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A State of Origin competition is a type of sporting event between players representing their state or territory, popularised by the rugby league State of Origin series. State of Origin began in Australian rules football on 8 October 1977 between Western Australia (WA) and Victoria, at Subiaco Oval in Perth, the initial brainchild of Leon Larkin.The selection criteria for Australian football have varied, but they are generally applied to players who have played most of their juniors games in a particular state or territory, hence the name "State of Origin". In Rugby League the criteria are different, where players are selected for where they either first played senior Rugby League or where they played in the majority of senior competitions. The annual Rugby League State of Origin series is one of Australia's most popular sporting events. The name is also used in Australia for small sporting events which generally involve domestic representative teams.
It was devised to address the drift of most talented Australian rules players to the Victorian Football League (VFL) and the effect that this had on interstate matches. A similar situation existed in regard to the New South Wales Rugby League which attracted the best players from the Queensland Rugby League because of its far stronger and financially attractive competition. The latter was due to the increased funds of the New South Wales clubs, due to poker machines, which Queensland laws prohibited.[ citation needed ]
The first recorded call for 'state of origin' selection rules for interstate football was made in 1900. A journalist known as "The Cynic" writing for a rugby football periodical called The Referee, suggested that Stephen Spragg, who had moved to Queensland, should be able to play for his state of birth, New South Wales.The change did not eventuate, with residential selection rules prevailing both before and after the split into rugby league and rugby union until the concept was later resurrected for league. However, in rugby union the concept has never been used, as the Queensland and New South Wales teams ceased to be representative, instead becoming more like clubs.
Traditionally, the basis for selecting players in representative international sides (i.e. their country of origin) did not extend to interstate sides in Australian rugby league. Instead players represented the state in which they played their club football as per the 'residency rule', in which they played for the club which represented the district they lived in. This gave a significant advantage to New South Wales as the movement of players south was far greater than the movement north, especially beginning in the 1960s when the NSW state government allowed football clubs to install poker machine parlours at their social clubhouses. Flush with cash from their gambling interests, top Sydney clubs could easily pay lavish sums for Queensland talent that Brisbane clubs could not afford to match.
Former Queensland captain and Australian vice-captain Jack Reardon, who had later become a journalist, was the first to suggest that Sydney-based Queenslanders should be available for selection to represent their state.This would not eventuate until decades later however, when New South Wales and Queensland played their first "state of origin" match on 8 July 1980. The Australian rules experience was echoed, with Queenslanders showing enormous interest in the game at Lang Park, Brisbane, although NSW-based players and journalists described it as "the non-event of the century". Queensland defeated New South Wales in that match, and State of Origin has grown into Australia's greatest sporting rivalry.
The popularity of State of Origin matches since then has not waned and they remain one of Australia's (and indeed the region's) biggest sporting events. A record crowd of 91,513 attended a game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2015. The record for the annual three game series was set in 2015, when a total of 224,135 people attended. The 2005 series saw an attendance record for a series with two matches in Queensland, with 187,374.The record television audience was set during game 1 of the 2009 series and stands at 3.48 million. Queensland has won 18 series from 1982–2013, and NSW has won 13, with 2 drawn. Queensland have won the most series in a row. (8 Series 2006–2013).
Australian international teams are often selected based on performance in the State of Origin series.
New South Wales play in sky blue jerseys and are known as "the Blues", a term dating from 1974 when a journalist used the name in an article. The Blues won that series, leading coach Jack Gibson to comment "I thought they went pretty well for a bunch of cockroaches". The Queensland team plays in a maroon jersey, and are called "the Maroons". Both teams also have unbecoming nicknames – New South Wales: "the Cockroaches"; Queensland: "the Cane Toads".
The first 'state of origin' game was an Australian Football game between Western Australia (WA) and Victoria, at Subiaco Oval in Perth on 8 October 1977.Leon Larkin, marketing manager of the Subiaco Football Club in the West Australian Football League (WAFL), negotiated with the VFL for two years, before arrangements for the game were finalised. In the words of football historian John Devaney:
A Western Australian team comprised entirely of home-based players had, on 25 June, taken on a Victorian team containing many of the same players who would return to Perth ... for the state of origin clash. The respective scores of the two matches offered a persuasive argument, if such were needed, of the extent to which the VFL had denuded the WAFL of its elite talent:
- On 25 June 1977 Victoria 23.16 (154) defeated Western Australia 13.13 (91) – a margin of 63 points
- On 8 October 1977 Western Australia 23.13 (151) defeated Victoria 8.9 (57) – a margin of 94 points, representing an overall turn around of 157 points
Western Australia's previous biggest winning margin against a Victorian state team had been a mere 38 points in 1948. Almost overnight, an inferiority complex was dismantled: Victoria, it seemed, was not intrinsically superior, only wealthier.
Games involving each of the other states soon followed. In 1989, a crowd of 91,960 people – a record for interstate games in Australian rules – attended a game between Victoria and South Australia at the MCG.
However, attendance and interest declined during the 1990s, due to a variety of factors, such as the VFL's ongoing conversion into a national club competition,the Australian Football League (AFL). The last official state of origin game involving AFL players was held in 1999. However, an annual veterans' game is still held.
A one-off AFL Hall of Fame Tribute Match between a Victorian state of origin side and the Dream Team representing the other states, was staged on 10 May 2008 to celebrate 150 years of Australian Football.
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The success of the State of Origin series in Australian rugby league resulted in the revival of England's inter-county games in 2001, under the name Origin Series. However, the revival was scrapped in 2003 amid increasing fixture congestion and general apathy from league supporters.
The International Origin Match, held from 2011 to 2013, was more of an all-star game, as it pitted the England national team against Australian and New Zealand stars in the largely English-based Super League.
Australian rules football, officially known as Australian football, or simply called "Aussie rules", "football" or "footy", is a contact sport played between two teams of 18 players on an oval field, often a modified cricket ground. Points are scored by kicking the oval ball between the middle goal posts or between a goal and behind post.
The West Australian Football League (WAFL) is an Australian rules football league based in Perth, Western Australia. The WAFL is the third-most popular league in the nation, behind the nationwide Australian Football League (AFL) and South Australian National Football League (SANFL). The league currently consists of ten teams, which play each other in a 20-round season usually lasting from March to September, with the top five teams playing off in a finals series, culminating in a Grand Final. The league also runs reserves, colts (under-19) and women's competitions.
The State of Origin series is an annual best-of-three rugby league series between two Australian state representative sides, the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons.
Rugby league in Australia has been one of New South Wales most popular sports since it started being played there in 1908. It is the dominant winter football code in the states of New South Wales and Queensland. In 2009, it was the most watched sport on Australian television eclipsing the AFL nationally for the first time with an aggregate audience of 128.5 million viewers. The elite club competition is the National Rugby League (NRL), which features ten teams from New South Wales, three teams from Queensland, and one team each from Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and New Zealand.
Australian rules football matches between teams representing Australian colonies, states and territories have been held since 1879. For most of the 20th century, the absence of a national club competition and international matches meant that football games between state representative teams were regarded with great importance. Football historian John Devaney has argued that: "some of the state of origin contests which took place during the 1980s constituted arguably the finest expositions of the game ever seen".
Australian rules football in Queensland has a history which dates back to the mid-1860s. By the early 1880s it was the most prominent football code in the colony, but was progressively overtaken by the Rugby code, resulting in the local game disbanding in the early 1890s. The sport was revived in the early 1900s and continued to be played throughout the twentieth century, despite the majority of the state being considered for much of the century to be well behind the Barassi Line.
The Australian Football League (AFL) is the pre-eminent and only fully professional men's competition of Australian rules football. Through the AFL Commission, the AFL also serves as the sport's governing body, and is responsible for controlling the laws of the game. Originally known as the Victorian Football League (VFL), it was founded in 1896 as a breakaway competition from the Victorian Football Association (VFA), with its inaugural season commencing the following year. The VFL, aiming to become a national competition, began expanding beyond Victoria to other Australian states in the 1980s, and changed its name to the AFL in 1990.
Australian rules football has been played in New South Wales since the 1870s; however it has a chequered history in the state and has generally been overshadowed in popularity as a winter sport by the rugby football codes. Compared to rugby league, Australian football had a small presence in Sydney until the 1980s. The sport is popular elsewhere in the state, and has been the dominant code in the Riverina and Broken Hill. Its popularity is constantly increasing northward, across what is known as the Barassi Line.
The Queensland rugby league team represents the Australian state of Queensland in rugby league football. Nicknamed the "Maroons", after the colour of their jersey, the team plays three times a year against arch-rivals New South Wales in the State of Origin series. Coached by Wayne Bennett and captained by Daly Cherry-Evans, the team is administered by the Queensland Rugby League and plays all of its home matches at Brisbane's Lang Park.
Australian rules football in Western Australia is the most popular sport in the state.
In the Australian state of Victoria, the sport of Australian rules football is the most popular football code. The game's popularity in Victoria stems from its origins in Melbourne in the 1850s, with the first club and the first league both based in the city. Ten of the eighteen teams participating in the Australian Football League (AFL) are based in Victoria, as a result of the league's origins as the Victorian Football League (VFL). The Melbourne Cricket Ground, with a capacity of 100,024 people, is considered the "spiritual home" of the game, and hosts the sport's largest event, the AFL Grand Final, yearly.
The "Barassi Line" is an imaginary line in Australia which divides areas where Australian rules football is more popular than rugby league and rugby union and vice versa. It was first used by historian Ian Turner in his "1978 Ron Barassi Memorial Lecture". Crowd figures, media coverage, and participation rates are heavily skewed in favour of the dominant code, and against the opposing code on both sides of the line.
Michael Clifford Fitzpatrick is an Australian businessman, sporting administrator and former professional Australian rules football player. He was chairman of the AFL Commission from 2007 to 2017.
The Australian National Football Council (ANFC) was the national governing body for Australian rules football in Australia from 1906 until 1995. The council was a body of delegates representing each of the sport's individual state leagues which controlled football in their states. The council was the owner of the laws of the game and managed interstate administrative and football matters. Its function was superseded by the AFL Commission.
The Western Australia Australian rules football team is the state representative side of Western Australia in the sport of Australian rules football.
Rugby union in Victoria describes the sport of rugby union being played and watched in the state of Victoria in Australia. The code was first introduced some time between the 1850s and 1880s but remained a minor sport played primarily in the private schools and amongst interstate expats. This has changed, particularly since the professionalisation of the game in the mid 1990s.
Rugby union has a long history in Australia, with the first club being formed in 1863 at Sydney University. Today it holds tier one status with World Rugby and has over 82,000 players nationwide.
The Allies is an Australian rules football interstate representative team consisting of players from Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, and Tasmania. Allies contested senior State of Origin football between 1995 and 1998, and have contested the AFL Under 18 Championships annually since 2016.
The history of sport in Australia dates back to the pre-colonial period of the country.
On Monday, 13 June 1960, the Tasmanian state team hosted a Victorian state team in an interstate Australian rules football match at York Park, Launceston. The Tasmanian team won by seven points, considered one of the biggest interstate football upset victories of all time, and one of the greatest moments in the history of Tasmanian football. It was the first of only two victories by Tasmania against a Victorian Football League or Victorian state of origin team, from a total of 29 matches. A then-record Launceston crowd of 15,600 attended the game.