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So How Do These National Playoffs Work?

National Playoffs Start July 6th in Davis

This past Saturday, FC Davis beat Sacramento Gold in the Causeway Clasico to clinch the Golden Gate Conference title.

The win also secured home-field for the first round of the 2019 NPSL National Playoffs!

Even more exciting, a victory this Saturday at Napa will give the Lions home field for the first and second round of the playoffs making Davis one of the epicenters for the NPSL National Playoffs.

The single elimination country wide battle royal is one of the most exciting times for soccer!

But with a league of nearly 100 teams spanning to every corner of America, how does the playoff format work?

Let's check it out.

Regional Format - Rounds 1 - 3

To understand the NPSL playoffs, you need to understand the layout.

The NPSL divides the country into four regions:

  • Midwest Region

  • Northeast Region

  • South Region

  • West Region

These regions are the containers for all thirteen NPSL conferences.

FC Davis resides in the West Region which is composed of three conferences. Those are:

  • Northwest (Oregon, Washington)

  • Southwest (Southern California, Arizona)

  • Golden Gate (Northern California)

At the annual NPSL owners meeting, each region breaks out and decides how to structure their playoff format to produce a winner. This winner represents the region at the NPSL National Semi-Finals that take place on July 27th.

For the West Region, it was decided that 8 teams would receive bids to the playoffs. The number of bids given to each conference were as follows:

  • Northwest: Top 2

  • Southwest: Top 3

  • Golden Gate: Top 3

Round 1 - Regional Quarterfinals - July 6th

Now that we have 8 teams, it's time to form some match-ups!

Here is the set up with the higher seed getting home-field:

  • Northwest: 1 v 2

  • Southwest: 1 v 3

  • Golden Gate 1 v 3

  • CROSSOVER: Southwest 2 v Golden Gate 2

FC Davis holds the #1 seed in the Golden Gate Conference.

For the crossover game between the Southwest and Golden Gate two seeds, the team with a higher points per game average receives home field.

Round 2 - Regional Final - July 13th

After the first round, the four winners are re-seeded based on points per game. The match-ups are then as follows:

  • 1 v 4

  • 2 v 3

The higher seed receives home-field.

Round 3 - Regional Final - July 20th

The regional semi-final winners meet in the regional final, with the higher seed receiving home field advantage. Seeding is carried-over from round 2.

Round 4 - National Semi-Final - July 27th

After all four regions produce a winner, the national semi-finals commence.

The four regional winners are seeded by points per game in a 1 - 4 order.

Match-ups are then:

  • 1 v 4

  • 2 v 3

Round 5 - National Finals - August 3rd

The two teams left standing meet for the national final, with the higher seed receiving home field advantage.


There you have it, the 2019 NPSL National Playoff format.

Put your seat-belts on and get ready for a wild ride!

We hope to see everyone at our first round match on July 6th!

It's win or go home!


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