Fixture Planning & Reviewing

The aim for the LGFA in regards to Fixtures Planning and Reviewing is that the Association should be in a position where all units will be able to avail of training and support in regards to Planning their Fixtures and conducting Fixtures Reviews therefore enabling them to provide a co-ordinated programme of meaningful, well scheduled games for players, appropriate to their needs and abilities.

 

Each county may have a Fixtures Reviewer who can work in conjunction with the County Fixtures Secretary/Committee on the production of ongoing fixtures plans and schedules or this can be conducted solely by the County Fixtures Secretary/Committee.

 

In appointing County Fixtures Reviewers, it is recommended that they should have some or all of the following skills:

1.      A good knowledge of the club structure in the county at all levels

2.      A sound knowledge of current fixture planning procedures

3.      Some knowledge of the complexities of fixtures programmes at local level

4.      The ability to progress in a logical manner

5.      Good I.T. skills will be essential

6.      The skills to identify the key issues involved in having a regulated games structure and to identify the problems and the resolution of same

7.      The skills to communicate with the county board, clubs and relevant committees

8.      Be competent to network with other boards to share best practices

9.      The ability to be flexible in approaching the planning process

10.  The ability to set goals and review mechanisms

 

What are the Minimum Standards For the Provision and Spread of Games you should want to Achieve in your County?

 

PROVISION OF GAMES

The following are the recommended minimum standards that have been set down by the Central Council.

 

 Adult  Under 15 – Under 18   Under 14 and Below
 Minimum of 16 games  Minimum of 12 games  Minimum of 16 games

SPREAD OF GAMES

Games should be scheduled with gaps of no more than 21 days between them in the months from April to September, in order to maximise the number of games played during the summer months.

An exception may be made around exam time (mid May to mid June) to accommodate post primary and third level students.

Games in the same grade should be scheduled at least 5 days apart (3 days in non-championship competitions) in order to avoid surplus of games at any one time.

 

 

SCHEDULING TARGET

The target for Counties should be to ensure 80% of games is played as initially scheduled (i.e. on the day they were originally fixed for, or within a number of days, either side of the original date, as defined in county bye laws).

The Role of the County Fixtures Reviewer

 

The Role of the County Fixtures Reviewer can be summarised as follows:

 

  • To monitor the County Fixtures schedule (as drafted by the fixtures secretary/committee) for the current year. This will involve, on a monthly basis, calculating how many of the scheduled games for that period were actually played
  • To audit the County Fixtures schedule on a weekly or monthly basis. This involves counting the number of games being played at each grade and code as well as measuring the spread of the games (i.e. the length of time between each game in a particular grade). This information gathered should be reported to the executive and fixtures committees on a monthly basis
  • To analyse the County Fixtures schedule for the current year. This should be carried out following the publication of the County Fixtures Programme in January or February. S/He will analyse the scheduled fixture programme under (a) the number and (b) the spread of games. This process should assist the Fixtures Reviewer in making recommendations to the Fixtures secretary/committee for the following year
  • To make recommendations to the Fixtures Secretary/Committee based on the results of the monitoring process and in conjunction with the Fixtures Secretary/Committee, formulate a fixtures schedule for the following year
  • To monitor and evaluate on an annual basis the County’s performance at all levels against the recommended LGFA minimum standards for provision and spread of games
  • To use this information to prepare a report and present at the AGM and forward to the National Development Team
  • To facilitate feedback from clubs and stakeholders in the fixture process, where required, through a Club Forum.

A Club Forum can be:

  • A formal end of year Executive meeting
  • A forum of random club members facilitated by the Fixtures Reviewer
  • A series of focus groups chaired by the Fixtures Reviewer
  • A questionnaire circulated to and returned by clubs

 

The County Fixtures Reviewer and the Fixtures Secretary/Committee

 

One of the key aspects to fixture making in the LGFA is the strong relationship between the County Fixtures Reviewer and the Fixtures Secretary/Committee.

Fixture making should begin with planning. This is a conjunctive function of the Fixtures Reviewer and the Fixtures Secretary/Committee. The Fixtures Reviewer should make recommendations to the Fixtures Secretary/Committee for changes to competition structures and timings, based on the experience of the previous year and the goal of achieving the minimum fixture requirements as provided.

The scheduling and arranging of these fixtures is a matter for the Fixtures Secretary/Committee alone.

The job of reviewing the year’s fixture activity rests with the Fixtures Reviewer; s/he can be assisted in this process through the organisation of an annual club forum to provide feedback, through the establishment of focus groups to assist in this process or through the circulation and completion of fixture specific questionnaires to key stakeholders in the fixture process (i.e. players, managers, club officials etc.)

 

What is Planning?

(Conjunctive function of Fixtures Secretary/Committee and Fixtures Reviewer)

a.       Incorporating the views expressed as part of the Reviewing process,

b.      Designing each competition (number of teams, structure, number of rounds, where the competition will be placed during the season, which days of the week will be used for each competition) in order to achieve the minimum standards for the various grades

c.       Proposals to achieve this should be placed before the County Executive

d.      The County Executive will make final decisions

e.       Plan is then passed to the Fixtures Secretary/Committee for implementation

 

What is Scheduling?

(Function of Fixtures Secretary/Committee)

a.       Scheduling means the placing of all fixtures onto a calendar, which shall be published prior to the beginning of the playing season

b.      This is the sole statutory function of the Fixtures Secretary/Committee

 

What is Arranging?

(Function of Fixtures Secretary/Committee)

a.       Arranging means the deciding on specific matters relating to a fixture e.g. date, time, venue, referee etc.

b.      This is the sole statutory function of the Fixtures Secretary/Committee

 

What is Reviewing?

(Function of Fixture Reviewer)

a.       Reviewing means collecting all statistical information on the games played during a season and comparing this information with the National recommended standards

b.      Producing a report from this information

c.       The report should then be discussed by a Club Fixtures’ Forum (alternatively this can be a designated County Board meeting)

d.      Recommendations from this should be incorporated into the planning process

 

Writing a Fixture Report

 

County Fixtures Reviewers are required to submit a report to the AGM annually on fixtures played within the county in the previous year. This report should:

  • Outline the number of games played at each relevant grading in the previous year
  • Record the percentage of games played on time and to schedule (in accordance with the master fixture plan issued to clubs at the start of the year)
  • Outline how Fixtures Reviewer interacted with the clubs in the county (i.e. via formal Club Forums, Questionnaires, attending County Board Meetings etc.)
  • Contain comment on Spread of games, identifying areas that need improvement
  • Contain the Recommendations that have been made to the Fixtures Secretary/Committee in the County to improve the situation in the coming year (s)
  • Outline any other observations that are relevant