NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Move over Commonwealth Clash, there’s a new rivalry series in Virginia.

Old Dominion and James Madison universities are taking advantage of their renewed conference partnership with a head-to-head competition.

It’s being dubbed the “Royal Rivalry,” as both programs — the Dukes and Monarchs — have regal names with mascots that sport crowns.

The TowneBank Royal Rivalry Challenge will include all head-to-head athletic contests from both programs, who now get to play multiple times across various sports each season in the Sun Belt Conference. ODU and JMU were longtime Colonial Athletic Association rivals, but the amount of overall matchups fell when the Monarchs left the CAA in 2013. Both schools join the Sun Belt over the summer.

“The chance to have a strong in-state rival again is one of the best things about joining the Sun Belt Conference,” said Dr. Wood Selig, ODU athletic director. “Now that we will play every year, we rekindle a spirited sports rivalry that brings together students and alumni from across the Commonwealth.”

Teams will get points for head-to-head wins, or for the best finish in mutual conference championship events in sports head-to-head competition doesn’t occur. Half points are granted in cases of a tie.

Points will also be awarded for postseason wins against the other team.

“Competitions against Old Dominion have been a key part of our history, and we’re excited that they will be an important component of our future,” JMU Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne said. “Nearly every JMU sports program has memorable moments against the Monarchs, and the Royal Rivalry will heighten interest in new moments to be made. We’re excited for this partnership and for our shared future with Old Dominion in the Sun Belt.”

There may also be additional points awarded for academic achievements and other competitions between the two schools, per a release from JMU.

So far JMU is up 4.5 to 1.5 points over ODU. The next competition between the two schools is the highly-anticipated sold-out football matchup in Norfolk on Nov. 12. ODU is 2-0 all-time against the Dukes.

09/02/2022Field HockeyODU, 6-1ODU
09/22/2022Women’s SoccerJMU, 1-0JMU
09/25/2022Men’s SoccerTie, 0-0ODU
10/07/2022VolleyballJMU, 3-0JMU
10/08/2022VolleyballJMU, 3-0JMU
10/08/2022Women’s SwimmingJMU, 210-83GWU
12/31/2022Women’s BasketballJMU
02/02/2023Men’s BasketballODU
02/16/2023Men’s BasketballJMU
02/18/2023Women’s BasketballODU
04/01/2023Women’s LacrosseJMU
TOTAL TO DATE:JMU leads 4.5-1.5
Full schedules have not been released for baseball, golf and tennis*

As far as the trophy? It’s still being designed by both schools’ art departments, but we’re thinking a crown may be in involved.