THE GAA has confirmed its revised fixture plan for 2021 this afternoon.
The inter-county season will run from the weekend of May 8th/9th with the start of the Allianz Hurling League, to the weekend of August 28/29 when the All-Ireland Football Final will be played.
County and Provincial Club Championships will be played in the months of September, October, November, and December with the All-Ireland Club Finals scheduled for February 2022.
The inter-county fixtures programme will be run off in a 20-week period and guarantees a minimum of five games for each Senior County Football and Hurling team with all bar three counties guaranteed six games in hurling.
The GAA says that details on the 2020 Minor and U20 Championships as well as the 2021 Minor and U20 Championships will be finalised where ‘there is clarity on a return to training/play date’.
Regarding club action, club competitions with county players can take place as County teams exit the Championships (in football, teams start exiting from the end of June; in Hurling July 10th).
From August 1st, all Counties bar All Ireland Semi-Finalists in Football and Hurling, and the teams in the Div 1 Hurling Relegation play off, will be free to stage club competitions with county players.
These are pending the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, the GAA has stressed.
2021 Allianz Football League
The Allianz Football League will from the weekend of May 15/16 to the weekend of June 19/20 with Divisions split into North and South as originally planned in December.
Four teams will be in each group based on geography with three Round Robin games per team. The top two in each divisional group will advance to the league semi-finals followed by a league final.
The bottom two in each divisional group will play relegation semi-finals with the two losers of those matches relegated. The bottom teams in Division 4 will play a Shield semi-final and final.
League finals will only be played on June 19/20 if counties involved are not playing in the championship the following weekend. If they are, then joint winners will be declared for Division 1 and joint winners and promotion for Divisions 2, 3, and 4.
London will not be participating in the 2021 Allianz Football League.
2021 Allianz Hurling League
Divisions 1 and 2 of the Allianz Hurling League will run from the weekend of May 8/9 to the weekend of June 12/13. Division 3 of the Allianz Hurling League will run from the weekend of May 15/16 to the weekend of June 19/20.
2021 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship
The 2021 All-Ireland SFC will be played as a straight knock-out competition from the provincial series forward. There will be no Qualifiers and New York and London will not be involved.
2021 Christy Ring, Nickey Rackard, and Lory Meagher Cups
The only change to what was announced in December is that British based teams will not be involved. The British based teams will begin the 2022 season in the same Cup they were due to play in in 2021. The three competitions will be played on the following basis.
Two sides to the draw:
Group A – 3 teams drawn on an open draw basis (each team plays 2 games)
Group B – Two teams play in one fixture
Quarter-Final/Relegation play-off: Bottom team from A v Loser of B (loser relegated – exception: Meagher Cup)
Semi Finals: Top 2 teams from Group A are drawn to play against Winner of Group B and Winner of Quarter Final/Relegation play-off