Call for Netball World Cup format to change

3:50 pm on 15 July 2019

Australia coach Lisa Alexander believes it's time for the Netball World Cup format to change after romping through the preliminary group stage with three landslide wins.

Australia coach Lisa Alexander

Australia coach Lisa Alexander Photo: Photosport

Following the Diamonds' 92-24 thumping of Sri Lanka, Alexander said there were too many one-sided contests in the opening days of the tournament in Liverpool.

She also reiterated a plea for more space between games, believing eight tests in the space of 10 days is unnecessarily intense.

Alexander's comments came after her team notched an average winning scoreline off 77-30 in wins over Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.

Fellow heavyweights England and New Zealand were nearly as dominant in their pools, with all three teams using the games as a chance to trial combinations while hoping to remain injury free.

Alexander suggested the International Netball Federation assess if 16 is the right number of teams if the sport's showpiece is to be attractive to broadcasters.

"I love playing Sri Lanka and it's really important to them but at the end of the day, it's not necessarily conducive to great television watching," she said.

"We might need to look at that."

Alexander has long advocated a more spaced-out event, believing the World Cup shouldn't be a war of attrition.

Every team has just two days off, leaving them at risk of injury and making fatigue a factor come this week's semi-finals.

"Having that kind of schedule and not being able to replace players if they're injured, that's a downer for our sport.

"It's going to take it's toll and players are going to get injured.

"Particularly the back to back nature. If we had a few days off, it would make a big difference."

The level of competition will increase in the second round of pool play, with Australia drawn to play Barbados on Monday, followed by Malawi and New Zealand.

Carry-over points apply from the first phase, meaning it will be a major surprise if Australia and New Zealand don't both advance to the semi-finals.