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  • 08-01-2022 8:45pm
    #1
    Posts: 61 ✭✭


    Is there a good guide available online that would explain to someone with an interest in sport but no knowledge of how GAA is structured what leagues and cups there are, how it is all works and the dates for when all this happens each year. GAA for dummies please.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,072 ✭✭✭✭Fr Tod Umptious


    Are you talking about national level or club level or will we start with describing the difference between the two ?

    To be honest the main GAA website is poor enough for a high level view of the whole system but that to maybe because each county and province have their own autonomy to a certain extent.

    But I'll give it a go for yout

    This is in chronological order and note that it is a new calendar structure this year.

    You'll have to get someone else to detail the hurling championship, I don't know how it works.

    Inter county Football

    Early Jan - provincial preseason tournaments.

    Ulster - McKenna Cup

    Munster - McGrath Cup

    Leinster - O'Byrne Cup

    Connaught - FBD Connaught league.

    These can be straight knockout or round robin competitions, the provincial council themselves decided.

    They are pre season and a chance to try out new players.

    National Football League.

    Late Jan to April.

    Four Divisions of eight.

    Each team plays the other once.

    Home and away are rotated each year so a team one year will have 4 home and 3 away, the next year 3 home and 4 away.

    Bottom two in div 1 to 3 get relegated to the div below them.

    Top two in div 2 to 4 get promoted.

    There are finals also in each division between the top two.

    Championship

    This is the main competition.

    Takes place this year between April and July, prior to COVID it took place between May and September.

    It's broken up by province.

    Draws are made the previous autumn.

    Ulster - 9 teams - one preliminary round and then four quarter finals, semi final and final.

    Leinster - 12 teams - Three preliminary rounds and then quarter finals etc etc

    Munster - 6 teams - previous years finalists get bye into semifinal draw remaining 4 play in quarter finals.

    Connacht - 7 teams - 5 in Connacht plus London and NY. One Connacht team travels to NY another to London on a rotation basis for two quarter finals - one team gets a bye into the semi final, the remaining two play a quarter final.

    The 4 eventual provincial winners go straight to the All Ireland quarter finals.

    The Qualifiers - aka The backdoor.

    The 16 teams, excluding NY that lose before the provincial semifinal are draw against each other for Round 1 of the qualifiers. It's straight knockout.

    The 8 winners from Round 1 then play the 8 teams that lose in the provincial semifinals in Round 2

    Round 3 consists of the 8 winners of Round 2 playing each other to make 4.

    Round 4 are the provincial losers v the 4 winners from Round 3.

    That then gives you the other 4 All Ireland quarter final teams to go against the provincial winners.

    In the All Ireland quarter finals the teams that meet in the provincial final cannot meet again.

    Winners of the quarter finals go to All Ireland semifinal and then you have your finalists and eventual winner.

    Club football.

    In the new calendar club football is played for early August to December.

    Counties have their own league and championship for their clubs.

    Championships are usually broken into Senior, Intermediate and Junior, with the junior winners going up to intermediate, intermediate winners going up to senior and bottom placed clubs going the other way.

    Each county would have their own format for the championship that suits them, round robin, straight knockout or a mix of both.

    Each counties senior, intermediate and junior champ would go on to the provincial championship with the winners of each province then making up the All Ireland club semifinals.

    Each county would have it's own club league also and there may be other regional club championships within the county.



  • Posts: 61 ✭✭ [Deleted User]


    That is a brilliant explanation, thanks a lot.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on


  • Posts: 61 ✭✭ [Deleted User]


    What is the story with clubs on a national level? For example yesterday's game;

    Kilmacud Crokes 0-14 Naas 0-7



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 11,393 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hammer Archer


    That was the Leinster Senior club football championship final. Every county will have a senior club football championship and each county's winning side will then go into their province's senior club championship (apart from Kilkenny senior football champions who play in the Leinster Intermediate championship as their champions are generally of much poorer quality than all the others). The winner of each province then goes onto the All Ireland series.

    Generally, there will also be county intermediate and junior championships and provincial/All-Ireland series with these.

    If you search the various championships on Wikipedia, they generally give a good rundown of all of them.



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,072 ✭✭✭✭Fr Tod Umptious


    Thanks

    Just something I forgot about the All Ireland semifinals.

    They are determined on a three year rotation, so in one year for example you would have

    Semi final 1 = Winners of quarter final containing Munster champion v Winners of quarter final containing Leinster champion.

    Semi final 2 = Winners of quarter final containing Connacht champion v Winners of quarter final containing Ulster champion.

    The next year

    Semi final 1 = Winners of quarter final containing Munster champion v Winners of quarter final containing Ulster champion.

    Semi final 2 = Winners of quarter final containing Connacht champion v Winners of quarter final containing Leinster champion.

    And the next year

    Semi final 1 = Winners of quarter final containing Munster champion v Winners of quarter final containing Connacht champion.

    Semi final 2 = Winners of quarter final containing Leinster champion v Winners of quarter final containing Ulster champion.

    Now it must be said that the whole structure of the All Ireland Championship is under review, and any changes will likely also impact the league.

    A radical proposal went to a vote at congress in October but although it won a majority it was not enough of a majority to be approved.

    A new set of proposals are being looked at with the possibility of them being put to a vote at congress in the coming months.



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