THE NEW CHAM­PI­ONSHIP FOR­MATS EX­PLAINED

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - GAELIC GAMES -

÷HURL­ING

Le­in­ster and Mun­ster will run their cham­pi­onships on a round-robin ba­sis, with each team get­ting two home games and two away.

The top two teams in each will pro­ceed to the pro­vin­cial fi­nals, with the third team in each get­ting a chance to earn a place in the All-Ire­land quar­ter­fi­nals, by beat­ing the win­ner or los­ing fi­nal­ist in the Joe McDon­agh Cup, the new next tier down from the Liam MacCarthy it­self.

The Le­in­ster and Mun­ster win­ners go to the All-Ire­land semi-fi­nals, the losers of the de­ciders go straight to the quar­ter-fi­nals.

The team that fin­ishes fifth in Le­in­ster will not play in the Le­in­ster Cham­pi­onship in 2019 —they will be re­placed by the win­ner of the Joe McDon­agh Cup, un­less the win­ner of that cup is Kerry, who would then play off against the last team in Mun­ster for the right to go into the south­ern cham­pi­onship next sum­mer.

÷FOOT­BALL

In the foot­ball, there are round-robins too. In­stead of hav­ing knock-out Al­lIre­land quar­ter-fi­nals, the eight best teams in the coun­try will now play three matches at that stage, one in Croke Park, one home and one away.

Group 1: Mun­ster Cham­pi­ons; Con­nacht cham­pi­ons; Ul­ster run­ners-up or the team that beats them in Round 4 of the qual­i­fiers; and Le­in­ster run­ner­sup or the team that beats them in Round 4.

Group 2: Ul­ster cham­pi­ons; Le­in­ster cham­pi­ons; Mun­ster run­ners-up or the team that beats them in Round 4; and Con­nacht run­ners-up or the team that beats them in Round 4.

The top two in each group ad­vance to the All-Ire­land semi-fi­nals — Win­ners of Group 1 v run­ners-up of Group 2; win­ners of Group 2 v run­ners-up in Group 1.

In the event of three or more teams fin­ish­ing on the same num­ber of points, scor­ing dif­fer­ence will count. If two teams fin­ish level on points, the out­come of the match be­tween them will de­cide who ad­vances.

Pro­vin­cial games in both codes, with the ex­cep­tion of fi­nals, will have 20 min­utes of ex­tra time (10 x 2) in the event of a draw. All games in the foot­ball qual­i­fiers and the pre­lim­i­nary hurl­ing quar­ter-fi­nals must fin­ish on the day. If the sides are level af­ter 30 min­utes of ex­tra time (2x10 and 2x5) a 45m (foot­ball) or 65m (hurl­ing) free­tak­ing com­pe­ti­tion fol­lows. If the sides are level af­ter five shots it will go down to sud­den-death.

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