Question and Answer: Platform for your sporting queries

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The Independent Online
Q. Why is ballroom dancing to be classed as a sport in the next Olympic Games? I have always regarded dancing as an art. Whatever next? Speed painting? Ice sculpture against the clock for the winter Games?

A. While reading this question I was faced with this dilemma: although I hate ballroom dancing it probably requires much more stamina, training and skill than many of our so-called sports. For instance, darts, snooker, pool, golf to name but a few are just very skilled pastimes. Sport surely has to involve some sort of athleticism and fitness otherwise why not crocheting, sewing, cooking and bed-making in the Olympics?

Treve Harris, Redruth

A. As a ballroom/sequence dancer, I can see why it qualifies as a sport. It consists of set moves which can be judged just as those in gymnastics or diving. If ice dancing has Olympic status then why not its skateless equivalent?

Tim Mickleburgh, Grimsby


Q. On 12 December. Bruce Grobbelaar and Neville Southall made their league debuts for Lincoln and Torquay. They are 41 and 40 years old respectively. Are they the oldest debutants in league history? And has there ever been an occasion when players of their vintage made their debuts on the same day?

Ray Bloom, Watford

Q. At last weekend's European short-course swimming championships several world records were broken, some twice in the same event. This seems to happen at most major swimming championships. Is this due to increased human ability or to technology, in terms of caps and suits which enable competitors to glide through the water with less resistance? And is there a theoretical limit to how fast a person can swim?

Donna Chadworth, Sheffield

Q. In recent years, hockey's offside rule has been abolished. Has this ever been tried to make football more entertaining?

Paul Johnson, Birmingham