My personal blog on Scottish Women's Football
There are two distinct groups of domestic cup competitions in the Scottish Women’s Football system – the Scottish Cup which every team enters, and the division-based League Cups.
All of the Scottish Cup ties are played over one tie, with no replays – so extra-time and penalties are used to decide ties in the event of the scores being level. Many of the past winners are unknown, but in recent times the most successful side has been Glasgow City, who have won seven out of the past twenty Scottish Cups.
The cup starts in April with the preliminary round. All the clubs from the First Division and Second Divisions enter at this point – although in 2014, non-league side Caithness Ladies replaced Kilwinning who had withdrawn from league football. This means that 55 sides enter this round, so 25 teams are awarded a bye into the First Round. The fifteen winning teams progress to the First Round.
The First Round is played in May, and the fifteen winners meeting the other 25 teams who were drawn a bye in the Preliminary Round.
The Second Round is played in June, and sees the twelve Premier League sides joining the twenty winners from the First Round – making this a Round of 32.
From the Third Round onwards, it is a simple knockout tournament with no more teams left to enter the cup. The Third Round is played in August, the Quarter-Finals in September, the Semi-Finals are played at a neutral venue in October – with the Final played in November, as the season’s curtain closer.
All of the League Cup ties are played over one tie, with no replays – so extra-time and penalties are used to decide ties in the event of the scores being level. The Finals are the only match that is played at a neutral venue.
As the name suggest, the Premier League cup is played between the twelve teams of the Scottish Women’s Premier League. The tournament is played between March and May, and begins with the First Round. As this round only have four matches, four Premier League sides receive a bye to the Quarter-Final.
The four winners of the First Round and the four teams who had been awarded a bye compete in the Quarter-Finals, and the tournament continues as a straight-forward tournament to the Final .
The tournament was launched in 2002, the same year the Premier League was created. Glasgow City are the most successful side, with seven wins, although their first did not come until 2008-09 season.
Originally, this tournament was a major tournament – called the Scottish Women’s League Cup – and was open to all the sides of the Scottish Women’s league system. However, when the Premier League was created in 2002, a separate Premier League Cup was also created. This meant that the League Cup became the Scottish Women’s Football League Cup – open to all teams in the First and Second Divisions. In 2012, the SWF (Scottish Women’s Football) decided to create separate and distinct First and Second Division League Cups.
The First Division League Cup has an identical system to the Premier League Cup, and in its three years of existence has been won by three clubs – Queen’s Park (2012), Inverness City Ladies (2013) and Hearts (2014).
The Second Division League Cup was created in 2012. With 45 sides competing in the four Second Division Regional leagues in the 2014 season, it is no surprise that this is the longest version of the League Cup – but the tournament still runs between March and June. Due to the odd number of teams, as well as teams like Whitburn withdrawing from league football, a series of byes are used up and including the Third Round, where sixteen teams compete.
From there on, it progresses to the Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and the Final.
The Second Division League Cup has been won by three different teams over the three finals – Hearts (2012), Hibernian Development (2013), and Renfrew (2014) who thrashed Hamilton Caledonian 9-3.