Tuesday 22 August 2017

GAA to introduce round robin system for hurling championship

The new structure would see the Leinster and Munster series operate on a round robin basis, with teams playing both home and away games. Photo: Stock image
The new structure would see the Leinster and Munster series operate on a round robin basis, with teams playing both home and away games. Photo: Stock image

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghaíl has said 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 8 was 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 summer GAA coverage that plans are in place to address those fears.

The new structure would see the Leinster and Munster series 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 under the new structure.

"In all the debate and discussions many issues were raised on the preliminary stage (Super 8) in football. One of the issues that has total merit is that there was a 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. 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 are included. Galway needs to have hurling matches played at their home venue and with the agreement of 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 vote on the new structure.

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