Four teams out of the eight-team field will get a chance to play for the XFL championship in May, with two teams having already clinched playoff spots heading into Week 10. The D.C. Defenders and the Houston Roughnecks are locked in to host the North and South division championships, respectively, which will precede the championship in San Antonio.

Four other teams are competing for the No. 2 spot in each division, as teams seek to be the first XFL champion since 2001. In that year, with an entirely different field of teams, it was the Los Angeles Xtreme defeating the San Francisco Demons to win it all.

MORE: XFL odds, picks, predictions for Week 10

This year’s postseason format will, in fact, be the same as that one 22 years ago. Here’s what to know about the XFL postseason in 2023.

How many teams make the XFL playoffs?

The XFL playoff field is suitably small for an eight-team league, but even so, half the league will play in the postseason.

Four teams will make the XFL playoffs: The top two teams from the North and South divisions. Two teams have clinched heading into Week 10, while four teams are battling it out for the second spots.

The teams who have clinched a playoff spot are the D.C. Defenders and Houston Roughnecks. D.C. has clinched home-field advantage in the North, and Houston has it in the South.

As for teams looking to play them, the Seattle Sea Dragons and St. Louis Battlehawks are duking it out in the North at 6-3 each whereas the 4-5 Arlington Renegades and 3-6 San Antonio Brahmas are trying to play Houston in the South.

XFL standings

Here’s a look at the XFL’s latest standings through Week 9.

MORE: XFL playoff picture entering final week of regular season

XFL playoff format

The XFL playoff format is extremely straightforward, consisting of just two rounds.

In the first round, the top two seeds from each division will play each other with the No. 1 seed hosting. Both No. 1 seeds have been clinched (D.C. and Houston).

From there, the winners of those games will play each other at the Alamodome, home of the San Antonio Brahmas.

That championship will take place May 13, two weeks after the championship games. No teams get a playoff bye.

XFL playoff tiebreakers

There’s a chance that, after Week 10, we get two tiebreaker situations. The Sea Dragons and Battlehawks are both 6-3 in the North, and the Renegades are 4-5 while the Brahmas are 3-6 in the South.

If that happens, the XFL has a series of tiebreakers, starting with head to head and ending with a coin toss. The XFL website lists what would happen in both two and three-team tiebreakers, but as the Vipers and Guardians are already eliminated, here are the two-team scenarios.

XFL two-team tiebreakers

1. Head-to-head

2. Best win/loss percentage in division games

3. Strength of victory in all games – combined record of opponents in wins

4. Best combined ranking among division teams in points scored and points allowed in all games

5. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed in all games

6. Best net points in all games

7. Best net touchdowns in all games

8. Coin toss

 XFL Week 10 scenarios

With that in mind, here’s a look at how both of these situations can play out.


  • Sea Dragons and Battlehawks win: Would be determined by down-ticket tiebreakers.
  • Sea Dragons and Battlehawks lose: St. Louis advances by virtue of division record.
  • Sea Dragons win and Battlehawks lose: Seattle moves on.
  • Sea Dragons lose and Battlehawks win: St. Louis moves on.


  • Renegades and Brahmas win: Arlington moves on.
  • Renegades and Brahmas lose: Arlington moves on.
  • Renegades win and Brahmas lose: Arlington moves on.
  • Renegades lose and Brahmas win: Would be determined by down-ticket tiebreakers.

XFL playoff schedule

Division championships

XFL Championship