Provided the Government roadmap to resuming group activity in sport endorses more flexible measures,, and/or assistance are introduced to help ease the burden on Club officials who are struggling to presently fall into line with the announcements to date especially from the national sporting organisations governing group sport activity. (Not possible for the majority of Clubs to be in total compliance with present announced measures), so for the moment despite an overall declaration groups of fifteen can resume training. In reality coupled with the stringent conditions (with no mention as to who is held liable for implementation) It will not be possible to resume training until the next phase kicks in at the end of the month.
I an worst case scenario should the present measures, and restrictions that are currently in place by the FAI prevail up to the end of July, with no proposals for easing same during phase three, and four of the return from lock down. (dspite claimng contact sport can take place at this time) It would likely have a detrimental effect on the ability of the majority of clubs to be ready for any sort of competitive football. On the basis we will have greater flexibility in place by that period. The NEFL have earmarked week ending 10 August as being the first week fixtures shall be scheduled.
1. Fixture schedule to run from week ending 10 August to end of November, and if necessary into December.
2. No League divisions to be competed for. Final positions from end of 2019 season as at December 2019 to determine start up status for 2021 season (March 2021)
3. All knock out competitions to take place in which each competition will be seeded, and require qualification in each instance with no team taking part in more than one knock out competition.
Criteria for latter stage qualification:
The Tully Bookmakers Challenge Cup shall be the top seeded competition, followed by the Kilmessan Shield, and Fitzsimons Cup and shall be contested by teams from the Premier, Div 1, and Div 2, with a possibility of some stronger div 3 teams required to balance the overall numbers for groups (final 2019 placings to determine). Four groups of teams to be drawn up with seven or eight teams in each group. (depending on overall entry). Present reference to groups A, B, C, & D. In so far as possible the make up of each group shall be regionalised and contain a mix of teams from all qualifying divisions. Matches within each group on a one round basis only, e.g within eight teams groups half the amount of teams have four home/three away, with the other half, three home/four away. The seven team groups shall balance out at three home/three away.
The two highest placed teams in each group shall qualify for the quarter finals of the Tully Cup where the highest placed team in group A shall host the second highest placed team in group B, and the highest placed team in group B hosting second highest placed team in group A. The same format to apply for group’s C & D which would at that stage complete the quarter final line up. Open draw to be made for semi finals.
Using the same format the Third and fourth highest placed teams would contest the Kilmessan Shield, with teams finishing in fifth and sixth contesting the Fitzsimons Cup. It maybe necessary on a one off basis to introduce a cup to be contested by teams finishing in seventh and eight. Overall, irrespective of final placing each team will go on to take their place in one of the knock out competitions. The format is similar to the staging of the Kennedy Cup (U 14 League representative tournament) held in Limerick each year.
The same formula (as above) will apply for the make up of the 2019 final placing’s for teams from division’s three and four who will contest the Reserve Cup, Reilly Cup, O’Neill Shield and if necessary on a one off basis, the introduction of a new cup. The seeding of the cups, and shield for those divisions will me made known after 26 June which is the deadline for confirmation of entry.
Affiliation fees, etc:
Similar to the shortened season of 2018 a pro rata figure of 50% will apply regarding affiliation fees. The same percentage ratio will apply to the rule governing the amount of games a player can participate for a club’s first team (for clubs with two or more teams) e.g rule presently states eight first teams games, for shortened season this would equate to four games.