A fan magazine dedicated to the awesomes Brighton Rockers roller derby league. This issue was published on the 9th February 2019 for a double header event at the Dolphin in Haywards Heath. A super close A-team clash saw the Rockers edged out 195-196 by the seven skaters of Dundee Roller Derby, the B-team Rockerbillies went down 198-260 to London Rockin’ Rollers Badasses. This final regular issue of our magazines contains previews of both games, a retrospective, Player of the Year results, our favourite Rockers quotes, a list of A-team scores and much more. Many thanks to all the lovely interviewees, fab photographers and awesomes advertisers who kept us going for 25 issues to become the UK’s longest running roller derby magazine. We will continue to post content online and will return with some one-off magazines. Thank you all – you rule!
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]
BUY TICKETS: https://www.brightonrockers.com/shop-cttr
FACEBOOK EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/300647417461028/
The mighty Brighton B-team Rockerbillies are in action in Guildford this Sunday 3rd June as part of a cat charity fundraising double header. The game takes place at the Spectrum Leisure Centre. Tap GU1 1UP into your SatNav or make the 90-minute journey by train from Brighton (27 past, change at Gatwick). Doors open at 1pm. The Rockerbillies take on Surrey Roller Girls in the first game, followed by a mixed leagues game with a cat theme. Tickets are £10 on the door with free entry for under 16s. The event dubbed ‘Pennies for Pussycats’ is a fundraiser for the RSPCA and SNARL. Fancy dress is encouraged.
BRATS’ Mister Adam comes from just down the road (Woking) and has this to say about Guildford: “Most Surreyans think of Guildford as the county town, despite the fact it technically isn’t (the council are based in Kingston, which is odd as it hasn’t been part of Surrey since 1965). The centre is one of extremes, with historic buildings around the castle and cobbled High Street, a stone’s throw from drab modern architecture and traffic around the Friary shopping centre. Sights include the 20th century Cathedral off of horror film The Omen and the aforementioned castle.”
One big attraction in Guildford is the derby venue itself. The Spectrum is a huge leisure centre to the north east of Stoke Park. It’s 25-30 minutes walk from the station (1.5 miles). You could get a 101 from the bus station or use London Road station (one of only two stations with that name in the UK; no clues as to where the other is) which is half a mile closer, but both are only a half hourly service. The venue has quite a reputation in roller derby – the London Rollergirls used to play their big Anarchy tournaments here. It includes a few cafes, a bar, tenpin bowling and an ice rink (the closest one to Brighton, fact fans).
Pub-wise, the nearest places to the venue worth a visit for any fans arriving early are the Stoke and King’s Head, which are across the road from each other at the opposite end of the park to the Spectrum. Though about 15 minutes walk from the venue they’re handily placed halfway along the walk from the station. The after party is at the Britannia, which is about five minutes walk south of the station, alongside the River Wey.
[Skip this paragraph if you don’t like to read predictions ahead of a game.] Surrey are ranked 276th in Europe on 462.5 points, whilst Brighton B place 342nd on 443.0. Flattrackstats give the hosts 70% chance of victory here, with a predicted differential of 38:29 working out as something like a 190-145 Surrey win. Which is super close in derby terms.
HOME TEAM VIEW
Dr Francanhurter: “Surrey Roller Girls was founded in December 2011. We train twice a week, and love hanging out together outside of derby. We are very excited about playing Brighton B because they are a lovely opponent to go up against. We are hoping that our home game this year will raise lots of money for the cause, and we’re very excited to eat all the food and have a dance at the after party!”
What are your thoughts ahead of the game?
I’m excited! It’ll be my first away game and my fourth as a Rockerbilly, so I think I’ll be on top of my nerves and I’m looking forward to playing a focused, solid game.
How much you know about Surrey Roller Girls?
I know that the Rockerbillies played them a year ago, before I joined, and had a good game. Everyone has said how awesome and friendly they are and the prediction is that our two teams are pretty well matched, so it should be a good contest.
What you are expecting from the game and the event?
I’m expecting there to be a lot of cats, on the track and in the crowd [not actual cats, presumably]. The event is called Pennies for Pussycats and is raising money and awareness for a local cause. I love a good theme and there’s bound to be a purr-fect atmosphere (sorry). I’m expecting the game to be close, but we have been working hard as a team on keeping our walls together and good communication, and I think we’ll bring what we need on the day. We’ve been practising scrimmaging against our A-team for the last few weeks so we’re used to being pushed!
How do away games differ from home ones?
I’m excited to play my first away game! My previous games have all been at home and I’m looking forward to the luxury of just turning up and playing – as well as the mystique of being the outsiders.
What are the Rockerbillies’ plans going forward?
We’ve had a lot of new players this season – myself included – so our last few games have seen a lot of people making their debuts or playing their second game. We’re all settling in now though, and I think folk will see us becoming stronger as a team in our next few games. We’re hoping to have an international bout before the year is out, and to revisit a summer favourite, but the main plan is to keep having fun, learning from our games… and winning! (In that order.)
FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE
The mighty Brighton Rockers are back in action in Haywards Heath this Saturday (May 5th) as part of the Fringe Festival. They will be facing the Paris league Lutèce Destroyeuses in both A and B-team games. This will be the Rockers’ first WFTDA sanctioned home game, having fairly recently become full members of the world governing body. With the teams incredibly closely matched in the rankings, this is one event not to miss! Doors are at 2pm at the Dolphin Leisure Centre, with the B-teams facing off at 2.30 followed by the A-game at 4.30ish. Adult tickets are £8 online from the link at the bottom of this piece or £9.50 on the door, with discounts for students and Compass Card holders, plus free entry for under 12s.
Car users should point their Sat Navs at RH16 1LY whilst the venue is seven minutes walk from Haywards Heath train station – turn left and follow the signs. The pub opposite the station, the Burrell Arms, is OK for a passing pint. It can get busy with people watching football on the TVs, but there’s a big beer garden out back. There’s a large Sainsbury’s (or Asdabury’s if it’s called that yet) halfway between the station and venue, which also has the closest ATMs to the venue. There’s a bar in the hall, along with various vendors and more. The after party will be back in Brighton at The Victory Inn. Don’t forget to pick up our free magazine Turn Left on the door for a full preview, an Officials Special, an interview with the departing Racey and more. Time to check out the predictions…
[***SPOILER ALERT – SKIP DOWN TO AFTER THE NEXT PHOTO IF YOU DON’T LIKE READING PREDICTIONS BEFORE GAMES***] We’re going to pretty much ignore the WFTDA rankings here. Whilst the Rockers A-team do have one on Flattrackstats, it’s unofficial as they need to play three WFTDA games to get an official ranking. The listed ranking is based on their sole WFTDA game to date (away to Barcelona) and any prediction based on a single result could be wildly swingy. If you twist our arm, we’ll tell you that the Rockers place 238th and Lutèce 255th in WFTDA, and the predictor gives Brighton’s A-team 69% chance of victory and something like a 160-130 home win (16:13 differential).
The European rankings are based on loads of games and thus probably far more reliable. Here it’s Lutèce A who have the advantage, placing 51st on 614.7 points, whilst the Rockers are 64th (604.0). The visiting A-team are given 52% chance of victory, with an expected differential of 32:31 equating to a super close 160-155 Lutèce win. It’s the same story in the B-team game. Les P’tites Frappes place 250th (470.9 pts) with the Rockerbillies 282nd (461.1). Again the visitors have 52% chance of victory, and the differential here is even closer, with 44:43 equating to something like a 176-172 away win. Looks like we’re in for a couple of nailbiters if these predictions are close to accurate!
“I don’t really know much about Lutèce at all, but I have heard their level is very similar to ours, so I expect that we’ll all have to work really hard. I’m a bit superstitious and I believe that predicting results gives bad luck, so I think I’ll stick to saying that both the A and B-teams will smash it!”
COLD CRUSH, BRIGHTON ROCKERS
“We know the Brighton A-team are above us on the WFTDA ranking at Flattrackstats, and that they recently beat the Barcelona team we narrowly lost to in November. We think that both games will be tough. We’ve never met the Brighton league before and we’re looking forward to it.”
CAPUTRA, LUTÈCE DESTROYEUSES
[Photos by John Hesse and NSP 189]
FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE
Click on the cover image above to check out the latest issue of our Brighton Rockers fanzine. This issue came out on the 24th February 2018 for a double header of Brighton A v Toulouse B and Brighton B v Team Dragon. This one’s a World Cup Special featuring Rockers’ memories of the recent tournament in Manchester and more. If you’re after a physical copy there are a handful now in the Evening Star and Bierhaus pubs. Many thanks to all our awesomes interviewees, fab photographers and ace advertisers including Meadow Yurts, Pure Nuff Stuff, JW Lennons and more. 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]
ROLLER DERBY TOULOUSE
TEAM DRAGON RD
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!