This custom is according to the ancient belief that "might is right," and that Heaven itself is the awarder of victory and defeat.
late 14c., "decide after careful observation," from Anglo-French awarder, from Old North French eswarder (Old French esguarder) "decide, examine" (after careful consideration), from es- "out" + guarder "to watch" (see guard (n.)). Related: Awarded; awarding.
late 14c., "decision after consideration," from Anglo-French award, Old French esguard, from esguarder (see award (v.)). Meaning "something awarded" is first attested 1590s.