DOUBLE DUTCH – The BRIGHTON ROCKERS Are Netherlanding At TWO Events THIS Weekend!

The mighty Brighton Rockers have had packed weekends of roller derby before – a couple of two-day tournaments in Caen and one in London spring to mind – but we’re pretty certain this is the first time the A-team have taken part in two different open door events over a single weekend. The action takes place in the Netherlands. This Saturday (13th April) they face the Rockcity Rollers A-team in Eindhoven. The game is taking place at the RC de Lichtstad with admission €5 (under 12s free). Brighton’s game is at 1.30pm and is followed by Rockcity’s B-team against Belgium’s Blackland Rockin’ K-Rollers.

The following day (Sunday 14th) sees a three team tournament in Rotterdam. This takes place at Sportcentrum West with admission at €8 (under 12s €4). Brighton face the hosts in the first game, which kicks of at a super early (to us) midday. This is followed by Rotterdam vs GO-GO Gent (from Ghent/Gent, Belgium) at 2.30pm. The day’s final game sees Brighton taking on GO-GO at 5pm. The overall winner gets to raise the RRD Harbour Cup. As spelling nerds BRATS would like to thank Rotterdam Roller Derby for not using the American ‘harbor’ there. (Don’t get us started on Hamburg’s Harbor Girls, grrr!)

Since it seems the UK isn’t crashing out of the EU today, you can still get yourselves out there visa-free to catch all this awesomeness. Various methods will get you across the water (eg Stansted-Eindhoven, Gatwick-Amsterdam, Eurostar, Eurotunnel, ferry companies with ferries, etc) with plenty of travel and hotel options within the Netherlands. It’s shaping up to be one of the Rockers’ epicest away trips ever. Let’s check out the predictions…

THE FLATTRACKSTATS.COM COMPUTER SAYS…

[NB Skip this section if you don’t like to read predictions before games.] Eindhoven’s Rockcity Rollers have the upper hand over the Brighton Rockers in actual games, beating the Sussex side 167-140 at a tournament in Caen and 185-151 in Haywards Heath, those games bookending 2016. Flattrackstats thinks Saturday’s game will go the other way. Brighton are ranked 295th in the WFTDA world rankings* on 521.3 points, whilst Rockcity are 366th on 468.5. (*Well, Flattrackstats’ version of the WFTDA rankings which their prediction machine uses. These are not quite the same as the official rankings and include WFTDA teams such as Rotterdam who aren’t yet officially ranked.)

The prediction computer gives the Rockers 83% chance of victory here with an expected 38:25 differential suggesting something like a 228-150 Brighton win. In Saturday’s other match, Rockcity’s B-team High Voltage (176th in Europe) are given a whopping 92% chance of defeating Charleroi’s Blackland Rockin’ K-Rollers (320th in Europe). Predicted differential of 9:4 suggests something like a 225-100 High Voltage victory.

In Sunday’s tournament, hosts Rotterdam Roller Derby are the strongest of the three teams, placing 267th in the Flatttrackstats WFTDA rankings on 536.4 points. They are given 73% chance of defeating Brighton in the day’s opening game, a differential of 48:37 mathsing out to around a 196-148 Rotterdam win. GO-GO Gent place 302nd in FTS WFTDA (518.7 points) and Rotterdam have 75% chance of beating them in the second game. A differential of 4:3 means something like a 200-150 victory for the hosts.

See how similar the predictions for those two games are? Kind of suggests that the day’s final game between Brighton and Gent is going to be a close one. Indeed, if either team was at home, FTS would give that team around 60% chance of victory. Splitting the difference for a neutral venue sees the Rockers given 52% chance of the win here with a 25:24 differential suggesting a super close 175-168 win for the Brightonians. These teams are currently one for one (Brighton won 169-140 in Ghent in 2012, GO-GO winning 258-112 in Sussex in 2015) so this best-of-three decider spread across nearly a decade could go right to the wire!

Now let’s hear from a Rocker as well as from the weekend’s opponents…

SKATE BUSH – BRIGHTON ROCKERS A-TEAM CAPTAIN

The Rockers AllStars’ last game was a super exciting one point home defeat against Dundee. You recently dropped two places in the WFTDA rankings having gone up eight the previous month. Do you pay much attention to the rankings?
We’re a competitive team and as such we do pay attention to rankings, but they aren’t the be all and end all of our games. We pick games that will be challenging and fun for us as skaters, and exciting to watch for our fans. As captain all I want is for every skater to have a good game, enjoy it and not get broken. We are currently in the process of building up our A-team charter and finding our feet in the WFTDA rankings. Once we have that sorted we’ll probably be aiming for global domination.

You have a pretty busy schedule this weekend with three WFTDA sanctioned games in the Netherlands, yeah?
It’s going to be tough for sure. It’s a lot of derby for one weekend and playing games when you’re already sore or tired from previous games is always hard. But we’ve been training for that – lots of cardio and big hits training to toughen us up. Mentally that many games can also be tricky, especially on our newer skaters, but we skate as a team and we are all in it together.

What kind of a squad are you taking out there? Any particular players or tactics for fans to look out for?
We have a full roster going to the Netherlands and we have a mix of our most experienced skaters and a few new rosters. We are strong as a team but we have some awesome individual weapons. Finn McCruel is nailing her new role as jammer and Fellen E Assault continues to be an incredible blocker – she’s someone we all want on track with us every jam. We’ve obviously got new tactics but those are top secret.

You’re facing Eindhoven’s Rockcity Rollers at their place on Saturday, then GO-GO Gent and Rotterdam in Rotterdam on Sunday. Any thoughts re your opponents?
We’ve played against Rockcity Rollers and GO-GO Gent before and they were brilliant to skate against, so we are looking forward to playing against them again. As for Rotterdam, we don’t really know much about them or how they play, but that’s not really an issue as we always try to play our own game and focus on what works best for us.

Any off track plans for the weekend?
Yeah – it’s an official Rockers On Tour event, so we will definitely be experiencing everything the Netherlands has to offer. We also have a load of fans travelling with us this time. It’s brilliant to have support in the stands, plus it means we’ll be bringing the party wherever we go!

Finally, you take on Glasgow Roller Derby on 1st June in Haywards Heath. Any thoughts re that game and beyond?
Absolutely. We are really looking forward to our games against Glasgow A and B – we’ve heard they are awesome on and off track – so we’re expecting an exciting and tough game and some excellent after party antics afterwards. The game is also part of Brighton Fringe which always brings a good crowd of people. We’ve worked hard to make our games a good afternoon out for everyone, so expect tough and exciting bouts, loads of party games for kids (and adults), cakes and a fully stocked bar. We have most of our games and dates lined up for this year now. We’ve got some brilliant opponents lined up, so check us out on our website, Facebook and Instagram for more info.

VARIOUS FOLKS – ROCKCITY ROLLERS

Hi Rockcity, in case anyone reading this doesn’t know about your league can you give us a quick summary of your history so far?
In July 2010 a handful of women in Eindhoven (including one of the co-founders of the Texas Rollergirls) got together to form what would become the Rockcity Rollers. We started out skating in the city park. Soon after we secured our practice space at RC de Lichtstad which has been our home ever since. In 2015 we won the Dutch Roller Derby Championships, but that’s already quite some time ago. We like to play roller derby to good rock music and have great after parties!

Any memories from your two previous games against the Brighton Rockers?
Last times we played Brighton we had a completely different team. A lot of people from that roster are now retired, have started their own families or moved to other cities. Those were some good times but we are excited to tell you that we have had a chance to train some new, amazing people and our team is still great. We are very excited to play the Rockers again!

Any particular Brighton Rockers players or tactics that you’ll be looking out for?
We remember the Rockers having a strong offence. We have something prepared for that! We are also very excited to see everyone again and just catch up.

Any Rockcity players/tactics the crowd should look out for?
Look out for Dee Dee Dominator – she is strong, small and tough, and she has a fierce offence move with her legs. Also, watch out for Lotta Havoc who is a strong blocker and jammer.

You won both your previous games against Brighton. Are you expecting to make it a hattrick of wins?
We are very competitive and always play to win. However, in the end, for us it is more about playing a good game and having fun. We will try to live up to the hattrick of wins for sure!

Any thoughts re the day’s other game which sees Rockcity’s B-team against Blackland Rockin’ K-Rollers?
Rockcity High Voltage is a mixed team of experienced and inexperienced players because we want to give everyone a chance to taste the real feeling of the derby. It is a good learning experience for everybody. For some players, this game will be their first or second game ever! We are very excited to show off our new talents and we hope they do great.

What should people expect from your venue/event?
Our venue is super awesome! A little roller rink near the city centre of Eindhoven. We have a concrete floor which we adore. Dressing rooms and showers are not luxurious but do the job and are next to the rink. We have a canteen with a bar for beer and other drinks and snacks. We will also provide a big buffet a la Rockcity for all the teams and officials. Supermarket, ice cream parlour and Dutch fried snacks are within a two minute walking distance. The city centre is a 15 minute walk away, although here in the Netherlands everyone uses bikes all the time.

And from Eindhoven in general?

The after party will be at the best rock and metal bar in Eindhoven, The Jack at Stratumseind 55. Don’t get scared by the metal. During party hours they play a wide selection of music, especially some great classics that will get your dancing moves out! They also have a large choice in special beers and other beverages. Eindhoven is known for Phillips and DAF trucks. When you are here visit the old Phillips area and the DAF museum. For art fans, you should visit the Van Abbe Museum. The city is vibrant and fun so you will not be bored while you are here.

HANNIBAL LECTURER – ROTTERDAM ROLLER DERBY A-TEAM CAPTAIN

In case anyone reading this doesn’t know about Rotterdam Roller Derby can you give us a quick summary of your history so far?
RRD was founded in 2010 and is Rotterdam’s only roller derby league. The Rockers are playing our A-team, the Death Row Honeys. We also have a B team, the Killer Bees. Our officials are known as Rofficials, our fresh meat are called the Juvies. We also cooperated in the past with a men’s team called the Classy Cockroaches. The Honeys play teams from all over Europe. In the last two years we’ve played teams from NL, Belgium, Germany, UK, Sweden, Finland, France and Italy.

What are your expectations for Sunday’s tournament?
To have an awesome time! This is our second home tournament so we have high expectations for fun and awesome derby.

Any particular Rotterdam players or tactics to look out for?
You want us to give away our secret weapons? No way! You’ll just have to wait and see.

What do you know of your tournament opponents, the Brighton Rockers and GO-GO Gent?
I used to play for Kent Roller Girls and actually got into derby because I heard about it from a former Brighton Rocker! I lived halfway between Herne Bay and Brighton, so I could just have easily become a Rocker and I’ve seen then play quite a few times. The first ever game our president Van Minkelen watched, back when she was a rookie, was Brighton playing Ghent. So, although we haven’t played the Rockers before, we’re really excited to meet them on track. Ghent are another team that we’ve admired from afar for a long time. They’ve been such a force in European derby for a long time so we can’t wait to have a go-go at them on track.

Finally, any words on what to expect from your venue/event?

The venue? Well, for teams from the UK the floor is a bit of a shock, so be ready! Dutch sports floors are squishy so get your hardest wheels ready. It really helps the leg muscles but they’re not the best for trying to get your 27 in 5. We have a cafe in the venue which serves food (sandwiches and chips, that kind of thing) and drinks (booze and non-booze).

And from the Rotterdam area in general?

As it’s Sunday we don’t have an after party planned but maybe we’ll have a spontaneous do somewhere! Rotterdam is an awesome city. If you’re looking for things to do at night head to Witte de Witstraat and Nieuwe Binnenweg (near Eendrachtsplein metro). If you have time to walk along the river, see the Cube Houses, and the Markthal then they are all worth a visit. To get the best views head up the Euromast and if you want the best (biggest!) breakfast in town get a water taxi across to the Hotel New York.

——

FEVER – GO-GO GENT

GO-GO Gent’s a hugely established derby league. Can you give us a quick summary of your history?
We’ve been around since 2009. We were the first league in Belgium and have been WFTDA members since 2012. We are well known for hosting SKOD (Skate Odyssey), a WFTDA sanctioned tournament for five years. Everyone loves our kitty.

You’ve played Brighton a couple of times before, once in Ghent and once at Brighton’s venue. Any thoughts re those games?
That game in Gent was such an awesome one! It was back in…. 2012? It was a fundraiser for breast cancer research since one of our members had been affected by that. We played in pink jerseys for that one. Brighton won both the game AND the afterparty and stole our hearts. Three players who’ve played both those previous games will also play on Sunday: Fever, Sandra Buttblock and Vermasvsacre

What are your expectations re Brighton this time? So far it’s one win each, so best of three yeah?
Best of three sounds great! Hard to know what to expect… There’s always been a fair amount of time between each game. The second one was in 2015 I believe? We won pretty big that time, but our team has changed completely since. We might get a really close game this time… It will be hard-fought for sure!

LINKS

FB EVENT PAGE: SATURDAY @ EINDHOVEN
https://www.facebook.com/events/2278464205740291/

FB EVENT PAGE: SUNDAY @ ROTTERDAM

https://www.facebook.com/events/591877331207818/

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The Brighton ROCKERS Are Getting Things DUNDEE Like BADASSES This WEEKEND!

This Saturday (9th February) sees the mighty Brighton Rockers back in action at the Dolphin in Haywards Heath. Having sat out December’s event, the A-team Allstars return to the track to take on Dundee Roller Derby, whilst the Rockerbillies B-team face the Badasses of London Rockin’ Rollers. Doors are at 2pm with the A-team game at 2.30 followed by the Bs battle at around 4.30. Tickets are available online for £8 adults (£9.50 on the door), £7 students and Compass Card holders, with under 12s going free. See the link at the bottom of this piece to buy.

Car users should point their Sat Navs at RH16 1LY. Train users will have to get a replacement bus from Brighton as the line is shut all weekend for work on the tunnels. These run every ten minutes and take about 40 mins. The leisure centre is about six minutes walk east of the station and there’s a big Sainsbury’s halfway along. Early arrivers will find the pub opposite the station (the Burrell Arms) pleasant enough.

There are vending machines and a café bar in the venue lobby, whilst the nearest ATMs are at the side of Sainsbury’s. There will be the usual merch stall, contests and activities, plus possibly some Valentine’s and birthday (the Rockers turn nine on the 14th) related shenanigans. You can pick up the FINAL edition of our free magazine Turn Left on the door. This bigger than normal edition also entitles you to discounts at our namesake online skate shop and in Brighton’s Pub of the Year – wowser!

PREDICTIONS AND THAT
[Skip these two paragraphs if you don’t like to read predictions before a game] Flattrackstats offer two different predictions for the Brighton v Dundee A-team game. Their WFTDA rankings have the Rockers 289th (on 520.0 points) while Dundee are 266th (535.8). The visitors are given 55% change of victory with an expected differential of 21:20 meaning something like a 189-180 away win. The global rankings favour the Scots more strongly, giving them 76% chance of victory and a 27:19 differential (eg a 189-133 away win). With Dundee bringing a very small squad, we’re expecting the game to be much closer.

How close are we expecting the B-team game between the Rockerbillies (219th in Europe on 427.3 points) and LRR Badasses (208th, 434.5) to be? When we checked a few days ago Flattrackstats called this as 50% chance of victory for both sides with an expected differential of 2:2 meaning a flatout draw. We have NEVER seen FTS predict a drawn game before and it isn’t even possible within the rules (overtime jams are added until there’s a winner). They’ve now altered their prediction to give Brighton 51% chance of victory. A predicted differential of 51:50 still means only a couple of points in it! Let’s hear from some skaters…

“For the game against Dundee we’re bringing in some newer players who haven’t played for the A-team before. They’re amazing and should be interesting to watch. As for the B-team game, based on the stats it should definitely be a close one!”
SHAMBOLIC, BRIGHTON ROCKERS

“It’s the first game of the season and we are playing with a pretty small roster, but that’s actually a very common theme for us. You’ll see our skaters get a LOT of track time, but we’ve been working on our endurance derby to compensate, and we all love playing together.”
LISTON, DUNDEE ROLLER DERBY

“We love the Brighton Rockers and always have a brilliant time playing them, regardless of the result. We will be ready for all the Rockerbillies skaters to really bring it. We know this will be a tough and physical game, and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
EVA LA TART, LRR BADASSES

[Photo by John Hesse]

LINKS
BUY TICKETS: https://www.brightonrockers.com/shop-cttr
FACEBOOK EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/300647417461028/
ROCKERS: https://www.brightonrockers.com/
DUNDEE: http://dundeerollerderby.wixsite.com/thedrd
LRR: https://londonrockinrollers.co.uk/

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/

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!