Olympic Question Time: Your queries answered
Wednesday 01 August 2012
Every day we're asking you to send us your questions about the Games. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet using the hashtag #indyolympics, live from the Olympic Park – or your sofa. We'll try to get you an answer asap and the best questions will be printed. Please remember we may be too busy to answer everyone, but if you think you can answer someone else's question, all the better! To get us started, here are some queries that have been bothering us.
Q. Why is the hockey pitch waterlogged – it hasn't rained much?
A. It's watered deliberately – if the artificial turf were to dry out, the ball wouldn't fizz along smoothly, and the players would risk injury as the pitch became too grippy and too rough when they fall over.
Q. Mark Cavendish isn't in today's time trial because he's not an "endurance" athlete. But he cycled 156 miles in the road race, and today's is only 27. What gives?
A. Cav's a specialist sprinter, suited to bursts of explosive energy. He can cope with long distances with the help of a team (they shelter him from wind resistance) but you're on your own in a time trial. He could only come 82nd in the time trial Wiggins won to seal his Tour de France victory.
Q. Playing volleyball at school, you could only win points on our own serve. Yet in the Olympics they can win points on the opponent's serve too. Are we remembering this wrongly?
A. No, that's right - the rules have changed. Everyone used to use "side-out" scoring - meaning you could only win a point on your own serve. But it was difficult to schedule matches as they could go on for ages with players just winning serve, not points. Now everyone uses "rally" scoring, meaning a point is awarded in every rally – it's easier to follow, and better for TV and predicting when people will be heading home.
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