Participation is open to any club registered with the Polish FA, regardless of whether it competes in any league in the national pyramid. Reserve and oldboys teams are also eligible, with reserve teams particularly reaching the final on two occasions (and winning it once). The Cup is popular among lower level teams, as it gives them a chance to play better known sides. In some cases, the underdogs even reached the final, with the most famous example being Czarni Żagań, which in 1964–1965 season lost the final game 0–4 to Górnik Zabrze.
Lower league clubs have to enter regional qualification rounds and the winners of these join the teams from the first and second division in the competition proper. The regional qualifications are played in the preceding season, so that one edition of Polish Cup for lower ranked clubs can last two seasons. Each tie is decided by a single game which is held at the lower league side's stadium. The final used to be a single match, but 2002–2006 it was contested over two legs, Italian style. Since 2007, the Cup has returned to the single-game final.