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/

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Turn Left Issue 22 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 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!

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!

OMG They Made Roller Derby EXTRA CHAOTIC! Get To ROCKERS SEVENS This Sunday!

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?

7. MAGAMAZINE
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!”

[Photos by John Hesse]

LINKS

FB EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/1378515305601263/
TICKETS: https://www.brightonrockers.com/shop-cttr

Turn Left Issue 19 Now Online

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The biggest Dolphin crowd in quite a while saw the Brighton Rockers A-team and B-team both suffering defeat at the wheels of a very impressive Vienna Roller Derby. The big crowd means we only have a couple of spare physical copies of our fanzine, which are headed for the flyers shelf in the Evening Star pub. Please note: The Star is currently closed for a refurb, our magazines will be in there shortly after it reopens on Monday week (13th). If you can’t wait (or get to Brighton) then just click on the cover image above to be propelled towards the online version of the mag. Inside you’ll find our biggest interview ever (with Shambolic and Finn McCruel), Rockers Head Ref LaserHammer on the recent changes to the rules, a preview of the upcoming away games in Porstmouth, and much more. Special thanks to all our lovely interviewees, photographers and awesomes advertisers including http://www.meadowyurts.co.uk/ http://www.turnleftderby.com/ and http://www.portsmouthrollerwenches.com/ Yay!

WHO Will RULE Under The NEW Rules… As VIENNA Waltz Into BRIGHTON?

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The mighty Brighton Rockers have their first home event of 2017 this Saturday 4th March at the Dolphin in Haywards Heath. Both the A-team and B-team will be action against their equivalents from Vienna Roller Derby. Tickets priced £10 adults, £8 students and free for Under 12s are available from the link at the bottom of this piece or on the door. There’s also a special online only deal of four adult tickets for the price of three, so round up some chums for a bargain price. Doors are at 2pm. If things follow the usual format of Rockers double headers we expect the A-team game first at around 2.30, followed by the B-team match at 4.30-ish.

If you’re one of the many who caught the Rockers in action for the first time at December’s exhibition game at the Corn Exchange, the venue in Haywards Heath is actually pretty easy to get to from Brighton. Drivers should point their Sat Navs at RH16 1LY – there’s parking at the leisure centre. A train from Brighton to Haywards Heath takes around fifteen minutes (£4.55 return with railcard) and the leisure centre is seven minutes walk west of the station. There’s a reasonable pub by the station (Burrell Arms) and a big Sainsbury’s on the way to the venue. There are ATMs at the station and Sainsbury’s but none at the leisure centre itself, so bring some cash for the bar and merch stands. Rail users from west of Brighton should note that the trainline between Brighton and Littlehampton is completely closed on Saturday, so allow a little extra time for a rail replacement bus to Brighton.

[Skip this paragraph if you don’t like to know predictions ahead of a game.] Brighton’s A-team didn’t have the best of starts to the year, going down to three heavy defeats in a tournament in Normandy at the tail-end of January. That has hit their ranking and is reflected in the Flattrackstats predictions. Vienna are rated 82nd in Europe on 565.5 points, whilst the Rockers place 113th on 536.2. The visitors are given 66% chance of victory, with an expected differential of 46:37 working out at something like a 184-148 away win. Vienna’s B-team place 252nd (472.4 pts) with the Rockerbillies 317th (449.5). The Vienna Beasts are given a 62% victory chance here, with an expected differential of 7:6 equating to something like a 175-150 win for Vienna B. It’s worth noting that Brighton are fielding full size squads (fourteen players) in both games, and we’re expecting them to fare far better than these predictions suggest.

This will be both leagues’ first open door games under the new WFTDA ruleset. The world governing body introduced no fewer than thirty rule changes two weeks ago, the biggest changes to the rules in around three years. See if you can spot what’s different on track. Or better still, pick up your free copy of our magazine ‘Turn Left’ on the door. Inside Rockers Head Ref LaserHammer talks us through the rules changes, whilst Finn McCruel and Shambolic look back on the last three months of games. The mag has full previews of not just Saturday’s games v the Austrian capital, but also the away trip to Portsmouth later in the month (Sat 25th) and much more. Enough blatant plugs for our tawdry zine, let’s hear from both leagues involved this Saturday…

“We’re going into the A-team game with a full roster and in theory, if we can do our magic, we can get all of our ranking back. We dropped down a lot because of results in Caen, but a good win over Vienna will put us back up there. So yeah, I’m hoping we beat them by a hundred points to get our old ranking back!”
SHAMBOLIC, BRIGHTON ROCKERS

“For the sake of harmony I would hope that both leagues win one game each. But as bench coach I really hope that Vienna Roller Derby wins both games. I leave the predicting to Flattrackstats and whatever they say is not written in stone either. It’s roller derby, so anything can happen!”
VENOM IN FURS, VIENNA ROLLER DERBY

[Photo by John Hesse]

LINKS
TICKETS: http://www.brightonrockers.com/shop
FB EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/1249739501774598/
ROCKERS: http://www.brightonrockers.com/
VIENNA RD: http://www.viennarollerderby.org/

NORMANDY WISDOM – The ROCKERS Are Going To Give SLIP IT 4! What For

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The Christmas decorations are barely down, but this weekend sees the mighty Brighton Rockers playing three games overseas. By our reckoning it’s the earliest start to a Rockers season EVER – they usually wait until at least February before strapping on their skates in front of a crowd. The early start is due to the scheduling of the Slip It! tournament in Caen, Normandy. Brighton’s season began there last year, but the 2017 tournie is taking place nearly a month earlier than 2016’s…

Although Caen is literally just across the water from Brighton – set off swimming due South from the end of the Pier and you’ll end up thereabouts – it’s a bit of a mission to get to. Last year the team opted for the Dover-Calais ferry, misjudging quite how far they’d have to travel on the other side. The most direct route involves getting a ferry from Portsmouth to Caen itself, although the ferry port is actually around 10 miles away in Ouistreham. Last year BRATS opted for the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry, which is super cheap (£30 return for a foot passenger) but then involves a 2.5 hour train journey (£30 each way) on the other side. The SNCF timetable says change at Rouen, but it’s usually the same train for both stages of the journey.

Hotels in Caen are pretty cheap in the winter if anyone reading this fancies a last minute trip. The venue is the Halle Aux Granges, a chilly sports hall close to the Abbey in the West of the city centre. Tickets are 10 Euro for the whole weekend, free for under-12s, and available on the door. Brighton have two games on Saturday (against hosts Caen at noon and Amsterdam at 4pm local time) plus a game on Sunday whose opponents and timeslot depend on how they did the previous day. Last year’s Sunday night after party was pretty spectacular, and this year’s is in the same small bar (Au Chef Raide) close to Saint Pierre church in the centre of town. Sadly, circumstances mean BRATS can’t make this year’s event, but we are hoping someone there will be able to provide this site with a tournament report.

[If you don’t like predictions, skip this paragraph.] Flattrackstats.com have Brighton as by some way the lowest ranked team in Pool 2, placing 88th in Europe on 567.1 points. Hosts Roller Derby Caen (44th, 619.8) are given 86% chance of victory with a 42:23 differential suggesting they’ll beat the Rockers by about ten points more than last year’s 236-145. Amsterdam are ranked 40th (623.3) and – allowing for a neutral venue – have around 84% chance of victory with a 15:9 ratio suggesting something similar to the Caen result over Brighton. In Sunday’s playoffs the Rockers will play whichever Pool 1 team finished in the same place (1st, 2nd or 3rd) in the table that they did. Whether it’s Nottingham’s Hellfire Harlots (27th, 661.6), Helsinki’s Kallio B-team (35th, 632.8) or Roller Derby Madrid (60th, 599.9), Brighton will be facing a much higher ranked team for sure. Anything better than last year’s last place finish will be an awesome result for the Sussex side.

Can’t make it out to Normandy this weekend? Worry ye not. Roller Derby Caen will be streaming the tournament live on Facebook, so check out their page. Allowing for the time difference, Brighton are playing at 11am (v Caen) and 3pm (v Amsterdam) on Saturday, then at either 11am, 1.15pm or 3.30pm on Sunday. Now let’s hear from one of the Rockers ahead of the tournament…

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SHAMBOLIC – BRIGHTON ROCKERS ALLSTARS

Hi. The Rockers are kicking off their 2017 season the same way you began your 2016 one – by playing in the Slip It! tournament in Normandy. What are your recollections of last year’s tournie?
Apart from the twelve hours of driving it was a lot of fun! It was the first real tournament we had played (aside from the Alexandra Palace one dayer in 2013, which most of the current team didn’t play in) and really showed us the different styles of derby from around Europe. We had previously been playing a lot of more local teams who have similar styles, so the variation in Normandy made us learn to adapt to the games there fast. It was also quite intense playing games so close together. Caen are amazing hosts – that after party…!

Last year you took a fairly mixed squad, with quite a few prominent A-teamers missing and some players making their AllStars debuts. Will it be similar this time? Who should people look out for in the Rockers ranks?
Again we are coming with a small but mighty squad. Notably we’re missing Gin (obvs) but also Cake Or Death and Dr Whooligan. However we have brought up a couple of newer players who are handling it amazingly, such as Farmergeddon and Harriet Hotter, and I can’t wait to play with them on track. We only have thirteen players instead of a full squad of twenty, but it’s quality not quantity, right? Plus we have Finn – who could want more!

Your first game this Saturday is against hosts Roller Derby Caen. You lost 236-145 to them last year. What do you recall of that game and will you being doing anything different this time?
They are super solid and are a small league that play with a great hive mind. Their jammers are all smart, fast and strong. I remember being stuck in the bosom of Quinn Cardinal quite a lot. She is a one woman blocking machine!

Your other group game is against Amsterdam Roller Derby. Do you know much/anything about that team at all? What are your expectations for the game?
I’ve been wanting to play Amsterdam for AGES! It’s really hard to find any info on teams these days, and I’d rather not go looking too hard as you end up in that dangerous position of trying to play their game not yours. Our aim is to just adapt as we go. We have really mixed our packs around this time for ultimate flexibility and being able to adjust easily.

Depending on how you do on Saturday, you’ll face one of the following in Sunday’s play-offs: Roller Derby Madrid, Nottingham’s Hellfire Harlots, or the B-team of Kallio Rolling Rainbow (Helsinki). What do you know of those sides? Do you have one in particular you’d like to play against?

All of them! I’m so excited about the other teams, and interested to see how they cope in a tournament situation too. Never underestimate anyone. Kallio are obviously going to be strong as their A-team are incredible, but we have a couple of bits of Finland on our side too, shhhh!

Last year you finished sixth out of six – what are you hoping for this time around? Presumably you enjoyed the experience as you’re heading back. What are the benefits of playing in a tournament like Slip It! for the Rockers? And are you expecting another messy after party?

We want to learn. After last year we decided that our goal was to play more European teams, which we did, and I feel that really upped our game. I think our only weakness will be playing short, but we have a secret weapon (one loud blue-haired Canadian). It’s not about winning or losing as much as having fun and fulfilling our own personal goals. We also made some great friends last year, Eindhoven being our new BFFs. We’re going into this with great attitudes. And the knowledge that come what may, we are SMASHING that after party!

Finally, you’re playing against Vienna in Haywards Heath on March 4th. Any thoughts looking ahead to that game – and to 2017 in general?
The tournament is going to be a great warm-up for Vienna. We ended last year on a real high. I hope we can continue that into 2017. We also have some amazing players coming up, with our B-team becoming known for not only being the most fun to watch, but with some serious skill there too. Yeah it’s gonna be a good year all round!

[Photos by Vinciane Piérart aka NSP 189]

FACEBOOK PAGES (LIVE STREAM ON ONE OF THESE)
HOSTS: https://www.facebook.com/rollerderbycaen/
EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/371502006520486/