Rising Popularity of Basketball in Iceland Skip to content

Rising Popularity of Basketball in Iceland

In a period of 23 years basketball teams in Iceland have increased by one new team every year. At the same time handball teams in Iceland, which until now has been more of a national sport than basketball, have decreased by 17.

In the winter of 1985-1986, 42 male and female handball teams participated in the national league of the Handball Association of Iceland (HSÍ), but last winter only 25 competed, Morgunbladid reports.

At the same time the number of basketball teams increased considerably. In the winter of 1985-1986, 27 male and female teams were listed in the national league of the Basketball Association of Iceland (KKÍ), but by last season they were 49.

Only three municipalities outside the capital region had teams competing in the last handball season, Akureyri, Selfoss and the Westman Islands.

Einar Thorvardarson, managing director of HSÍ, said shortage of instructors and coaches outside the capital region is making it difficult for handball to survive. “HSÍ has been active in hosting friendly games in the countryside to promote the sport, but we need people to follow up such visits.”

Fridrik Ingi Rúnarsson, managing director of KKÍ, said it is easier for children and teenagers to play basketball than handball considering how specialized handball is.

According to Morgunbladid, in the future the main problem sporting associations in Iceland will face is to acquire enough people to volunteer as board members.

In Iceland most sporting association have to raise 70 to 80 percent of their funds themselves, which is the exact opposite in the other Nordic countries.

Click here to read more about basketball in Iceland, and here to read more about handball.

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