The Tiebreaker Margin (TM) was included starting with the 2012-13 season for Sections that use the QRF for seeding. The main reason we have included TM is to allow Head to Head and other "human" tiebreakers be included when seeding using a mathematical formula, something no other formula has ever done.
After the first season of using the QRF for seeding, Coaches in general were unhappy with certain specific scenarios where Head to Head was completely ignored. The end result is a seeding hybrid compromise that combines math and normal "human" parameters to help make the seeding process as fair as possible.
Here is how it works.
The Section/Sub-section decides when the last date to include Statewide games will be. The following morning, the QRF calculates and puts teams in an order from top to bottom.
Also at that time, the average QRF score for every team in each Class is determined. In football, that average is multiplied by 10% to get the TM for football. All other sports are multiplied by 7%. The reason football is higher is because there are fewer games played by each team, creating the need to make the margin larger.  New for 2023-24 - Head to Head results will be applied using double the Tiebreaker Margin (2xTM).  So for football it is 20% and all other sports it is 14%.
Starting at the top, the #1 QRF team is compared to the #2 QRF team in that Section. If the two teams are within the TM, the QRF rankings are removed and the Tiebreakers are applied. If they are not within the TM, then the QRF ranking holds and we move down the list.
If a team with a lower QRF wins the tiebreaker, it has the opportunity to continue moving up the seeds if it A) is within the TM of the next team above and B) wins the tiebreaker with that team.
The end result will ALWAYS be that the team directly above another team in the seeds is either A) QRF ahead by more than the TM (2xTM for H2H) or B) won the Tiebreaker. The only way there is a 3-way tie is if all 3 teams have identical QRF numbers, a highly unlikely statistical event.


These are the Tiebreakers as agreed to by the MSHSL.
  1. The first tiebreaker is Head to Head competition *
  2. Ranking based on either Conference/Sub-District (C/D) winning percentage OR C/D point total based on the by-laws of the C/D * teams must be in the same C/D
  3. Overall winning percentage
  4. Section winning percentage (if at least 25% of the teams competitions are against section opponents - if not met, #4 is skipped)
    • Football - 2
    • Lacrosse - 3
    • Soccer - 4
    • Baseball/Softball - 5
    • Basketball/Hockey/Volleyball - 6
  5. QRF points
  6. Coin Flip
*Beginning with the 2023-24 season, this Tiebreaker will be applied using 2xTM
  • To be seeded when using QRF, a team must play a minimum of 70% of the allowable number of games for that sport. If not, they are seeded last. If more than one team falls into this category, they will be placed at the bottom, in the order of the QRF scores. The number of contests that must be played, by sport: Football 6; Basketball and Hockey 18; Volleyball 17; Baseball and Softball 14; Soccer 11; Lacrosse 9.