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Would you like to see the provincial system scrapped in Hurling?

  • 23-08-2021 9:25am
    Registered Users Posts: 4,398 ✭✭✭

    My preference would be to scrap the provincial system in hurling and has been for a long time. The first couple of Munsters we won in 02 and 04 were great, but even by 07 you couldn't help but feel it was just a match played en route to the all ireland. By 2010, the crowds were down and the excitement way down. Again, it was nice to pick up a trophy, but the real prize of it was a place in a semi final.

    And I think the provincial systems would be grand if they were evenly weighted. But they're not even close. Kilkenny being so good for so long distorted how close they seemed because the majority of all irelands were being won by Leinster. But in reality, for most of Kilkenny's time on top, the other teams in Leinster were very weak. From 2002 we had the proper back door where everyone got a second chance. In this time, have Offaly even gotten to a quarter final? Wexford have made a couple of semis, but they've never been serious contenders. Maybe outsiders a couple of times. Dublin looked decent for a few years, but look fairly average again. Galway have been a positive addition to Leinster, but even they're not all that strong. for the first decade after the real back door came in, they made a final, but the furthest they got in the other 10 seasons were the quarters. In a sport where there are about 8 strong teams in it, not getting past the last 8 isn't great. But in fairness to them, in the last 10 years they have been one of the top teams. But really in Leinster, that still just leaves two top teams. You could argue about where you'd rank all the hurling teams, but the fact of it is that you'd still only have two real top tier teams in Leinster and at least 4 in Munster.

    To scrutinise the Munster teams, since the back door came in Cork have won two all irelands, been to the final another 3 times. Tipp won 3, been to the final another 3 times. Waterford have been to 3 finals and more semi finals than anyone bar Kilkenny. Limerick have won 3 all irelands and been to one more final. Clare 2 finals winning one. Whereas compared to Leinster, Kilkenny have been to and won too many to count. Galway won one out of 5. Wexford have been to 4 semi finals is it? And Dublin 2?

    The provinces are clearly not even close to being equal. I am aware that the Munster championship is the biggest impediment to scrapping the provincials, but I wonder what people's actual opinion on them is. I wouldn't be surprised if a majority would rather an open draw.

    Would you like to see the provincial system scrapped in Hurling? 58 votes

    melekalikimakainterlockedCorcaigh84L'profBonnieSituationcantwbr1Cake ManSucklerWesternZuludastardly00clonner123Boom__Boomthreeballbucketybuckblue noteRackardDeisegodeoOEPGalwayMarkjamesieliz 26 votes
    puzlBlackjackCrowdedHouserushiandeise_boihawkwingirelandroverKevinKthefamohawkOne_More_MileDeskjockeyzetecescortmikeryanqslim4ev[Deleted User]radiotrickster[Deleted User]niadh74 19 votes
    No, but I'd like it played separate to the all ireland
    KevIRLslegsdulpitcallaway92ForestFireKaiserkelMulbertrandd1jeff binghamMust love hardshipFreddypaccmanjohnjoeRLost Ormond 13 votes


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,913 ✭✭✭Danno

    Absolutely not, for teams like Wexford, Clare, Dublin, Offaly, Laois the prospect of winning a provincial is about as real as it can get in the next 5 to 10 years. Playing it separate to the All Ireland is probably the natural evolution for the tournament.

    If it were scrapped in it's entirely you run the risk of creating a super tier with the rest falling away due to no prospects of winning anything.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    2 groups of 6 seeded teams. 5 matches each. Such as:

    Group 1: Cork, Kilkenny, Clare, Dublin, Waterford, Laois

    Group 2: Limerick, Wexford, Tipp, Galway, Offaly, Antrim

    Top two leinster teams and top two munster teams through to their provincial final (irrelevant of what group they came from.)

    Provincial winners through to the semi final. Provincial runners up into the quarter final where they play the next best placed two teams from the group stages.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,963 ✭✭✭slegs

    No, but I'd like it played separate to the all ireland

    That makes no sense. You cant have open groups and then go back to provincial pecking order.

    2 Groups of 6. Top in each group into semi. Next 2 in each group in quarter finals. Bottom two in each group play reverse semifinals/final for one team to be relegated from Liam McCarthy.

    Provincial championship played in between League and All Ireland as a separate competition (knockout over 4 weekends max). Seedings for All Ireland groups determined by how far you go in provincial championship.

    Lots of matches which could be the challenge. Dump the pre league competitions and start league 1 Feb.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,537 ✭✭✭dulpit

    No, but I'd like it played separate to the all ireland

    Why not just have a proper league format with a rugby-style semi-final and final for the top 4? Run the provincial championships as separate competitions.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,031 ✭✭✭Must love hardship

    No, but I'd like it played separate to the all ireland

    Realistically it's already gone with only the munster championship currently being retained and played and to be honest Munsters unwillingness to change is actually hurting its own counties.

    As a result of the munster councils stubbornness only 3 teams can qualify out of their championship and 2 teams will be finished for the year before potentially the 6 or 7th best team in the other provincees.. (With the finaliatists from the Joe mcdonagh being parachuted Into the championship knock out stage... which I think is madness)

    If they still want to retain it in its current 5 team round Robin format I'd prefer if 4 teams qualified for the 1/4 finals.

    1A v 4B, 2A v 3B, 3A v 2B, 4A v 1B.

    Open draw for semi's and finals.

    Personally id prefer to see the provisional championships played first as a straight knockout competition. Even in Ulster. Those counties should get to play for an Ulster Championship.

    Then for the league/Championship Run it like the Kilkenny championship.

    12 teams with 2 groups of 6. Full open draw. No Seeding.

    Each team plays 5 League games.

    Top teams from each group play League Final.

    2nd in each group play Sheild Final.

    3A v 4B and 3B V 4A in first round. Knock out. Loser is finished for the year.

    5A v 6B and 6A v 5B in first round/ relegation semi final. Losers play in relegation final to Joe macdonagh.

    4 winners from first round go into quarter finals on same side of the draw V league & sheild finalists.

    Semi finals open draw.


    Guarantees 6 games for each county in league/Championship. (On top of provisional knockout games)

    10 teams will play 7 games.

    Finalists have to play 9 Games.

    No teams have a bye week as even number of teams in each group.

    Could play the provisional knockout/ warm up games in March. Leave the Fitzgibbon for Jan and February. Could even try squeeze in Railway cup games for Paddys day. Maybe in a shorter 40 minute format. With semi's and finals on the same day. Like the Fenway classic. But 15 aside normal hurling.

    Start the League on 10th of April 2022 and run it over 15 Weeks up to 17th of July. Fits in with split season.

    Post edited by Must love hardship on

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,525 ✭✭✭randd1

    No, but I'd like it played separate to the all ireland

    How about different phases for the championship, and link them with the league?

    National League

    Start off by re-structuring the National League, and sticking to it. The same as football, 4 divisions, 2 up 2 down. League final between the top two of Division 1. Top team of every other division promoted automatically. Bottom team of every division relegated automatically. For sheer competitiveness, the 2nd and 3rd top of each division playoff for promotion, and the 2nd and 3rd bottom of each division playoff for relegation. Total 10 weeks (7 rounds, 2 rest/weather weeks, and finals/playoffs). Straightforward enough.


    The Provincials are straight knockout as they should be. The provincial structures would see the 6 teams play in Munster, and 10 teams in Leinster, that would mean 2 QF’s in Munster and 2 playoff Round games in Leinster. Byes to the Munster SF’s and Leinster QF’s would be based on the National League positions, eg if Limerick and Cork were the two best placed Munster teams, they would go into the Munster SF’s in the provincial draw with the other 4 teams into the QF’s of the draw. The Munster SF draw would then be open draw, meaning that Cork, Limerick, QF1 Winner and QF2 winner could all draw each other. Leinster would work on a similar premise. As the provincials are knockout, those teams that are knocked out would enter the qualifiers. These would work on a group setting of 4 groups of 3. The Leinster first round losers (2 teams) and the Provincial Championships QF losers (6 teams) would take up two of the three spots in each qualifier group, with the third spot taken up by a provincial SF loser (4 teams) who would join the group in the second week playing the previous weeks losing team. Total 5 Weeks. Basically:

    Provincial Week 1 - Leinster Qualifier Round (2 Games)

    Provincial Week 2 - Leinster QF’s (4 Games), Munster QF’s (2 Games)

    Provincial Week 3 – Leinster SF’s (2 Games), Munster SF’s (2 Games), Playoff Groups Round 1 (4 Games)

    Provincial Week 4 – Playoff Groups Round 2 (4 Games)

    Provincial Week 5 – Leinster Final, Munster Final, Playoff Groups Round 3 (4 Games)

    By the end of the Provincial rounds, the four provincial finalists and the 4 group winners would be left. They would enter the AI championship. The remaining 8 teams would enter the Joe McDonagh Cup.

    AI Championships / Joe McDonagh Cup.

    The format of the AI championship would be 2 groups of 4, with the top two to the AISF’s, and the winners of those to final. One group would be the Munster Champions/Leinster Runner Ups & two qualifier group winners, the other group would have the Leinster Champions/Munster Runner Ups & the other two qualifier group winners. (Total 7 weeks)

    The Joe McDonagh Cup would see the 8 teams left placed into 2 groups of 4, with the top two to the AISF’s, and the winners of those to final. The bottom team of each group would enter a playoff for relegation to the Christy Ring tier. (Total 6 Weeks)

    So we could see an entire hurling season that could see a team play a minimum 7 league games and 5 provincial/championship games, and a likely maximum of 8 league & 8 provincial/championship games, over the course of 24 weeks. Leaving the rest of the year for the clubs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,275 ✭✭✭Lost Ormond

    No, but I'd like it played separate to the all ireland

    Whats the obsession with playing every single competition to completion before the next starts?

    why not play league through year more and play provincial cups and the start of all ireland before the league finishes ie like soccer have fa cup/league cup and champions league all played in between rounds of premiership...

    You just cant put a league structure in place in hurling the same as gaelic. the depth isnt there. theyre 2 completely different sports with very different layers of teams competing so just like all irelands the league has to have a different structure

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,963 ✭✭✭slegs

    No, but I'd like it played separate to the all ireland

    You play them in parallel and the lower importance tournament wont get any respect or attention. By playing them in sequence you build the interest leading to the championship climax. That's why the current league works pretty well. There is no intercounty for 6 months so when it restarts in Feb you get all the focus on the league with people starved of matches. For a few years there there were 10k at some of the Div 1a hurling match ups in the league.