Saturday 22 July 2017

GAA President reveals plans for new round robin structure for the hurling championship

4 September 2016; Cillian Buckley of Kilkenny in action against Patrick Maher of Tipperary during the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Kilkenny and Tipperary at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
4 September 2016; Cillian Buckley of Kilkenny in action against Patrick Maher of Tipperary during the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Kilkenny and Tipperary at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghaíl has revealed that a proposal will be put forward to revamp the structure of the hurling championship, introducing a round robin format at the provincial stage.

After the Super Eights were voted in for the football championship, turning the quarter-final stage into two groups of four, many hurling players and pundits expressed concern that their sport would be put in the shade but Ó Fearghaíl revealed at RTE's launch of their coverage of this summer's championship that plans are in place to address those concerns.

The new structure would see the Leinster and Munster championships operate on a round robin basis with teams playing both home and away games. Ó Fearghaíl added that Galway would finally be allowed play home games in Leinster in the new structure.

"In all the debate and discussions many issues were raised on the preliminary stage [Super 8s] in football and one of the issues that was raised that has total merit is that there was risk that by having so many high profile football games, that hurling would suffer and I accept that completely," Ó Fearghaíl said.

"We've had many discussions and we have an excellent hurling development committee in Croke Park and with the hurling development committee and the CCC and our own management, we've had quite an in-depth investigation and we will now present at the June meeting, a similar type model in hurling. So all the teams involved in the Liam MacCarthy cup will have additional games, there will be home games and away games and we think it will give hurling the exposure it needs.

"It would start on a round robin, keeping the Leinster championship and the Munster championship. We will need to have home games and away games for all counties, and I would stress that Galway included. Galway needs to have hurling matches played at their home venue and with the agreement with the Leinster council we are almost there."

Ó Fearghaíl said that a meeting in June will decide whether the proposal is voted on at GAA Congress or if a Special Congress is called to voted on the new structure.

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