Last weekend’s Brighton Rockers away trip (to face Kent Roller Derby in Herne Bay) saw one of the rarest outcomes in this sport: a one point game. With derby scorelines often featuring a gap of several hundred, Saturday’s 141-140 win for Kent had every spectator on the edge of their seats. Unfortunately some Rockers fans (including several BRATS types) couldn’t catch this epic clash due to rail strike issues. We don’t have long to feel disheartened about missing out though.

Just as one point is a rarely seen difference in derby scores, so one week between games is almost unheard of… yet that’s what Rockers fans have been gifted here in the run up to Christmas. Brighton are back in action tomorrow (Saturday 3rd December) as they venture to one of the most famous venues in British derby, Windsor Leisure Centre, to take on Royal Windsor Roller Derby (RWRD) in a game prediction sites suggest could be just as close as the Kent clash. There’s no rail strike tomorrow so we have no excuse not to be there and neither do you. Check out our full preview below…


Doors at Windsor Leisure Centre are at 3pm with first whistle at 3.30. Admission is a great value £7 on the door or £5 in advance (see the FB event page in the links below for details). Whilst the Rockers haven’t played an open door game in Windsor before, here at BRATS we’ve watched several Sur5al tournaments (RWRD’s own manic twist on the sport) and other derby events there. Located close to the river, the leisure centre is a mere ten minute stroll west from the town centre and train stations.

Stations plural? Yes, for some complicated reason Windsor has two (Central and Riverside) each acting as the terminus for a different branch line. They’re only two hundred yards apart with similar journey times from Brighton (a little over two hours) although Riverside is the less faffy option since you can change at Clapham Junction for it. Car users should point their Sat Navs at SL4 5JB. There’s plenty of parking at the leisure centre with the two or three hours you’ll need to cover the event costing less than a fiver.

Pub wise, for anyone who doesn’t boycott them, the King & Castle opposite said castle is one of the better examples of a Wetherspoons with a labyrinth of rooms/floors and a riverside terrace. There’s a decent cluster of pubs (eg the Carpenters Arms for aleheads, Queen Charlotte for ginfolk) just south of Castle Hill and more around Riverside station. Fans of pale ales (but not dark beer) should visit the Windsor & Eton Brewery tap room which is super close to the leisure centre. Despite its historic prominence, Windsor is a very compact town and everywhere should be easily walkable for most people.


We’re sticking with our policy of not giving detailed score predictions from Flattrackstats until next year, ie once most teams have got a few post-Covid games under their belts. Suffice to say they expect this one to be close (ten points or less) so we could be in for another Kent style nailbiter. Speaking of which, both sides have played away in Herne Bay this year. Could those respective results provide a clue for Saturday? Probably not given that Windsor’s loss to Kent (104-101) was virtually as wafer thin as Brighton’s (141-140). Eek!

In terms of past meetings, the first officially recorded scoreline (179-39) in Rockers history was a closed door home win over Windsor’s B-team in April 2011. Their only public meeting with the Windsor A-team meanwhile was on the grandest stage of all: British Champs. Brighton only took part in the tournament (since renamed Five Nations Roller Derby) for its 2015 incarnation. RWRD would sweep them aside 348-196 (the game played in Bristol) on their way to winning Division 2 South. Both teams are very different in 2022 so we won’t learn much from these past results. What do the two sides themselves expect though?


Did you learn anything from last weekend’s narrow loss in Kent that you’ll be using against Windsor? Ooh yes, we learnt loads. On and off the track. We’ve looked at how to delay with very strong blockers, different starts and smarter offense, as well as how to work our bench to the best effect. Kent were an awesome team and so lovely too. We can’t wait to bring our new found skills to Windsor.

You last met Windsor in 2015 British Champs. Any thoughts based on that? Both sides have very different players and different teams especially since Covid. I’m just excited to see what the current Royal Windsor side brings to the table

All three Rockers games since derby resumed have been away. Should we expect a home game soon? Yes indeed, there’s a home game in March! Roller discos have largely taken over Haywards Heath Dolphin but we’re booked in now so expect all of the fun of a Rockers game. 100% it will be excellent.

Do you have any words for Rockers fans and other readers as we head into 2023? We are so so grateful for fans who have continued to support us after Covid. It means the world to us and keeps our amazing sport going. We are so proud to be ambassadors of a sport that is so inclusive, so empowering and so beautiful. We’re always thankful that our fans help to make it happen.


How did Windsor deal with the big gap in competitive derby over the pandemic? Where possible we skated together outdoors in the sunshine. We also did a lot of online team workouts, quizzes and a murder mystery event.

How many games have you played since derby resumed? We have played a total of four games excluding tomorrow’s Brighton match. Only one of these four was an open door event (against Kent). We also played a Sevens tournament in Eastbourne in which we came second.

Presumably a lot has changed since your last open door game against Brighton back in 2015? Yes! Almost all of the team are different now but we still have the Windsor spirit and we’re looking forward to taking on the Rockers again.

Is there anything Brighton fans heading up to the game should know about the event? There will be a cakes and a merch stand and a stand for Brighton’s merch if they would like to bring some. Windsor Leisure Centre also has a standard leisure centre cafe and a pool if people fancy a dip after the game!






BACK ON TRACK | The Rockers Return With Sights Set On London | Sat 24th Sept

London Roller Derby’s Hippy Hippy Skate back in their Brighton days.

930 days 23 hours 12 minutes 37 seconds. Or (using a possibly simpler timeframe) 2.5 years plus about 2.5 weeks. That’s how long it will have been since the Brighton Rockers A-team left track against Team Dragon at Haywards Heath Dolphin on 7th March 2020 until their next appearance in front of a crowd on the warning tape bordered oval of doom that is a roller derby track. Oh how we’ve missed them!

This return to track, a long Covid gap (which saw a huge boom in outdoor roller skating) in the making, is taking place tomorrow, Saturday 24th September, at London’s Tottenham Green Leisure Centre. The mighty Brighton Rockers stars will be skating out at 4.30pm (doors at 4pm) to face the B-team Brawl Saints of derby legends London Roller Derby.

The Rockers and Brawl Saints have quite the history. Indeed it was at the feet of the Londoners that Brighton recorded the first official loss of their existence. As one of those rare closed door events to go on the record books (with both teams’ agreement) this 180-177 London victory in October 2012 may have ended the Rockers’ run of nine inaugural wins but was in itself something of a shock. The Saints were at the time rated the sixth strongest team in Europe and for Brighton to push them so close (to the final jam, in fact) surprised much of the UK derby scene.

The teams would meet again the following May at the Rockers’ first tournament appearance. Taking place at Alexandra Palace’s London Tattoo Festival, Brighton matched the Londoners well for the first half before the Brawl Saints’ athleticism saw them stretch out to a 223-101 win. Whilst the Rockers have met London’s third team Batter C Power since then, this reunion with LRD’s B-team should prove an interesting tussle.

The event will also see London’s A-team Brawling take on continental powerhouse Lomme Roller Girls (from Lille, France) at 6.30pm. Whilst online advance tickets have been taken off sale, we expect there to be some available on the door at £18-ish a pop. Do check with LRD via social media to make sure though if you’re planning to travel up without a ticket.

Alternatively the games are being streamed live (at £7.50 for both) should a Sussex based watch party be more to your liking. See the links at the bottom of this page for more information. Meanwhile, here are some travel tips, predictions and wise words from five Rockers stars in the lead-up to the event…

Former Rockers captain Swann rocking helmet hair on a London bench.


As the home venue for both of Greater London’s WFTDA leagues, Tottenham Green Leisure Centre is in many ways the Wembley/Twickenham/Whatever of UK derby. This iconic status doesn’t distract from the fact that it’s about as far away from the Sussex coast as you can get in the capital. Usually we’d recommend public transport types to travel via Victoria but helpfully no trains are going there this weekend.

The best option therefore is taking a Cambridge facing Thameslink (12 or 42 past from Brighton) and changing at Finsbury Park for a single stop tube journey to Seven Sisters. From there it’s a ten minute walk straight up the A10 (or jump one of the many passing buses) to the venue. The journey should take a smidgeon under two hours each way from Brighton and one day travelcards are pretty cheap at the weekend. Also don’t forget the first class bit at the BACK of all Thameslink trains isn’t first class at all, so try and get a seat there if you fancy a plug socket and non-ironing board seat.

Petrolheads should point their vehicles at N15 4JA. There’s a fair bit of parking (paid hourly but not extortionate) at the leisure centre itself. Despite being a busy commercial area with a Tesco and plenty of cafes/takeaways, pubs are surprisingly thin on the ground here. The one we found on previous visits is a good ‘un though. Located three or four minutes north of the leisure centre, the High Cross is a converted public toilets so it’s fairly small but has a nice range of craft beers, vegan balti pies and more.

As you’d expect from a derby league that had images of its players on several cans of craft ale last year (now sadly sold out) LRD will be running a bar counter at this event. Popcorn is also a thing here apparently. Enough with the logistics, on to the predictions (or not)…

The Rockers A-team prepare for first whistle in pre-pandemic times.


Usually we’d tell you what the Flattrackstats website expects to happen in the games. Whilst FTS does offer a prediction for the Rockers match, the lack of games in recent years makes it difficult to put too much faith in it. Brighton last played in March 2020 and Brawl Saints have only played once since 2019, so we’re going to swerve FTS predictions until the Rockers have two post-pandemic games under their belt. Let’s just say the website sees the Londoners as pretty strong favourites here.

The London Brawling vs Lomme match is a different matter with the teams having already played four and six games respectively in 2022. Here London are given 97% chance of victory with an expected points differential of 49:18 working out at something like a 196-72 home win. Enough with the maths, let’s hear from the Rockers re their thoughts ahead of the event. (NB We did approach Brawl Saints with questions too, but sadly didn’t give them enough notice as they are busy preparing for the event.)

March 2020: The last time Brighton’s skating superstars faced a crowd.


How does it feel for the Rockers to finally have a game after a 2.5+ year gap? Slaughter Melon: It’s great being back on track! It’s exciting, exhilarating but sometimes nerve wracking. We’ve been training hard so it will be great to get out there as a team working together

How did the players deal with that big pause in derby and how have you prepared for this Brawl Saints game? Go Go Gozer: It was a long break! But then lots of derby teams have previously taken a whole season/year off, so I’m not sure we haven’t come back stronger because of it. We started back as soon as restrictions allowed, first off skates and gradually working back up to full contact. I remember the first session back on skates. Hearing the sound of wheels stamping on the sports hall floor made me cry with joy! A lot of the team were in contact throughout the pandemic. A fair few got into park skating, so hopefully we kept our skate skills fresh.

Has the Brighton A-team changed much since your last outing in March 2020? Hairy Fairy: We have been incredibly lucky in that from our original A-team most of our skaters have returned to skating. There will be lots of familiar faces and names, but we’ve also had a few name changes and some newer skaters who were in the B-team are now solid members of the A-team. Apex Twin, G-force and Skates Of Wrath are all making their A-team debuts. We also have our last game with Dixon who was actually too young to play with us before Covid! She’s leaving for Uni but we have so enjoyed skating with her for the last year.

What are your expectations against the London Brawl Saints? Care to predict the score? Slap Dash: We’re really excited to play the Brawl Saints. We know LRD are an amazing league so we’re excited to see how they’ll play. Our bench crew have watched their recent games which has been really helpful when it comes to planning our approach and thinking about tactics. (There’s also a certain Hippy skater on their roster who we know quite well.) We know it will be challenging but we’re hoping to learn a lot and try out our new tactics. As for score predictions, I’m not that brave. I’ll be happy if we’ve played our best and tried out the things we’ve been working on… oh, and not fouling out would be nice!

Finally, what are the Rockers plans going forward? Any messages for your opponents, fans or potential new members? Block Horror: We’ve been training hard since our return to skating and are definitely keen to get out there and play more games. We’re looking to host a home game early next year and have a few more away games in the pipeline so keep your eyes peeled for announcements! Opponents: look forward to seeing you on track. Fans: thanks so much for supporting us, seeing our supporters at games is always a massive boost. Potential new members: if you’re thinking of giving derby a go, do it, you won’t regret it – and even if contact isn’t for you, we’re always looking for refs and NSOs.







[Photographs by John Hesse]


Your votes have been counted, the certificates have been printed and the badges have arrived. Due to a clerical error the manufacturers actually made two of each badge, so our lucky winners will be able to wear one at all times, whilst supergluing the other to their fridge or pet. There were so many awesome performances last year, but we can only give out a handful of awards, so who done winned? Find out below… (PS winners please get in touch so we can arrange to get the shiny things to you. Cheerses.)

Remarkably this is Rockers mainstay Cake’s first BRATS Award – well, apart from the ‘Most Voted For’ consolation prize in 2017. It was a landslide as she picked up around 90% of the vote, leaving everyone else trailing after a barnstorming year on track.

Last year’s Player of the Year has to make do with the Jammer gong this time out. The likes of Skate Bush, Go Go Gozer and Deathblade picked up a fair few votes here, but Kapow finished in front of the chasing pack.

One of the most keenly contested categories with eight different skaters picking up votes. There were strong showings from Hairy Fairy, Gozer and others, but last year’s winner Fellen edged ahead to retain the title.

A very close contest for our Rockerbillies award for 2019 saw Goldiblocks finishing a single vote ahead of tied second place Pina Collider and Skates Of Wrath.

As with Cake’s victory for the Player award, this one was almost unanimous with Joadicea comprehensively triumphing in the BRATS ‘Class of 2019’ rookie contest.


In last year’s Icon poll, Finn lost out by just half a vote to Hairy Fairy. This year saw the same two duking it out, but this was Finn’s turn to triumph (by a marginally more emphatic whole vote)!


It was an NSO versus ref tussle in this category, which swiftly became a straight fight between last year’s winner Hissing Hellcat and 2019’s eventual victor Sez Who?


Announcers, photographers, bench crew and more battled it out in this category. Remarkably it’s the first time picture king John Hesse has won the gong. In the interests of family harmony we won’t mention that Kira came second.

With several people picking up votes in multiple categories, this special prize goes to the person who picked up the most votes in total without actually winning anything (except this). This year it’s Hairy.

We’ve finally got round to awarding our annual ‘services to BRATS’ award to Mr Séamus, who has paid for adverts in all 27 issues of our fanzine despite having nothing to advertise. Cheers millionsly Sir.

Threats From The WEST | BRIGHTON Face Teams From LIMERICK And BRISTOL | Who’s BEST?

The mighty Brighton Rockers are back in action in Haywards Heath this Saturday (21st Sept) against teams from the West of both Ireland and England. The A-team take on Limerick Roller Derby then the B-team face their Bristol Roller Derby equivalents. True fact: if you draw a straight line on a map from the centre of Limerick to the centre of Brighton it passes right through the centre of Bristol. But we digress… Doors are at 2pm with the A-team game kicking off half an hour later, followed by the Bs just after 4.30pm. It’s Slap Dash’s birthday and Hippy Hippy Skate’s last game before transferring to the London Rockin’ Rollers, so expect a super special day. Tickets are £8 online from the link at the bottom of this piece or £9.50 on the door. Students and Compass Card holders pay £7 and under 12s go free.

If you’ve never been to the Dolphin before it’s crazy easy to get to. Car users can point their Sat Nav at RH16 1LY. Train folks will find the leisure centre seven minutes walk from Haywards Heath station (turn left and follow the signs) and this weekend is free from engineering works yay! There’s a decent enough pub, the Burrell Arms, opposite the station and a large Sainsbury’s with ATMs halfway to the venue. There should be a bottle bar, cakes, merch, a raffle and more in the sports hall, with a cafe and vending machines in the foyer. The after party will be back in Brighton at the games packed World’s End.

PREDICTIONS [Skip this paragraph if you don’t want to know]
Flattrackstats’ own (non official) WFTDA rankings place A-team competitors Brighton 295th and Limerick 373rd. The hosts are given 92% chance of victory with a differential of 56:29. This means the Rockers will need to get almost double Limerick’s points total to improve their ranking, whilst anything substantially less will benefit the visitors. The B-team match is predicted to be closer with the Rockerbillies 261st in Europe and Bristol Bees 274th. Brighton B are given 62% chance of victory and are expected to score 15 points for every 13 from Bristol. This suggests a fairly narrow (20 points or so) overall victory margin, which is super close in derby. Bear in mind that the prediction computer gets it wrong as often as it gets it right. The only real way to know how the games are gonna play out it is to be there watching them.

“The A-team won 173-157 in Limerick in 2017. It will be interesting to see how things have changed for both teams over the past two years. I’m expecting a challenge, but I’ve also heard they’re a great league to play against, so I can’t wait. In the B-team game we’re expecting to face a strong Bristol side. From our perspective, three victories at Eastbourne Extreme has boosted everyone’s confidence and the Rockerbillies are hungry for more success.”

“The 2017 match was a challenging game at the time and a very close one at that. Brighton won by 16 points, so we’re definitely not going to underestimate the Rockers. All of the Limerick skaters are forces to be reckoned with, every player bringing their unique strengths and skills to the game, so we’re ready and prepared for this rematch.”

“Our Beehive is constantly changing with some Bees being promoted to the A-team and new bees coming from drop in, but as a good beehive we work as a team and always aim to look after each other and have fun. The only thing we can predict is a tough game from the Rockerbillies. We’ll be digging deep, getting low and most importantly having fun on track.”

[Photo by John Hesse]


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!

[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!”

“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.”

“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.”

[Photo by John Hesse]



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.

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.)




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!”

“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.”

[Photos by John Hesse and NSP 189]






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!


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!”

“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.”

“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.”

“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!”

[Photos by John Hesse and Vincent Micheletti]