A Festive FESTIVAL of Brighton ROCKERS roller derby ACTION in Sussex – THIS Saturday!

On Saturday 1st December (ie now) the mighty Brighton Rockers will descend on Haywards Heath for a unique event. The day’s second game sees the B-team Rockerbillies face the Bath Roman Rollers, but the first game sees the launch of the Rockers’ brand new third team, C-Side. These Brighton skaters will be making their debuts against a mixed team of rookie skaters from all over the country. Eek!

The action will be taking place at Brighton’s home venue, the Dolphin leisure centre. This is just seven minutes walk from Haywards Heath train station (turn left and follow the signs) or point your SatNav towards RH16 1LY. There’s parking at the venue, which also has a cafe bar and vending machines. The nearest ATMs are outside the big Sainsbury’s halfway between the venue and station.

Doors open at 2pm, with the C-team game at 2.30 followed by the B-team contest at 4.40. If you haven’t already snapped up your ticket online in advance, you can pay on the door. It’s £9.50 for adults, with discounts for students and Compass Card holders. Under 12s get in for free. Don’t forget to pick up your free copy of our Turn Left magazine on the door. This issue also contains our Player of the Year voting form.

There will be various activities, competitions and stalls in the hall. Should spectators want a pre or post-event pint, the pub directly opposite Haywards Heath station (the Burrell Arms) is the nearest option and is fairly decent. After this random photo of our ballot box are some folks’ thoughts about the two games…

2.30PM BRIGHTON ROCKERS C-SIDE vs THE PAINDEERS

“Since C-Side are a brand new team and their opponents are a mixed league side, neither has an official ranking, so there’s no real way of predicting the outcome of this one. Which just makes it all extra exciting!”
MISTER ADAM, BRATS

“Keep an eye on Adios AimeeGo. She’s really improved in the past couple of months and I think will be an important part of the team. Also Deathblade, who is an incredibly good jammer and should hopefully rack up a load of points today.”
SLAP DASH, BRIGHTON ROCKERS

“There’s such a range of different skills in C-Side. I think they’ll all impress you in one way or another. Their opponents are people from various other roller derby leagues who have each played between zero and three games, so it will be interesting to see who’s on that team too.”
FELLEN E ASSAULT, BRIGHTON ROCKERS

4.40PM BRIGHTON ROCKERBILLIES vs BATH ROMAN ROLLERS

“Jump to the next quote if you don’t like reading predictions ahead of a game. The Rockerbillies currently place 275th in Europe with 462.3 ranking points, whilst the Roman Rollers are 366th with 437.7. Brighton are given 73% chance of victory here, with an expected differential of 40:29. This suggests something like a 240-174 home win, but B-team predictions aren’t always that accurate, so expect the unexpected!”
MISTER ADAM, BRATS

“It’s going to be a really interesting game. Although Brighton are higher ranked, Bath have just come off playing in the South West Series tournament where they faced some very high level B-teams, so they will have learnt a lot from that. I’m hoping we’ll see some good tactical play from the Rockerbillies. I think it will be quite a close game.”
SLAP DASH, BRIGHTON ROCKERS

“I don’t think we’ve ever seen the Rockerbillies play in person before, so this is going to be a new and exciting experience for us. Most of all we’re hoping for a fun and friendly game full of Christmas cheer.”
LADY MACTUFF, BATH ROLLER DERBY

LINKS
FB EVENT PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/events/239729666703400/
BRIGHTON ROCKERS: https://www.brightonrockers.com/
BATH ROLLER DERBY: http://www.bathrollerderbygirls.co.uk/

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Giving VIENNA a WHIRL – The ROCKERS hit AUSTRIA this WEEKEND!

The mighty Brighton Rockers are off to sunny Austria this weekend as they take on Vienna Roller Derby’s A and B-teams at the capital’s HAKOAH Sports Centre. If you’re going to be in the area, or you fancy a last minute trip across (you can still get flights from Gatwick for around £100 return), doors open at 2.30pm local time this Saturday 13th October. Tickets are 14 euro and free for under-12s. The A-team game is at 3pm with the B-team match at 5.30pm. The meat in this derby sandwich is a 4.50pm show from the awesomes Vienna Fearleaders – the most famous interval entertainment in the whole of world roller derby!

PREDICTIONS AND THAT
[Skip to after the next photo if you don’t like to read predictions before a game.] Both Saturday’s games are rematches from a double header that took place in Haywards Heath in February of last year. Vienna emerged triumphant in both games that time, winning 262-126 and 242-107 respectively in the A/B games. Flattrackstats expects something similar in the B-team rematch, with Vienna Beasts (134th in Europe) given 94% chance of defeating 342nd placed Brighton Rockerbillies. Expected differential of 59:22 works out as something like a 236-88 home win.

Things are more complicated when it comes to predicting the A-team game. Vienna place 52nd in Europe with the Rockers 74th. The hosts are given 73% chance of victory with a 46:33 differential. That mathses out at around 184-132 to Vienna. However, if you switch to the WFTDA ranking system (and this is a WFTDA sanctioned match-up) then Brighton rank slightly higher, 272nd to Vienna’s 276th. Home advantage still swings the prediction the Austrians’ way, but here they only have 58% chance of victory and a super narrow 35:32 predicted differential. That would suggest maybe a 175-160 result, which is ‘anything could happen’ territory in the world of roller derby!

SHAMBOLIC – BRIGHTON ROCKERS ROLLER DERBY

Any thoughts about this weekend’s trip to Vienna? What are the best and worst bits of travelling overseas as a league?

I am SO excited about this trip. There are about 25 of us going, with an awesome travel theme, of course. The worst aspect is the 4am departure from Brighton, closely followed by a certain orange airline’s baggage restrictions. I will be wearing my helmet all the way. I’ll let you know the best bits when we get back.

The Rockers played Vienna here in Sussex early last year. The Austrian league’s A and B-teams both beat you by a fair margin. What are you expecting from the rematches?
We’re fully prepared for a tough game, but I feel that the A-team are stronger and smarter than last year, and we’ve been training hard for this. The B-team is a very different team from those that played last year so it will be interesting to watch. Results wise, I honestly don’t know. As long as we play the best game we can, that’s the main thing.

Any particular Vienna players or tactics you’ll be looking out for on track?
I can’t remember what I had for dinner yesterday so individual players are a blur; however as a team Vienna are a horrible combination of both strong and fast, which is my nightmare from opponents – urgh. We’ll be looking out for their Vienna Fearleaders cheerleading squad, for sure!

And any particular Brighton players that people should look out for on Saturday?

My team are all superstars in my eyes! Though I had to jam against my own line-up this week, and I’m glad I don’t have to at the weekend.

Any off-track plans for the weekend?
Oh my, I cannot wait to see the after party outfits. They’re gonna be something else for sure! We’ve got a couple of days to have an explore of Vienna. I’ll be eating mostly. Semmels and Sachertorte, mmmm….

Finally, you recently announced a home event at Haywards Heath on December 1st. The A-team are sitting this one out, but the B-team and brand new C-team are in action.
I think that event is going to be a biggie. The C-team have been training so hard and finally their friends and family get to come and see what all the fuss is about! The A-team are focusing on bringing up some fantastic new players from the B-team, so we’ve decided to hang back on a home game this time, but we will of course be cheering on the other Rockers teams from the crowd.

[Photos by John Hesse]

LINKS
FB EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/289159498579940/
VIENNA RD: http://www.viennarollerderby.org/
ROCKERS: https://www.brightonrockers.com/

The BRIGHTON ROCKERS Have Catalanded – Preview of AWAY GAME in BARCELONA

The mighty Brighton Rockers A-team are in action overseas tomorrow (17th March) with an away game at Barcelona Roller Derby at 4pm local time (3pm UK time). Keep an eye on the Rockers and/or BRD Facebook pages for the final score. If Flattrackstats are to believed, this could be a close one. [Skip the rest of this paragraph if you don’t like reading predictions before a game.] The Brighton Rockers rank 70th in Europe on 597.4 ranking points, whilst Barcelona’s Ingles de Acero (which we think translates to English Steel) are 79th on 586.8. Home advantage closes this gap considerably, with FTS giving the Rockers a 52% chance of victory here. Predicted differential of 33:32 works out as something like a 165-160 Brighton win, which is super close in derby terms! Let’s hear from one of the first Rockers out there…

“Myself and Dolores Diablo are the first Rockers to arrive in Barcelona. The rest of the team are joining us later today (Thursday) or Friday. It’s Diablo’s first away game and she’s super excited! The weather is lovely and we have all of Friday to go see sights and eat all the great food. Us two know nothing about the Barcelona team, but based on what we saw of Team Spain in World Cup we reckon it will be an aggressive and fast game. Away games are the best team bonding things you can do. For this game we have a huge Airbnb that we’re all staying in. Tomorrow night we are going to do a massive pot-luck and prepare for the game. Barcelona is great for outdoor skating, so we are definitely going to do a lot of that, and we’ve been told that our after party place is open until 6am so you know how that will end!”
FINN McCRUEL – BRIGHTON ROCKERS

FB EVENT PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/events/417887521997736/

Some You WIN, Some TOULOUSE | BRIGHTON ROCKERS Take On THE FRENCH And SOME DRAGONS | Roller Derby THIS SATURDAY Yay!

The mighty Brighton Rockers are in home action this Saturday (24th February) with one of the most intriguing double headers to date at the Dolphin in Haywards Heath kicking off at 2.30pm (doors at 2pm) with reduced ticket prices online. Earlier this month, almost the entire Rockers A-team (and most of the Bs and rookies) attended the Roller Derby World Cup in Manchester as spectators. The tournament featured 38 teams playing almost 100 games (as well as some exhibition matches) and the Rockers reportedly spotted loads of new tactics that they are looking forward to unleashing on Saturday…

…er, except their opponents are the Blocka Nostra B-team of Roller Derby Toulouse. Team France had an awesome World Cup, eventually finishing sixth out of the 38 teams. And how many of the French squad were from the Toulouse A-team? More than half of them (11/20) including five out of the six jammers! (Indeed, the only jammer not from Toulouse was Caen’s Dédé Froquée who Brighton have previously been on the wrong end of.) OK, so the Rockers aren’t facing those Toulouse A-team international skaters on Saturday, but they will be facing an entire B-team coached and trained by them!

As for the day’s other game, Brighton’s B-team Rockerbillies take on the Team Dragon challenge side. These two teams met here in September 2016. Whilst the ‘billies won 200-118 that day, half of the Brighton squad then were ringers from Eastbourne’s Bourne Bombshells. Both sides will be hugely changed for this encounter. Team Dragon utilise a huge roster of skaters from various leagues. Their biggest links are with the London Rollergirls network however, and alongside feisty LRG Rec Leaguers, it’s not surprising to see the odd ‘retired’ superstar pop up in their ranks… so this one really isn’t for the guessing!

Events are taking place (as ever) at the Dolphin in Haywards Heath, one of the UK’s top venues for open door roller derby. The Rockers have reduced ticket prices to £8 in advance (£9.50 on the door) for adults, with a reduced price for students and free tickets for under 12s. Haywards Heath is around 15 mins from Brighton on the choo-choo, and the venue is then seven minutes walk; turn left outside the train station and follow the signs. Doors are at 2pm, but if you arrive early there’s a decent enough pub (the Burrell Arms) opposite the station and a huge Sainsbury’s (with ATMs if you need cash) halfway between the station and venue. The after party will be back in Brighton at the Earth & Stars pub.

This looks like being one of the biggest crowds to a Rockers game in a while, so don’t delay if you haven’t yet snapped up tickets. We’re also promised merch stalls, a cake stand, a guess the sweets in the jar game, derby bingo cards, colouring competitions for the kids, and an opportunity to throw live chickens at the skaters (we might have misunderstood and/or imagined that last one). Don’t forget to pick up your free copy of our magazine Turn Left on the door – this one’s a World Cup Special, with various Rockers folks’ thoughts on attending this month’s event in Manchester.

***SPOILER ALERT – SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON’T LIKE READING PREDICTIONS BEFORE GAMES*** Whilst Flattrackstats include some Team Dragon results in their database, they don’t offer rankings for challenge teams, hence no prediction either. So you’ll just have to guess what will happen in the B-team game. As for the main event, the Rockers AllStars currently place 57th in Europe on 611.2 points, with Toulouse’s Blocka Nostra 70th on 597.1. Even with home advantage, the Rockers are only given 66% chance of victory. The expected differential of 36:29 works out as something like a 180-145 home win, which is super close in derby terms – so this one could go either way!

“Team France had a great World Cup and Toulouse are one of the top five leagues in Europe, so we’re expecting a tough game from their B-side. I wouldn’t like to predict anything. I always go into games expecting to lose whilst hoping to be pleasantly surprised!”
HAIRY FAIRY, BRIGHTON ROCKERS

“I personally don’t know anything about the Brighton Rockers team, although we have a couple of skaters who do, eg Chunder Woman was in Fresh Meat with Brighton. We’re not expecting it to be easy and we can’t wait to play in this challenging game.”
MICROBE, TOULOUSE BLOCKA NOSTRA

“Four B-team debuts are expected v Team Dragon. We’ve been impressed with the jamming of Cold Crush (who has joined us from Copenhagen Roller Derby) whilst Go Go Gozer, Goldiblocks and Miley Virus are great at blocking in a wall. They’re all raring to go.”
KAPOW, BRIGHTON ROCKERS

“We know the Rockerbillies will be well drilled and strong. We’ll be hitting up Eastbourne Roller Derby for some gossip about them prior to the game. The result is likely to be a coin flick really. Let’s be cocky and say we’ll edge it by ten points!”
MAMA, TEAM DRAGON

[Photos by John Hesse and Vincent Micheletti]

LINKS

BUY TICKETS
https://www.brightonrockers.com/shop-cttr

FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE

https://www.facebook.com/events/1822036878093601/

BRIGHTON ROCKERS
https://www.brightonrockers.com/

ROLLER DERBY TOULOUSE
http://www.rollerderbytoulouse.com/

TEAM DRAGON RD
https://www.facebook.com/TeamDragonRD/

Some WINNING Happened… Here’s Who YOU Voted For In THE 2017 BRATS AWARDS!

We busted open the ballot box that was at the Rockers event last month. We hired an army of abacus twiddlers to tot up the physical and online votes. We ordered some badges and printed out some certificates. The only thing left to do now is to announce which super awesome bags of awesomeness have won what. So let’s do that…

OTHER OF THE YEAR – MISTRESS VON UBER VIXEN
This category covers everyone who isn’t a player, referee or NSO. Ten different names put forward for this one, with an actual baby finishing in third place – well done Kit N Run Junior! Photographer John Hesse has to settle for second, whilst bench coach Mistress (who missed out by just half a point last year) takes the gold.
Past winners: Tenacious P (2016), Mass Janeycide (2015)

OFFICIAL OF THE YEAR – REFEREE DAHMER
This category tends to be dominated by refs rather than NSOs, though Hissing Hellcat finished joint second this year alongside two-time winner LaserHammer. The victor was never really in doubt though as “ref with the short shorts” Dahmer bagged twice the number of votes of everyone else combined!
Past winners: LaserHammer (2016), Noise Tank (2015), LaserHammer (2014)

ICON OF THE YEAR – FARMERGEDDON
This award for “the most inspiring Brighton Rocker on or off track” saw the most names put forward in any category. A dozen people were in the running and it ended in a photo finish between Farmergeddon and last year’s winner Finn McCruel, with the former just nudging ahead.
Past winners: Finn McCruel (2016), Shambolic (2015)

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – RAGING BEAVER
Five skaters made their Rockers debuts in the game our ballot box was out at. These all picked up multiple votes, as did a trio of others. Kit N Run finishes a strong second, but Raging Beaver (with more than 40% of the vote) grabs the gold.
Past winners: Farmergeddon (2016), Speedy Gonzalex (2015)

B-TEAMER OF THE YEAR – SLAP DASH
Ten different skaters picked up votes in this category, but it ended up as a two-horse race, with the Rockerbillies captain Slap Dash edging out Yorkshire Brewser by a single vote.
Past winners: Cruelty Spree (2016), Bionic Betty (2015)

BLOCKER OF THE YEAR – FINN McCRUEL
Hairy Fairy’s hopes of making it three years in a row falter as she has to settle for third place here, just behind Cake Or Death. Finn took almost 50% of the vote to smash this one.
Past winners: Hairy Fairy (2016), Hairy Fairy (2015), Emma The Condemner (2014)

JAMMER OF THE YEAR – DR WHOOLIGAN
2014 Player Of The Year Whooligan has to settle for the Jammer gong this time out. Others making strong showings in the voting include Shambolic, Farmergeddon, Hippy Hippy Skate and Chaka Carnage.
Past winners: Shambolic (2016), Skate Bush (2015), Kapow (2014)

PLAYER OF THE YEAR – SHAMBOLIC
With two-time winner Gin last spotted in Australia (on the C-team of World Champions VRDL) the coast was clear for someone else to grab this year’s main award. Up hop, step and skipped Gin’s former housemate Shambolic, who edged ahead of a strong chasing pack (Finn McCruel, Cruelty Spree, Farmergeddon, Cake Or Death and others) to take the win.
Past winners: Gin Atomic (2016), Gin Atomic (2015), Dr Whooligan (2014)

That rounds up the eight categories on the voting form, but a minimum badge order of ten means we add two extra awards as usual. The MOST VOTED FOR gong is for whoever picks up the most votes across all of the categories without actually winning any of them. After finishing third in this ‘don’t call it biggest loser’ contest last year, our WINNER – CAKE OR DEATH nudges ahead of Brewser, Kapow and Cruelty for the victory here.

Finally we have our FRIEND OF BRATS award. I know we bang on about our fanzine advertisers a lot, but the mag wouldn’t be possible without them. An issue costs around £150 to get printed and the lovely ad folks cover the vast majority of that. Having taken out a full page ad in every issue since we started, our WINNER – MEADOW YURTS have paid more towards our print bill than anyone else. They’re totally ace and everyone reading this should go and buy a yurt off them right now… preferably two.

That rounds up the 2017 BRATS Awards. If you won one, yay you! Please get in touch and let us know how we can get your super fancy (not fancy at all) winner’s badge and certificate to you. If you didn’t win one, rest assured you’re still pretty awesome and everyone says so (even if it’s only behind your back). Here’s to a derby-packed 2018 for one and all. Hurrah!

Turn Left Issue 21 Now Online

Click on the cover image above to check out the latest issue of our Brighton Rockers fanzine. This issue came out on the 25th November 2017 for a double header against the Norfolk Roller Derby A-team and Dorset Roller Girls B-team. If you’re after a physical copy there will be a few available in the Evening Star and Bierhaus pubs from tomorrow evening (Monday 27th). Many thanks to all our awesomes interviewees, fab photographers and ace advertisers… Yay!

Shut The DORSET, Don’t Let NORFOLK In – The BRIGHTON ROCKERS Host Epic Roller Derby THIS SATURDAY Yay!

The mighty Brighton Rockers are in action this Saturday 25th November in Haywards Heath. The A-team will be taking on the Norfolk Brawds from Norwich, whilst the Rockerbillies face the Bournemouth-based Dorset B-Side. Both games look like cracking match-ups. (As we understand it, both pairings have met behind closed doors in secret but epic clashes recently!)
And for extra spice, the Rockers A-team beat Cambridge away 162-145 in a game they were expected to draw or lose on Saturday just gone, so will be super fired-up for Brighton’s first time ever playing public games on two Saturdays in a row! Meanwhile, five players will make their debut for Brighton B against a Dorset side who are playing their first ever open door away match… Wowsers! How can so much awesomes possibly be contained in a single event?
Saturday’s action takes places at the Dolphin Leisure Centre in Haywards Heath. Doors are at 2pm, with the B-team game around 2.30 and the A-teams at 4.55. Tickets (£10 adults, £8 students, free for under 12s) are available from the link at the bottom of this preview and most likely on the door too. Car types should point their SatNav at RH16 1LY. For train folks the venue is seven minutes walk from Haywards Heath (turn left and follow the signs stuck to lampposts etc). There’s no engineering work on the trains for once, yay!
The pub opposite the station (the Burrell Arms) isn’t sure if it’s a sports bar or a food pub, but it’s OK for a pint and a few dozen Jägers and has a huge garden. There’s a big Sainsbury’s halfway between the station and venue, which is useful for specialist snacks and ATMs (no ATM at the leisure centre). The venue has a booze table in the hall, a café in the lobby, and many vending machines. The after party is back in Brighton in the Western, slap bang in the centre of town; five mins walk from the station, the beach, etc.
Don’t forget to pick up your free copy of our tawdry Rockers fanzine TURN LEFT on the door. In this issue Cake Or Death predicts today’s A-team score, we talk to the five B-team debutants, get the inside line from the visiting teams, and much more. As it’s the last game of the year it also includes a voting form for our Annual Awards. And if you want to be eligible for such an award yourself next year, please note that Brighton have their 2018 Fresh Meat taster sessions on Monday (27th Nov) and Sunday (3rd Dec) so drop a message to info@brightonrockers.com asap. You know you want to.

nbp2

[NB Skip this section if you don’t like to hear predictions ahead of games.] As far as the A-team Rockers v Brawds game goes, the UKRDA and European rankings on Flattrackstats offer widely differing predictions. The Rockers place 25th in UKRDA on 595.0 points with Norfolk 36th on 549.5. Throw in home advantage and FTS gives Brighton 83% chance of the win here, with a predicted differential of 17:10 working out as something like a 221-130 comfortable home win. It’s worth bearing in mind that UKRDA rankings are only updated every three months, and Brighton (in particular) tend to play against more European than UKRDA sides these days, so you’re probably not getting that up-to-date or accurate a picture with this prediction.
Switching to our favoured European table, Brighton are 67th on 598.8 points, while Norfolk are a few places higher in 63rd on 604.2. Home advantage nudges this Brighton’s way on the predictor, but only just. The Rockers are given a 52% victory chance with a 47:46 differential equating to a squeaky close 188-184 Brighton win. The caveat here is that Brighton’s game away to Cambridge last Saturday has yet to be added to the website, and the result (a 17 point Brighton win with an impossible-in-derby draw predicted) means that the Rockers should actually be on a tiny bit higher ranking and win/score figure. So somewhere inbetween the disparate UKRDA and Euro predictions seems most likely if (and that’s a big if) the prediction computers can be trusted…
Moving on to the B-team game, the Brighton Rockerbillies are ranked 320th in Europe on 453.5 points, whilst the visiting Dorset B-Side are a good deal higher in 216th on 486.9. FTS reckons the visitors have 69% chance of the win here, with a predicted differential of 57:44 suggesting something like a 171-132 Dorset win. Since we are giving out caveats, it should be pointed out that the visitors have only played one open door game before today (home to Southampton earlier this month) so their ranking is based on just that single game – hence this prediction is even more random/volatile than usual FTS predictions! Still, enough of the numbers, here are some words from the teams…

nbp3

“I think it will be a low scoring game v Norfolk. Their jammers are good and they have super strong walls. This is going to be classic Brighton. Either come from behind, then lots of toing and froing; or start really well, then lots of toing and froing. But I’m going to predict the exact score… in the fanzine that you can pick up on the door.”
CAKE OR DEATH, BRIGHTON ROCKERS

“We’ve been doing our research and are quite perturbed to have discovered that Brighton will be intending to stand in front of our jammers and try to stop them getting past. Jolly unsporting if you ask us! NRD actually stands for team NeRD because our real strength lies in stats. We will spreadsheet Brighton into submission!”
WHIPLEY & PHILTHY, NORFOLK ROLLER DERBY

“We have five debutants taking part against Dorset. We held our Halloween intraleague recently and one of our rookies is a really great jammer (a former ice skater) who sneaks through those tiny gaps, whilst others are really solid blockers and so on. They’re a really good bunch and I think they’ll smash it!”
FARMERGEDDON, BRIGHTON ROCKERS

“We played the Rockerbillies quite recently in one of Dorset B-Side’s first closed doors so we know a little about each other. I didn’t play in that, but I have it on good authority that they have strong walls and are a lovely bunch. We’ll be doing our best not to be lulled into a false sense of security by their seemingly gentle natures off track!”
REIGNBOW BRIGHT, DORSET ROLLER GIRLS

[Photos by John Hesse]

BUY TICKETS
https://www.brightonrockers.com/shop-cttr

FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE
https://www.facebook.com/events/148099769125027/

BRIGHTON ROCKERS

https://www.brightonrockers.com/

NORFOLK ROLLER DERBY
http://norfolkrollerderby.co.uk/

DORSET ROLLER GIRLS
http://www.dorsetrollergirls.com/