By Eamonn Kelly
While the first round of games in the North American Board Championship won’t commence until later this month or early June, the playing season has started in the major divisions with local championship and exhibition cup competitions.
Prior to the season openers several football teams from around the country, including New York, had the opportunity to test their mettle by participating in the popular 7-a-side tournaments in Florida and Washington, D.C.
In the Florida tournament, staged for the 10th successive year in Pompano Beach by the local St. Patrick’s club, New York teams took the honors with Longford winning the men’s title and Cavan capturing the ladies competition.
Terrible weather conditions did not dampen the enthusiasm of the 25 competing teams in the 5th annual Washington, D.C., tournament, hosted by the local Washington Gaels football club. New York Cavan ladies football team repeated their Florida success with a one point victory over North American Board champions, Emerald Eagles of Philadelphia. The men’s competition was won by Philadelphia’s Kevin Barry, who defeated Longford from New York in the final.
The confusion over the legality of the transfer of players between clubs in Ireland and the North American County Board clubs has been cleared up. Following meetings between officials for the North American Board and Central Council during the GAA congress in Dublin recently, officials confirmed that inter-ounty transfers will only be granted after a player has resided in the American Board area for nine months or longer.
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All other players from Ireland will require approved sanctions from Central Council to play with clubs in the North American Board prior to July 20. All such players must remain in the U.S. for a minimum of 60 days before being eligible to play in Ireland again.
More negotiations were needed, however, to unravel the administration “bottleneck” caused by several hundred transfer documents pending prior to the April 15 American Board registration deadline for home-based players.
Officials agreed that the outstanding transfer requests would be processed as sanctions and all such players would be defined as home-based.
While in Dublin, informal discussions took place between officers of the New York and North American Boards on issues related to both county Boards. Officials unanimously agreed that the rule which prohibits players from playing with a New York club and a North American Board club in the same season will be enforced by both boards.
Those attending expressed great interest in implementing an annual intercounty weekend tournament between the two boards. Board officials are examining the possibility of such a tournament making a debut in 1999.
The North American Board held its annual pre-playoff meeting in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. The board officers, along with officers from the various divisions around the country, met with the local playoff committee to review the plans for the 1998 national playoffs, scheduled for Washington, D.C., over the Labor Day weekend.
Following are the 1998 officers of the various divisions of the North American County Board:
Central Division (Chicago area): honorary president, Geoff Butler; chairman, Tommy Dolan; vice chairman, Mike Feeney; secretary, Celia Lynn; assistant secretary, Christy Carmody; treasurer, Kevin Corrigan; assistant treasurer, Kevin Brady; registrar, Beth Costelloe; PRO, Patricia Meer; youth officer, Joe Begley.
Midwest Division (Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh): chairman, Chad Cunningham (Detroit); vice chairman, Kathie O’Connell (Detroit); secretary, Tim O’Donoghue (Pittsburgh); treasurer, Mike Walsh (Cleveland); registrar, Mark Williams (Pittsburgh).
North East Division (Boston area): chairman, John McDevitt; vice chairman, Pat Mulivhill; secretary, Bridie Joyce; assistant secretary, Joan Reen; treasurer, Martin Gallagher; registrar, Joe Lydon; PRO, Donie Keanneally.
Philadelphia Division (Philadelphia, Washington area): chairman, Brendan Lotty; vice chairman, Paul McCarthy; Secretary, Matthew Tomasicchio; Registrar, John McDaid; treasurer, Patsy Duddy; PRO, Sean McCormick.
Western Division (San Francisco area): chairman, Michael Morriarty; vice chairman, Jame Kenneally; secretary, Paul Keane; assistant secretary, Jeanine Donohue; Ttreasurer, Carmen Murray; registrar, Moss Orford; PRO, Eric Kenneally.
Northwest Division (Seattle area): chairman, John McGuigan; secretary, Eva Swayne; registrar, Mike Keane.
Southern California (Los Angeles, San Diego area): chairman, Padraig O’Kennedy; vice chairman, Brendan Quinn; secretary, John Ryan; treasurer, Diarmud Potts; registrar, Francis Kilgallon; PRO, John Keegan.
Atlanta Division (Atlanta area): chairman, Tom McSorley; secretary, Michael Dermody; registrar, Mary Breen.
Denver Division (Denver area): chairman, Alan Murphy; vice chairman, John Nallen; secretary, Edward Givens; registrar, Janet Barry.
Florida Division (Pompano Beach area): chairman, Liam McKenna; secretary, Leslie Wright; registrar, Noel Walsh.
Washington D.C. Gaels (Playoff Committee): chairman, Andrew Healy; vice chairman, Andy MacTigue; secretary, Niall Dempsey; treasurer, Kathleen Barry; PRO, Kathy Dempsey.