The GAA has approved its Master Fixture Plan for 2022 and it will see the All Ireland Hurling and Football Finals played in July for the first time in over 100 years.

Next year’s Hurling final is scheduled to take place on Sunday 17th July with the Football decider taking place seven days later. There is a two-week gap scheduled in between the Semi-Finals and the Final in both codes and an overall inter-county season that will run over 30 weeks to include the Allianz Leagues and the All Ireland series as well as the associated secondary tournaments.

They will include the Tailteann Cup in Football for the first time next year.

With the defeat of proposals for wider change of the football season at the Extraordinary Congress last month, the schedule will be run as it was planned to be in 2020 with provincial tournaments and back doors leading up to knock out stages from quarterfinals on.

The Tailteann Cup will be competed for by those counties who play in Division Four of the Allianz League, by those who do not get promoted from Division three in the spring, and by those who are relegated from Division two. The exception will be for any county within that group of 16 that makes it through to their own provincial final.

The Final of the competition will be played at Croke Park on the same day as the first All Ireland Football Semi-Final on July 9th.

The Allianz Football League will get underway with seven rounds of matches and then knock out deciders starting on the last weekend of January.

The Allianz Hurling League will start one week later and run on a similar format to recent years with two groups of broadly equal strength making up division one and four small leagues at the next level down. These will be followed by Finals and Relegation play-offs.

The Hurling Championship will also follow a similar path to what was planned for 2020 with round-robin provincial tournaments in Munster and Leinster. Stronger teams from Connacht and Ulster will compete again in the Leinster competition.

The early finish to the Inter-County season will facilitate greater focus on the Club Championships. The Finals for the 2021 and 2022 seasons will take place next year in the same calendar year with this year’s Finals scheduled for February 12th and 13th and the 2022 Finals pencilled in for the first and second weekends of December 2022.

The Camogie and Ladies Football Master Fixture Lists are expected to be confirmed shortly but to retain their slightly later position in the calendar year.

One issue that will arise there is that Croke Park will be out of action for the second and third Sunday’s in September, playing host to Garth Brooks on the earlier weekend and with permission granted for additional concert dates on the latter.

The Master fixture List is based on there being no room for Replay dates. A proposal will be put to the GAA Congress in February, due to take place at the Connacht GAA Dome, which would mean all games being played on the basis of a result on the day being required, with extra time and shoot outs as may be needed.

Sport for Business Perspective

September Sundays are locked in our collective memory as the days of the GAA. With the recognition of the importance of providing consistent structures for the vast majority of players at the club level though, that is where they will have to remain. It is a shame to lose the impact on schools getting behind their teams but that was only ever for a maximum of four in any year and progress doesn’t ever allow for every tradition to remain.

 

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