Camogie Association to retain split season approach in 2022
THE Camogie Association over the weekend issued their county boards with the final draft of their fixture plan for 2022 and the split season format championed by the clubs in the national vote back in May has been retained.
However, there are significant differences to the one that club players are currently experiencing and which has resulted in a glut of club championship games in November and December.
The National Leagues will begin on the first weekend of February and they will be completed before Easter – either on the first or second weekend of April.
There will then be a gap window to play provincial championships. That window will be open until the last weekend of May when the first round of the All-Ireland championships will take place.
It is anticipated that the championships at all levels from U16 to senior will be completed by the first weekend of August, allowing club championships to be played within counties through to late October.
The provincial club championships will start before Halloween with the All-Ireland series completed within the calendar year and definitely before Christmas.
The National Leagues and Championships will revert to their pre-Covid format. Down will be in Division One with another eight counties. This will mean two groups, one of four teams, the other of five, with the top team in each group contesting the league final and the bottom teams in a head-to-head relegation battle.
There are 12 teams in the senior championship (including this year's intermediate champions Antrim) and these will be split into four groups of three with 2021 semi-finalists (Galway, Cork, Tipperary and Kilkenny) seeded, one to each group. The bottom team from each group will go into relegation semi-finals.
Antrim will compete in Division Two of the National League, having lost the 2021 final narrowly to Down. Also in Division Two are senior championship contenders Waterford and Wexford as well as another Ulster side Derry.
In total there are 13 teams in Division Two, split into two groups of four and a group of five.
Elsewhere Antrim, as Minor B champions 2021, will play in the Minor A camogie championship along with nine other counties and that competition will be finished on the first weekend of April, similar to the National Leagues.
The draws for both the league and championship groupings have yet to be made.