Surprise of the tournament were the Rijeka-based minnows Orijent who managed to reach the quarter-finals, where they were knocked on penalties after holding the eventual runners-up Sarajevo to a 0–0 draw.
The Yugoslav Cup was a tournament for which clubs from all tiers of the football pyramid were eligible to enter. In addition, amateur teams put together by individual Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) garrisons and various factories and industrial plants were also encouraged to enter, which meant that each cup edition had thousands of teams in its initial stages. These teams would go through a number of qualifying rounds before reaching the first round proper, in which top-flight teams would enter.
The cup final was scheduled to coincide with Youth Day, a national holiday celebrated on 25 May and accompanied by the Relay of Youth, which doubled as the official commemoration of Josip Broz Tito's birthday.
The 1983 Yugoslav Cup Final was contested by Dinamo Zagreb and Sarajevo at the Red Star Stadium in Belgrade. Dinamo Zagreb won 3–2, with two goals by Zlatko Kranjčar and one from Snješko Cerin. Dinamo had reached the final eleven times previously, winning six titles (1951, 1960, 1963, 1965, 1969, 1980). It also proved to be their last Yugoslav Cup win as they never repeated the feat until the competition was made defunct in 1991. For Sarajevo, this was their second appearance in the final (having lost the 1967 final to Hajduk Split), and was also their last final appearance.