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definition - Scottish_Challenge_Cup

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Scottish Challenge Cup

Scottish Football League Challenge Cup
Founded 1990
Region  Scotland[A]
Number of teams 28 (1990)
26 (1991–1993)
30 (1994–2010)
32 (2011– )
Current champions Falkirk (4th time)
Most successful club(s) Falkirk (4 titles)
Television broadcasters BBC Alba
Website Scottish Challenge Cup
2011–12 Scottish Challenge Cup

The Scottish Football League Challenge Cup, commonly known as the Scottish Challenge Cup, is a knockout football cup competition organised by the Scottish Football League. Entry is open to the 30 member clubs of the Scottish Football League and from 2011 the two highest ranked clubs of the Highland Football League are invited to compete. In June 2011 the cup was named the Ramsdens Cup for sponsorship reasons.

The competition was first held during the 1990–91 season with the winners being Dundee.

The current holders of the trophy are Falkirk, who defeated Hamilton Academical 1–0 in the 2012 final.



The competition is of a knockout format. Ties are one-legged with each game lasting 90 minutes. In the event of a tie after normal time, the game continues into extra time until a clear winner is decided. If there is no clear winner after extra time the game is decided by a penalty shootout. The competition commences early in the Scottish football season. The first round is often played on a Saturday, usually the week before the beginning of the Scottish Football League season, although in recent years SFL sides qualifying for the UEFA Cup have made this unfeasible and the round has been held midweek. The rest of the competition, up to and including the semi-finals, are also played midweek. The final usually takes place on a Saturday or Sunday in October or November, at a neutral stadium located close to the two competing clubs.

The first round is divided into two geographical areas - North/East and South/West - each consisting of 15 clubs. Up until 2010, 7 ties were drawn from each area and 1 club received a random bye to the second round. However, for the 2011–12 season, the competition included two Highland Football League clubs for the first time, Buckie Thistle and Deveronvale,[1] thus increasing the number of competing clubs to 32; this means 8 ties from each area will take place meaning no teams will receive a random bye to the second round.


Matches in the Challenge Cup are usually played at the home ground of one of the two teams, except the final. The team who plays at home is decided when the matches are drawn. There is no seeding system in place within rounds, therefore the home team is simply the first team drawn out for each fixture. Occasionally games may have to be moved to other grounds due to other events taking place, security reasons or a ground not being suitable to host popular teams. In the event of a draw, the match will go on to extra time to decide the result, with a penalty shootout deciding the winner if no winner is determined in extra time.

The Scottish Challenge Cup Final is played at a neutral venue, usually one which is geographically close to the two teams in the final. However, this can often not be the case as in with the 2010 Scottish Challenge Cup Final between Queen of the South of Dumfries and Ross County of Dingwall; the clubs separated by 285 miles, meeting almost half way at McDiarmid Park in Perth; still over 140 miles from each club. The first ever venue to host a final was Fir Park in Motherwell in 1990 and has gone on to host the final another three times. Other venues to host the final more than once include McDiarmid Park, Broadwood Stadium and Excelsior Stadium.

  McDiarmid Park has hosted the final more than any other stadium
Final venue Location Count First Last
McDiarmid Park Perth 8 1994 2010
Fir Park Motherwell 4 1990 1997
Broadwood Stadium Cumbernauld 4 1995 2002
Excelsior Stadium Airdrie 2 1999 2005
Love Street Paisley 1 1992 1992
Dens Park Dundee 1 2007 2007
Almondvale Stadium Livingston 1 2012 2012

  Winners and finalists

On three occasions has a team reached the final of the competition in successive seasons. The first team to do so was Ayr United, reaching the final twice in the first two years of the competition (1990 and 1991). Hamilton Academical did the same not long after (1991, 1992) and Airdrieonians (2000, 2001). Hamilton Academical and Airdrieonians remain the only two teams to have successfully defended their titles. However on some occasions the eventual winner of the Scottish Challenge Cup has been unable to defend their title due to also winning the Scottish First Division in the same season and being promoted to the Scottish Premier League, teams of which are ineligible to compete in the tournament. This has happened to Falkirk (1993, 2004), Inverness Caledonian Thistle (2003) and St. Mirren (2005).

  Winners from outside the top flight

Since the beginning of the tournament in 1990, only three teams have won the competition from outside the top level of the Scottish Football League. Stenhousemuir became the first team to do so in 1995 followed by Stranraer a year later in 1996. The last club to win from outside the Scottish First Division was Alloa Athletic in 1999. All winners and runners-up from outside the top league have been from the Scottish Second Division. Never has a team from the Scottish Third Division reached the final of the tournament.



* Match decided in extra time
Match decided by a penalty shootout after extra time
Italics Team from outside the top level of the Scottish Football League


Season Winner Score Runner-up Venue Attendance
1990–91 Dundee 0 3 – 2 * Ayr United Fir Park, Motherwell 11,503
1991–92 Hamilton Academical 1 – 0 Ayr United Fir Park, Motherwell 9,663
1992–93 Hamilton Academical 3 – 2 Morton Love Street, Paisley 7,391
1993–94 Falkirk 3 – 0 St. Mirren Fir Park, Motherwell 13,763
1994–95 Airdrieonians 0 3 – 2 * Dundee McDiarmid Park, Perth 8,844
1995–96 Stenhousemuir 0 0 – 0 Dundee United McDiarmid Park, Perth 7,856
1996–97 Stranraer 1 – 0 St. Johnstone Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld 5,222
1997–98 Falkirk 1 – 0 Queen of the South Fir Park, Motherwell 9,735
1998–99 Competition suspended due to lack of sponsorship
1999–2000 Alloa Athletic 0 4 – 4 Inverness Caledonian Thistle Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie 4,043
2000–01 Airdrieonians 0 2 – 2 Livingston Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld 5,623
2001–02 Airdrieonians 2 – 1 Alloa Athletic Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld 4,548
2002–03 Queen of the South 2 – 0 Brechin City Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld 6,428
2003–04 Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2 – 0 Airdrie United McDiarmid Park, Perth 5,428
2004–05 Falkirk 2 – 1 Ross County McDiarmid Park, Perth 7,471
2005–06 St. Mirren 2 – 1 Hamilton Academical Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie 9,613
2006–07 Ross County 0 1 – 1 Clyde McDiarmid Park, Perth 4,062
2007–08 St. Johnstone 3 – 2 Dunfermline Athletic Dens Park, Dundee 6,446
2008–09 Airdrie United 0 2 – 2 Ross County McDiarmid Park, Perth 4,091
2009–10 Dundee 3 – 2 Inverness Caledonian Thistle McDiarmid Park, Perth 8,031
2010–11 Ross County 2 – 0 Queen of the South McDiarmid Park, Perth 5,124
2011–12 Falkirk 1 – 0 Hamilton Academical Almondvale Stadium, Livingston 5,210

Source: RSSSF

  Performance by club

Club Wins Last final won Runners-up Last final lost
Falkirk 4 2012 0
Airdrieonians[B] 3 2001 0
Ross County 2 2010 2 2008
Hamilton Academical 2 1992 2 2012
Dundee 2 2009 1 1994
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1 2003 2 2009
Queen of the South 1 2002 2 2010
Airdrie United 1 2008 1 2003
St. Johnstone 1 2007 1 1996
St. Mirren 1 2005 1 1993
Alloa Athletic 1 1999 1 2001
Stranraer 1 1996 0
Stenhousemuir 1 1995 0
Dunfermline Athletic 0 1 2007
Clyde 0 1 2006
Brechin City 0 1 2002
Livingston 0 1 2000
Dundee United 0 1 1995
Greenock Morton 0 1 1992
Ayr United 0 2 1991

  Media coverage

One semi-final[2] and the final[3] are shown live on BBC Alba.


The Scottish Challenge Cup has been known by different names due to sponsorship:[4]

  • B&Q Centenary Cup (1990–91), sponsored by B&Q[5]
  • B&Q Cup (1991–95), sponsored by B&Q[5]
  • The Scottish Football League Challenge Cup (1995–98), no sponsor
  • No competition due to lack of sponsorship (1998–99)
  • Bell's Challenge Cup (1999–2002), sponsored by Bell's whisky[5]
  • Bell's Cup (2002–06), sponsored by Bell's whisky[5]
  • The Scottish Football League Challenge Cup (2006–08), no sponsor
  • ALBA Challenge Cup (2008–11), sponsored by MG Alba[6]
  • Ramsdens Cup (2011 –), sponsored by Ramsdens[7]


  1. ^ "Highland duo enter new Ramsdens Cup". BBC Sport. 6 June 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/13671944.stm. Retrieved 6 June 2011. 
  2. ^ "BBC Alba to cover Challenge Cup". BBC Sport. 9 September 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_cups/7625048.stm. Retrieved 11 April 2009. 
  3. ^ "BBC Alba to screen live SFL games". BBC Sport. 3 February 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_div_1/7867162.stm. Retrieved 11 April 2009. 
  4. ^ "Scottish League Challenge Cup Finals (sponsorship)". http://www.rsssf.com/tabless/scotchcuphist.html. Retrieved 11 April 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d News - The Scottish Football League, scottishfootballleague.com. 2005-11-02. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
  6. ^ "SFL Announces Sponsor of the Challenge Cup.". Scottish Football League. 30 July 2008. http://www.scottishfootballleague.com/news.cfm?curpageid=993&newsid=2430. Retrieved 11 April 2009. 
  7. ^ Ramsdens Sponsor the Challenge Cup, scottishfootballleague.com. 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2011-06-29.


  External links



All translations of Scottish_Challenge_Cup

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