4 to Championship 1 semifinals.

There could also be a Tommy Murphy Cup competition played in April after the Tailteann cup between the Championship 2 and 3 teams. Again results counting towards the Championship.

After the Tommy Murphy Cup Championship 2 would look like:

Tommy Murphy Cup Champions
Previous Season's Championship 2 finalists (if not qualified for championship 1.)
However many remaining teams based on previous season's championship rankings to make up 10 teams.

May and June would be used to complete Championship 2 and 3 fixtures.

Top 4 in each would move onto their championship finals and be guaranteed a place in the higher tier for the following season.

Really it's an attempt to get meaningful competitions for teams. Make the championship fair but also not decouple the Provincials from the All Ireland.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 06/02/2021 12:47:40    2330424

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Replying To omahant:  "I think it's only a matter of time before the rich European clubs go rogue and set up their own shop. Money talks and I'm not sure if getting banned from the international team would be enough of a threat to keep players 'onside' under sanctioned competitions.

Up to now, as UEFA has reformed its Champions League every 5-10 years, it has satisfied the rich clubs with increased concessions - this Shara-style plan is their latest pitch but may not be enough to prevent a breakaway - we will see.

And I agree, a successful launch of this could prompt the GAA to copy - why don't they just take a lead and do it anyway."
I just don't think Irish people are that familiar with this sort of tournament format.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 06/02/2021 12:48:45    2330425

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To be fair, this would be new for everyone - I can see the Italians and Spaniards totally lost. Even in the US, this would be new as there are no mini divisions to play for.

Nobody has heard of Shara - not even mentioned by UEFA, plan said to be a Swiss variant instead - I just happened to have stumbled across the Shara format innovation in a World Soccer magazine column a few years ago.

But as you said before, a KO Rd of 32 is unfair in that some teams get an easier tie based on luck of the draw. The UEFA plan at least gives everyone 10 mixed quality games before the top 16 advance - this has to be fairer, with the extra attractive pairings just a money printing machine.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 06/02/2021 17:09:58    2330454

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I like the UEFA plan. Each team plays 10 opponents once with a combined pot ranking of 25, or 2.5 per game opponent. So the schedule is balanced and fair as no team is handicapped.

You know where I'm going - I'd rather cancel the least attractive 8 pot 1v4 matches and instead, have 4 more pot 1v1 and 4 more pot 4v4 games.

Advantages for doing so include 1) a doubling of attractive pot 1v1 pairings to 16 (from 8); 2) an increase of 16 matches between teams of similar quality; and 3) the handicap for pot 1 teams intensifies competition for table positions and seeding.

The handicap lowers the pot ranking per game opponent modestly to 1.9 for pot 1 teams; raises it to 3.1 for pot 4 teams; and leaves it unchanged at 2.5 for both pot 2 and pot 3 teams.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 07/02/2021 06:08:34    2330494

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Replying To Malonemagic:  "I see an article on here where Ulster Gaa secretary Brian McEvoy is against decoupling the provincial championships from the AllIreland series. What nonsense ! He argues that to do so would see the provincial championships lose their prestige and become irrelevant. Does that not prove the case to abolish them? If they are so worthwhile, why would they lose their prestige? The reality is they are being kept on artificial life support and are part of an antiquated and imbalanced All Ireland competition. Get rid now and let's have a league championship."
The only provincial championship that matters is Ulster.
No one cares about the others
The Ulster championship would be fine if decoupled from the All Ireland
They turn up in their thousands in January for McKenna cup matches.

tirawleybaron (Mayo) - Posts: 816 - 07/02/2021 10:21:37    2330503

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Just a correction of this text above....

I'd rather cancel the least attractive 16 pot 1v4 matches and instead, have 8 more pot 1v1 and 8 more pot 4v4 games....(not 8, 4 & 4 as I incorrectly stated).

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 07/02/2021 14:44:30    2330524

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Replying To tirawleybaron:  "The only provincial championship that matters is Ulster.
No one cares about the others
The Ulster championship would be fine if decoupled from the All Ireland
They turn up in their thousands in January for McKenna cup matches."
It's possible to have a fair tiered All Ireland without decoupling the provincial championships from the National competition.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 07/02/2021 15:05:46    2330526

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Replying To tirawleybaron:  "The only provincial championship that matters is Ulster.
No one cares about the others
The Ulster championship would be fine if decoupled from the All Ireland
They turn up in their thousands in January for McKenna cup matches."
It's possible to have a fair tiered All Ireland without decoupling the provincial championships from the National competition.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 07/02/2021 15:05:46    2330527

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Replying To tirawleybaron:  "The only provincial championship that matters is Ulster.
No one cares about the others
The Ulster championship would be fine if decoupled from the All Ireland
They turn up in their thousands in January for McKenna cup matches."
I'm sure Roscommon and Tipperary cared about their respective provincial wins in the last few years.

Money has killed the other one.

cavanman47 (Cavan) - Posts: 4421 - 07/02/2021 16:06:55    2330532

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I like the idea of double counting Prov matches for the AI League Championship group as well to limit match count. However, while most of Ulster's 8 games will count for AI as well, none of Dublin's 3 likely would. This alone adds 3 games to their schedule and with successful KO run adding more.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 07/02/2021 16:07:02    2330533

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Replying To omahant:  "I like the idea of double counting Prov matches for the AI League Championship group as well to limit match count. However, while most of Ulster's 8 games will count for AI as well, none of Dublin's 3 likely would. This alone adds 3 games to their schedule and with successful KO run adding more."
Yeah exactly but it's only adding to an 11 game league campaign and at most 3 games. They'd play a 16 game season with 3 of those against lower level opponents that should be less intense encounters. It evens up the fact that they would have had an easier run.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 07/02/2021 17:12:27    2330539

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