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Report: CCCC Considering Intriguing Major Change To All-Ireland SFC Format

Report: CCCC Considering Intriguing Major Change To All-Ireland SFC Format
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington Updated
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Few things in sport are tinkered with as much as the format of the All-Ireland senior football championship - and yet more drastic changes may not be too far away.

After the failure of the two-year Super 8s experiment in the 2010s, the GAA has trialled a second stab at round-robin games the past two years immediately after the provincial championships.


The format has not proved popular, and fans are voting with their wallets. With the group winners progressing directly to the quarter-finals and the second- and third-placed teams playing off for the remaining spots, 24 games are played in the round-robin phase to eliminate just four teams, leading to a lack of jeopardy.

Something has to change. According to reports on Thursday from John Fogarty in the Irish Examiner, the GAA is considering a big revamp for next season.

READ HERE: The All-Ireland Permutations Ahead Of Crucial Final Round-Robin Games

READ HERE: Radical Rule Changes Set To Be Trialled By Jim Gavin's Football Review Group Made Public


GAA: Proposal to see All-Ireland SFC format return to knockout with major change

Dublin Kerry All-Ireland football final

30 July 2023; Brian Fenton of Dublin consoles David Clifford of Kerry after the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship final match between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

According to Fogarty, the GAA's Central Competition Control Committee preferred new format would be largely similar to a system used in county championships in Kerry and Laois in the past.


The key points of the proposed new structure as reported in yesterday's Examiner are here:

  • The 8 provincial finalists, previous year's Tailteann Cup winners, and the 7 highest finishers in the Allianz Leagues would qualify for the last 16 (Round 1)
  • The 8 winners of the last 16 would progress to Round 2A, where they would play off for four places in the All-Ireland quarter-finals
  • The 8 losers of Round 1 would play off in four Round 2B matches, with the four losers eliminated from the All-Ireland football championship
  • The 4 winners of Round 2B would then play the 4 losers of Round 2A for the final four places in the All-Ireland quarter-finals

Kerry great Tomas Ó Sé suggested a similar format change speaking to the RTÉ GAA podcast last month.

The Kerry county championship has been decided in group format since 2022, following changes brought on after covid.


On paper, this proposal would certainly appear to hit the sweet spot between affording teams a "second chance" at progressing in the championship while also creating tension and jeopardy at an early stage in the championship.

Theoretically, the likes of Roscommon, Monaghan and Westmeath can all advance to the provisional quarterfinals this year without winning a game. Equally a county like Derry can conceivably win an All-Ireland despite losing three times in Championship.

So the need for change is obvious.


However, ne can never expect to go long without the format of the All-Ireland football championship being turned on its head, and it appears likely that will happen once again in the coming years.

SEE ALSO: Lee Keegan Had Killer Roscommon Dig Ahead Of Mayo's Dr Hyde Park Date With Dublin

lee keegan



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