More than a year ago, we published two articles [Pt1, Pt2], using the Flat Track Stats dataset to visualise how Roller Derby has become both more International, but also, more importantly, more Connected over time.
We thought that it was a good time to revisit this, and see what 2016 looks like for international derby communities. With the Japan Open, and many big events in Europe, we expect to see that the connectivity of Women’s Roller Derby in particular is increased.
In fact, the situation does seem similar to, but a little better, than 2015. Whilst there are 18 separate groups, all but one are pretty tiny (we show them in a slideshow below), consisting of only a few, mostly new, leagues each. As before, we are colour coding the nodes –Red is USA, Blue is Canada, Green: Europe, Cyan: Australia, Purple: New Zealand, Yellow the Asia-Pacific, and White: South America.
By far the overwhelming majority of Women’s Leagues are linked in the single largest Group, containing over 1200 teams!
Men’s Roller Derby is a surprisingly different matter. We see only three groups of Men’s leagues in the FTS dataset… and each of them is significant and geographically localised. The largest represents North American Men’s Derby, and the other two European and Pacific derby respectively – unlike Women’s Roller Derby, there are no other isolated elements at all! (We expect that MRDA Champs will finally link the three groups, resulting in a single Group containing all of Men’s Roller Derby, worldwide!)
It’s much less common, but Men’s and Women’s teams do play each other. If we rerun our connectivity analysis including bouts between gendered team classes, we find that something surprising happens: both North American and Pacific Men’s Derby classes have links to the dominant group of Women’s teams, but there’s no such relationship between Men’s European Derby.
As a result, out of the 19 Groups of connected leagues in the world, the largest is the majority of both men’s and women’s derby, and the second largest is the entirety of European Men’s Roller Derby! This first, uber group is reproduced below:
(We’re a little perturbed by the lack of South American teams in the FTS dataset – obviously, we can only work with the data available to us, but as far as we can tell, no Men’s South American teams did anything in 2016, according to FTS?)
On the next page, we’ll do something else with this data…