The Nicolson Trophy was presented by Eddie Nicolson of the Blackstone Hill Curling Club in 1969. Seemingly the Trophy was won some years previously by the Blackstone Hill Club at a bonspiel and the practice at that time had been for the Club to then hold the likes of a points match with the winner retaining the trophy – that winner was James McKnight (grandfather of NZCA Life Members Neil and Stewart McKnight). The trophy eventually ended up in the possession of one of his grandsons, Eddie Nicolson, who presented it to the then NZ Curling Province for a competition between the two Curling Councils.
It was originally run by the Oturehua Winter Sports Club and played on a Sunday on the Idaburn Dam, when hundreds of skaters watched the event – this was seen as a good promotion for the game of curling. The Trophy was taken over by the NZCA and is now played more regularly on artificial ice.
It is competed for by the top two Clubs from each of the Idaburn and Naseby Curling Councils – the venue for the event alternates between the two Councils and in 2009, the venue was the IceInLine Sports Complex in Alexandra.
Idaburn Council teams
The Idaburn Council’s teams are determined from the previous year's results:
- if the Wilson Cup and the Brown Shield (each being one day bonspiels held on natural ice) are held, then the winning Club in each represents the Idaburn Council in the ensuing year’s Nicolson Trophy event.
- if only one of the Wilson Cup or the Brown Shield is held, then the winning Club and the runner up Club in that event represent the Idaburn Council in the ensuing year’s Nicolson Trophy event.
- if neither the Wilson Cup nor the Brown Shield is held, then the two Clubs which have the highest aggregated competition ladder points after the completion of the round robin component of the Macrae Trophy (weekly inter-club competition held on artificial ice at Alexandra) represent the Idaburn Council in the ensuing year’s Nicolson Trophy event.
Naseby Council teams
The Naseby Council’s teams are determined as follows:
- the winning Club and the runner up Club in the Baxter Cup (played for on natural ice) represent the Naseby Council in the ensuing year’s Nicolson Trophy event
- in the event that the Baxter Cup is not competed for in a particular year, the two Clubs which represented the Naseby Council in that year’s Nicolson Trophy do so again in the ensuing year’s competition
- if the Baxter Cup is not held for two years, the winning Club and the runner up Club in the Hore Trophy (weekly inter-club competition held on artificial ice at Naseby) represent the Naseby Council in the ensuing year’s Nicolson Trophy event