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Regular-season champion rewarded in playoff format
January 30th, 2009 7AM



[WPS] Women's Professional Soccer announced plans for the playoffs of its inaugural campaign that include rewarding the winner of the regular-season championship with a bye into the championship game -- and home-field advantage.

The WPS championship will be played Aug. 22 and televised on the Fox Sports Net network of regional sports stations.

Four out of seven teams will make the playoffs with a unique format that is a modification of the Australian playoff system used in Australia's A-League.

In the first round of the playoffs, the No. 4 team in the regular season will face the No. 3 team at No. 3's stadium on Aug. 15. The second-place team will receive a bye into the semifinal and host the winner of the first round on Aug. 18-19.

The winner of the semifinal will then travel to the top-seeded team for WPS final.
"We looked at a lot of different options," said WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci. "With an eye towards expansion, we believed that four teams in the playoffs was a good precedent to set. We also felt that rewarding the teams for their placings in the regular-season table gave a nod to soccer heritage while also upholding the American playoff tradition with elimination games. I'm looking forward to all the great storylines that will come from the 2009 WPS inaugural season and playoffs."



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