WNBA PLAYOFF PRIMER

The WNBA Playoffs is a three round tournament to determine the league champion. The participants are the top four teams in each conference seeded by record. In the event of ties, seeding is determined by a set of tiebreakers.

If two teams have the same record, the following set of rules is used to determine which team receives the higher seed:

1) Better record in head to head games
2) Better winning percentage within own conference
3) Better winning percentage against all teams with .500 or better records at the end of the season
4) Better point differential in head to head games
5) Coin toss

If more than two teams have the same record, the following set of rules is used to determine seeding order:

1) Better winning percentage among all head-to-head games involving tied teams
2) Better winning percentage against teams within conference (if all teams are from the same conference) or better record against teams in the opposite conference (if one or more teams are in different conferences)
3) Better winning percentage against all teams with a .500 or better record at the end of the season
4) Better point differential in games involving tied teams
5) Coin toss

1st Round:
The first round of the WNBA playoffs is a 2-out-of-3 series (meaning the first team to two wins moves on to the next round). The top two seeds in each conference have the home court advantage for the series. The #1 seed in each conference plays the #4 seed and the #2 seed plays the #3 seed. The games alternate home sites starting at the home of the top seed.

2nd Round:
The winning team in each first round series advances to the Conference Finals, the proper name for round two. The higher remaining seed has home court advantage for the series. This round is also a 2 out of 3 series and again alternates home sites starting at the home of the top seed.

3rd Round:
The WNBA Finals Champion is determined in a best 3 out of 5 series. Home court belongs to the Conference Finals champion with the best regular season record. If the teams have identical regular season records, the two team tiebreaker rules are used to determine top seed. The first two games are played at the home of the top seed, followed by two games (game 4 if needed) at the home of the lower seed. If the teams are tied at the end of four games, the fifth and final game is played at the home of the top seed.