1 Mar 2016

Major changes on the horizon for trans-Tasman netball

2:32 pm on 1 March 2016

A major split in the trans-Tasman netball competition is on the cards.

Netball New Zealand has confirmed it's in discussions with Netball Australia over change to the ANZ Championship which could see the top sides from each country play one another only in a Champions League style series at the end of the season.

That could spell the end of regular round robin trans-Tasman matches, meaning some franchise may not play an Australian team.

The chief executie of Netball New Zealand Hillary Poole said the split is just one of many possible formats with other options including a pre-season competition or a mid season trans-Tasman super round.

The competition format has been tinkered with several times over its eight year life span with Netball Australia pushing for one of the five New Zealand franchises to be dropped because of concerns over competitiveness.

Magic win the Grand final against Melbourne Vixens in Melbourne. 2012 ANZ Netball Championship.

The Magic celebrate their ANZ Championship success Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Only one New Zealand has won the ANZ Championship and that was the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic in 2012.

A major concern with any split is how it would impact the Silver Ferns and whether New Zealand franchises not playing Australian teams regularly would increase the gulf between the Silver Ferns and the World and Commonwealth Games champions Australia?

Former Silver Ferns coach Yvonne Willering has concerns about the lack of depth of international standard players.

Former Silver Ferns coach Yvonne Willering. Photo: Photosport

The former Silver Ferns coach Yvonne Willering said it's crucial for players outside of the Silver Ferns to be exposed to different styles of play to develop their game and that is a major benefit of the current competition.

"In the ANZ (comptition) don't forget you're not just playing against Australians you are also playing against players from other countries too - the import players."

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