The Scottish FA have today confirmed the format for the 2020/21 Scottish Cup, with revised competition rules as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The condensed competition, with fewer rounds than normal, will begin with the Preliminary Round One on 28 November.
Key changes to the format for 2020/21 include:
The removal of replays for all matches, with the outcome of any drawn match being determined by extra time and penalties, if required.
The entry point of clubs to the competition and the number of ties in each round.
The requirement to attempt to re-schedule any postponed match in the Preliminary Rounds, Round One and Round Two, during the first midweek after the original match date.
The number of substitutes permitted in a match will revert back to three, with an additional one permitted in any period of extra-time.
Clubs eligible to participate will be given the option to decline to do so if they decide that they cannot meet the requirements. Clubs that decline to enter the competition will not be penalised financially and will still receive the bonus payment, equivalent to them being eliminated at the round they would otherwise enter.
All existing participation requirements apply along with the following additional requirements:
Changing facilities for both teams and match officials must be available and must comply with all relevant COVID legislation and regulations as outlined here. Further detailed information on changing facilities will be published by the Scottish FA within the next few days. Clubs will be required to provide confirmation of approval of their facilities from their respective League prior to their participation in the competition.
From Round Three onwards, clubs drawn to play against SPFL Premiership teams must comply with the relevant COVID testing regime which applies at that time or as directed by the Scottish FA Board.
Compliance with the relevant Match day Protocol(s) which the Scottish FA/Joint Response Group considers appropriate and issues at the relevant time.
The schedule and entry point of clubs is as follows:
PRELIMINARY COMPETITION ROUND ONE – Saturday, 28 November 2020
30 clubs (8 ties and 14 byes)
1 club from the East of Scotland Football League:
Musselburgh Athletic (South & East Cup Winners Shield Winners)
1 Club from the Scottish Junior FA
Auchinleck Talbot (West Junior Super League Winners)
28 Clubs from the ESL, SSL and Other Leagues:
Easthouses Lily MWFC
Hawick Royal Albert United
Hill of Beath Hawthorn
Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale
St Cuthbert Wanderers
Wigtown & Bladnoch
PRELIMINARY COMPETITIONS ROUND TWO – Saturday 12 December 2020
52 Clubs (26 ties)
8 Preliminary Competition Round One Winners
14 Preliminary Competition Round One Byes (from the ESL, SSL and Other Leagues NCL Approved)
15 Clubs from the Scottish Highland Football League:
Inverurie Loco Works
15 Clubs from the Scottish Lowland Football League:
Civil Service Strollers
Gala Fairydean Rovers
University of Stirling
Vale of Leithen
ROUND ONE – Saturday 26 December 2020
40 Clubs (20 ties)
26 Preliminary Round Competition Winners
2 Clubs from the Scottish Highland Football League:
Brora Rangers (SHFL Runners Up)
Fraserburgh (SLFL Runners Up)
2 Clubs from the Scottish Lowland Football League:
Kelty Hearts (SLFL Winners)
Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic (SLFL Runners Up)
10 clubs from the Scottish Professional Football League 2:
ROUND TWO – Saturday 9 January 2021
40 Clubs (20 ties)
20 Round One Winners
10 Clubs from the Scottish Professional Football League 1:
10 Clubs from the Scottish Professional Football League Championship:
Heart of Midlothian
Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Queen of the South
ROUND THREE – Saturday 30 January 2021
32 Clubs (16 ties)
20 Round Two Winners
12 Clubs from the Scottish Professional Football League Premiership:
ROUND FOUR – Saturday 20 February 2021
16 Round Four Winners (8 ties)
ROUND FIVE – Saturday 13 March 2021
8 Round Five Winners (4 ties)
SEMI-FINAL TIES – Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 April 2021
SCOTTISH CUP FINAL TIE – Saturday 8 May 2021