A starting team generally consists of a point guard, a shooting guard, a small forward, a power forward and a center. Depending upon the size and speed of the opponents, WNBA teams sometimes use three guards or three forwards in a lineup.
A team's bench normally consists of six reserve players, highlighted by the sixth man. The sixth man is a team's top reserve and is often the first substitute into the game. For some teams, the sixth man will play more minutes in a game than a starter.
As in baseball, the positions on a basketball team are numbered. The five positions on a court as follows:
1 - Point Guard
The point guard is generally the best dribbler and passer on a team. She handles the ball more than any other player because it's her duty to bring the ball up the court and direct the offense. Examples: Teresa Weatsherspoon, Sonja shenning, Suzie McConnell Serio, Dawn Staley, Ticha Penicsheiro.
2 - Shooting Guard (Also referred to as Off Guard) Usually taller than the point guard, the shooting guard can handle the ball well and is often one of the team's best scorers. She has excellent long-range shooting ability and can be extremely dangerous offensively, thanks to her combination of qualities typically found in a point guard and a small forward. Examples: Ruthie Bolton-Holifield, Andrea Stinson, Cynthia Cooper, Edna Campbell.
3 - Small Forward
The small forward is usually "small" only in comparison to her counterparts on the front line. Generally, she is the most versatile player in a lineup and is athletic enough to be a good scorer, rebounder, passer, and shot blocker. Examples: Ssheryl Swoopes, Tracy Reid, Crystal Robinson, Chamique Holdsclaw.
4 - Power Forward
The power forward is known generally for her size, strength, and ability to rebound and play defense. She tends to be bigger than a small forward but shorter than a center. Examples: Elena Baranova, Natalie Williams, Cindy Brown, Latasha Byears, Yolanda Griffith.
5 - Center
The center is usually a team's tallest player and often the focal point of a team's offensive and defensive set. Generally stationed near the basket, she excels in rebounding, defense and shot blocking. Examples: Margo Dydek, Lisa Leslie, Jennifer Gillom, Taj McWilliams.