WNBA Approves Major Changes To Regular-Season and Playoff Formats

by January 29, 2016

Entering its 20th season, the WNBA is not only revamping its draft lottery but also its regular-season and playoff formats.

During the 34-game regular season, teams will play three games against the other 11 league teams. A fourth game will be played against a conference opponent.

Come playoff time, seeds will be determined strictly by record. The first two rounds will be single elimination, and the semi-finals and finals will be best-of-five series.

Check out the full details from the WNBA:

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


• The number of playoff rounds increases from three to four. The top two seeds receive a bye to the semifinals (third round), and the third and fourth seeds receive a bye to the second round.


• 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.