Wednesday, December 8

What is the new format for the WNBA Playoffs? League to play more postseason games


The WNBA approved a new playoff format for the 2022 season, changing the way teams are ranked and expanding the number of postseason games played.

In the past, eight teams, regardless of the conference, have qualified for the playoffs, with the top two teams earning double free passes to the semifinals (or third round). The next two best teams earned second round passes, while the remaining four teams competed in single elimination games to see who advanced to the second round.

The second round was still single elimination, while the semifinals were best of three and the WNBA Finals were best of five.

Teams were re-seeded after each round, with the highest seeded always facing off against the lowest seeded still competing.

With the new playoff format, how will the WNBA postseason change?

What is the new format for the WNBA Playoffs?

The WNBA Board of Governors approved changes to the league’s playoff format and postseason seed, beginning in the 2022 season.

The reconfigured postseason structure will include three rounds of serial play in a 3-5-5 best format.

The eight teams with the highest winning percentages in a 36-game schedule, regardless of the conference, will qualify for the playoffs and be seeded based on their record. All eight playoff teams will participate in a pool-style first-round game consisting of four best-of-three series.

(WNBA Official Launch)

In a group, the first-round game will place the No. 1 seed against the No. 8 seed and the No. 4 seed against the No. 5 seed in a best-of-three series, with the winners advancing to a better position. of five semifinal series against each other. In the other group, the No. 3 seed will face the No. 6 seed and the No. 2 seed will face the No. 7 seed, and the winners will face each other in the other best-of-five semifinal series. .

The winners of the semi-final series will meet in the WNBA Finals, which will also be a best-of-five series, to determine the WNBA champion.

Additional elements related to the playoff structure are as follows:

  • The number of playoff rounds changes from four to three and no team will receive a goodbye to begin the postseason. Teams will not be seeded again after the first round.
  • The planned change for the first round series games will include a 2-1 format in which the highest favorite will host Games 1 and 2 and the lowest favorite will host Game 3 if necessary.
  • The new format will add eight potential games to the playoff footprint.
  • The WNBA Semifinals and Finals will remain unchanged as a best-of-five series and will follow the same 2-2-1 format in which the highest seed will host Games 1, 2 and 5, and the team. The lowest-seeded will host Games 3 and 4. in their respective series.




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