WNBA Playoff Format 2016

— Top Eight Teams Regardless of Conference Qualify for Postseason —

— ESPN Networks to Televise all Postseason Games —

WNBA Playoff Format Explained

The WNBA Board of Governors approved changes to playoff seeding and qualification procedures as well as the postseason format, effective with the 2016 season, the WNBA announced in January. The reconfigured postseason structure, featuring live telecasts by ESPN networks of every playoff and Finals game in 2016, dovetailed with a new, more balanced format for the regular-season schedule.

Beginning with the WNBA’s historic 20th season, the eight teams with the highest winning percentages regardless of conference qualified for the playoffs and were seeded based on their record.

Additional changes to the playoff structure are as follows:

Most recently, the top four teams in both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference qualified for the playoffs and were seeded by conference standings.  The East and West each held two best-of-three conference semifinals, followed by a best-of-three conference finals.  The conference champions advanced to a best-of-five WNBA Finals.