Best and Fairest

Best and Fairest (also known as Fairest and Best in some competitions, notably the Australian Football League) is the term commonly used in Australian sport to describe the player(s) adjudged to have had the best performance in a game or over a season for a given sporting club or competition while not receiving a suspension for misconduct or breaching the rules during that season.

In the Australian Football League (formerly the VFL), the Brownlow Medal is awarded to the player who, provided he has not been suspended during the season, receives the most votes from the umpires for being the Fairest and Best player in games during the home and away season. In each game, the umpires award three votes to the player they judge to be the best afield in that game, two votes to the second-best player and one vote to the third-best player. The votes are counted at a gala function on the Monday preceding the Grand Final.

Another "best and fairest" honour, the Leigh Matthews Trophy, is voted on by the AFL's players and awarded by their trade union, the AFL Players Association. Unlike the Brownlow, players who have served disciplinary suspensions during the season are still eligible to win this award.

Best-and-fairest awards of major Australian football competitions
Medal League First awarded Award criteria Comments
Brownlow Medal Australian Football League 1924 Fairest and best Awarded by the league
Leigh Matthews Trophy Australian Football League 1982 Most valuable Awarded by the AFL Players Association
Sandover Medal West Australian Football League 1921 Fairest and best
Magarey Medal South Australian National Football League 1898 Fairest and most brilliant
J. J. Liston Trophy Victorian Football League 1945 Best and fairest Between 1923 and the 1941 the Recorder Cup was awarded, and between 1933 and 1940 the VFA Medal was also awarded
Grogan Medal Queensland AFL 1946 Best and fairest The De Little Medal was awarded earlier
William Leitch Medal Tasmanian State League 1930 Best and fairest A previous award also existed
Morrish Medal TAC Cup 1947 Best and fairest The Morrish Medal was also the best and fairest award in the VFL/AFL Under-19s competition which was superseded by the TAC Cup in 1992
Larke Medal AFL National Under 18 Championships, Division 1 1976 Best
Hunter Harrison Medal AFL National Under 18 Championships, Division 2 1992 Best
Phelan Medal Sydney AFL Best and fairest
Baldock Medal Northern Tasmanian Football League
Nichols Medal Northern Territory Football League
Best and Fairest awards in the Australian Football League
Current awards
  • Malcolm Blight Medal (Adelaide)
  • Merrett–Murray Medal (Brisbane Lions)
  • John Nicholls Medal (Carlton)
  • Copeland Trophy (Collingwood)
  • W. S. Crichton Medal (Essendon)
  • Doig Medal (Fremantle)
  • Carji Greeves Medal (Geelong)
  • Club Champion (Gold Coast)
  • Kevin Sheedy Medal (Greater Western Sydney)
  • Peter Crimmins Medal (Hawthorn)
  • Keith 'Bluey' Truscott Medal (Melbourne)
  • Syd Barker Medal (North Melbourne)
  • John Cahill Medal (Port Adelaide)
  • Jack Dyer Medal (Richmond)
  • Trevor Barker Award (St Kilda)
  • Bob Skilton Medal (Sydney)
  • Club Champion Award (West Coast)
  • Charles Sutton Medal (Western Bulldogs)
Former awards
  • Mitchell Medal (Fitzroy)
Australian rules football
Leagues and competitions
  • Australian Football League
  • Foxtel Cup
  • NAB Cup
  • North East Australian Football League
  • Northern Territory Football League
  • South Australian National Football League
  • Sydney AFL
  • TAC Cup
  • Tasmanian Football League
  • Victorian Football League
  • West Australian Football League
  • History of the VFL/AFL
  • Origins
  • Marn Grook
  • Early VFL Final systems
  • Australian rules football during the World Wars
  • Interstate football
  • Comparison of Australian rules football and Gaelic football
  • Relationship between Gaelic football and Australian rules football
  • Auskick
  • Rec Footy
  • International rules football
  • Lightning football
  • Metro Footy
  • Superules
  • Women's Footy
  • Countries playing Australian rules football
  • Australian Football International Cup
  • Tournaments
  • Brownlow Medal
  • Coleman Medal
  • All-Australian team
  • Norm Smith Medal
  • Australian Football Hall of Fame
  • AFL Rising Star
  • AFLPA Awards – Leigh Matthews Trophy
  • Best and Fairest
  • Goal of the Year
  • Mark of the Year
  • Michael Tuck Medal
  • Sandover Medal
  • Magarey Medal
Major events
  • AFL Grand Final
  • International Rules Series
  • Anzac Day clash
  • The Showdown
  • QClash
  • Western Derby
  • Dreamtime at the 'G
  • Queen's Birthday Clash
  • Carlton–Collingwood AFL rivalry
  • Robert Rose Cup
  • Australian popular culture
  • Terms and jargon
  • Footy tipping
  • Australian rules football families
  • Banner
  • AFL Record
  • AFL video games
  • Mascot Manor
  • Television shows
Related articles
  • VFL/AFL Premiers
  • VFL/AFL Coaches
  • VFL/AFL records
  • After the siren kicks
  • First kick/first goal
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