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Bristol Roller Derby’s Intraleague Season: A Bout of Two Halves

Daughters of Anarchy 227  – 95 ADHD

Saturday 1st February, Thornbury Leisure Centre


Things have become very interesting in Bristol Roller Derby’s 2014 intraleague tournament after an epic game at Thornbury Leisure Centre last Saturday.

It was a very confident Anarchic Die Hard Derby (ADHD) team, fresh from their win over Smash Vandals the previous week, who skated onto the track for the second of Bristol Roller Derby’s intraleague bouts. This time it was the Daughters of Anarchy (DOA) who lined up against previous week’s winners, ready to battle it out to decide if ADHD would take the Championship after just two games.

The Die Hard’s confidence shone through in the first half of the game, who, despite a strong start and early lead from the Daughters, remained calm and focused, patiently waiting for the opposing jammers to make a mistake.

And they didn’t have to wait too long. Mid-way through the first half some text book defending by the ADHD blockers saw the DOA jammer sent to the penalty box. Some great tactical calls and more penalties by DOA resulted in a series of power jams for the Die Hards who racked up the points as the first half came to an end. Half time result: DOA 48 – ADHD 68.

But captain of DOA, E-Z Roller, wasn’t going to see her team give up that easily. After rallying her troops during the half time break, the strong start that the Daughters had made in the first half was replicated in the second. The only difference was that this time they didn’t take their foot off the pedal.

This bout is a tale of two halves. While ADHD were calm and patient in the first half, DOA were dogged and relentless in the second. And the pressure took its toll. An almost immediate power jam for the Daughters allowed them to take control of the game and not give it back. Solid work by the team’s blockers meant that ADHD jammers found themselves with nowhere to go, and few points to be scored.  That, combined with powerful jamming from the Daughters, saw an avalanche of points in the second half – mostly in favour of the team in green.

Final score: DOA 227 – 95 ADHD.

Both ADHD and DOA now have one win each. The deciding game will take place on Saturday 22 February when DOA take on Smash Vandals to confirm which of the three teams will be crowned intraleague champions.


Written by Raven Lunatic

Bristol Roller Derby’s Intraleague Season Starts With a Bang!

ADHD 155 – 118 Smash Vandals

Saturday, 25th January, Thornbury Leisure Centre



While most of the general public are recovering from their new year’s hangovers and deciding what resolutions to make and break, Bristol Roller Derby are taking to the track in a home team tournament!

Split into three mixed-ability teams, Anarchic Die Hard Derby (ADHD), Daughters of Anarchy (DOA) and Smash Vandals will play one another over January and February to become intraleague champions.

The tournament kicked off on Saturday with ADHD taking on the Smash Vandals.  The first half was full of action, with both teams out to show what they’re made of. ADHD took an early lead, forcing penalties and earning numerous power jams, leaving the Vandals with a lot to do in the second half.


But the Vandals weren’t down and out; they came smashing through in the second half, creating strong walls and earning more power jams to close the points gap.  There was plenty of action to keep the crowd entertained, and a few unusual incidents to keep the refs nice and busy! A last-minute star-pass-that-didn’t-quite-end-up-being-passed, combined with a player being sent to the box left a few people scratching their heads and reaching for the rule book!  In the end the Vandals couldn’t quite catch up and ADHD took the game 155 to 118.  Well done, Die Hards!

ADHD don’t have much time to celebrate their victory before their next game – they’re back on track next Saturday (1st Febuary) to take on DOA in the second round of the tournament.  Will they be able to make it 2 wins out of 2?


***A big thank you to our lovely refs, NSOs, track layers and everyone else who helped behind the scenes -and to all our spectators who came to cheer us on!***

Wondering where all our awesome photography came from?  Our very own Bear Thrylls was trackside to cover the event – see more shots from the game on her Flickr Account.

Written by Gnarly Quin

Bristol Roller Derby: 2013 in Review

Wow, what a year its been! Let’s have a look back at what Bristol Roller Derby got up to in 2013…

The League kicked off the year in January, with the A-team (ranked 29th by ERDR) playing the first bout, which was almost a no-goer due to the snow! We visited the lovely Dolly Rockit Rollers in freezing Leicester, and took home the win 237-166.

March brought a double header, with BRD as the hosts. As usual with all our home bouts, league members all chipped in and things ran like clockwork. Thank you to all those who have volunteered their time, we couldn’t do it without you!

The Harlot’s B-team (affectionately referred-to as ‘the Bees’, ranked 95th) took on Mean Valley Roller Girls. The score ended 227-162 in Mean Valleys favour.

The A team faced Leeds Roller Dolls B team, 245-91 to us, continuing a great start to 2013.

Photo by  Adam Gasson |

Photo by Adam Gasson |

The Bees certainly have been busy! In April we were winging our way East, to bout against the Royal Windsor Roller Girls B team, the B-Headers. We fought well but Windsor were triumphant 204-131.

The Spring was set to be a full schedule of bouts for all the hard working Harlots, as both teams headed to Lincolnshire in April. The Lincolnshire Bombers hosted two very closed games. We won the A game, 193-171. The Bees game, went to the Bombers, 148-128. Nail biting stuff!

May, and our Harlots A-team faced possibly their biggest challenge to date. We took part in the Roller Rumble, a Southern regional UKRDA tournament, held in Alexandra Palace alongside the Great British Tattoo Show.

Seeded 4th, the Harlots first game on Saturday was against Brummies, the Central City Roller Girls. A fantastically close game, in which CCR just edged ahead, 218-204. Later that day we played Kent Roller Girls that ended in the 1st win of the weekend for us, 272-107.

Photo by Jason Ruffell |

Photo by Jason Ruffell |

Battered and bruised from Saturdays games, we played Brighton Rockers Roller Derby on Sunday, winning 251-175.

With about 5 minutes to lick our wounds we were straight back on the track to play CCR for the second time. By now we were old friends and spent a good few time outs discussing who would have to play again straight after, against London. Sadly for our hearts (but not our bodies) it was Birmingham  who went on, beating us again with a super close score 196-172.

Photo by Jason Ruffell |

Photo by Jason Ruffell |

Despite being a fit bunch of ladies, we were some-what unaccustomed to playing 4 bouts in one weekend (in what was essentially a greenhouse!). However… everything really clicked that weekend! Maybe it was the adrenalin, creating extreme focus? Or perhaps it was the quality of youth hostel sleep? Or maybe the few questionable fast food meals? Anyway, we all left feeling pretty proud and I think all the Harlots would agree; it was one of the most fun and rewarding things we’ve done as a team.

We won the hearts of the crowd, 3rd place and jumped up to 18th in the rankings!

No sooner were the A’s back from London, than the B-team were off to France in June for our first game outside the UK! The Bees played BMO Roller Derby in Brest, won some great new friends, almost missed a few ferries, and unfortunately lost, 279-86.

The A team, not wanting to be left out, hopped on a plane a week later to Stuttgart, Germany. The Stuttgart Valley Roller Girls hosted a fantastic game, with a huge crowd. Showing us and their fans just how its done, winning 160-94.

With so much long distance traveling this year, we have continued to raise money for the league and our chosen charity of the year, Survive. Our home teams held auctions, sponsored skates and bingo nights, but its not hard to put your hand in your pocket when you’re having so much fun!

Photo by Adam Gasson |

Photo by Adam Gasson |

Our June double header; the Bees and our newly formed mens team take centre stage. Porto Roller Derby came all the way from Portugal and put up a great fight, while skating short. The Harlot B-team won, 236-133

Recruitment for the boys stepped up a gear late last year, with skating skills and tactical knowledge progressing at lightening speed! Vice Quad was born in January and along with this bout we have had scrimmages and closed bouts with the likes of Devon, SDRD B and SWS. The June bout saw Vice Quad played their first open bout as a team and for some skaters it was their first public bout ever, cementing their new found love for Roller Derby. VQ did BRD proud against Milton Keynes Quads of War and this exciting game ended 251-166 to QoW. The boys will have their first international game in early 2014.

Photo by Matthew Lord |

Photo by Matthew Lord |

We also can’t forget our stripey friends, the refs and NSO’s from team Zebra, without whom there would be no order! This year, not only did they help out at home, they travelled with the teams and hosted our first Officials boot camp in July, providing invaluable knowledge for around 30 attendees.

The first of Julys games took the Harlots A-team North, to the home of the Sheffield Steel All Stars. We suffered a few injuries in this game, but soldiered on. The All Stars won 167-155.

A week later they were back up country with the Middlesbrough Milk Rollers who showed us they were definitely ‘coming’ in the last game of the season! 269-99.

Our rookies started their fresh meat training late in 2012, and have been coming on leaps and bounds since then. We can’t really refer to any of them as rookies any more, they are just too good! At the end of July they were ‘sorted’ into our home teams, during a Harry Potter themed scrimmage.

We’ve also started seeing some new skaters moving up to the league from our weekly ‘drop in derby’ sessions. The family is growing!

Photo by Jennifer Rollason |

Photo by Jennifer Rollason |

The whole league then took a well earned rest in August, but were raring to go in September… Hot Wheel Roller Derby came down from Leeds, with their heavily defense game play,  and took no prisoners against the A-team, 282-112.

Our final home double header of the year, in December, saw our A-team rematch against the Hellfire Harlots. Unfortunately the Nottingham Harlots fire could not be quenched by our Harbour Harlots, 225-128.

We had almost 500 spectators at this event and the Bees gave them a real show, taking on Cornwall Roller Derby’s Atlantic Breakers. Lead changes were non stop down to the last jam, which gave the win to Cornwall by only 4 points, 180-176.

Photo by Alan Thuc |

Photo by Alan Thuc |

Thank you so much to all the skaters, nso’s, refs, cake bakers, coaches, first aiders and anyone else who has supported us in 2013. We can’t wait for 2014!

Written by E-Z Roller

Harbour Harlots Hit Deal or No Deal

Screen shot 2013-09-01 at 00.36.36

Though far more used to facing opposition as part of a team, on August 26th our very own Tequila Jammer stood boldly alone to meet a cunning and unpredictable foe, an opponent unlike any she’d battled before…the Banker.

As a contestant on hit gameshow Deal Or No Deal Tequila had to hold her nerve and pit her wits against the boxes, hoping to keep it low, keep it blue. Would she be able to spank the Banker or would he knock her aside and dash her dreams? This was one situation where her Harlot team-mates would not be able to help. Or would they…

Screen shot 2013-09-01 at 00.43.17Asked about the experience, Tequila said “My time at Deal or No Deal was absolutely amazing, I arrived during the festival special and spent my first week in fancy dress with lemons on my head, it was brilliant. The other contestants are so lovely, and have become my third family (Bristol Roller Derby of course being my second). I was really nervous during my game because it meant so much to me and I had seen huge highs and lows during my time filming (Paddy winning 250k and Jolene and Rich leaving with a penny). I hadn’t told many people I was going to be on Deal so when all of my friends and teammates came rolling out to surprise me I couldn’t quite believe it, at that moment I felt as though I had won the 250k, I couldn’t have been happier to see them all, it gave me the strength to carry on my game.”

Black Thorn, the Harlots Vice Captain, finally spills the secrets about how the day came together…

“When I took the phone call from the producers of Deal asking if I could try to get the team together to surprise Tequila Jammer during her show the overall feeling was one of relief – I knew she was going to be on the show having written her reference, and keeping it secret from the rest of the Harlots was proving almost impossible!

Screen shot 2013-09-01 at 00.44.21

Tequila had taken a few weeks off of training for filming so we’d all been missing her and couldn’t wait to support her – especially as it meant appearing on the show itself and meeting the legend that it Noel Edmonds! It was a bit of a logistical nightmare getting 10 Harlots to the TV studios without Tequila getting wind of it or the rest of the league finding out, but other than a pretty heated argument about which of us would hipcheck Noel if the opportunity arose it went without a hitch!

The day itself was great fun, starting with us being sneaked into the greenroom during filming and then into position backstage whilst the contestants were having lunch. We attempted to ‘choreograph’ our entrance with the Director but if you watched the show it is pretty apparent that this didn’t go entirely to plan – The Blizzard ending up with a black eye courtesy of Da Silva Surfer certainly wasn’t in the script!

It was clear from Tequila’s reaction that we successfully kept it a secret, seeing her realise that her sister (The Wrecknician) was there after telling a small white lie about not being able to get away from work made us all tear up a bit! We had a great day out and are all incredibly proud of how well Tequila did, if a teensy bit jealous of her upcoming trip to Championships paid for by her winnings!”

If you missed the episode or want to watch it again, it can be found here:


Just Cause

Photo by Adam Gasson |

Photo by Adam Gasson |

Following twelve months of successful fundraising Bristol Roller Derby are thrilled to be able to present our Charity of the Year, Survive, with a grand total of £1527.35. The money has been raised through specific fundraising events, donations and passing the bucket at every opportunity, and members are very proud of the amount raised. BRD members think so highly of the work carried out by Survive that it has been recently selected as Charity of the Year for a second time. The Bristol and South Gloucestershire Survive helps women, children and young people who are experiencing domestic abuse. It provides a huge variety of services including a helpline, confidence building workshops and outreach support programmes. It also runs three secret refuges in the region which offer a welcome retreat for those in need.

Anna Smith, Chief Executive of Survive said

“We would like to thank Bristol Roller Derby for all your efforts and raising such a great sum for Survive. It was fantastic that some of our staff could come and see a bout at the weekend and be presented with a nice big cheque! The money is going towards the Freedom programme – our group work programme for women who have experienced domestic abuse, to help them recover from their experiences, recognise potential future abusers and recognise the effects of domestic abuse on children. The programme makes a real difference to the lives of women and children who have experienced abuse. Another thank you is due as you have named us your Charity of the Year for 2013 too. We are looking forward to working with you again this year.”

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2013 Season Tickets

tickets-w200We promised you that 2013 was going to be the best year yet for Bristol Roller Derby and with the announcement of the afterparty venue and line-up, March the 2nd is going to be the date to kick off your derby addiction in Bristol.

Firstly though, we have a series of exciting announcements relating to advance ticket sales. For the first time ever, Season Tickets will be available for all the BRD home games. These super-special limited edition design laminated tickets will cost you just £22 and will:

  • – save you 50p on usual advance ticket prices for the games;
  • – get you in to all the BRD home games and after parties;
  • – get you an exclusive BRD goodie bag;
  • – enter you into all our bout raffles; and
  • – give you exclusive access to our ‘family and friends’ games which are not open to the general public.

So how do you get one of these babies? Head on over to and sign up there. Then on 2nd March, bring us the cash on the door and we’ll swap it for one of our funky laminate-and-lanyard season tickets. Already bought your advance ticket? Not a problem! On 2nd March, we will swap your advance ticket for a season ticket, you just need to pay the difference. Terms and conditions apply to season tickets, see posters on the day for
more details. There are just 50 of these tickets available, and they will be sold on a firstcome, first-served basis, with those people who’ve signed up on line being given priority.

But wait! Did we mention ‘advance ticket sales raffle’? Yes we did! All advanced purchase tickets (including those who sign-up for season tickets) will be entered into a free raffle. This will be drawn in advance of the game and winners announced at half time. You won’t be able to buy a ticket for this on the day, the only way to enter is to buy a ticket in advance! Prizes include BRD merchandise, a pair of tickets to the next home game and for the star prize, a season ticket! So head over to Brown Paper Tickets now and get in on the action.

The after-party for this bout is looking to be the hot ticket in Bristol on the 2nd. The venue has been announced as the Cavern Club at 10 All Saints Lane in Bristol, and the awesome band line-up includes Belladonna, Von Bartha and The Cortège. The venue capacity is strictly limited, so get your advanced ticket, and get there early if you don’t want to miss out.

Tickets for the game, which also get you into the after-party, are just £6 in advance (£8 on the door) for over 15s and £4 advance (£6 on the door) for children from 7-15, whilst kids under 7 go free. Group tickets are also available (in advance only – 6 adult tickets for £30). You can buy online from Brown Paper Tickets. Doors open at 14.00 with the first game starting at 15.00, and the bouts ending at 8pm.

This event will be supporting our 2013 nominated charity, Survive

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Die Hard derby love in Bristol!


It is with great excitement that we can announce that from the 1st November 2012 the two Bristol leagues, Bristol Roller Derby and Anarchic Die Hard Derby, are merging into one league!

ADHD was set up shortly after the last intake into Bristol Roller Derby was closed in 2011 and we were unable to accept new recruits. For a few girls the idea of waiting to learn to skate and play roller derby was just too much to bear, and so armed with a truck load of enthusiasm and dedication they formed a new Bristol team. Over the past 18 months they have worked hard to nail their minimum skills, and recently held their graduation bout with skaters from Bristol Roller Derby delighted to also be guest skating, benching and officiating at it. A special shout out has to go to Jet Reckless, who took on a personal mission to support and coach ADHD in any spare time she could fit around her normal training.

The idea of eventually all joining forces has been a subject of conversation amongst the Bristol derby crew for a long time, so to finally make this idea a reality is something that we are all delighting in.

Yet again our intake day got a huge amount of interest, and so our new Fresh Meat girls can now look forward to being drafted on to one of FOUR home teams (ADHD, Daughters of Anarchy, Project Mayhem or Smash Vandals) when they graduate. We’re excited too about what this means for our travel teams, the Harbour Harlots, with so much talent on offer!

ADHD Graduation Bout

ADHD Graduation Bout. © What The F4 Photography |

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Bristol Roller Derby skate for Survive!

On August 26th 2012 some of our Bristol Roller Derby skaters have decided to skate a marathon at this year’s South Coast Roll event. They will be attempting to skate 11 laps of the Goodwood race track (making 26 miles), and will be raising funds for Survive, a brilliant charity designed to help those suffering from domestic abuse.

Survive is Bristol Roller Derby’s charity of choice for 2012, and we hope to raise as much funds as possible for this worthy cause.

If you would like to make a donation, you can do so on our Just Giving page and choose your favourite skater


BRD Skate for Survive

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Bristol Roller Derby announces SURVIVE as its chosen charity

Bristol Roller Derby will be supporting domestic violence charity Survive throughout 2012, after announcing it as its charity of the year.

The sports league will be collecting donations on behalf of Survive at all of its public events, volunteering at fundraisers and raising awareness to members and fans.

Roller derby is a full-contact, women-only sport played on quad skates. Bristol Roller Derby was established in April 2010 and is growing in popularity; attracting over 500 fans at its last public bout and providing an athletic outlet to its 70-strong membership.

Bristol and South Gloucestershire charity Survive helps women, children and young people who are experiencing domestic abuse. It provides a huge variety of services including a helpline, confidence building workshops and outreach support programmes. It also runs three secret refuges in the region which offer a welcome retreat for those in need.

Anna Smith, chief executive, Survive said: “Survive is thrilled to be named as charity of the year by Bristol Roller Derby, a sport which through its encouragement of women and development of a community of participants embodies many of our principles.  The economic hardship experienced by families currently and the squeeze on public funds means we are facing a greater level of women and children in need and less funds to provide our services, so support from donations and collections is needed more than ever before.”

Brooke Nolan, Bristol Roller Derby spokesperson, said: “Roller derby is an empowering sport for women, and domestic abuse is a cause which is very close to many of our member’s hearts. The synergy between the two makes Survive the ideal charity for us to support and we are looking forward to working in partnership with the Survive team and hopefully making a tangible difference to those who have been effected by domestic violence.”

Bristol Roller Derby will be collecting donations for Survive at its next public bout ‘Dirty Torque’ on Sunday 11th March at WISE Campus, Filton College, New Road, Stoke Gifford, BS34 8LP. For more information on tickets visit

For more information, images or interviews with Survive or Bristol Roller Derby please contact Brooke Nolan on or 0117 953 0320.

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Class of 2011 – Fresh Meat get ready to graduate

When Bristol Roller Derby (BRD) opened its doors for try-outs in March 2011 the organisers had no idea what they had let themselves in for. Instead of recruiting just enough skaters to cover costs, they were faced with the difficult chore of whittling nearly 100 derby-girls-in-waiting down to the maximum number – two dozen – that could be accommodated on the course.

This was the final intake of new skaters for the foreseeable future, as BRD had grown large so fast it was becoming necessary to stop recruitment and take stock of what they had, building on strengths and talents within the group to reinforce the aims of the League before taking on any more skaters.

This last group became Fresh Meat 2011, and after spending 2011 learning how to (safely) knock each other down in style, they are about to graduate. Following 9 months of literal blood, sweat and tears, the newest members of BRD are preparing for their graduation bout, a friendly game played against each other in the privacy of their practice hall, which will mark the end of their probationary training period and the beginning of their lives as players for one of BRD’s home teams. They have submitted themselves for the draft to either Daughters of Anarchy, Smash Vandals or Project Mayhem and – while they look forward to their new teams with fierce intensity – they express nothing but love, admiration and a deep respect for their fellow ‘Meaties’, their coaches and their teammates-to-be.

The demographic of the group is incredibly varied. The skaters range in age from 20 to “certainly older than you might think I am” and the careers they represent “in real life” include administration, physiotherapy, insurance adjustment and photography. One skater is a Cabin Crew member for a major airline and brings her uniform to practice when she’s on standby, just in case. They are mothers, wives and girlfriends and while they do exhibit a liking for tattoos and hair dye, not all look like the mainstream stereotype of “the derby girl”. Rachel “Ac!d Drop” Britton, a Senior Pharmaceutical Advisor for the NHS explained “My tattoos are strategically placed – they’re on show when I want them to be but they cover up completely for work. I am absolutely professional during the week but I can still show my roller girl colours when it counts!” Outside of practice, suits and dresses, jeans and t-shirts are just as prevalent in their wardrobes as hot-pants and crazy-colour tights. Roller Derby doesn’t make a girl’s wardrobe go wild – sometimes it just encourages pre-existing tendencies to emerge.

No sports league would be complete without an all-star team, and BRD is no exception. Their travel team, the Harbour Harlots, have gone from strength to strength this year, relishing victory and taking defeat in their stride as they strive to become the dominant team in the South West in 2012. While it is rare for a newly-qualified skater to be drafted straight to the travel team, it isn’t unheard of, and some of the new grads will certainly stand a chance. Asked what she thought about landing a spot on the Harlots, Sorrel “Hattie Flattener” Sparks replied:“The thought of being instantly drafted onto the Travel Team fills me with equal measures of knee wobbling excitement and teeth clenching terror! I will get there one day, but will have to rely on hard work and determination rather than natural ability.” Clearly, these girls are prepared to work for their dreams.

Regardless of what teams they end up on, 2012 is certain to be an amazing 12 months for the new recruits of Bristol Roller Derby, and another exciting and successful year for the league as a whole.

Written by Red October (aka Mia Gilson)

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