Matchplays are run twice during the season to give more opportunity for players to play competitively. These are held during the Winter (October -December) and Spring (March-April).
Matchplays can have three stages:
Players in a region play to qualify to play in the second stage which is the Provincial matchplays. Regionals are run in a single day (or a few hours) in a club in the region. There are usually a small number of players and the format is then generally round robin. The top two finishers in each regional matchplay go forward to play in the Provincial Players must be a member of a club in the region in order to play in that regional matchplay. In Ulster there are five different regions, corresponding to the education areas across Ulster:
- South Eastern
- North Eastern
Provincial matchplays have a maximum of 16 players, consisting of at most two players from each of the five regional matchplays, plus six players who are exempt from playing a regional matchplay based on their UTP ranking in a particular age group.
Provincial matchplays are normally run over a weekend with a Compass draw, to guarantee players three or four matches regardless of winning or losing.
The Winter provincials are run at indoor venues to guarantee that play is not affected by the weather, while the Spring Provincials are run at outdoor venues.
For Winter provincials, the winner will qualify for the National Matchplays, which take players from the four provinces to play over a weekend. The top 12 ranked players in Ireland according to the National Rankings are exempt from Provincial matchplays and go straight to the National Matchplays.
There is no longer a Spring National Matchplay, so there is no qualification from the Spring Provincial matchplays, but all players still receive UTP ranking points.