The Scottish Challenge Cup was established for season 1990/91 to mark the Scottish Football League’s centenary and has been run every year since (with the exception of 1998/99).
In 2016, two Welsh Premier clubs participated for the first time in a revamped competition with sponsorship from Irn-Bru.
The tournament, which had always been for clubs outside the Scottish top-flight, featured 12 Premiership Under-20s sides from north of the border, four clubs each from the Lowland League and Highland League, two teams from Northern Ireland and two sides from Wales - The New Saints and Bala Town.
For 2017/18, two clubs from the League of Ireland - Bray Wanderers and Sligo Rovers - have been added to the mix.
A club travelling to another country for an Irn-Bru Cup match will receive a travel allowance of £5,000.
The fourth round, quarter-finals and semi-finals are regionalised to keep the Irish, Northern Irish and Welsh teams apart.
Prize money and venues
Total prize money for the 2016/17 edition is £335,200. Up to and including the semi-finals, cash at the turnstiles will be shared equally following a 10% deduction from the home club for matchday costs. The gate for the final is split equally between the two clubs participating once costs are deducted.
Clubs drawn at home can use their own ground or up to two other nominated and approved grounds to play their tie.
- First Round losers: £3,500
- Second Round losers: £5,250
- Third Round losers: £5,500
- Fourth Round losers: £5,750
- Quarter-final losers: £8,250
- Semi-final losers: £10,250
- Runners-Up: £12,750
- Winners: £17,750
As well as a contract with BBC ALBA, Welsh Language channel S4C will show up to five matches live while the Premier Sports subscription channel will cover between six and eight games live but there will be no TV facility fee payments.
All 54 clubs will receive £740 of stock from AG Barr, the competition sponsors, which will normally come in the form of Strathmore bottled water.