SPFL Development League
|Founded||1998 (as Scottish Premier under-18 League)|
|Number of teams||17|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Domestic cup(s)||Scottish Youth Cup|
The current champions are Celtic.
A youth league was founded as the Scottish Premier under-18 League in 1998. Clubs fielded under-18 teams, with the Scottish Premier Reserve League originally being an under-21 league. The competition was changed in 2003 when it became the Scottish Premier under-19 League. The teams played 22 matches rather than 30.
For the 2012–13 season, the competition changed again, this time to the Scottish Premier under-20 league, there were 15 teams, and teams played 28 matches per season. With the inception of the Scottish Professional Football League for the 2013–14 season, the league become the SPFL U20 League and the number of teams increased to 16. Teams were allowed to field two over-age outfield players and an overage goalkeeper.
The league was renamed the SPFL Development League in 2014, with the number of teams increased to 17. At this time two regional leagues were also introduced, with eight clubs competing in the Development League West and nine clubs competing in the Development League East. The restriction on over-age players was relaxed, with teams now permitted to use five older players in a matchday squad of 18.
From 2015 onwards, the UEFA Youth League provides a qualification route for 'domestic youth champions', in addition to clubs whose senior team reaches the UEFA Champions League group stage. As the age group for the Development League is older than that of the UEFA Group League, Scotland's representative will be the winner of the Under-17 league, which plays competitive fixtures however does not reveal the results and tables publicly to minimise the scrutiny on the young players. In both 2014-15 and 2015-16, the winners of the Under-17 league were Celtic.
The participants for the 2015–16 SPFL Development League season are:
SFL Youth League
SPL Under-18 League
|2000–01||Heart of Midlothian||Livingston|
SPL Under-19 League
|2008–09||Hibernian||Heart of Midlothian|
|2010–11||Celtic||Heart of Midlothian|
|2011–12||Celtic||Heart of Midlothian|
SPFL Under-20 League
SPFL Development League
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- "U20 League fixtures". www.spfl.co.uk. SPFL. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- Waddell, Gordon (9 October 2011). "Reserve league football could return as part of SFA plan to revamp Scottish game". Daily Record. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- "Development League fixture list". www.spfl.co.uk. SPFL. 7 July 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- "Development League East & West fixtures". www.spfl.co.uk. SPFL. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- Development League kicks off, SPFL
- "UEFA Youth League retained and expanded". UEFA.com. 18 September 2014.
- "Academy Teams". Hearts Youth Development Committee. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
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- Wales, Peter (3 October 2014). "Hibs appoint Joe McBride as Under-20s coach". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
- "Former Rangers star Johansson quits Motherwell post and Craigan takes over". The Herald. Herald & Times Group. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
- Scottish Football Historical Archive Mirror - SFL/SPL/SPFL Youth Leagues
- AFC Heritage - 2000-01 SPL Under-18 League Table