By Michael O’Leary
Like everywhere across the globe, the GAA Leagues and Championships have been thrown into chaos, confusion and uncertainty as to when they will resume, or in the case of the National League as to whether this years competition will continue or otherwise.
At this stage, their is a possibility – but no more than a possibility – of competitive action and normal life resuming from June onwards, but those prospects would be no more than hopeful at best.
The most likely scenario if all went to plan, is a revert to the old traditional knockout format with timings and schedules restricted to a premium.
Two of the great conundrums within the GAA especially since the Round Robin formats were introduced in the Leinster and Munster Hurling Championships two years ago in 2018 are 1. How Club Competitions have been virtually sidelined during the Summer months and 2. The greater risk of burnout and injuries to players(Particularly Inter-County Seniors) especially with how condensed the Club schedule is as a result of little or no activity between May-September.
It’s likely to be a one-off in emergency cirumstances for 2020, but a return to the old knock-out format prior to the introduction of the back door system in 1997 for Hurling’s defeated Munster and Leinster Finalists – and 2001 for Football – is a subject certainly worth most considering by the GAA on a permanent basis.