Friday 24 February 2017

Proposal to move All-Ireland finals and scrap u-21 football championships to curb player burn out

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Director-general Paraic Duffy has brought together the details and findings of eight previous papers on much the same theme going back over the last decade.
Director-general Paraic Duffy has brought together the details and findings of eight previous papers on much the same theme going back over the last decade.

The All-Ireland hurling final could be played on the second last weekend in August if a proposal on a discussion paper on 'Player Overtraining and Burnout and the GAA Fixtures Calendar' is adopted.

The All-Ireland football final would also be brought forward by two weeks, being played on the first Sunday in September as part of the same proposed measures.

Director-general Paraic Duffy has brought together the details and findings of eight previous papers on much the same theme going back over the last decade.

A new date in mid-December is also proposed for the completion of the All-Ireland club championships, bringing all competitions into the same calendar year. If passed, this would apply from 2018.

The document includes a proposal to switch the minor hurling and football grades at inter-county level (club minor would remain an under 18 competition) from under 18 to under-17 and to abolish the under grade in football completely with the suggestion of an under-19 grade instead if the that was to happen.

However in the report Duffy is not supportive of a new under-19 grade because of the impact it would have on club fixtures.

It also suggests introducing extra-time in all championship matches, reducing the number of replays which would have an obvious financial impact.

Other suggestions in the document include scrapping the league semi-finals, the All-Ireland junior and intermediate championships and introduce more dual league weekends and completing the All-Ireland under 21 hurling final before the All-Ireland senior hurling final.

The document has been circulated to counties and is to be discussed ahead of next year's Congress.

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