The Brownlow Medal (official title: Charles Brownlow Trophy) is awarded to the 'fairest and best' player in the AFL during the regular season (i.e. does not include finals matches). The Medal was named after Charles Brownlow, a Geelong player and long-serving administrator from the early days of the VFL (Victorian Football League).
For the first 10 years that the Medal was awarded, the votes were decided by the media. The voting is currently decided upon by the field umpires. There have been a couple of different voting systems. From 1924-1930 only one vote was awarded per game. From 1931 to the present, there are six votes awarded per game: 3, 2 and 1 for the top three players. However, in 1976 and 77 there were 12 votes per game: 3, 2 and 1 from each of the two field umpires.
Players who are suspended at some time during the season are ineligible for the award, though their votes are still counted.
- The first winner of the Brownlow Medal, in 1924, was Edward Greeves of Geelong.
- There have been two occasions where a suspended player has scored the highest number of votes:
- Corey McKernan of North Melbourne in 1996
- Chris Grant of Western Bulldogs in 1997
- Four players have won the prize three times:
- Haydn Bunton, Sr. Fitzroy in 1931, 1932 &1935
- Dick Reynolds Essendon in 1934, 1937 & 1938
- Bob Skilton South Melbourne in 1959, 1963 &1968
- Ian Stewart St Kilda / Richmond in 1965, 1966 &1971
- Five players have won the Brownlow with different clubs:
- Ian Stewart, St Kilda in 1965, 1966 & Richmond 1971
- Peter Moore, Collingwood 1979, Melbourne 1984
- Greg Williams, Sydney 1986, Carlton 1994
- Chris Judd, WCE in 2004, Carlton 2010
- Gary Ablett Jnr, Geelong 2009, Gold Coast Suns 2013
- The highest number of votes polled by a winner was South Melbourne's Graham Teasdale in 1977 (59 votes). It was a year in which there were two umpires giving votes for each game.
- In 1992 Carlton's Jon Dorotich finished a game against St Kilda with 3 disposals, 0 marks and 0 tackles, though was able to poll two Brownlow medal votes in this match (a nod to an impressive defensive game keeping Tony Lockett goaless in the second half)
- In 2016, the winner from 2012, Jobe Watson, was stripped of his medal due to a doping violation.
- 2017 winner Dustin Martin of Richmond had a record 11 BOGs (best on ground) votes.
- The 2021 count, held in Perth, was the first time in history where four players polled at least 30 votes.
- In 2022, the players from the West Coast team had a combined 15 votes, the lowest total in the AFL era.
- Winner's List of the Brownlow Medal
- AFL Grand Final Winners
- Dally M Award Winners (for Rugby League)
- Other AFL awards