CCCC hurling proposals to go before congress
Saturday’s Central Council meeting at Croke Park voted overwhelmingly to propose to congress in March the blueprint advanced by its Central Competitions Control Committee. There was no vote taken on the competing proposals from the Hurling Development Work Group, which included round-robin formats in the Leinster and Munster championships.
The CCCC package had been expected to secure approval at last month’s meeting but opposition based on the HDWG plans, which weren’t actually on the agenda, culminated in a split vote with a large number of abstentions and association president Liam O’Neill decided to reconvene Central Council with both proposals tabled for consideration.
In the event the CCCC blueprint was emphatically endorsed after discussion with the support of 40 of the 48 delegates and the remainder abstaining. As a result there was no need to take a vote on the alternative.
The successful proposals will now have a fair wind for this congress after the ambivalent outcome of the December meeting. They include plans to reduce to 13 by 2017 the number of counties in the elite MacCarthy Cup and regulate promotion and relegation between the various championship levels.
Reservations about the more radical changes of the HDWG centred on the impact on club fixtures of more than doubling the number of provincial championship matches as well as concerns about the appeal of dead-rubber contests in the round-robin format.
Whereas seven delegates also spoke in a discussion on the new sideline restrictions, which reduces from 12 to five the number of team officials allowed on the pitch, no change or amendment was made.
CCCC hurling proposals Championship 2014
MacCarthy Cup to be reduced to 13 counties by 2016.
Promotion from Christy Ring Cup to be dependent on a play-off between winners and a MacCarthy Cup county.
Qualifier group to be played on a round-robin basis
between the five lowest-ranked MacCarthy Cup counties (Antrim, Laois, Carlow, Westmeath and London) with the top two progressing to the senior championship.
Similar structures to govern movement between the other championship tiers – Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher Cups.