It’s been a while since I last posted. While a lot has been happening, I wanted to highlight one thing on particular. The list of roller derby leagues that used to live in a spreadsheet is now available as a website.


This will make it easier to find and easier for me to update since everything is now housed in a database.  Three cheers for databases!

Here’s a list of the tools and tech used to build the site…

  • Ghost was used for the blog portion. While I’m more familiar with WordPress, I opted for Ghost to try something new, and because it’s a bit more lightweight than WordPress. I modified the free theme Purple Slimer.
  • jqGrid was used for the list display. I tried DataTables first, and while it resulted in a more aesthetically pleasing grid/table, I found jqGrid’s logic easier for me to grasp and manipulate. It does appear that jqGrid is changing a bit (and changing names to Guriddo) so I do need to make sure the new version fits my needs.  And I plan on testing jqWidgets‘ grid at some point.
  • mySQL was used for the database. I don’t particularly love mySQL, but my host offers support for it so I just went with that. It’s also easy to use, despite it’s quirks.  I tried SQLite, but it required a bit more effort to make my data model work the way I wanted.
  • PHP was used to connect to the database and convert the results into JSON so that they could be displayed in the grid.

That’s the big stuff.

Special thanks to Chris Bojanower for allowing me to use the great photo on the site.

Roller Derby List of Leagues

It’s no secret that I’m a data nerd.  I also enjoy roller derby. Recently I was asked the question…  How many roller derby leagues are there?  Well, I couldn’t give a definitive answer because the most often quoted resource for this sort of info hadn’t been updated in months.

So I set out to update it the best I could.  The resulting comprehensive list of roller derby league can be found here.  Granted, with a sport that is growing as fast as roller derby it’s impossible to stay ahead of it all, but I do my best.