The Camogie Association has confirmed the format and fixtures for this season’s Littlewoods Ireland Leagues.
Division One will be played across three groups of three teams. Two of the group winners will go straight to Semi-Finals while the third group winner will join the four runners up at a Quarterfinal stage. There will be relegation play-offs and a relegation final in parallel to the action at the top of the tournament. This guarantees that all teams will get to play at least three matches through the campaign.
The groups have been arranged on a geographical basis to minimise travel. Galway, Clare and Limerick are in Group One, Cork, Tipperary and Waterford in Group Two, Kilkenny, Dublin and Offaly in Group Three.
The three rounds of group games will take place on Saturday’s 15th, 22md and 29th of May. Knock out stages will then run on a weekly basis through to the Final on the weekend of 19th and 20th June.
In Division Two and Three, ‘second’ teams from senior counties will be permitted to play after they were included in the definition of elite players this year.
Division Two will run with two groups of three teams and two groups of four, while Division Three and Division Four will have two groups of four. All matches in these divisions will be played on the same dates as the Division One matches.
It is expected that the Camogie Association and sponsors Littlewoods Ireland will stream a number of matches live from each round, a policy that has proven popular with fans, especially given the likely restrictions that will still be in place for match attendance.
Hilda Breslin from Kildare took on the role of Association President at the weekend Annual Congress, taking over from Kathleen Woods. Among the motions passed at Congress was a formal recognition of the role of dual players and the facilitation of them playing both camogie and football as much as is practicable.
There will be some overlap with fixtures in the Lidl Ladies Football National League but matches will take place on different days and the opening round of fixtures are one week apart. The Camogie final will take place on the gap week between the Semi-Finals and the Final of the football, marking good progress in the way in which the two associations have been able to plan to enable as best as possible for players to represent their county in both codes.
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