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GAA Confirm Two Possible Structures For Tiered Championship

GAA Confirm Two Possible Structures For Tiered Championship
By Aonghus Ó Maicín

Following a meeting of the Ard Chomhairle the GAA have put two proposals to their membership regarding a tiered championship for debate and discussion.

The association hope to have a 'B' championship in place for the start of the 2020 season, which means a proposal must be voted for at this year's Special Congress, due to be held at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork on October 19.

Both proposals are similar in nature, with the 'B' championship reserved for teams in Division 3 and Division 4 of the league.

However, Proposal B is significantly more complex, though teams would be guaranteed more games.

Below are the proposals, as outlined by the GAA:

Proposal A:

This will feature the provincial championships as present with the current four rounds of All-Ireland Qualifiers reducing to two rounds and open to teams from Allianz Divisions 1 and 2 and any Allianz Division 3 and 4 teams who qualify for their provincial finals.

The Tier 2 championship format of Proposal A is a straight knock out competition for 16 teams from across Divisions 3 and 4 that do not make their provincial finals.

Additionally, the Ard Chomhairle have remained open to the idea of organising the newly-formed competition on a geographical basis - northern and southern conferences - in order to "ensure less travel for teams and supporters, while also retaining local rivalries."

Proposal B:

Proposal B which has gone forward for discussion is similar to the above and also features Division 3 and 4 teams that do not reach a provincial final entering a new Tier 2 championship.

A key difference is that in the event that a Division 3 or 4 team do reach a provincial final, to make up 16 teams in Tier 2 their place in Tier 2 would be taken by the lowest ranked Division 2 team from that year’s Allianz league.

The format for the Tier 2 championship in Proposal B features an initial round of games which then creates a winners’ group and a losers’ group and so offers beaten counties a way of playing their way back into contention.

Proposal B would be played out on the following lines:

16 Teams involved

Rd 1: 8 Teams v 8 Teams

Rd 2a: 4 Winners Rd 1 v 4 Winners Rd 1

Rd 2b: 4 Losers Rd 1 v 4 Losers Rd 1

Rd 3: 4 Rd 2b Winners v 4 Rd 2a Losers

QF: 4 Rd 2a Winners v 4 Rd 3 Winners

Meanwhile, the winner of the 'A' championship would be automatically guaranteed a spot in the following year's top-tier competition, irrespective of their position in the league.

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Both finals, it is envisaged, would take place at Croke Park.

SEE ALSO: GAA Announce Massive Change To Club Season

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