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The challenge to GAA media posed by the split season

  • 31-08-2022 3:05pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,285 ✭✭✭

    I think the split season is a great idea and it has been fantastic to see club hurling championship matches played in sunshine and on hard ground.

    The media is largely against it, and I think that's understandable, they're used to getting almost ten months of the year out of covering intercounty, and that's been shortened now.

    But I think there are far more stories at club level, if they look for them. The intercounty coverage is fairly dull anyway, the managers or players never say anything of interest, and because they're kind of in a bubble, they typically don't have stories that'd be that interesting anyway.

    If the journalists start looking at clubs, they'll come up with a heap of interesting stuff. I know of a club's first team managed by a woman, which is something of a rarity, two guys with disabilities playing senior championship, a Traveller who transferred to a neighbouring club and is likely to have to face his own club, one very veteran player who marked the son of a girl he went to school with recently. These are just random things I know of, every follower would know of similar ones.

    I've just gone on the Irish Times and Irish Independent sites and the stories are still all about intercounty. It's quite disappointing, if the media get the finger out there are loads of genuinely interesting stories to report on. The split season should actually be a boon to GAA journalism, but it won't be unless they approach it differently.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,285 ✭✭✭Sunny Disposition

    I'd see them as being of interest to a national audience in the way all feature stories are really. Not previews or match reports, those wouldn't be but what reporters would call colour will be if it's well written. I don't really agree they'd be better suited to local media, the few things I mentioned weren't in any local media that I know of either, I just know them from talking to other followers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,727 ✭✭✭CrabRevolution

    Most of those stories are of a "funny old world" variety though rather than a substitute for serious sport coverage. And how much mileage can be gotten from saying a club has women in management, or a player who is a traveller?

    If those sort of stories started appearing on national media they'd be the subject of mockery and people questioning how this was seen to be worthy of national news.

    There's literally 100s of club championships run every year, there isn't room for them all in the national media so they pick a few big ones and let the local media handle their own areas. It works for everyone.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,096 ✭✭✭Boom__Boom

    Besides the national GAA media and those who only follow county action, is there anyone who doesn't think the split season is a massive improvement.

    Any players I've talked to (both intercounty and club players) and a load of what I would call GAA people especially club folk seem to be massively in favour of it.

    Based on the people I've been talking to I can't see any significant changes being made to it any time soon. (I'd say there may be a tweak of a week or two being added to the intercounty calendar in two years to give more time to the expanded number of football championship games under the new structure) but overall pretty much everyone I've talked to seems not just in favour of it but massively in favour of it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,682 ✭✭✭✭callaway92

    As somebody who’s luckily involved in GAA Data - it has made a 10 month calendar (including Intervarsity) into an 11 month one, so I’m not complaining! Business all year round pretty much

    Post edited by callaway92 on

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,285 ✭✭✭Sunny Disposition

    The Independent seemed to me to be getting recently, when they had a couple of pages about challenges facing clubs in east Galway. It's the kind of thing that's pretty interesting to anyone involved in the game, even to people not that passionate about GAA it'd still be interesting. But a rake of their stories in recent days have been about intercounty. They don't seem to be pivoting in the way required.

  • Registered Users Posts: 35,750 ✭✭✭✭PTH2009

    Extended by a few weeks but still pretty early

    More likely its just people aren't used to it yet

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,870 ✭✭✭Coillte_Bhoy

    Would agree with scrapping the league finals, Div 1 anyway, little or no interest in them. Any team that makes it has their sights set higher for the summer. Mayo getting hammered by Kerry this year did us little good and most mayo fans i know weren't that bothered about it beforehand tbh, would have preferred not to be in it really.

  • Registered Users Posts: 486 ✭✭Treble double

    Colm O Rourke being the manager of Meath and still having an opinion piece on Gaa in a National Newspapaper seems a bit off to me.

    He was bemoaning the chances of the rest of the challengers because of the return of Dublins deadly duo today in his article (for the sake of meath supporters I hope his management style is more entertaining than his writing style)

    Having an opinion piece on GAA in a National newspaper is an unusual perk for an inter county manager

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,359 ✭✭✭windy shepard henderson

    It was great for our lads to beat Kildare in that final , but I'd say there were no more in crocker then a few thousand,

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,719 ✭✭✭Dickie10

    i always thought GAA are missing a trick, let teams who finish top of div 2,3 and 4 go straight up promoted. and teams who finsh 3rd and 4th in these divisons have aplay off in croke park for promotion , that would be a serious carrot dangling and equivalent of a provincial final for some counties, i think you would see the crowd numbers soar for that, basically a championship game but even more than a 1st or 2nd round qualifier. being a meath man i was disapointed in 2019 when we topped division 2 that we were not crowned champions and had to go and play donegal in a final, it should have been donegal v kildare in that final for an all or nothing promotion place. meath shouldnt have had to play that game. maybe its because im from meath and croke park is definitley no bonus for us to play in or anything for our supporters to get excited about bar it being the next closest GAA county ground after maybe navan for most meath fans, although those in dunboyne, maynooth,ratoath, ashbourne would be into croke park quicker than navan. so no glory to play there, but maybe for counties that dont be in it too often.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,142 ✭✭✭celt262

    I presume you mean 2nd and 3rd play off for promotion?

    I disagree why should a team who finished 3rd in a league get a chance of promotion against a team who has finished higher than them?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,719 ✭✭✭Dickie10

    why should a team win a league title by coming second? imagine man city come 1st this season and arsenal 2nd and they had to play a cup final for league and arsenal won?

  • Registered Users Posts: 552 ✭✭✭techman1

    Split season is bonkers, 4 football semi finals on the one weekend in mid July and everything finished by August. I think the GAA got carried away with the relative increased popularity of GAA at local level with more participation especially in affluent areas that never had GAA clubs before and with the problems with the FAI that they thought they could run with this strategy. Its a huge mistake they are gutting their main product the All Ireland series and the only thing that could have international attention outside of irish diaspora.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,255 ✭✭✭✭Fr Tod Umptious

    I'm not convinced about the split season either.

    It's annoying that it will be over in a week, I always enjoyed August with the QFs and SFs and the long run in to the final.

    But at the same time, looking at football we have had quality competitive football almost non stop since the last week of January.

    The league has come to be a really good competition, it's no longer a drab preseason affair.

    So if we start thinking in the mindset of how we have quality football from January to July then we might be able to get used to it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭Rosita

    Since the thread title references the media, I will comment on the split season from that perspective.

    I picked up a newspaper the other day and there was two pages on the World Cup and half a page on the All Ireland final in the week of the match. Okay that won't happen every year but it happened.

    Also, a friend of mine mentioned that the All Ireland final is clashing with the British Open golf final day. Of course some diehards would welcome that as they could show how into it they are by not being bothered by this, but in the context of media coverage and exposure it's not ideal.

    The Sunday Game has been destroyed by the amount of matches it has to cover and GAAgo has been developed by RTÉ to stymie competition from other channels on the back of their alleged inability to show matches because there are now so many in a condensed season.

    Those are the challenges to the media and by the media as I see it.

    Getting away from the media angle I have always wondered why the split season was necessary at all since only about 5/6 counties were ever involved after late July anyway. There was never an excuse for club fixtures not to be properly organised.

    I find it funny that club competitions (one I heard of last night) are being decided on penalties in July when there's five months left in the year and seven behind us. Why is everything such a rush now? They're just club players. A replay of a final wouldn't be unreasonable. Ironically it's the rigidity of the fixtures that forces this. Same happening with under-age finals where there are no time pressures. Not sure if everything has to be gotten out if the way as soon as possible. But that's probably a minority view.

    Post edited by Rosita on

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,905 ✭✭✭✭namloc1980

    The business end of the championships will be going head to head against Euro 2024 next year and the World Cup in 2026 in June and July.

  • Registered Users Posts: 35,750 ✭✭✭✭PTH2009

    Possibly won't have to worry about Irish interest in that but get where you're coming from

    Still think it's too early and could easily spread it to both AI senior finals been mid-late August

    Club championships are still starting around the same time as pre 2018 and running into the next calendar year

    The outgoing GAA president seems to really love this calendar. Hopefully Jarleth Burns has a slightly different view/solution

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,359 ✭✭✭windy shepard henderson

    personally i would like to see the hurling finals in the august weekend and the following weekend for the football

    but unless you have little or no involvement in your gaa club dose the euros or a world cup deter your interest in hurling or football

    ten years ago i could go to any game in the country and buy a ticket on the day , now adays the vast majority of hurling games are sold out well in advance , if nothing else the split season has worked better then the gaa could have ever hoped for ,

    i for one think its a master stroke

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,285 ✭✭✭Sunny Disposition

    The split season has been an incredible success in hurling, working brilliantly.

    Interest in intercounty is very high and that’s nice, but it’s not what’s most important.

    There is no delays to club hurling in any county in Ireland from the last weekend in July onwards. This is fantastic. I thought it would never happen. Club championship in every county will be played during summertime.

    The GAA being the GAA there are still complaints, many from vested interests in the media. But this is very possibly the best move the Association has made in my lifetime.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 129 ✭✭irs

    On this weekend ten years ago the Ulster and Connacht football finals were on as well as the third round of the qualifiers, while Hurling had the week off. Next weekend was the 4th round of the football qualifiers and the hurling quarter finals. The two All-Ireland finals were 7-9 weeks away. Having the games spaced out like that did mean every match was an event while everything today feels on top of each other, not helped by format changes that have increased the number of games just as the season is getting shorter. However the whole point of the split season was to benefit club players so any loss of national media coverage would have been expected.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭Rosita

    There are virtually no replies here dealing with the actual title of the thread i.e. the impact in the media.

    Anyway, just to deal with the point about club championships "being played in summertime", I wonder at local level how much difference it makes.

    In 2022 the Cork County hurling final was played on 9th October. In 2005 when the county won the All Ireland it was played in 16th October. Most County finals seem to be played at the same time they ever were. At one level this makes sense as the split season makes inter-county a spring/summer game and club an autumn/winter game. But you seem to be of the view that club championships are taking place over the summer.

    The provincial club championships are still played in the height of winter.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,524 ✭✭✭randd1

    The split season had to come in.

    It took Covid, but in my view it was inevitable, the way it had gone, managers just weren't releasing players to their clubs during the club breaks. With the increased number of games in both codes, the club scene wouldn't have got a look in until August (September if you were lucky), a problem particularly serious if you're in a county that runs both codes equally.

    Had the clubs been treated right by county managers, or if county boards had stood by their clubs instead of the county manager, we might have had club games throughout the county season. But the managers put that to bed.

    Not to mention the split season has allowed some counties to use the early part of the year to run off the weaker code without it interfering with their main county championships, and anything that improves some participation is only a good thing. Not mention improving existing county leagues.

    The split season has been great for the clubs. And at the end of the day, the clubs don't need to counties to play the game, but counties rely on the clubs for everything, so providing the clubs with their own time to play the sport is ultimately in the interest of the county teams.

    And whatever about football, hurling does itself no favours. The championship is lobsided in terms of competitiveness (the round robin doesn't work for Leinster) and timing (6 weeks for the 35 games in group stage, 8 weeks for 8 knockout matches if you include the Joe McDonagh). Not to mention how the very same pundits are constantly moaning about not enough hurling and hurling finishing in July, without acknowledging they're the reason why the NHL, which is half the hurling season, has effectively been reduced to a series of challenge matches due to their insistence that only the Championship matters.

    The county teams start getting together in November. The season starts in January, finishes for most counties in June, some in July. You're looking at the guts of 8 months between training and playing. That's more than enough time.

    As for lack of promotion, it's simple; promote it. Require 3 of the group, be it players/manager's do interviews in the run up to games. Demand that as part of any TV package there has to be a 1 hour magazine programme per code per week. Release video's of the top 7 goals/points/saves/tackles from both codes on social media. Link up with a hotel chain and use match tickets for group games as raffle tickets for 2 nights away (3 winners per game, the cost taken out of the gate receipts), arrange free face paintings for kids, or some other such gimmick to get arses on seats.

    The split season isn't the problem, is the shockingly poor use of the time they do have to get something right. That's on the inter-county lads. albeit football seems to be heading in the right direction by linking the whole season together.

  • Registered Users Posts: 35,750 ✭✭✭✭PTH2009

    It's mad how Croke Park will effectively be closed now for about 5 months

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,389 ✭✭✭✭gormdubhgorm

    Yeah one of stewards there said to me see you again, enjoy your Christmas!

    Guff about stuff, and stuff about guff.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,887 ✭✭✭the kelt

    Pretty much the same in Wexford,

    Poor year for us at Intercounty level, as things stand our club scene will finish on the 15th of October.

    In 2019 we got an All Ireland semi final and our club scene finished on the 27th, a whole 12 days later despite the county getting to an AI semi final

    We play the exact same format as we did in 19, 2 x groups of 6, same amount of games, same amount of rounds. This was before the ridiculous decision to finish Intercounty in July. And the reason we could do that was we played rounds of Club in March/April, something we are banned from doing now since the split season came in, i mean we effectively banned a club players from having any game of significance for 7 + months of the year then expect everything to be shoehorned in time for Provincial Club rounds to be played And people think this is a good thing for Clubs even still.

    I see Irish Rugby out this morning pushing the month of August as the time to get to the Aviva to see the Irish Rugby team play, meanwhile the GAA are planning how man effin Coldplay concerts can we get in next August!

    The impact on people in the media is minimal, theres more games than ever at Intercounty level for them to cover, they dont get paid per week or month, its per appearance, this idea that the media dont like it because it affects their bottom line is nonsensical.

    The reason they are talking about it is because it doesnt make sense as an organisation what we have done, it needs to be looked at, as far as i can see many counties still dont start their championships until mid/end of August/September anyway so what was the point?

    USA GAA getting players over seems to have had a huge benefit mind and our current president who loves this system is a representative of what County Board again???

    There needs to be time freed up during the Intercounty season for Club games to take place, we need to push back the AI finals and also reduce the amount of games at Intercounty level, since when has Intercounty GAA become something to get out of the way asap??

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,049 ✭✭✭✭breezy1985

    It was coming to a point where it had to be either this or a 2 tier rugby style situation where intercounty players no longer played club.

    It wasn't for a laugh the GAA done this but because there was serious discontent with the lack of a solid club fixture list.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,262 ✭✭✭Lost Ormond

    Its not really compareable to rugby though is it. Rugby has its top pros playing international and biggest provincial games. some pros only play provincial games. others only play a small amount of pro games and the rest of their rugby is in amateur rugby.

    You would never have a situation where inter county dont play club becuase there isnt enough games to cover that happening

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,049 ✭✭✭✭breezy1985

    It was either county players didn't play club or club players were gonna revolt (which kinda happened).

    You can't have a sports competition where 30/40 players have games cancelled because 4/5 are involved in another match.

    Cork were already talking about running the club championship group stage without intercounty players.

    Split season didnt just happen for the laugh.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,916 ✭✭✭Charles Babbage

    In the context of the split season, I do not understand why the Camogie and LGFA followed the same pattern exactly. The LGFA semi finals were on the same weekend as the All Ireland and inevitably lost out a bit in publicity. If they had left their season in a more traditional model then the national media would have been talking about LGFA quarter and semi finals in the absence of anything else.