gaa calendar 2021 All-Ireland football and hurling finals will be played in August as leagues kick off in May
The 2021 All-Ireland football and hurling finals will be played in August.
The Liam MacCarthy hurling decider will take place on the weekend of August 21/22 while the Sam Maguire football final is scheduled for a week later August 28/29.
Even though there have been two breaches of the inter-county training ban in recent weeks the GAA has, as expected, decided to press ahead with their plan to launch the delayed 2021 season in mid-May.
The top-flight hurling teams will be back in league action on the weekend of May 8-9. They agreed to a three-week long pre-season rather than the scheduled four-week training window in return for being guaranteed five games in the competition.
The football league will commence a week later May 15/16.
As anticipated the football championship will be a run in the same manner as last year with no back door. Following a straight knock-out provincial series the All-Ireland semi-finals will see the Ulster and Munster champions meeting in one semi-final while the Leinster and Connacht kingpins will meet in the other.
Likewise, the hurling championship will be run as it was in 2020 with a straight knock-out format in the provincial series in Leinster and Munster. But counties will get a second chance via a qualifier.
There will be no hurling league final this year. Joint winners will be declared instead.
However, if the teams that tops the groups meet in the championship the game will double a league final as happened last year when Limerick and Clare met in the quarter-final of the Munster series. Limerick won the game which resulted them being declared league winners.
League finals in football are planned for June 19/20 but will be scrapped if any of the participating counties are drawn to play in the provincial championships the following weekend.
As had already been decided the four football divisions will be split into regional north-south pods with four counties in each group.
The top two in each division group will advance to league semi-finals while the two bottom sides will play in relegation play-offs with the two losers being relegated. London will not be participating in the league or championship while New York will be excluded from the Connacht championship.
The provincial club championship will not start until November while the All-Ireland club semi-finals and finals are provisionally fixed for early 2022.
Once county teams are eliminated from the All-Ireland series county can commence their local club championships provided restrictions have been lifted by then.
Of course, the entire programme remains dependent on continuing to receive the green light from the government due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
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