NLL Stats: now available to everyone

In the past, we’ve all had to rely on the NLL’s web site to get statistics on the players and teams and such. They’ve changed providers a number of times so it seems that every year, we get a different view of those stats. Sometimes things that used to be there aren’t there anymore, and it’s also sometimes difficult to find stuff.

No more! Presenting nllstats.com, a new way to find all of your favourite NLL stats. This site contains as much information as is available from every game, season, team, and player in NLL history.

I’ve tried to make the site as “logical” as possible, so you can click on a team or player name and go to the team or player page (a general page or specific to a season, depending on context). Many tables are sortable by clicking on the column header (click again to reverse the sort), and I’ve separated regular season and playoff data.

It’s even mobile-friendly, as some columns in various tables are not shown on a mobile device. I haven’t done a ton of work on that though, so it may need cleaning up a bit. I also haven’t spent a ton of time making it pretty. It’s not bad but there are probably professional UI designers out there cringing and saying “Ooooh, I wouldn’t have done it like that“.

I started working on this site back in September of this year, so it’s taken me about three months to get it working as it is. Some of that time was spent writing automated tests that are run before I publish any changes to make sure that anything I add doesn’t break something else. But the idea of the site came about over ten years ago when I started writing the Money Ballers column for IL Indoor. To generate the numbers for those columns, and then eventually for @NLLFactOfTheDay, blog posts here, and my Stats Central column on IL Indoor, I created a bunch of web pages. Those web pages were not available on the internet, just on my local laptop, so only I had access to them. More details about that (somewhat out of date but still mostly correct) are in these articles I wrote back in 2013: Part I and Part II.

Image of nllstats.com

Over the next decade, I added more and more pages summarizing the data in different ways. I’d think about a simple question like “who has the most loose balls?” and then create pages to answer related questions – who has the most loose balls in one season? In one game? What about from 2000-2010, or some other arbitrary time period? What about only players on one particular team? What about their loose balls per game average? What about rookies? OK, now what about all those same questions but for goals? And points? And face-off percentage? And saves?

Because all of the data was on my local machine only, and in a database format (SAP SQL Anywhere) that wasn’t very popular among internet providers, I knew I couldn’t make a public version of my web pages. So I could get to the data, but nobody else could. I tried to let it be known that this information was there for the asking, and I did get lots of requests from various writers, broadcasters, and fans, and I’m always happy to oblige. A few times I’d receive a twitter DM from a broadcaster during a game they were working: “Hey Graeme, what’s the record for <whatever>?”. I’d answer it and then hear the answer later in the broadcast, frequently with a “thanks to Graeme Perrow for this information”. I have to say as someone who doesn’t officially work in the industry, getting a shoutout by name on a TSN broadcast is pretty damn cool.

In February of 2022, someone asked me about NFL Scorigami and suggested that I create an NLL version, which I did. To do that on a public site, I had to export the data that was needed into files that could be read by the web site, since I knew I wouldn’t have access to my local database. All I needed were the teams, scores, and dates of all the games, which I exported into a JSON file (about 500 KB) so I could read it from Javascript. That turned out to be pretty easy. After that, I wondered if I could do the same with everything else and despite having a lot more data (over 40 MB), that turned out to be pretty easy as well. Creating the site wasn’t bad once I had a handle on how to read the data and how I could manoeuvre through the pages without having to reload the data every time, which would have made the site unusably slow.

So basically, the site took me three months to create after taking ten years to design.

Right now, the site just has pages for each player, each season that player played in, each team, each season that team played in, league standings for each season, and each game. I plan on adding many new pages. If you find missing or incorrect information, or if you find things that don’t work the way you expect them to, or if some piece of information is confusing or misleading, or if you have suggestions or requests for future pages, or if you just want to give me positive or negative feedback, you can hit me up on twitter or send email to graeme at nllstats dot com.

As I said, negative feedback is welcome, but please try and make it constructive, i.e. be specific on what you don’t like and if possible, tell me what I could do to make it better. Sending me a message saying “the <whatever> page isn’t very clear and has this piece of information but not this other piece, which would really help” or “I clicked on this link and it took me to the <whatever> page but I was expecting this other page” is helpful – these are constructive and things that I can act on. Telling me “ur site sucks” is useless.

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