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Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Thiobraid Árann

GAA Fixture Plan Update

April 8th, 2021 | By Jonathan Cullen

Following a number of on line meetings held earlier today, The GAA have released details for the upcoming national Hurling and Football leagues along with some other key dates.

The National Hurling league Division 1 & 2 will commence on the weekend of May 8th / 9th with 5 league rounds being guaranteed to all teams. There will be no Division 1 league Quarter Finals or Semi Finals in 2021. The top team in Division 1a and Division 1b will either be declared joint winners or if both teams meet in the championship, the game will double up as a league final.


The National Football league will commence on the weekend of May 15th / 16th with Divisions being split in to North and South based on geography as planned last December. There will be 4 teams in each group who will play 3 round robin games. The top two teams in each divisional group will qualify for the league semi finals followed by a league final, which may be played on the weekend of June 19th / 20th if the Counties involved are not involved in championship games the following weekend. In that situation in division 1 both teams will be declared joint winners, In division 2,3 and 4 both teams will also be declared joint winners and will also be promoted.

Full details are set out below:

2021 League and Championships – Revised Overview (Aprill 2021)

  1. Preparation window and games provisions:
  • Return to collective Senior inter county training on April 19th
    • No return dates as of yet for collective inter county minor or U20 training – current exemptions only relate to Senior level.
  • Below provisions guarantee a minimum of 5 games for each Senior County Football and Hurling team (all bar 3 counties guaranteed 6 games in Hurling)
  • Objective – balance
    • Ensuring sufficient games at inter-county
    • League v Championship
    • Club window (2020 and 2021)
    • Inter county completed by end of August
  • Original Programme announced in December – 27 weeks; new programme is 20 weeks
  1. Allianz Leagues

Football

  • Run from May 15th/16th to potential League finals weekend on June 19th/20th.
  • Divisions will be split into North and South as planned in December.
    • 4 teams in each group – based on geography.
    • 3 Round Robin games per team.
    • Top two in each Divisional group to league semis, followed by league final*.
    • Bottom two in each Divisional group to Relegation semis – losers (2) relegated.
    • Bottom teams in Division 4 to Shield semi and final.
  • Changes to what was originally announced:
    • London will not be participating.
    • *League finals will only be played (on June 19th/20th) if Counties involved are not playing in the Championship on the following weekend.
    • In that circumstance, Div 1 – joint winners; Div 2, 3, 4 – joint winners and promotion.

Hurling

  • Div 1 and 2 Counties were asked if they were happy to return after 3 weeks on the basis that 5 league games could be guaranteed or after 4 weeks if only 3 games could be guaranteed – overwhelming majority opted for a return after 3 weeks.
    • Thus Division 1 and 2 will start on 8th/9th May – Division 3 the following week.
  • Div 1a and 1b: As announced in December – remain round robin groups of 6
    • No quarter or semi-finals.
    • NO DIVISION 1 HURLING LEAGUE FINAL scheduled – there will be either joint winners for 2021, or if the teams that win Div 1a and Div 1b meet in the Championship, this will double as a League Final.
    • Hurling League Relegation play off to be played as curtain raiser to Senior Hurling Semi Final in August.
  • Divisions 2 and 3 will not have league finals – top team in each Division will be crowned champions of that Division. Bottom team in 2a, 2b and 3a will be the relegated team.
  • British based teams will not be involved in the AllIanz Leagues.
    • London and Warwickshire will start 2022 in Divisions 2b and 3a respectively; Lancashire in 3b.
    • 2021 Football Championships
    • Provincial knock-out Championships
    • No Qualifiers
    • New York and London NOT involved
    • No Tailteann Cup in 2021
    1. 2021 Liam Mac Carthy Cup
    • Provincial knock-out Championships with back-door qualifier system (as in 2020) but with introduction of relegation (to Mc Donagh Cup).
    • There will be 11 teams in Liam Mac Carthy in 2021.
      • Munster – Limerick, Waterford, Tipperary, Clare, Cork.
      • Leinster – Kilkenny, Galway, Wexford, Dublin, Laois, Antrim
    • There will be a preliminary round in the qualifiers between the two defeated Quarter-final teams in Leinster.
    • Winners progress to Qualifiers Rd 1 – Losers to Mc Donagh Cup 2022.
    1. 2021 McDonagh Cup and 2021 Ring, Rackard and Meagher Cups
    • No semifinals in Mc Donagh Cup is only change from what was proposed in December.
    • Mc Donagh Cup winners are promoted in 2021 but do not have a back door into Liam Mac Carthy.
    • Mc Donagh Cup and LSHC Final to be on Saturday, 17th July (to ensure Live TV coverage of Mc Donagh Cup final).
    • If Kerry wins the 2021 Mc Donagh Cup, they will play in Leinster in 2022 and replace the relegated team from the LSHC.

     

    Mc Donagh Cup
    Ciarraí

    An Iarmhí

    An Mhí

    Ceatharlach

    Cill Dara

    An Dún

     

    Played on the following basis:

    Round Robin Phase –      A and B groups of 3 teams, each drawn on an open draw basis.

    Each team plays 2 games (one home, one away).

    Top team in each group to Final

    Bottom Team in each group to Relegation Final.

    Semi-finals –                     Winner Group A v Runner Up Group B, and Winner Group B v Runner Up Group A Final (Home venue to Group winners)

    Ring Cup Rackard Cup      Meagher Cup
    Ros Comáin

    Sligeach

    Cill Mhantáin

    Doire

    Uíbh Fhailí

    Londain

    Dún na nGall

    Maigh Eo

    Liatroim

    Ard Mhacha

    Tír Eoghain Warwickshire

    Muineachán

    An Longfort

    An Lú

    An Cabhán

    Fear Manach

    Lancasír

     

    Only change to what was announced in December is that British based teams will not be involved:

    Played on the following basis (to guarantee at least 2 games for all teams with promotion/relegation):

    Two sides to the draw:   Group A – 3 teams drawn on an open draw basis (each team plays 2 games)

    Group B – Two teams play in one fixture

     

    Quarter-Final/Relegation play-off: Bottom team from A v Loser of B (loser relegated – exception: Meagher Cup)

     

    Semi Finals:        Top 2 teams from Group A are drawn to play against Winner of Group B and Winner of Quarter Final/Relegation play-off

     

    British based teams begin the 2022 season in the same Cup as they were due to play in 2021

     

    1. 2020 Minor and U20 Hurling, and Minor Football and 2021 U20 Football and Hurling, Minor Football and Hurling
    • Details will be finalized when there is clarity on a return to training/play date.

     

    1. 2021 Club Window Provisions
    • Important to note that we still do not have permission to return to club training or games yet (only training in pods of 15 allowed in the North)
    • However, calendar is set up in such a way that:
      • Club competitions with county players can take place as County teams exit the Championships (in football, teams start exiting from the end of June; in Hurling July 10th) [RESTRICTIONS PERMITTING]
      • From August 1st, all Counties bar All Ireland Semi-Finalists in Football and Hurling, and the teams in the Div 1 Hurling Relegation play off, will be free to stage club competitions with county players. [RESTRICTIONS PERMITTING]
      • Additionally, the commencement of the Provincial Club Championships will be delayed until Mid-November.
      • Provinces have been requested to ensure Clubs from teams in the senior inter-county All Ireland Semi-finals and Finals will not be involved in the earliest round of the relevant Provincial Championship (where possible).
    • Senior Provincial Club Championship will most likely start in or around the weekend of Nov 20/21 (dates to be finalized by each Provincial Council).
    • All Ireland Senior Club Finals are provisionally scheduled for the weekend of February 12th/13th

     

     

 

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