Originally, a regional cup competition called the Southern League Cup, The Scottish League Cup, is a knock-out competition that includes clubs from both the Scottish Football League and the Scottish Premier League. The famous trophy known as the Scottish Football League Cup has three handles and has been awarded each year to the winning team since the competition began. A second trophy, the Skol Cup, was introduced in the 1980s when Skol lager was a sponsor. CIS insurance has been the official sponsor since 1999. The cup has its origins in a regional cup competition called the Southern League Cup which was introduced in 1940 when wartime restrictions led to a suspension of the Scottish Cup. This tournament was largely regional and did not involve all of the teams who comprised the Scottish Football League prior to the outbreak of war. Season 1946/47 saw the introduction of the League Cup competition and Rangers became the first winners of the Trophy defeating Aberdeen by four goals to nil at Hampden Park.
In the early days it was played on a sectional basis. The tournament consisted of 8 or 9 groups consisting of 4 or 5 teams. The groups were seeded into 2 sets with the top 16 teams in Division 1 making up the first four Groups. This guaranteed that 4 'top' teams would play 4 'lesser' teams in the quarter-finals. However, with social habits changing the public lost faith in the competition and for several years, especially from the mid seventies until the very early eighties, the standing of the League Cup competition was at an all time low with both the media and the paying public. The introduction of a shorter knockout formula in season 1984/85 has proved to be both successful and popular with supporters.
Traditionally, the final was always contested prior to Christmas, however during the 1999–2000 competition, the semi-finals and final were moved to the springtime in order to avoid the congestion of fixtures caused by the early rounds of the UEFA club competitions and Scotland’s representatives in Europe were given automatic byes until the third round of competition. The tournament has produced many exciting, high scoring and memorable cup ties over the years.