National Forum

"Level The Playing Field."

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There is no way I could see the merging of county boards lasting anymore that to the first county board meeting, it just wouldn't work, rivalry comes to mind, traditions, history, and all of that. To include club championship in addition to county teams, unworkable in my opinion.

Improving competitiveness out reaches far beyond county boards.

supersub15 (Carlow) - Posts: 2470 - 14/05/2021 17:01:17    2341723

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Replying To supersub15:  "There is no way I could see the merging of county boards lasting anymore that to the first county board meeting, it just wouldn't work, rivalry comes to mind, traditions, history, and all of that. To include club championship in addition to county teams, unworkable in my opinion.

Improving competitiveness out reaches far beyond county boards."
Yeah I agree, it's very highly unlikely to happen.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3633 - 14/05/2021 17:22:52    2341728

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Replying To supersub15:  "There is no way I could see the merging of county boards lasting anymore that to the first county board meeting, it just wouldn't work, rivalry comes to mind, traditions, history, and all of that. To include club championship in addition to county teams, unworkable in my opinion.

Improving competitiveness out reaches far beyond county boards."
Time to scrap the outdated inter county set up and put together a fresh modern properly ran competition which gives every good player a chance of playing and competing in front a packed Croke Park whether you were born in Leitrim , Carlow or Dublin.

Too many old fashioned people in the GAA married to the past and terrified of their shadows, never mind radical changes.

AfricanGael (UK) - Posts: 1946 - 14/05/2021 17:40:59    2341734

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I think that article is very tongue in cheek.

As I've said before I wouldn't be against voluntary merging of county boards. I think it'd need to be on a permanent basis and it'd need to include club championship in addition to county teams. I don't know how the 2 separate codes could be managed.

You'd also worry about the impact it could have on counties with no suitable neighbours to merge with.

If Westmeath and Longford merged, Antrim and Down merged could Louth get isolated.

I don't know if the idea is practically implementable but it would have the potential to improve competitiveness."
Isnt that getting away from the central GAA ethos of parish and county?

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 3341 - 14/05/2021 18:54:00    2341739

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Replying To AfricanGael:  "Time to scrap the outdated inter county set up and put together a fresh modern properly ran competition which gives every good player a chance of playing and competing in front a packed Croke Park whether you were born in Leitrim , Carlow or Dublin.

Too many old fashioned people in the GAA married to the past and terrified of their shadows, never mind radical changes.
"
Most good players I know wouldn't want to play for another parish or county.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 3341 - 14/05/2021 18:55:15    2341740

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Replying To AfricanGael:  "Time to scrap the outdated inter county set up and put together a fresh modern properly ran competition which gives every good player a chance of playing and competing in front a packed Croke Park whether you were born in Leitrim , Carlow or Dublin.

Too many old fashioned people in the GAA married to the past and terrified of their shadows, never mind radical changes.
"
Well when me and you agree on something it must be bloody true.

Galway9801 (Galway) - Posts: 951 - 14/05/2021 18:58:41    2341741

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Replying To Viking66:  "
Replying To AfricanGael:  "Time to scrap the outdated inter county set up and put together a fresh modern properly ran competition which gives every good player a chance of playing and competing in front a packed Croke Park whether you were born in Leitrim , Carlow or Dublin.

Too many old fashioned people in the GAA married to the past and terrified of their shadows, never mind radical changes.
"
Most good players I know wouldn't want to play for another parish or county."
Most good players I know want to play on the biggest stage, and deserve to play on the highest stage and have a realistic chance of winning some meaningful silverware. I'm not talking about playing with another county, that issue wouldn't arise if the whole inter-county system was scrapped.

AfricanGael (UK) - Posts: 1946 - 14/05/2021 19:52:01    2341753

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Replying To Viking66:  "Isnt that getting away from the central GAA ethos of parish and county?"
I don't really know if that is the central ethos.

I do think it's a very strong established tradition and wouldn't be lightly given up.

The only way I could see it working is 2 neighbouring counties without much of a rivalry came together and subsequently had a bit of success.

I don't actually think this should happen, it's just a potential option to change things up.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3633 - 14/05/2021 20:48:03    2341768

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Replying To Viking66:  "
Replying To AfricanGael:  "Time to scrap the outdated inter county set up and put together a fresh modern properly ran competition which gives every good player a chance of playing and competing in front a packed Croke Park whether you were born in Leitrim , Carlow or Dublin.

Too many old fashioned people in the GAA married to the past and terrified of their shadows, never mind radical changes.
"
Most good players I know wouldn't want to play for another parish or county."
When demographics change, the structure needs to also change, or ultimately die a slow death.

AfricanGael (UK) - Posts: 1946 - 14/05/2021 21:00:03    2341770

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Replying To AfricanGael:  "Time to scrap the outdated inter county set up and put together a fresh modern properly ran competition which gives every good player a chance of playing and competing in front a packed Croke Park whether you were born in Leitrim , Carlow or Dublin.

Too many old fashioned people in the GAA married to the past and terrified of their shadows, never mind radical changes.
"
Through time everything has evolved and change is or has / is happening, gaelic games must change too, but only with overall consent, In my own view I see it that the most successful part of the gaa is from the club scene, the intercounty scene was built on the continued success of the club's and what they represent.
I can only imagine what the arguments would be if intercounty games was put on indefinite pause and overall freedom given to the clubs.

Scallioneater (Carlow) - Posts: 288 - 14/05/2021 21:43:09    2341786

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Replying To AfricanGael:  "
Replying To Viking66:  "[quote=AfricanGael:  "Time to scrap the outdated inter county set up and put together a fresh modern properly ran competition which gives every good player a chance of playing and competing in front a packed Croke Park whether you were born in Leitrim , Carlow or Dublin.

Too many old fashioned people in the GAA married to the past and terrified of their shadows, never mind radical changes.
"
Most good players I know wouldn't want to play for another parish or county."
Most good players I know want to play on the biggest stage, and deserve to play on the highest stage and have a realistic chance of winning some meaningful silverware. I'm not talking about playing with another county, that issue wouldn't arise if the whole inter-county system was scrapped. "]So what are you talking? Franchises? Or superclubs in the big cities?

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 3341 - 14/05/2021 21:52:59    2341787

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Replying To AfricanGael:  "Time to scrap the outdated inter county set up and put together a fresh modern properly ran competition which gives every good player a chance of playing and competing in front a packed Croke Park whether you were born in Leitrim , Carlow or Dublin.

Too many old fashioned people in the GAA married to the past and terrified of their shadows, never mind radical changes.
"
There is a lot to what you are saying. In reality there is only 8 teams in hurling that are competitive with each other. That leaves a lot of top class hurlers who never get to play at a level they are capable of. I don't know what the structure should be but believe that the number of competitive teams could be doubled and not necessary judged on ALL Irelands alone.

Canuck (Waterford) - Posts: 1644 - 14/05/2021 22:13:06    2341791

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I don't really know if that is the central ethos.

I do think it's a very strong established tradition and wouldn't be lightly given up.

The only way I could see it working is 2 neighbouring counties without much of a rivalry came together and subsequently had a bit of success.

I don't actually think this should happen, it's just a potential option to change things up."
It would only work if all counties were part of a new regional team. Also, each region would need to be a mix of strong and weak counties so the regions would be competitive.

I have posted the below a few times (as I keep fiddling with the schedule and expected final placings) -

Inter-Regional AI League Championship of say, only 10 teams to better 'level the playing field' and keep everyone interested:

Uls 3 regions (3 counties in each)
West (UW) = Done, Derry, Tyr
South (US) = Ferm, Cav, Mona
East (UE) = Ant, Arm, Down.

Muns 2 regions (3 counties in each)
West (MW) = Kerr, Clar, Lime
East (ME) = Cork, Tipp, Wat.

Conn 2 regions (3 counties in each, incl Lond)
North (CN) = Mayo, Slig, Leit
South (CS) = Galw, Rosc, Lond.

Lein 3 regions (with 3.3 or 4.3 counties in each, incl Dubs split in 3 to the 3 regions)
North (LN) 4.3 = Lou, Mea, Long, Wmea, NDub
Central (LC) 3.3 = Kild, Off, Lao, CentDub
South (LS) 4.3 = Wick, Wex, Carl, Kilk, SDub.

I could see most of the 10 regions being competitive - maybe, a small number of strong teams is best, like current Tier 1 hurling ? (and hurling would need a messy patchwork of inter-regional combinations to target a similar competitive balance).

Play the football season as a League Championship (two year cycle) -
2 groups of 5 (draw at least 1 region from each Prov to each diversified group).
13-match regular season one year (twice v own group, once v other group);
14-match regular season the next year (once v own group, twice v other group).
Teams play the 9 others three times over two years
Top 6 of 10 based on one-year 13 or 14 match combined table - or all 27 over 2 rolling years - to 6-team KO (top 2 to AI SFs & 3v6, 4v5 to QFs).

I'd expect a final table ranking like this -
1 UW; 2 MW; 3 US; 4 CS; 5 CN; 6 LN;
7 LC; 8 ME; 9 UE; 10 LS.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2151 - 15/05/2021 03:17:12    2341816

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Replying To AfricanGael:  "
Replying To Viking66:  "[quote=AfricanGael:  "Time to scrap the outdated inter county set up and put together a fresh modern properly ran competition which gives every good player a chance of playing and competing in front a packed Croke Park whether you were born in Leitrim , Carlow or Dublin.

Too many old fashioned people in the GAA married to the past and terrified of their shadows, never mind radical changes.
"
Most good players I know wouldn't want to play for another parish or county."
When demographics change, the structure needs to also change, or ultimately die a slow death."]You're speaking as if counties like Leitrim were powerhouses at some stage and that this has changed recently due to demographic changes. The likes of Leitrim and Longford have always been small counties with pretty much no chance of winning an All-Ireland. This has been the case for over 100 years.
I would love to see them be able to compete at the highest level, but there's no handy solution.
What drives interest in the GAA from supporters is the association with place, whether that's club or county. The interest proportionally is huge in comparison to population.
Take that away and you could lose a huge amount. If people feel that representation is gone, interest could dwindle.
In saying that, these discussions should always be taking place. What would be your proposed solution?

WanPintWin (Galway) - Posts: 1188 - 15/05/2021 04:20:39    2341818

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Replying To omahant:  "It would only work if all counties were part of a new regional team. Also, each region would need to be a mix of strong and weak counties so the regions would be competitive.

I have posted the below a few times (as I keep fiddling with the schedule and expected final placings) -

Inter-Regional AI League Championship of say, only 10 teams to better 'level the playing field' and keep everyone interested:

Uls 3 regions (3 counties in each)
West (UW) = Done, Derry, Tyr
South (US) = Ferm, Cav, Mona
East (UE) = Ant, Arm, Down.

Muns 2 regions (3 counties in each)
West (MW) = Kerr, Clar, Lime
East (ME) = Cork, Tipp, Wat.

Conn 2 regions (3 counties in each, incl Lond)
North (CN) = Mayo, Slig, Leit
South (CS) = Galw, Rosc, Lond.

Lein 3 regions (with 3.3 or 4.3 counties in each, incl Dubs split in 3 to the 3 regions)
North (LN) 4.3 = Lou, Mea, Long, Wmea, NDub
Central (LC) 3.3 = Kild, Off, Lao, CentDub
South (LS) 4.3 = Wick, Wex, Carl, Kilk, SDub.

I could see most of the 10 regions being competitive - maybe, a small number of strong teams is best, like current Tier 1 hurling ? (and hurling would need a messy patchwork of inter-regional combinations to target a similar competitive balance).

Play the football season as a League Championship (two year cycle) -
2 groups of 5 (draw at least 1 region from each Prov to each diversified group).
13-match regular season one year (twice v own group, once v other group);
14-match regular season the next year (once v own group, twice v other group).
Teams play the 9 others three times over two years
Top 6 of 10 based on one-year 13 or 14 match combined table - or all 27 over 2 rolling years - to 6-team KO (top 2 to AI SFs & 3v6, 4v5 to QFs).

I'd expect a final table ranking like this -
1 UW; 2 MW; 3 US; 4 CS; 5 CN; 6 LN;
7 LC; 8 ME; 9 UE; 10 LS."
In South Leinster you have 3 div 4 teams and 1 that doesn't field a senior grade team at all. Cant see that attracting any support whatsoever down this way or being at all competitive with the other areas. And even less players in the 4 counties outside south dublin will get to play top level football than do currently.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 3341 - 15/05/2021 10:42:57    2341841

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Replying To Whammo86:  "Yeah I agree, it's very highly unlikely to happen."
The heart beat of gaelic games and it's competitiveness belongs to the clubs, the heart beat, competitiveness, and success of intercounty teams belongs to the clubs as well, the ineffectiveness of some intercounty teams belongs to some county boards,

Someone mentioned a "superclub" that may very well be the way to go or at least put it in the mix, restructure needed on a county by county basis, I'm not in favor of amalgamating or splitting county's either in part of fully.
I would like to see a handicap system being discussed seriously and fully, it could be tried and tested over a three year period. Handicaps could be got from performance in the NFL, division by division, fed into a computer and hey presto. Going back to our game of golf, anyone of us who hit a golf ball and is a member of a club has a handicap, simple and user-friendly. No matter how uncompetitive our gaelic football counties are they are not going to show a computerized handicap of excessive double figures if it did then go to plan B.

Croke park officials do not appear to have any issue or concerns with Kilkenny failing to field a senior football team in the LSF championship, that is very worrying and regrettable, how can counties expand and prosper be competitive if those at the highest lever don't seem to have any concerns with the static and apparent decline of some counties, now it seems the faults go higher that county boards.

supersub15 (Carlow) - Posts: 2470 - 15/05/2021 12:33:19    2341860

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Replying To supersub15:  "The heart beat of gaelic games and it's competitiveness belongs to the clubs, the heart beat, competitiveness, and success of intercounty teams belongs to the clubs as well, the ineffectiveness of some intercounty teams belongs to some county boards,

Someone mentioned a "superclub" that may very well be the way to go or at least put it in the mix, restructure needed on a county by county basis, I'm not in favor of amalgamating or splitting county's either in part of fully.
I would like to see a handicap system being discussed seriously and fully, it could be tried and tested over a three year period. Handicaps could be got from performance in the NFL, division by division, fed into a computer and hey presto. Going back to our game of golf, anyone of us who hit a golf ball and is a member of a club has a handicap, simple and user-friendly. No matter how uncompetitive our gaelic football counties are they are not going to show a computerized handicap of excessive double figures if it did then go to plan B.

Croke park officials do not appear to have any issue or concerns with Kilkenny failing to field a senior football team in the LSF championship, that is very worrying and regrettable, how can counties expand and prosper be competitive if those at the highest lever don't seem to have any concerns with the static and apparent decline of some counties, now it seems the faults go higher that county boards."
To be honest if I were in charge of that aspect of the games I'm not sure if I'd be willing to pour too much resources into kilkenny football, there just doesn't seem to be the interest.
It's tricky really, you'd imagine there's potential to see hurling grow in Laois, carlow, westmeath, but dues that mean hurling in 15/20 other counties should be just ignored and left to fend for themselves?
There's no real straightforward answer.
Would a handicap system not just be papering over the cracks? Kinda like, well if you're not willing to develop the game, we'll just give ye a head start?

Galway9801 (Galway) - Posts: 951 - 15/05/2021 15:23:18    2341885

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Replying To Viking66:  "In South Leinster you have 3 div 4 teams and 1 that doesn't field a senior grade team at all. Cant see that attracting any support whatsoever down this way or being at all competitive with the other areas. And even less players in the 4 counties outside south dublin will get to play top level football than do currently."
I had to place one team 10th in my ranking - that is Leinster South. Would fans in those 4 counties get behind this regional team now that it has a chance of improving with the inclusion of some Dub players ? You could have a rule that all regional teams must have at least 2 players from each county.

Also, as the Region team count is only one third that of counties, perhaps we could have various grades (say, 5) with the same regions, so current intercounty players (and more) get to play - Senior, Senior B, Intermediate, Intermediate B and Junior - or instead call them the Tier 1 to Tier 5 League Championships.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 2151 - 15/05/2021 17:42:46    2341983

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Replying To omahant:  "I had to place one team 10th in my ranking - that is Leinster South. Would fans in those 4 counties get behind this regional team now that it has a chance of improving with the inclusion of some Dub players ? You could have a rule that all regional teams must have at least 2 players from each county.

Also, as the Region team count is only one third that of counties, perhaps we could have various grades (say, 5) with the same regions, so current intercounty players (and more) get to play - Senior, Senior B, Intermediate, Intermediate B and Junior - or instead call them the Tier 1 to Tier 5 League Championships."
I'd have no interest following a Leinster South region

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 3341 - 15/05/2021 19:34:01    2342065

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Replying To Viking66:  "I'd have no interest following a Leinster South region"
It is bonkers stuff this idea. No merit to it and it only sounds good and that is all that matters. Ask these experts for specifics and they can't answer. They complain about everything and anything but offer no tangible realistic solutions. They are all soundbites and real GAA people know they will not work. But the experts here would have you believe otherwise.

the creeler (Cavan) - Posts: 512 - 15/05/2021 20:04:34    2342082

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