Introducing the New WFTDA Rankings Platform Part 3: The Rankings Conundrum

With great thanks to Michael Watson of Rainy City Roller Derby, the WFTDA has been working to build a new and dynamic system to host rankings and game data, scheduled for initial release June 5, 2019. As we work towards this release date, we wanted to give you access to the new site, previews of the pages and more over the next two weeks. We’ll be releasing a series of five introduction articles highlighting the work and the features we will be debuting in 2019 and beyond. Here’s the third article in the series, written by Michael. Part 1, Part 2

A large question we had to answer was: how do we introduce live rankings to the community, but still keep the concept of monthly rankings intact? Monthly rankings are used for weights calculations, and so to simply change to live rankings overnight would cause too much of a sudden change.

We also knew old data had to be preserved as it was displayed to the public—we can’t go about changing history, and that data is precious. So we devised a method where can run both: a new system for the rankings team to easily publish monthly rankings when they are ready, while also giving live rankings to the public alongside, in beta. This way, league weights will continue to be updated monthly, for the sake of calculating game points, but the power of live rankings as a fan engagement tool, to see immediate impact of results on rankings, can be launched right away.

In order to really get the most out of live rankings in the future, we need to have a consistent method for WFTDA to be verifying and submitting results as quickly and reliably as possible. We long for the day in the future where our systems are so tight, every single sanctioned game ends up published on the site at the official final whistle. For the time being, we’ll be running some trials on this.

We’re setting up some special showcase Live Rankings Weekends in the near future. We’re setting up internal processes ready for instant submission of results, so that fans will immediately see changes to rankings and see information show up on site. We’ll be using these events as a learning period, to see how submitting results instantly works, what kind of obstacles it throws up, and how we can manage this universally in the future.

Got more questions about the new WFTDA rankings platform? We’re hosting another Twitter AMA with Michael TOMORROW –  Wednesday, May 22 at 2:00 p.m. EDT (7:00 p.m. BST, 11:00 a.m. PDT) live on the WFTDA twitter. Follow the hashtag #AskWFTDA to ask questions and join the conversation.