Changing of Underage grades and Separation from adult

A forum to air your views on Offaly GAA matters and beyond.
Post Reply
faithfulfanatic
All Star
Posts: 271
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2022 11:08 am
Club: Coolderry

Changing of Underage grades and Separation from adult

Post by faithfulfanatic »

A lot of the attention from Will O’Callaghans tweet last night will be on the possibility of Kilcormac Killoughey having 2 senior hurling teams, but what is far more important for most clubs is the other part of his tweet, which talks of the county boards plan to have a vote next Tuesday on moving u13 u15 and u17 back to u14 u16 and u18. This would also mean that players in their last year minor (u18) would not be allowed play in adult competitions.

This seems farcical in the extreme.
Many clubs would rely on the 2-3 young lads coming through every year to keep going.

I honestly can’t see why 18 year olds shouldn’t play Senior.
As one response to Will noted, that would have stopped Screeney, Kavanagh, Ravenhill etc from playing Senior for their clubs this year. How can that be right?

The KK issue is one end of the scale and this is at the other. This affects the Ballyfores, Ballyskenachs, Clonmores and Crinkills of the county.
Take for instance Ballyskenach Killavilla. A rural club struggling to survive, not helped by Shinrone and Roscrea poaching players. They lost their best hurler since Brendan Murphy to Shinrone 2 years ago in Luke Watkins. They are due to have the immensely talented Carney Brothers (Rob and Fionn) bolstering their Junior A team for next year, along with a few more talented youngsters who won minor A titles with SBK this year. Can you imagine telling both club and players next Tuesday night that they have to wait another year to play. All for what?

Also, I can’t get my head around the fervour from so many people to move back to u14/u16/u18. Is it that much different? Don’t forget that these age groups were moved in the first place to aid players in their last year minor who would also be doing the Leaving Cert.

Cork decided this week to return to these even aged grades but not allow players to play Senior or Intermediate but they can play Junior! What absolute madness. So you could play junior a football (which would be comparable to intermediate/senior b in Offaly in terms of standard) with the same teammates and against the same players but now be allowed play intermediate hurling against the same opponents the following week. Figure that one out!

Hopefully our club delegates vote to defeat this madness next Tuesday night and let common sense prevail.
And if anyone can point out the problems with the current system of u13/15/u17 and playing adult competition as 17-18 year olds, I’d love to hear it.

greenairfield
All Star
Posts: 1039
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:20 pm
Club: birr

Re: Changing of Underage grades and Separation from adult

Post by greenairfield »

I noticed the tweet and felt straight it away it was strange.

Then he followed up with a tweet today confriming that kk haven't even voted on it themselves so him been a journalist I think was trying to start a story that more than lightly won't even happen.

I can't see how kk having two senior A team would work for them or other teams in the county.

The same thing happened back when Birr were successfully in the later 90s but there was never talk of two teams and they won more intermediates than anyone at the time.

In relation to the underage I think it's madness it was ever moved to 17 now that it's there we need to stay there changing again is ruining it.

User avatar
joe bloggs
All Star
Posts: 492
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:07 pm
Location: canal side

Re: Changing of Underage grades and Separation from adult

Post by joe bloggs »

The rationale of moving minor back to u17 was to kill 2 birds or 3 even.

Firstly, lads doing the leaving and playing county minor had too much on their plate.

Secondly, tackling player burnout, and

Finally, it completely decoupled underage fixtures from adult.

Both taken independently have worked. We no longer have underage games getting impacted by players being involved with adult teams. In some cases a talented minor team could in the past had players linking in with their clubs senior, intermediate and junior teams. One postponed fixture could cause chaos that spread both up and down to adult gradesm or a u16 fixture etc. There also was the danger of player burnout as a talented last year minor played for the county and his club's minor, u21 and adult team....and he may have been a dual.player.

Fast forward to today, many people feel that finishing minor at u17 is too early as a lot of the players are not physically developed enough to step up.to the adult grades, and as a result many counties are now looking at the issue again.
'if your not part of the solution, your part of the problem' J. McClean

faithfulfanatic
All Star
Posts: 271
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2022 11:08 am
Club: Coolderry

Re: Changing of Underage grades and Separation from adult

Post by faithfulfanatic »

Agree on both counts Greenairfield.

With the KK situation, if they did go to 2 Senior A teams, I can see 3 options, all with pitfalls.

A) Same system of this year applies, with teams considered first and second team.
This would involve a first team naming 18 players that can only play on this ‘first team’ ie the seeded team that are county champions. Problems would arise where they could name 8-9 of this years Senior A team, supplemented by a few subs and a few of Senior B. This would mean that the ‘second team’ could also be equally as strong. Then once the second team has secured safety from relegation/reached QF, resources could be piled into one team, allowing KK to make sure the second team stays Senior A and then push on with the other team to win a county final.

B) Both teams are treated as almost 2 separate clubs.
This would involve both teams naming 24/25 man panels, with no pulling from one team to the other. This would see plenty of quality hurlers ending up stuck on the sideline for either team and could lead to friction within the club.

C) Kilcormac is forced to keep players within their 2023 team.
This would involve players being forced to stay with whichever team they finished 2023 on I.e. anyone involved in the Senior B county final is part of that team for 2024. There would have to be an element or regrading allowed, where you’d possibly see a few of the stalwarts swapping places with a few of the younger senior B winners. I can’t imagine this would be allowed under our current regrading laws.

Will O’Callaghan’s tweet today almost reads as if he got word to say that KK will not proceed with 2 senior A teams for 2024.
It is still interesting to wonder how it would work and how they would fare at Senior A.
Then the debate arises as to whether Clodiagh Gaels should go up, Clareen should retain their place or we proceed with a 9-team Senior A and 7-team senior B. None of these seem like great outcomes to be quite honest.

On another note, very best of luck to KK, Clodiagh Gaels and Carrig this weekend.

ah lethimoutwithit
All Star
Posts: 466
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 2:46 pm

Re: Changing of Underage grades and Separation from adult

Post by ah lethimoutwithit »

I think the system should remain the same.

1. When young lads are 17 and in their 18th year they are ready for most grades of football, right up to Senior.
Theyve had gym and S&C for a number of years.
2. many have had 12 years almost of development through underage etc.

From my perspective another year just delays the process, and also will have a big impact on the smaller clubs.

Go back to the 80s, first introduction to underage football was with club at 14 and you were togging out adult at 15/16, not much development.

Too much tinkering around with rules to be politically correct, leave as is and ensure that the clubs are implementing and running adequate S&C from 14 up to get their players up to speed.

So please vote to keep as is

User avatar
Lone Shark
All Star
Posts: 5394
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 5:21 pm
Club: Ferbane
Location: Roscommon
Contact:

Re: Changing of Underage grades and Separation from adult

Post by Lone Shark »

As an underage secretary of a football club in a dual parish here in Roscommon, I cannot advise strongly enough AGAINST going back to U-18, where lads in their last year of minor are eligible to play adult. Or if you do, then fine, but it means that those U-18s play minor and U-20 (or U-21, whichever) only, they cannot also be eligible for adult.

Firstly, it got voted through here, largely on the back of small, rural, football-only clubs. There is no "hurling only" area in this county, there is only dual (realistically two parishes); areas where it's football first and hurling second (a couple of larger areas, and Roscommon town) and football-only territory, which is everything along the N5, and north of it, and while the majority of the county's population would fall into one of the first two categories, the majority of the county's clubs fit into the third.

So in a nutshell, the areas where there is no hurling voted it through - and obviously, player overload is not a big issue there. It goes without saying that Offaly would be completely different.

Secondly, there is a "speaking out of two sides of the mouth" element to the whole debate. You quite often find people saying, without a hint of irony, that they need to go back to U-18 because they're losing players at that age group because of the absence of a proper games programme for them. The players they talk of losing are mainly the ones who aren't ready for adult games yet, and then at the same time those club officers will say that they need their U-18s to field adult teams - so which is it?

And while we'd love to believe that coaches take the decision on the basis of physical readiness - i.e., the six foot, 85kg 17 year old is given the green light to play adult and the 65kg lad is told to hang tight and put on more weight before he plays, we all know that's not the case. Instead, what happens is that the lad who's good enough, whether he's big or small, is asked to play adult, and the other is deemed "not ready yet", even though in some cases, the only issue is that they're not good enough to make an impact.

We have to be honest about this debate. Just because a Cormac Egan, a Brecon Kavanagh, a Dan Ravenhill or an Adam Screeney steps into his first year of adult football/hurling and thrives, doesn't mean that it suddenly becomes the right thing for that to be the norm. And while there will be coaches who will look at certain 17 year olds and say that they're not ready for high level adult games yet because they'd get knocked around the place, there will be others - the majority of them, unfortunately, or the majority of outside managers at least - who do not think like that, and instead just concern themselves with picking the best 15 players that they have available to them.

The thing about it too is that when a player gets hammered from playing a year of games up against fellas that have 40% more bodyweight and 75% more muscle mass, it's not always that he'll get one injury that year, and then stop playing. More often than not they get to age 21 and their body feels like that of a 35 year old, so they either give up pushing so hard, or step away entirely. Nobody blames the fact that they played adult games at 17, and it's not a simple cause and effect anyway, but it is a factor.

The minor grade is by far the most important of all the underage grades, whether it's U-17 or U-18, and players at that age have to have a meaningful games programme, that is allowed run by itself. And we all know from history that you can put all the rules in place that you like, the fact remains that when the time comes when a minor is asked to play four important games in eight or nine days, their club will kick up a fuss and cry about "player welfare", when all they really care about is player freshness and fatigue.

And it's all very well to say that lads have played minor and adult together for years, and they have - but that's ignoring the fact that the hits are harder now than they ever were, the upper body strength of ordinary senior club players in their late 20s is off the charts relative to where things were at 20 years ago, and the amount of mileage that a player puts up now, particularly in football, is double what it might have been back then.

All of that, for what? So that a club can feel like they're "better" because they have a couple of very talented 17 year old lads on the field? They forget that it's a zero sum game overall, since every club is now picking from the same lads. After all, it's the smaller clubs, the likes of the Ballyskenach-Killavillas, the Crinkills, the Ballycommons and the Shannonbridges of this world who will say they need these lads, and yet which club benefited most from fielding lads born in 2005 this year? Kilcormac-Killoughey.

Vote it down lads.
Kevin Egan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.

Doon Exile
All Star
Posts: 350
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 2:03 pm
Location: up in the air

Re: Changing of Underage grades and Separation from adult

Post by Doon Exile »

Any update on the vote?
Doon exile....

private joker
All Star
Posts: 1163
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:09 pm

Re: Changing of Underage grades and Separation from adult

Post by private joker »

Gone back to u18, can't play adult. That's what I've heard. Coming in 2025

Doon Exile
All Star
Posts: 350
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 2:03 pm
Location: up in the air

Re: Changing of Underage grades and Separation from adult

Post by Doon Exile »

private joker wrote: Tue Nov 14, 2023 11:18 pm Gone back to u18, can't play adult. That's what I've heard. Coming in 2025
27- 26 very tight and one blank vote.
Doon exile....

jimbob17
All Star
Posts: 955
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 12:40 am

Re: Changing of Underage grades and Separation from adult

Post by jimbob17 »

Only way this will work is if Offaly decide to completely preclude U18s from playing adult - or at least are not allowed play adult until minor team is exited from championship. They need to decouple underage from adult level or there will be serious issues over fixtures.

Any other way is recipe for disaster.

Does U20 now move back to U21 at club level also or remain at U20?
jimbob

Doon Exile
All Star
Posts: 350
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 2:03 pm
Location: up in the air

Re: Changing of Underage grades and Separation from adult

Post by Doon Exile »

jimbob17 wrote: Tue Nov 14, 2023 11:52 pm Only way this will work is if Offaly decide to completely preclude U18s from playing adult - or at least are not allowed play adult until minor team is exited from championship. They need to decouple underage from adult level or there will be serious issues over fixtures.

Any other way is recipe for disaster.

Does U20 now move back to U21 at club level also or remain at U20?
Minor is fully decoupled from adult.

I think u20 is moved to the end of the year. Don’t think there was any discussion on changing to u21 but stand corrected on that one.
Doon exile....

ah lethimoutwithit
All Star
Posts: 466
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 2:46 pm

Re: Changing of Underage grades and Separation from adult

Post by ah lethimoutwithit »

Farcical decision and in fairness in Offaly I don't see this as a fall off solution. Some of the thought processes at play are beyond belief. Minor often struggles to get the focus it should anyway and with lads u18 the better players will be under pressure as will be likely involved with U20, Leavin cert will come into the equation also. But anyway, such is democracy.

So a fella will be 19 heading out to play Junior a or Intermediate football and if he has been a county minor at U17, and is in a poor enough minor set up he won't get challenged properly for another year.
Can see a lot of 18 year olds just going training with the adult clubs and taking in the odd club training session to be ready to step up to adult the following year.

Tar Man
Junior A
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:37 pm
Club: Shamrocks

Re: Changing of Underage grades and Separation from adult

Post by Tar Man »

When this motion came to our Minor Club we voted overwhelmingly to change. The main reason was that we have seen countless young lads leave Minor at 17 and disappear completely without making any attempt to play for the Senior Club. The Year makes a big difference in terms of physical development and the more young lads we can hold playing the better for every club. In terms of the smaller clubs my argument is that these young players are supplementing the team that was already there the year before (granted some of your older lads might want to retire but you should be trying to hold onto these as long as possible to mentor the younger lads).

There are actually 2 issues here - the separation from Adult & the changing of the underage grades. Coming from a club that is growing every year I would love to see a championship for every year's group U12, U13, U14, U15, U16, U17 & U18. If you don't have the nos. you don't enter the championship at that age group and enter into the one's that suit.

The main reason that the County Board is looking at this is because participation levels in the county are very low. Unfortunately the bigger clubs are largely responsible for this as smaller clubs have to make more of an effort so that they can survive. I heard lately about one club (I won't mention their name as it might be interpreted as having a go at them which it isn't - but you'll probably guess who it is) starting the year with over 100 kids registered for U10 - within 2 months that figure was down to 40. If there was a Championship each year then you'd have 50 for each year and a better chance to hold onto more of them. Either that or the County Board should start to look at splitting some underage clubs - which would affect the Minor Club's chances of winning but in the long term be of benefit to the Senior Club. It has to be noted that not every young boy or girl is suited to Gaelic games - there will always be those that fall away but the more you hold the better - they might not make it as players but they could be your Treasurer, Secretary or Committee Member.

That was our take on it - not trying to say that we're right - the vote was very tight - unfortunately there's no easy answers - I fully respect if other clubs have a different view.

Post Reply