Covid-19 & Championship-20

A forum to air your views on Offaly GAA matters and beyond.
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Covid-19 & Championship-20

Post by Tmacmahon » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:52 pm

The liklehood of GAA being played in 2020 lessens by the day, its true of course to say the GAA is irrelevent in these times, and I suppose it is, but it is amazing how much the games mean to so many people. Believe it or not the hope of something of some kind being played this year is getting people through this lockdown. Hope springs eternal. The reality is different.

The hope and idle guessing surrounding whether there will be an intercounty or indeed club championships is futile,
yet if people dont speculate ,it again leads us to a situation where there isnt even the satisfaction in wondering and another avenue for people to escape the mundane is gone.

I think the reason the call has not been made that there will be no GAA for 2020 is so people can cling to the hope that there will be. It is of course leading people on in some ways , but its with the right intentions in mind. These times are tough enough.
We have been surrounded with so much information regarding the virus and still I could not begin to explain how normailty will rusume after COVID19 and what will 'normal' be going forward?
In my opinion we simply could not risk playing our games until such time as a vaccine exists. this isnt a revelutioary or original statemet I know , but how could we take the chance?

I actully think the GAA matters more than we ourselves even realise and its clearly not as important as peoples health but it is the corner stone of Irish society. When we get back to the field whenever it is 2020 or 2021 I think people will understand how brilliant the GAA is and how it brings joy to households, parishes throughout the country. If absence makes the heart grow fonder the next time we see some football or hurling action we will all fall in Love all over again.

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Re: Covid-19 & Championship-20

Post by frankthetank » Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:17 pm

The reality of the situation is, following yesterday's announcement by the government, is that September 1st is the earliest possible date that the All Ireland Championship can start.

I firmly believe that the GAA won't go ahead with a championship behind closed doors so a decision will have to be made what way to progress from September. Also we have to remember that there is no guarantee that gatherings of over 5,000 will be allowed after August 31st. That could feasibly stretch on for another 2 months.

I think the GAA should go with the nuclear option on this and cancel the intercounty season and declare that club championships will start weekend of September 4th-6th. Hopefully some level of social distancing will be lifted by then which will allow club teams to get a couple of weeks training in beforehand.

Also if Social Distancing carries on indefinitely in it's current guise all contact sports can't be played so we won't even get a club championship let alone an intercounty one.

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Re: Covid-19 & Championship-20

Post by Lone Shark » Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:22 pm

The thing about people's health is that it's a multi-faceted thing, much like the well known Maslow heirarchy of needs. First and foremost, you have to be alive, and then there's a sliding scale after that.

Perhaps it's just because of my own personal situation (cut down to very little work, the work I have left is paid at a very low rate, to the point that I'd be better off on the Covid-19 payment, yet I also have absolutely no free time due to my wife working from home and thus needing to be on full time childcare duty) but this is incredibly hard on the mind and the soul. I get why it has to be this way - like everyone on this board, I have plenty of people close to me who would be in the high risk category for one reason or another, and I don't want to lose them. I certainly would never get over it if I was possibly the one who exposed them to a virus that they weren't able to overcome.

Still, my head is melted. Once more with feeling, I understand that there is no option, but it's incredibly hard listen to people talking about all this "re-evaluating what's important" and "using it as a positive". If you're in a situation where paying the bills isn't a concern, or you have a bit of time to work on something you want or need to do for personal or professional reasons, then great, but please appreciate that it's not like that for everyone. And yes, this isn't just a rant, there is a GAA-related point to come here.

With every day that passes while the re-infection rate is below 1.0, and people remain cooped up with little or no human contact, we get closer to the day when some level of re-opening is necessary. Not because we have a vaccine, or because Covid-19 is no more, but because there will be more damage being done to people's heads than there is to people's lungs.

That's why I personally believe that we will see club GAA this year. I think the intercounty game is gone, there's no way in the wide earthly world they're going to put 80,000 people in Croke Park, or even put 15,000 people into OCP. But the club game is a lot more feasible.

I take the point about social distancing being impossible in a dressing room, or on a field for that matter, but I think that what you'll see is some sort of activity from August/September on, and where it's left up to people to partake or not. If you're 24 and living in an apartment in Athlone or Tullamore by yourself, you'll tog out and play. If you're 34 and taking care of your 74-year-old father who is a cancer survivor, then you might take a different decision. Every club team will have anything from a couple to a dozen players who decide that it's not worth the risk, given their own family situation, but they'll run some sort of season just to give people something to feel positive about. All the rules about giving dual players a week between games etc., don't expect any of that to be followed. It'll be a case of play games, squeeze them in, try to make sure every player gets three or four matches at least, and then worry about 2021 after that.

The old line about give the people bread and circuses still applies. Life can't just be some combination of sleep/eat/work/take care of the family, repeated forever. You can do it for a while, and in the main, we are. But we're six weeks in now, and I'd be very confident that in six weeks more - never mind in six months more - people will need to see some sort of hope. I also believe that in the next couple of months, it'll start to become clear to people that we aren't headed for a 2008-2011 style recession, we're headed for a 1930's style depression. I hope I'm wrong, but I fail to see how it could be any other way. All the more reason why something that's essentially free - letting people play ball - will be allowed kick on.
Kevin Egan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.

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