Israeli Basketball Premier League
Founded1953; 71 years ago (1953)
First season1953–54
ConfederationFIBA Europe
Number of teams12
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toLiga Leumit
Domestic cup(s)State Cup
SupercupLeague Cup
International cup(s)EuroLeague
Champions League
Europe Cup
Current championsMaccabi Tel Aviv
(56 titles)
Most championshipsMaccabi Tel Aviv
(56 titles)
CEOAri Steinberg
TV partnersSport 5
2023–24 Israeli Basketball Premier League

Ligat HaAl (Hebrew: ליגת העל, lit., Supreme League or Premier League), or the Israeli Basketball Premier League, is the top-tier level league of professional competition in Israeli club basketball, making it Israel's primary basketball competition. The league's name is abbreviated as either BSL (Basketball Super League) or ISBL (Israeli Basketball Super League). For sponsorship reasons, the league is also referred to as Ligat Winner Sal (Hebrew: ליגת ווינר סל), lit. Winner Basket League, with "Winner" being the name of a game operated by the league's primary sponsor, Toto Winner.[1]

The league is run by the Israeli Basketball Super League Administration Ltd.[2]


Ligat HaAl comprises the top 12 basketball clubs in Israel, and was founded in 1954.

The league itself is most known in Europe, due to the success of the Israeli teams in European-wide competitions, such as the EuroLeague, EuroCup (formerly called the ULEB Cup), and FIBA's EuroChallenge (formerly called the FIBA EuroCup). Many non-drafted and free agent players from Europe and the NBA play in the Israeli league, as an alternative to NBA competition.

The league is the first division in Israeli basketball: the team that finishes last in a season is relegated to the Second Division, while the Second Division's top 8 teams compete in a play-off system right after the end of the regular season, with the team that reaches the finals series being promoted to the Premier League for the following season.


There are 12 teams in the league,[3] and they play against each other three times a season. The top eight teams advance to the five-game series Quarter-finals. The winners of the Quarter-finals advance to the Final Four.[4]

Links with the NBA

Omri Casspi
Gal Mekel
Jordan Farmar
Amar'e Stoudemire
Deni Avdija

In the 1980s and the early 1990s, the Israeli League stars played in Israel against the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, and Los Angeles Lakers.

In October 2005, Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated the Toronto Raptors 105–103 in an exhibition game played in Toronto, Canada; this was the first victory for any European or Israeli team over an NBA team on its home court.

Over the years, many of its players joined the NBA. In 2009, Omri Casspi became the first Israeli-born NBA player with the Sacramento Kings. Prior to that, three players were drafted: Doron Sheffer (who played U.S. college basketball at Connecticut), Yotam Halperin and Lior Eliyahu. Oded Kattash agreed to play with the New York Knicks, but he never played in the NBA because of the 1998–99 NBA lockout that started on July 1, 1998.

In the 2009 NBA draft, Omri Casspi was selected 23rd overall by the Sacramento Kings, and Gal Mekel followed in 2013 by signing with Dallas Mavericks. In 2016, Dragan Bender became the highest selection from the Israeli Basketball Premier League to be selected in an NBA draft with the Phoenix Suns taking him at 4th overall. Other players who have moved from the league to the NBA include: Will Bynum, Anthony Parker, Joe Ingles, Roger Mason Jr., P. J. Tucker, Eugene "Pooh" Jeter, Elijah Bryant, Carlos Arroyo, and Nate Robinson.

In 2016, Amar'e Stoudemire retired from the NBA. However, on August 1, 2016, he signed a two-year deal with Hapoel Jerusalem, a team he co-owns.[5] On October 1, 2016, he helped Hapoel Jerusalem win the 2016 Israeli Basketball League Cup.[6] He also played for Maccabi Tel Aviv during the 2019–20 season, helping them win the 2019–20 Israeli Basketball Premier League championship. He was named MVP of the championship game.[7]

In 2020 two players declared for the NBA draft. The first being Deni Avdija from Maccabi Tel Aviv and the second being Yam Madar from Hapeol Tel Aviv. Avdija was selected in the first round, 9th overall, by the Washington Wizards, and Madar was taken in the second round with the 47th pick of the draft by the Boston Celtics.

High-profile American Jewish recruits

In 2011, the league imposed a limit of four non-Israelis per team.[8] However, as all Jews are immediately eligible for Israeli citizenship under Israel's Law of Return, non-Israeli Jewish basketball players are able to join a team in the league without using up one of the few roster spots available for non-Israeli players.

Examples of Jewish Americans joining teams in the league include Jon Scheyer, Jordan Farmar, Sylven Landesberg, David Blu, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Dan Grunfeld.

Current clubs

Team City Color
Bnei Herzliya Herzliya    
Hapoel Be'er Sheva Be'er Sheva    
Hapoel Eilat Eilat    
Hapoel Galil Elyon Upper Galilee    
Hapoel Gilboa Galil Gilboa Regional Council    
Hapoel Haifa Haifa    
Hapoel Holon Holon    
Hapoel Jerusalem Jerusalem    
Hapoel Tel Aviv Tel Aviv    
Ironi Kiryat Ata Kiryat Ata    
Ironi Nes Ziona Ness Ziona    
Maccabi Tel Aviv Tel Aviv    

Titles by team

Team Champions Runner-Up
Maccabi Tel Aviv 56 7
Hapoel Tel Aviv 5 21
Hapoel Jerusalem 2 6
Hapoel Holon 2 3
Maccabi Haifa 1 3
Hapoel Galil Elyon 1 2
Maccabi Rishon LeZion 1 2
Hapoel Gilboa Galil 1 1
Hapoel Ramat Gan 0 6
Ironi Ramat Gan 0 3
Hapoel Gvat/Yagur 0 3
Hapoel Haifa 0 2
Hapoel Eilat 0 2
Bnei Herzliya 0 1
Elitzur Netanya 0 1
Maccabi Ironi Ra'anana 0 1
Ironi Nahariya 0 1
Maccabi Ashdod 0 1

Title holders


Season Champion Runner-up Score Format
1953–54 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Holon Regular season only
1955–56 Cancelled due to war
1956–57 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv Regular season only
1959–60 Hapoel Tel Aviv Maccabi Tel Aviv
1961–62 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Haifa
1962–63 Hapoel Tel Aviv
1964–65 Hapoel Tel Aviv Maccabi Tel Aviv
1966–67 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv
1968–69 Hapoel Tel Aviv Maccabi Tel Aviv
1969–70 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv
1971–72 Hapoel Gvat/Yagur
1972–73 Ironi Ramat Gan
1974–75 Hapoel Ramat Gan
1975–76 Hapoel Gvat/Yagur
1976–77 Hapoel Ramat Gan
1977–78 Hapoel Gvat/Yagur Mini-league of top six teams from regular season
1978–79 Hapoel Tel Aviv 2:0 Best of 3 series
1979–80 Regular season only
1980–81 Hapoel Ramat Gan
1981–82 Mini-league of top three teams from regular season
1982–83 2:0 Best of 3 series
1983–84 2:0
1984–85 Hapoel Tel Aviv 2:1
1985–86 Maccabi Elitzur Netanya 2:0
1986–87 Hapoel Tel Aviv 2:1
1987–88 2:1
1988–89 2:0
1989–90 Hapoel Galil Elyon 3:0 Best of 5 series
1990–91 Maccabi Rishon LeZion 3:1
1991–92 Hapoel Tel Aviv 3:2
1992–93 Hapoel Galil Elyon 3:1
1993–94 Maccabi Tel Aviv 3:0
1994–95 Hapoel Galil Elyon 3:0
1995–96 Hapoel Jerusalem 3:0
1996–97 3:0
1997–98 Hapoel Eilat 3:0
1998–99 Hapoel Jerusalem 3:1
1999–00 Maccabi Ra'anana 3:1
2000–01 Hapoel Jerusalem 3:0
2001–02 Ironi Ramat Gan 3:0
2002–03 Ironi Naharia 3:0
2003–04 Hapoel Tel Aviv 3:0
2004–05 3:0
2005–06 Hapoel Jerusalem 96–66 Final Four format
2006–07 80–78
2007–08 Hapoel Holon Maccabi Tel Aviv 73–72
2008–09 Maccabi Tel Aviv Maccabi Haifa 85–72
2009–10 Gilboa/Galil Maccabi Tel Aviv 90–77
2010–11 Maccabi Tel Aviv Gilboa/Galil 91–64
2011–12 Maccabi Ashdod 83–63
2012–13 Maccabi Haifa Maccabi Tel Aviv 86–79 Single game format
2013–14 Maccabi Tel Aviv Maccabi Haifa 81–77 ; 82–84 OT Home and Away format
2014–15 Hapoel Jerusalem Hapoel Eilat 80–65 ; 88–68
2015–16 Maccabi Rishon LeZion Hapoel Jerusalem 83–77 Final Four format
2016–17 Hapoel Jerusalem Maccabi Haifa 83–76
2017–18 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Holon 95–75
2018–19 Maccabi Rishon LeZion 89–75
2019–20 86–81
2020–21 Hapoel Gilboa Galil 2:1 Best of 3 series
2021–22 Hapoel Holon Bnei Herzliya 2:0
2022–23 Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Tel Aviv 2:1


Lior Eliyahu, 2-time Israeli Basketball Premier League MVP

Statistical leaders

Main article: Israeli Basketball Premier League Statistical Leaders

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ "BSL Sponsors" (in Hebrew). Israeli Basketball Super League. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
  2. ^ The Basketball Super League Administration for Men (archive)
  3. ^ "Winner League Basketball, News, Teams, Scores, Stats, Standings, Awards - eurobasket".
  4. ^ "League format" (in Hebrew). Israeli Basketball Super League. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  5. ^ "Amar'e Stoudemire joins Hapoel Jerusalem!". August 1, 2016. Archived from the original on August 5, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  6. ^ "הצהרת כוונות: האדומים זכו בגביע ווינר סל". (in Hebrew). October 1, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  7. ^ "Former NBA center Stoudemire named MVP of Israeli title game". Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  8. ^ Steinberg, Jessica (October 12, 2011). "NBA lockout prompts a new motive for aliyah: Basketball".