Nine teams started the first Israeli League in 1932. The first winner of the league were the British Police who, under the guidance of Police Chief Speiser, were the best organized club in the country. Later he would serve as the first chairman of the Israeli Football Association.
Thirteen teams took part in the first Football League after Israel gained its independence. Maccabi Tel Aviv won the 1949-50 championship.
There were no League competitions in 1950-51, 1952-53 and 1966-67.
The 16 teams in season 2011-12 will be reduced to 14 teams for the 2012-13 season.