In a year of significant activity and change, Council approved changing the sport's name from Basketball to Netball; and Referee to Umpire, to fall in line with other International Federation member countries. A team from Fiji played 10 games in the North Island prior to the New Zealand team’s tour of England and the Caribbean. The New Zealand playing uniform changed from a tunic to a black skirt with a Silver Fern and a white playing top.

In an extraordinary build-up to the 1971 World Tournament in Jamaica, the New Zealand team left home shores in October (1970), finally returning in January the following year. The longest tour in history included games in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong with stopovers in Athens, Rome and Amsterdam, where there were no games, before arriving in England. In a heavy travel schedule, New Zealand played 10 games in England before heading off to the Caribbean where the team had another rigorous schedule while acclimatising in Trinidad for the third edition of the World Tournament.

Marian Smith became New Zealand’s first fulltime netball coach and conducts clinics around the country.


Captained by shooter Joan Harnett (Canterbury) with defender Tilly Vercoe (Rotorua) vice-captain and coached by Taini Jamison, the New Zealand team finished runners-up to Australia at the third World Tournament, held in Jamaica. Joyce McCann (President), Eileen Lane (Vice-President), Marjorie Jenden (Secretary), Betty Plant (Treasurer) and Ona Coatsworth (Rule Sub-committee) were all appointed to four-year terms on the International Federation.

The Coaching Award Scheme is introduced with coaches able to gain Elementary and Intermediate qualifications.


There were three notable factors which featured in 1972. Teams registered in New Zealand passed the 5000 mark, the largest increase in team numbers (266) was recorded and there was an ``explosion’’ of housewives playing mid-week netball.  A team selected from the Second, Third and Fourth Grades, and coached by Lois Muir, completed a successful tour to Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. Relevant personnel also conducted coaching and umpiring clinics while on tour.


A New Zealand U24 team, led by coach Lois Muir, Rae Taylor (captain) and Lyn Gunson (vice-captain), completed an arduous tour of Australia before going on to post an impressive record of 44 wins from 45 matches.

The maximum number of entries in the four grades for the National Tournament was set at 48 and principles were adopted for challenges to enter the tournament when maximum entries were attained.


The 50th Golden Jubilee of the New Zealand Netball Association (NZNA) is celebrated at the Council meeting in Greymouth. Since its formation 50 years earlier, the NZNZ had grown from four affiliated Associations and 127 teams to 36 affiliated Associations, 78 sub-associations and 5060 registered teams. Five teams played in the first national tournament in 1926, 46 teams played in 1974. Led by coach Lois Muir, the New Zealand team completed a successful tour of England, winning all 12 games, including three tests. Midcourters Shirley Langrope (Canterbury) and Lyn Gunson (Otago) were the captain and vice-captain, respectively.

The first New Zealand Coaching Award examination was held with Lois Muir (Otago), Marian Smith (North Shore) and Anne Taylor (Waikato) attaining the high standards set.

A sponsored tournament, the Bromley NZ Netball Club Championship Tournament, was introduced for champion club teams of Associations with First Grade tournament teams.


New Zealand hosts the fourth International Conference and World Tournament in Auckland, during August – September. It was not only International Women’s Year, it was also International Netball Year for the NZNA. The New Zealand team won eight games, lost to England by one goal and drew with Australia to finish third behind Australia and England. New Zealand were coached by Lois Muir with Shirley Langrope and Lyn Gunson, the captain and vice-captain, respectively. For the first time, the NZNA received a grant from the Ministry of Recreation and Sport towards running the International event and administration.

Two members of the NZNA were appointed to the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) Executive for a further term, Joyce McCann, as Immediate Past President, and Marj Jenden as Vice-President. Ona Coatsworth was again elected to the IFNA Rules Sub-committee, this time as Convenor.

Long-time administrator and New Zealand delegate, as well as being a prominent figure in umpiring, Ona Coatsworth (Waikato) along with Edna Yates, Canterbury President for 21 years, also an active New Zealand delegate and former New Zealand team manager, were honoured for their services with Life Membership.


In a progressive move, the NZNA opened an office in Wellington as its permanent headquarters and with it the employment of a part-time paid secretary. The headquarters of the New Zealand Netball Umpires Association was transferred from Tauranga to Auckland with Dawn Jones elected as President. The Cook Islands netball team played tour games in the North Island while New Zealand declined a tour of South Africa due to its suspension by the International Federation.


Membership continued to grow and affiliation for the year was 6058 senior teams and 2816 primary school teams. Long-standing Rotorua President and New Zealand Council delegate Jean Lodge was awarded Life Membership of the NZNA.


Regarded as a trailblazer, Joyce McCann spent much of her life improving the status of netball and was awarded Life Membership of the NZNA. A forward thinker, McCann was a Silver Ferns manager, President of the Wellington Basketball (Netball) Executive ahead of filling the same role for the NZNA. She also went on to become President of the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA).


In unusual circumstances, there were three winners at the fifth staging of the Netball World Cup in 1979, the New Zealand team 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, New Zealand 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 New Zealand after they dominated the 1967 tournament to secure their first. New Zealand were coached by Lois Muir and captained by Lyn Parker.

The NZU21 team made their first tour to Australia, playing all state sides, except Western Australia, as well as the world champion Australian U21 team.