Club Championships 2016

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Re: Club Championships 2016

Postby Sharp Eye » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:57 pm

I am of the opinion that the Offaly's Hurling Clubs will be reluctant to change the Hurling Championship in Offaly following the experience of the football clubs. There were meetings held in the county to ascertain the view of the clubs. The vast majority of clubs suggested a Senior B Championship with the top two teams qualifying for the Senior Co Quarter Finals. All players on Senior A & Senior B Teams would in effect be competing in the Offaly Senior Football Championship. The executive of the Offaly Co Board stated that this was not possible. This will be the format of the Galway Hurling Championship from next year.
The selling point for just 8 senior teams was one group with each team guaranteed 7 games. That format lasted just 1 year. Clubs are now just guaranteed 3 games and players from just 8 teams get the benefit of Senior Club Football.
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Re: Club Championships 2016

Postby jimbob17 » Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:12 pm

I think this year proved to a degree that 1 group of 8 doesn't work! 2 x 4 will be run over shorter period with more meaning to each game! To me it is better that teams enter a competition with a genuine chance of winning it! That wasnt happening for many teams in last 10 years. St Brigids and Walsh Island for example would never have chance of winning a senior. Now they will have reasonable chance or perceive themseves to have chance to win. Hence they might be more motivated to put in a bigger effort. It will take 2-3 years for teams to find a level they are at if the proposed system is stayed with. For example, Rynaghs to me are playing in grade above themselves while Ballycommon are probable a grade below themselves.

The point i am making is that a group of lads will be more motivated to train hard and put in effort if they feel they have a better chance of winning. Is that not beneficial to Offaly and club football in general rather than a competition of 12 or 16 teams where at least half of them have no chance of even making a final!
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Re: Club Championships 2016

Postby Sharp Eye » Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:39 am

jimbob17 wrote:I think this year proved to a degree that 1 group of 8 doesn't work! 2 x 4 will be run over shorter period with more meaning to each game! To me it is better that teams enter a competition with a genuine chance of winning it! That wasnt happening for many teams in last 10 years. St Brigids and Walsh Island for example would never have chance of winning a senior. Now they will have reasonable chance or perceive themseves to have chance to win. Hence they might be more motivated to put in a bigger effort. It will take 2-3 years for teams to find a level they are at if the proposed system is stayed with. For example, Rynaghs to me are playing in grade above themselves while Ballycommon are probable a grade below themselves.

The point i am making is that a group of lads will be more motivated to train hard and put in effort if they feel they have a better chance of winning. Is that not beneficial to Offaly and club football in general rather than a competition of 12 or 16 teams where at least half of them have no chance of even making a final!


I am of the opinion that to have the honour of playing in a Co Senior Quarter Final is greater than playing in a Senior B Final. Top 3 teams in each A Group and the top team in each of the B Groups would qualify for the Co Senior Quarter Finals. All teams in Senior A would be guaranteed 4 games a year. The Co Quarter Finals should be open draw which would give the Senior B Teams a fair chance of reaching Co Semi Finals. The bottom two teams in each group in Senior B to compete in relegation games.
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Re: Club Championships 2016

Postby Lone Shark » Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:40 pm

Sharp Eye wrote:I am of the opinion that to have the honour of playing in a Co Senior Quarter Final is greater than playing in a Senior B Final. Top 3 teams in each A Group and the top team in each of the B Groups would qualify for the Co Senior Quarter Finals. All teams in Senior A would be guaranteed 4 games a year. The Co Quarter Finals should be open draw which would give the Senior B Teams a fair chance of reaching Co Semi Finals. The bottom two teams in each group in Senior B to compete in relegation games.


All of that is a perfectly legitimate view, but the more widely held view among the Senior B clubs in Offaly is that they'd prefer to be in a championship that they can win, rather than one where the name of the game is to stay alive for as long as possible until the inevitable hammering at the hands of one of the top 4/5 clubs comes down the tracks. I can see both sides, but the truth of the matter is that the senior "B" championship this year was one of the best in the county so it's hard to dispute the effectiveness of the current tiers.

Sharp Eye wrote:I am of the opinion that the Offaly's Hurling Clubs will be reluctant to change the Hurling Championship in Offaly following the experience of the football clubs. There were meetings held in the county to ascertain the view of the clubs. The vast majority of clubs suggested a Senior B Championship with the top two teams qualifying for the Senior Co Quarter Finals. All players on Senior A & Senior B Teams would in effect be competing in the Offaly Senior Football Championship. The executive of the Offaly Co Board stated that this was not possible. This will be the format of the Galway Hurling Championship from next year.
The selling point for just 8 senior teams was one group with each team guaranteed 7 games. That format lasted just 1 year. Clubs are now just guaranteed 3 games and players from just 8 teams get the benefit of Senior Club Football.


The football clubs may have voted to try something but just the same, they voted to change again a fortnight ago - based on the experience that they had with a seven game round-robin group. I wasn't involved when the issue of winning senior A through the B was relevant and to be honest that's the first I heard of it, but the widespread hostility that came up in response to the suggestion of bringing back in the weak group format in 2016 (which is broadly similar to a B championship in that you compete against clubs at a similar level before stepping up) would suggest that if the idea was popular in 2014, it wouldn't be now.

As for the reduction in the number of games, well all I can say there is that there's a lot more to it than simply "more games=better". If the intercounty game didn't exist and there was a full summer to work with, there's no doubt that longer championship systems would be desirable - however dreaming of such a Utopia is pointless. We have the number of weeks that we have, and by choosing to keep the current system that requires 8 weekends to complete, the hurling clubs have ensured the continuation of the three month gap, which was by far the biggest bugbear when feedback was sought initially.
Kevin Egan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Club Championships 2016

Postby Sharp Eye » Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:50 am

The retention of existing 2 x 6 Team Hurling Groups is not a long term solution. You are correct when you state that the "long gap" is not wanted by anybody and is certainly not wanted by club players. I think that the proposed option was indeed a little too harsh on teams finishing third in the stronger groups and seemed to give teams in the weaker group an easier chance of qualifying for the quarter finals. I do not believe that any senior team which finishes at the bottom of one of the stronger groups could have any real complaints about being eliminated from the championship. The proposed weaker group would also give a newly promoted team from Intermediate a better chance of retaining senior status. Strong consideration should be given for the 3 teams in each of the strong groups and the top two teams from the weaker group to qualify for the county quarter finals. Bottom two teams in the weaker group to play off for relegation to Intermediate. Bottom team in each of the stronger groups to be relegated to the weaker group.
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Re: Club Championships 2016

Postby Lone Shark » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:49 am

Sharp Eye wrote:The retention of existing 2 x 6 Team Hurling Groups is not a long term solution. You are correct when you state that the "long gap" is not wanted by anybody and is certainly not wanted by club players. I think that the proposed option was indeed a little too harsh on teams finishing third in the stronger groups and seemed to give teams in the weaker group an easier chance of qualifying for the quarter finals. I do not believe that any senior team which finishes at the bottom of one of the stronger groups could have any real complaints about being eliminated from the championship. The proposed weaker group would also give a newly promoted team from Intermediate a better chance of retaining senior status. Strong consideration should be given for the 3 teams in each of the strong groups and the top two teams from the weaker group to qualify for the county quarter finals. Bottom two teams in the weaker group to play off for relegation to Intermediate. Bottom team in each of the stronger groups to be relegated to the weaker group.


In hindsight, we probably would have made that adjustment - the only reason we didn't was in order to try and keep every game meaningful, since there would be an advantage in finishing as high up the group as possible. With 4 QF's, that advantage was lessened and the risk of a team winning their first two games and then not having anything to play for was heightened. Also, my gut feeling was that for the eight teams that would make up the strong groups next year, or the vast majority at least, making a quarter final wouldn't mean anything as an achievement in it's own right.

After all, which club out of KK/Coolderry/Rynaghs/Birr/Shinrone/Clareen/Belmont would consider 2016 a successful year if they just made a quarter final, given that they've all reached that stage for at least four years in a row now?

Having said all that, the tone of the room for the meeting wasn't hard to read. Clubs weren't willing to countenance any reduction in the number of games and any proposal which involved the possibility of your season ending after three matches wasn't going to win the crowd over on the night in question.
Kevin Egan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Club Championships 2016

Postby suckindiesel » Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:57 pm

I was involved in different committees in laois when it came to prosposing plans for championship structures. the start and end problem was that all the clubs had different agendas and there was never universal approval.
if the committee/task force is to recommend a championship structure is must clearly identify the end goal....is it (1) clubs getting plenty of championship games, a guaranteed number of games, or (2) a very tight championship with limited games, but all very competitive.

number (1) will end up with a host of moderate group games and the meaningful championship for some clubs only starting at quarter final or semi final stage.........but of course, instead of the 6 or 8 real contenders, this allows the 4 weak clubs participate.
number (2) if played the correct format makes for a very tight championship....we tried the 2 groups of 4 for years, switching to our current format in laois has certainly over the last 3 years made it one of the best county championships in the country in terms of tight encounters, simply because every game does count.

Next year as per this year in laois we will have 8 competitive clubs at senior level, none of them want to drop to senior b...it was a very bitter bill for castletown in 2015. senior b of course is another de facto name for intermediate, when the decision to drop from 12 to 8 senior(A") clubs in laois was taken, the intermediate championship was rebranded the senior b, so the 4 clubs who lost out could still term themselves as "senior" clubs, for some that title was more important than being competitive.

if given a free choice to impose a new structure on the offaly hurling championship I would reduce the competition to 8 clubs and replicate the laois system.

one final thought and a question which lone shark or others may answer........thought.......what is wrong with a straight knock out championship?....when offaly won their first 2 all Irelands in 1981 and 85, what was the senior club format in the county?
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Re: Club Championships 2016

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:36 pm

Hi Suckindiesel,

I'll field this question -

What's wrong with a straight knock out? Erm, blink and you miss it. One match a year? no thanks.

Anyway, as I have said before, whatever the format you will come to the match that you simply have to win or you are knocked out - whether that is the penultimate or last match in the group, of a match against a team of similar strength, or from the quarter-final onwards. So a round-robin champioship followed by a knockout phase IS a knockout championship.

As for 1981 and 1985, Offaly adapted the round-robin format in 1978 and have stuck with it since. 1981 had ten Senior clubs, two groups of five - 'Rynagh's won it, beating Kinnitty in the final, Coolderry and Shinrone reached the semi-finals, Birr, Seir Kieran, Lusmagh, Drumcullen, Killoughey and Ballyskenagh were also-rans. The number of Senior clubs had stretched to twelve by 1985 - Kilcormac, Killeigh and Belmont had made the step up, Ballyskenagh having gone down.
suckindiesel wrote:one final thought and a question which lone shark or others may answer........thought.......what is wrong with a straight knock out championship?....when offaly won their first 2 all Irelands in 1981 and 85, what was the senior club format in the county?
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Club Championships 2016

Postby KeshaWantsTimber » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:40 am

Their are pros and cons to all c'ship formats. Fairly sure that in Laois the team relegated from Senior A has won the Senior B the following year without too much hassle. This has a knock on effect to the other Senior B clubs who are getting disheartened and don't really believe they can win a c'ship so they are in limbo.

That said, I think the number of teams is the crucial point in any c'ship system. If Laois used 2 groups of 4 it would still be a very good c'ship because all the teams are fairly even. It might even be better as all teams would have minimum 3 c'ship matches before knock-out/relegation phase. If the teams are competitive the structure will work.
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Re: Club Championships 2016

Postby Sharp Eye » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:14 am

As we enter 2016, I think it will dawn on many hurling clubs that the proposed Hurling Championship structure in Offaly will not be in the best interests of club hurling players. Club training will start soon as a first round is likely in mid April with a second round three months later in mid July. Six months training for the first two rounds in a competition format in which teams can afford to lose both first round games and still qualify for the county quarter final. Dual clubs will have an extra challenge whereby the hurling players will commence training in January and the football players will commence training in April.

An in depth review should commence now in order that we ensure a "club player friendly" championship structure is put in place for 2017. Player retention is a major challenge facing the Gaa and the actions of our hurling clubs in retaining the existing championship structure will not encourage players to play hurling at adult level.
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Re: Club Championships 2016

Postby SearingDrive » Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:46 pm

Sharp Eye wrote:As we enter 2016, I think it will dawn on many hurling clubs that the proposed Hurling Championship structure in Offaly will not be in the best interests of club hurling players. Club training will start soon as a first round is likely in mid April with a second round three months later in mid July. Six months training for the first two rounds in a competition format in which teams can afford to lose both first round games and still qualify for the county quarter final. Dual clubs will have an extra challenge whereby the hurling players will commence training in January and the football players will commence training in April.

An in depth review should commence now in order that we ensure a "club player friendly" championship structure is put in place for 2017. Player retention is a major challenge facing the Gaa and the actions of our hurling clubs in retaining the existing championship structure will not encourage players to play hurling at adult level.

One round of the SHC in April, then 3 months to July for the second round! Is that a bit of a long wait?
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Re: Club Championships 2016

Postby Lone Shark » Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:59 pm

It is, but there's no obvious alternative. Given the number of games that Offaly will play in the Leinster SHC next year, every weekend from the 23rd/24th April right up to the second weekend in July (inclusive) is a no go for the purposes of the domestic championships. Results might work out such that there could be an opening, but you couldn't say for sure and it's not fair to club players to put them on standby in the hope that county results work out a certain way.

Hence there were two options - long gap, or late July start - and the clubs chose the former. Democracy and all that.
Kevin Egan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Club Championships 2016

Postby Toxicity234 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:13 pm

Hard luck to lusmugh. Glenmore are a typicall Kilkenny team. Good hurlers, but nasty, mean and tough. They had there homework done. Sean gardener must be sore tonight. 5 Glenmore players booked for challenges on him. Two or three more challenges on him that went unnoticed.
They never let the lusmugh forwards get into the game and had no problems in given away frees.
Lusmugh have some nice hurlers but like all Offaly teams we lack the nastiness to be able to handle Kilkenny team at the moment.
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Re: Club Championships 2016

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:46 pm

A full round of Senior and Intermediate hurling takes place, all on Sunday April 10th. Fixtures released today are as follows –

Senior
Belmont v Shinrone at Birr at 12 noon
Kilcormac-Killoughey v Lusmagh at Banagher at 12 noon
Coolderry v Shamrocks at Banagher at 1.30pm
Tullamore v Seir Kieran at Tullamore at 1pm
St Rynagh’s v Ballinamere at Tullamore at 2.30pm
Birr v Kinnitty at Kilcormac at 3pm


Intermediate
Kilcormac-Killoughey v Seir Kieran at Rath at 4.45pm
Clodiagh Gaels v Coolderry at Rath at 6.15pm
Birr v Ballyskenagh-Killavilla at Clareen at 6.15pm
St Rynagh’s v Carrig & Riverstown at Lusmagh at 6.15pm
Drumcullen v Brosna Gaels at Moystown at 6.15pm


Expect several changes in venues though –

There is a double header at Banagher at 12 noon and 1.30pm, but St Rynagh’s are fixed to hurl Ballinamere in Tullamore in a match starting before the second match in Banagher ends.

Clareen are hurling Tullamore in Tullamore (are they afraid to ask Tullamore and Ballinamere to travel beyond Mucklagh?) at 1pm, their Intermediates are hurling in Rath at 4.45pm yet they are expected to get home to open up their home ground for Birr and B-K who throw in at 6.15pm.

Drumcullen hurl Brosna Gaels at 6.165 pm but there is an Intermediate double-header at Rath at the same time.
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Re: Club Championships 2016

Postby Superstar » Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:41 pm

First round of the senior hurling championship on Sunday. What do ye reckon any upsets on the cards or anyone think there'll be any surprise packages in this years championship?
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