Off The Court: Sara Hale, Dan Ryan and Tamsin Greenway discuss netball's international rankings
Ryan: "I'm a big supporter of freezing the world rankings for an extended period of time and then when the green light comes for all countries to be in a position to play, we then move forward."
By Sky Sports Netball
Last Updated: 01/06/20 10:06am
Sara Hale, Dan Ryan and Tamsin Greenway joined Off The Court and looked at the impact of missed time with their national squads, alongside sharing a proposal for netball's international rankings.
The head coaches of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have all been processing the fact that the 2020 Vitality Netball Superleague season will not resume, and that many of their players will not have competitive netball available to them for a considerable period of time.
All three are sensitive to the global situation and at the same time, are acutely aware that the clock is ticking away on the way to netball's next major championships.
As former internationals for Wales and England, Hale and Greenway are highly familiar with four-year cycles and with Ryan having already taken Northern Ireland to a Netball World Cup, he also knows just how fast time goes.
"It's taking a pragmatic view of it [missing playing time]," Hale said during Off The Court on Sky Sports.
"It's almost a challenge for us. These are exceptional circumstances and nobody wants this, we all want to be back on court. My role and my responsibility to the team is to have a plan and to have the players be involved in that plan.
"I want to talk to the players regularly about what things look like form their perspective and what things look like from our perspective.
"If they can get through this then being at a competition and being in those spaces that we want to be in, will be much easier for us."
Netball Europe Open cancelled
Netball Scotland have announced the cancellation of the Netball Europe Open, which was due to take place at end of August in Glasgow.
The Netball Europe Open which was due to take place in Glasgow at the end of August, has already been cancelled. It would have been Greenway's first competition in charge of Scotland, and for all three nations it plays an important role in their calendar.
"Having played for England for years you just turn up to competitions and play, that's just how it was," Greenway said.
"In my role as Scotland head coach now, I'm working out how ranking points work; the qualification for Commonwealth Games and the World Championships is not straightforward, Netball Europe Open is key in that."
INF World Rankings (Based on matches to 29/05/2020)
|1. Australia||7. Malawi|
|2. New Zealand||8. Scotland|
|3. Jamaica||9. Wales|
|4. England||10. Trinidad & Tobago|
|5. South Africa||11. Northern Ireland|
|6. Uganda||12. Barbados|
The most recent set of International Netball Federation world rankings feature 45 teams with a ranked position. Of this trio of nations, Scotland sit highest in eighth followed by Wales [ninth] and then Northern Ireland [11th].
"One of the really challenging aspects of coaching a national team and a national programme, when you aren't guaranteed of automatic selections in major competitions is rankings," Ryan said.
"The biggest thing, that remains as a focus, is where we sit in terms of world rankings to ensure that we're on track to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and then the process for the next World Cup.
"As a new coach going into the job, my initial aspiration was to push Northern Ireland above and beyond where we've ever been before. To really try and instil and winners' mindset in terms of the way that they approach things and get them as much exposure against tougher opposition as possible.
"Then once you get into the role, you understand the reality of the circumstances around funding, logistics and all of those challenges that the nations who sit around our world ranking [outside the top three or four] face.
"We don't have pots of money to be able to travel anywhere and play against whomever we want. We have to be quite strategic with it.
"The philosophy of the way that I work within this programme changed a little bit because the No 1 thing that we needed to do, was to make sure that we're visible at major competitions. So, that means that we have to stick to the status quo and make sure that we're within the qualifying rankings at certain times.
"Whilst I'd love to take the team to the Southern Hemisphere around Australia and New Zealand and test that against really great opposition, we need to be playing Test matches where we can get results and get wins on the board for ranking points.
"It's quite conflicting in my mind. I obviously always want to win when I coach and test the players, but you also need to make sure that you're in a position to be present at those major competitions."
ANZ Premiership confirms return date
Netball New Zealand has confirmed that the ANZ Premiership is set to resume on June 19, following their government's decision to move to COVID-19 Alert Level 2.
Questions regarding the INF world rankings are now coming up due to the fact that countries have been impacted by COVID-19 to a greater, or lesser extend than others.
The annual four-match Constellation Cup test series between the Silver Ferns and Australian Diamonds is still being planned, however, the Quad Series between New Zealand, Australia, England and South Africa has already been cancelled, alongside Netball Europe Open.
"I'm a big supporter of freezing the world rankings for an extended period of time," Ryan said.
"Then, when the green light comes for all countries to be in a position to play, we then move forward as we would if this wasn't taking place [the pandemic]."
An INF spokesperson has told Sky Sports that the board is consulting with members regarding the treatment of rankings during the return to international play period, and that they will be reviewing them further during their board meeting in June.