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Here Are 6 Potential Upshots Of The Championship Changes Announced Today

Here Are 6 Potential Upshots Of The Championship Changes Announced Today
Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
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The headline measure to emerge from the GAA's new proposed championship is the round robin system.

Round Robins in the GAA in the past have been rinky-dinky affairs used to give the weaker teams a few extra games against their own kind at the start of the year.

This new Round Robinho system will group together the big boys, creating a Super League feel by the time August comes around. This has already provoked criticism from those who advocate for the weaker counties.

Here are six immediate upshots to arise from the changes proposed today.

It will be possible to lose three games and win the All-Ireland

In 2007, the Cork hurlers made history by losing three championship matches in the one season before being asked to stop togging out.

In football, under the proposed system, it will be technically possible, if not exactly probable, that a team could lose three matches and win an All-Ireland.


Four qualifiers will arrive at the last eight. Thereafter it could be possible to progress to the semi-finals after losing two from three round robin games.

Dublin will be taken out of Croke Park every year



Dublin supporters know the town city of Kilkenny inside-out. Unless their entire playing corps decamps to Australia in the coming years, the Dubs are destined to see other towns.

The last eight round robin system stipulates that the competing teams will play one home game, one away game, and one game in Croke Park.

Unlike this year, they may actually have to play an away match.


Hurling may be diminished

There's already many more football matches than hurling matches. Under the proposed system, the gap will become even more pronounced.

Once you reach the last-eight of the All-Ireland football championship, there are fifteen big matches still to be played.


From the quarter-final stages and onwards in the hurling, there are only five matches left to be played.

The All-Ireland hurling final will be moved forward to the third weekend of August. It will be played before the football semi-finals.

There is a danger that the gap in terms of profile and media attention between the two sports will become very pronounced.


Richie Hogan is on record of speaking of his 'hatred' for the current hurling system. The hurling system will surely have to move in line with the football.

The need to alter the shape of the hurling season has become very urgent.

The Ulster champions will need to play a minimum of eight games to win the All-Ireland



Kerry's absurdly light run to the All-Ireland semi-final this year clearly made officials squirm with embarrassment. This provided some of the impetus for the changes announced today.

However, the sacred status of the provincial championship means that some teams will still have a heavier summer than others.

Teams who battle through Ulster could will need to win at least eight games to win the All-Ireland. If they are drawn in the preliminary round, as Donegal and Tyrone were in 2015, then they would need to play nine.

Teams who fail to reach the provincial semi-finals will have to play nine matches to win the All-Ireland

Teams have embarked on long runs through the qualifiers before, but the quest becomes even more arduous now.

We will finally see how committed the GAA are to the charade that Dublin's home ground is Parnell Park


A favourite factoid of the pedant. Parnell Park is Dublin's official home ground. The football team don't play any championship games there and they don't even play any League games there anymore. They play more often in Nowlan Park these days. Yet it remains the case that Parnell Park is the home of Dublin GAA.

So, presumably, it will house Dublin's home round robin game.

* Home venues are still subject to CCCC approval though its difficult to see how they could object to Parnell Park on the grounds of safety or facilities, isn't it? Their stand isn't sinking into the ground like others we could mention.

Read more: Balls Remembers How Ulster Football Went From Whipping Boys To Conquerors In A Dramatic Period



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