Blue is the colour as Wexford gets ready for a cracking county 40×20 season

Written by Antoin Ó Braoin

It is by far the biggest county championship held anywhere in Ireland with over 200 entries in 31 separate championships, comprising a total of 464 matches. Numerically, the Wexford 40×20 championship is more akin to what you might expect to find in a national competition, but the carefully structured league style format encourages participation and leads to a huge level of activity throughout the county between late September 2018 and late February 2019. Thereafter players are free to concentrate on the Leinster and All Ireland 40×20 championships, primed and ready after a busy domestic programme.

The 2019 season opens in week beginning 24th September with the team competition, which this time will be played to completion over a three week period. The singles and doubles will get underway in week beginning 1st October and as usual those still involved in the All Ireland softball championships will be accommodated as long as is necessary.

Grades this season are men’s senior, intermediate, junior, minor, junior B, junior C, junior D, 35 and over, masters B, golden masters A, golden masters B, diamond masters A, diamond masters B, legends and team event. Women will take part in junior, junior B and junior C.

The structured nature of the championship means that only the singles winner in junior C will be promoted to junior B, while the integrity of the entry level junior D grade will be protected by promoting both singles and doubles winners to the higher junior C level. All entrants in other grades will remain there until promoted nationally, thus allowing contestants to win at county and provincial level as often as they can. The end product is a system suitable for purpose with everyone in their proper grade, pitted against opponents of a broadly similar standard.

It all makes for a wonderful season with the blue ball.

Click 2019 County 40×20 Championship Groups to see all the details.