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Is it true that British soldiers were first to play the game of ice hockey?
Darren Marks, Streatham

THE JUDGE: It is generally accepted that the first 'proper' game of ice hockey was played by members of the Royal Canadian Rifles on a frozen expanse of Kingston harbour, Ontario, in 1860. Most of the soldiers were British born. The game is believed to have derived from a North American icepitch sport called bandy. The first official rules for ice hockey were drawn up by W. F. Robertson and R. F. Smith while studying at McGill University, Montreal.

How many times did John Lowe and Erie Bristow contest the world darts championship?
Phil James, Derby

THE JUDGE: They met in three World Darts Organization finals before the formation of the World Darts Council in 1992. Eric Bristow won 5-3 (1981) and 6-2 (1985), with Lowe winning 6-4 in 1987.

Did Babe Ruth spend his entire baseball career with New York Yankees?
Stan Buckland, Bournemouth

THE JUDGE: Babe Ruth began his career as a pitcher with Boston Red Sox in 1914. It was after he was traded to New York Yankees in 1920 that he blossomed into one of baseball's greatest ever hitters. He hit what were then a record 60 home runs in 1927 and 714 career home runs. Babe's career batting average of .342, including six seasonal marks over .370 were considered unbeatable. He had made 2,873 hits by the time of his retirement in 1935. Yankee Stadium was erected shortly after he joined the Yankees, and it became known as 'The House that Babe Built'.

On which make of motor cycle was Barry Sheene a world champion?
Billy Gould, Newbury

THE JUDGE: Sheene won the 500 cc world titles in 1976 and 1977 on a Suzuki. On his way to retaining his world title in 1977 he set a fastest ever average speed for a world championship race of 135.07 mph (217.37 km/h) in the Belgium GP at Spa-Francorchamps. He won 19 500 cc GP races, the last for Yamaha.

What did 0. J. Simpson achieve in American Football that made him such an idol?
Doug Johnson, Grantham, Lincs

THE JUDGE: Orenthal James Simpson was simply one of the finest running backs in the history of the sport. He was considered the greatest of all collegiate footballers with USC before he joined the Buffalo Bills in 1969. In 1973 he broke the NFL rushing record with 2,003 yards, and he had a career record - including two seasons with San Francisco 49ers - of 11,236 yards and he scored 61 touchdowns. 0.J was also an outstanding sprinter, and in 1967 he helped the USC team set a world sprint relay record. He started a career in Hollywood, and later beccame famous for all the wrong reasons when the central figure in what was dubbed as the 'Murder Trial of the Century. He was cleared of the murder of his wife, generating more headlines than even during his triumphant sports career.

Which sport is known to its followers as 'the roaring game'?
Jimmy Johnson, Portsmouth

THE JUDGE: This is curling, and is so called because of the sound made by the curling stones as they speed across the ice rink towards the tee. The origins of the sport are believed to belong in Holland in the fifteenth century, but it is in Scotland where the game was developed and organised from the seventeenth century.

Why is the game of badminton so called, and where and when was it first played?
Lorraine Palmer, Sunderland

THE JUDGE: The name of the game is derived from the seat of the Duke of Beaufort in Gloucestershire, Badminton House, where guests were invited to spend weekends playing shuttlecock in the nineteenth century. There is no concrete evidence of where and when the game originated. A similar game was played in China over 2,000 years ago, and for centuries children played a form of battledore and shuttlecock. Army officers drew up the first modern rules while playing the game in India in the 1870s. The Badminton Association was founded in England in 1893.

Has any American footballer been voted Most Valuable Player in the Super Bowl more than twice?
Brendan English, Northampton

THE JUDGE: Joe Montana, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, won the award three times - against Cincinnati Bengals (1982), Miami Dolphins (1985) and Denver Broncos (1990).

When was the Tour de France first staged, and how long a race is it?
Dennis Clark, Greenwich

THE JUDGE: The Tour de France was first held in 1903, with French cyclist Maurice Garin the first winner. The distance of the race was set at 5,000 kilometres in 1911, but since 1930 it has generally been around 4,000 kilometres.

On which horse did David Broome win the world showjumping title?
Susan Watts, Redditch

THE JUDGE: Broome was world champion on Beethoven in 1970, and he helped Great Britain win the team trophy in 1978. He also holds the record of six King George V Gold Cup victories on six different horses - Sunsalve (1960), Mister Softee (1966), Sportsman (1972), Philco (1977), Mr Ross (1981) and Lannegan (199 1).

How many Grand Prix motorcycle races did Mike Hailwood win?
Peter Dyson, Belfast

THE JUDGE: Hailwood won 76 Grand Prix races between 1961 and 1967 before swiching to Formula 1 motor racing. His best place on four wheels was second in the 1971 Italian Grand Prix. He returned to his first love and won the Formula 1 world title on two wheels in 1978 to add to his world championships at 500 cc (1962-5), and at both 250 cc and 350 cc (1966-7). Most of his rides were with MV Augusta and Honda. His record of 14 wins in Isle of Man TT races stood until 1993.