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Why the Dally M Award is flawed

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Roar Rookie
20th October, 2020
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The Dally M Award is flawed.

The system to determine the winner does not maximise the chances of the most deserving players wearing the medal.

Allocating points every game on a 3-2-1 basis creates problems.

A player on a high-performing team is more prone to miss out on points to his teammates.

On the other hand, a standout player on an average team is more chance of collecting the spoils.

That’s not to say a player on an average team shouldn’t be able to win the award. Far from it.

But the barrier must be removed that harms the chances of those on high-performing teams from etching their name in history.

The current system serves not to award the best player but to satisfy media demands.

The Dally M Awards are a made-for-subscription-TV event.


Admittedly the drama of the round-by-round vote counting presents well on the big award night.

Starting off as a wide field, the list of contenders gradually narrows after each round of the count, building to an exciting conclusion.

Dally M Medal

(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

It makes good drama but often not a great result.

The best way to arrive at the most deserving winner is not as exciting.

Mirroring the process in various American sports, a wide field of ex-players and media hacks should vote on their choice for the best player of the year.

Votes could be submitted as preferences on a 3-2-1 basis.

It could be voted at the end of the home-and-away season or after the preliminary finals.


It is embarrassing having players receiving such a prestigious award knowing deep down it should have gone to someone else.

It is even more embarrassing when most people agree with him.

If the systemic flaws were not enough cause for concern, Monday night’s result was published on The Daily Telegraph website before the winner’s envelope was even opened.

This is supposed to be the NRL’s awards.

It is the NRL who should solely run the event without anyone – including any media organisation – being privy to the results before they are announced.


News Corp having such an influence on the running of the Dally M Award is a remembrance of the days it was half owner of the game.

The game has moved on and so should the Dally Ms.