GAA moves club semi-finals to December for 2020

Master fixture list includes new Tier 2 football championship dates

Dublin and Kerry will meet in the opening night of the Allianz Football League at Croke Park on Saturday January 25th. Our photo shows Jonny Cooper and Paul Geaney squaring up at Croke Park during the  All-Ireland final replay in September. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Dublin and Kerry will meet in the opening night of the Allianz Football League at Croke Park on Saturday January 25th. Our photo shows Jonny Cooper and Paul Geaney squaring up at Croke Park during the All-Ireland final replay in September. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

The GAA has released its master fixture list for 2020 and it includes an extended club window, the new Tier 2 football championship as well as the penultimate step towards a calendar-year All-Ireland club championship.

Already the club semi-finals had been brought forward to January with the traditional St Patrick’s Day final being sacrificed for a more rationalised club season.

The ultimate goal is to conclude the championship before Christmas and with that in mind, the 2020-21 semi-finals have been scheduled for next December 12 months with both fixtures taking place on a double bill in Croke Park on the weekend of 12th/13th.

The club window of April, introduced in 2018, has been extended to the first weekend in May and no intercounty fixtures will take place on those five weeks.

The Tier 2 football championship, given the green light at October’s special congress in Cork, will have its final in Croke Park on the weekend of July 18th/19th July. It will feature those counties from Division 3 and 4 of the football league, who have not qualified for a provincial final, as soon as they are knocked out in their respective provinces and its first round is scheduled for June 20th.

The calendar covers what will be the third year of an experimental championship trial that has featured round-robin formats in Leinster and Munster hurling as well as at the quarter-final stage of the All-Ireland football.

Next season’s Allianz Leagues get underway on the weekend of the January 25th/26th. The Saturday evening will see a re-run of the 2019 All-Ireland final between Dublin and Kerry under lights in Croke Park at 7.15pm. At the same time Mayo will travel to Ballybofey to take on Ulster champions Donegal, another revisiting of a memorable championship match from last summer.

Earlier that evening, All-Ireland hurling champions Tipperary meet Munster champions Limerick in Thurles at 5.15pm in Division 1 A. Also on Saturday, McDonagh Cup champions Laois host Leinster champions Wexford in Division 1 B.

Main calendar changes for 2020

  • Allianz Hurling League – New structure in Divisions 1A and 1B
  • Club semi-finals and finals 2019-20 will be in January
  • U20 football in February and March
  • Inclusion of Tier 2 Football Championship dates
  • The Leinster Senior Football Championship final will be played on a Saturday evening - this is part of a new rota agreed between Leinster and Munster for their provincial football finals (in 2021, as earlier this year, the Munster final will be played on a Saturday)
  • Pairings for phases two and three of the SFC Quarter-finals will be based on the outcome of phase one (winners v winners and losers v losers).
  • 2020-21 club semi-finals will be played in December - All Ireland finals in January 2021
  • Five-week club window between end of Allianz leagues and commencement of championships

Extension of ‘winner on the day’ protocols to the following fixtures

  • All games in Tier 2 football championship (except the final which would be winner on the day in a replay only)
  • Ring and Rackard Cup semi-finals and relegation playoffs
  • Replays of Ring, Rackard and Meagher finals
  • Replays of All Ireland club championship semi-finals and finals
  • Replays of U17 and U20 football and hurling finals
  • Replays of SHC quarter- and semi-finals
  • Replays of All Ireland SFC semi-finals
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