Donegal GAA Regulations meeting leaves plenty to discuss

Donegal GAA Regulations meeting leaves plenty to discuss
Donegal GAA will hold their annual regulations meeting on Monday night next January 27th in Jackson’s Hotel, in Ballybofey.

Donegal GAA will hold their annual regulations meeting on Monday night next January 27th in Jackson’s Hotel, in Ballybofey.

In all, there are 54 regulations from 11 clubs up for discussion with the bulk of them in relation to football leagues and championships, while there are also a number relating to hurling leagues and championships.

The proposed regulations

(1) Teams reaching the county final should be free from a league game the previous Sunday. Ard an Ratha

(2) No club will be fixed to play a double round of league fixtures on two consecutive days. Ard an Ratha

(3) Clubs fixed to play each other in midweek games (Monday-Friday inclusive) in league fixtures, be no more than 40km apart. Ard an Ratha

(4)In the event of a double league fixture (Friday-Sunday) a club who is scheduled to play one game that weekend must play on the Friday to ensure no club has an unfair advantage. Ard an Ratha

(5) The top two teams in Division One play in a league final. In the event of two or more teams finishing level on points, the top two teams will be determined by the teams with the highest scoring average (scores for minus scores against) after all games are played. In the event of teams finishing level on scoring average after this is determined, the score of the games between the teams involved will be used to decide who goes forward. Ard an Ratha

(6) Division 1: The senior football league for 2013 and 2014 to comprise of 16 teams made up of all the teams in the senior championship in Division One with each team getting a home game against any other team once in two years (16 teams 15 games).

Division Two to consist of intermediate championship teams plus the rest of last years.

Division Three (12 teams 22 games). Division Four to consist of 11 teams same as 2013 (11 teams 20 games). Division 5 to consist of seven teams same as last year  (7 teams 12 games) Ard an Ratha

(7) No 17 Aamend to read: Members of the Coiste Bainisti and members of all county sub-committees shall exempt themselves from discussions and decisions concerning their own Club members and supporters at all meetings. Ard an Ratha

(8) The coaching roster for full and part time coaches be made available to all clubs monthly and county coaching officer confirm it’s implementation at each meeting of Coiste na Condae. Naomh Bríd

(9) Revise league structures. Make Division One 15 team league. In 2014 made up of nine teams from Division One and top six teams from Division Two. Teams will play 14 games (7 home, 7 away) reverse fixtures in 2015, bottom team relegated, second team from bottom in play off with team finishing second in Division Two. The winner will play in Division One in the folowing year. Division Two and Division Three are both 12  team leagues playing each other home and away (22 games) thus ensuring football continues during the summer for teams in these leagues. Division four will consist of current Division five teams. Gleann Súilí.

(10) That a schedule of league games be provided to the clubs up to the date of the All Ireland quarter finals on a weekly basis outlining what weekends clubs are free. Na Ceithre Máistir.

(11) That an alternative provisional schedule of league games is prepared and is ready to be implemented in the event that county team are beaten in the championship before the quarter final stage. Na Ceithre Máistir.

(12) That the league schedule set out at the beginning of the year is adhered to by all clubs and strictly implemented by the CCC. Na Ceithre Máistir.

(13) That league games should only be postponed where: (a)the 2 clubs concerned mutually agree to postpone a league game to an alternative date within a set time period (set by the CCC) and subsequently email the CCC to confirm the postponement. In the event that the two clubs cannot agree, the original fixture stands unaltered. Any deviation from this will result in the offending team losing the points. 
(b) There is a bereavement in a club and the CCC deem it appropriate for a game to be postponed as a result. Na Ceithre Máistir.

(14) That the top two teams in each division are promoted to a higher division automatically and the bottom two teams in each division are relegated automatically. Na Ceithre Máistir.

(15) That all league fixtures are scheduled for Saturday evenings as soon as is practicable, allowing County players to train with the county team on Sundays. Na Ceithre Máistir.

(16) Regulation [21] Delete [and the CCC structure the fixtures and programme accordingly] this is contrary to Rule 3.18T.O.2013. Cill Chartha

(17) Regulation [31] [f] Add Teams meeting in Group stages shall not meet in quarter -finals. Cill Chartha

(18) Regulation [33] Change the word twelve to fifteen for 2014 only to allow the Junior B championship to proceed if senior,intermediate and reserve championships are being postponed until after Senior county team goes out of competition. Cill Chartha

(19) That a [2] week period be set aside in August each year free from minor competition to allow the playing of U-21 football and hurling competition. Preliminary rounds of these competitions to be played prior to this period. Cill Chartha

(20) Trophies to be returned to the GAA office by the April county committee meeting. Failure to do so will incur a fine of € 500 [This does not apply to U-21 trophies.] This is change from €250 to €500. Cill Chartha

(21) Regulation 25 to read: (A) League competitions 2014; Division 1, 9 teams(16 Games); Division 2, 9 teams (16 games); Division 3, 10 teams (18 games); Division 4,          11 teams(20 games); Division 5, 7 teams(12 games). The reserve league shall consist of reserve teams of Division One, Division Two , Division Three and Division Four shall be 15 a side. However, if one team has 13 players it must be 13 a side. Naomh Muire

(22) The Division Five league shall be divided into North and South and consist of the third teams of Division 1, Division 2 and Division 3 and shall be 15 a side.  However, if one team has only 13 players then this game must be 13 a side. Naomh Muire

(23) League winners will be determined by finishing top of the table.  Team finishing second will be automatically promoted to the next highest division. Naomh Muire

(24) Teams finishing bottom and second bottom of the table to be automatically relegated League table positions shall be determined as per Riall 6.20 (5) (c) T.O 2013. Naomh Muire

(25) Regulation 27 to read. The number of teams officials permitted to remain in the pitch enclosure after the toss of the coin is up to a maximum of 7 (If Cathaoirleach present) who are the bainisteoir (1), selectors (incl.) maor foirne (3) medical personnel (1), cathaoirleach (1) and rúnaí or nominated representative (1).  Each official to be identified by a distinctive bib for ease of recognition by the match officials.  Failure to comply will automatically lead to forfeiture of game. Naomh Muire

(26) Division 1,2 & 3 to be made up of ten teams. Division 4 to be made up of nine teams.Top Team in Division 2,3 & 4 gets promoted. Bottom Team in Division 1,2 &3 gets relegated. 9th Team in Division 1 plays off against 2nd team in Division 2. Winner goes into Division 1, Loser goes into Div 2. 9th team in Division 2 plays off against 2nd Team in Division 3.Winner goes into Division 2, Loser goes into Div 3. Team in Division 3 plays off against 2nd team in Div 4. Winner goes into Division 3, Loser goes into Div 4.Top of league = League Winners (No Play off).To equalise the Leagues for 2014 the regime would be ;Division 1 = 9 top teams and top of Division 2; Division 2 = Teams 2 – 9 in Division 2 and top two teams in Division 3; Division 3 = Teams 3 – 11 in Division 3 plus top team in Division 4; Division 4 = Teams 2 – 11 in Division 4. Cloich Cheann Fhaola

(27) Donegal has 39 clubs who play football and a proposal to divide teams is:-

South (Realt Na Mara, Aodh Ruadh,Naomh Brid, Pettigo, Four Masters; St Naul’s, Naomh ULtan); South West (Killybegs), Kilcar, Naomh Columba, Ardara, Naomh Conaill, Na Rossa, Dungloe , Naomh Muire); Northwest (Gaoth Dobhair,Cloughaneely, St Michael’s, Downings, Fanad Gaels, Milford, Termon); East (Lifford, St Eunan’s, Convoy, Robert Emmetts, Sean MacCumhaills, Red Hughs, Glenfin, Letterkenny Gaels, Glenswilly, Naomh Colmcille); Inishowen: Burt, Muff, Buncrana, Carndonagh, Urris, Malin, Moville).

(28) Division One teams name 14 players ineligible to play reserve football

Division Two teams name 12 players ineligible to play reserve football

Division Three teams name 10 players ineligible to play reserve football Division Four teams name 8 players ineligible to play reserve football

Carn Domhnach

(29) Matches home and away on a weekly basis on say a Thursday or Friday night from the first week in May over 12/14 weeks. Carn Domhnach

(30) Winner of each group goes to all county playoffs. When teams are on same points compare head to head results if that doesn’t decide then playoffs. With five regions there would be a draw for two regions to play in preliminary playoff, then semi-finals and final. Extra time in all except the final. Regions that have played in preliminary round are exempt from preliminary round the following year. Carn Domhnach

(31) €5 gate at all games. Carn Domhnach

(32) Full league fixture list to be strictly adhered to with normal fines for not fielding. Discipline issues etc to be managed by county structures. Carn Domhnach

(33) Championship structures to remain as at present. Carn Domhnach

(34) Adjustment of players eligible to play reserve at halfway point of league. Carn Domhnach

(35) Delete regulation No 1 and replace with as follows. Finance - Club Subscriptions payable to An Coiste Contae for 2014. Club Donegal will be managed by clubs, and the fee will be €150 per member per annum for 2014. Senior Clubs - 36 members;intermediate clubs -30 members; junior clubs - 23 members. Monies will be paid in eight monthly instalments from March 1st to October 1st. Naomh Ultan

(36) Delete regulation No 2 and replace with as follows; Annual club subscription for the year 2014 is as follows - senior clubs, €5,500; intermediate clubs -€4,500;junior clubs €3,500. In order to facilitate payment clubs may participate in Club Donegal.

New Regulations to read as follows. (A)that the senior games in Division Four League would precede the reserve games during the 2014 season.

(B) - The under 21 championship be divided into A and B competitions. The CCC shall decide the grading for each competition. Clubs entering the senior championship will not be allowed to enter the B competition. Allow games in the B competition to start with 13 a side, but if both teams agree it can be 15 a side. The competition will run on a knockout basis with an open draw to decide the pairings.Extra time will be played if required. Naomh Ultan

(37)Replace (Administration) Regulation 15 with - Replace “County Senior Manager” with “County Senior Football and Hurling Managers”. Naomh Adhamhnáin

(38) That the intermediate championship be played on a round robin basis similar to the current senior championship format with groups of no more than five teams as per the formats presented at the forum. Final format and number of qualifying teams to be decided by county committee. CLG Na Cealla Beaga

(39) Insert New Section before regulation 18, Adult Football Championships and leagues.There shall be six grades of adult football championships: Senior, Senior B; Intermediate, Intermediate B; Junior A, Junior B. Formats - Senior Championships A and B for 2014.

A)Sixteen teams shall take part in the 2014 Senior Championship.

B)These sixteen teams shall play in four groups (A,B,C,D) as previously drawn.

C)Each team shall play every other team in the group (3 games each) leaving six games to complete the group and requiring three weekends.

D)If teams finish equal in any group then the provisions of R.6.20 T.O 2012 shall apply.

E)Teams shall be numbered from 1-4

*The Third and Fourth teams drawn out in each group shall have two home games in 2014

F)The top two teams in each group ( eight teams in total) shall qualify for quarter finals which will be drawn alternatively from two pots.

Pot 1 containing the names of the winners of each group

Pot 2 containing the names of the runners up of each group.

G)The winners of the quarter finals shall be drawn randomly to play in two semi-finals with the winners meeting in the final.

H).The bottom teams in each group( 4 teams in total) shall be drawn randomly to play in two relegations play offs with the winners qualifying to play in the 2015 Senior Football Championship.

I)The two remaining losing teams shall play in the final relegation play off with the losing team being relegated to play in the 2015 Intermediate Championship and the winning team qualifying to play in the 2015 Senior Football Championship.

J)The winners of the 2014 Intermediate championship shall qualify to play in the 2015 Senior Championship

K)All games after the group stages are completed to be played at neutral venues.

Intermediate Championship.

Format subject to decision by County committee as per R3.20 T.O.2013

Junior Championship.Format subject to decision by County committee as per R3.20 T.O.2013


There shall be five divisions of adult football leagues.

The senior League shall consist of - Division 1, Division 2, Division 3, Division 4,Division 5.

The number of teams in each division shall be subject to decision by County committee as per R3.20 T.O.2013

Relegation/ Promotion

Subject to decision by County committee as per R3.20 T.O.2013 Grading/Eligibility of Players.

All grading shall be effected in compliance with R.3.21(ii)

Clubs playing at the senior and intermediate championship grades shall submit a list of their first fifteen players who shall be ineligible to play in any B competitions.

Those clubs with three adult teams shall submit an additional list of their second fifteen players who shall in addition to the first fifteen be ineligible to play in the Junior B championship or Division 5 League.

All Players who are not named in either of the above lists (subject to the lists being approved by the CCC) shall be initially eligible to play in “B” championships and leagues and Div 5 where applicable .

Where a club has two teams once an unlisted player plays in an “A” championship he will be no longer eligible to play in the “B” championship but he will remain eligible to play in “B” league.

Where a club has three teams, a player not listed in either the first or second fifteen will become ineligible for the Junior B championship if he plays in any other championship and he will be ineligible for Division Five league if he plays in any “ A” league fixture.

Clubs shall also separately submit to the CCC the names of any players not included in the lists of fifteen who had played for the clubs first or second teams (where applicable) in championship the previous year.

All lists to be submitted by the first County Committee meeting in February.

Penalty for non compliance : 200 euro fine and the CCC may decide on the fifteen players without any reference to the club

The following minimum penalties shall apply to the club and player(s) for playing at a level which they are ineligible to play in


Player- 12 weeks suspension. Team – On a proven objection Award of game to opposing team.On an inquiry by the Committee in charge- Forfeiture of game without Award of Game to opposing team or fine depending on the circumstances. Existing Regulations to be deleted 22,31,33. CLG Na Cealla Beaga

(40)Delete 25( c ) and replace with

In the event of two or more teams finishing level on points in the league, the final placining shall be determined in compliance with R.6.20(5) & R.6.36 T.O. 2013 CLG Na Cealla Beaga

(41)That the Donegal County Committee shall adopt all regulations to apply in the following year at a December County Committee meeting. County Committee to apply to Central Council for a deviation from rule under R. 3.59(A) to facilitate this change. CLG na Cealla Beaga

(42) That the CCC shall if they deem it to be beneficial be permitted be renumber or reposition the regulations or byelaws prior to inclusion in the County information booklet. CLG Na Cealla Beaga

(43) Regulation [22] Delete County Committee and replace with Coiste na Condae. CLG Réalt na Mara, Bun Dobhráin

(44) Regulation [23] Delete County Committee and replace with Coiste na Condae. CLG Réalt na Mara, Bun Dobhráin

(45) Regulation [29] Delete County Executive and replace with CCC. CLG Réalt na Mara, Bun Dobhráin

(46) (A)The number of officials permitted to remain in the pitch enclosure after the toss of a coin is up to a maximum of five.

(1) Bainisteoir

(2) Maor Foirne

(3) medical person

(4) Water carrier

(5) water carrier.

All team officials numbered 1 to 5 above to be identified by a distinctive bib for ease of recognition by match officials

All other team officials including selectors, second medical person, cathaoirleach and rúnaí shall remain in the designated area provided for substitutes.

Sideline seating should be available for three people only -Bainisteoir, Maor Foirne and Medical


1.Depending on the facilities available the designated area for substitutes may be a dug out, a seated area in the stand or other appropriate enclosure.

2.Both Medical Personnel may enter the field of play to attend to an injured player on the instruction of the referee. It is important that the Medical Person who is seated with the Substitutes have uninhibited access to the field of play to allow him to react in an emergency.

3.The Bainisteoir is permitted to move along the marked exclusion line, one metre outside the sideline from the 65m line to the 45m line (on the side of the pitch in front of his team’s dugout/designated area).

4.The Maor Foirne may enter the field of play to make changes and/or give instruction to players only when the ball is out of play after a score or a wide or during a stoppage in play called by the referee for medical attention to an injured player.

5. An Rúnaí is permitted to move to the sideline official to relay details of substitutions.

6. Helmets must not be worn for team photographs, during the pre-match Parade or when Amhrán na bhFiann is being played. CLG Naomh Pádraig, Uisce Chaoin

(47) Delete Regulations 43 to 47 (the current Hurling Regulations) and replace with the following:

(48) Senior Hurling Championship

The Senior Hurling Championship shall be 15 a side. It shall be played on a league basis in a single round format. If teams finish level in the league stage then the provisions of Rule 6.22, T.O 2012 will apply.

The top two teams from the league stage shall play in the Senior Championship final. The third and fourth placed teams will contest the Shield final.

Intermediate, Junior and Under 21 Hurling Championships

If three or more adult hurling clubs wish to participate in an Intermediate Hurling Championship or a Junior Hurling Championship or an Under 21 Hurling Championship then these may be organised at the discretion of Donegal CCC. They shall be 15 a side. However, if one team has only 13 players then this game must be 13 a side. These championships may be organised on a league or knockout basis at the discretion of Donegal CCC.

(49)Senior Hurling League

Donegal CCC may, at its discretion, agree to permit Donegal hurling clubs to participate in a senior hurling league organised by Ulster Council. Alternatively, Donegal CCC shall arrange a senior hurling league within Donegal.

Any Donegal Senior Hurling League shall be 15 a side. However, if one team has only 13 players then this game must be 13 a side. It shall be played on a double round basis. Senior Hurling League games shall generally be played on a Wednesday evening, except where Donegal CCC permits otherwise. The 72 hour rule will apply to senior hurling league fixtures unless Donegal CCC allows otherwise.

The team that finishes top of league will win the league. Where two teams finish level at the top, the scoring difference between them in their two games will decide who wins the league. In the event that three or more teams finish equal on points at the top of the league then overall scoring difference in all league games will determine league positions. Where scoring difference does not separate teams as above, then playoffs will decide the winner.

Any Donegal adult hurling club seeking to play in a hurling league outside the county must also participate in the Donegal Senior Hurling League.

(50) Senior secondary, intermediate and junior hurling leagues

If three or more adult hurling clubs wish to participate in a Senior Secondary Hurling League or an Intermediate Hurling League or a Junior Hurling League then these may be organised at the discretion of Donegal CCC. They shall be 15 a side. However, if one team has only 11 players then this game must be 11 a side.

(51) Each adult club participating in senior, intermediate or junior Hurling shall also participate fully in the U- 12 hurling mini-League.

(52) All underage hurling fixtures shall be completed by the end of September. An underage team which fails to field twice in a competition shall be automatically expelled from that competition.

(53) An indoor hurling competition shall be organised in conjunction with Cumann na mBunscoil during the winter months for primary schools.

(54) There will be no restrictions on Donegal CCC in making fixtures, as per Riail 3.18, T.O. 2012, Cuid 1. Other than this exception, Thursday evenings shall be allocated to the promotion and playing of hurling in all Divisions and no other activities or fixtures are permitted during that period, e.g. tournaments, training, challenge games, etc.(This is simply reinstating a regulation that was in place up to last year. It was removed due to a technical breach of Rule 3.18, T.O. 2012. This amended wording is in compliance with Rule 3.18, T.O. 2012. Croke Park recommends this regulation and clubs in Donegal have always supported it. Clubs have recognised its importance to the protection and development of hurling. With it in place hurling in Donegal has flourished and the results at club and county level are plain for all to see. Its removal is a threat to the whole development of hurling in Donegal and it must be reinstated. To demonstrate this, a number of clubs were unexpectedly forced to withdraw teams from underage hurling competitions in 2013 due to failure to fill fixtures. This occurred when local Gaelic football teams arranged activities (games or training) on Thursday evenings that clashed with hurling fixtures. Throughout 2013 most managers of underage hurling teams encountered difficulties with football clashes on Thursdays. This never happened before when the regulation promoting hurling was in place. Football managers must understand that once players in weaker hurling counties are faced with any decision in choosing between football and hurling (e.g. football training or hurling game) then almost always the players are lost to hurling. In weaker hurling counties such as Donegal genuine GAA people understand the need to protect and make space for hurling. While we all know the pressure on time to get fixtures played, setting one evening a week aside for hurling is not much to ask. It is vital for hurling. This regulation was put in place because all Donegal GAA clubs understand this. The hurling community urgently needs this regulation back in place). Naomh Adhamhnáin