THE GAA has released its updated Master Fixtures Calendar for the 2021 season.
The inter-county season will run from the weekend of May 8/9 with the start of the Allianz Hurling League, to the weekend of August 28/29 when the All-Ireland Football Final will be played.
County and Provincial Club Championships will be played in the months of September, October, November, and December with the All-Ireland Club Finals scheduled for February 2022.
The entire inter-county fixtures programme will be run off in a 20-week period and guarantees a minimum of five games for each Senior County Football and Hurling team with all bar three counties guaranteed six games in hurling.
2021 Liam MacCarthy Cup
There will be a provincial knock-out championship with back-door qualifiers like there was in 2020, but now also with the introduction of relegation to the Joe McDonagh Cup.
There will be a preliminary round in the qualifiers between the two defeated quarter-final team in Leinster with the winners progressing to Round 1 of the Qualifiers and the losers relegated to the Joe McDonagh Cup in 2022.
Munster: Limerick, Waterford, Tipperary, Clare, Cork.
Leinster: Kilkenny, Galway, Wexford, Dublin, Laois, Antrim.
2021 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship
The 2021 All-Ireland SFC will be played as a straight knock-out competition from the provincial series forward. There will be no Qualifiers and New York and London will not be involved.
There will be no Tailteann Cup in 2021.
2021 Club Window Provisions
It is important to note that the GAA still does not have permission to return to club training or games with only training in pods of 14 allowed in the North.
However, the calendar is set up in such a way that:
Club competitions with county players can take place as County teams exit the Championships (in football, teams start exiting from the end of June; in Hurling July 10th) [RESTRICTIONS PERMITTING]
From August 1st, all Counties bar All Ireland Semi-Finalists in Football and Hurling, and the teams in the Div 1 Hurling Relegation play off, will be free to stage club competitions with county players.
Additionally, the commencement of the Provincial Club Championships will be delayed until Mid-November.