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GAA Special Congress Could Drastically Change The Hurling Championship This Weekend

GAA Special Congress Could Drastically Change The Hurling Championship This Weekend
By Daniel Kelly
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It's almost four weeks since Galway's David Burke lifted the Liam McCarthy Cup, but the world of hurling could be in for a seismic shift on Saturday.

The GAA have called a Special Congress to take place, with the future of the Hurling Championship among the key topics.

If a motion is passed, it will be introduced as early as next summer. Four motions will be up for debate in Croke Park, with the most popular one getting voted upon against the current format. 60% of the votes are required to introduce the change.

While Tipperary, Cork and Dublin have all proposed structural changes, the motion from the Central Competitions Control Committee is the most likely to get passed, should it get that far.

(1) It proposes to confine the Liam McCarthy Cup to 10 teams:

Munster Championship – five teams

Leinster Championship – five teams

(2) The Munster and Leinster Championships to be run on a ‘Round-Robin’ basis with each county having two home and two away games. The counties finishing in the top two places in each provincial group to play in their respective provincial final.

Points/Tie-breakers regulations provided.

(3) The current All-Ireland Qualifier Series to be eliminated.

(4) All-Ireland Quarter-Finals

The third placed team in each Province shall replace the two teams currently coming from the All-Ireland Qualifier Series. They meet the beaten provincial finalists on a cross-provincial basis.


The CCCC want to see promotion and relegation introduced, but it means those teams who play in the Leinster round-robin stage would automatically be relegated to Tier 2 before the Championship begins.


The winners of the new Tier 2 Championship shall replace the bottom team in the Leinster or Munster Championships, as appropriate, in the following year.

Other All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championships Tiers 2, 3, 4 and 5

(5) It proposes a new Tier 2 Championship involving the four counties currently in the Leinster Championship Qualifier and two other counties based on finishing positions in 2017 championships.

(6) The Tier 2 Championship to be run on a ‘Round-Robin’ basis with the teams finishing in the top two places playing in the championship final. The winners qualify to play in the Liam MacCarthy Cup in the following year.

(7) Promotion and Relegation is provided for as well as provision to reduce the number of teams in 2019 to five.

Motions have also been brought forward in terms of the Under-21 and Minor Hurling Championships. The era of Ulster championships at underage level could be over with motions proposing they join the Leinster Championship along with Galway.


In recent weeks the world of GAA has been focused on four consecutive weekends of All-Ireland Finals. There could be massive changes to come on Saturday, that have crept up on many fans.

You can read the full list of motions here.




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