When does the 2022 WNBA season start?

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When does the 2022 WNBA season start? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The new WNBA season is almost here.

With the 2022 draft in the books, 12 teams are getting their rosters ready to make a run at the WNBA Finals.

Here is everything you need to know about the 2022 WNBA season, from when to start watching the action to teams and players to watch for:

When does the 2022 WNBA season start?

The 2022 WNBA season starts on Friday, May 6 with a four-game slate. The first regular season game tips off at 7 p.m. ET with the Washington Mystics hosting the Indiana Fever

Then the defending champions Chicago Sky will host the Los Angeles Sparks at 8 p.m. ET. The Phoenix Mercury will host the Las Vegas Aces and the Seattle Storm will host the Minnesota Lynx for the final two games on opening night. Tip-off time for both games is slated for 10 p.m. ET.

How many games are in the WNBA season?

There are 36 total games in the WNBA season with 12 teams in the league. There are six teams each in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference. The 36 games are a new record for the league, as the previous high was 34. 

When do the 2022 WNBA playoffs start?

The 2022 WNBA regular season comes to a close on Sunday, August 14. The playoffs will start shortly after, but no official date has been announced yet. Eight teams will qualify for the postseason, with seeding sorted by winning percentage. The first round will be a best-of-three series, and the semifinals and WNBA Finals will be bumped to a best-of-five series. Byes and single-elimination games have been removed this season.

The season is also ending earlier than usual because the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup is slated to start on Sept. 21.

When is the 2022 WNBA All-Star Game?

The 2022 WNBA All-Star Game is scheduled for Sunday, July 10 in Chicago. More events for All-Star weekend are slated for Saturday, July 9, but no official details on those have been announced yet. There is also no format in place for this year’s event after last year featured Team USA vs. Team WNBA. 

Will the Commissioner’s Cup return in 2022?

The WNBA Commissioner’s Cup will return for a second installment. It is an in-game tournament that designates 10 regular season games to count for cup qualification – five home games and five road games. The top team from each conference in these games will face off in the cup final on July 26.

The Storm won the first ever installment last year after a 79-57 victory over the Connecticut Sun.

Which players and teams should I watch for?

Chicago Sky - The defending champions are led by Candace Parker and Kahleah Copper

Las Vegas Aces - Becky Hammon is entering her first year as a head coach with A’ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum as her two stars

Connecticut Sun - Connecticut, led by Jonquel Jones and DeWanna Bonner, looks to bounce back after losing as the No. 1 seed in the semifinals to the Sky 

Seattle Storm - Seattle hopes to take the league by storm with Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird at the helm. Elissa Cunane and Evina Westbrook are two promising rookies who could help

Washington Mystics - The Mystics are hoping for a bounce-back year, and Elena Delle Donne’s return from injury will play a key role in that

Indiana Fever - The Fever might have another rough record this year, but five talented rookies should make it a fun developmental season: NaLyssa Smith, Emily Engstler, Lexie Hull, Queen Egbo, Destanni Henderson