Tuesday 23 January 2018

GAA to seek temporary approval for Football Championship reform motions

A view of the full house at Croke Park for the Divsion 1 league final between Dublin and Kerry Picture: Sportsfile
A view of the full house at Croke Park for the Divsion 1 league final between Dublin and Kerry Picture: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Central Council's motions on football championship reform, that propose round robin All-Ireland quarter-finals, extra-time in all games except All-Ireland finals and provincial finals and completion by the last Sunday in August, will be put forward as a three-year experiment, not a permanent rule change, it has emerged.

The passing of the motion will still require a two-thirds majority to carry but building an initial three-year window could increase their prospects.

The decision to seek temporary approval has been taken from feedback from counties.

GAA director-general Paraic Duffy has been attending County Board meetings in recent months to discuss the proposals.

If they are carried it will still require a two-thirds majority after 2020 to write them permanently into rule.

The three-year clause gives counties a chance to see how a new format, that limits the potential for replays and ends earlier, despite having eight extra All-Ireland quarter-finals, might work.

The reform will be sought in three different motions.

Laois and Carlow will also bring championship reform motions to Congress later this month.

Laois are proposing a round robin for the 16 round one qualifier teams with the top two emerging to the second round of qualifiers.

Carlow have brought a different motion to Congress this year that looks at alternative scheduling for qualifiers with a three-week break between the first and second round qualifiers and two-week breaks between the all other qualifier rounds.

A motion barring any player, member of team management or a referee from betting on the outcome of a game they are involved in is also being brought by Central Council.

The GAA have been consulting with the Irish Bookmakers Association and other separate betting companies in relation to detection methods for this proposal.

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