The GAA is set to approve a compacted 2021 calendar tomorrow to continue club and inter-county activity next season amid constantly evolving public health restrictions. 

For the past number of months, the GAA's Central Competitions Controls Committee (CCCC), has composed the plan and that group will present to management this evening. 

It’s understood the plan will be fully approved. 

Many of the facets of this template have been in the public domain for the past number of months. 

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The new template will effectively kick in once the current All-Ireland series ends on 19 December, heralding a closed season. 

All pre-season fare has been stopped and competitions like the provincial hurling and football leagues, the Kehoe, Walsh, McKenna, O'Byrne, and McGrath Cups will not run. 

Instead, next year will see the revised Allianz Leagues resume at the end of February.

The Allianz Football League will commence at the end of February with each division expected to be split into two groups – with the split focusing on regionality and proximity. 

This is to cut down on travel and movement, tying in with public health protocols. 

April will see the business end of the competitions played off with every county guaranteed a minimum of four games pre-championship. 

The hurling league is not expected to see much change.

There will be two groups of six, but the group leaders may go straight to a final. 

Relegation in football could see the bottom two teams in each round-robin group playing off against each other to decide which two teams go down. 

The 2021 Tailteann Cup will then feature teams placed in those bottom two tiers. 

The All-Ireland championships will kick in from April. There will be no club-only period or Super 8 series this time around. 

Instead the championships will continue until the third week in July when the All-Ireland football final will be played, with the hurling decider coming beforehand. 

There is much speculation that this year’s outstanding All-Ireland Under-20 football final could be played before the senior all-Ireland final. 

It’s also hoped that the outstanding club championships from 2021 can soon be revisited. 

The remainder of the year would facilitate club championships. 

The split season model turned out to be a huge success this year and the GAA’s Fixture Review Task Force are currently holding regional meetings with stakeholders to refine their proposals to come before Congress 2021 and to reshape the overall structures from 2022 onwards. 

So far, the GAA’s scheduling of inter-county games – albeit without crowds – has been a huge success. 

There have been criticisms that extended members of squads and backrooms cannot access stadiums for big games, but the association is working strictly off public health guidelines in this regard. 

Meanwhile, the Gaelic Players Association are believed to be firmly behind the proposal for a closed season period for inter-county members.


Watch Waterford v Kilkenny (6pm Saturday) and Limerick v Galway (4pm Sunday) live on RTÉ2, listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 or follow our live blog on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app. Highlights on The Sunday Game (9.30pm RTÉ2).


Watch Cork v Kilkenny and Galway v Tipperary live on RTÉ2 from 12pm Saturday, listen to live updates on RTÉ Radio 1 or follow our live blog on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app. Highlights on The Sunday Game (9.30pm RTÉ2).