Candace Parker and the Chicago Sky will open the 2022 WNBA season against the Los Angeles Sparks. (Kena Krutsinger/NBAE via Getty Images)

The WNBA has released the schedule for the 2022 regular season, which will include an expanded schedule and “series” play in an effort to reduce travel.

Regular season games will tip off on Friday, May 6 and conclude on Sunday, Aug. 14.

For the first time in the league’s 25-year history, teams will play a 36-game regular season schedule. Based on the calendar, that means teams will play 36 games in just over 90 days. A source tells Just Women’s Sports that it will be common for teams to have nine games over 17-day stretches and, as a result, coaches could implement load management to rest their stars and starters more often.

WNBA All-Star weekend will run from July 9-10, and the All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, July 10.

For the second consecutive year, the WNBA will host a Commissioner’s Cup. Each team will play 10 games during the regular season that count toward the Commissioner’s Cup standings. After 60 total games, the Commissioner’s Cup championship game will be held on July 26.

The Chicago Sky will host the Los Angeles Sparks, Candace Parker’s former team, in their regular season opener. The team will hold its 2021 WNBA championship ring ceremony ahead of one of their first few games.

The Sky will also face the Phoenix Mercury, their opponent in the 2021 WNBA Finals, three times during the regular season on May 31, July 2 and Aug. 14.

The last possible date for the WNBA Finals is Sept. 21, with the 2022 FIBA World Cup scheduled to begin Sept. 22 in Sydney, Australia.

As the league continues to look for ways to limit travel, the 2022 schedule features teams playing back-to-back games in the same city at various times throughout the season.

The WNBA Draft is currently scheduled to be held April 11, with training camp set to open less than a week later on April 17, as first reported by Khristina Williams and confirmed by Just Women’s Sports. Preseason games will begin April 22. The first round of the newly formatted WNBA playoffs will begin on Aug. 17. The last possible date for the WNBA Finals is Sept. 21, with the 2022 FIBA World Cup scheduled to begin Sept. 22 in Sydney, Australia.

The WNBA Draft Lottery will take place on Dec. 19 at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Rachel Galligan is a basketball analyst at Just Women’s Sports. A former professional basketball player and collegiate coach, she also contributes to Winsidr. Follow Rachel on Twitter @RachGall.