|Other club(s) from||England (1 team)|
|Number of teams||16|
|Level on pyramid||5|
|Promotion to||Scottish League Two|
|Relegation to||East of Scotland Football League|
South of Scotland Football League
|Domestic cup(s)||Scottish Cup|
South Region Challenge Cup
Scottish Challenge Cup (top 4)
Scottish League Cup (champions)
|League cup(s)||Lowland League Cup|
|Current champions||East Kilbride (2nd title) |
|Most championships||Edinburgh City|
|2019-20 Lowland Football League|
The Scottish Lowland Football League (SLFL) (commonly known as the Lowland League) is a football league operating in central and southern Scotland. 16 teams currently compete in the league with teams drawn from the Lowlands area of Scotland. For the 2018-19 season the league was known as the GeoSonic Lowland League for sponsorship reasons.
The Lowland League is the fifth tier of the Scottish football pyramid, on a par with the Highland League and above the two Lowlands-based regional leagues. As a creation of the Scottish Football Association, the Lowland League is a full member of the same organisation.
Teams play each other twice in the league (home and away), receiving three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned Lowland League champions. If points are equal, goal difference, and then goals scored determines the champion. If this still does not result in a winner, the tied teams must take part in a championship play-off match at a neutral venue to determine the final placings.
Since 2014-15, promotion to the Scottish Professional Football League is via an annual play-off, beginning with the Lowland League champions facing the champions of the Highland Football League over two legs (home and away). There is no away goals rule so if scores are equal on aggregate after full-time in the second leg, the game will go to extra time, and then penalties if required. The winners will then face a play-off against the bottom club in League Two with the same rules applying.
Additionally, the bottom placed club will face relegation to the East of Scotland Football League or South of Scotland Football League depending on their geographical location. The second-bottom club may also face relegation to keep the league at 16 teams, depending on the results of the pyramid play-off.
Promotion to the Lowland League is via a play-off between the winners of the East of Scotland Football League and South of Scotland Football League, subject to both champions meeting league membership criteria. If only one club meets the criteria they will be promoted without a play-off. However, if neither club meets the criteria there will be no promotion to the Lowland League.
All Lowland League clubs are full members of the Scottish Football Association and qualify automatically for the first round of the Scottish Cup. The league champions and the runner-up receive a bye into the cup's second round.
The Lowland Football League was intended on helping institute a football pyramid including promotion and relegation from Scottish football's senior divisions down to its junior and amateur levels by the Scottish Football Association.
The Lowland League was founded by a unanimous vote of members of the Scottish Football Association (SFA) on 11 June 2013, The league would be composed of teams drawn from the South of Scotland, East of Scotland and junior leagues, who met on 17 June 2013 to elect between them the founder-members of the new league.
While most clubs were invited to submit bids to join, Preston Athletic, Spartans and Threave Rovers were offered automatic entry as they were already fully licensed by the SFA. While 27 clubs had registered their interest, the Lowland League received 17 applications to join. After the meeting on 17 June, it was announced there would be 12 teams in the league, and that they would be Dalbeattie Star, East Kilbride, Edinburgh City, Gala Fairydean Rovers, Gretna 2008, Preston Athletic, Selkirk, Spartans, Stirling University, Threave Rovers, Vale of Leithen & Whitehill Welfare.
Subsequent seasons have seen the number of participating clubs increase. Two clubs, Edinburgh University and BSC Glasgow, were admitted to the league for the 2014–15 season. They were joined the following season by Cumbernauld Colts.Civil Service Strollers and Hawick Royal Albert joined in June 2016, making it a 16-team league.
The end of the 2015-16 season was the first time that founding members would leave the league; Edinburgh City became the first club to be promoted to the Scottish League, while Threave Rovers declined the opportunity to re-apply to the league after finishing bottom and rejoined the South of Scotland Football League. The same season also saw the first team relegated into the league from Scottish League Two - East Stirlingshire. In 2016-17 another founding member would leave the league as Preston Athletic were relegated.
In 2017-18 the first promotion play-off took place between the champions of the East of Scotland and South of Scotland leagues, with former SJFA East Region club Kelty Hearts winning 10-0 on aggregate over Threave Rovers to gain promotion.
During the 2018-19 season Selkirk resigned their membership in the league owing to insurmountable difficulties. It was agreed by the Lowland League board that all fixtures played by and to be played by Selkirk in 2018-19 would be expunged from the record along with any other data involving Selkirk for that season. The Lowland League moved forward with 15 clubs, however Whitehill Welfare, who finished bottom in the season's competition, were still relegated to the East of Scotland League. East of Scotland champions Bonnyrigg Rose were promoted to the league after gaining their SFA membership.Berwick Rangers became the second club to be relegated into the league from the SPFL, having lost the League Two play-off against Cove Rangers.
|Berwick Rangers||Berwick-upon-Tweed||Shielfield Park||4,099||1,366|
|Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic||Bonnyrigg||New Dundas Park||2,200||0|
|BSC Glasgow||Alloa||Recreation Park[a]||3,100||919|
|Caledonian Braves||Motherwell||Alliance Park||500||100|
|Civil Service Strollers||Edinburgh||Christie Gillies Park||1,569||100|
|Cumbernauld Colts||Cumbernauld||Broadwood Stadium||7,936||7,936|
|Dalbeattie Star||Dalbeattie||Islecroft Stadium||1,320||100|
|East Kilbride||East Kilbride||K Park||660||400|
|East Stirlingshire||Falkirk||Falkirk Stadium[b]||7,937||7,937|
|Edinburgh University||Edinburgh||New Peffermill Stadium||1,100||100|
|Gala Fairydean Rovers||Galashiels||3G Arena, Netherdale||2,000||500|
|Gretna 2008||Gretna||Raydale Park||1,030||138|
|Kelty Hearts||Kelty||New Central Park||2,660||353|
|Stirling University||Stirling||Forthbank Stadium[c]||3,808||2,508|
|Vale of Leithen||Innerleithen||Victoria Park||1,500||0|
All grounds are equipped with floodlights except Victoria Park (Vale of Leithen)
|2013-14||Spartans||Stirling University||Does not appear||Does not appear|
|2014-15||Edinburgh City||East Kilbride||Does not appear||Does not appear|
|2015-16||Edinburgh City * (2)||Spartans||Threave Rovers S||Does not appear|
|2016-17||East Kilbride||East Stirlingshire||Preston Athletic E||Does not appear|
|2017-18||Spartans (2)||East Kilbride (2)||Hawick Royal Albert E||Kelty Hearts E|
|2018-19||East Kilbride (2)||BSC Glasgow||Whitehill Welfare E||Does not appear|
This 16 team straight knock-out tournament takes place over four weekends at the end of the league season. The league champion has the right to withdraw from the competition to concentrate on the Scottish League Two play-offs.
|2013-14||Stirling University||5-2||Preston Athletic|
|2014-15||East Kilbride||3-1||Gretna 2008|
|2015-16||East Kilbride||0-0 AET
4–2 on penalties
|2018-19||BSC Glasgow||2–1||East Stirlingshire|
On 24 September 2013, the Scottish Sun newspaper announced it was sponsoring the league. The league was then sponsored by Ferrari Packaging on a two-year agreement, which was extended to cover the 2017-18 season. In August 2018, GeoSonic, the Alloa-based sonic drilling contractor, concluded a one-year deal to become the new title sponsor of the Scottish Lowland Football League for the 2018-19 season.
On 19 September 2018, the SLFL also agreed a comprehensive media partnership with RockSport Radio.