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How to Pick a Brownlow Winner

Brownlow Medal

How do you pick a Brownlow Medal winner? It's a good question and one one we are going to look at analysing in this article.

We have been delving into the stats here at Phantom Brownlow HQ over the past few days, to see what links the winners of the past.

There is no exact science to picking a Brownlow Medal winner, as it is an award voted by the umpires. In other words, it's subjective to how the specific umpires determine who they thought was best, and we can't guess what is going on in their minds.

Looking at a statistical analysis is an objective approach and cannot always work, but it certainly throws up some interesting scenarios.

Our analysis has taken us back to 2010, as that is the year that detailed stats become readily available.

That means things like inside 50s, rebound 50s, clearances, goal assists and clangers began being tracked.

We have also had nine Brownlow Medallists since 2010 (dual winners in 2012), so it gives us a good sample of data to analyse. Especially since the game has changed significantly over the past decade.

Brownlow Medal Stats (since 2010)

Brownlow Medal winner stats

You can see the stats above. It should be self explanatory. GM = Games and LD = ladder position at the end of the home and away season of each players team.

Each stat category seems relatively close. There are no real outliers, so you would assume if a player puts up similar numbers to these this season, they will go close to winning a Brownlow.

Things worth noting are that you can win in a team that finishes outside the top eight. Priddis, Ablett and Cotchin all won the medal finishing outside the top eight. Five (56%) of the nine winners since 2010 finished inside the top four.

Getting plenty of the football is a prerequisite these days. Each winner since 2010 averaged at least 26.8 disposals a game, while 67% averaged 28.5+ disposals per game.

You'll want to be a good goal scorer. Eight players (89%) scored at least 10 goals for the year and five (56%) at least 20+ goals.

Tackle averages provide a good insight. All winners since 2010 averaged at least 3.1 tackles per game and 78% of this group averaged 4+ each game.

Free kick tallies were interesting. Frees For ranged from 1.0 to 1.9 per game, with Trent Cotchin being an outlier at 0.6 per game. Frees Against ranged from 0.7 to 2.1 per game if you remove Cotchin (5.3) and Mitchell (3.9) who were naughty boys in 2012.

Of the more exotic stats, you will want to average above 0.7 goal assists, 4 inside 50s, 1 rebound 50s, 5.9 clearances and below 3.7 clangers.

Oh, and you will want to play 20+ games as 78% of winners played above 22 matches.

It also pays to stand out as well, in terms of appearance. Long or unusual hair (Martin, Fyfe, Priddis) and bald head (Ablett & Judd) is a good example. Players with tattoos too (Martin & Swan).

Be sure to click on our stats page to view season 2018 stats, sortable by each category.

Picking a Brownlow Medal Winner

Well, now you know the stat categories that an archetypal Brownlow Medallist performs at.

So, if I were looking at placing money on a player this year, I would want to put the odds to be in my favour and make sure they appear in as many of these stat categories as possible.

An archetype Brownlow Medallist should look like:

  • 20+ Games (78% of winners since 2010)
  • Top Nine (78%)
  • 26.8+ Disposals (100%)
  • 3+ Marks (89%)
  • 10+ Goals (89%)
  • 4+ Tackles (78%)
  • 1+ Frees For (89%)
  • < 2.1 Frees Agst (89%)
  • 0.7+ Goal Assists (78%)
  • 3+ Inside 50s (89%)
  • 5.9+ Clearances (78%)
  • < 3.7 Clangers (89%)
  • 1+ Rebounds 50s (89%)

Posted by Brownlow Addict on Wednesday 23rd May 2018 at 04:23:10

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Brownlow Winner Odds

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1   Gawn, Max 27
2   Grundy, Brodie 25
  Mitchell, Tom 25
4   Martin, Dustin 24
5   Cripps, Patrick 22
6   Beams, Dayne 21
  Macrae, Jack 21
8   Yeo, Elliot 20
9   Fyfe, NatINEL 19
10   Dangerfield, Patrick 18
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