WNBA: Preseason-China National Team at New York Liberty
Vincent Carchietta / USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 WNBA season is scheduled to begin in late July at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Teams have returned to their facilities for workouts this week, and are expected to travel to Florida on July 6, with the season tipping off on July 24. But while the league intends to play basketball this summer, nothing is for certain given the way the coronavirus is surging in Florida.

Multiple players, including MVP candidate Jonquel Jones, have already cited concerns about the virus as their reason for sitting out the season. Ahead of teams making their way south, here's a look at what we know about the league's plans in regards to COVID-19 testing and prevention. 


  • Much like with the NBA's protocol, the players will be sent a medical history questionnaire to fill out. While we don't have a copy of the WNBA's version, the NBA's form asks, among other things, if they've ever had any COVID-19 symptoms, if they've been in contact with anyone who tested positive and if they have any risk factors that could make them more susceptible to the virus.
  • Doctors will review those questionnaires, and if they determine a player is "high-risk," they will be allowed to sit out the season while still collecting their full paycheck. 
  • Prior to traveling to IMG, players are to be tested at least three times for COVID-19, and are required to quarantine at home for the week prior to their team's departure date, according to Mechelle Voepel of ESPN
  • If a player tests positive during this process, they will not be allowed to travel with their team. Instead, they will have to follow additional quarantine and testing procedures before being cleared to join the group in the bubble.

Arrival in Florida:

  • Once teams arrive at IMG, they will be tested again, and then will be sent to their rooms to quarantine for four days. 
  • All players and staff will be tested daily for the first two weeks, and after that will taper off slightly, with regular testing supplemented by temperature checks. 

Procedure for a positive test:

  • If a player tests positive, they will be re-tested to confirm the diagnosis. Should the second test also come back positive, the player will be taken off campus to quarantine. All of the player's teammates, and the staff that interacted with them, would be subject to extra testing.
  • In order for a player to return to play following a positive test, they would have to follow CDC guidelines for recovery and undergo additional testing and cardiac screening. That process could take multiple weeks. 


  • Regular testing and temperature checks will be vital in catching any positive cases early, before the virus is able to spread throughout a team or the entire bubble.
  • In addition, players and staff will be required to wear masks at all times, except during practices and games, when they are in their own rooms, eating meals and outside while practicing social distancing. 
  • The league will also be limiting the number of people allowed in the bubble to just 12 players and six staff members for each team. That's just 18 people per team, far less than the 37 per team that the NBA is allowing. While fewer people should help keep everyone safe, allowing just six staff members will force teams to make some difficult decisions.