We believe that a fresh start must be made on fixtures, and enshrined as necessary within the Official Rulebook. This may include a charter for county boards in managing the relationships between county management, CCC and Club officials.
The objective is a Planned Programme of Fixtures that offer Participation, Progress and the Prospect of Player and Team Development.
Club fixture schedule for the year published at start of the year with potential of a limited consultation window for clubs to comment, raise issues.
A regular programme of matches April to September
County Players available for all championship matches and as many leagues games as possible with no interference or obstacles from county management. An ideal player match load drawing on experience from others sports would be helpful in this regard.
Agreed match protocol in event of bereavement or unforeseen circumstance. A charter or commitment from clubs not to seek frivolous or unnecessary postponement.
Fundamental principles of recovery and good practice for example to ensure Club Players are not required to play championship matches on consecutive days.
Club matches to be scheduled on days other than Sunday for a minimum agreed number of weekends to allow club players leisure time. And a programme that guarantees player entitlement to pre-season, a holiday break and closed season.
County management and club management to sign up to a Fixtures Charter to observe rules & fixture programmed as determined by the Rulebook.
Objectives of Fixture Planning
- All players will be provided with a fixtures schedule at the start of the season that doesn’t change. It must be concrete.
- County Players will be available to play with their clubs for the entirety of all championship matches and the entirety of the majority of league games when they are not injured.
- Club Players must have regular league and championship matches during the period April – September.
- There must be a defined pre-season, active season and closed season for all codes and grades.
- That all competitions be completed in the calendar year
- Changes should include a ‘pathway of improvement’ for ‘weaker’ regions/counties.
- A closed part of the season for club players so they can book holidays during the summer
- Nominated free weekends during the season so club players can organise their family and social lives around these
- An executive body selected by the executive of CLG and managed by the GAA in Croke Park to oversee the individual county boards schedules and to ensure that the above is adhered to. If it is not then meaningful penalties will have to be sanctioned be they monetary or otherwise
- A higher games to training ratio by condensing seasons and ensuring regular meaningful games (need to get a indicative ratio here maybe)
No existing formats or traditions should be considered sacred in an effort to deliver on the above objectives.