- What is the WNBA?
The Women’s National Basketball Association, or WNBA, is a professional basketball league comprised of 12 teams featuring the best women’s basketball players in the world.
- When was the WNBA established?
The WNBA was founded on April 24, 1996, and the first season began in 1997. The 2016 season is the 20th in league history.
- How many teams are there in the WNBA?
Currently there are 12 teams – six in each conference. The conferences are divided between the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference.
The teams and their conferences are as follows: Atlanta Dream (Eastern Conference), Chicago Sky (Eastern Conference), Connecticut Sun (Eastern Conference), Dallas Wings (Western Conference), Indiana Fever (Eastern Conference), Los Angeles Sparks (Western Conference), New York Liberty (Eastern Conference), Minnesota Lynx (Western Conference), Phoenix Mercury (Western Conference), San Antonio Stars (Western Conference), Seattle Storm (Western Conference), Washington Mystics (Eastern Conference).
When the WNBA was launched, it featured eight teams: The Charlotte Sting, Cleveland Rockers, Houston Comets, New York Liberty, Los Angeles Sparks, Phoenix Mercury, Sacramento Monarchs and the Utah Starzz.
- How many games are there in a WNBA season?
There are 34 games in the WNBA’s regular season.
- When does the 2016 WNBA season begin and end?
The regular season tips off on May 14 and finishes on Sept. 18. Dates for the WNBA Playoffs are TBD.
- How many teams make the playoffs?
Under the new playoff format announced in January 2016:
- The top eight teams regardless of conference qualify for the postseason
- The number of playoff rounds has increased from three to four
- Teams will be re-seeded after each postseason round.
- The first and second rounds are single elimination. In the first round, the No. 5 seed hosts the No. 8 seed and the No. 6 seed hosts the No. 7 seed. In the second round, the No. 3 seed hosts the lowest-seeded first-round winner and the No. 4 seed hosts the other first-round winner.
- The semifinals feature a best-of-five format, with the No. 1 overall seed playing the lowest remaining seed and the No. 2 overall seed meeting the remaining team. The Nos. 1 and 2 seeds will host Games 1, 2 and 5, and the lower-seeded teams will host Games 3 and 4 in their respective series. The WNBA Finals remain best-of-five and follow the same 2-2-1 format.
- How can I watch WNBA games?
All non-nationally televised WNBA games can be watched by using WNBA League Pass. Subscriptions are only $16.99 for the season and give you instant access to WNBA action all year long on your desktop, your tablet or your phone. You can also purchase a Team Pass for $9.99 for the season to watch your favorite team or watch single games for $1.99.
- How can I follow the WNBA?
The official website of the WNBA is WNBA.com. You can also download the WNBA mobile app for iOS and Android devices. On social media, you can follow the WNBA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat (@WNBA) and Vine.
- Who are the best players in WNBA history?
The WNBA has been the home for many legends over the years, but some of the league’s most notable greats are Lisa Leslie, Tina Thompson, Cynthia Cooper, Tamika Catchings, Lauren Jackson, and Sheryl Swoopes. These legends helped pave the way for today’s superstars like Maya Moore, Elena Delle Donne, Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins, Tina Charles and Angel McCoughtry, among others.
For a complete look at the league’s all-time leaders in various statistical categories, click here.
- Which WNBA players have won the most MVP awards?
Sheryl Swoopes, Lisa Leslie, and Lauren Jackson are all tied for the most WNBA MVP awards with three. Cynthia Cooper is the only player in WNBA history to win back-to-back WNBA MVP awards (1997, 1998.)
Candace Parker is the only WNBA player to win WNBA Rookie of the Year and WNBA MVP in the same season.
- Who’s the all-time leading scorer in WNBA history?
Tina Thompson is the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer with 7,488 points over the course of her illustrious career. Thompson averaged 15.1 points over the course of her 496-game career.
Tamika Catchings is the active leader in scoring and is No. 2 on the all-time scoring list.
- Which teams have the most WNBA titles?
The now-defunct Houston Comets have won the most championships in league history. The Comets won the first four WNBA titles in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000.
The Minnesota Lynx (2011, 2013, 2015), Phoenix Mercury (2007, 2009, 2014) and now defunct Detroit Shock (2003, 2006, 2008) are tied for second with three WNBA championships.
- Is there a WNBA All-Star Game?
There will not be an All-Star Game this year due to the Rio 2016 Olympics. In non-Summer Olympic seasons the WNBA holds an All-Star game. The game features an Eastern Conference and Western Conference squad of All-Stars. Each team consists of five fan-selected starters, and seven reserves, which are chosen by coaches and league personnel.
The 2015 WNBA All-Star Game was held on July 25 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Maya Moore took home MVP honors.
- Who coaches the All-Star teams?
The coaches in the WNBA All-Star Game are determined by the previous year’s conference champions.
- When is the WNBA Draft?
The WNBA Draft is held annually and allows WNBA teams to select from a pool of up-and-coming talented collegiate basketball players, as well as others playing in other leagues across the world. The 2016 Draft was held on April 14 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. Check out the Draft Hub for complete coverage.
- Who’s eligible to be drafted?
The league requires draft entrants to be at least 22 years old during the year in which the draft takes place and has no remaining college eligibility or renounces any future college eligibility.
- How is the draft order and draft lottery determined?
The draft lottery is comprised of the four teams that did not make the playoffs. Starting this season, lottery odds are determined by taking into account the team’s two-year cumulative record.
The Lottery Team with the worst two-year cumulative record has 442 chances out of 1,000 to win the first pick, the Lottery Team with the second worst two-year cumulative record has 276 chances out of 1,000, the Lottery Team with the third worst two-year cumulative record has 178 chances out of 1,000, and the Lottery Team with the best two-year cumulative record having 104 chances out of 1,000 to win the first pick. Tiebreakers are based solely on the immediately preceding season.
- How many players are on a WNBA roster?
Each WNBA team has a maximum roster size of 12 players, as outlined in the league’s CBA.
- How long are the quarters?
Each quarter of play in the WNBA lasts 10 minutes.
- How long is the shot clock?
Just like the NBA, the shot clock is 24 seconds.
- What do WNBA players do in the offseason?
While the WNBA season is an action-packed 34 games, many players spend their offseasons continuing to play the game of basketball. Many travel overseas to play in leagues in Russia, Israel, or Italy, just to name a few.
Some players also participate with other national teams in tournament competitions, such as FIBA qualifying.
- What are the rules of the WNBA?
Download the 2016 rule book here.
- What are the other measurements?
Just like the NBA, rims in the WNBA hang 10 feet from the floor, sitting on opposite ends of a court that’s 50 feet wide and 94 feet long.
Both ends of the floor feature a free throw line, 15 feet from the rim. Per the WNBA rule book, “the three-point field goal area has parallel lines 36″ from the sidelines, extending 63″ from the baseline and an arc of 22’13 /4″ from the middle of the basket which intersects the parallel lines.”
The basketball itself has a circumference within a maximum of 29 inches and a minimum of 28.5 inches and has a pressure between 7.5 and 8.6 pounds.
- Where can I buy tickets to WNBA games?
Want to take in some Summer Hoops live and in person? Tickets for every team are available on each team website or by clicking here.