Our Game

Our history, our heroes and more about our game – Netball.

History

Netball is an integral part of New Zealand’s dynamic sporting culture. Steeped in history, it was introduced to New Zealand as ‘women’s basketball’ in 1906 – a nine-a-side game played on grass, with baskets tied to posts at either end of the court.

1960

June Waititi (nee Mariu) is named New Zealand team captain.

1961

International Rules are adopted, Rule Books are printed and Coaching Schools are held to prepare for the 1961 season.

1963

The First World Tournament is held in England with 11 participating countries. Australia beats New Zealand 37-36 to become the first International Tournament champions. Pam Edmonds (nee Barham) is the New Zealand captain.

1965

There are 4123 Netball teams in New Zealand. North Shore is granted affiliation to become an Association. First National Coaching School held and an official New Zealand Coaching book printed.

1966

Australia tours New Zealand, recording eight wins and two loses but no tests are played.

1967

New Zealand team wins their first International Tournament title when the second edition of the World Tournament was held in Perth.

1968

National headquarters moved to Wellington.

1969

The first Tour of New Zealand by an All Australian team since 1948. Australia wins the first test in Wellington and New Zealand the second in Dunedin.

1970

Council approves changing the sport's name from Basketball to Netball; and Referee to Umpire. A year of great activity and change with a visit from Fiji prior to the tour of England the Caribbean by the New Zealand team. The New Zealand playing uniform changes from a tunic to a black skirt with a Silver Fern and a white playing top.

1971

Third International Tournament held in Jamaica. Australia wins the title with New Zealand second.

1972

More than 5000 teams registered in New Zealand.

1973

Under-24 New Zealand side tours Australia, winning 44 out of 45 matches.

1974

The 50th Golden Jubilee of the New Zealand Netball Association (NZNA) is celebrated at the Council meeting in Greymouth. 36 affiliated Associations, 78 sub-associations and 5060 registered teams.46 teams played in the National Tournament.New Zealand tours England.

1975

New Zealand hosts the fourth International Conference and Tournament in Auckland, August – September. International Women’s Year and International Netball Year for NZNA. New Zealand team wins eight games, loses to England by one goal and draws with Australia to finish third behind Australia and England.

1976

NZNA headquarters opens in Wellington with the appointment of a part-time paid secretary. North Island tour by Cook Islands, New Zealand declines tour of South Africa due to its suspension by the International Federation. Membership continues to grow and affiliation for the year was 6058 senior teams and 2816 primary school teams.

1979

In unusual circumstances, there were three winners at the fifth staging of the Netball World Cup in 1979, the Silver Ferns sharing the title with Australia and Trinidad & Tobago. Played in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, the 1979 event provided a challenging environment and against the odds, the Silver Ferns showed their character to finish on equal points with Australia and the hosts at the completion of the competition. With no final played and the rules at the time providing no other way of determining an outright winner, the three teams shared the title in a unique outcome. It was the second Netball World Cup win for the Silver Ferns after they dominated the 1967 tournament to secure their first.

1983

At the 6th World Championships, in Singapore. New Zealand loses the final to Australia.

1987

New Zealand wins the 7th World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. The Silver Ferns completely dominated the World Championships - no team came within 10 goals of them.

1988

Milo International Series, New Zealand vs Trinidad & Tobago

1989

World Games held in West Germany for sports which had applied for Olympic recognition, but had not been accepted. New Zealand wins all its matches, including the final against Australia. New Zealand clean sweep three test Milo International Series against Australia. The Silver Ferns win the team award and Lyn Parker the coach/administrator award at the New Zealand Sportsman of the Year Awards.