Most valuable player
In sports, a most valuable player (MVP) award is an honor typically bestowed upon the best-performing player (or players) in an entire league, for a particular competition, or on a specific team. Initially used in professional sports, the term is now also commonly used in amateur sports, as well as in other completely unrelated fields such as business and music. In many sports, MVP awards are presented for a specific match—in other words, a man of the match award.
The term is most common in the United States and Canada. In other cases, "Player of the Year" is used. In Australia, Australian rules football clubs and leagues use the term "best and fairest", while those playing rugby league use "Player of the Year", such as the Dally M Medal. The National Basketball League, however, uses the American-style "MVP" for its awards. Insofar as there is a distinction between an MVP and a Player of the Year, a "player of the year" describes the greatest individual talent, while a "most valuable player" is a person most responsible for their team's success.
In many cases the awards are voted on by members of the media. In others the vote is by players, coaches, or umpires. In recent years online polls from the public decide some awards.
Specific examples include:
- Major League Baseball's American and National Leagues, AL & NL Championship Series, and World Series; also All-Star Game
- National Football League regular season and Super Bowl; also Pro Bowl;
- Hart Memorial Trophy (National Hockey League regular season) and Conn Smythe Trophy (playoffs); the All-Star Game also has an MVP
- National Basketball Association regular season and Finals; also NBA All-Star Game
- Major League Soccer regular season and MLS Cup
- FIVB Tournaments
- Canadian Football League regular season, East Division, West Division, and Grey Cup; also "Most Valuable Canadian" awards for the regular season and Grey Cup
- College football's Heisman Trophy
- NCAA Basketball Tournament
- Indian Premier League
- National Basketball League regular season and Grand Final
- Leigh Matthews Trophy, given by the AFL Players Association to the AFL's most valuable player (as opposed to the Brownlow Medal, given to the fairest and best)
- Philippine Basketball Association regular season