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Wednesday 31st August 2016
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The Mystery Hour - Sport and Games

<a class='autolink' href='/james-obrien-3537'>James O'Brien</a>Thursdays 12-1pm

Every week, James O'Brien enlists the help of LBC listeners to solve the questions you've always wondered the answer to.

It's all about shared human knowledge. Call up with a question and then another listener around the country will know the answer.

But we're strict - no reptition and no dullness (so leave the motoring questions out!). If it's something that most of the audience would say "yes, I've wondered about that", then we want to hear from you.

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Sport and Games


Why do we put our head in our hands?

When there is a near-miss when playing sport, why do we put our face in our heads?

What is the semi-circle on the edge of the penalty area?

In football, what is the purpose of the semi-circle on the edge of the penalty box?

What is the "nap" in betting?

Every newspaper has a racing tipster, who recommends horses of the day and the top horse is the "nap". What does "nap" mean?

Where did the game Chess come from?

What are the origins of the game chess? Where did it come from and who invented it?


What happens to lottery scratchcards when all the top prizes have been won?

Surely it is like selling raffle tickets after the prizes have gone?

andy murray

Where did tennis scoring come from?

Where did the tennis scoring system come from? Is there a logical reason for it?

How cold are Olympic swimming pools?

I complained when our local swimming pool was cold and was told it was the "official Olympic swimming pool temperature". What temp is that?

Why do all sports go anti-clockwise?

Why do we run, iceskate and rollerskate in an anti-clockwise direction?

What happens football kit after the game?

What happens to all the football kits after the game? Do they keep them? Re-use them? Sell them?

Why do dog races always start at odd times?

Why do greyhound races start at funny times, like 14 past or 23 to? Why not to the nearest five minutes?

Why do golfers should fore?

On a golf course, why do you shout 'Fore' when the ball is about to hit someone?

How many people from 1966 final are still alive?

Of the 100,000 people that attended the 1966 World Cup final, how many would still be alive?

Who was the first to jump out of a plane with a parachute?

Who was the very first person to jump out of an aircraft with a parachute? They must have been very brave!

Why is the 100m winner "the world's fastest"?

Why is the man that runs the 100m the fastest man in the world? Shouldn’t it be the man who is fastest over 10m or even 1m?

Why do we call the Netherlands Holland?

We've just lost to the Netherlands at cricket, but at football, we play Holland. Why is that?

Why do goalkeepers always kick the ball long?

In football, why do goalkeepers kick the ball downfield, seeing it always goes to the other team? Why not give it short to your own team?

How do they know if sudokus are easy or hard?

In Sudoku puzzles, they are rated as easy, moderate or hard. But how do they know how difficult they are when they make them up?

If all football matches finish 0-0, who would win?

At a football World Cup, what would happen if all games in a four-team group finished 0-0. Who would go through?

Why do pub TVs have a pint glass in the corner?

When I watch football in the pub, why is there a pint glass in the bottom corner of the screen? And why is it sometimes full, empty and sometimes empty?

Why are dart boards numbered like that?

On a dartboard, why are the numbers set out the way they are set out?

Why do judo players wear loose-fitting outfits?

In Judo, contestants spend a lot of their time straightening up their outfits. Why don't they wear something more tight-fitting?
playing cards

Why are there two jokers in a pack of cards?

What is the point of them?


What happens with scratchcards when the top prizes are won?

Isn't it a bit like selling raffle tickets when the prizes have gone?