A year of historical significance which marked the major turning point for the game in New Zealand, on the back of some brave decision-making from the administrators of the time. New Zealand is represented at the International Conference held in Ceylon, by President Eileen Lane and secretary Ona Coatsworth, to form a Federation of Basketball and Netball Associations with delegates from Australia, Ceylon, England, South Africa and West Indies also in attendance. A Constitution is drawn up and Rules of Play are agreed. The International Federation of Women’s Basketball & Netball Associations is formed and with it the announcement of the first World Tournament to be played in Eastbourne, England in 1963.

New Zealand visits Australia and plays matches under the Trial Rules. It was the first time that New Zealand were able to play Australia in game with which they were familiar. June Mariu (nee Waititi) captained New Zealand on the three-test tour to Australia, a team which also included the legendary Lois Muir, who would go on to leave her mark as a fabled coach of the Silver Ferns. The New Zealand team created history in the first test when posting a 49-40 win, their first-ever over Australia. Australia won the remaining two, 44-39 and 46-45 but the gap was closing. The New Zealand Badge, the highest award for refereeing is won for the first time by Miss Betty Stone, of Canterbury, and Mrs G Hall, of Wellington.


The International Rules, in their entirety, were immediately adopted with Rule Books being printed and Coaching Schools held to prepare for the 1961 season. This meant considerable adjustments were necessary, but the changeover was smooth.


Trials for the New Zealand team to participate in netball’s first World Tournament were held. Miss Betty Stone was appointed a referee for the event, Mrs Joyce McCann, the team manager, and Miss Dixie Cockerton became the first New Zealand coach at a world tournament. Officials to attend the corresponding International Conference at the same time were also chose.


In a momentous year for netball, the first World Tournament is held in Eastbourne, England with 11 participating countries. The New Zealand team travelled to England and home again by sea, a journey of six weeks each way. Setting the tone for an enduring rivalry, Australia beat New Zealand 37-36 in a gripping final to become the first World Tournament champions. Otago midcourter Pam Edmonds (nee Smith) captained the team while Otago defender Lois Muir was the vice-captain. Australia was chosen for the second edition of the World Tournament and International Conference to be held in 1967, the venue being Perth.


In a year of consolidation, a visit by the Australian Universities team created plenty of interest with matches being played against several provincial teams.


The steady increase of players pushed the total number of netball teams in New Zealand to 4123. North Shore, previously a sub-association of Auckland, is granted affiliation to become an Association, bringing the total number of affiliated Associations to 36. The first National Coaching School is held and an official New Zealand Coaching book printed.

Otago, the first Association to be formed in New Zealand, celebrated its Golden Jubilee (50 th anniversary) this year.

The netball community mourns the passing of foundation and Life Member of the Association, Myrtle Muir, a true pioneer of the sport’s growth and presence during her time as President (1932 – 1949).

Mrs Stella Schnack, of Wanganui, is conferred as a Life Member of the New Zealand Basketball Association.


The All Australia team came to New Zealand for a three-week tour, playing matches against all 11 First Grade teams, posting a record of nine wins and two losses. No tests were played.

Former Executive member and President of the New Zealand Umpires Association, and one of the lecturers at the first National Coaching School, Miss Sara Foster is elected a Life Member.


A year that has a special place in New Zealand netball history with the New Zealand team clinching their first international title after winning the second edition of the World Tournament, held in Perth. Coached by Taini Jamison (Rotorua), captained by Judy Blair (Canterbury) and supported by vice-captain Tilly Verco (Rotorua), the New Zealand team were a cut above the rest in remaining undefeated. Reversing the outcome of the first World Tournament four years earlier, New Zealand beat Australia 40-34 in front of 8000 spectators. Silver Ferns coach #3, Jamison was the first Māori to coach the New Zealand team and the first coach to win a world title.

Eileen Lane was elected Senior Vice President of the International Federation while Ona Coatsworth was elected Convenor of the International Rules Board. Two of netball’s stalwarts, Rena Mackenzie (Otago) and Catherine Vautier (Manawatu) were honoured with Life Membership of the New Zealand Basketball Association.


The headquarters of the New Zealand Basketball Association returns to Wellington. President Eileen Lane, who began her tenure in 1948, retires from her position of President. She is awarded Life Membership after leading the sport through 20 years of change and progress. The forward-thinking Joyce McCann becomes the Association’s new President.


The first Tour of New Zealand by an All Australia team since 1948. All Australia played 13 provincial games for 10 wins, two losses and a draw. The tour also included two tests, Australia winning the first test in Wellington and New Zealand the second in Dunedin. New Zealand were coached by Taini Jamison, with Joan Harnett, the captain, and Tilly Vercoe, the vice-captain.

Council awarded Life Membership to long-time Matamata President Evelyn Bell and Margaret McAughtrie, who gave over 40 years administrative service to Otago. Both were also Life Members of the New Zealand Basketball Referees’ Association. The netball community mourns the passing of its first National President and Life Member Irene McInnes.