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Provincial Championships

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I'm not sure how UEFA would arrange its 10-match fixtures per team, but I would create as follows (could be used for GAA AIC as well):

Randomly split each UEFA pot or GAA NFL div in two (A & B), so there are 8 quartets in total, each with 4 randomised "slots".

Randomly allocate each 4 teams into quartet slots (e.g. Pot 1 has 1A-1, 1A-2, 1A-3, 1A-4, 1B-1, 1B-2, 1B-3, 1B-4, Pot 2 has 2A-1.....2B-4 etc).

All A teams play 10 of 16 B teams, avoiding teams in their "own slot" where required (e.g. 1A-1 avoids 3B-1 but plays the 3 others in 3B), and avoids a 2nd team in 2 quartets (e.g. 2A-1 avoids 3B-4).

With my handicap, I'd have all Pot 1v4 matches avoided (e.g. all four 1B teams avoid all four 4A teams).

AI QF teams to quartet 1 in the following year, Rd of 16 losers to Q2, 3rd 8 to Q3, 4th 8 to Q4.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 07/02/2021 19:44:34    2330559

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Replying To omahant:  "I'm not sure how UEFA would arrange its 10-match fixtures per team, but I would create as follows (could be used for GAA AIC as well):

Randomly split each UEFA pot or GAA NFL div in two (A & B), so there are 8 quartets in total, each with 4 randomised "slots".

Randomly allocate each 4 teams into quartet slots (e.g. Pot 1 has 1A-1, 1A-2, 1A-3, 1A-4, 1B-1, 1B-2, 1B-3, 1B-4, Pot 2 has 2A-1.....2B-4 etc).

All A teams play 10 of 16 B teams, avoiding teams in their "own slot" where required (e.g. 1A-1 avoids 3B-1 but plays the 3 others in 3B), and avoids a 2nd team in 2 quartets (e.g. 2A-1 avoids 3B-4).

With my handicap, I'd have all Pot 1v4 matches avoided (e.g. all four 1B teams avoid all four 4A teams).

AI QF teams to quartet 1 in the following year, Rd of 16 losers to Q2, 3rd 8 to Q3, 4th 8 to Q4."
The UEFA proposals aren't great in m view.

They want to increase the Champions league to 36 teams. I'm not sure how they'll arrange fixtures but they also want to have 24 teams qualify for the knockout rounds.

In my view it just makes the group stage lack intensity.

To play 10 fixtures to reduce the field by 1/3rd is not good in my view. I know teams can chase top 8 and a quarter final spot but still, I don't like the proposal.

I think some of your GAA proposals can be victim to the same lack of impact of the group phase.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 11/02/2021 15:54:13    2331069

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I agree that UEFA's 24 of 36 is a bit too much - it weakens the argument that teams would strive for higher seeding in the one league when qualification is all but assured.
Maybe 20 would be ok - and have 1v20, 2v19 etc , with the best 6 winners straight to QFs.
Also, to offset the 4 additional league games, they should consider more one leg KOs (although this increases the lottery element - be careful what you ask for, I suppose).

In GAA, I had one idea of 4 divs x (5 of 8) for a KO 20 - with teams seeded by div, then position - 1st rd with 13v20, 14v19 etc - and teams continuing highest v lowest, 2nd high v 2nd low etc., so there is an incentive to be in higher divs.

I went with 5s, because I like the idea that if a team doesn't make the KO one year, they go down with an easier route the next - otherwise, there is less incentive staying up in a series of 'neverland 6th in div 1' for example.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 11/02/2021 16:34:40    2331077

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In the 2019 SHC groups, 3 of 5 to KO seemed to work well - so I feel 5 of 8 would be similarly good, limiting dead rubbers but perhaps making the top of the table less intense.

You typically go for fewer KO berths, making groups more intense but with tbe door open to more dead rubbers.

It's a trade off between intensity and dead games - it's hard to accomodate both.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 12/02/2021 04:34:09    2331144

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Replying To omahant:  "In the 2019 SHC groups, 3 of 5 to KO seemed to work well - so I feel 5 of 8 would be similarly good, limiting dead rubbers but perhaps making the top of the table less intense.

You typically go for fewer KO berths, making groups more intense but with tbe door open to more dead rubbers.

It's a trade off between intensity and dead games - it's hard to accomodate both."
I think adding promotion can just help with dead rubbers.

The fear of dead runners is to high anyway. With single round robins there's a lot of bunching up. Look at the leagues it's quite rare for teams in the top 3 divisions to not have something to play for into the last weeks. Division 4 is different with no relegation obviously.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 12/02/2021 13:13:57    2331184

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Replying To KillingFields:  "When you say league championship? What way would you structure it?

Id get rid of all pre season competitions. Teams just play friendlies no need to have leagues and especially knockout cups for pre season

Play provincial cups as straight knockout cups in between rounds of the league which would be expanded from the current sized 4 groups of 8.
Play a straight knockout all ireland cup as well."
have to laugh at posts like this as if the gaa has or will have any structure , the provincial championship will remain because no one in the gaa has the foresight or the brain that means they change it . stuck in the past

mickcunningham (Westmeath) - Posts: 1312 - 12/02/2021 13:26:35    2331189

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Replying To mickcunningham:  "have to laugh at posts like this as if the gaa has or will have any structure , the provincial championship will remain because no one in the gaa has the foresight or the brain that means they change it . stuck in the past"
Hard to argue with this. A big problem in the GAA and it's throughout all the levels is that there are too many stakeholders keen to keep their own special interests and it always leads to ridiculous compromises rather than coming to the right solution.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 12/02/2021 14:14:23    2331196

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Replying To mickcunningham:  "have to laugh at posts like this as if the gaa has or will have any structure , the provincial championship will remain because no one in the gaa has the foresight or the brain that means they change it . stuck in the past"
The provincial championships should remain because you dont and shouldnt have all the eggs in one basket and remove chances of success for so many sides.
A league as main competition with provincial cups to keep local rivalries and chance for neighbouring counties to get one over on their bigger, stronger local rivals is win win.
Keeping the provincial cups isnt stuck in the past. its tying in with a basic element of the GAA and the local rivalries etc

KillingFields (Limerick) - Posts: 2276 - 12/02/2021 16:26:09    2331212

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Replying To Whammo86:  "Hard to argue with this. A big problem in the GAA and it's throughout all the levels is that there are too many stakeholders keen to keep their own special interests and it always leads to ridiculous compromises rather than coming to the right solution."
They could already have this sorted with minimum fuss.
Draw the KO Provs as usual.
All teams will then play 1 to 4 Prov games.
All teams play an equal number of League Championship (LC) games (say 10).
Count the Prov results toward the LC as well, and all teams will play other mixed quality opponents (determined by draw) to complete their LC schedule.
Top teams to AI KO (whatever quantity works - 8, 12 or 16 etc).
Keep div 1v4 matches if you must.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 13/02/2021 02:56:41    2331254

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Replying To omahant:  "They could already have this sorted with minimum fuss.
Draw the KO Provs as usual.
All teams will then play 1 to 4 Prov games.
All teams play an equal number of League Championship (LC) games (say 10).
Count the Prov results toward the LC as well, and all teams will play other mixed quality opponents (determined by draw) to complete their LC schedule.
Top teams to AI KO (whatever quantity works - 8, 12 or 16 etc).
Keep div 1v4 matches if you must."
No there definitely should be 2 tiers.

You need promotion and relegation.

Just give the lower level teams a shot at qualifying at the start of the year.

You need it to make sure that there's more meaningful matches.

It's actually better for everyone if there's some promotion and relegation into a main competition.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 13/02/2021 13:08:19    2331271

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You could have 2 (2x16) or even 3 tiers (12-10-10), as we've stated before.

With 2 tiers, one could argue that promo/relag teams go from playing current div 4 teams one year to current div 1 teams the next (or vice versa).

With one tier, such mid ranked teams would play a spread of mixed quality games each year (v teams of all divs, 1 to 4).

I'd like to avoid the biggest mismatches (div 1v4, only those teams 3 divs apart) - in so doing, any teams in the top 24 or lower 24 could still potentially meet. By replacing div 1v4 games only with more div 1v1 and div 4v4 matches, pairing quality would be improved without having much impact on which teams ultimately advance to the KO stage (of say, 12, 16 or 20 teams). If a 20-team KO field, the 12 bottom teams would likely strive 'to get in' rather than tank toward the last 8 simply to avoid div 1 opponents in the following year.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 13/02/2021 21:57:39    2331305

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Replying To omahant:  "You could have 2 (2x16) or even 3 tiers (12-10-10), as we've stated before.

With 2 tiers, one could argue that promo/relag teams go from playing current div 4 teams one year to current div 1 teams the next (or vice versa).

With one tier, such mid ranked teams would play a spread of mixed quality games each year (v teams of all divs, 1 to 4).

I'd like to avoid the biggest mismatches (div 1v4, only those teams 3 divs apart) - in so doing, any teams in the top 24 or lower 24 could still potentially meet. By replacing div 1v4 games only with more div 1v1 and div 4v4 matches, pairing quality would be improved without having much impact on which teams ultimately advance to the KO stage (of say, 12, 16 or 20 teams). If a 20-team KO field, the 12 bottom teams would likely strive 'to get in' rather than tank toward the last 8 simply to avoid div 1 opponents in the following year."
Having the qualifiers for a top tier gives that mixed strength program of games.

16 teams start as being qualified for the main tournament.

Leave 4 places to be up for grabs for the bottom 16 in a qualifying tournament.

Those 4 teams will have a mixed quality program of games.

The top 16 teams don't need to play the bottom 12 and teams don't get an advantage from moving lower.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 15/02/2021 11:25:50    2331431

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One advantage in keeping a one-tier 32-team table is that all of the lower 12 remain in the Chase for Sam throughout the season. Pursuit of a 20th playoff berth may be within striking distance for most of the lower 12 and be more appealing than a Tier 2 title (debatable).

As I mentioned before, I like all non-playoff teams (12 in this case) getting an easier schedule the following year. To do this, you could have three seeding pots of 8, 12 & 12 instead.

Pot 2 teams could play half of Pot 1 & half of Pot 3 (10 games in total), with Pot 1 teams, and separarely Pot 3 teams, playing their other 4 games against Own Pot opponents (10 games in total). The bottom 12 avoids the top 8 in the following year.

For the 1st Rd KO, I'd have the top 6 (seeded 1 to 6) hosting 20th to 15th, respectively.
If the top 6 win as expected, they'd go straight to the QFs, awaiting 2 others of 8 (seeds 7 to 14) that emerge from 2 KO Rds.
If any of the top 6 lose in Rd 1, their bye to the QFs could go to the next highest Rd 1 winner from seeds 7 to 14.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 16/02/2021 04:11:12    2331512

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Whenever the championships resume, I think we might see the provinces work out in football.
Dublin. Predictable for the moment.

Kerry. They will be on their guard to avoid an upset this year.


Galway. If they play their traditional fluid game.

Tyrone. With new management they could be a team to watch.

MicktheMiller (Offaly) - Posts: 269 - 16/02/2021 11:02:18    2331527

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Replying To MicktheMiller:  "Whenever the championships resume, I think we might see the provinces work out in football.
Dublin. Predictable for the moment.

Kerry. They will be on their guard to avoid an upset this year.


Galway. If they play their traditional fluid game.

Tyrone. With new management they could be a team to watch."
I think Connacht and Ulster should have good games still. You're probably talking 4-6 good matches in those a year.

Leinster Dublin just are a dark cloud looming over everyone. If you're not in their half of the draw you've a shot at a Leinster final and get a few wins in the All Ireland.

Kerry should win Munster again but they need to cut out the pragmatic approach. Kerry should be going to beat teams properly and dominating matches. Outside of Dublin no team should come close to Kerry. Their poor performance at times in the last few years have often been down to them playing to a game plan that doesn't suit them rather than losing to a team taking advantage of their plan A.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 16/02/2021 15:08:08    2331562

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Replying To omahant:  "One advantage in keeping a one-tier 32-team table is that all of the lower 12 remain in the Chase for Sam throughout the season. Pursuit of a 20th playoff berth may be within striking distance for most of the lower 12 and be more appealing than a Tier 2 title (debatable).

As I mentioned before, I like all non-playoff teams (12 in this case) getting an easier schedule the following year. To do this, you could have three seeding pots of 8, 12 & 12 instead.

Pot 2 teams could play half of Pot 1 & half of Pot 3 (10 games in total), with Pot 1 teams, and separarely Pot 3 teams, playing their other 4 games against Own Pot opponents (10 games in total). The bottom 12 avoids the top 8 in the following year.

For the 1st Rd KO, I'd have the top 6 (seeded 1 to 6) hosting 20th to 15th, respectively.
If the top 6 win as expected, they'd go straight to the QFs, awaiting 2 others of 8 (seeds 7 to 14) that emerge from 2 KO Rds.
If any of the top 6 lose in Rd 1, their bye to the QFs could go to the next highest Rd 1 winner from seeds 7 to 14."
Promotion to a top tier is a big carrot to elevate the status of the second tier competition.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3387 - 16/02/2021 15:08:53    2331563

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It would.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 16/02/2021 21:34:08    2331618

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Replying To MicktheMiller:  "Whenever the championships resume, I think we might see the provinces work out in football.
Dublin. Predictable for the moment.

Kerry. They will be on their guard to avoid an upset this year.


Galway. If they play their traditional fluid game.

Tyrone. With new management they could be a team to watch."
I struggle to see galway winning connaught. In there last 6 championship games against roscommon or mayo they have lost 4 they also have a combined 3 game losing streak against mayo and roscommon and haven't bet either since 2018. Galway haven't improved enough for there to be good reason to think this trend would change. Especially when you consider galway has never bet a mayo team with james horan as manager in the championship.

In ulster Donegal will have something to prove since McGuinness left they haven't made the semi final and have failed to live up to expectations every year. They'll have something to prove. And I can't see them losing it again no matter how good tyrone are.

Sssthe (Mayo) - Posts: 14 - 16/02/2021 23:26:19    2331639

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See Pat Spillane slagging off the Leinster Counties again in the Independent today....spends time pointing out that Dublin has a bigger population than the other 11 counties put together then says ...sure only 15 can take to the field ... his parting shot is that all of Leinster has raised the white flag

Wonder why he didn't accuse Waterford, Limerick or Tipp ( last year aside ) of waving the white flag in Munster ? or Sligo,London, New York or Leitrim in Connacht ? ....

Not slagging any of the above Proud counties, just sick of the double standards re the Provincials and the same old tired lines about others need to step up/try harder/push themselves more in Leinster to match Dublin...

Black+Blue (Galway) - Posts: 106 - 18/02/2021 19:52:39    2331931

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With the time limitation for an AI SFC in 2021, what novel structure would you like to try for this year only (maybe) ? Whatever you decide, the GAA should not waste their opportunity - I'd try this -

1) Play usual 4 Uls/Lein Prelim Rd pairings.
2) Continue with 4 Confs of 8.
3) Each 8 played under 2017 C Ring Cup format (with Rds 1, 2a, 2b, 2QFs, 2SFs, Final).
4) Conf Rd 1 Open Draw.
5) 2 Rd 2b winners in each Conf relocate - one to each of 2 coastal neighbouring Confs.
6) Relocated teams kept apart in Conf QF/SFs.
7) 4 Conf Champs to old-style AI SFs.

That's it !
Confs retain strong traditional Prov element, as 20 teams stay in their own Conf/Prov and 12 relocate (4 Prelim losers / 8 Rd 2b winners).
Rd 1 Open Draw may send some strong teams to Rd 2b and on to a neighbouring Conf QF to rebalance existing Prov composition.
AI Champ has to first win a Conf/Prov Final, including teams with one defeat.
Certain regional international soccer tournaments have a history of inviting 'guest' teams [i.e. Copa America (South Amer) & Gold Cup (CONCACAF), with Japan & US having played in both.]
There could be real mischief here, if - Tyrone takes Dublin's Lein title north - or there's hurt in Kerry, as 'their' regional cup is taken out west by Mayo or Galway.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1998 - 27/03/2021 19:16:00    2335208

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