The top four teams in the final standings at the end of the NWSL season qualify for the playoffs and are seeded in order of their record.
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.