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).
|Number of teams||12|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Division I|
|Domestic cup(s)||Bikarkeppni KKÍ|
|Current champions||KR (18th title)|
|Most championships||KR (18 titles)|
|All-time top scorer||Valur Ingimundarson|
|CEO||Hannes S. Jónsson|
|TV partners||Stöð 2 Sport|
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.
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.
The next two decades, exactly from 1980-81 season to the 1997-98 season, Njarðvík (known as ÍKF until 1969) lead the league with 10 wins. In the same period, Keflavík won 4 titles and the KR won their eighth title.
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.
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:
- Stew Johnson, United States
- Damon S. Johnson, United States – 3-time Premier League champion with Keflavík
- J'Nathan Bullock, United States – 1-time Premier League champion with Grindavík
- Jovan Zdravevski, Macedonia
- Justin Shouse, United States
- Kostas Tsartsaris, Greece
- Nemanja Sovic, Serbia/Canada
- Nick Bradford, United States – 2-time Premier League champion with Keflavík
- Ryan Pettinella, United States/Italy – 2-time Premier League champion with Grindavík
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|
|Njarðvík||Njarðvík||Ljónagryfjan||1952 (as ÍKF)||green/white|
|Valur||Reykjavík||Valshöllin||1951 (as Gosi)||red/white|
|Þór Þorlákshöfn||Þorlákshöfn||Icelandic Glacial Höllin||1991||blue/black|
- Last name sometimes spelled Benzing.
- The Icelandic Basketball Association lists Bensing as the coach of the 1966 team 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.
- As ÍR and KR tied at the end of the season, an extra game was played for tiebreaking.
- As KR and Njarðvík tied at the end of the season, an extra game was played for tiebreaking.
- As KR and Valur tied at the end of the season, an extra game was played for tiebreaking.
Titles per club
|17||Njarðvík / ÍKF1|
|1||Snæfell, Haukar, Ármann, ÍS|
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
- Ytri aðstæður og innri efling starfsins
- Fram stofnar körfuknattleiksdeild
- Íþróttafél. Keflavíkurstarfsmanna vann Íslandsmótið
- Ágúst Ásgeirsson (11 March 2007). Heil öld til heilla - Saga ÍR í 100 ár. Íþróttafélag Reykjavíkur. p. 569.
- "Íþróttafélag stúdenta Íslandsmeistari í körfuknattleik 1959". Þjóðviljinn (in Icelandic). 17 April 1959. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
- Í.R. vann verðskuldaðan sigur
- ÍR Íslandsmeistari í körfuknattleik
- ÍR Íslandsmeistari 1962
- ÍR átti mótið
- Takmarkið með þátttöku er aðöðlast reynslu í harðri keppni
- ÍR í evrópukeppnina í haust
- "KR Íslandsmeistari". Þjóðviljinn (in Icelandic). 4 May 1965. p. 5.
- "Meistaratitlar karla". kki.is (in Icelandic). Icelandic Basketball Association. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
- "Evrópumeistararnir Simmenthal leika við KR 18. þ.m." Þjóðviljinn (in Icelandic). 2 November 1966. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
- ÍR-ingar endurheimta Íslandsmeistaratitilinn í körfuknattleik
- "ÍR hlaut titilinn". Morgunblaðið (in Icelandic). 24 March 1970. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
- ÍR hlaut titilinn
- Íslandsmeistarar 1971
- Sigurinn blasti við HSK
- Átök, en síðan yfirburðasigur
- ÍR-ingar urðu íslandsmeistarar í körfubolta