The National Hurling League is set to introduce a new format in 2025
The top three teams from both Division 1a and 1b in 2024 will secure spots in a soon-to-be established seven-team premier league. The fourth-placed team with the most impressive performance will be promoted to join Division 1a as the seventh team.
The remaining five teams from the 2024 Division 1a and 1b will form Division 1b in 2025, where they will be joined by the top two teams from Division 2a.
The changes come because of the feedback from different counties, which were addressed at the Master Fixtures Launch held at Croke Park. The earlier format, with only one team relegated across Divisions 1a and 1b, came under fire for lacking competitiveness in its two equally balanced seven-team divisions.
In 2025, Division 2 will undergo changes as well. The teams placed third to sixth in Division 2a in 2024 will join forces with the top three teams from Division 2b, creating another dynamic seven-team group.
Also, Division 3 and Division 4 will each consist of seven teams, supplying more playing opportunities for weaker counties.
In summary, the upcoming National Hurling League will feature a total of five groups, forming 35 teams, including London, Warwickshire, and Lancashire.
"As of the last 2 years there's been zero interest in the National Hurling League." 😯
"The more they can do the better." 😁
Are you excited about the new National Hurling League format starting in 2025? Richie gives us the low-down! 🏑
The Newsround 📰 pic.twitter.com/kCn2VtF5q1
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) December 6, 2023
Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) Chairman, Derek Kent said: “The appetite I believe is with most hurling counties because it's putting a bit of life back into the leagues.
“Because it had lost its sparkle. If you're in Division 1, you certainly don't want to be relegated to Division 2.
“If you're a Cork or a Clare or a Tipperary, you don't want to go down. And if you're down in the lower division you have to look at your competition and your gate receipts.
“That will give life to stay in Division 1. It will also give life to stay in Division 2, as opposed to Division 3. So that's where that came from.
“Naturally enough, some counties that believe that they're sort of feeling the heat around the lower tier of Division 1, of course they're going to oppose it - including my own county (Wexford).
“It just goes to show, I don't wear the Wexford hat.”