Sport Hurling

Saturday 18 November 2017

Flawed systems failing league

Offaly manager Brian Whelehan
Offaly manager Brian Whelehan
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Some Offaly readers took issue with why I queried the new promotion/relegation system in the Allianz Hurling League, where the winners of 2A (Kerry) aren't automatically promoted to 1B. Instead, they have to play Offaly, who lost a 1B relegation play-off to Antrim.

Offaly supporters feel that since Brian Whelahan's squad finished three points ahead of Antrim in the table, there should have been no play-off.

It's a fair argument, but that system has applied for some time, without challenge from the counties, whereas the new format (which also applies between 2B and 3A) is in its first season.

It comes down to this – the winners of a division should be promoted.

There's also an anomaly in football where the head-to-head result, rather than scoring difference, decides placings when two counties finish on equal points, a regulation that despatched Armagh footballers, rather than Galway, into Division 3 after both wound up on five points.

Armagh had a seven-point superior scoring difference, accumulated over seven games, yet lost out because they were beaten by Galway. That doesn't quite reflect the principle of a league where results over an extended period should decide placings.

Irish Independent

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