At a meeting last week, Central Council voted for a radical shake up in the format of the All Ireland Championships for 2007. The new format has a number of major talking points in that there will be three championships at Senior, Intermediate and Junior level played next year. A major new departure is the fact that all counties will take part in the All Ireland series, irrespective of how they perform at Provincial level. All teams will then take part in a series of group games with the top teams qualifying for the All Ireland quarter finals. How this new format impacts on Leitrim, last years Junior runners up, remains to be seen as the format of the provincial championship will not be decided until Connacht Convention on 14th January. What is certain is that Leitrim will now play in the new Intermediate championship. In recent years Leitrim had to play a series of round robinÓgames in the provincial championship before reaching the final. Due to time constraints it is likely that the provincial championship will now be played on a knockout basis as the All Ireland series will begin at the end of May by which time all Provincial championships must be decided. The new format will not only place great demands on intercounty players having to play both county and club games but also will have a serious effect on planning the Leitrim club fixture plan for 2007. Motions to end quarter finals in the league were not agreed and should Leitrim reach three finals as they did in 2006, Leitrim could face a possible sixteen competitive matches in 2007. The following are details of the proposed format for all championships based on the example of how counties fared in the 2006 championship. The draw for the group stages of the All Ireland championships will take place after the completion of all Provincial championships.

Senior Championship:
? The new format gives all teams at least 3 more games in the Championship
? 16 teams in the Senior Championship. Louth have been regarded to Intermediate
? 3 points for a win.
? All group games to be finished, extra time if a draw, if after extra time teams still level (Sudden death/penalties)
Pot 1 (Provincial winners) Pot 2 (Runners Up) Pot 3 (3rd in Province) Pot 4
Armagh Monaghan Tyrone Donegal
Cork Waterford Kerry DownÓgalway Mayo Roscommon Sligo
Laois Meath Dublin Kildare
? Draws to be made with the Provincial winners seeded as in pot 1, and a team from each pot avoiding the Provincial runner up to be with Provincial winner in each group.
? Groups to consist of 4 teams per group 1 from each pot (Avoiding Provincial Runners up).
? Top 2 teams in each group into quarter finals
? 3rd placed team out of championship 2007
? 4th placed teams play off among each other to decide relegation to Intermediate for 2008.
? Object of the senior championship to maintain 4 groups of 4
? Teams to agree on duration of championship prior to draws been made (Home/away/neutral)
Intermediate Championship
? Based on the finishing of 2006 the following format for the 2007 championship giving all teams at least 4 games in the group format as below.
? 3 points for a win.
? All group games to be finished, extra time if a draw, if after extra time teams still level (Sudden death/penalties)
? 2 Groups of five with the Provincial winner away from the runner up
? Top team in each group go straight into semi finals,
2nd and 3rd position teams go into quarter finals.
? Bottom team in each group play in relegationÓgame. (Loser regraded to junior)
? Winner of intermediate championship promoted to senior

Group 1: Clare, Longford, Tipperary, Fermamagh, CavanÓgroup 2: Leitrim, Wexford, Limerick, Westmeath, Louth.

Junior Championship
Britain, Carlow, Offaly, Wicklow, Kilkenny, Antrim, Derry
? 1 group of 3 and 1 group of 4
? Winner of junior championship promoted to intermediate

 

 

04-Dec-06 by Patricia Bohan – Ladies PRO