The Australian Rugby League Commission has announced that aggregate points will be used as the means of deciding a series winner ahead of the two-game Women's State of Origin series which is set to kick off next month.
New South Wales will place host to Queensland at CommBank Stadium on Thursday, June 1. The Maroons will then play host to the Blues at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in the final fixture on the 22nd of the same month.
Previously, there had been no need for a tiebreaking mechanism, with the past five Women's Origin series capped at a single game per season.
The ARLC's series-splitting device was announced by NRL.com, with the rulings reading as follows should the 2023 series remain deadlocked at 1-1 after full-time of Game 2:
- The series winner will be determined by the aggregated scores accumulated across the two matches (total score across the two matches).
- If, at the conclusion of the series the two teams are equal on aggregate score (total points scored across the two matches), a series winner will be determined according to the following criteria from the two matches: Most tries scored. Then if equal, most goals kicked. Then if equal, most drop goals kicked. Then if equal, least amount of penalties conceded across the two matches. Then if equal, the team that scored the first try of the series. Then if equal, The team that scored the first goal of the series. Then if equal, the team that scored the first drop goal of the series.
The ARLC explained their updated rulings had been put into place for the following reasons.
- The aggregate system will ensure that, regardless of the result in Game One, Game Two will remain a live contest;
- This will ensure interest is high in both games and there will be ongoing engagement and excitement over the series.
- The winner of the series will be the result of the actions of players and teams from this year, rather than previous year (which would involve different players)
- The option of the Shield being retained by the team currently holding the shield (NSW) is not supported by either States or the RLPA
- The concept would also promote attacking play and lead to a more exciting finish should aggregate scores be close;
- It is commonly used in premiership and international soccer when finals or playoffs are determined by two-match ties, and means the series winner would not be known until the conclusion of the second match, regardless of the outcome of Game One;
- It would assist the growth of the women's game from grassroots through to elite with interest in both Women's State of Origin matches.
If either individual fixture remains tied at full-time, standard golden point procedures will be enacted in an effort to decide a winner.
Since the return of Women's Origin in 2018, New South Wales - the current shield holders - hold a 3-2 advantage over their northern neighbours.