The GAA’s county chairpersons and secretaries will teleconference on Tuesday to seek a derogation of rule regarding the structure of club championships.
The meeting will be the first step towards counties being permitted to temporarily transfer to their management committees the authority to alter competitions. The GAA rulebook states that only county boards can decide the composition of the club championships, but the proposed change would allow each county to be more flexible in responding to the challenges presented by the coronavirus outbreak.
After the GAA’s management committee was given similar powers, by Special Congress last Friday, the request for derogation is expected to be accepted, with just the terms and conditions to be worked out.
Rule 6.21, in part one of the GAA’s ‘Official Guide,’ states: “(1) County Committee shall organise its championships on a knock-out, league, or a combination of league and knock-out basis. (2) A county may be divided into districts for these competitions. (3) The committee-in-charge shall draw up, and approve, all other regulations governing the organisation of a championship, in advance of its commencement. A regulation, once adopted, shall remain in force unless altered or deleted by a simple majority of those present, entitled to vote and voting. Alterations may be considered only on an annual basis.”
Several county boards will be streamlining their championships, in the face of the crisis. Confirming they had postponed all their championship games for April, the Limerick County Board executive stated, last month: “It is proposed that we will engage with the Provincial Council and National CCC (Competitions Control Committee) with a view to restructure our games programme. This may include the redesign of the current formats. If so, we will engage with the clubs prior to any decision being made.”
Tipperary said that there would be major difficulties in going ahead with their original championship and league formats, having lost April. “The CCC will keep in touch and act on further advice that will come from the HSE, Government, and Croke Park.
“Getting our championships and leagues finalised in their present format will probably prove problematic, if not, indeed, impossible, as time moves on, but the protection of all the people who play and attend our games is of paramount importance and must come before on-field activities,” Tipperary said.
Dublin also said they would have to review the format of their championships. “If the current pandemic continues beyond April, it is proposed to engage with the Leinster Council and the National Competitions Control Committee, with a view to restructuring our games programme for 2020. This may include the redesign of current formats. If so, we will engage with the clubs prior to any decision being made,” Dublin said.