Sport GAA

Thursday 15 November 2018

'Positive' feedback from counties for April as club month - report

'The analysis throws up some interesting numbers around the divide between league and championship games played in April.' (stock picture)
'The analysis throws up some interesting numbers around the divide between league and championship games played in April.' (stock picture)
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The feedback from counties, according to the Central Fixture Analysis Committee (CFAC), has been "generally positive" towards April as a 'club month', a report to Central Council has stated.

The feedback was taken at a seminar for fixtures analysts from each county in May.

There was acknowledgement that counties who had championship games scheduled for early May in the Connacht Football Championship and in the Joe McDonagh Cup did not have "the full benefit of the month, due to the pressures of the preparation of inter-county teams."

The report added that with the McDonagh Cup being reduced to five teams from six, something the hurlers of Kildare and Antrim advised against in a joint-statement prior to their weekend play-off, there is the potential for this to be "resolved".

The analysis throws up some interesting numbers around the divide between league and championship games played in April.

Championship was only played by five counties in football and six in hurling. Championship and league was played by eight in football and three in hurling while league only was the most popular form of competition, 19 in football, nine in hurling.

"It was noted at the seminar that the majority of counties who play championship in April are either strong dual counties or those counties with an expectation of involvement in the latter stages of the inter-county season," the report stated.

The report also broke down the number of senior teams in each county with 16 the most common (10) in football.

Dublin have 32, Cork 27, Galway 20 and Meath 18. Twelve counties have 12 senior football teams with one county having just eight.

In hurling, eight and 12 senior teams are most common (five counties each), with 29 the most.

The most popular competitive format for senior championship is a round-robin group of four (eight in football, five in hurling) with six-team groups used by six counties in football and hurling.

Straight knockout is deployed by five counties in football, none in hurling, while a 'back-door' system is used by six counties in football and three in hurling.

Because of the vast array of changes to the national fixtures plan the CFAC detail that 23 counties made changes to the structures of their Gaelic football competitions, and 13 to their hurling structures.

With just 12 counties now remaining in the football championship and eight in hurling, the vast majority of counties will have four months to complete their club schedules.

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Irish Independent

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