10 Dec, 12:23
The new competition model will involve the 47 senior clubs plus the winner of the provincial Qualifying League Round Robin at the end of the current phase of the A.I.B. League format.
The 48 teams will play in their Provincial League as is currently the position. The key ingredient in the new structure is the operation and consequence of the 4 Provincial Leagues. Based on the results of these leagues, A.I.B. All Ireland League Division 1, 2, 3 will be formed on an annual basis.
The composition of A.I.B. Division 1, 2, 3, could be as follows:
Connacht: Div One (1 team); Div Two (1 team); Div Three (3 teams). Leinster: Div One (4); Div Two (8); Div Three (6). Munster: Div One (4); Div Two (7); Div Three (3) Ulster: Div One (3); Div Two (2); Div Three (6) TOTAL: Div One (12); Div Two (18); Div Three (18).
This could change depending on the end of season A.I.B. divisional standings. The above template is for example only and is based on the A.I. B. League position 18/01/2004.
The structures of the Provincial Leagues will be determined by the Branch Committees over the coming weeks. As stated the results of the 4 Provincial Leagues will result in the formation of Division 1, 2, 3 in the new A.I.B. /A.I.L. League format. These leagues will be structured, organised and managed by the Provincial Branches.
A.I.B. All Ireland League Division 1
The team composition of the A.I.B. League Division 1 will be determined by club success in the Provincial League and in accordance with provincial allocation of divisional slots as noted earlier. 12 teams from all 4 Provinces will form A.I.B. Division 1 playing 11 sectional games plus top 4 semi-final and final.
A.I.B. Divisional 2/3. The team composition of the A.I.B. Division 2 and Division 3 will be determined by Club success in the Provincial Leagues and in accordance with the provincial allocation of divisional slots as noted earlier.
A.I.B. Division 2. Division 2 will consist of 2 sections of 9 teams selected to ensure All Ireland representation. They will play 8 sectional games plus cross over semi final and finals. The bottom 2 teams in each section will play a 9th game to determine the last team in the division. The Province of the last team in Division 2 will lose its divisional slot to the Province of the winner of Division 3.
A.I.B Division 3. Division 3 will consist of 2 sections of 9 teams selected to ensure All Ireland representation. They will play 8 sectional games plus cross over semi-final and finals. The bottom 2 teams in each section will play a 9th relegation game to determine the last team in the division. This team is automatically relegated to the Provincial Qualifying League in their Province.
Promotion and Relegation To ensure that the A.I.B. League reflects the changing strength of the game throughout Ireland, the provincial divisional slots will change to reflect this dynamic. Example: Munster have 4 teams in A.I.B. Division 1 as per our example. If the winner of A.I.B. Division 2 was also from Munster the Province of Munster will be entitled to a further provincial slot in Division 1 replacing the slot held by the team from the Province occupying the last (12th) position in the Division 1. This principle also applies to Division 2.
A.I.B. Division 3. The Province of the side relegated lose their slot to the Province of the winner of the Qualifying League Round Robin series. It is necessary to emphasise that it is the Province that wins or loses a divisional slot and not the club. This is important in the context of the annual nature of the new structure. We emphasise that at the end of each season clubs will revert to their Provincial League status except for any adjustment required to accommodate the new qualified League Round Robin winner.