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!
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 email@example.com asap. You know you want to.
[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…
“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]
NORFOLK ROLLER DERBY
DORSET ROLLER GIRLS
Roller derby rolls back into Haywards Heath this Sunday (27th August) as the mighty Brighton Rockers host their first ever Derby Sevens tournament. Here’s everything you need to know about this awesomes and extra hardcore derby event…
SEVEN FACTS ABOUT ROCKERS SEVENS
1. WHERE AND WHEN
It’s taking place this Sunday, the 27th (a date that ends in the number SEVEN) of August at the Dolphin Leisure Centre in Haywards Heath, with doors from midday and a roughly 6pm finish time.
2. GETTING IN
Tickets are priced (in keeping with the theme) at SEVEN pounds for adults, free for under 12s. Get yours from the link at the bottom of this piece. They should be available on the door too.
3. GETTING TO
The venue is almost exactly SEVEN minutes walk from Haywards Heath train station – turn left and head on in that direction, following roller derby signage attached to lampposts, dogs and passers by.
4. ON THE WAY
There’s a decent enough pub (The Burrell, which is SEVEN letters) opposite the station, and a big Sainsbury’s roughly halfway between the station and venue (it shuts at 4pm on Sundays but has an ATM outside – there’s no ATM at the venue).
5. BAR BOOZE
There are bar facilities in the venue and bringing in booze from elsewhere is very much frowned upon. There will probably only be SEVEN bottles of London Pride in the fridge though, and we’ve bagsied five of them. Just saying.
6. PARTY TIME
The official after party is at the East Street Tap in Brighton. Whose address is 72 East Street. Which is a number that starts with SEVEN, yeah?
We only produce our fanzine Turn Left for traditional Rockers home games, but we made a late decision to do a one-off mini-mag for this event. Pick it up on the door. It’s exactly SEVEN pages long (if you don’t include the cover).
SEVEN QUOTES ABOUT ROCKERS SEVENS
1. EMMA THE CONDEMNER, BRIGHTON ROCKERS
“There just isn’t the time to ‘find your feet’ and if you start to give away points there isn’t the time to recoup them later!”
2. TORI BEE, FOR 7s SAKE
“It’s like those scrimmages where hardly anyone shows up and you have to play every jam! It’s a test of endurance for sure, but you play a whole lotta derby, the fun keeps going and you can stay in your groove.”
3. BULLET BOMBER, BOURNE BOMBSHELLS
“Depending on how the line-ups work, you could be doing one on then one off as a jammer, or be blocking three or four jams in a row before sitting one out.”
4. CAZ VEGAS, JACKALS
“The games are shorter, but you need to remember that it’s not just an hour’s game with two halves and that your opponents change!”
5. FELLEN E ASSAULT, 7 DEADLY SINS
“It takes less penalties before a foul out, but that absolutely definitely never happens to any of us, so I’m sure that wont be a problem, yeah?”
6. AMPERSAND WHAT, WE ARE ALL LOVE
“There are no timeouts nor any extra players if you need one, so there’s no time to get a moment’s rest. It’s good for upping your endurance and seeing all the amazing things your body can do under pressure.”
7. EMMA THE CONDEMNER, BRIGHTON ROCKERS
“A player will foul out after four penalties instead of the normal seven and there are no timeouts. Basically it’s going to be a really fast-paced day packed full of derby!”
The mighty Brighton Rockers A-team are in action this weekend over in Ireland. They will be facing Limerick Roller Derby and Belfast Roller Derby in a three-team mini-tournament at the UL Sport Centre in Limerick tomorrow, Saturday 17th June (doors at 11am). Should you fancy a trip over, Shannon airport is nearby, but this late in the day even the budget airlines are far from budget – expect to pay £300-ish return. The cheapest accommodation option is probably Troy Self-Catering Village, about ten minutes walk from the venue, at around £30 a night. Or for fancier folk, Brennan Court Guesthouse is right next door to the sports centre at £60 a night.
PREDICTIONS AND THAT
[Skip this paragraph if you don’t want to know how Flattrackstats expects these games to go.] Unfortunately the European rankings bit of the FTS website, which we were going to use to predict all three games, isn’t working at the moment. We can predict two of the matches using other rankings systems. Belfast place 18th in the UKRDA with 610.1 points, some way ahead of Brighton in 23rd (595.0). Averaging out home and away predictions for the neutral venue gives 62% chance of a Belfast win, with an expected differential of 10:9 working out as something like a 200-180 loss for the Rockers. Limerick place 203rd in WFTDA on 564.9 points, with Belfast 348th (458.1). The hosts are given a whopping 98% chance of the win here, an expected differential of 13:4 equating to circa a 260-80 home win. The Limerick v Brighton game can’t be predicted right now as the European rankings are offline – we’ll add it when we can. Meanwhile, let’s catch up with a Rocker ahead of the tournament…
MISTRESS – BRIGHTON ROCKERS BENCH COACH
The event in Haywards Heath last month saw a big win for the A-team over Hell’s Belles (345-136). What do you recall of that game and the B-team’s narrow loss (187-202) to Suffolk Bees?
Both games were very exciting for us and the crowd. The Rockers have been working so hard for the last year and we’re thrilled that it’s paying off. Hell’s Belles were fantastic competitors; they made us push for every point and it was a pleasure to share the track with them. On an even brighter note, the Rockerbillies have been a real inspiration for us. Their determination and spirit shows more and more with every game. Unfortunately this one was a loss, but only by a dozen points, and they were fighting until the very end. I’m so incredibly proud of them.
This Saturday (17th June) the A-team are heading over to Ireland for a three team tournament in Limerick. The Rockers’ previous trip to the Emerald Isle (Dublin in 2012) has become the stuff of legend. What are you expecting this time around?
Legendary is definitely the right word for that Dublin trip, and our first venture to Limerick will be a great experience for us. We get to play two amazing teams, including Belfast, where the one and only Finn McCruel got her derby start. We’ve got a solid roster of strong, smart players and we may even have a few tricks up our sleeves. It’s going to be a tough back-to-back challenge, but we’re up for it. We’re so excited to experience the wonderful Irish derby hospitality again, and no doubt there will be stories that become the stuff of legends (at least at the after party!).
You’ll be facing hosts Limerick Roller Derby and Belfast Roller Derby. Any thoughts re those teams? Are there extra challenges involved in playing two games straight after each other?
The rankings are fairly close, and we’ll certainly be keeping that in mind; but we’ll be coming in with our game, and I have confidence that with our teamwork we can make some great things happen. To be honest, I’ve not seen either opponent play. Both games are going to be tough and we always love to learn from new teams – we expect a run for our money!
You’re hosting a fundraising night on July 22nd at the Latest Musicbar. What can people expect from that event and what are you raising money for?
The event was supposed to be held last week as a fundraiser for our trip to Ireland, but we ran into venue issues and had to reschedule. So now we’re hoping that lots of Rockers supporters will come to help us celebrate and refill the kitty in July, so we can keep doing what we do. We’ve got a fun quiz (hosted by yours truly), great bands and some extra special surprise merch for the night, as well as classic Rockers after party games. It’s going to be SOME night.
Finally, do the Rockers have much planned for the remainder of 2017?
We’ve got a pretty full summer ahead of us! On Sunday, whilst the A-team are away, the Rockerbillies are raising money skating the South Coast Roll – a whole marathon on skates! Check out the link below to sponsor them. We’ll be taking part in Eastbourne Extreme in July, skating Proudly in the Brighton Pride parade in August, and arranging some incredible games for the autumn. There’s so much to look forward to!
JUNE 17TH IN LIMERICK: https://www.facebook.com/events/1363738197050969/
JULY 22ND FUNDRAISER: https://www.facebook.com/events/286286108483695/
SOUTH COAST ROLL: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Brighton-Rockerbillies