WNBA’s 26th season will showcase continual growth and improvement

NEW YORK, NY. – The WNBA today released its game schedule for the 2022 regular season, which will feature a record-high 36 games per team.  The expanded regular season will tip off on Friday, May 6 with a weekend of action showcasing all 12 teams.  The league’s 26th regular season will conclude on Sunday, Aug. 14, followed by the WNBA Playoffs presented by Google, which as previously announced, will have a new format this season.

The WNBA will unveil its complete television and streaming schedule at a later date.

Candace Parker has added a special season to her WNBA resume with Chicago Sky teammates

“Coming off our historic 25th season when the WNBA enjoyed its most-watched season since 2008 and set records for merchandise sales and engagement across social media platforms, we are looking forward to what is already a highly anticipated tip off of the 2022 season in May,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert.  “The 36-game schedule will provide fans greater opportunities to see the best players in the world compete at the highest level and year two of the Commissioner’s Cup brings added incentive to the first half of the season for players and teams while offering fans conference rivalry competition through which to support their favorite teams.”

The 2022 season will begin on Friday, May 6 with four star-studded matchups.  Former WNBA MVP Candace Parker and the defending champion Chicago Sky will host former MVP Nneka Ogwumike and the Los Angeles Sparks (8 p.m. ET).  In a rematch of a thrilling 2021 WNBA Semifinals series, the Phoenix Mercury and its trio of 2021 All-Stars – WNBA career scoring leader Diana Taurasi, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Brittney Griner – will host the Las Vegas Aces, who were led in 2021 by their own quartet of All-Stars in Liz Cambage, Chelsea Gray, Dearica Hamby, and A’ja Wilson (10 p.m. ET).

The opening-night schedule will also feature the Seattle Storm, led most recently by WNBA all-time assists leader Sue Bird and former regular-season and Finals MVP Breanna Stewart, hosting the Minnesota Lynx, which had the league’s third-best record last season behind former regular-season and Finals MVP Sylvia Fowles (10 p.m. ET).  In addition, the Washington Mystics, paced in 2021 by All-Star Ariel Atkins and league scoring leader Tina Charles, will face the visiting Indiana Fever and Kelsey Mitchell, the team’s leading scorer in each of the past three seasons (7 p.m. ET).

Action will continue on Saturday, May 7 when the league’s four remaining teams tip off their 2022 seasons.  Former No. 1 overall draft pick Sabrina Ionescu, 2021 Kia WNBA Rookie of the Year Michaela Onyenwere and the New York Liberty will host the Connecticut Sun, which posted a league-best 26-6 record last season behind reigning Kia WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones and fellow 2021 All-Stars DeWanna Bonner and Brionna Jones (6 p.m. ET).  Also on Saturday, Arike Ogunbowale, 2021 All-Star MVP and an All-WNBA Team selection each of the past two seasons, and the Dallas Wings will host the Atlanta Dream, which has been led by former All-WNBA First Team selection Tiffany Hayes for the last nine seasons (8 p.m. ET).  

The WNBA will conclude its opening weekend on Sunday, May 8 with three games: Los Angeles at Indiana (3 p.m. ET), Seattle at Las Vegas (6 p.m. ET), and Washington at Minnesota (7 p.m. ET).

Commissioner’s Cup presented by Coinbase

The Commissioner’s Cup presented by Coinbase, an in-season tournament pitting conference rivals against each other during the first half of the regular season, will return for its second season.  The 10 designated “Cup games” per team will be the first home game and first road game each team plays against its five conference rivals, all completed from May 6 – July 7.  The team from each conference with the top record in Cup games will compete for a lucrative prize pool in the Commissioner’s Cup Championship Game on Tuesday, July 26.  Additional details will be announced at a later date.

AT&T WNBA All-Star 2022

AT&T WNBA All-Star 2022, the 18th All-Star Game in league history, will be played on Sunday, July 10, with other pre-All-Star activities on Saturday, July 9.  More information about the All-Star weekend will be forthcoming.

Expanded Regular-Season Schedule

The WNBA’s regular-season schedule has increased to an all-time-high 36 games per team, up two games from the previous high of 34 and up four games from 32 per team last season.  Each team will play 18 home games and 18 road games.  The previous schedule, which grew from 28 to 32 games per team over the WNBA’s first six seasons, had consisted of 34 games per team from 2003-19.  Teams played a shortened 22-game schedule in the 2020 season and a 32-game schedule in the 2021 season, both due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Series” Play

The schedule again incorporates steps to reduce travel, including the use of a “series” model.  In some instances where a team is scheduled to play twice in the same city, those games have been scheduled to be played consecutively.

All in for Regular-Season Finale

With playoff berths and seedings potentially on the line, the WNBA will conclude its regular-season schedule in style with all 12 teams in action on Sunday, Aug. 14, the final day of the regular season.

Additional Schedule Highlights

  • Chicago and Phoenix, which squared off in a memorable 2021 WNBA Finals presented by YouTube TV series, will meet three times – Tuesday, May 31 and Saturday, July 2 in Chicago and on Sunday, Aug. 14 in Phoenix.
  • Connecticut will play four times against Chicago, which defeated the top-seeded Sun in the 2021 WNBA Semifinals.  The Eastern Conference rivals will meet in Connecticut on Friday, June 10 and Sunday, July 31, and in Chicago on Wednesday, June 29 and Sunday, Aug. 7.
  • Phoenix and Las Vegas will face each other three times in a rematch of a 2021 WNBA Semifinals series, which the Mercury won in a deciding Game 5 against the second-seeded Aces.  After meeting in Phoenix on May 6 on the first day of the season, the Western Conference rivals will play in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 17 and Saturday, May 21.

Below is the WNBA’s game schedule for tip-off weekend of the 2022 regular season.

 

Additionally, WNBA teams can begin negotiating with free agents on Jan. 15.  Free agents can sign contracts with teams beginning on Feb. 1.

 

 

Photo/ChicagoSky/twitter

Author: West Lamy

My passport requires no photograph. Experienced play-by-play broadcaster and multimedia sports journalist with years of producing and covering sports. WORLDWIDEWEST is a journey; in this journey my feet don't get blisters, but my shoes do.

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