The Wooden Spoon is the unofficial title for the last placed team at the end of the regular AFL season. Why a wooden spoon? The wooden spoon is an award usually given to an individual or team which has come last in a competition. The custom dates back to at least the early 19th century, where a wooden spoon was awarded by the students at the University of Cambridge to the student who achieved the lowest exam marks, but still earned a third-class degree in the Mathematical Tripos.
The 1916 season presents contention about who won the wooden spoon that year. In 1916 only four teams competed in the competition, with Fitzroy finishing bottom of the ladder after the regular season. However, all four teams played in the finals, with Fitzroy winning the premiership and Richmond finishing 4th. The wooden spoon could be either awarded to Fitzroy for the regular season result, or Richmond who was ranked last after the finals.
The only team yet to be awarded a wooden spoon is a relatively recent addition to the competition: Port Adelaide. Adelaide were first awarded the wooden spoon in 2020. The West Coast Eagles 'won' their first Wooden Spoon in 2010, and the Gold Coast Suns and GWS Giants won it in their first season in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Gold Coast and GSW join St Kilda and Hawthorn as the clubs to have been awarded the wooden spoon in their inaugural season. St Kilda have won the most wooden spoons, more than double any other team.
VFL/AFL Wooden Spoon Awardees List
|2023||West Coast Eagles|
|2019||Gold Coast Suns|
|2011||Gold Coast Suns|
|2010||West Coast Eagles|
|1916||Fitzroy or Richmond *|