Division Ett, sometimes known as the second tier or Första Divisionen, is the second-highest division in the Koanian baseball league system after the Super Ligan. It has been operating since the 1900 season and run by the Koanian Basebollförbundet since 1901. It had been run as a standalone rival competition to the Super Ligan called the Nationella Basebolligan prior to a merger. Each season, the two top-finishing teams in Division Ett are automatically promoted to the Super Ligan.
Teams in the league have always played three game series against each other, both home and away, with games traditionally taking place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. As the league expanded to incorporate more teams, teams started to also play games on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to ensure the season only ran from April to November.
Halfway through the 1899 season, on June 13th, eleven owners of teams in the Nationella Basebolligan convened for an extraordinary meeting in Omfattandestad. The primary focus of the agenda revolved around two main issues: Niclas Nordin’s management of the league and the increasing disparity in financial resources compared to the Super Ligan. Notably, Niclas Nordin and the owners of Västra Delen 95 and Freyr Viksida were not invited to the meeting.
Nordin’s decision to invite Västra Delen 95 and Freyr Viksida without allowing all owners to formally vote on their inclusion was deemed unacceptable. Additionally, due to the poor performance of these two teams, attendance at home games against them had dropped significantly. Consequently, all owners unanimously agreed that Nordin could no longer remain as the league commissioner.
Petri Ljungberg from Sandford Stad was encouraged to communicate with his former colleagues in the Super Ligan and explore the possibility of a merger. This suggestion gained traction, especially considering the growth of the Baseball Meisterschaft in Günsovölk, which posed a potential threat of attracting players away from the NBL. A stronger Super Ligan could prove beneficial for all teams in the Koana Islands.
After consulting with several Super Ligan owners, Ljungberg arranged a meeting and invited the other ten owners who were present at the initial gathering. Their aim was to discuss available options. While creating a 26-team competition by combining the two leagues was ruled out, the idea of establishing a second division with promotion and relegation gained considerable momentum. The success of such a system in England’s Football League provided a positive precedent.
With a unanimous decision to pursue a merger, Ljungberg and the other ten owners approached Pål Nyhaus, the president of the Super Ligan, and expressed their intention to break away from the NBL. They proposed formally joining the Super Ligan as a second tier. Nyhaus subsequently organized a meeting on July 23rd, which included owners from both the Super Ligan and the breakaway group of 11 from the NBL. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of merging the two leagues. It was agreed upon that a vote on the decision would take place at the Annual General Meeting at the end of the year.
Upon learning about the upcoming vote a few days later, Niclas Nordin expressed feeling betrayed by his fellow club owners. He declared that he would not organize the NBL’s fourth season scheduled for 1900, effectively drawing a line in the sand. This meant that teams would either join the Super Ligan or be compelled to return to regional leagues.
The owners of Västra Delen 95 and Freyr Viksida, aware that the NBL would be dissolved at the end of the season, appealed to the breakaway 11 to include them in the negotiations. Eventually, they were accepted. Initially, BK Embleton, owned by Nordin, refused an offer from the 13 clubs attempting to join the Super Ligan. However, by the end of the season, BK Embleton reversed their decision and joined the rest of the league.
By a vote of 9-3, the Super Ligan agreed to incorporate the teams under its umbrella and rebrand the NBL as Super Ligan: Division Ett (Division One), or simply Division Ett. This decision included the establishment of two promotion/relegation places between the two leagues starting from 1900. Despite some tentative objections from BK Humoor 1893 owner Mario Järelöv, the new division was formally approved. Consequently, the bottom two teams in Division Ett would be subject to the same re-election process as the system that was in place in the Super Ligan at the time.
1900 – 1910
BK Salau became the first team to ever be promoted to the Super Ligan, clinching the inaugural Division Ett title in 1900. BF Oberoendestad was the other promoted team. The following year, fresh from becoming the first team to ever be relegated from the Super Ligan, IK Förenta Saffron set a record winning percentage of .744, going 58-20 during the season to make an immediate return to the top flight.
In 1902, Freyr Viksida IK and Västra Delen 95 were the first teams to be voted out of the league, with the latters owner Anton Söderström quoted as saying: “…both Freyr Viksida IK and Västra Delen 95 were never given a fair go after not being invited for the vote to merge the NBL with the Super Ligan”. They were replaced by BK Randia and Atletisk Nyhamn.
For 1904, and in keeping with the South Indian Ocean Baseball Association‘s decision to implement the Durand Rules, Division Ett officially adopted the rulebook with Prestons-Grenada and 1890 Ängelar SK playing out the first draw in Division Ett history on opening day, finishing 6-all.
Portlethen Måndag GK and BK Salau were the most successful teams during this time, winning promotion to the Super Ligan three times, with the latter the only team to win the division multiple times. BF Oberoendestad, Jordnot Kanjon BK and Nyhaven SK all won promotion twice.
Rovaniemi Förenta and Prestons-Grenada were the only two teams to spend all of first 11 years of Division Ett in the division, whilst IF Blidområde spent ten years after gaining promotion in 1907, only to make an immediate return back down to the second tier.
|1900||BK Salau||BF Oberoendestad|
|1901||IK Förenta Saffron||Bryankeld Förenta BK|
|1902||BK Salau ||Portlethen Måndag GK|
|1903||Sandford Stad BF||BK Embleton|
|1904||Uckford Gemenskap||Jordnot Kanjon BK|
|1905||Portlethen Måndag GK||Centurio Conneaut|
|1906||BK Salau ||Nyhaven SK|
|1907||1890 Ängelar SK||IF Blidområde|
|1908||Nyhaven SK||SK Ryttare|
|1909||Glenton Kullar BbK||Jordnot Kanjon BK |
|1910||BF Oberoendestad||Portlethen Måndag GK |