2015 sees the launch of the British Championships being run by the UKRDA (UK Roller Derby Association). The Women’s British Roller Derby Championships has 4 tiers and will see 175 games played:
- the UKRDA Premier Tier, which has one division of 6 teams;
- the UKRDA National Tier, which has 2 divisions of 6 teams;
- the Regional Tier, which has 4 divisions of 6 teams;
- and the Local Tier which has 6 divisions of 5 teams each
The organisers said: “The British Championships 2015 is Britain and Europe’s largest interleague Women’s and Men’s Flat Track Roller Derby Tournament.
“Over 70 women’s leagues will compete in 4 tiers across Britain throughout the year, with promotion, relegation and thrilling Playoff action, to provide a Revolution in British Roller Derby. The Men’s tournament will run along similar lines to the Women’s tournament, with three tiers of single divisions, Each team will host a double header throughout the year, and all games will be played according to WFTDA / MRDA ruleset.
This will be similar gameplay to the Northern Series which Newcastle Roller Girls travel team (A team) the Canny Belters were part of in 2014. We also expect our brother league Tyne and Fear to be competing in the men’s tournament.”
They added: “Finally, a tournament structure for all levels of Women’s and Men’s Roller Derby, to bring greater media attention and fan focus to our growing sport.”
It’s hoped that the more formal structure for games in the UK, just like in the US, will lead to the sport growing with fans being more easily involved, and teams able to advertise from the beginning of the year all of their games to build up a following.
Newcastle Roller Girls, ranked 12th out of 40 teams are in tier 2, UKRDA National North in the British Championships, so will be playing against:
- Hellfire Harlots
- Hulls Angels Roller Derby (H.A.R.D)
- Manchester Roller Derby
- Hot Wheel Roller Derby
In tier 2 we are one of two national tiers, the other being UKRDA National South, which is:
- Brighton Roller Derby
- Bristol Roller Derby
- London Rockin’ Rollers
- Portsmouth Roller Wenches
- Royal Windsor Rollergirls
- Seaside Sirens Roller Girls
From our understanding there is the potential for relegation or promotion (a little like football) so NRG is going to be fighting hard to get into the only division above us which is the UKRDA Premier Tier.
The teams for the Premier Tier, who will be battling it out for the title of British Champion are:
- Middlesbrough Milk Rollers
- Rainy City Roller Girls
- Auld Reekie Roller Girls
- Glasgow Roller Derby
- Tiger Bay Brawlers
- Central City Rollergirls
Because this is UKRDA sanctioned, they are only allowing travel teams (the A teams) to be involved in the tournament, which means that London Roller Girls B team the Brawl Saints will miss out on a spot, and their A team Brawling will likely not be playing to concentrate on WFTDA play in the US.
Sadly it also means the NRG’s Whippin’ Hinnies (B team) are not eligible for this tournament, which is disappointing as they’re ranked higher than a lot of A teams! But we aren’t too disappointed about that, as our kick ass Hinnies have lots of exciting things lined up already for 2015 more of which we’ll be able to announce in the coming weeks and months.
Although NRG will be hosting other games at home that aren’t part of the British Championships, our aim for the Belters will be to focus on tournaments, and our WFTDA rankings, which means travelling!
If you want to donate anything to NRG’s travel fund, you can click here! No matter how small, we are very grateful for any donations.
2015 will shape up to be very exciting not just for NRG but for European derby in general.
The Belters first game will be against Manchester Roller Derby in a double header in Manchester which also sees the Nottingham Hellfire Harlots take on Hot Wheel from Yorkshire. You can find details here.