Netball's heavyweights Australia and New Zealand could clash as early as the opening day of the 2015 World Cup in Sydney under the new format.
While 16 nations will again be divided into four pools of four for the tournament, the two top-ranked teams in the world, perennially Australia and New Zealand, will play in the same group.
In the past the top two have not normally clashed until the end of the tournament.
Silver Ferns midcourter Laura Langman says the change in format will draw crowds to the tournament from the outset and will give the teams a chance to gain more information on their opposition.
A series of qualification tournaments around the world next year will determine the other 10 nations that will join the current top-six ranked countries, Australia, New Zealand, England, Jamaica, South Africa and Malawi at the tournament.