The blue ball is back with a bang as the 2018 county 40×20 championships get underway

Written by Antoin Ó Braoin

See the opening fixtures and groups at the bottom of this article.

The biggest and most eagerly awaited county 40×20 championships in recent years gets underway next week, when a large number of players take to the smaller courts for the opening matches in the 2018 competition. As usual those still in pursuit of 60×30 All Ireland titles will not be seen for a while but for the others the focus will be on the next three months or so as they set their sights on qualifying for the knockout stages of the most prestigious and hotly contested county championship in handball.

A record 210 entries have been received for the championship this time around and once again the players of Wexford will enjoy the benefits of a league style competition with qualifiers from each group entering the semi final stages in January. It all makes for a fantastic season of full blooded action and with the grading system designed to accommodate all skill sets, there is much to play for on Slaneyside in the coming months.

The championship encompasses a massive 458 matches and the cooperation of clubs and players will be needed to ensure a smooth and efficient programme stays on schedule but this has always been forthcoming in Wexford and is sure to be again.

Unavailable dates will be accommodated where possible (as long as it does not interfere with the schedule) and that could mean weekend only students seeing action on successive days. Again due to the logistics of putting together each programme of fixtures we will not be in a position to accommodate change after the fixtures have been released.

Due to the huge volume of matches results will be accepted by text message only to 087-2060715 on the night of the match or the following morning only. Results later than this will already have been marked 0-0 on the championship table and this will be updated almost daily on this website.

To see the opening fixtures click Fixture 1 and for the championship tables click Championship Groups