The Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup is set to kick-off four weeks later this year in a revamp of the competition.
Organisers confirmed the move ahead of the draw for the 120th edition of the tournament, which is claimed to be the second oldest association football cup competition in the world.
Secretary of the Aberdeenshire and District Football Association Brian Christie said the change aims to make it easier to arrange fixtures, given the congested start to the season for some Highland League sides.
The Highland League season starts on Saturday, with champions Buckie Thistle already having played four fixtures in the Betfred League Cup and set to be joined by Cove and Formartine in the Irn-Bru Cup, from August 15.
The Aberdeenshire Cup will now begin on Wednesday, August 23, with a first round tie between Cove Rangers and Huntly.
Mr Christie said the move was a compromise and he’d ideally prefer to see the tournament contested in the second half of the season.
He said: “All the games will be spaced out through the first part of the season. The Highland League have taken more Wednesdays towards the start of the season to keep in front and avoid postponements.
“If you leave it to the second half of the season, there’s a chance we might not get it played, as one of the teams will probably be in the play-offs.”
The draw threw up a couple of big quarter-finals, with Buckie set to take on Fraserburgh, and Turriff United to square off with Formartine United.
Aberdeenshire Cup draw:
Cove Rangers v Huntly
Tie to be played Aug 23
Turriff United v Formartine United, Cove/ Huntly v Keith, Deveronvale v Inverurie Locos, Buckie Thistle v Fraserburgh
Ties to be played Sept 6
Turriff/ Formartine v Buckie/ Fraserburgh, Deveronvale/ Inverurie Locos v Cove/ Huntly/ Keith
Ties to be played Oct 4
Tie 2 will have the home dressing room
Final to be played on Nov 4