John West Féile na nGael
The John West Féile na nGael is a Club festival for Hurling, Football, Camogie and Handball at Under 14 level, involving teams from across the Association. The John West Féile na nGael National tournaments will be held in Connacht, Longford and Westmeath on the weekend of 8th – 10th June 2018.
Féile provides an opportunity for:
- Under 14 players to participate in an annual Festival of Hurling/Camogie, Handball and Gaelic Football/Ladies Gaelic football
- Clubs to experience playing against teams from other Counties/Provinces
- Clubs to foster links with other Clubs in other Counties/Provinces
- Counties to celebrate Gaelic games by acting as hosts
A core aim of Féile tournaments is to promote a philosophy whereby every player has the opportunity to participate and play in their respective Féile tournament at a level commensurate to their age, skills and strengths.
(1) Participating Teams
John West Féile na nGael competitions are composed of host and visiting teams. Host teams are drawn from the host region (Counties). Visiting teams participating at the National Finals of Féile na nGael will be nominated by their County Bord na nÓg to represent their respective Counties.
Both host clubs and visiting Counties are graded into their respective divisions. Normally the identity of the visiting teams is determined by the results of internal Féile na nGael competitions, however, due to the level of interest from host clubs, each visiting County is usually asked to nominate 2 – 3 representatives. All overseas units are also asked to nominate representatives to take part at Féile na nGael.
In the 2018 boys Hurling tournament, there will be 72 host teams, matched with 72 visiting teams. Similarly, in Camogie, there are 56 host and visiting team pairings. Thus, the 2017 tournament represents the largest ever Féile tournaments.
(2) Competition Format
Generally divisions are composed of 16 teams – 8 host clubs, and their 8 visiting teams. Depending on local requirements, deviation from the 16 team division is possible in co-operation with the national Féile committee.
In boys Hurling, there will be 9 divisions, while Camogie will have 7 divisions of competition.
Since 2014, Féile na nGael has introduced both Cup and Shield competitions in each Division. To facilitate this each division of 16 teams is divided into four groups (Groups A – D) of four teams (two host clubs and their visiting clubs). Each team plays each other team on a round robin basis. Upon completion of the three group games teams are ranked 1 – 4. Teams ranked 1st and 2nd proceed to the Cup quarter finals, while teams ranked 3rd and 4th proceed to the Shield quarter finals. Therefore, each participating team is guaranteed a minimum of four games – three group games, and either a Cup or Shield quarter final.
Thereafter, knockout quarter finals, semi-finals and finals take place in each of the Cup and Shield competitions.
(3) Playing Numbers
Participating teams shall be 15-a-side, comprising of players who are over 10 and under 14 years of age on 1st January in the year of Féile. Panels in a 15-a-side division are limited to 24 players.
Similarly, amalgamated teams are permitted to participate in Féile na nGael, though again this is limited to those clubs that field as an amalgamated unit in their local Under 14 competitions in that year. It is not possible for either host or visiting clubs to request to amalgamate for the purposes of participation at Féile only.
Each team shall be accompanied by a maximum of 4 team mentors.
(4) Competition Schedule
The final competition schedule is to be confirmed, however usually the schedule is as follows:
Friday 8 June
Each team plays their first two group games
Saturday 9 June
Each team plays their final group game
Each team plays their Cup or Shield quarter final
Sunday 10 June
Cup and Shield semi finals
Cup and Shield finals