Sports Geniuses was an American sports-themed game show that aired from May 2000 until June 2000 on cable channel Fox Sports Net. It was the network's second game show (Ultimate Fan League was the first, airing in 1998 and 1999, and only other).
The show was divided into four separate segments.
The first round was played similar to Jeopardy!, with four categories each containing five questions that ranged in value from 10 to 50 points. Two clues in the round were designated Double Plays, and were questions that employed video clips and had follow-up questions attached which if answered correctly doubled the value of the question.
After the round was over, a speed round called the 30 Second Blitz was played. In this, the players would be shown a photo of an athlete and had to identify who it was. 30 points were paid for each correct answer.
The next round of play was almost identical to the first round, with the following exceptions:
- Questions were now worth 20-100 points
- Wrong answers deducted points
- No Double Plays
In addition, a special guest athlete or other sports personality would appear to read questions in one of the four categories.
A new wrinkle was added for this round, called "The Shaft." The third place player was given The Shaft (which was a silver shaft of a baseball bat, hence the name) to start the round and could use it at any point in the round to force one of his opponents to answer one of the questions on the board. Each player could only be "Shafted" once, and once The Shaft returned to someone who had already used it is was taken out of play.
At the end of this round the two highest-scoring players advanced to a final showdown. A category would be given for each question (i.e., Super Bowl winners), and the value would start at 100 points and increase by 10 points for each correct answer given by the contestants, who alternated giving answers. If a player gave an incorrect answer or froze, their opponent would receive the points in the pot and play would continue, otherwise the value of the pot would roll over to the next question. Each subsequent question's starting value would increase by 25 points.
Play continued in this fashion until time ran out, at which point the contestant with the highest score was declared the winner and won a prize package.
Toward the end of Sports Geniuses' run, the show invited back its biggest winners to compete in a tournament for a chance at a car and trips to each of the four major American sports' championships (the World Series, Super Bowl, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals). Daniel Katz lost the tournament on the final question to Scott Talkov.
Before the final commercial break, co-host Lisa Guerrero would introduce, via webcam, comic Sal Iacono, and he would ask a question to a person playing via telephone. A correct answer won a bonus prize.