Norm Smith Medal

Luke Hodge, 2008 and 2014 Norm Smith medallist. Hodge is one of just three players to have won multiple Norm Smith medals, along with Gary Ayres and Andrew McLeod.

The Norm Smith Medal is the award given in the AFL Grand Final to the player adjudged by an independent panel of experts to have been the best player in the match.[1]

The Norm Smith Medal is named after former Melbourne player and coach, Norm Smith. It was named in his honour mostly due to his coaching feats in Grand Finals: he coached six Melbourne premiership sides from eight appearances in Grand Finals.


As with most individual awards in team sports, the Norm Smith Medal is usually awarded to a player on the winning side. Only four players have won the award in losing sides: Maurice Rioli in 1982, Gary Ablett, Sr. in 1989, Nathan Buckley in 2002 and Chris Judd in 2005. It is notable that Ablett, Buckley and Judd won their medals in very close Grand Finals, whereas Rioli won his in the 1982 Grand Final, despite his team being convincingly beaten by Carlton. Judd is the only player to go on and play in a winning premiership team (West Coast 2006) after his Norm Smith medal in 2005 in a losing team. Lenny Hayes is the only player to win the Norm Smith in a drawn Grand Final, in 2010. No player has won the unique double of a Norm Smith medal in the same year as his Brownlow medal.

Gary Ayres, Andrew McLeod and Luke Hodge are the only players to have won the medal twice. In the 1997 and 1998 grand finals McLeod won consecutive Norm Smith Medals, and to date remains the only man ever to achieve this feat. The first winner of the medal, Wayne Harmes, was Norm Smith's nephew.


The medal is voted for by a panel of five experts from the media, with one member designated as the chairman. The panel-members independently award 3-2-1 votes to the players they adjudge to be the best three players in the game. These votes are tallied, and the highest number of votes wins the medal.

There is no chance of a tie for the medal; if two players are tied for votes, the following countbacks will apply in order:

In the case of a grand final being drawn and a replay being required, a separate Norm Smith Medal is awarded in each game.

There has been some criticism that the judging panel makes its decision late during the last quarter, before the game has ended, to fit into the post-game ceremonies. Therefore, the last minutes of the game are not taken into consideration when voting takes place.

List of winners

Year Winner Club Winning team
1979 Wayne Harmes Carlton Carlton
1980 Kevin Bartlett Richmond Richmond
1981 Bruce Doull Carlton Carlton
19821 Maurice Rioli Richmond Carlton
1983 Colin Robertson Hawthorn Hawthorn
1984 Billy Duckworth Essendon Essendon
1985 Simon Madden Essendon Essendon
1986 Gary Ayres Hawthorn Hawthorn
1987 David Rhys-Jones Carlton Carlton
1988 Gary Ayres Hawthorn Hawthorn
19891 Gary Ablett, Sr. Geelong Hawthorn
1990 Tony Shaw Collingwood Collingwood
1991 Paul Dear Hawthorn Hawthorn
1992 Peter Matera West Coast West Coast
1993 Michael Long Essendon Essendon
1994 Dean Kemp West Coast West Coast
1995 Greg Williams Carlton Carlton
1996 Glenn Archer North Melbourne North Melbourne
1997 Andrew McLeod Adelaide Adelaide
1998 Andrew McLeod Adelaide Adelaide
1999 Shannon Grant North Melbourne North Melbourne
2000 James Hird Essendon Essendon
2001 Shaun Hart Brisbane Lions Brisbane Lions
20021 Nathan Buckley Collingwood Brisbane Lions
2003 Simon Black Brisbane Lions Brisbane Lions
2004 Byron Pickett Port Adelaide Port Adelaide
20051 Chris Judd West Coast Sydney
2006 Andrew Embley West Coast West Coast
2007 Steve Johnson Geelong Geelong
2008 Luke Hodge Hawthorn Hawthorn
2009 Paul Chapman Geelong Geelong
20102 Lenny Hayes St Kilda Draw
Scott Pendlebury Collingwood Collingwood
2011 Jimmy Bartel Geelong Geelong
2012 Ryan O'Keefe Sydney Sydney
2013 Brian Lake Hawthorn Hawthorn
2014 Luke Hodge Hawthorn Hawthorn
2015 Cyril Rioli Hawthorn Hawthorn
2016 Jason Johannisen Western Bulldogs Western Bulldogs

1 Winner played on losing team.

2 Two medals were awarded as the grand final was drawn, and a second match was played the following week.

Multiple winners

The following players have won the Norm Smith Medal multiple times.

Medals Player Team Seasons
2 Gary Ayres Hawthorn 1986, 1988
Andrew McLeod Adelaide 1997, 1998
Luke Hodge Hawthorn 2008, 2014


  1. Lovett, Michael, ed. (2010). AFL Record Season Guide 2010. p. 521. ISBN 978-0-9806274-5-9.
  • Collins, Ben (2008). The Red Fox, The Biography of Norm Smith Legendary Melbourne Coach. Australia: The Slattery Media Group. ISBN 978-0-9803466-2-6. 

See also

External links

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