Thursday 29 September 2016

'B' All-Ireland for unsuccessful Division 4 teams, rather than qualifier series, proposed

Published 16/01/2016 | 15:24

Offaly will not be eligible for the new competition after winning Division 4 in 2015
Offaly will not be eligible for the new competition after winning Division 4 in 2015

The GAA congress next month in Carlow will hear a proposal to create a separate competition to the All-Ireland senior football qualifiers for Division 4 teams who do not reach their respective provincial final.

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Under the proposal:

(1) All counties will take part in their respective Provincial Championships.

(2) The teams that are placed in Division Four at the conclusion of the National Football League will play in their Provincial Championship only. They will also participate in an All-Ireland Senior ‘B’ Football Championship, which will be played on a straight knock out basis. The winners of the All-Ireland ‘B’ Football Championship will be guaranteed a place in the following year’s All-Ireland Football Qualifier.

(3) The winners of the Provincial Championships will progress directly to the All-Ireland Quarter-finals. The losers of the Provincial Finals will play in Round Three of the All-Ireland Football Qualifiers.

(4) The 16 teams who do not reach the Provincial Final and who are not eligible for the All-Ireland B championship will play in Round One of the All-Ireland Qualifiers. This will be an open draw.

(5) The eight winners of Round One of the All-Ireland Qualifier will play in Round Two.

(6) In Round Three of the All-Ireland Qualifier, the four winners from Round Two will play the four Provincial Final losers.

(7) In the All-Ireland Football Quarter-finals the four Provincial Final winners will play the Round Three winners.

(8) In Rounds One and Two of the All-Ireland Qualifier, where teams from Division Two, Three or Four are drawn against a team from a higher division, the team from the lower Division will automatically have home advantage.

(9) If the winners of the All-Ireland ‘B’ Football Championship do not win promotion from Division Four in the National Football League of the following year, they will be replaced in the All-Ireland ‘B’ Championship by the lowest placed Division Three team (other than the two relegated teams) at the end of that year’s National Football League that has not reached its Provincial Finals.

(10) Where a team(s) from Division Four reaches its Provincial Final, the lowest placed team at the conclusion of the National Football League in Division Three (team that finishes sixth or fifth) that has been eliminated from the Provincial Championship, will play in the All-Ireland ‘B’ Football Championship to ensure a complement of eight teams.

Meanwhile, plans to ditch the U21 All-Ireland football championship have been scrapped by the GAA Central Council today.

However, the alternative of an U20 All-Ireland championship has been endorsed by Central Council and will be debated at Congress.

Only players between the ages of 18 and 21 would be eligible for the new competition.

A revised proposal providing for replays in Provincial Senior and All-Ireland finals only – nine games in all - whereas there is, currently, potential for a replay in 54 matches after provincial and senior championship drawn games will also be heard.

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