The competition was first played in 1947, before the reintroduction of the German Cup. With the introduction of the national cup competition, the Schwaben Cup also became a qualifying competition for it.
The Schwaben Cup has been played annually since 1947 with the exception of 1956 and 1957, when it was not held. The competition was open to all senior men's teams from the Bezirk of Schwaben and clubs that play in the Schwaben football league system. However, it was not open to professional teams, meaning a club in the Bundesliga or 2nd Bundesliga could not take part. The FC Augsburg, record winner of the competition, currently in the second division, would therefore not have been able to enter its first team. The competition was also open to reserve sides.
From 1998, the Schwaben Cup winner was ellegible to take part in the Bavarian Cup and past winners have also taken part in this competition and thereby qualified for the German Cup. The TSV Aindling in 2003 and the TSG Thannhausen in 2006 have done so.
A fixed rule of the competition was that the lower classed team would always have home advantage. Further in the past, another rule stipulated that the lower classed team did not need to win a tie to advance, a draw being sufficient. This rule was however very unpopular with the stronger clubs and was rescinded after the 1998 final.
With the expansion of the Bavarian Cup from 2009-10 onwards, the Schwaben Cup ceased to be held. The only thing remaining of the old competition is the three Kreis Cup competitions, who now function as a qualifying round to the Bavarian Cup.
Clubs from the Kreisliga, the Kreisklasses and A-Klasses below it but also the clubs in the Bezirksliga and Bezirksoberliga from this area play out a cup winner of their own. This winner then faces the winner of its sister region (German: Kreis). The three remaining clubs of this competitions then entered the final rounds of the Schwaben Cup, together with the clubs from Schwaben which play in the Landesliga, Bayernliga and Regionalliga.
At the end of this process was the Schwaben Cup final which was played at a neutral ground.
Since 1974, the Schwaben Cup winners, and in some seasons the runners-up, an eligible to qualify for the first round of the German Cup. In the past, qualification matches against the cup winners from the other six Bavarian regional cup competition were necessary, since the establishment of the Bavarian Cup, this competition functions as qualifying stage. On a large number of occasions, the FC Augsburg has qualified for the German Cup on merrit of its membership to the 2nd Bundesliga, these appearances are not listed here: