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.
Edinburgh City will enter the competition in round one on 26 December, Hearts will enter the competition in round two on 9th January and Hibs first game will be in round three on 30th January.