Held every four years and typically contested by the top 16 netball nations in the world, the Netball World Cup is the pinnacle of the sport. Sydney Olympic Park's Allphones Arena will host the big event this time around.

The competition was once known as the World Netball Champions and dates back to 1963. The 2015 sees major changes brought about after the 2011 Singapore tournament, when the International Netball Federation held a review and announced major changes to the event format.

The 2015 event sees the name change to the Netball World Cup, bringing the international event in line with others around the world, such as the rugby and football world cups. It will also showcase a new competition format, where the top-ranked teams play each other more than once. This gives the best teams in the world more of a chance to progress through to the semi-finals and finals, rather than being knocked out early on. It also gives fans the chance to see teams including Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica and England meet up more than once in thrilling matches early on in pool play. There is also an elevated Regional Qualifying Series, taking place the year prior to the event.

Each team plays eight games with two rest days. There are four pools and three phases, including medal and placing games. The qualifiers to date include Australia, England, New Zealand, Malawi, Jamaica, Wales, South Africa, Fiji, Scotland, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Samoa.

Tickets

Fans can head to Sydney for all 10 days of the event or choose single sessions depending on their requirements, with tickets and packages available to suit. Fan packages went on sale in May 2014, and individual session tickets will be released in early 2015. Seating ranges from platinum courtside down to bronze, with prices varying accordingly.

Official fan packages combine session tickets with special VIP experiences, merchandise, hospitality and functions. Six official travel agents sell the packages, which can feature behind the scenes tours and courtside seats.

International visitors can also get packages that feature flights and attractions such as harbour cruises. Food and drinks are often included in these packages, or you could simply purchase session tickets as you see fit and enjoy some of the many hospitality vendors in the area.

For more information on tickets, visit the official website of the tournament.

Volunteering

It's easy to get involved in the 2015 Netball World Cup, as the event relies on the passion and skills of thousands of volunteers who contribute to this event. Volunteers are invited to meet new friends, create memories and experience the inside of the Netball World Cup as part of the team.

Applications have closed for the first wave of Competition Specific Volunteer Roles, but there may still be opportunities to participate as a general or ceremony volunteer, or a local ambassador.

Sydney's Allphones Arena will play host to the Netball World Cup 2015.

Photo courtesy of Simon_sees via Flickr Creative Commons