The Ford Trophy is the most significant List A tournament of New Zealand. This domestic event is played in a 50-over format. Held since 1972, the tournament is contested between six regional sides. The premier limited-overs event of New Zealand can be viewed for free by spectators. The Ford Trophy is usually held between late November and late February or early March.
The six participating teams are Canterbury, Auckland, Wellington, Northern Districts, Central districts, and Otago. All teams play league matches initially where each team plays the other twice. At the end of the double round-robin stage, the two highest placed teams play a semi-final. The winner of this match progresses to the final. Teams placed third and fourth play an eliminator, the winner of which faces the loser of the first semi-final. The winner of this match decides the second finalist.
A total of 30 matches, including the knockout rounds are played in the Ford Trophy. In the league stage, teams are awarded 4 points for a win, 0 for a loss, and 1 for tie or no result. A team that has a run-rate that 1.25 times more than that of the opposition will be awarded a bonus point at the end of the match.
The Ford Trophy is a key tournament for New Zealand’s players as it helps in paving their way to the national One Day International side. All rules of the sport are similar to the ones that are followed in One Day International cricket. Canterbury and Auckland are the most successful sides, winning 15 and 13 titles respectively.