Kilkenny GAA clubs had better brace themselves for ‘decision on the day’ competitions this season, because they are on the way.
It will be ‘decision on the day’ hurling, for example, in the under-21 and 19 championships.
It will be ‘decision on the day’ hurling once the senior, intermediate and juniors leagues reach the final stages, plus in the early rounds of the championships.
There is simply no room for replays!
In an ever tightening and crowded programme of Gaelic games, local fixtures are being squeezed by the need to fit in the Leinster and All-Ireland programmes of club games.
This is all happening as the GAA drives towards the ideal of finishing all competitions in the calendar year.
Kilkenny delegates were warned about the possibility of this move at the January monthly meeting.
And at Monday night’s February meeting, a proposal was passed that adopted the idea that all but ruled out replays. There are simply no dates available for replays, delegates were told.
This season the Leinster club intermediate and junior championships will start three weeks earlier than they did in 2019.
Hence the pressure is on Kilkenny and other counties to have their competitions completed earlier.
All matches in leagues in Kilkenny will be expected to reach a result on the day once the competitions get to the knock-out stages.
The matches involved
The big matches here would be the senior and intermediate league and Shield finals, plus the junior league finals.
The ‘decision on the day’ rule will then continue up to the semi-finals of the knock-out championships in all three grades.
If there are draws in the semis or finals of the top three grades, extra-time will be played the first day but there must be a result in the replay.
In the event of teams finishing level after 60 minutes in first round and quarter-final matches, they will be expected to play two periods of 10 minutes extra time in a bid to reach a result.
If they are still level, they will play two additional periods of five minutes each.
And if they are still level, both sides will take five penalties, moving on to a sudden death if that approach fails to separate them.
In relegation matches, extra time will be played in the event of a draw at the end of normal time, followed by a replay.
Meanwhile, Kilkenny planned their strategy on Monday night for motions on the agenda for Congress.
They will be giving the thumbs down to suggestions that club games be extended to 35 minutes per half and that two points be awarded for scoring from a sideline cut.
They will be against the introduction of the Black Card in hurling too.
During a slideshow presentation on the motions, delegates viewed a proposal that hinted at a St Patrick’s Day finish in the future for the All-Ireland colleges senior hurling A and B championships, plus an end to the colleges junior championship at All-Ireland level.
For more on Kilkenny People sport read here.