Christy Ring Cup
|Number of teams||8|
|Level on pyramid||2|
|Promotion to||Leinster Senior Hurling Championship|
|Relegation to||Nicky Rackard Cup|
|Most championships||Westmeath (3 titles)|
|TV partners||TG4 (Final only)|
|Website||Official GAA site|
|2016 Christy Ring Cup|
The Christy Ring Cup (Irish: Corn Chríostóir Uí Rinn) is the second tier senior inter-county championship in hurling after the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. Each year, the champion team in the Christy Ring Cup is promoted to the All-Ireland Championship, and the lowest finishing team enters a play-off with possible relegation to the Nicky Rackard Cup.
- For history before 2004, see All-Ireland Senior B Hurling Championship
In 2003 the Hurling Development Committee (HDC) was charged with restructuring the entire hurling championship. The committee was composed of chairman Pat Dunny (Kildare), Liam Griffin (Wexford), P. J. O'Grady (Limerick), Ger Loughnane (Clare), Cyril Farrell (Galway), Jimmy O'Reilly (Down), Willie Ring (Cork), Pat Daly (GAA Games Development Officer) and Nicky English (Tipperary). Over the course of three months they held discussions with managers, players and officials, while also taking a submission from the Gaelic Players Association. The basic tenet of the proposals was to structure the hurling championship into three tiers in accordance with 2004 National Hurling League status. The top tier was confined to 12 teams, while the next ten teams would contest the second tier which was to be known as the Christy Ring Cup. There would also be promotion-relegation play-offs between the three championship tiers. The HDC also suggested that these games would be played as curtain raisers to All-Ireland quarter-finals and semi-finals.
The ten participating teams were divided into two groups of five and played in a round-robin format. Each team was guaranteed at least four games each. The eventual group winners and runners-up qualified for the knock-out semi-finals of the competition.
The bottom two teams of both groups were involved in a four-way relegation play-off with the eventual loser being relegated to the Nicky Rackard Cup. In 2006 the relegation play-off was limited to just the bottom teams in both groups, while in 2007 there was no relegation.
The competition was expanded to include twelve teams. The participating teams were divided into four groups of three and played in a round-robin format, thus limiting each team to just two games each. The eventual group winners and runners-up qualified for the knock-out quarter-finals of the competition.
The bottom team in each group went into the relegation play-offs. The eventual losers were relegated to the Nicky Rackard Cup, however, the relegation play-offs in 2008 were rendered meaningless as all four bottom-placed teams were relegated.
In 2009 a double elimination format was introduced, thus guaranteeing each team at least two games before being eliminated from the competition.
The eight teams play four Round 1 matches.
- The winners in Round 1 advance to Round 2A.
- The losers in Round 1 go into to Round 2B.
There are two Round 2A matches.
- The winners in Round 2A advance to the semi-finals.
- The losers in Round 2A go into to the quarter-finals.
There are two Round 2B matches.
- The winners in Round 2B advance to the quarter-finals.
- The losers in Round 2B go into the bottom playoff. The losers of this match play a relegation/promotion match with the winners of the Nicky Rackard Cup. If they lose they are relegated to the Nicky Rackard cup for the following year.
There are two quarter-final matches between the Round 2A losers and Round 2B winners.
- The winners of the quarter-finals advance to the semi-finals.
- The losers of the quarter-finals are eliminated.
There are two semi-final matches between the Round 2A winners and the quarter-final winners.
- The winners of the semi-finals advance to the final.
- The losers of the semi-finals are eliminated.
The winners of the final are promoted to the Liam MacCarthy Cup for the following year.
Champions, Runners-Up and Relegated Teams By Year
|Westmeath||3||2005, 2007, 2010|
Top Scorers Overall
Top Scorers In The Final
Teams participating in the 2016 season
The following 8 teams will be competing in the 2016 Christy Ring Cup.
|Team||Finishing position last season|
|Antrim||Relegated from the All-Ireland Championship|
|Roscommon||Promoted from the Nicky Rackard Cup|
|Antrim||Páirc Mac Uílín||Ballycastle||4,900|
|Derry||Owenbeg Centre of Excellence||Dungiven||6,800|
|Kildare||St. Conleth's Park||Newbridge||6,200|
|London||Emerald GAA Grounds||Ruislip||5,000|
|Meath||St. Loman's Park||Trim|
- Hurling tiers - 1. All-Ireland (Liam MacCarthy) 2. Christy Ring 3. Nicky Rackard 4. Lory Meagher
- "Scoreline controversy overshadows Royal win". GAA.ie. 5 June 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
- Keys, Colm (10 December 2003). "Hurling evangelists have radical tiers in their eyes". Irish Independent. Retrieved 30 August 2015.