News broke Monday morning that the WNBA and WNBPA had reached an agreement to officially return to the court for the 2020 season.
The season is comprised of a 22 regular-season schedule followed by a traditional playoff schedule. IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida is set to be the home of the 12-team league and will host all teams, practices and competitions to go along with training camp and housing.
Extensive procedures and precautions are currently in place with the help of medical professionals to assure the safest environment for competition possible.
Big news: The @WNBA officially announces plans for 22-game regular season starting in July with standard playoffs ending in October – with all games at IMG Academy in Florida – after players vote to approve proposal.
— Mechelle Voepel (@MechelleV) June 15, 2020
"We are finalizing a season start plan to build on the tremendous momentum generated in the league during the offseason and have used the guiding principles of health and safety of players and essential staff to establish necessary and extensive protocols," said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert per release. "We will continue to consult with medical experts and public health officials as well as players, team owners and other stakeholders as we move forward with our execution plan."
The WNBA and WNBPA have been in close discussion the last week as they have negotiated the terms of play including pay and benefits. They had agreed upon 100-percent pay for all players late last week and an official agreement and announcement was expected to come soon after.
"Despite the disruption caused by the global pandemic to our 2020 season, the WNBA and its Board of Governors believe strongly in supporting and valuing the elite women athletes who play in the WNBA and therefore, players will receive their full pay and benefits during the 2020 season."
This is good news and a good look for the WNBA considering multiple professional sports leagues are going back and forth on reaching an agreement. However, amidst a global pandemic, the situation remains fluid. With recent spikes in certain regions of the country, including Florida, the next two weeks will be crucial.
An official start for training camp, training camp length and start of games has yet to be announced.