Putting motions on the clár is a good first step
The absence of enough - or any - well conceived and well thought out motions put forward to Kerry's annual GAA Convention has long been a particular bugbear of this writer, so the mere presence of over 20 motions submitted by the clubs for next week's County Committee meeting is to be welcomed.
We've long argued that there are no grounds whatsoever for clubs and individuals to be complaining about fixtures or competition structures or any other area of how Gaelic games are administered and played in the county, if said individuals and clubs have done nothing about it via the mechanism of submitting motions to Convention.
It's quite likely that several of the motions listed below will be withdrawn or ruled out of order for whatever reason, but in a year when the GAA's national fixtures calendar is getting a major shake-up, it seems to have dawned on clubs that now, more than ever, they need to have a say in how matters are going to be ran at local level, vis-a-vis the timing and structure of county championship, among other things.
Unfortunately, some motions aren't definite in what they want, and merely ask that "the CCC examine the possibility" or "try to ensure" which won't actually change anything.
The County Committee itself has a couple of motions on the clár regarding changes to the structure of the Club Championships and the timing of when competitions are started and completed.
It's reasonable to say that these are well thought out proposals by the people who know best how best to accommodate all teams in all competitions within an increasingly busy inter-county framework.
It's obvious, too, that some motions from the clubs have a vested interest element to them, and it will be up to delegates to decide what works best for their own club and what works for the greater good.
In our opinion regarding the County League, division finals should not be played, and if scoring difference is to be used to separate teams instead of play-offs then the biggest winning and losing results should be disregarded in the final tally.
O'Rahillys motion to incrementally increase the number of club teams in the County SFC from eight to 12 seems logical, if only because it presently seems illogical that a county of Kerry's stature only has 8 senior clubs from 60.
Fixtures related motions
(A) That the CCC look at the feasibility of introducing features outlined in (i) below into the 2018 Fixtures Calendar.
(B) That to facilitate these possible changes the CCC be given permission to alter (if deemed necessary) the present regulations governing the SFC by playing Rd 1 to a conclusion on the day and reviewing when Rd 11 of the SFL should be played.
(i) Play the Club Football Championship in one block during April/early May.
Play the SFC in one block during Sept/Oct (not including any qualifier game).
Play the SHC within the period June/July/Aug
• The Club Football Championships namely Intermediate and Junior Premier be played in a league format with four groups of four with the top team in each group playing in the semi-finals and the bottom team in each group entering a relegation play-off. Each team play one home game, one away game and one game in a neutral venue. CCC to draw up the rules and regulations required.
• That the Senior Clubs have the option to play the Senior Club Football Championship in its current format or use the same format as proposed for the Intermediate and Junior Premier (see above).
• That should the Junior Football Championship be played in the same format as proposed for the Intermediate and Junior Premier (see above), qualifying games if required shall be by a straight knockout, to ensure Round 1 (involving a maximum of 16 teams) starts on the same weekend as the other Club Championship competitions.
The Intermediate Football Championship be played in the same format as the Senior County Football Championship.
Gniomh Go Leith and Gleann Fleisce
That the Junior Premier Football Championship 2018 be run off on the same format for the last 16 teams in the Senior County Football Championship.
Lios an Phuca
(A) That Intermediate, Junior Premier and Junior Club Championship be run on a 'Christy Ring Cup' formula.
(B) That the CCC examine the possibility that only four rounds of the Intermediate, Junior Premier and Junior Club Championships be played during the inter County break between National League and start of All Ireland Championship, taking it to semi final stage in the period, thus leaving the semi final and final until after the All Ireland Championship.
That Quarter-finals be included in the Intermediate Championship following the Round Robin Series (Groups of 4 with seeding) as follows:
Round 1 - 16 teams
Round 2 - 16 teams
Round 3 - 16 teams
Quarter-Finals - (Group winners in one bowl and runners-up in separate bowl - avoid repeat games) - Extra-time applicable
Semi-Finals - Date TBC plus Losers play-off semi-final for relegation (bottom placed teams in the 4 Groups) - Extra-time applicable
Final - Date TBC (Relegation Play-off TBC)
Intermediate Championship winners shall be promoted to the Senior Club and County Championship and one team shall be relegated to play in the Junior Premier Championship.
That the Club Championship be expanded to include at least three games by having four groups of four, with the first and second team in each group qualifying for quarter-finals and bottom team in each group playing off for relegation or where it is considered not feasible to have quarter-finals, that the Club Championship be played off in the current senior football championship format, with a losers round in place for teams beaten in their first round game.
That the number of senior club teams in the County Senior Championship is increased from 8 to 12 over the next four years by promoting the intermediate winners, with no relegation during that period.
Ceirin Ó Raghallaigh
That every club (other than Senior and Intermediate) gets a chance to play in the first round of the Junior Premier Club Football Championship.
An Rinn Aird
County leagues to be run on the basis of a league with regard to promotion and relegation that a system be put in place that does not require play-offs to clear backlog of fixtures at the end of the year
That in the event of teams finishing on equal points in the County League, that positions for relegation/promotion be decided on score difference and not by play-offs.
That a final be played in each division of the county senior football league.
That the CCC examine the possibility of playing the Senior Hurling Championship from the period of mid July to end of September.
Cill Mhaoile, Naomh Breandanaigh, An Tochar, Na Niallaigh Crotta, Baile Ui Thaidh and Leac Sna
That the CCC examine the possibility of having the Division 1 Senior County Hurling League completed or at least be at semi-final/final stage by the start of Senior County Hurling Championship.
Cill Mhaoile, Naomh Breandanaigh, An Tochar, Na Niallaigh Crotta, Baile Ui Thaidh and Leac Sna
That the top team after Round 7 of Division 1 Senior Hurling League qualify for the final with second and third to play in a semi-final.
For the Senior Hurling League Division 1, top two teams play in the final (no semi-finals)
That the CCC examine the possibility of playing the U-21 Hurling Championship after the Senior Hurling Championship has been completed.
That in the event of a draw extra-time be played in rounds 1, 2 and 3 of the County Senior Hurling Championship.
That the CCC revisit the present policy of playing SHL Division 2 games mid-week.
Cill Garbháin & Na Niallaigh Crotta
That the CCC try to ensure that the Senior Hurling League Division 2 is completed including final before the start of County Senior Championship
That age level for minor club games be dropped from U18 to U17. Subject to decisions taken at next year's congress, this motion if passed only to apply for one year only (2018).
That the Minor County League and Minor County Championship be retained for 2018 and that the migration to the new structures, if applicable, takes place during next year for the 2019 season.
Sean Misteallaigh, Mainistir O dTorna, Gniomh Go Leith, Emmetaigh & An Fhossaidh
Policy Related Motions
That club chairpersons and secretaries get an official pass to all club games.
Gniomh Go Leith
In a play-off for promotion or relegation played at an neutral venue. The neutral venue club should be able to collect at the gate and pay the officials.
Gniomh Go Leith
All County Club Finals have adequate ticket sellers and match programmes available on the day.
That all Croke Park Season Ticket holders in Kerry be members of their local GAA clubs.
Baile Mhic Eilleagoid
That Kerry Co Board establishes a Sub-Committee to carry out an audit on all County and District Board competitions and make recommendations on what competitions if any could be streamlined, merged, condensed or discarded.
Motions for annual Convention
That Bye-Law 3 (ii) of Coiste Chondae Chiarraí Bye-Laws 2017 be amended by the removal of the initials 'P.R.O.' and that they be replaced by 'a representative of Management Committee'.
That Bye-Law 3 (xi) of Coiste Chondae Chiarraí Bye-Laws 2017 be amended by the removal of the words 'Assistant Secretary' and that 'two nominees' be replaced by 'three nominees'.
That a player qualify to play senior football once they reach their 17th birthday due to the decline in rural junior clubs struggling to field 15 players.
Review group to present findings on County SFC
A committee set up to review certain aspects of the County Senior Football Championship will present their findings to the County Committee on Monday night next.
The group, under the chairmanship of County Committee Developement Officer Eamon Whelan, conducted their work under four terms of reference.
The main proposals that will be put to the County Committee next week will be to run the County SFC in one block, starting after Kerry's exit from the All-Ireland Series, and a recommendation that if a Divisional team is reduced to three clubs or less following the promotion of one of its clubs to Senior that those clubs would join with a neighbouring Divisional team if certain criteria were not met.
Timing: The committee are in favour of running the championship in block. With the All-Ireland final earlier going forward it is considered to run the Club championships together prior to the summer and run the County Championship after Kerry exit the All-Ireland.
Format: The committee is in favour of continuing with the existing format i.e. Christy Ring Cup format. The committee are in favour of playing extra-extra time of five minutes per half in the first round in an effort to improve the likelihood of getting a result on the day.
Viability of some District teams if stronger clubs go Senior: The committee recommends that if a Divisional/District team is reduced to three clubs or less following the promotion of one of its clubs to Senior that at least one of the remaining teams would have to be playing at Intermediate or playing in Division 1 or 2 of the County League in order for them to continue to participate as a team in the County Championship.
If this criterion could not be met the remaining teams would join with a neighbouring Divisional/District team. It would fall to the CCC to liaise with the teams concerned and recommend where they play for County Championship purposes.
Upon re-entry to the championship the performance of the district/divisional team over their last five years of playing in either the championship proper or the preliminary round would be used to determine if they enter the preliminary round or the first round proper.
Preliminary Round: If and when there is a preliminary round the committee recommends that it would be the bottom two performing teams over the five year period that make up the preliminary round rather than the loser of the round being automatically in the preliminary round for the following year.
If and when there is a preliminary round the committee recommends that the CCC meet with representatives of both teams involved to discuss suitable dates for playing it. Following which the CCC will confirm date and venue.