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New Sigerson Schedule Should Ease Some Of The Burden For Third-Level GAA Players

New Sigerson Schedule Should Ease Some Of The Burden For Third-Level GAA Players
By Balls Team Updated

Change is funny in the GAA. When it comes to scattershot experimentation with the intercounty formats -like the Super 8s and the introduction of the B Championship - change is good. Meanwhile the GAA's most glaring problem - fixture congestion - remains a massive issue, though change appears to be slowly taking place.

News trickling out of HQ for the 2020 championship is that the Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup will likely be greatly streamlined to reduce some of the burden on third-level players. In 2020, the Sigerson will now be a straight knockout competition. According to Colm Keys in today's Independent, it will also be contested over an 18-day period, with the Round of 16 starting on January 11 & 12 and the quarterfinals taking place the following weekend. The semifinals will provisionally then be held on January 22 and the final on January 29.

In theory, this should ensure players won't have to be put into the same situation that Kieran Molloy of Corofin was put under in 2018 when he required a Garda to escort to play a Sigerson final after playing a club semifinal with Corofin, or the situation Molloy was put under in 2019 when he had 24 hours to recover for NUIG's semifinal against UCC after playing a Corofin club semfinal the day before.  That said the All-Ireland club final is the same weekend of Sigerson quarterfinals.

"It is a change but we'd hope that this eases some of the pressure on our third-level players who have choices to make at a busy time," said Michael Hyland to the Indo, who's the chair of the HEC committee.

It's our own stance that the Sigerson Cup is a unique and marquee GAA cup competition that deserves its own place on the GAA calendar, and certainly its own final weekend. These fixtures changes at least mean that most players won't be pulled between intercounty and university managers in the dark months of the year.

The Fitzgibbon Cup is set to conclude in February, with the date of February 12 provisionally set for the final.

 

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