How Does the WNBA Season Work?

The WNBA, or Women’s National Basketball Association, is a dynamic professional league that has grown in popularity every year since its inception in 1997. Let’s take a closer look at the details of the league, from its teams to its playoffs.

WNBA Teams and Conferences

The WNBA currently boasts 12 teams, evenly split between the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. Here’s a breakdown of the teams and their respective conferences:

Eastern Conference

  • Atlanta Dream
  • Chicago Sky
  • Connecticut Sun
  • Indiana Fever
  • New York Liberty
  • Washington Mystics

Western Conference

  • Dallas Wings
  • Las Vegas Aces
  • Los Angeles Sparks
  • Minnesota Lynx
  • Phoenix Mercury
  • Seattle Storm

2024 WNBA Season

The 2024 WNBA season marks the league’s 28th instalment of women’s basketball in the United States.

Scheduled to kick off on May 14 and culminate on September 19, the regular season features each of the 12 teams set to battle it out in 40 games. The format includes facing off against five conference rivals four times, two teams from the opposite conference, and three games against the remaining four teams.

Early June will see five regular season games within the same conference to determine eligibility for the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup. This in-season tournament, inaugurated in 2021, will conclude with a final showdown hosted by the team boasting the best win-loss record in the qualifying matches.

This year, the season will hit pause for a month-long hiatus during the Summer Olympic Games, commencing after the annual WNBA All-Star Game on July 20 in Phoenix, Arizona.

2024 WNBA Season Important Dates

April 15:  WNBA Draft

April 28: Training Camp Begins

May 3: Pre-season Games Begin

May 12: Last Possible Date for Pre-Season Games

May 13: Final Roster Cut-down Date

May 14:  Regular Season Begins

June 1-13: WNBA Commissioner’s Cup Tournament

June 25: WNBA Commissioner’s Cup Championship

July 18-21: WNBA All-Star Break

July 20: WNBA All-Star Game

July 21- August 14: Olympic Break

August 20: Trade Deadline

September 19: Regular Season Ends

September 22: Playoffs Begin

October 20: Last Possible Finals Date

WNBA Playoff Format

The WNBA playoffs feature the top eight teams regardless of conference. Under the new playoff format announced in November 2021, there are now three rounds of series play, utilizing a best-of 3-5-5 format.

Here’s how it works:

The first round consists of best-of-three series, with the higher-seeded team hosting Games 1 and 2, and the lower seed hosting Game 3 if necessary.

The semifinals and WNBA Finals remain best-of-five series, following a 2-2-1 format. The higher seed hosts Games 1, 2, and 5, while the lower seed hosts Games 3 and 4.

This format culminates in the crowning of the WNBA champion.

Betting on the WNBA

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Check out our WNBA betting options for the 2024 season here. 

For more on how to bet on the WNBA, click here.