The WNBA has increased its schedule by two games to 36 and will hold an in-season tournament, the league announced Thursday.
The regular season will run from May 15 to Sept. 20 and includes a five-week break for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The WNBA had played a 34-game regular-season schedule since 2003.
The in-season tournament will be called the Commissioner's Cup with a 10-game portion of the season counting toward Cup play. The team with the best record in Cup games from each conference will meet for the title and receive money from a special prize pool money.
The date of the Commissioner's Cup title game is tentatively set for Aug. 14, two days before play resumes after the Olympic break. The break begins after games of July 10.
"We are incredibly excited to introduce a first-of-its-kind in-season tournament for our league and present more regular-season games on ABC, increasing the WNBA's national television exposure," WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a news release. "The Commissioner's Cup offers fans another competition through which to support their favorite teams and adds a new dimension to the season for our players and teams."
Ten games are slated for the Opening Weekend from May 15-17. The defending champion Washington Mystics, led by MVP Elena Delle Donne, host the Los Angeles Sparks on May 16 on ESPN.
ABC is slated to televise five WNBA games. The network televised three games in 2019.
ESPN is slated to broadcast two games with ESPN2 airing 10.