The Rebel WBBL finals will be played separately from the men's tournament for the first time this summer, Cricket Australia has announced.
For the first time, the team finishing on top of the table will earn the right to a home semi-final, while the highest-ranked team that qualifies for the WBBL|04 decider will host the match.
In previous seasons, the Women's Big Bash finals have been played as double headers with the men's KFC BBL, with top-ranked Sydney Sixers winning the last two titles despite being forced to play away from home.
The WBBL semi-finals will be played at the same venue over one day on January 19, ahead of the final on Australia Day, January 26.
- WBBL|04 to be played from December 1 to January 26
- Opening Weekend will be held at Melbourne's CitiPower Centre at Junction Oval
- The top-ranked team will earn the right to home finals
- A Christmas Eve game will be played at Spotless Stadium
- Seven Network and Fox Sports will broadcast 23 matches
- Cricket.com.au will stream remaining matches
- ABC Radio to provide coverage of WBBL|04 for the first time
- All standalone regular seasons remain free to attend
WBBL|04 will begin with a bang when Melbourne's newly renovated CitiPower Centre hosts the competition's Opening Weekend on December 1-2, with eight teams to be feature across an action-packed two days.
Played at North Sydney Oval the past two seasons, opening weekend at Junction Oval will kick off with Perth Scorchers taking on Hobart Hurricanes before reigning champions Sydney Sixers meet Melbourne Stars.
On the Sunday, Adelaide Strikers will take on Brisbane Heat before Melbourne Renegades play Sydney Thunder, with all four matches to be broadcast live on the Seven Network.
A total of three festival weekends will be held before the beginning of the school holidays. From December 7-9, eight matches will be played across four locations, including four at North Sydney Oval.
The third and final festival weekend will include four games at Blundstone Arena.
The WBBL|04 schedule contains 59 matches in 57 days across more than 20 venues – including new Big Bash venues in Burnie and Cairns – with all roads leading to the final on January 26.
In an exciting addition to the WBBL calendar, a match will be played at Spotless Stadium on Christmas Eve when the Thunder meet the Hurricanes at 2.50pm, while the first ever WBBL night match at Optus Stadium, between the Perth Scorchers and Brisbane Heat, will be played on Boxing Day.
Fans will again be able to see every ball of every game live and free with 23 matches to be broadcast around the country on the Seven Network and Fox Sports, while the remaining 36 matches will be streamed on cricket.com.au and the CA Live app in addition to the live radio coverage of every match via ABC Grandstand.
The fourth edition of the WBBL again features blockbuster double-headers with BBL matches, including the New Year's Eve clash in Adelaide.
The international stars of the WBBL are expected to hit the tournament in tip-top form, with WBBL|04 beginning shortly after the conclusion of the ICC Women's World T20 in the Caribbean. It's also an exciting preview of what's to come Down Under, with Australia to hold the next World T20 in early 2020.
"As the popularity of women's cricket keeps growing in Australia, the WBBL continues to cement itself as one of the best family friendly entertainment options each summer, with world class on and off-field action," Cricket Australia head of the Big Bash Leagues, Kim McConnie said.
"Following the success of the third season of the WBBL, our season will begin with a festival weekend at CitiPower Centre where all eight clubs will compete across four matches, ensuring the perfect start to the summer of Big Bash entertainment."
As revealed by cricket.com.au on Sunday, CA also confirmed 2019-20's WBBL|05 will be a completely standalone event, moving to an October-November timeslot.
"Giving the WBBL its own window for finals is an important step for the League as we look ahead to a stand-alone fixture in the 2019-20 season," McConnie continued.
"We know there is a demand for women's cricket, with more people than ever before tuning in to watch the sport, so the strong relationship we are forming with our new broadcaster partners will continue to reinforce the WBBL position as a competition that inspires young girls to understand that cricket is a game for girls too, and that they can make a career from the sport – not just at the top level."