A three year Hurling Development Action Plan was launched by the GAA’s Hurling Development Committee (HDC) in December 2015. The main aim of the Hurling Development Action Plan is to increase the number of opportunities for people to play the game of Hurling – at all ages and across all Counties.
The Action Plan contains 4 “Pillars”, that are key to achieving the goal of providing an increased number of meaningful games opportunities for everybody. The Pillars span a range of different topics including:
- Increasing the number of meaningful games opportunities (Pillar 1);
- Facilitating Coach Education (Pillar 2);
- Improving planning and funding for Hurling Development initiatives (Pillar 3)
- Supporting the Hurling community through sharing best practice (Pillar 4).
The Action Plan identifies a number of tasks and initiatives under each Pillar and outlines the short-term actions required to deliver on these in 2016. The cornerstone of the Plan is the introduction of The Celtic Challenge 2016. The Celtic Challenge is a competition for players, aged 16 and 17 years old, who are not participating in State Examinations during May and June 2016.
The competition will run from Wednesday 4th May to Saturday 18th June 2016. 38 teams from all 32 counties will participate in the competition and, in total, 110 games will be provided to 912 players.
The Celtic Challenge
The Celtic Challenge is the only competition in hurling that has teams from all 32 counties participating and, in total, 110 games will be provided to 912 players on 38 teams.
- The Celtic Challenge is a competition for players, aged 16 and 17 years old, who are not participating in State Examinations during May and June 2016. 38 teams will participate in the competition.
- The programme will run from Wednesday 4th May to Saturday 18th June 2016.
- The ethos of the competition is a developmental one, where a 7 week programme of meaningful games is supplemented by a 1 to 1 ratio of games to training.
- Each team will play a minimum of 5 games through a programme that is structured on the basis of Group Stages, Qualifiers and Play Offs.
- The Group Stages will consist of 7 Groups of teams selected on a geographical and developmental basis. Matches at the Group Stages will be played on Wednesdays.
- After the Group Stages, teams will be graded on foot of their performance and will be assigned to 1 of 5 Divisions prior to participating in the Qualifiers and Play-Offs where they will play against opposition of a comparative developmental level.
- 5 Finals will be played on Saturday June 18th, 2016.