Many were wondering about what the hoopla at Whangarei Netball Centre on Saturday was about. Well now it can be revealed.

For those new to a netball court may not have even batted an eyelash at junior players shooting the ball at a hula hoop rather than a proper net.

However many were taken aback. Word got around the courts that some hoops had been stolen, the theft or vandalism only discovered on the day.

After some hard questions, the real reason was far less nefarious.


A rise of six to seven teams in the junior netball competition has left a shortage of hoops to play with.

Netball centre manager Ashleigh Walker-Robinson said it was a simple issue.

"Last year [we] had just the right amount of netball players for the hoops we had, but now we have more players and not enough hoops. It's a good problem to have," she said.

"Other netball centres use hula hoops every week so we are quite lucky in having the hoops we do.

"There's been a rise of 13 to 16 games each week. We have to order junior nets which are a specialty product so it will take a while to get there.

"Both options (hoop or nets) are allowed inside the rulebooks so either way is fine."

With the mystery of the weekend solved, the Whangarei Netball Centre could get back to organising matches for junior netballers.

As for parents such as Whangarei's Craig Morris, pictured, they may have to continue to be a human netball post for just a little while longer.