Úrvalsdeild karla (basketball)

Úrvalsdeild karla; English: Men's Premier League, also known as Domino's deildin for sponsorship reasons, is the highest men's professional basketball competition among clubs in Iceland, where play determines the national champion. It is organized by the Icelandic Basketball Federation (Icelandic: Körfuknattleikssamband Íslands - KKÍ). The season consists of a home-and-away schedule of 22 games, followed by an eight-team playoff round. Quarterfinals, semifinals and finals series are best-of-five. The bottom clubs are relegated, and replaced by the top team from the regular-season phase and the four-team playoff round winner of the second-level First Division (Icelandic: 1. deild karla).

Úrvalsdeild karla
Founded1951 (1951)
First season1952
Country Iceland
ConfederationFIBA Europe
Number of teams12
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toDivision I
Domestic cup(s)Bikarkeppni KKÍ
SupercupMeistarakeppni karla
Current championsKR (18th title)
Most championshipsKR (18 titles)
All-time top scorerValur Ingimundarson
CEOHannes S. Jónsson
TV partnersStöð 2 Sport
Websitewww.kki.is
2019–20 Úrvalsdeild karla

History

Creation

The league was founded in 1951 as 1. deild karla (English: Men's 1st division) and in 1978 it was rebranded as the Úrvalsdeild karla (English: Men's Premier League).

From the 2005–06 season to the 2011–12 season, it was named the Iceland Express League, from its sponsor Iceland Express airline. Since the 2012–13 season it has been named the Domino's League, from its sponsor Domino's Pizza.

ÍR's dominance

For the first years, from its foundation in 1951 until the 1963-64 season, the league was dominated by two teams only: ÍKF (with 4 wins) and ÍR (with 8 wins); with the sole exception of the 1958-59 season, in which ÍS won the title. From the following season, the 1964-65 season, until the 1974-75, the league was dominated by the ÍR (with 6 more wins) and the KR (with 5 wins). Two years later, the 1976-77 season marked the fifteenth and last victory of the ÍR in the league and an end of an era.

Njarðvík's leadership

The next two decades, exactly from 1980-81 season to the 1997-98 season, Njarðvík (known as ÍKF until 1969)[1][2] lead the league with 10 wins. In the same period, Keflavík won 4 titles and the KR won their eighth title.

Modern era

From the 2000-01 season, many teams have divided the lead of the league. In the 2005-06 season, the Njarðvík won their thirteenth title. In the following season, the 2006-07 season, the KR won their tenth title and one more year later, in the 2007-08 season, the Keflavík won their ninth title.

International influence

In the recent years an increasing number of international players have moved directly from playing elsewhere in the world to starring in the league. Below there is a short list of notable foreign players, either currently or formerly active in the league:

Teams

The Úrvalsdeild karla originated in 1951 and, currently, consists of 12 teams. Njarðvík and KR have won the most championships with 17 Icelandic championships each. Following them, there are ÍR with 15 championships and Keflavík with 9 championships. The current Úrvalsdeild karla teams for the 2018–19 season are:

Team City, Region Arena Founded Colours Head coach
Breiðablik Kópavogur Smárinn 1967 green/white Pétur Ingvarsson
Grindavík Grindavík Mustad Höllin 1972 yellow/blue Jóhann Þór Ólafsson
ÍR Reykjavík Hertz Hellirinn 1950 blue/white Borce Ilievski
Keflavík Keflavík TM Höllin 1974 blue/white Sverrir Þór Sverrisson
KR Reykjavík DHL Höllin 1956 black/white Ingi Þór Steinþórsson
Haukar Hafnarfjörður Schenkerhöllin 1971 red/white Ívar Ásgrímsson
Njarðvík Njarðvík Ljónagryfjan 1952 (as ÍKF) green/white Einar Árni Jóhannsson
Skallagrímur Borgarnes Fjósið 1958 green, yellowe Finnur Jónsson
Stjarnan Garðabær Ásgarður 1993 blue/white Hrafn Kristjánsson
Tindastóll Sauðárkrókur Sauðárkrókur 1907 maroon/white/blue Israel Martín
Valur Reykjavík Valshöllin 1951 (as Gosi) red/white Ágúst Björgvinsson
Þór Þorlákshöfn Þorlákshöfn Icelandic Glacial Höllin 1991 blue/black Baldur Þór Ragnarsson

Champions

Season Champion Score Runner-up Champion's coach
1952 ÍKF League ÍR Gene Croley and Jom Wahl[3]
1953 ÍKF (2) ÍR
1954 ÍR ÍKF Helgi Jóhannsson[4]
1955 ÍR (2) Gosi Helgi Jóhannsson[4]
1956 ÍKF (3) ÍR
1957 ÍR (3) Helgi Jóhannsson[4]
1958 ÍKF (4) ÍS
1959 ÍS[5] ÍR
1960 ÍR (4) KFR Helgi Jóhannsson[6]
1961 ÍR (5) KFR Helgi Jóhannsson[7]
1962 ÍR (6) Ármann Helgi Jóhannsson[8][9]
1963 ÍR (7) Ármann Helgi Jóhannsson[10][11] and Einar Ólafsson
1964 ÍR (8) Ármann Helgi Jóhannsson[12]
1965 KR ÍR Philip Bensing[lower-alpha 1][13]
1966 KR (2) ÍR Philip Bensing or Thomas Curren[lower-alpha 2]
1967 KR (3) Einar Bollason
1968 KR (4) Gordon Godfrey
1969 ÍR (9) 1–0[lower-alpha 3] KR Einar Ólafsson[16]
1970 ÍR (10) 2–0[17] Ármann Einar Ólafsson[18]
1971 ÍR (11) League Einar Ólafsson[19]
1972 ÍR (12) Einar Ólafsson[20]
1972–73 ÍR (13) Einar Ólafsson[21]
1973–74 KR (5) Einar Bollason
1974–75 ÍR (14) Einar Ólafsson[22]
1975–76 Ármann Ingvar Viktorsson
1976–77 ÍR (15) Þorsteinn Hallgrímsson
1977–78 KR (6) 1–0[lower-alpha 4] Njarðvík Andrew Piazza
1978–79 KR (7) 1–0[lower-alpha 5] Valur Gunnar Gunnarsson
1979–80 Valur League Njarðvík Tim Dwyer
1980–81 Njarðvík (5)* Valur Danny Shouse
1981–82 Njarðvík (6) Fram Hilmar Hafsteinsson
1982–83 Valur (2) Keflavík Tim Dwyer (2)
1983–84 Njarðvík (7) 2–0 Valur Gunnar Þorvarðarson
1984–85 Njarðvík (8) 2–1 Haukar Gunnar Þorvarðarson (2)
1985–86 Njarðvík (9) 2–0 Haukar Gunnar Þorvarðarson (3)
1986–87 Njarðvík (10) 2–0 Valur Valur Ingimundarson
1987–88 Haukar 2–1 Njarðvík Pálmar Sigurðsson
1988–89 Keflavík 2–1 KR Jón Kr. Gíslason
1989–90 KR (8) 3–0 Keflavík Dr. László Németh
1990–91 Njarðvík (11) 3–2 Keflavík Friðrik Ingi Rúnarsson
1991–92 Keflavík (2) 3–2 Valur Jón Kr. Gíslason (2)
1992–93 Keflavík (3) 3–0 Haukar Jón Kr. Gíslason (3)
1993–94 Njarðvík (12) 3–2 Grindavík Valur Ingimundarson (2)
1994–95 Njarðvík (13) 4–2 Grindavík Valur Ingimundarson (3)
1995–96 Grindavík 4–2 Keflavík Friðrik Ingi Rúnarsson (2)
1996–97 Keflavík (4) 3–0 Grindavík Sigurður Ingimundarson
1997–98 Njarðvík (14) 3–0 KR Friðrik Ingi Rúnarsson (3)
1998–99 Keflavík (5) 3–2 Njarðvík Sigurður Ingimundarson (2)
1999–00 KR (9) 3–1 Grindavík Ingi Þór Steinþórsson
2000–01 Njarðvík (15) 3–1 Tindastóll Friðrik Ragnarsson and Teitur Örlygsson
2001–02 Njarðvík (16) 3–0 Keflavík Friðrik Ragnarsson (2)
2002–03 Keflavík (6) 3–0 Grindavík Sigurður Ingimundarson (3)
2003–04 Keflavík (7) 3–1 Snæfell Falur Harðarson and Guðjón Skúlason
2004–05 Keflavík (8) 3–1 Snæfell Sigurður Ingimundarson (4)
2005–06 Njarðvík (17) 3–1 Skallagrímur Einar Árni Jóhannsson
2006–07 KR (10) 3–1 Njarðvík Benedikt Guðmundsson
2007–08 Keflavík (9) 3–0 Snæfell Sigurður Ingimundarson (5)
2008–09 KR (11) 3–2 Grindavík Benedikt Guðmundsson (2)
2009–10 Snæfell 3–2 Keflavík Ingi Þór Steinþórsson (2)
2010–11 KR (12) 3–1 Stjarnan Hrafn Kristjánsson
2011–12 Grindavík (2) 3–1 Þór Þorlákshöfn Helgi Jónas Guðfinnsson
2012–13 Grindavík (3) 3–2 Stjarnan Sverrir Þór Sverrisson
2013–14 KR (13) 3–1 Grindavík Finnur Freyr Stefánsson
2014–15 KR (14) 3–1 Tindastóll Finnur Freyr Stefánsson (2)
2015–16 KR (15) 3–1 Haukar Finnur Freyr Stefánsson (3)
2016–17 KR (16) 3–2 Grindavík Finnur Freyr Stefánsson (4)
2017–18 KR (17) 3–1 Tindastóll Finnur Freyr Stefánsson (5)
2018–19 KR (18) 3–2 ÍR Ingi Þór Steinþórsson (3)
  1. Last name sometimes spelled Benzing.
  2. The Icelandic Basketball Association lists Bensing as the coach of the 1966 team[14] but other sources state that he left the job in December 1965 and that Curren started coaching at the club in January 1966. Curren was the head coach of the team during its games in the 1966–67 FIBA European Champions Cup in December 1966.[15]
  3. As ÍR and KR tied at the end of the season, an extra game was played for tiebreaking.
  4. As KR and Njarðvík tied at the end of the season, an extra game was played for tiebreaking.
  5. As KR and Valur tied at the end of the season, an extra game was played for tiebreaking.

Titles per club

Titles Club
18 KR
17 Njarðvík / ÍKF1
15 ÍR
9 Keflavík
3 Grindavík
2 Valur
1 Snæfell, Haukar, Ármann, ÍS
  1. ÍKF merged into Ungmennafélag Njarðvíkur in 1969 and became its basketball subdivision. It is today known as Njarðvík. The club won 4 titles under the ÍKF name and added 13 more after the merger

Awards and honors

Domestic All-First Team

The Men's Domestic All-First Team is an annual Úrvalsdeild honor bestowed on the best players in the league following every season.

Domestic Player of the Year

Foreign Player of the Year

Úrvalsdeild Men's Playoffs MVP

Úrvalsdeild Playoffs MVP award is awarded annually to the player judged most valuable to his team during the Úrvalsdeild playoffs.

Defensive Player of the Year

Newcomer of the Year

Coach of the Year

References

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