The Laois senior football championship could be played under a new format in 2022 with proposals set to go to the first county board meeting of the year in January.
On the back of a recent football review committee suggesting that the senior grade be reduced in numbers, it is being proposed that it revert to four groups of four in 2022, with a points system in place for the next two seasons that would see only the top 12 teams remain senior for 2024.
Teams would be awarded 15 points for winning a senior final, for example, 12 points for a senior semi-final, eight points for a senior group game and down to three points for winning a junior group game, 11 points for winning an intermediate final and one point for a relegation final win.
The top 12 teams after two seasons under this format would be senior in 2024, the next eight would be intermediate and the next 12 would be junior.
The minutes of recent Laois GAA CCC meeting sent to the clubs have outlined that proposal as well as another option that would just see the senior grade remain at 16 teams but played on a group basis initially with the top two teams from each group going through to the quarter-finals and the bottom two playing off in relegation games.
The re-introduction of groups for the first time since 2007 would lead to a slight increase in games overall but wouldn’t take any longer to run as it would still only require six rounds in total.
The proposal to award points over two seasons may be complicated by the fact that there will be nine teams in the intermediate grade in 2022.
Despite losing the relegation final in 2021, Portlaoise won’t be relegated to junior as their lower teams would duly have to be relegated to Junior ‘B’ and Junior ‘C’.
Camross and Errill have been relegated to Junior ‘B’ having not played any Junior ‘A’ games in 2021.
Meanwhile, there are slight changes being proposed to the hurling championships.
The various grades – which are streamlined with eight teams in each – will remain at two groups of four though three will now go through to the knockout stages from intermediate the same as senior and premier intermediate.
And in a bid to eliminate meaningless games in the third round, the winners of the opening game will play each other in the second round, with the losers also facing off.
Should there be draws in any of the first round games, however, then that won’t be possible.