When Kerry and Mayo came up against one another in the 1981 All-Ireland senior football semi-final, the GAA followed the traditional route of sorting colour clashes by ordering both counties to line out in provincial colours, the blue of Munster and white of Connacht respectively. Mayo added a nice twist by including green and red trim.
By the time of their next meeting 15 years later, however, no change at all was decreed. Despite this, Mayo travelled to Croke Park with a red set and a white set of jerseys, the latter having been used in the 1995 U21 final, just in case a last-minute modification was required. In the event, both were allowed to wear green.
After Mayo won that '96 semi, they faced Meath in the final, where again both counties wore predominantly green jerseys, though Meath changed for the replay. Presumably this was a factor in Kerry wearing jerseys with an extra-large gold hoop for the 1997 All-Ireland final.
The next time the counties met was in the 2004 final, and this time there was a toss of coin to decide. After losing the toss, Mayo lost the game wearing the red shirts they had used in the drawn semi-final and replay against Fermanagh.
Mayo again wore red in the 2005 league meeting of the counties, but while it was deemed a clash in the '04 final, regular kits were allowed to be worn for the quarter-final meeting in '05. In the early spring of 2006, however, Mayo again wore red when they met in the league.
The 2006 All-Ireland final provided a third championsip meeting in as many years, and again the counties played in their usual outfits. Both had introduced new kits for 2006, however, the shades of green differing while the amounts of gold and red had increased, aiding differentiation.
The counties' current kits have similar shades of green, however, and the GAA also seem to be clamping down more on colour clashes, meaning change kits for the 2011 semi-final meeting. Kerry had worn navy against Limerick in the quarter-final but used a royal blue version in the same design on this occasion as they triumphed again.
Could normal jerseys have been used if each county wore shorts the same colour as their hoop, though? This is of course mere whimsy and it's unlikely that the idea has ever even been considered. Gold/yellow shorts are a rarity in the GAA for a reason.
But maybe a satisfactory outcome of both counties in traditional colours could have been reached with a bit of imagination. Until this year, Kerry's alternative colours in the GAA's Official Diary were green with gold trim, last worn in the 1982 All-Ireland final loss to Offaly. This, used against a Mayo kit that had extra red but still with the green above the red, would surely have alleviated any colour confusion.