It all started in 1991. A bored soldier sat in the base and began collecting box-scores from the paper into a 40-page notebook. Several years later the data was entered into a computer, and the soldier who wasn’t a soldier anymore, was able to find work in some local newspapers and even in the sports channel.
In 1997 after being exposed to the World Wide Web, the guy convinced his good friend, the computer wiz, to start up an Israeli basketball site. In October of 1997 the blacker than black Safsal website was launched. Oh and for all the enquiring English-speaking minds out there, “safsal” is the Hebrew translation of the word “bench”.
The first story ever published on the site was about Givat Shmoel changing foreigners. Shelly Clark left, Travis Maze is coming. Ever since thousands of basketball stories were published on the site. We slaved to prepare player files with stats for each player for years. As time passed by, the site became popular and received praise.
The site expanded and started covering the youth & women’s leagues. New reporters joined. Rival sites popped up, more high-tech, sometimes even more up to date and of course, whiter.
After seven years we can honestly say that Safsal is a well-known trademark in basketball and can definitely be called “The Home of Israeli Basketball” today. 120,000 visitors per month are more than enough proof.
So who are we and what is the idea behind ‘Safsal’?
The truth is Safsal never formed an ideology and maybe this is the time to do so and ponder a bit about what the site stands for.
We’re not exactly journalists but we’re happy to publish exclusive stories and cringe when we get scooped by other sites.
We’re a modest, low-budget site based on volunteers, but never stop thinking about how we can use the site to hit the jackpot.
Some of us prefer seating in the stands, while some of us walk the hardwood like it’s our 2nd home.
We all love basketball but some of us don’t always pick up switching defenses and fancy plays.
Most of us would prefer going to a youth or women’s game than watching a EuroLeague game.
The north and south are always deprived since we’re mostly from the Tel Aviv area, but we’re happier when Galil Elyon wins the junior championship or when Elizur Ashkelon makes the first division.
We don’t like Maccabi Tel Aviv much but we love Derek Sharp, crazy for Anthony Parker, adore Sharas and Nicola and really want Yaniv Green to succeed.
We all make a living doing other things, but spend more time on Safsal than in any other job.
We hope you enjoy surfing our site and come visit us everyday. If one person goes to see a game because of us, then our job is done.