The Scottish Football Association Challenge Cup is commonly known as the Scottish Cup or with reference to the current sponsor, the William Hill Scottish Cup. It is the main national cup competition in Scottish football. It is a knockout cup competition run by and named after the Scottish Football Association.
The Scottish Cup is the world's second oldest national cup competition, first contested in 1873 and only being predated by the English FA Cup.
However, The Scottish Cup trophy is the oldest national trophy in the world. It was first held in 1873–74, with the first winners being Queen's Park. Interestingly, The Cup that is presented to the winners is the original from 1874. However, the winners have to hand it back to the Scottish Football Museum after the photos are taken. The club then gets to hold on to an exact replica for a year, while the original remains on display in the Museum.
It is a pure knockout tournament with single matches, with replays being held if the first match is a tie. All 12 Scottish Premier League clubs automatically enter the tournament, as do all Scottish Football League clubs. A number of non-league clubs participate by virtue of having qualified through one of two regionalised qualifying cups, or since 2007-08 by having won the Scottish Junior Cup or one of the three regionalised Junior leagues. The competition has a staggered entry system. In the 2013–14 season, 36 clubs entered from the first round; sixteen from the Highland League, three qualifying Junior clubs and seventeen other clubs affiliated with the Scottish Football Association. Scottish League Two clubs entered in the second round along with the top two clubs from the previous season's Highland League and the winners of both the South of Scotland League and the East of Scotland League. Scottish League One and six Scottish Championship clubs started in the third round, while the remaining four Championship clubs and all 12 Scottish Premiership clubs entered in the fourth round. The final is usually played at Hampden Park.