THE GAA have this Monday afternoon confirmed inter-county and club dates and structures for new-look 2021 season
-Providing a meaningful closed season/down time:
-No return to collective Senior inter county training before January 15.
-Senior inter county challenge games allowed from start of February – due to covid and its associated risks, no training or games that will involve an overnight stay are permitted during pre-season.
-No return to collective inter county minor training (H & F) or U20 Football before Friday February 6; challenge games in these grades will be permitted from Friday, February 26.
-No return to collective inter county U20 Hurling training before Friday, April 2. Challenge games will be permitted from April 23.
-No Provincial “pre-season” competitions
Allianz Football League
-Run from Feb 27/28 to League finals weekend on April 3/4
-Pick up” weekend included – provision to allow competition to run over by one week if necessary
-Divisions will be split into North and South
-4 teams in each group – based on geography
-3 Round Robin games per team
-Top two in each Divisional group to league semis, followed by league final
-Bottom two in each Divisional group to Relegation semis – losers (2) relegated
Allianz Hurling League
-Run from Feb 27/28 to league finals weekend on April 10/11
-“Pick up” weekend included – provision to allow competition to run over by one week if necessary, also allowed for
-Run on same basis as in a normal year except no League Quarter or Semi Finals – Division 1 league final will be Div 1A winners v Div 1A winners; top two teams in all other groups play the relevant league final.
2021 Football Championships
-Provincial knock-out Championships with back-door qualifier system and Tailteann Cup
-No Round Robin quarter finals
-Round 1 of Qualifiers (if required) to be limited to teams that did not make their provincial semi-finals
2021 Tailteann Cup
-For teams in Div 3 and 4 of the football league at the end of the 2021 league season (i.e. AFTER promotion/Relegation process), that DO NOT reach their respective Provincial Finals
-Preliminary Round(s) to be organized if more than 16 eligible teams
-Recommended that Provincial Champions from the previous year – regardless of whether they are Division 3 or 4 Counties or not – are automatically included in Sam Maguire Qualifiers even if they do not qualify for their provincial final in 2021
-Rounds – Prelim Round (if required), Round 1, Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and Final
-Semi Finals on Sunday June 6 – Croke Park double header; will be only significant games in the calendar on that date
-Final to be a curtain raiser to the All Ireland Hurling Semi Final on June 26/27
2021 Liam MacCarthy Cup
-Provincial knock-out Championships with back-door qualifier system (as in 2020) but with introduction of relegation to Mc Donagh Cup
-Munster – Limerick, Waterford, Tipperary, Clare, Cork
-Leinster – Kilkenny, Galway, Wexford, Dublin, Laois, Antrim
-There will be 11 teams in Liam MacCarthy in 2021 - there will be a preliminary round in the qualifiers between the two defeated Quarter final teams.
-Winners progress to Qualifiers Rd 1 – Losers to McDonagh Cup 2022
-Provincial Knock-out competition
-No U20 league
-Window for Championship 27/28 March to Final on May 1/2 (6 weekends)
-Provincial Knock-out competition
-No All Ireland Semi-Finals – All Ireland final is Leinster winners v Munster winners
-Window for Championship May 22/23 (with break for Leaving Cert) to All Ireland Final on July 10/11.
-All Ireland final as curtain raiser to All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final
Minor Hurling and Football
-Window – March 20/21 to May 22/23.
-De-coupled from Senior All Ireland Championships
-Development CCCC to bring forward proposals on how these should be structured.
-Main All Ireland Finals to ideally be in Croke Park if possible
-All knock out games in the above Championship competitions, will be subject to finish on the day regulations – EXCEPTION: All Ireland Senior Football and Hurling Finals (Tier 1), which will have Extra time in the original fixture, and will be finish on the day in the event of a replay only.
2021 Club Window Provisions
-Club competitions – largely without County players – can take place in the Spring and early summer months covid regulations permitting.
-Uninterrupted main Club Championship Window from July 24/25 to October 23/24
-Provincial Club Championship window primarily from October 16/17 to November 27/28
-Suggested Provincial Draws are not made until All Ireland Quarter final participants in the senior inter county championships are known. County champions from the teams involved to NOT be involved in Round 1/Quarter finals in Provincial club championships where possible.
-All Ireland Club Championship Semi-finals in December
-2021 All Ireland Club Finals to take place in January 2022