Click the image above to visit the online version of our latest Brighton Rockers fanzine. This issue was published on the 7th March 2020 for a triple header at the Dolphin in Haywards Heath. The Rockers A and B-teams took on challenge side Team Unicorn, whilst third team C-Side had a 30 minute exhibition game against some skaters from Eastbourne Roller Derby. Check out the magazine for an interview with BRATS Player Of The Year Cake Or Death, four C-team debutants and more. Huge thanks to all of our lovely interviewees, photographers and advertisers.
**ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS OF THE BRATS AWARDS 2019**
Your votes have been counted, the certificates have been printed and the badges have arrived. Due to a clerical error the manufacturers actually made two of each badge, so our lucky winners will be able to wear one at all times, whilst supergluing the other to their fridge or pet. There were so many awesome performances last year, but we can only give out a handful of awards, so who done winned? Find out below… (PS winners please get in touch so we can arrange to get the shiny things to you. Cheerses.)
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: CAKE OR DEATH
Remarkably this is Rockers mainstay Cake’s first BRATS Award – well, apart from the ‘Most Voted For’ consolation prize in 2017. It was a landslide as she picked up around 90% of the vote, leaving everyone else trailing after a barnstorming year on track.
JAMMER OF THE YEAR: KAPOW!
Last year’s Player of the Year has to make do with the Jammer gong this time out. The likes of Skate Bush, Go Go Gozer and Deathblade picked up a fair few votes here, but Kapow finished in front of the chasing pack.
BLOCKER OF THE YEAR: FELLEN E ASSAULT
One of the most keenly contested categories with eight different skaters picking up votes. There were strong showings from Hairy Fairy, Gozer and others, but last year’s winner Fellen edged ahead to retain the title.
B-TEAMER OF THE YEAR: GOLDIBLOCKS
A very close contest for our Rockerbillies award for 2019 saw Goldiblocks finishing a single vote ahead of tied second place Pina Collider and Skates Of Wrath.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: JOADICEA
As with Cake’s victory for the Player award, this one was almost unanimous with Joadicea comprehensively triumphing in the BRATS ‘Class of 2019’ rookie contest.
ICON OF THE YEAR: FINN McCRUEL
In last year’s Icon poll, Finn lost out by just half a vote to Hairy Fairy. This year saw the same two duking it out, but this was Finn’s turn to triumph (by a marginally more emphatic whole vote)!
OFFICIAL OF THE YEAR: SEZ WHO?
It was an NSO versus ref tussle in this category, which swiftly became a straight fight between last year’s winner Hissing Hellcat and 2019’s eventual victor Sez Who?
OTHER OF THE YEAR: JOHN HESSE
Announcers, photographers, bench crew and more battled it out in this category. Remarkably it’s the first time picture king John Hesse has won the gong. In the interests of family harmony we won’t mention that Kira came second.
MOST VOTED FOR: HAIRY FAIRY
With several people picking up votes in multiple categories, this special prize goes to the person who picked up the most votes in total without actually winning anything (except this). This year it’s Hairy.
FRIEND OF BRATS: MR SÉAMUS
We’ve finally got round to awarding our annual ‘services to BRATS’ award to Mr Séamus, who has paid for adverts in all 27 issues of our fanzine despite having nothing to advertise. Cheers millionsly Sir.
The people of Tottenham might not be fans of Brighton-based sports teams at present (some 3-0 football thing a few days ago, apparently) but the mighty Rockers are heading to that very enclave of North London this Saturday to take on their chums the London Rockin’ Rollers. This event, which also features the LRR B-team vs Dorset B, is taking place at Tottenham Green Pools & Fitness. Doors are at 2pm with tickets available online (£12 adults, £6 kids) from the link down below.
The Rockers game will be the first one up at around 2.30. So is this sporting event going to finish 3-0 to Brighton too? Er, no. That’s a modest score for a single jam (of which there are usually about 43.6 in a derby game) rather than a whole contest. There are likely to be HUNDREDS of goals (points) in this one, so come along and see which side gets the mostest. It really could go either way. Eek!
We at BRATS have been to this venue for LRG games and even (for some reason) LRR training, but never an actual LRR home game, so we can’t speak for the facilities, stalls, food, drink etc in the hall. We can say it’s an easy enough few minutes walk (or a minute or so on one of the many regular buses) north from Seven Sisters tube, which is a short hop from Victoria on the Victoria line, so there’s no reason at all for everyone in Sussex not to turn up. You can even do some Extinction Rebellioning on your way home, yeah?
[SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON’T WANNA KNOW]
The world of educated guesses (but still guesses) that is flattrackstats.com has the Rockers placed 294th in WFTDA and LRR at 345th. Despite being the visitors, Brighton are given 68% chance of victory here, although the 11:9 differential suggests a pretty close (165-145, say) away win. The day’s other game sees visitors Dorset B (199th in Europe) given 76% chance of seeing off LRR B (290th) with the predicted differential of 37:26 suggesting a 185-130 Dorset win. NB Predictions are as often wrong as right. The only way to know for sure is to come and watch the games!
VARIOUS FOLKS FROM BRIGHTON ROCKERS SAY…
The Rockers know LRR quite well. How does that change your approach compared to playing against complete strangers?
In some ways we can relax because we know they’re a lovely league and always fun to play against. However, we know that rosters can vary a lot in a year, so we can’t know exactly what to expect in terms of gameplay. We just have to work hard during training to make sure that we all know our own strategies inside out, as well as always having a Plan B and a Plan C up our sleeves. We have heavy sleeves!
Any particular players or tactics to look out for?
From us Rockers, Lazy Jo. From LRR, we’re not looking out for anything as we’ll just concentrate on playing our own game.
Care to predict the result?
Our last game against LRR was super close [a 227-184 loss in a scores released closed door] so we’re expecting another nail-biter, but this time we will have some more points than they, oh yes.
You’re back on the road two weeks later for a big tournament in Hull. Any advantages or disadvantages to away trips in quick succession?
Luckily London is not that far, so travel wise all is good. It’s also great to be playing a tough game a couple of weeks before a multi-team tournament, so we can see what areas we need to focus on leading up to Hull.
Finally, any message for the Rockers fans in Tottenham this Saturday?
We love you!
AGENT COOPER FROM LONDON ROCKIN’ ROLLERS SAYS…
Hi LRR. Who the hell are you?
We’re a London-based roller derby league and one of the oldest leagues in Europe. We played in the UK’s very first interleague scrimmage and Europe’s first interleague bout. Yeah, we’re that old! We celebrated our tenth birthday last year with an event including a super fun old school rules game – pivot starts, remember them? We have two fantastic travel teams and a (W)Rec(k) league with their own travel team. We regularly run beginners rookie courses, so if you’re interested in starting to play roller derby in London, come and say hi!
You’ve had quite strong links with the Rockers over the years, being their WFTDA mentor league etc. Does that affect your approach to the game?
Our history with Brighton goes right back to the start with LRR legend The Mighty Mighty Bash helping to set up the Rockers and later transferring to skate there. We’ve not played against Brighton since June 2018 [the closed door sanctioned game mentioned above] and it’s been too long. Being their WFTDA mentor league doesn’t affect games at all. It was a pleasure to mentor them and it’s always a pleasure to play them too.
Any players or tactics the crowd should look out for? Care to predict the result?
With a fair few of our current A-team injured we’re bringing some exciting new talent into the mix; superstar jammer Slammer And Sickle is one you’ll want to keep an eye on, and new Allstar blocker Stings Like Abbie will make life difficult for the Brighton jammers. We predict it’ll be a corker.
Any thoughts on the day’s other game (LRR B vs Dorset B)?
We’re incredibly proud of our Badasses. They’ve been kicking butt and their attitude on the bench is always amazing. They’ve been working very hard and we’re so excited to see them take on Dorset.
Finally, what can Rockers fans expect from your venue, event and the day in general?
Expect a bloody nice game of roller derby.
[Photo by John Hesse]
FB EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/732910307158765/
Oops we did another one! Turn Left is a fanzine (now in trifold A3 brochure format) dedicated to the awesomes Brighton Rockers roller derby league. Click above to view Issue 27 online. This mag was published on the 21st September 2019 for an event at the Dolphin in Haywards Heath where the Brighton Rockers took on Limerick Roller Derby and the B-team Rockerbillies faced Bristol Bees. As well as previewing the games, this issue includes an interview with Slap Dash and Hippy Hippy Skate, celebrating their birthday and last game respectively (Hippy is moving to London Rockin’ Rollers). We also have recollections on the B-team’s recent tournament success at Eastbourne Extreme. If you’re after a physical copy of the mag there are a few on the flyer shelves in Brighton’s Evening Star and Bierhaus pubs. Huge thanks to all our lovely interviewees, photographers and advertisers.
The mighty Brighton Rockers are back in action in Haywards Heath this Saturday (21st Sept) against teams from the West of both Ireland and England. The A-team take on Limerick Roller Derby then the B-team face their Bristol Roller Derby equivalents. True fact: if you draw a straight line on a map from the centre of Limerick to the centre of Brighton it passes right through the centre of Bristol. But we digress… Doors are at 2pm with the A-team game kicking off half an hour later, followed by the Bs just after 4.30pm. It’s Slap Dash’s birthday and Hippy Hippy Skate’s last game before transferring to the London Rockin’ Rollers, so expect a super special day. Tickets are £8 online from the link at the bottom of this piece or £9.50 on the door. Students and Compass Card holders pay £7 and under 12s go free.
If you’ve never been to the Dolphin before it’s crazy easy to get to. Car users can point their Sat Nav at RH16 1LY. Train folks will find the leisure centre seven minutes walk from Haywards Heath station (turn left and follow the signs) and this weekend is free from engineering works yay! There’s a decent enough pub, the Burrell Arms, opposite the station and a large Sainsbury’s with ATMs halfway to the venue. There should be a bottle bar, cakes, merch, a raffle and more in the sports hall, with a cafe and vending machines in the foyer. The after party will be back in Brighton at the games packed World’s End.
PREDICTIONS [Skip this paragraph if you don’t want to know]
Flattrackstats’ own (non official) WFTDA rankings place A-team competitors Brighton 295th and Limerick 373rd. The hosts are given 92% chance of victory with a differential of 56:29. This means the Rockers will need to get almost double Limerick’s points total to improve their ranking, whilst anything substantially less will benefit the visitors. The B-team match is predicted to be closer with the Rockerbillies 261st in Europe and Bristol Bees 274th. Brighton B are given 62% chance of victory and are expected to score 15 points for every 13 from Bristol. This suggests a fairly narrow (20 points or so) overall victory margin, which is super close in derby. Bear in mind that the prediction computer gets it wrong as often as it gets it right. The only real way to know how the games are gonna play out it is to be there watching them.
“The A-team won 173-157 in Limerick in 2017. It will be interesting to see how things have changed for both teams over the past two years. I’m expecting a challenge, but I’ve also heard they’re a great league to play against, so I can’t wait. In the B-team game we’re expecting to face a strong Bristol side. From our perspective, three victories at Eastbourne Extreme has boosted everyone’s confidence and the Rockerbillies are hungry for more success.”
SLAP DASH, BRIGHTON ROCKERS
“The 2017 match was a challenging game at the time and a very close one at that. Brighton won by 16 points, so we’re definitely not going to underestimate the Rockers. All of the Limerick skaters are forces to be reckoned with, every player bringing their unique strengths and skills to the game, so we’re ready and prepared for this rematch.”
LIMERICK ROLLER DERBY
“Our Beehive is constantly changing with some Bees being promoted to the A-team and new bees coming from drop in, but as a good beehive we work as a team and always aim to look after each other and have fun. The only thing we can predict is a tough game from the Rockerbillies. We’ll be digging deep, getting low and most importantly having fun on track.”
BRISTOL ROLLER DERBY
[Photo by John Hesse]
FB EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/403414430300795/
And we’re back! We said we’d put out publications for special events and what could be more special than a Brighton Rockers Brighton Fringe double header? Turn Left is a fanzine dedicated to the awesomes Brighton Rockers roller derby league. Click above for the online edition. This issue sees us switch to a new format (A3 trifold leaflet) which doesn’t it lend itself so well to online posting. Just imagine it folded in three with these two pages being the front and back of an A3 sheet. This issue was published on the 1st June 2019 for an event at the Dolphin in Haywards Heath where the Brighton Rockers took on Glasgow Roller Derby in both A and B-team games. As well as previewing the games, this issue includes an interview with Go Go Gozer, a fantasy Fringe programme, recollections of the Rockers’ recent games in Holland, and much (a bit) more. Huge thanks to all our lovely interviewees, photographers and advertisers.
This Saturday (1st June) Haywards Heath plays host to what is to date the most long-awaited rematch in Brighton Rockers history. It was way back on the 20th April 2013 that the Rockers took on Glasgow Roller Derby up in Scotland. That’s a gap between home and away A-team open door games of a whopping 2,233 days. By way of contrast, the next longest wait for a hosting rematch was the 1,358 days between away (March 2012) and home (Nov 2015) games against Belgium’s GO-GO Gent. This is followed by 882 days v Rockcity Rollers who Brighton met in Eindhoven a few weeks ago. Vienna comes next at 588 days, with Brighton’s other home and away A-team opponents, Cambridge, Portsmouth and Dublin, all seeing gaps of less than a year.
So this Saturday’s clash is a big deal, but it’s probably best not to ask the 2013 Brighton players still skating for the Rockers for their thoughts on that previous game. It was, you see, the first open door defeat in Brighton’s history and the loss was a big one: Glasgow 310 to Brighton’s 111. Will Saturday provide those players with an opportunity to avenge that result? [SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON’T LIKE READING PREDICTIONS BEFORE A GAME] Flattrackstats seems to think so. They rank Brighton 253rd in WFTDA with Glasgow 281st. The Rockers are given 74% chance of victory with a predicted differential of 45:34 suggesting something like a 180-136 home win. It should be pointed out here that these FTS rankings differ from the actual official WFTDA rankings. The latter have Glasgow 267th and Brighton 268th, and a prediction based on those rankings would come up with something close to a draw!
“We’re preparing ourselves for big hitters and a solid team. We know it won’t be easy. They have a few A/B crossovers too, so it’ll be interesting to see how ours match up against theirs across both games.”
GO GO GOZER, BRIGHTON ROCKERS
“Here in Glasgow we keep our canny eyes on the opposition to make sure we don’t underestimate them. We’ll be sure to look out for any loose pebbles from the beach which might stick in our skates.”
HADRIAN’S BRAWL, GLASGOW ROLLER DERBY
Tickets are available online at £8 adults (£7 students and Compass Card holders) and free for under 12s. See the link at the bottom of this piece. Tickets on the door are smidgeon more for adults. Doors are at 2pm on Saturday with the A-team game at 2.30 followed by the B-team match at 4.40. [SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON’T LIKE PRE-GAME PREDICTIONS] This first meeting of the Brighton and Glasgow B-teams is also expected to be a close one. Flattrackstats rank Glasgow’s Maiden Grrders as 212th in Europe with Brighton’s Rockerbillies 235th. Glasgow B are given 53% chance of victory here with the predicted differential of 51:49 suggesting a super close 153-147 win for the Scots.
The venue is the Dolphin leisure centre in Haywards Heath. Sat Nav users should point their cars at RH16 1LY. Train folks will be excited to hear there’s no engineering works for once, so there should be five trains per hour from Brighton to Haywards. The venue is seven minutes walk west of the station (turn left and follow the signs) with an OK pub opposite the station and a big Sainsbury’s with ATMs halfway to the venue. The Dolphin itself has vending machines and a cafe in the lobby, plus a table selling booze in the hall. There will also be games, competitions, merch and more. The event is part of Brighton Fringe Festival so there will probably be a few surprises too, including maybe something made of paper from us at BRATS to pick up on your way in. See you there!
[Photos from 2013 game by Dave McAleavy]
EVENT TICKETS: https://www.brightonrockers.com/shop-cttr
EVENT FB PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/events/2128172783898694/
EVENT FRINGE PAGE: https://www.brightonfringe.org/whats-on/brighton-rockers-roller-derby-135705/
BRIGHTON ROCKERS: https://www.brightonrockers.com
GLASGOW ROLLER DERBY: https://www.glasgowrollerderby.com/