Published on May 3rd, 2012 | by Riff Reff0
ERDC? Qu’est-ce que c’est?
European Roller Derby Central is (and we are proud to say) THE central point of information about European Leagues, events and scores. Why? Because they make it work.
The core of ERDC is the list of leagues and a ranking system that allows you to find the best match when you are asking yourself which teams you should play against. If that league has a representative registered you can contact them directly by clicking on the league on the list.
Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? But let us take you back:
How did it all start?
In early 2010 Euroderby.org was released after a discussion at the first European Roller Derby Organizational Conference (EROC) in Berlin in december 2009 about creating a central point of information about derby in Europe.
The inspiration was born of the need for connecting the European scene for a longer period than a weekend in January. Instead of searching different websites for other European leagues there should be a place to connect with other leagues, see where they are at and find out about derby events. That’s when I offered to throw in my experience in web design and start a website to provide a central point of information. For a while it has served its purpose, but being a one person operation, especially in the last 10-12 months, it became impossible to keep up with collecting the data about new and existing leagues, bouts and events. Europe simply exploded. France for example went from 3 to 30 leagues within 12 months.
It was in August 2011, when Major Madness (with Ruhrpott Roller Derby in Essen) and myself were in Toulouse, France for a Tournament. We were standing on the balcony of Slash Gordon’s place and had a conversation about Roller Derby in Europe. We talked about how hard it is to find opponents, find out how good a team is and how to get in contact with other leagues. It was a great discussion about the website euroderby.org and Roller Derby in Europe. We started talking about what a table or ranking system in Roller Derby could look like.
Being officials, we approved from the beginning that it should be something based on pure facts. Nothing including a personal opinion, but also nothing based on something so complex nobody can understand. We talked about the different levels of teams and if it would be possible to display that – e.g. a team that just started loses but plays really well against a team with 3 years experience? We started playing around with numbers, scores and bout stats. The problem we needed to solve was that in Europe a lot of teams play teams of totally different levels.
The big issue is always how to get the ranking position into your calculation. To simplify this we came up with divisions. The teams are divided into 4 groups, based on experience and past performance. In order to consider the strength of opposition we basically require a higher division team to double the score of a lower division team for a “win” in this ranking.
Let us say a team from Division 1 plays against a Division 2 team. Team1 wins with 230 : 108. We multiply the lower division team’s score with the division difference +1 and have now a “relative score”. We use this relative score to make bouts more comparable, also to award teams taking on a strong opposition and equalise it with teams playing mostly weaker teams with large margins. You get extra points for simply playing a higher division team. Sounds weird? Yes, but it works.
We thought “this should be it.”A system based on pure facts. But the question was if it would be possible to make this work?
A few months later, Major Madness thought about it again and how it would be possible to realise. He started the first tests with actual bout data. He says he laughed out loud when he found out it worked. The teams we thought would be best were on top in each division. So the first plans came up in how to publish it? Should we make an add on for euroderby.org? Should we make something separate or build ERDC completely new? The last idea is sometimes times the best idea and so we started to think further:
What can a site for European Roller Derby look like? What is missing at the moment and what will be needed?
Communication: The key in officiating is the key for Derby and only if we all work together we can achieve something! We decided: Let it be a platform for everyone. let the leagues build it with us. Don’t do the work for them, let them be part of it!
The idea was born, we knew we needed a calendar, a possibility to submit scores, an edit area for the leagues and of course the same, but with more rights for country reps, so if Roller Derby grows someone can help us. It took a while until we were ready to present it the first time in public at EROC 2012. The reactions were overwhelming. The people there loved it and most worries we had (they will kill us, they take it apart and hate the idea) didn’t come true. Everyone understood our approach to have a ranking not for the mere purpose of “we are better than you” but for orientation in growing number of teams.
Now it was clear: We wanted to release it as soon as possible and the busy days started: Fixing bugs, translating messages, clear output and get additional features like the map working. Two weeks and 2 days later it was finished! ERDC v2 was released. Today in April we have more than 200 Leagues are listed and roughly 180 league reps registered.
That is awesome. But not every league has registered a representative to take care of the league’s info and scores. So there is still some drumming to do. ERDC is now a literal DIY approach to get Europe together.
Therefore I conclude by appealing to the European roller derby community: Only you can make this work!
Is your league on there? If not, register a league rep and then submit your info. Also we need your scores or you won’t get in the ranking. We are not a news site any more, we are a platform, we’re not looking up scores any more. If the data does not come from you, it’s not there! If you have trouble finding out how to do it, use the FAQs. You will find step by step instruction there.
For the moment we are quite happy with how it’s going, but we really need all of you to make this work (I know I am repeating myself, but you know…).
Keep it coming European Derby!