W&M, ODU Will Battle for the Silver Mace

July 31st, 2011 by Kim Lenz

The Norfolk Mace (Photo courtesy The Chrysler Museum)

A new sort of competition will put more than just the final score at stake for two local universities’ athletic programs. The athletics departments from the College of William and Mary and Old Dominion University will partner with title sponsor, Optima Health, to launch the Optima Health Challenge for the coming athletics year.

The Optima Health Challenge will be a running score of all the direct competitions between the two Colonial Athletic Association schools, with a champion being named at the end of the athletic season and receiving the Optima Health Trophy.

Additionally, the team’s football game this November will be known as the “Battle for the Silver Mace,” with the winner being presented with a replica of the historical Norfolk Mace currently on display in the Chrysler Museum of Art. The Norfolk Mace was presented to the Norfolk Common Council on April 1, 1754 by Royal Lt. Governor Robert Dinwiddie. Then, it was considered a symbol of authority bestowed by English royalty. It survived the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and being misplaced after the bank where it was kept for safekeeping in the late 1800s foreclosed.

“The Optima Health Challenge will add an exciting new chapter to a long and competitive rivalry between two great school’s and athletics programs,” said William and Mary Athletics Director, Terry Driscoll. “With a history that dates back to 1893 and includes a conference-best 102 total CAA titles, the William and Mary athletics program boasts one of the state’s longest and proudest athletics traditions.  Partnering with Optima Health and Old Dominion University will give fans of both schools even more incentive to follow every result through all the competitive seasons.”

The scoring system will award 10 points for the overall winner in every regular season ODU-W&M athletic competition (for instance, in football, the winner of the November 12 matchup will receive 10 points; in baseball, the winner of the regular season three-game series will receive 10 points).

A total of 140 points (10 points for football, 10 points for men’s baseball, 10 points for women’s softball, and 10 points per 11 Olympic Sports) will be awarded for 2011-12. The winning school will be the first to tally 75 points.

Optima Health, which is based in Virginia Beach, provides health plan coverage to more than 415,000 members throughout the state.

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