By Kevin Regan
It’s fair to say that winning most club hurling or football leagues throughout Ireland inevitably results in the successful team being promoted.
However this hasn’t been the case in Carlow for over 5 years now.
It’s crazy to think that the you could potentially win Division 3 of the Carlow Senior Football League in consecutive years without moving up to Division 2.
One of the main reasons for the current format being implemented was that too many games were effectively non contests, which in some cases could see a strong Senior side and a mediocre Junior side meet in the same division.
However the fact of the matter is that such wide margin results are already occurring as it is, and this can evidently be seen in many divisions so far with plenty of one sided games.
So what motivation is there for clubs in the lower divisions with the current structure?
At the end of the day, everyone likes to win trophies but promotion is the real prize on offer.
To be fair, Carlow is not the only county with a dubious league format. Look no further than neighbours Laois, who chose to split Division 1 in half this year and let each of the eight teams play each other twice which results in fourteen league games.
The moral of the story is that teams are in no way treating the Carlow Senior Football League games with the same level of interest or respect than they did almost a decade ago.
At that time Kilbride were on the verge of making the Senior ranks and finally did so in 2008, which came on the back of mixing it with the big boys for a number of years in Division 1.
The most admirable structure that could be dabbled with in Carlow is just across the border in Kilkenny, where by your results in the Senior, Intermediate and Junior Hurling Leagues determine how favorable your draw is come championship.
I personally hope that the current format will be looked at sooner rather than later, so that the competitive edge and bite returns much earlier in the season.
We live in hope!