In sports, a Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is an honor typically bestowed upon the best performing player or players on a specific team, in an entire league, or for a particular contest or series of contests. Initially used in professional sports, the term is now also commonly used in amateur sports, as well as in other completely unrelated fields of endeavor such as business and music awards.
The term "Most Valuable Player" is typically only used in Canada, the United States, the Philippines and South Korea. In many sports, some MVP awards are presented just for a specific game or match (in other words, a man of the match award), while others are awarded based on an entire season or year. The gender neutral term "Player of the Match" is usually substituted for "Man of the Match" in women's team competitions.
Specific North American examples include (first regular season, then playoffs):
- Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award, World Series Most Valuable Player Award, and League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award
- National Football League Most Valuable Player Award and Super Bowl MVP Award
- National Hockey League Hart Memorial Trophy (regular season) and Conn Smythe Trophy (playoffs)
- National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player Award and Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award
- Major League Soccer MVP and MLS Cup MVP
One award commonly referred to as an "MVP" award, despite the fact that its official name does not match the "MVP" initialism:
- NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player Award
In the Australian Football League, the term "best and fairest" is more commonly used than "most valuable player" for the equivalent award on a season basis, and "best on ground" (BOG) is more commonly used for a single-match award. The "VFL/AFL Players Association Most Valuable Player", is the only award in the league to have used the "MVP" initialism.
Recently online reviews and polls are also taken. The McGrane Tournament calls their MVP the Joe Harenza Award. In the Canadian Football League they also have the CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award and Most Outstanding Canadian Player Award (regular season) and the Grey Cup Most Valuable Player (playoffs). The Philippine Basketball Association also awards its own Most Valuable Award.
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences makes "Most Valuable Player" awards annually in a number of instrumental categories.
MVP is often used in business to designate a valued employee. In this context, sometimes the "P" in "MVP" is something other than "Player." So, for example, Microsoft uses MVP to mean Most Valuable Professional. The term is applied to recognized, credible, and accessible individuals with expertise in one or more Microsoft products who actively participate in online and offline communities to share their knowledge and expertise with other Microsoft games.
It is also used in video game terms, such as the games Call of Duty 4 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 contain challenges to kill the "MVP" of the opposing team a certain amount of times and Halo 3 to mean the person with the highest score or amount of kills. In Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift an MVP title is awarded to a character at the end of each battle based on how well they performed the role of their job. The MVP system is also used in MAG and Team Fortress 2. In Battlefield 3 there is an MVP award for the player who scored most points during a round. There is also an MVP 2 and MVP 3 for the second and third most scoring player during a round.
- Athlete of the Year
- Player of the year award
- Man of the Match
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