Even-numbered age-group switch to boost participation
The season begins in the East Munster youths section this weekend and there is a change in the principal age groups from odd numbers to even, which has been launched throughout the province.
Age grade players at U-13, U-15, U-17, and U-19 level will revert to competing at U-14, U-16 and U-18 youth competitions. It has also been agreed that secondary competitions may also compete at odd-numbered age groups where clubs can field sufficient teams.
The change back to even numbers means that teams are playing the same age groups as last season except a year older. This change will hopefully lead to more teams competing, especially at the older age groups.
At U-18 and U-16 level there will be two sections of six teams each, with each side guaranteed five games in the group stage before the knockout stage that will decide East Munster's representatives in the post-Christmas pan-Munster competition.
Teams who finish the group stage ranked 1-4 will play quarter-finals and a spot in the Pan-Munster League, while the fifth and sixth-placed side in each section will play ranking games.
At U-14 level, teams are divided into North and South divisions comprising six teams each with play-offs for all sides following the completion of the group stages.
This format will ensure every club will be guaranteed at least six competitive games prior to Christmas.
There will also be competitions at U-15 and U-13 level.
At U-15 level teams have been divided into North and South sections with each side guaranteed at least three games before Christmas.
Fixtures for the U-13 league will be organised later in the season.