Galway Board awaits approval for SHC draw

Galway are awaiting word from Central Council on Friday about whether they can go ahead with making the draw for their senior hurling championship.

On foot of an Athenry query, the board have written to Croke Park to ensure the structure of the competition doesn’t contravene rules.

According to the Official Guide, byes are only permitted in the first round of a county championship unless prior approval has been given by Central Council.

However, last year’s structure saw byes in four rounds (preliminary rounds one and two as well as rounds one and two proper) and the same format is set to take place again this season.

Board officials see this week’s development as merely a rubberstamping exercise and should they get the green light, they’ll make the 2014 draw on Monday week.

However, clubs have already been asked by the county board to look at ways of changing the format.

The system, proposed by a review committee headed up by former GAA president Joe McDonagh, was initially heralded as a success but has since earned mixed reviews.

Those who criticise it point to a drop in the number of guaranteed games from four in the previous format to two while they argue it’s unfair how six clubs are consigned to a relegation battle in May but the process of elimination isn’t finished by October.

A whopping 19 of the 29 motions put forward at December’s annual convention of the county hurling committee were in relation to championship structures.


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