June 4, 2022 

Building the 2022 WNBA All-Star Game

Everything you need to know about voting, team selection, and more

On Thursday, June 2, the WNBA released its guidelines and regulations for the selection of the 2022 All-Star teams, captains, and coaches. The league also announced further details about All-Star Weekend, which is set to take place in Chicago on July 9–10. Here’s what we know so far about this year’s festivities, and how you can get involved.

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This year, as in prior non-Olympic years, fans, players, head coaches, and media will vote to determine each of the two WNBA All-Star teams, which will be named after each team’s captain. Players will be ranked by position (guard or front-court player) and by type of vote (fan, player, or media). Their final ranking (by position) will be determined using a weighted rank as follows:

Final ranking = 0.5 x (fan rank) + 0.25 x (media rank) + 0.25 x (player rank)

As of the 2018 All-Star game, players are ranked without regard for team conference, and fan rankings will be used to break any ties.

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WNBA All-Star Voting 101

Dates to know:

  • Friday, June 3 at 2 p.m., ET: Fan voting begins
  • Fan votes count twice: Tuesday, June 14 and Saturday, June 18
  • Monday, June 20 at 11:59 p.m. ET: Fan voting closes
  • Wednesday, June 22: List of starters and team captains announced
  • Friday, June 24: Head coaches announced
  • Tuesday, June 28: List of reserve players announced

What fans can vote for:

  • Team captains: The players with the top two highest voting scores will be designated as WNBA All-Star captains.
  • Starter pool: Consists of 10 players (four guards, six forwards/centers) that captains will draft from to fill their starting five. Voted on by players, media, and fans using the aforementioned ranking system.

What fans can’t vote for:

  • Reserve pool: 12 players (three guards, five forwards/centers, four players of either classification) that captains will draft from to fill their bench. This list is voted on by the league’s head coaches, though they may not vote for their own players.
  • Head coaches: The head coaches will be the coaches with the two best records after games on Friday, June 24. The coach with the best record will join the captain with the highest fan ranking.
The road to the All-Star game, and where you can join in! (Photo credit: Wintrust Arena, WNBA.com, WNBA App, ESPN)

The Draft

With the two pools of available players established, the All-Star draft will take place on Saturday, July 2 at 3 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN. This will mark just the second time the WNBA All-Star Draft has been televised in the now 18 years it has been played. With the first ever trade taking place during the last All-Star draft, which took place in 2019, the opportunity for drama and intrigue has certainly escalated.

WNBA All-Star Weekend: Chicago Style

For the first time in league history, Chicago will host WNBA All-Star weekend. The WNBA All-Star Game will be played at Wintrust Arena on Sunday, July 10 at 1 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast on ABC. All-Star weekend will also feature the 3-Point Contest and the return of the Skills Challenge at McCormick Place on Saturday, July 9 at 3 p.m. ET, both broadcast on ESPN.

Though the WNBA has yet to announce the full rules and regulations for this year’s All-Star Game, the match has previously been the site of experimentation with the rules of the game. The 2006 game used four 10-minute quarters for the first time, decreased the shot clock from 30 to 24 seconds, and did away with jump balls to open all but the first quarter. In 2019, the league introduced live-ball subs, similar to hockey substitution rules, and further shortened the shot clock to 20 seconds. Though live-ball subs didn’t make it past 2019, the WNBA hasn’t been a league that passes up on opportunities to experiment with rule changes.

All-Star weekend will also include a two-day outdoor “entertainment and pop culture” event dubbed “WNBA Live.” Details about the event have yet to be announced, but it will take place at McCormick Place Convention Center. McCormick Place will also host the Nike Tournament of Champions and Girls Nike Nationals.

Written by Isabel Rodrigues

Isabel Rodrigues (she/her) is a contributing editor for The Next from upstate New York. She occasionally covers 3x3 and labor in women's basketball.

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