The SMScredit.lv Latvian Higher League (Latvian: SMScredit.lv Virslīga) is the top tier of association football in Latvia and is organised by the Latvian Football Federation. The new season kicks off in April of every year, and runs until early November. There are no games in winter because of the harsh climate. From 2005 until 2011, the league was sponsored by the telecommunications operator LMT, naming the league LMT Virslīga. In 2012 the league was reorganised in partnership with the NGO "Latvijas Futbola virslīga", adopting the NGO's name. Before the current season in March 2013, the league signed a sponsorship deal with the microfinancing company SMScredit.lv and acquired its current name SMScredit.lv Virslīga.
From the first season back in 1991 to 2007, there were eight clubs in the Virslīga. During the course of the season each club played all the other clubs four times, twice at their home stadium and twice at that of their opponents, completing a total of 28 games.
After the 2007 season the league increased from eight to ten sides. In 2008 each side played the others four times.
In 2009 the league was played in four rounds with nine clubs. Each clubs played the others four times, twice at their home stadium and twice at that of their opponents. With the withdrawal of one club, FK Vindava, a total of 32 games were played. For the 2010 season, each club played the other nine clubs three times, for a total of 27 games.
At the end of the season, the lowest placed team are automatically relegated into Traffic 1. liga, and the winner of the Traffic 1. liga automatically takes their place. The second lowest placed team in Virslīga and the second team of 1. liga play two matches for a place in the Virslīga the following season. The winner of Virslīga, the champion of Latvia, plays in the UEFA Champions League qualifying round. The second and third placed clubs play in the UEFA Cup qualifying games.
* Virslīga championships (total Latvian football championships)
Up to 1927, the winners of the First Division of the Football League were the Latvian football champions.
From 1945 till 1991, the winners of the First Division of the Football League were the Latvian SSR football champions.