THE CARBERY football and hurling club championships are set for a radical overhaul in 2021 following proposals to alter current competition formats.
West Cork GAA is no different when it comes to facing the ongoing issues that dog each of the divisions around the county. Lack of regular league games, too much of a gap between championship ties and not enough meaningful matches have been recurring issues over recent years.
Change could finally be on the way following the circulation of a Carbery Board proposal document. Each club has been asked to read through and discuss the document before reverting back to the board.
No final decision on championship format alterations are expected until early in the New Year but if accepted, would represent the most positive shakeup in West Cork GAA for decades.
The main thrust of the proposals would involve capping the 2021 West Cork junior A football championship to 16 teams and junior A hurling to eight teams.
The football championship would be split into four groups of four with each club playing another once. From there, the top two sides in each group would progress to quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final. Any clubs finishing third in their respective groups would contest another knockout competition, the Paddy Minihane Cup.
Most interesting of all is the proposal that the four clubs who finish bottom of their groups would compete in a relegation play-off with the loser demoted to the junior B football championship and that grade’s winners replacing them the following season.
A newly proposed West Cork B football championship would involve eight clubs split into two groups of four following similar format to that of its A equivalent. Relegation will depend on whether or not the junior C champions wish to be promoted from their particular grade. The junior C and D football championships are to retain their current straight knockout formats.
In Carbery junior A hurling, the proposal is that eight clubs split into two groups of four and would produce championship semi-finalists and finalists. Third in each group would contest a Trustee Savings Cup final whilst fourth in each group would meet in a relegation play-off. West Cork’s junior B hurling championship would follow a similar format with seven clubs contesting the junior C competition.
Gradings for the all of West Cork’s newly proposed championships would be determined by club’s final league positions at the end of 2020.