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CCSS: 6.SP.B.4, 6.SP.B.5, 7.SP.B.3, 8.SP.A.1, MP1, MP5, MP6
TEKS: 6.12A, 6.12B, 6.12C, 6.12D, 6.13A, 7.6G, 7.12A, 8.5C, 8.11A
Winning in the WNBA
This year marks the 25th season of the WNBA, the all-female basketball league. It follows a season that was unlike any other. In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic prevented the league’s 12 teams from traveling or playing in front of fans. Instead, the entire WNBA relocated to Florida, where athletes were quarantined and tested daily. Players had little contact with friends and family outside the league “bubble” all season.
Despite this, the WNBA had a successful year. Players broke many records, including average points and possessions per game. During the playoffs, the Seattle Storm faced off against the Las Vegas Aces. After winning the first two games of the best-of-five Finals, the Storm won Game Three by a score of 92-59. It was the largest margin in WNBA Finals history!
Covid-19 isn’t the only challenge that WNBA players have faced. For years, they have fought for fair pay and treatment. In the 2020 season, the average annual salary in the WNBA was less than 1% of that of the NBA. Many WNBA athletes play abroad in the off-season to supplement their incomes. WNBA games also receive less television coverage than men’s games. But interest in the WNBA is on the rise. In 2020, viewership rose 68 percent and fan engagement on social media was at an all-time high.
“WNBA athletes are taking the game to a new level,” says WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert.
Romain Biard/Shutterstock.com (Lloyd); ph.FAB/Shutterstock.com (Ibrahimovic); Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images (Matthews); Michelle Jay (Dempsey); Elaine Thompson/AP Images (Bird); Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images (Curry); M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images (Silhouette)
Answer the questions using the charts and graphs above. Round answers to the nearest whole number. Record your work and answers on our answer sheet.
What percent of WNBA athletes who traveled in the off-season went to Russia during the 2018-19 season?
In which year was WNBA attendance the highest?
Which WNBA team has about 40,000 followers on Instagram?
A. NY Liberty
B. Seattle Storm
C. Chicago Sky
D. LA Sparks
What is the difference in salary between the highest paid female and male basketball players?
How many WNBA athletes played in China in the 2018-19 season?
Which WNBA team has about half as many followers as the Los Angeles Sparks team?
A. Washington Mystics
B. Las Vegas Aces
C. Minnesota Lynx
D. Dallas Wings
What percent of Zlatan Ibrahimović’s salary does Carli Lloyd’s salary represent?
About how many WNBA players went to Turkey, Hungary, and Poland combined during the 2018-19 season?
What was the approximate percent change in WNBA attendance between 2000 and 2015?
Poll your class on which sport they like to play the most. Then make a circle graph of the results.