With Associations finding the cost of sending representative teams to the national tournament each year a drain on their finances, Council decided the Tournament would be held every second year, with challenge matches in the intervening years.


Although no Tournament was held this year, the Council met in Invercargill where the on-going discussion on the playing rules continued. Wellington challenged Auckland with Auckland retaining the New Zealand Cup.


With 15 affiliated Associations and a growing number of teams which now totalled 742, the associated interest resulted in the national Tournament reverting to being played annually. With the steady growth of the game, it was decided to divide the National Tournament into two grades, with the first six affiliated associations forming the First Grade (Auckland, Wellington, Otago, Canterbury, Southland, Hawke’s Bay). Mrs H D (Myrtle) Muir becomes the organisation’s second President. Inaugural President of the New Zealand Basketball Association (1924 – 1932), Mrs R S (Irene) McInnes becomes Netball New Zealand’s first Life Member.

At the 1932 Invercargill National Tournament, NZBA took the bold step to fund the production of a 24 minute,16mm black and white film to record moving images of the New Zealand version of the game being played. New Zealand was heading into the worst years of the Depression and the cost of £20 to fund the film was a significant financial outlay for the NZBA. They also had to purchase a projector to travel with the film, otherwise minor unions, who never got to see how the game was played at a provincial level, wouldn’t be able to view the film. The film and projector circulated around the country as a precious coaching aid for the next 20 years.


There was another major step forward when the New Zealand Basketball Referees' Association (NZBRA) was formed, taking over the duties of the former Rules Committee. A Board of Examiners was also set up.


With the increased numbers attending New Zealand Tournament, it was decided to establish a Third Grade. In a bid to obtain a uniformity of the rules, at least in New Zealand and Australia, the first New Zealand team, of 21 players, was selected to tour Australia in 1937. However, an outbreak of polio in Australia forced the tour to be cancelled. The NZBRA headquarters was transferred to Wellington.


At the annual Council Meeting, final arrangements were made for the first tour to Australia by the NZ Basketball team for August the following year. President of the All Australian Association, Miss F Hull attended the meeting and it was decided that the New Zealand team would play in the All Australian Carnival to be held in Melbourne. Matches would be played under Australian rules.


The first New Zealand team is named with Margaret (Meg) Matangi becoming the first captain of a New Zealand Netball team. Immortalised as Silver Fern #1, Matangi was the first Silver Ferns Māori player and captain.

After assembling for 10 days of coaching in Wellington, the team sailed from there on the Wanganella on August 4. All official games in Australia were played in the seven-a-side format. With New Zealand still playing the nine-a-side game, the rules were completely different, resulting in the team having to learn a new game in short time.

1938 New Zealand team: E Neame (Southland), E Sinclair (Otago), M Tangye (Auckland), F Southon (Canterbury), L Mehatley (Southland), R Butcher (Hawke’s Bay), E Howard (Otago), J Willson (Wellington), J Mitchell (vice-captain, Wellington), M Matangi (captain, Auckland), M Martin (Auckland), M Howe (Wellington), J Tyrell. Mrs H D Muir (manager/coach). Over a week, the team played 10 games, and despite their newness to seven-a-side, competed gamely to win half of their outings before losing the test match against Australia 40-11.

During the visit, discussions between the New Zealand and Australian officials were held around the formation of a standardisation of the rules to enable more regular international competition.


Arrangements were finalised for the Centennial Tournament to be held at Easter in Wellington at which a team from Australia, and hopefully, England were to attend. Plans were made for an Inter Empire conference with the objective of forming an Inter Empire Association. A week late the outbreak of World War II ensured any progress on the international front was stymied for the foreseeable future.