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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Turn Left Issue 25 Now Online

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!

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/

Brighton ROCKERBILLIES Are In A HURRY To Play SURREY – This SUNDAY in GUILDFORD!

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.

LOCAL INFO
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.”

THE VENUE
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 GUIDE
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.

PREDICTIONS
[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!”



GO GO GOZER – BRIGHTON ROCKERBILLIES

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

https://www.facebook.com/events/185728618682986/

VENUE WEBSITE
http://www.guildfordspectrum.co.uk/

LUTÈCE of the DERBYVILLE | BRIGHTON ROCKERS Face PARIS In The SPRINGTIME At Saturday’s Home DOUBLE HEADER

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]

LINKS

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

FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE
https://www.facebook.com/events/1993347987372584/

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

LUTÈCE DESTROYEUSES
http://lutecedestroyeuses.com/