The initial determining factor for a team's position in the standings is most points earned, with three points earned for a win, one point for a draw, and zero points for a loss. If at least two teams tie in point total, when determining rank and playoff qualification and seeding, the NWSL uses the following tiebreaker rules, going down the list until all teams are ranked. Coin tosses (2 teams) or draw of lots (at least 3 teams) will be used as the last resort if all other tiebreakers fail.
- 1. Head to Head win/loss record between the teams (or points-per-game if more than two teams).
- 2. Greater goal difference across the entire season (against all teams, not just tied teams).
- 3. Greatest total number of goals scored (against all teams).
- 4. Apply #1–3 to games played on the road.
- 5. Apply #1–3 to games played at home.
NOTE: If two clubs remain tied after another club with the same number of points advances during any step, the tie breaker reverts to step 1 of the two-club format.
Playoff series history
|1||North Carolina (a.e.t.)||4|
|4||Buffalo (pen.)||2 (3)|
Records and statistics
Correct as of conclusion of 2019 NWSL Playoffs
|Club||Won||Runner-up||Years won||Years runner-up|
|Portland Thorns FC||2||1||2013, 2017||2018|
|FC Kansas City||2||0||2014, 2015|
|North Carolina Courage (formerly Western New York Flash)||3||2||2016, 2018, 2019||2013, 2017|
|Chicago Red Stars||0||1||2019|
|Seattle Reign FC||0||2||2014, 2015|
Playoff Games and Win-Loss Record
|Team||Games Played||W||L||%||Most recent appearance||Most recent title|
|North Carolina Courage||6||5||1||.833||2019||2019|
|FC Kansas City||5||4||1||.800||2015||2015|
|Western New York Flash||4||3||1||.750||2016||2016|
|Portland Thorns FC||9||5||4||.556||2019||2017|
|Seattle Reign FC||6||2||4||.333||2019||Never|
|Chicago Red Stars||6||1||5||.167||2019||Never|
|Sky Blue FC||1||0||1||.000||2013||Never|
- "2014 Competition Rules and Regulations". National Women's Soccer League. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
- "2016 Competition Rules and Regulations – National Women's Soccer League". Archived from the original on April 22, 2016.