2017 GAA Annual Congress This Weekend
The 2017 GAA annual congress this weekend takes place on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th in Croke Park. On the agenda is the election of the new GAA President to take over from Aogán Ó Fearghail next year. There are five candidates in the election to be voted by delegates this weekend, Sean Walsh (Kerry), Martin Skelly (Longford), Frank Burke (Galway), John Horan (Dublin) and Robert Frost (Clare).
There are in total 56 motions before congress to be discussed and debated this year. Motions 24 to 56 have been submitted by the Counties and provinces. Ard Chomhairle have submitted motions 1 to 3. The full list of motions can be viewed here. Some of the main motions to be discussed and voted on by delegates are as follows;
Motion 1: The first motion seeks to adopt a new rule – Rule 1.18 – to the GAA Official Guide that would prohibit players, team management, or match officials involved in a game from betting on the outcome of any aspect of the game concerned. To do so would be ‘discrediting the Association’.
Motion 4: This is the first of three motions from Ard Chomhairle seeking to restructure the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship on a three-year experimental basis.
It would introduce a Group Stage for the All-Ireland quarter-final which would see the eight teams divided into two groups of four. This would ensure more high-quality games of Gaelic Football at the height of the season.
The groupings in year one (2018) would be as follows.
Group 1 – Munster provincial winner, Connacht provincial winner, Ulster runner-up or team that defeats them in round 4 of the Qualifiers, Leinster runner-up or team that defeats them in round 4.
Group 2 – Ulster provincial winner, Leinster provincial winner, Munster runner-up or team that defeats them in round 4 for the Qualifiers, Connacht runner-up or team that defeats them in round 4.
The groups in the succeeding years would be determined by Central Council. Each team would play one home match, one away match, and one match at Croke Park.
In the All-Ireland semi-finals, the Group 1 Quarter-Final winner would play the Group 2 Quarter-Final runner-up, and the Group 2 Quarter-Final winner would play the Group 1 Quarter-Final runner-up.
The All-Ireland semi-finals would both be played over the one weekend.
Motion 5: On a three-year experimental basis, this motion seeks to have the All-Ireland Senior Football and Hurling Finals played in Croke Park on or before the last Sunday in August on dates determined by Central Council. This would free up more time in the GAA calendar for the playing of club matches.
Motion 6: On a three-year experimental basis, this motion seeks to do away with replays in all inter-county championship matches apart from Senior All-Ireland Finals and Provincial Finals. Instead, extra-time would be obligatory. If passed, this motion would ease fixture congestion which can cause serious problems for the scheduling of club as well as inter-county fixtures.
Motion 17: This motion seeks to amend Rule 4.1 – Elective Office. If passed, only a full member who has paid his or her annual Club subscription prior to March 31st in a membership year will be entitled to be nominated for or elected to any elective office in that same membership year.
Motion 49 (Mayo): Another motion proposing a change to the U-21 grade eligibility. This one, if passed, would allow those over 17 years of age and under 21 to compete in the U-21 grade at Inter-County ‘B’ and ‘C’ level.
Source : GAA.ie.