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MPSSAA Tie Breaker Procedures

The MPSSAA Tie Breaker procedures for regional and state quarterfinal seeding are found in the MPSSAA bulletins within the front section and individual sport bulletins.  The following procedures are used to break ties for team-seeded tournaments, unless additional tie breakers are determined by an individual sport bulletin (i.e. dual wrestling, football).  

Tournament Seeding Policies

  1. Unless otherwise stated in this bulletin in a particular sport section, teams are seeded in the region tournament according to the best regular season winning percentage. If two teams are tied, the first tie-breaker is head-to head results. If teams are still tied, a coin toss determines the higher seed.
  2. When applying tie-breaking procedures in instances where three or more teams are tied for a particular seed, the criteria must affect all three (or more) teams equally or proceed to the next tie breaker criteria. For instance, if team A beat team B, and team B beat team C, but team A and team C did not play, this criteria does not affect all teams equally – proceed to the next criteria. Also, in instances where three or more teams are tied, and a particular criteria applies to all three equally, the criteria may only distinguish the one team among the group that earns the higher seed. The remaining two (or more) teams are then reevaluated beginning with the first criteria.
  3. When calculating winning percentage, the total number of regular season wins (1 point each) and ties (1/2 point each) are added and then divided by the total number of games completed (divisor).
  4. Once the region seeding is complete and the brackets released, any corrections due to errors in records or winning percentages will only be made up until 10 AM the following morning. No changes will be made to the seeding or brackets after that time.

State Quarterfinal Policies

  1. The region champions from each classification shall advance to a State Quarterfinal round.
  2. The eight region champions will be seeded 1-8 based on their regular season winning percentage used to seed each region. Ties among teams in the State Quarterfinals will be first broken by head-to-head competition to determine the higher seed. This applies if all tied teams meet the criteria. If head-to-head does not break the tie, a coin toss will be used to determine the order of seeding.

Common Question:  How do you break a tie with a coin flip of three or more teams?  The MPSSAA will flip multiple coins, each one associated with a school in the tiebreaker.  When the results of the coin flip distinguishes one school from the others, that school is awarded the high seed and all other teams start back at the first tiebreaker criteria.  For example, with four teams tied, four coins will be flipped at the same time, each one associated with a different school.  On the first flip, School A and B are Heads, Schools C and D are Tails.  Flip Again as a school was not distinguished from the other schools.  On the Second Flip,  School A is a Heads.  Schools B, C, and D are Tails.  School A is awarded the top seed.  

The MPSSAA conducts the tiebreaking coin flips with each sports respective directors.