Demanding travel schedule for players, not to mention a large carbon footprint.

The Silver Ferns will contend with one of the more bizarre tournament formats in world sport over the next week.

The "return leg" of the Netball Quad Series will see all four teams travel between South Africa and England for their three fixtures - raising questions over the practicalities of the split format.

The Ferns kick off their campaign against Australia in Durban early tomorrow morning, before travelling nearly 10,000km to Liverpool, England, for their second match-up against the Roses. The Diamonds meanwhile will remain in South Africa, where they will take on the home side, with both teams later joining New Zealand and England in London for the final double-header.

The same format was replicated in the inaugural Quad Series in New Zealand and Australia in August last year, but the short travel distance between the two countries made the issues less glaring. The return leg presents far more challenging logistical issues.


The curious structure was born of the need to ensure all four SANZEA partners receive their slice of the pie. But it brings with it a needlessly demanding travel schedule for the players, not to mention a rather large carbon footprint.

Netball New Zealand chief executive Jennie Wyllie said the competition would be reviewed at the conclusion of the series in London next Monday.

"The concept was formed with the view to be able to give in-country exposure to everyone in the first iteration of this," said Wyllie, who will be courtside in Durban for the Ferns' first test in South Africa since 2002.

"I think there is definitely the opportunity to look at this.

" I'll be meeting with all the CEOs while I'm away and looking at the practicalities of it and how it is fetched up at the end of this - has it made sense? Is it working?

"We have to understand that in each of the countries there are other linkages - there's reasons why it makes commercial sense to have it in South Africa and England this year."

Given the event is held twice a year, one structure that could be looked at is to alternate the August series between New Zealand and Australia each year, while the January series alternates between South Africa and England. That would ensure each country gets to host the full tournament every two years.

The Diamonds won the inaugural Quad Series last year, edging past the Ferns in a thrilling finale in Melbourne. This time the title could ultimately be decided in the opening match, with the top two nations first-up on court in tomorrow morning's double-header in Durban.

Quad Series


2am: Silver Ferns v Australian Diamonds

4am: South Africa v England Roses

(Both International Convention Centre, Durban, South Africa)

Wednesday, February 1
6.30am: South Africa v Australian Diamonds
(ICC, Durban)

Friday, February 3
8.30am: Silver Ferns v England Roses
(Echo Arena, Liverpool, England)

Monday, February 6
1.45am: England Roses v Australian Diamonds
4.15am: Silver Ferns v South Africa
(Both The SSE Arena, Wembley, London)