The Sandover Medal is an Australian rules football award, given annually since 1921 to the fairest and best player in the West Australian Football League. The award was donated by Alfred Sandover M.B.E., a prominent Perth hardware merchant and benefactor.
After each match, the three field umpires (those umpires who control the flow of the game) confer and award a 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point vote to the players they regard as the best, second best, third best and so on in the match respectively. Voting wasn't always done this way. From 1930–1984, 3, 2 and 1 point votes were given, and prior to 1930 there was only one vote per game.
Just like similar "fairest and best" awards, for example the Brownlow and Magarey Medals, if a player is suspended for a reportable offence throughout the season then they become ineligible to win the award. This in effect is where the "fairest" element of the award comes in.
On the awards night, the votes over the home and away (regular) season are tallied and the eligible player with the highest number of votes is awarded the medal. In the past, ties were decided on a countback system, but since 1985 it is possible for multiple medals to be awarded in the event of a tie.
Prior to 1930 when only 1 vote per game was given, and hence a countback was not possible, the WAFL president would cast a deciding vote to decide the winner.
Players that had missed out on a medal due to the countback system were awarded them retrospectively in 1997.
Sandover Medal winners
Voting system changed from a single vote per game to 3-2-1 voting in 1930, and then to 5-4-3-2-1 voting in 1985
The following players have won the Sandover Medal multiple times.
|4||Bill Walker||Swan Districts||1965, 1966, 1967, 1970|
|3||Haydn Bunton, Sr.||Subiaco||1938, 1939, 1941|
|Merv McIntosh||Perth||1948, 1953, 1954|
|Graham Farmer||East Perth||1956, 1957, 1960|
|Barry Cable||Perth||1964, 1968, 1973|
|2||Johnny Leonard||Subiaco||1926, 1929|
|Sammy Clarke||Claremont||1933, 1934|
|Ray Sorrell||East Fremantle||1961, 1963|
|Phil Kelly||East Perth||1978, 1979|
|Stephen Michael||South Fremantle||1980, 1981|
|Peter Spencer||East Perth||1976, 1984|
|Ian Dargie||Subiaco||1991, 1994|
|Allistair Pickett||Peel Thunder / Subiaco||2002, 2004|
|Jye Bolton||Claremont||2016, 2018|
- Sandover Medal information from the Official WAFL website
- "North's Indigenous pride". North Melbourne Football Club. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2011.