|First and second round|
Beginning with the season 2000/2001 all of the Bundesliga clubs will again be included from the first round onward. The lots for the first round are drawn from two bowls, with the first one containing the 18 Bundesliga teams of the past season as well as the 14 best clubs of the 2nd Bundesliga of the past season. The second bowl holds the four relegated teams of the 2nd Bundesliga, the winners and runners-up of the Regionalliga Nord and Süd, respectively, plus 24 amateur teams. These 32 clubs will automatically be granted a home match.
The same procedure applies when it comes to the second round, where again lots are drawn from two bowls, with the first bowl containing the professional clubs, the second one the amateur clubs which will again have home advantage.
Third round, quarterfinal, semi-final
Starting with the third round, there will only be one single bowl. The home advantage is with the club drawn first, unless one of the two is an amateur club that, if drawn against a professional Bundesliga club, will be granted home advantage.
The two finalists will meet at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin for the cup final.
Determining the winner
If after the end of the normal playing time the score is still level, extra-time of 2 x 15 minutes will be played, and if after that time there is still no winner, the final decision will be by penalty shoot-out.
Participants from amateur leagues
In addition to the 18 Bundesliga teams and the 18 teams of the 2nd Bundesliga of the past season, the following 28 amateur clubs are qualified for the DFB cup:
- the winners and runners-up of the Regionalliga Nord and Süd, respectively
- the respective winners of the Verbandspokal (Association Cup competition) from each of the 21 sub-regional associations
- one team each from those three sub-regional associations that feature the highest number of registered men's teams (in the majority of cases, these turn out to be runners-up of the Verbandspokal finals).
last update: 18.08.2004