Welcome to Apocalypse Sports Trivia.
Everything you need to know about our sports trivia division can be found on this page.
What’s the general overview?
AST consists of 12-day seasons called “Fortnights” in which a player faces a new opponent each day in a head-to-head match. Along with answering five questions in each daily match, a player attempts to limit the opponent’s score by playing defense. The player with the most points wins the match. At the end of each Fortnight, the top finishers in each division will be promoted to a higher division, and the lowest finishers will be relegated to a lower division. New players will be placed in Junior Divisions, and their results over the first Fortnight will determine which division they enter in the following Fortnight.
How much does it cost to play?
The first Fortnight is free to play for all players. During this Junior Fortnight, there is no commitment required, and no need to enter any payment information.
After that, a regular subscription costs $20. That subscription comes with access to seven Fortnights per calendar year in the regular league, plus all Friendlies (see no. 15) and other features to come. A premium subscription costs $35 and comes with all of the above plus the ability to create and participate in Private Divisions (see no. 14). Players can subscribe here.
Now, let’s dive into the gritty details.
How do the matches work?
Each night at 9 p.m. ET, a new set of five questions will appear on the site, and can be accessed through the dashboard or through the nightly email sent out by the commissioner. Each player will answer his or her five questions, play defense on the opponent (see Section 2 for details), check the box to affirm there was no cheating, and submit. For each victory, a player receives three points in the standings. For each draw, a player receives one point. For a 10(5) – 10(5) draw, in which both players answer all five questions correctly, both players receive two points—this rule was implemented in Fortnight XI. A loss is worth zero points.
How do points within a matchup work? How does defense work?
In each match, a correct answer is worth two points, with two exceptions. Each player will mark one question with a K, and one question with an HR—that’s baseball notation for strikeout and home run. If the opponent correctly answers the question marked “K,” he or she will receive zero points; that question has been nullified by the K. However, if the opponent correctly answers the question marked “HR,” that’s a home run, and he or she receives four points. Clearly, a player should assign a K to the question he believes his opponent will find easiest, and an HR to the hardest. There are personalized stats available to assess an opponent’s strengths and weaknesses before deciding how to play defense. To summarize:
- A question marked with a “K” is worth zero points.
- A question marked with an “HR” is worth four points.
- All other questions are worth two points.
- Player statistics help inform defensive decisions.
Where do I find player stats for defensive purposes?
A breakdown of your opponent's answer statistics by category will be available on the match-up page each day. Further statistics for each player can be found on our Players page, while each player’s individual profile page shows a statistical breakdown by category as well as question-by-question history for their entire AST career.
How should I read the scoring notation?
The first number in a match score represents total points, and the number inside parentheses represents questions answered correctly. A match that finishes with an 6(4) – 4(3) score means the first player scored six points on four correct answers, while the second scored four points on three correct answers. Only the total points matter; questions answered correctly are not a tiebreaker. Here’s an example of a box score featuring that exact score:
How are standings determined?
First by points—three for a win, one for a draw, two for a 10(5) – 10(5) “perfect draw”—then by match point differential for the season, then by total correct answers. In the rare case of a tie in all three categories, head-to-head records will be used to break ties. If the head-to-head match was also a draw, the player with the higher Average Defensive Skill will advance.
What is the breakdown of divisions?
In each conference, there are six divisions. In order of general skill level, they are: Premiership, Liga Two, Serie Three, Four Divise, Deildin Five, and Sixligaen. (These names are borrowed and adapted from various European soccer divisions.) Most new players will be placed in “Junior” conferences and divisions for their first Fortnight, with their performances determining placement for the next Fortnight. Some juniors may be placed in existing conferences and divisions to account for player attrition.
What’s the format of each Fortnight?
The first 11 days of each Fortnight will feature round robin play within each division, with each player facing every other player in the same division in a head-to-head match. (Each division is populated with 12 players.) Based on the standings after those 11 days, players will compete on Day 12 for championships, promotions, relegations, and honor matches. The first 11 days constitute the “regular season,” while Day 12 is known as Championship Day.
What happens on Championship Day?
Based on a scheme set out before the Fortnight that is itself based on regular season standings, a player may compete in a 12th match to determine titles and other honors, or to determine placement for the next Fortnight. These are the match types:
- Meisterschaft Match: A clash between division winners, with the victor advancing to the Meistertschaft grand championship (see point 12).
- Promotion Match: third- and fourth-place finishers in each veteran division will play for promotion, with the winner moving to a higher division.
- Relegation Match:The ninth- and tenth-place finishers in each veteran division will play for relegation, with the loser moving to a lower division.
- Lubchansky Cup Match: All players not involved in the match types above will face off against a player from another league who finished in their same position. This will be part of the Lubchansky Cup, an exhibition match between league, with scoreboards available.
Championship Day Tiebreakers:
- Meisterschaft Matches: The player with the best regular season, determined by points, then margin, then correct answers, will advance in case of a tie.
- Promotion and Relegation Matches: The player ranked higher in the regular season will advance in case of a tie.
- Lubchansky Cup Matches: Ties in these matches will give .5 points to each league.
In very rare cases, due to attrition, a player may be kept in his or her current division despite being relegated on Championship Day. No player will ever be moved to a lower division without being relegated. In some cases, a player may be moved to a new conference. Every effort will be made to notify the player of these changes.
Where can I view the Championship Day scheme for my conference?
The promotion/relegation scheme for returning players:
The post-junior Fortnight assignment scheme:
What is the Meisterschaft?
The Meisterschaft is the grand championship of Apocalypse Sports Trivia, held at the conclusion of each Fortnight, in which the various winners from each division level (Premiership, Liga Two, etc.) battle for the greatest prize of all. Seven overall champions will be crowned at each level, from Premiership to Juniors. The format will change based on levels of participation, but is currently a ten-question quiz with no defensive element. The Meisterschaft will be held on Zoom, and participation is highly encouraged.
- Screen-sharing will be a requirement
- Any Premiership, Liga Two, or Junior player who opts not to participate in the Meisterschaft will be removed from AST (if serious conflicts arise, exceptions can be made)
- Some Juniors may be placed outside a new junior conference, and into an existing one, to account for attrition. If a junior in this situation wins the division, he or she will be invited to the Junior Meisterschaft, rather than the division he or she won. The second-place finisher in this division will not be invited to the Meisterschaft for that division; the division will simply be unrepresented.
Meisterschaft champions and other honorees can be found in the Hall of Champions here.
What is the Uberschaft?
The Uberschaft is the grand championship of AST, held once every two years, and contested between Meisterschaft winners from the Premiership, Liga Two, and the Junior contest from the previous two years. The first Uberschaft was held in December 2021, and can be viewed on YouTube.
What are Private Divisions?
Private Divisions allow players to compete against friends, family, and other AST players. The matches in these divisions are held during regular AST fortnights, but are separate from the league competition. Just like the regular divisions, though, Private Divisions feature head-to-head matches, standings, and a championship day. Soon, AST will feature club competition based on Private Divisions. There are no limits on how many Private Divisions a player may join. Since play occurs simultaneously with the regular Fortnight and uses the same questions, players in Private Divisions will have two or more matches per day, and may adjust their defense for different opponents. Private Divisions are not available for Juniors playing in the free trial period, but a Junior who wishes to play in a Private Division may subscribe before his or her first Fortnight to join. You can learn more about Private Divisions, and form your own or join an existing one, here.
What are Friendlies?
The Friendlies are 10-question quizzes on a specific sports topic that occur outside of the regular Fortnights. They are totally optional, and the results have no bearing on a player's standing within the AST divisions. Many Friendlies are written by AST participants, and you can learn more about them—including how they are scored and how to submit your own on the Author's Guide. All Friendlies are included as part of a regular AST subscription. Juniors playing on a trial period may access two free Friendlies before they subscribe.
What’s to stop us from cheating?
Nothing, except strength of character. And really, why join a division like this, which features no cash prizes, and cheat? What’s the point? Don’t cheat! Anyone caught cheating can be banned from the division at the commissioner’s discretion.
Can I look up parts of questions that won’t give me the full answer?
Absolutely not! Questions in Apocalypse Sports Trivia are meant to be answered using only the knowledge that’s already in your head. So, if the question was…
Of the 21 schools to have won a Division 1 national championship in men’s hockey, only two are located south of 40 degrees latitude, including the team tied with the second-most titles. Name either of the two schools, which happen to be located in the same state.
…you would not be allowed to look at a map to see which states fall below 40 degrees latitude, even though this would not give you the answer. Or if the question was…
Fill in the blank from a 2011 New York Times feature: “‘________ are going to bite the thunder out of you,’ says 44-year-old Buster Garrett, who took part in the 12th annual Okie Noodling tournament.”
…you would not be allowed to look up the definition of ‘noodling.’ (In this case, it would give you the actual answer.)
Are the questions hard?
Our division-wide average in every Fortnight to date has hovered around 50%, sometimes a point or two below, sometimes a point or two above. From those figures, you can see that the questions are hard but not impossible. Individual mileage may vary, but we’ll always keep up a certain standard of difficulty.
How long do we have to answer?
Twenty-four hours. The new questions will arrive at 9 p.m. ET, and will be due by 9 p.m. ET the next day. The website will not allow you to submit after the deadline.
How soon can I see my results for each day?
Players who sign up for email notifications here will receive the results your match the minute you and your opponent have submitted, and the answers have been graded. The results of all other matches, and updated standings, will be available at 9 p.m. ET each night. Reminder emails are also available, and can be customized on that same page.
What if someone fails to answer in the time allotted?
That’s a forfeit, meaning the participating player gets a three-point victory and the highest possible points for each correct answer. For the forfeiting player, it just counts as a normal loss, but too many defaults will result in a ban from the division.
The league's forfeit policy is as follows:
- In a 12-match Fortnight, three forfeits will be considered a primary warning. There's no penalty or probation for this, but a repeat of three (3) forfeits in consecutive Fortnights will result in a secondary warning.
- A forfeit rate of 4-6 matches in a single Fortnight will result in a secondary warning. This means that incurring 3+ forfeits in any of the next four Fortnights will result in expulsion from the league.
- Forfeiting seven (7) times or more in a single Fortnight will result in immediate expulsion.
Since Apocalypse Trivia is invite-only, we have limited spots available and there is usually a waiting list to join. If you forfeit your very first matchup as a new player, you may be removed and replaced with a player from the waiting list immediately.
If you fall into any of these categories and think an exception should be made, feel free to email [email protected].
What if I fail to play defense?
The website won’t allow any player to submit answers without making defensive selections. It will return an error explaining what has been omitted, and allow the player to make defensive selections and resubmit.
What about spelling, and names, and etc?
Unless otherwise stated, last names are fine for answers. In fact, we’ve had situations where a player unnecessarily attempted a first name, bungled it, and got the answer wrong even though they had the last name right. Beware! Spelling is a little trickier. You don’t have to spell your answer correctly, but it has to “sound” right even with the incorrect spelling. So if the answer to one question was “Jurgen Klopp,” “Yirgin Clahp” would be fine, but “Klopper” would be wrong since it doesn’t sound the same. Some of this comes down to a judgment call, and the commissioner has the final say, but that’s the basic rule.
Any other minutiae?
Sure—if a question asks for one response, and a player lists more than one, the first response will count, regardless of what comes after. If a question asks for two or more answers, and a player lists only one, he or she will get the question wrong even if the answer provided is correct—no partial credit.
Additionally, only answers that are correct at the time the question goes live will be counted as correct. This will be 9pm Eastern Time for most days and 10pm Eastern Time for day 12.
Can defaults be a draw?
No. If a player defaults and the opponent submits and gets zero correct answers, that will be a victory for the opponent and a loss for the defaulter. The opponent will be credited with the full three points, but zero correct answers and zero margin of victory.
What categories are used for questions?
Questions fall into ten categories, and will be separated within those categories into broad sub-categories such as history, current events, rules, entertainment, and business.
- Tennis and Golf
- Olympics – Sports that are contested in the Olympics that generally don’t appear in another category, such as swimming or track & field
- Racing & Combat – An admittedly odd couple that includes motor sports, horse racing, boxing, MMA, wrestling, etc
- Games – Another broad category which can include anything from billiards to chess to video/arcade games to cards
- Obscure – For the foreign and the uncommon, and also for general knowledge questions that don’t fit into a specific sport
Note: There’s a good deal of overlap between certain categories. Many of the sports covered in other categories are also in the Olympics, for instance. The league will endeavor to balance the questions accordingly, so that, for instance, there won’t be any tennis questions in the Olympics category. And if there’s a question about Olympic hockey, that will likely go under the Hockey category to avoid having too many hockey questions in one Fortnight.
What other terminology should I know in order to be accepted and even loved by my peers?
- To force a draw with one fewer correct answer is called a COTTOM.
- A win with the same number of correct answers is a WHIPWIN.
- A win with fewer correct answers is called a BUIE.
- A draw with two fewer correct answers is called a FLOWE.
- A 10(5)-10(5) draw is called a CHAD.
- A 0(0)-0(0) draw where neither player forfeits is called a BEAMER.
Who is Sportstradamus?
This question must never be asked.
Who is Commish Ryan? Who is William?
Is AST on social media?