The Tier 2 championships will give Gaelic Football supporters in Laois and other counties something to ponder.
The GAA says its Ard Chomhairle has unanimously agreed two proposals for the two-tier All-Ireland senior Gaelic football championship which could begin next year.
The GAA plans focus on how a Tier 2 competition would work. It has set out two proposals.
It says Proposal A will feature the Provincial Championships as present with the current four rounds of All-Ireland Qualifiers reducing to two rounds and open to teams from Allianz Divisions 1 and 2 and any Allianz Division 3 and 4 teams who qualify for their Provincial Finals.
The Tier 2 Championship format of Proposal A is a straight knock out competition for 16 teams from across Divisions 3 and 4 that do not make their Provincial Finals.
"There is the possibility for the competition to be organised on a geographical basis – northern and southern conferences for first round ties, quarter-finals and semi-finals to ensure less travel for teams and supporters, while also retaining local rivalries," said a statement.
The GAA says the semi-finals would be the only senior inter-county GAA events on their respective weekend – barring a major replay.
Ard Chomhairle has this morning unanimously agreed to send forward two separate proposals on the formation of a Tier 2 All-Ireland senior football championship out to the wider membership for discussion.— The GAA (@officialgaa) June 29, 2019
The association says Proposal B is similar to the above and also features Division 3 and 4 teams that do not reach a Provincial Final entering a new Tier 2 championship.
"A key difference is that in the event that a Division 3 or 4 team do reach a Provincial Final, to make up 16 teams in Tier 2 their place in Tier 2 would be taken by the lowest ranked Division 2 team from that year’s Allianz league," says the GAA.
The format for the Tier 2 Championship in Proposal B features an initial round of games which then creates a winners’ group and a losers’ group and so offers beaten counties a way of playing their way back into contention.
Proposal B would be played out on the following lines:
16 Teams involved
Rd 1: 8 Teams v 8 Teams
Rd 2a: 4 Winners Rd 1 v 4 Winners Rd 1
Rd 2b: 4 Losers Rd 1 v 4 Losers Rd 1
Rd 3: 4 Rd 2b Winners v 4 Rd 2a Losers
QF: 4 Rd 2a Winners v 4 Rd 3 Winners
Semi-finals & Final
The GAA says an additional prize for the winner of the final under both proposals would be a place reserved in the following year’s All-Ireland Sam Maguire Championship, irrespective of their league position.
"It is also envisaged that both proposals would have dedicated broadcast coverage and a marketing and promotional campaign with a dedicated All-Star selection and tour. The finals under both proposals would take place at Croke Park," said a statment.
The proposals will now be sent to counties for discussion with a final wording on the proposals to be agreed at a meeting of Ard Chomhairle in September.
A decision on the proposals will be taken at a Special Congress which will be staged at Páirc Uí Chaoimh Cork on October 19, with a view to implementation in time for the 2020 Championship summer.
GAA Ard Chomhairle has decided to condense the schedule for the AIB All-Ireland club senior championships and move the senior finals next year from March 17 to a new date in January.— The GAA (@officialgaa) June 29, 2019