Welcome to the Blog Party!

This is my blog. There are many like it, but this one is mine…

Hey everyone, it’s Jukes. I just want to welcome you all to the blog party. I’ve wanted to start a blog for a while now. However, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to write about, or if I had anything worthwhile to share. All I really knew, was that I enjoyed writing. I would never classify myself as a writer; I would say that I’m the kind of person who often ends up sharing advise and making people laugh via email or text. Ultimately, I always knew I wanted to write about something positive, and wanted to share that positivity with other people.

I see starting a blog as an opportunity for personal growth. It’s a chance to hear from people with similar or differing opinions, to either solidify or broaden my way of thinking. This is also an opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, and try something new. Lastly, writing is a necessary skill to have, and a great way to get better at it, is to do it often.

Along with that, this is a chance for me to see if blogging is even my jam. I’ve never been able to maintain a journal as a kid or even as an adult. And blogging is like a public version of that (so what in the world am I doing??). Right now I’ve scheduled myself to post every two weeks. Figured, I would start out slow and see how it feels. Every two weeks sounds doable, right? Well, we’re about to find out together.

In the end, my goal with this blog is to spread the love of roller derby. As well as, help connect the derby community. Richard Hurton, has put together a really neat site, and I hope this blog will help bring more attention to it. Honestly, this database is the bees knees, and it really excites me to help it grow. I truly love this sport. It has helped shape me into the person I am today, and I’m pretty darn happy with the human I am now. I hope you find my random derby musings entertaining, and at times informative. Stay derby weird, friends. -Jukes

PS: Please note, that my opinions held here, within this blog post and all future blog posts, are just that, my opinions. If you disagree with anything I say, please feel free to engage in respectful dialogue in the comment section below. I can also be reached at jukes@derbylisting.com. Thanks for joining me on my blog-venture!!

We Got Goals Y’all

Hello everyone, It’s Jukes and Richard again. As promised, at the end of Jukes’ About Me post, we’re back to give you all the low down on what some of our goals are at DerbyListing. First off, it is important for you all to know what the purpose is at DerbyListing.com.

DerbyListing is dedicated to providing skaters with an up to date list of all of the roller derby teams in the world. We strive to be a resource that skaters can use for their own analytical curiosities and research purposes. By doing so, we hope to foster a more connected roller derby community. 

A few goals that fall in line with this purpose are:

  • Maintain our list of derby teams (adding/retiring teams as needed)

  • Provide an easy to use interface

  • Promote our resource to the derby community

So we have listed our purpose and our goals, but now you probably want to know how we intend to live up to these standards. We’ve worked on getting ourselves organized and back on track over the last few weeks. We finally found time to power through a list of 129 possible new teams to add to the website, and will begin to add them to The List. As far as retiring teams, it’s a little overwhelming to think about scrubbing a list of 1,900+ teams every month. As a result, we are breaking The List down into bite size chunks and will conduct monthly scrubs on a smaller scale. As we scrub sections of the list we will announce updates/changes.

We are currently looking into ways to enhance the website’s visual appeal, and are always looking for ways to improve the general users experience. We ran a few tests for some of our ideas, but have not found what will work best for our site just yet. We will continue to research and will certainly share it, with you all, once we find the right fit for us.

Like with any good product, it’s of no use to anyone, if no one knows it exists. For this reason, we are trying to increase our social media presence. To help, we are going to announce all website updates on our Facebook page. To diversify, we started an Instagram page, where roller derby teams have a strong presence. We are also going to add a blog to our website. These steps will allow us to connect with the derby community on a greater scale and hopefully increase visitor feedback on The List. Visitor feedback on the status of teams is massively helpful and appreciated!

We hope this post was informative, and gave you all a better idea of what we are working towards here, at DerbyListing.com.

With Derby Love,
Team DerbyListing

About Me: The Jukes on You

Hello! I’m Jukes, and I’ve teamed up with Richard Hurton to help spread the word about the wonderful world of Roller Derby and to assist in giving you all an up to date and useful product. Richard has poured his heart and soul into making the most detailed and most inclusive list of roller teams from all over the world, and he does it because he enjoys doing it. I’m ridiculously excited to work on this project with him and hope it brings more connectivity and positivity to the derby community.

So, as titled, here’s a little about me. I first heard of roller derby back when the movie Whip It came out. Yep, I was one of those people that heard “roller derby” and immediately thought of Whip It. I will not lie though, I absolutely loved that movie; however, I could have been blinded by my massive crush on Ellen Paige. Either way, I’m still a huge fan of the movie.

Fast forward to 2011, (FYI, Whip It, came out in 2009) when I had my second encounter with roller derby. I was a week away from graduating college in New York when I saw a flyer for a roller derby bout. Unfortunately, the game was scheduled the weekend after my graduation and I was leaving the state right after the ceremony. I kept the flyer though. It really tugged at me that I was not able to attend.

It wasn’t until moving to Washington state, (I have learned to clarify state versus D.C.) in May of 2012, that I had my first opportunity to see live roller derby. It…was…awesome. I went to my first practice two days later and have been a part of roller derby ever since. We have such a unique community filled with endless diversity, and this fuels my motivation to reach out and connect with skaters around the globe.

Those of you, who are regulars to the site and the Facebook page may have noticed a few changes. Bare with us. We’re trying a few thing out and are working a few things to get the database updated and get the word out. Ultimately, we are striving to give you all the best product possible. Stay tuned for a future post that will outline some of the changes and goals we have here at DerbyListing.

Stay derby weird, peeps. – Jukes

Welcome to DerbyListing.com

The main feature here at DerbyListing.com is the list of roller derby leagues. It’s been quite a bit of work and a lot of fun to put this together. I hope you find it useful and enjoyable.

Using the List

A few tips on how to use the list. If you have any questions on usage, feel free to post them in the comments.

  • Filtering: There is a filter box at the top of each column. The text you enter into a box will filter the list by that column.
    • Example 1: if you want to see all of the “A“dult “W“omen’s leagues. Enter “A” in the AGES column, then Enter “W” in the GENDERS column.
    • Example 2: Let’s say you want to see a list of all the roller derby teams in the Bío Bío region of Argentina. Enter “Argentina” in the COUNTRY column, then enter “Bío Bío” in the REGION column. Or you could skip filtering the country and just enter the region.
  • Adding Leagues: If you know of a new league that isn’t on the list, you can click on the Add New League button. Enter the appropriate information in the boxes, then click the Submit button. The information will be verified and approved prior to appearance on the list.
  • Updating Leagues: If you see something incorrect about a league, you can click on the league you want to edit, then click on the Edit Selected League button. Enter the appropriate information in the boxes, then click the Submit button. The information will be verified and approved prior to appearance on the list.
    • To Report a league as inactive, click on the league you want to report as inactive, then click on the Edit Selected League button. Enter a date in the LEAGUE END DATE box, then click the Submit button.
  • Exporting the List: Click on the Export List to Excel button and you will be prompted to save a file to your computer. This functionality does not work with Internet Explorer. If you want the file, I recommend using Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. If you filter the list prior to exporting, it will only export the filtered list.
Gathering the Data

I first started compiling this data because I was looking for an accurate count of roller derby leagues. The main resource at the time was a wonderful website that you may be familiar with… Derby Roster. I can’t count the number of times I referred to Derby Roster prior to putting together my own list.

I started to notice that some of the leagues listed were, in fact, disbanded. As I encountered more of the disbanded leagues, I decided to compile my own list.

I meticulously checked each league’s website or Facebook page to determine if they were still active. Once I had winnowed the list down to just the active ones, I set out to search for any other active leagues that might have been missed. I used data from several sites to help find missing leagues. Unfortunately, I kept encountering the same problem. Leagues that had disbanded, but that were listed as active.

Ultimately, I settled on using Google, Facebook, and country-specific lists to find new leagues. Even the country-specific lists had disbanded leagues listed.

Unfortunately, many lists are buried in Facebook groups or obscure blogs. (And if anyone knows of an accurate and up to date list for Mexico… I’m all ears.) As I gathered more of these resources, I felt confident that my list was the most up to date and accurate survey of roller derby leagues in the world.

Inactive Leagues

The final tricky bit is maintaining the list to weed out any leagues that have disbanded. Unfortunately, I can’t simply rely on leagues to inform everyone that they are no longer active. My current method relies heavily on Facebook.

Using the Facebook API, I check each leagues Facebook Page for the most recent post. If the post is within the last three months, the league is kept active. If the post is older than three months, I contact the league to see if they are still active. If there is no response, I assume the league is inactive. If there is a response, I use the information provided to determine whether the league is active.

There are some downsides to using Facebook for this. The main one is that not all leagues use Facebook. Additionally, there is a subset of leagues that are on Facebook but don’t have Facebook Pages. However, for the handful of leagues that don’t use Facebook Pages, it’s usually not too difficult to contact them directly for information.

I hope now that the list is up and running I will be able to crowdsource the data, but I’ll always fall back to the old tried true methods just to make sure.

Credits

Cover Photo: That super awesome photo comes to us from Chris Bojanower who is based in Utah.

Logo: That sweet, sweet logo comes to us from Taela Yaletchko who is a skater with Jet City.

About Me: Richard Hurton

I am Richard Hurton. Well, that’s my current derby name, at least.

I first heard about the resurgence of roller derby around 2003 via the Comedy Central show Insomniac with Dave Attell. I honestly didn’t think much of it. Looked like fun, but there wasn’t any roller derby in my town so I promptly forgot about it.

Then in 2006 my partner and I moved to the MidWest. She had reconnected with a highschool friend (thanks, Facebook) who conveniently lived at the half way point for the cross country move. I only mention this friend, because she was gung ho for roller derby, and was a skater on her local team. It got my partner excited to learn more about roller derby. Unfortunately, the small town we moved to didn’t have roller derby… so after a short while, I forgot all about it… again.

In 2009 we found ourselves moving again. This time to Salt Lake City. Prior to moving I had made contact with a person in SLC via LiveJournal (oh how I miss LiveJournal). She and her partner just happened to be the announcers for the local roller derby team (Salt City Derby Girls). Through them we finally made it to our first derby bout! A little late to the party, but at least we made it.

We went to a few more bouts, but 2009 was a tumultuous year for roller derby in Salt Lake City. The local league split. Out of that split emerged Wasatch Roller Derby (WRD). Alongside WRD a recreational league started, The Red Rockettes. By coincidence one of the founders of the rec league happened to be one of the first people we met in Salt Lake City.

In 2010/2011 my partner decided that she would give recreational roller derby a go. I, in full support of my partner, volunteered to NSO. And thus began our deep dive into roller derby.

My original roller derby name was Unkle Sammich. Later, I decided to complement my partner’s derby name, Liz Tailher; so I changed my derby name to Richard Hurton. If you still don’t get the connection, google “Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton”.

In 2012 I started researching derby leagues around the world. I wanted to get a better idea of how many leagues played under the different rulesets. That research eventually resulted in this website.

–Richard Hurton