WNBA Basketball refers to the Women‘s National Basketball Association. The association was created by NBA in 1996 under the leadership of WNBA president Valerie Ackerman as a counterpart to represent women players. The inaugural season for NBA began in June 1997 began after the gold medal win of USA Women’s Basketball team in 1996 Summer Olympics. The inaugural season was won by Houston Comets. Today the WNBA consist of 12 teams that compete for the WNBA Championship Trophy. The WNBA league is split into the Eastern and Western Conferences similar like NBA. The playoffs between teams results in one team from each conference reaching the Finals.
The WNBA playoffs are scheduled between NBA seasons and the venues used by WNBA are the same which are used by their NBA counterparts. The regular season of WNBA consists of 34 games. The plays are halted for the WNBA All-Star game when the star players from Western Conference play against star players of Eastern Conference. The fans get an opportunity to vote for their favorite WNBA players throughout the season and decide which players they want to see in start player playoffs.
The WNBA playoffs consist of game series played between top four teams of each conference. The first round and second round of playoff is played in best-of-three format where the Game 1 and Game 3 are played on the home ground of the team with higher ranking or seeds. The final of playoffs is however played in best-of-five format where the Game 1, 2 and 5 are played on the home ground of team with highest seeds.
Generally, the team having the best season record will play against the team having the fourth best season record. And the second ranked team will play against the third best ranked team in the first round. The winning team of each series plays against each other in the second round. The winning team advances to the league championship finals.
WNBA has grown step by step since its formation in 1996. The Houston Comets made an impressive start by winning the first four WNBA championships from 1997 – 2000. The Los Angeles Sparks then managed to win the championship twice in row in 2001-2002. The Storm and Monarch managed to clinch the title in 2004 and 2005 respectively.
There are 6 teams in Western Conference such as Atlanta Dream, Connecticut Sun, Chicago Sky, Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Washington Mystics. The Eastern Conference has 6 teams named Los Angeles Sparks, San Antonio Silver Stars, Minnesota Lynx, Seattle Storm, Tulsa Shock and Phoenix Mercury.
The WNBA playoffs are as popular as their NBA counterparts in the US. The WNBA league provides a good opportunity and recognition to women players in the men dominated sports arena.