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Women's National Basketball Association
Current season or competition:
2010 WNBA season
Women National Basketball Association.svg
The WNBA logo, which parallels the NBA logo.
Sport Basketball
Founded 1996
Commissioner Donna Orender
Motto "Expect Great"
Inaugural season 1997
No. of teams 12
Country(ies)  United States
Most recent champion(s) Phoenix Mercury
Most championships Houston Comets (4)
TV partner(s) ESPN, NBA TV
Official website WNBA.com

The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) is a women's professional basketball league in the United States. It currently is composed of twelve teams. The league was founded in 1996 as the women's counterpart to the NBA. League play started in 1997; the regular season is played from May to August with the playoffs in September.

Many WNBA teams have NBA counterparts and play in the same arena. The Connecticut Sun, the Seattle Storm, and the Tulsa Shock are the only current teams to play without sharing the market with an NBA team (although the Storm shared a market with the Seattle SuperSonics before that team's controversial relocation). In addition to those three teams, the Chicago Sky is the only other team that does not share an arena with an NBA counterpart. The Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Los Angeles Sparks, Phoenix Mercury, Seattle Storm, Tulsa Shock and the Washington Mystics are independently owned. This independent ownership is important to the WNBA's growth; at one time, all teams in the league were owned by the NBA.

Contents

History

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1997: We Got Next

Officially approved by the NBA Board of Governors on April 24, 1996, the creation of the WNBA was announced at a press conference with Rebecca Lobo, Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes in attendance.

The league began with eight teams: The Charlotte Sting, Cleveland Rockers, Houston Comets and New York Liberty in the Eastern Conference; and the Los Angeles Sparks, Phoenix Mercury, Sacramento Monarchs and Utah Starzz in the Western Conference.

While not the first major women's professional basketball league in the United States (a distinction held by the defunct WBL), the WNBA is the only league to receive full backing of the NBA. The WNBA logo, "Logo Woman", paralleled the NBA logo and was selected out of 50 different designs.

Late 1990s: The Comets Dynasty

On the heels of a much-publicized gold medal run by the 1996 USA Basketball Women's National Team at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, the WNBA began its first season on June 21, 1997 to little fanfare. The first WNBA game featured the New York Liberty facing the Los Angeles Sparks in Los Angeles. The game was televised nationally in the United States on the NBC television network. At the start of the 1997 season, the WNBA had television deals in place with NBC (NBA rights holder), and the Walt Disney Company and Hearst Corporation joint venture channels, ESPN and Lifetime Television Network, respectively. Penny Toler scored the league's first point.

Cynthia Cooper of the Comets.

The WNBA centered its marketing campaign, dubbed "We Got Next", around stars Rebecca Lobo, Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes. In the league's first season, Leslie's Los Angeles Sparks underperformed and Swoopes sat out much of the season due to her pregnancy. The WNBA's true star in 1997 was WNBA MVP Cynthia Cooper, Swoopes' teammate on the Houston Comets. The Comets defeated Lobo's New York Liberty in the first WNBA Championship game.

The initial "We Got Next" advertisement would run before each WNBA season until it was replaced with the "We Got Game" campaign.

In 1999, the league's chief competition, the American Basketball League, folded. Many of the ABL's star players, including several Olympic gold medalists (such as Nikki McCray and Dawn Staley) and a number of standout college performers (including Kate Starbird and Jennifer Rizzotti), then joined the rosters of WNBA teams and, in so doing, enhanced the overall quality of play in the league. When a lockout resulted in an abbreviated NBA season, the WNBA saw faltering TV viewership.

Four teams were added after the 1997 season, bringing the number of teams in the league up to twelve. The 1999 season began with a collective bargaining agreement between players and the league, marking the first collective bargaining agreement to be signed in the history of women's professional sports.

Early 2000s: Moving Forward

The WNBA made a huge step on May 23, 2000, when the Houston Comets became the first WNBA team to be invited to the White House Rose Garden. This step was important to the WNBA's growth because before this invitation, only men's sports teams had traveled to the White House.

By the 2000 season, the WNBA had doubled in size. Two teams were added in 1998: the Detroit Shock and the Washington Mystics; another two in 1999 (the Minnesota Lynx and the Orlando Miracle); and four more for the 2000 season (the Indiana Fever, the Seattle Storm, the Miami Sol, and the Portland Fire). Teams and the league were collectively owned by the NBA until 2002, when the NBA sold WNBA teams either to their NBA counterparts in the same city or to a third party. This led to two teams moving; Utah to San Antonio and Orlando to Connecticut. With the move, the Sun became the first WNBA team to be owned by a third party instead of an NBA franchise. This sale of teams also led to two teams folding, the Miami Sol and Portland Fire, because new owners could not be found.

On October 21, 2004, Val Ackerman, the first WNBA president, announced her resignation, effective February 1, 2005, citing the desire to spend more time with her family. Ackerman later became president of USA Basketball.

On February 15, 2005, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that Donna Orender, who had been serving as the Senior Vice President of the PGA Tour and who had played for several teams in the now-defunct Women's Pro Basketball League, would be Ackerman's successor as of April 2005.

Late 2000s: Shock Dynasty in the East, Mercury Rising in the West

After the 2003 season, the Cleveland Rockers, one of the league's original eight teams, folded because the owners were unwilling to continue operating the franchise.

The WNBA awarded its first real expansion team to Chicago (later named the Sky) in February 2006. In the off-season, a set of rule changes was approved that made the WNBA more like the NBA.

In 2006, the league became the first team-oriented women's professional sports league to exist for ten consecutive seasons. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary, the WNBA released its All-Decade Team, comprising the ten WNBA players deemed to have contributed, through on-court play and off-court activities, the most to women's basketball during the period of the league's existence.

In December 2006, the Charlotte Bobcats organization announced it would no longer operate the Charlotte Sting. Soon after, the WNBA announced that the Sting would not operate for 2007. A dispersal draft was held January 8, 2007. Teams selected in inverse order of their 2006 records; Chicago received the first pick and selected Monique Currie.

In October 2007 the WNBA awarded another expansion franchise to Atlanta. Atlanta businessman Ron Terwilliger was the original owner of the new team. Citizens of Atlanta were able to vote for their choices for the new team's nickname and colors. The Dream, as they were named, played their first regular season game on May 17, which was a 100-67 [1] loss to the Connecticut Sun.

During this period of expansion and contraction in the East, the Western Conference saw increased levels of parity. In 2008, every Western Conference team was in the running for playoff position until the last week of the season. With the two recent expansion teams (Atlanta and Chicago) and a struggling Washington franchise, the same teams rose in the Eastern Conference year after year.

It was the Detroit Shock however, who were consistently the team-to-beat in the East. After having the worst record in the league in 2002, head coach and general manager Bill Laimbeer (former Piston Bad Boy) made the Shock championship caliber. The Shock won the championship in 2003, 2006, and 2008, making the team only the second dynasty in the history of the WNBA. The team also appeared in the WNBA Finals in 2007.

Candace Parker of the Sparks in 2009.

Late in 2008, the WNBA took over ownership of one of the league's original franchises, the Houston Comets. The Comets ceased operations on December 1, 2008 after no owners for the franchise could be found.[1] A dispersal draft took place on December 8, 2008 and with the first pick, Sancho Lyttle was taken by the Atlanta Dream.

Much like the Houston Comets franchise which dominated the league in its first four years of existence, the Phoenix Mercury has risen to prominence by claiming two out of the last three WNBA titles. Like Houston, who was led by their famed "Big Three" of Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson, the Mercury themselves have a "Big Three" of Diana Taurasi, Cappie Pondexter and Penny Taylor-Gil. Their first title was won in 2007 over the Detroit Shock; in 2009, the Mercury defeated the Indiana Fever, cementing their place as one of only four WNBA franchises to own more than one championship. The Mercury, unlike previous WNBA champions, are a high-octane, up-tempo team that has set several WNBA scoring records playing their "Run-and-Gun" offense set into place by former head coach Paul Westhead, and continued on by current head coach Corey Gaines.

Early 2010s: Continuing Development Efforts

Due to the World Championships in late September, the 2010 WNBA regular season will run from May 15 to August 22.

On October 20, 2009 the WNBA announced that the Detroit Shock would relocate to Tulsa, Oklahoma; the team is called the Tulsa Shock. On November 20, 2009, the WNBA announced that the Sacramento Monarchs had folded due to lack of support from its current owners, the Maloof family, also the owners of the Sacramento Kings. The league announced it would seek new owners to relocate the team to the Bay Area; however, no ownership was found and a dispersal draft was held on December 14, 2009.

Other Developments

The WNBA Players Association threatened to strike in 2003 if a new deal was not worked out between players and the league. The result was a delay in the start of the 2003 preseason. The 2003 WNBA Draft was also delayed and negative publicity was gained from this strike.[2]

In 2007, the WNBA and ESPN came to an 8-year television agreement. The agreement would be the first to pay television rights fees to the league's teams. Never before has an agreement promised rights fees to a women's professional league. The agreement runs from 2009-2016 and is worth millions of dollars. [3]

During the 2008 regular season, the first ever outdoor professional basketball game in North America was played at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York between the New York Liberty and the Indiana Fever in front of over 19,000 fans. The Fever won the game 71-55.

Prior to the 2009 season, the maximum team roster size was changed from 13 players (11 active and 2 inactive) to 11 players (all active). Any team that falls below nine players able to play due to injury or any other factor outside of the control of the team will, upon request, be granted a roster hardship exception allowing the team to sign an additional player or players so that the team will have nine players able to play in an upcoming game or games. As soon as the injured (or otherwise sidelined) player(s) is able to play, the roster hardship player(s)—not any other player on the roster—must be waived.

On June 1, 2009, the Phoenix Mercury secured a partnership with Lifelock to brand their jerseys.[4] It was the first branded jersey in the WNBA. A few days later, the Los Angeles Sparks followed suit, branding their jerseys with Farmers Insurance.[5]

International Influence

A number of international players have played in the WNBA, such as:

Note that some of these players, among them Abrosimova, Maïga-Ba, Penicheiro, and Young, played U.S. college basketball.

Milestones

Teams

The WNBA originated with 8 teams in 1997, and through a sequence of expansions, contractions, and relocations currently consists of 12 teams. There have been a total of 18 teams in WNBA history. Most WNBA teams are associated with the NBA team from the same market and are known as sister teams. These teams include the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Sparks, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx, the New York Knicks and New York Liberty, the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury, the San Antonio Spurs and the San Antonio Silver Stars, and the Washington Wizards and Washington Mystics. The now defunct Charlotte Sting, Miami Sol, Houston Comets and Sacramento Monarchs were also sister teams of the Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings, respectively. The Detroit Shock was the sister team of the Detroit Pistons until the teams' owner sold the Shock to investors who will move the team to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the 2010 season. The Tulsa owners stated that the team will not initially be affiliated with Oklahoma's NBA team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, but left the door open for a future affiliation. The Seattle Storm was the sister team of the now relocated Seattle SuperSonics.

As of the 2010 WNBA season, the Los Angeles Sparks, New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury, and the San Antonio Silver Stars (formerly Utah Starzz) are the only remaining franchises that were founded in 1997.

Former teams

Future teams

In 2007, investors took steps to re-create the Colorado Chill, a previously successful franchise in the now-defunct NWBL, as a WNBA expansion team. In September, Chill backers announced that they had not raised enough money to join the WNBA in the 2008 season.

In August 2008, Norm Freedman, whose history with basketball dates back about 35 years, headed a group of investors interested in bringing a WNBA franchise to play out of the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. "The prospects are better than 50%," Freedman said. "The WNBA is quite positive, and so am I, that a team in Toronto will do well." [6]

In 2008, news surfaced that the WNBA was focusing on Nashville, Tennessee as a possible site for expansion. WNBA President Donna Orender claimed that "Tennessee is so logical" referring to the success of women's college basketball in that area.[7]

The city of Baltimore, Maryland may see a WNBA team in the future. Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon announced that the WNBA said Baltimore may be a location for a WNBA expansion team if a new arena is built in the city.[8]

President Orender announced that the league would attempt to secure ownership for a team in the San Francisco Bay Area in time for the 2011 WNBA season. [9]

The WNBA Draft

Every spring, the WNBA Draft is held at league headquarters in Secaucus, New Jersey. From 2005 to 2008, the Draft was held in the city that hosted the NCAA Women's Final Four. The draft is currently three rounds long with each of the 12 teams in the league (trades aside) getting three picks each. Draft order for teams that made the playoffs the previous year are based on team records. The team with the highest previous record will pick last. Since eight teams qualify for playoffs, the bottom eight picks are determined by this method. For the remaining top four picks, a selection proccess similar to the NBA Draft Lottery is conducted for the four teams that did not qualify for the playoffs.

Regular season

Following the winter break, teams hold training camps in April. Training camps allow the coaching staff to evaluate players (especially rookies), scout the team's strengths and weaknesses, prepare the players for the rigorous regular season, and determine the 11-woman roster with which they will begin the regular season. After training camp, a series of preseason exhibition games are held. The WNBA regular season begins in May.

During the regular season, each team plays 34 games, 17 each home and away. Each team plays three in-conference teams 4 times each (12 games) and two in-conference teams 5 times each (10 games). Each team then plays the six out-of-conference teams twice (12 games). Each team hosts and visits every other team at least once every season.

WNBA All-Star Game

In July, the regular season pauses to celebrate the annual WNBA All-Star Game. The game is part of a weekend-long event, held in a selected WNBA city each year. The actual game is played on the selected WNBA team's home court. The All-Star Game features star players from the Western Conference facing star players from the Eastern Conference. During the season, fans get to vote for the players they would like to see start the game. The 2006 All-Star Game was the first game to feature custom uniforms that match the decade anniversary logo. Due to the Olympics, there was no WNBA All-Star Game in 2008. The 2009 All-Star Game was held on July 25 at Mohegan Sun Arena, home of the Connecticut Sun.

Shortly after the All-Star break is the trading deadline. After this date, teams are not allowed to exchange players with each other for the remainder of the season, although they may still sign and release players. Major trades are often completed right before the trading deadline, making that day a hectic time for general managers.

Awards

Around the beginning of August, the regular season ends. It is during this time that voting begins for individual awards. The Sixth Woman of the Year Award is given to the best player coming off the bench (must have more games coming off the bench than actual games started). The Rookie of the Year Award is awarded to the most outstanding first-year player. The Most Improved Player Award is awarded to the player who is deemed to have shown the most improvement from the previous season. The Defensive Player of the Year Award is awarded to the league's best defender. The Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award is awarded to the player who shows the outstanding sportsmanship on and off the court. The Coach of the Year Award is awarded to the coach that has made the most positive difference to a team. The Most Valuable Player Award is given to player deemed the most valuable for (her team) that season.

Also named are the All-WNBA Teams, the All-Defensive Teams, and the All-Rookie Team; each consists of five players. There are two All-WNBA teams, consisting of the top players at each position, with first-team status being the most desirable. There are two All-Defensive teams, consisting of the top defenders at each position. There is one All-Rookie team, consisting of the top first-year players regardless of position.

2009 Award Winners

Olympic-Year Seasons

During years in which the Summer Olympics are held, the WNBA takes a month off in the middle of the season to allow players to practice and compete with their respective national teams. Most recently for the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing, China, most of August was taken off. The regular season ran from May 17, 2008 to September 14, 2008 (the Olympic break was from July 28, 2008 to August 27, 2008). The WNBA Playoffs and WNBA Finals led into October.

The WNBA Playoffs

The WNBA Playoffs begin in late August, with four teams in each conference qualifying for the playoffs. Having a higher seed offers several advantages. Since the first seed plays the fourth seed, and the second seed plays the third seed, having a higher seed generally means one will be facing a weaker team. The team in each series with the better record has home court advantage.

The first two playoff rounds follow a tournament format with each team playing a rival in a best-of-three series, with the first team to win two games advancing into the next round, while the other team is eliminated from the playoffs. For the first round, the matchups by seed are 1st vs 4th and 2nd vs 3rd. In the second round, the successful team plays against the other advancing team of the same conference. This leaves one surviving team from each conference. In both rounds, the best-of-three series follows a 1-2 home-court pattern, meaning that one team will have home court in game 1 while the other plays at home in games 2 and 3.

The WNBA Finals

The final playoff round, a best-of-five series between the victors of each conference, is known as the WNBA Finals, and is held annually in September. Each player on the winning team receives a championship ring. In addition, the league awards a WNBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award. For this round, the series follows a 2-2-1 pattern, meaning that one team will have home court in games 1, 2, and 5, while the other plays at home in games 3 and 4. The 2-2-1 pattern in the WNBA Finals has been in place since 2005.

The WNBA Finals

Players and coaches

Over a decade after the launch of the WNBA, in 2009 only four players remained from the original 1997 WNBA Draft: Tamecka Dixon, Vickie Johnson, Lisa Leslie, and Tina Thompson. Both Johnson and Leslie announced their retirement during the 2009 season, effective at season's end. Leslie was the last player from the 1997 draft class remaining with the team that drafted her; she spent her entire career with the Los Angeles Sparks. All but Johnson have won a championship (Dixon and Leslie with the Sparks; Thompson with the Houston Comets). Since Leslie sat out the entire 2007 season due to pregnancy, only Dixon, Johnson, and Thompson hold the record for number of years in the league (thirteen).

The members of the WNBA's All-Decade Team were chosen in 2006 on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the WNBA from amongst 30 nominees compiled by fan, media, coach, and player voting. The team was to comprise the 10 best and most influential players of the first decade of the WNBA, with consideration also given to sportsmanship, community service, leadership, and contribution to the growth of women's basketball.

Over 50 players have scored more than 2,000 points or more in their WNBA careers. Only three WNBA players have reached the 5,000 point milestone: Lisa Leslie, Tina Thompson and Katie Smith.

In 2007, Paul Westhead of the Phoenix Mercury became the first person to earn both NBA and WNBA championship rings as a coach.

In 2008, 50-year-old Nancy Lieberman became the oldest player to play in a WNBA game. She signed a seven-day contract with the Detroit Shock and played one game, tallying two assists and two turnovers in nine minutes of action. She broke the previous record (39 years old) which was set by herself in 1997 before she retired.

Rules and regulations

Rules are governed by standard basketball rules as defined by the NBA, with a few notable exceptions:

  • The three-point line is 20 feet 6.25 inches (6.25 m) from the middle of the basket. This is the same distance currently used under FIBA rules; however, FIBA will increase its three-point distance to 22 feet 2 inches (6.75 m) effective October 1, 2012 (for domestic competitions).
  • The regulation WNBA ball is a minimum 28.5 inches (72.4 cm) in circumference, 1.00 inch (2.54 cm) smaller than the NBA ball. As of 2004, this size is used for all senior-level women's competitions worldwide.
  • There is no block/charge arc under the basket. This is also a current FIBA rule that is set to change in 2012.
  • Quarters are 10 minutes in duration instead of 12.
  • There is no defensive 3-second rule.

Games are divided into four 10-minute quarters as opposed to the league's original two 20-minute halves of play, as to fit with FIBA rules (many WNBA players play in European or Australian leagues, which all use the FIBA ruleset, in the Northern Hemisphere autumn and winter).

Since the 2006 WNBA season, rules have been created or altered making the game more like the NBA style of play.

  • The NBA rule on jump balls is used for determining possession for the second, third, and fourth periods (i.e. team winning tip is awarded the ball at the beginning of the fourth quarter; the other team gets it to start the second and third periods). Under the two-half format both periods started with jump balls, presumably to prevent teams from purposely losing the opening tip in order to get the ball first in the second half. With the four quarters format this is not a problem because the team that wins the tip gets the ball first in the final period.
  • The shot clock was decreased from 30 to 24 seconds (14 second reset on any defensive foul if less than such time remains when a foul is called). The rule changes signaled a move away from rules more similar to those of college basketball and toward those that provide a more NBA-like game.
  • The amount of time that a team must move the ball across the half-court line went from 10 to 8 seconds. In addition, a referee can grant time-outs to either a player or the coach, as in the NBA.

Court dimensions

Business

WNBA Presidents

Finance

So far the WNBA has not mirrored the monetary success of the NBA, though it targets profitability. While some teams do make a profit (and others break even), most of the teams in the WNBA lose money each season. Losses are subsidized by the NBA; in 2003, news surfaced that the NBA spent up to $12 million a year to help pay for the WNBA losses. In 2007, teams were estimated to be losing $1.5 million to $2 million a year.[10]

However, in a March 12, 2009 article, NBA commissioner David Stern said that in the bad economy, "the NBA is far less profitable than the WNBA. We're losing a lot of money amongst a large number of teams. We're budgeting the WNBA to break even this year." [11]

Salary Caps

In 2008, a new six-year collective bargaining agreement was agreed upon between the players and the league. The salary cap for an entire team in 2010 is $827,000 (although it was later lowered to $775,000). By 2013 (the sixth year under this agreement), the cap for an entire team will be $900,000. In 2010, the minimum salary for a player with three-plus years of experience is $51,000 while the maximum salary for a six-plus year player is $101,500 (the first time in league history that players are able to receive over $100,000). The minimum salary for rookies is $35,190.[12][13] Many WNBA players supplement their salaries by playing in European or Australian women's basketball leagues during the WNBA off-season.

Bonuses

WNBA players are also awarded bonuses for certain achievements. A player who earns a league award gets a $5,000 bonus. The league Most Valuable Player receives a $15,000 bonus. Additionally, playoff bonuses are given and each player on the WNBA champion team receives a $10,500 bonus.

Merchandise

In 2008, league merchandise sales were up more than 36%, and WNBA jersey sales were up more than 46%, based on combined sales from the NBA Store and WNBAStore.com.

Attendance

Overall league attendance was about 8,000 people per game in 2009. Attendance has gone up and down but has generally decreased from about 10,000 in early years to about 8,000 in recent years. Attendance was at its peak in the league's second season (1998) at almost 11,000 fans per game, and the all time league average is 8,841 fans per game.[14]

Media coverage

Currently, WNBA games are televised throughout the U.S. by ABC, ESPN2 and NBA TV. In the early years two women's-oriented networks, Lifetime and Oxygen, also broadcast games including the first game of the WNBA. NBC showed games from 1997 to 2002 as part of their NBA on NBC coverage before the league transferred the rights to ABC/ESPN.

In June 2007, the WNBA signed a contract extension with ESPN. The new television deal runs from 2009 to 2016. A minimum of 18 games will be broadcast on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 each season; the rights to broadcast the first regular season game and the All-Star game are held by ABC. Additionally, a minimum of 11 postseason games will be broadcast on any of the three stations.[15] Beginning in 2010, all broadcasts have moved to ESPN and ESPN2.

Along with this deal, came the first ever rights fees to be paid to a women's professional sports league. Over the eight years of the contract, "millions and millions of dollars" will be "dispersed to the league's teams."

Many teams have local telecasts and games on local radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.

2010 season on ESPN2

WNBA LiveAccess

WNBA LiveAccess.

In 2009, the WNBA announced the launch of WNBA LiveAccess, a feature on WNBA.com that will provide fans with access to more than 200 live game webcasts throughout the 2009 WNBA season. People around the world will be able to access live game webcasts. All of the WNBA LiveAccess games will then be archived for on-demand viewing throughout the season. Every single game (except broadcasts on ESPN2 or ABC) will be available via this system. The first use of LiveAccess was the E League versus Chicago Sky preseason game; the system worked as planned.[16]

Viewership

On the 2008 season opening day (May 17), ABC broadcast the Los Angeles Sparks and Phoenix Mercury matchup to showcase new rookie sensation Candace Parker. The game received a little over 1 million viewers.

Ratings still remain poor in comparison to NBA games. In 2008, WNBA games averaged just 413,000 viewers, compared to 1.46 million viewers on ESPN and over 2.2 million on ABC for NBA games.[17]

All-Time Franchise History

See also

WNBA Pages

Video Games featuring WNBA Players

WNBA Television Partners

Other WNBA-related Articles

Other North American Professional Women's Basketball Leagues

Other North American Professional Women's Leagues

References

External links


Simple English

The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) is an American professional basketball league for women. The league first held games in June 1997. The WNBA has thirteen teams across the United States.

The games have two 20-minute halves with a 30-second shot clock. Each team has eleven players on it. The ball used for the games is one inch smaller than the ball used in the National Basketball Association (the professional basketball league for men in the United States).

References

Other websites


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