There will be a new format to the top two tiers of the Laois hurling championships following a vote at tonight’s County Board meeting.
The Fixtures Review Committee received submissions from Clough-Ballacolla and Rathdowney-Errill late last year seeking to change the way the senior competition is played out.
This is the third year in a row that Clough-Ballacolla have put forward a motion for change.
And following tonight’s meeting, that proposal has been carried and will now also include the senior A championship as well.
The format proposed by both clubs involves two groups of four teams playing each other in a round robin and would guarantee one extra game for each of the participating eight clubs.
The top team in each group would go straight through to the semi finals while the second and third placed teams would play in quarter finals.
While the bottom two teams in the groups would face off in the relegation final.
The CCC met last week and decided to put the following before the clubs at tonight’s meeting:
“It was agreed to allow County Committee have final decision on proposals. It was noted that proposed new format required an extra round to complete, therefore final going back a fortnight.
“Proposals as follows –
SHC format remain the same as previous years or
SHC (only for a 1 year pilot basis) revert to 2 Groups x 4 to be played on a Round Robin basis, with Group Winner advancing straight to the semi-finals, Second and Third teams in each Group playing Quarter Final (A2 v B3 & A3 v B2) and Bottom Team in each Group playing in Relegation Final. (Seeding to apply at Semi Final stage).”
And following a discussion, it was clear that all clubs approved of this change.
An furthermore, it was agreed to introduce the same format for the senior A grade as well.
There was only one dissenting voice in the room and that came from Clonad delegate George Conroy.
He felt that this change will only benefit the stronger teams because, he said, ‘you could catch them early on but it is very hard to catch them twice’.
Nevertheless, the proposal was carried and it will be in place on a trial basis for 2018.