Major changes may be introduced to Allianz Hurling League in 2020
GAA President John Horan has revealed that Central Council are currently in discussion about restructuring the Allianz Hurling League.
For the past number of years talks have centred on how to restructure the football championship, which is often met with divisive opinions. However, the decision to change the format of Division 1 of the hurling league makes total sense.
Under the current structures the 12 teams are seeded, the top six play in 1A and the bottom six in 1B, with teams being promoted and relegated between the two divisions.
The restructuring would see the two divisions remain. However, they will no longer be seeded and instead the groups will be a mixture of the top teams.
Speaking to GAA.ie Horan said, ""It was felt the winners of the All-Ireland were coming out of 1B and 1A seemed to be extremely competitive and there was a feeling there that it wasn't giving managers an opportunity to actually play players in a developmental manner because results were key, particularly in 1A, even in 1B because they were all trying to get out of it."
The reasoning behind the changes make sense as the last two All-Ireland winners (Galway & Limerick) have both come from Division 1B, so there is an argument to be made that Division 1A is so competitive it can become detrimental to teams conditioning come championship.
"There is a view there that we will go back to two equal divisions and that they would play and there would only be relegation between the bottom two in each Division so relegation wouldn't be a factor and teams would get a chance to rest players and that players would get a chance to breakthrough."
The only hiccup arising from the restructuring is that the changes will come into play for the 2020 season, which means next seasons campaign will see no relegation or promotion occur from each division. Horan believes though that this will take some of the pressure of teams ahead of the 2019 season.
"Yes, that change won't happen next year, if that change was to happen in 2020 it would obviously create the situation in the 2019 league that the relegation factor wouldn’t be there and it might take some of the pressure out of the league even in 2019 even if the structure of the league would be somewhat similar," said Horan.