The cup competitions are structured around 16 teams. They first play each other with winners going to the team trophy and losers to the R. Pither Cup. Then there are quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final in each stream.
With 17 teams it’s a little more complex. Here is the approach that was used last season.
Two teams are drawn out of the 17. These two play each other, with the loser going direct to the Richard Pither cup stream. The winner is included in the draw for the first cup round. The losing team is not included in the first cup round draw.
After the first cup round has been played there are 8 winners and 8 losers. The 8 winners are handled normally. With the draw for the Richard Pither cup the losing team from the original drawn match is added back in giving 9 teams to draw fixtures for.
Pairs are drawn normally for the first three matches. With the final match the two teams drawn next play each other and then, on the same night, the winner from those two plays the final team drawn. The winner of that double-header remains in the cup competition.
Although this seems complex, it means all teams will get to play at least two cup games – if the initial draw resulted in a play-off and exit a team would be out of both cup competitions after only playing once.