What is CG? - Contest General is an online sports contest hosting service. We provide 3rd party clients a platform to host various sports contests for entertainment purposes.

What can I do on CG? - You can host your own sports contests.  Contest General offers various contests for all major sports leagues including:

Pick'em Contests: Pick winners straight up or against the odds.  Avalilable all year long for all major leagues.

Survivor/Loser Pools: Be the Last Man Standing, available all year long for all major leagues with multiple options for settings.

Squares: A classic contest of chance utilizing a grid of 100 squares that can be used throughout the year for all major leagues.

Share Pools: A newer feature that allows users to create their own Fantasy Sports Exchange, allocating "shares" on specific matchups for specific sports leagues.

Streak Contest: Pick winners from multiple sports leagues throughout the year to claim the title, Ultimate Capper among your friends.

- Tournament Madness Bracket Contest: Create your own Bracket for the Tournament event. 

Tournament Madness Tourney Square Pool: Distribute a 100 square board to see if the games scores hit your squares. 

- MLB 13 Run Contest: Pick one of the 30 MLB teams either manually or randomly.  The first player whose team completes the scoring cycle of 0 - 13 wins.  Contest can be restarted multiple times throughout the season.

I forgot my password. What should I do? - To retrieve your password, go to the Forgot Password screen, provide us with your username or e-mail address, and we'll send you an email with instructions for reseting your password.

How do I change my username, email address, and/or password? - You can change all of your personal information from the My Account screen. Remember, usernames and email addresses must be unique to the site.

My email address has changed, and I forgot my password. How can I retreive my password? - If you were in a pool, your pool manager can change your email address using the pool roster page. When he/she does that, the computer will change your password and email it to your old and new email addresses. If you weren't in a pool, you can write us and we'll change your email address for you.

I know my username and password, but I still can't log in. - If your username and password are correct and you still can't log in, it's probably because your browser is set to not accept cookies. Cookies are harmless, and are necessary for you to use the site. Set your browser to accept cookies, and you'll be able to log in.

What should I do if I want more than one account under the same email address? - Simply use the "my alias" feature. Aliases are designed to let you create as many accounts as you want, all under the same email address and password. This feature allows you to enter more than one set of picks for yourself, or it can be used to enter picks for someone else. Our site allows you to easily switch between aliases with a single click.

I want to stop receiving specific emails, how do I manage this? - You can manage the types of emails you receive by logging into your account and then selecting, "My Account" from the drop down menu next to your user name in the top right of the screen.  From there, scroll down to the bottom of the page and you can uncheck the type of emails you do not wish to receive. 

Pricing Questions

How much does it cost? - The cost for the 2014 Pick'em Contest hosting (most formats) is $19.99 for the first 10 pool members, plus $2 per member above 10. If you have 20 people in your pool for instance, the cost is $39.99 ($19.99 base fee + 10 additional members, at $2 each). If we hosted your game last year, the cost will be the same as before.

The cost for Survivor Pool hosting is $9.99 for the first 10 members, plus $1 per member above 20. The cost for a 50 person survivor game, for instance, is $49.99 ($9.99 base fee + 40 additional members, at $1 each).

The cost for Share Pools hosting (most formats) is $19.99 for the first 10 pool members, plus $2 per member above 10. If you have 20 people in your pool, for instance, the cost is $39.99 ($19.99 base fee + 10 additional members, at $2 each). If we hosted your game last year, the cost will be the same as before.

The cost for Madness Tourney Square will be $19.99. 

The cost for Tourney Madness Bracket will be $9.99. 

The cost for Square Pools will be $4.99.

The cost for Baseball 13-Run Pools will be $30.

I don't know how many people will be playing. Can I wait to pay until after everyone has joined? - Yes. We encourage you to get your pool going, and pay after you know exactly how many people will be participating. For Pick'em, we give you 1-2 weeks into the regular season before you need to pay. For Survivor pools, we ask for the hosting fee soon after your first weekend of games.

How do I pay for my pool? - You can pay for your pool online via paypal. We accept Visa and Mastercard. You can pay via check, money order or bank check as well.

Can I test out the website before I pay? - Absolutely. We encourage you to test out the site before you pay. You can set up your pool or league with no obligation to pay, so feel free to start one now.

Pick Deadlines

What is the pick deadline? - The pick deadline is the day and time by which all pool members must finalize their picks for the week. This deadline is set by the pool manager and is clearly shown on the picksheet and in score emails and reminder notices. The pool manager can change the pick deadline by notifying customer service at Contest General.

How do I set the pick deadline for my pool? - Only the pool manager can set the pick deadline for their pool. The pool manager can set the pick deadline to whatever time he/she wants using the Contest Settings page. The default pick deadline for pro football is Sunday at 1 PM, Eastern Standard Time, and the site is set up so you can leave the deadline set on Sunday all year long. Even when there's a Thursday game, you can leave the deadline set for Sunday because of our built-in safeguards which prevent people from entering or changing picks for games that have already started. Once a game starts, all picks for that game are locked.

Some managers like to set their pick deadline for Friday so everyone can print out the poolwide picks at work, and then take the picksheets home knowing that all the picks are locked.

Share Pools do not have pick deadlines. It is all based on the individual game times.

When there's an early game (e.g. Thursday), can I enter a pick for the early game only and then come back later to do my Sunday picks? - Yes. You have to complete the full picksheet before you can submit it. Otherwise, you'll get a picksheet error. But, you can return to the picksheet later to change your Sunday picks, up until your set deadline.

The season starts with a Thursday game, as pool manager do I need to change my pick deadline for Thursday? - You can change the deadline, but it's unnecessary. The pick deadline for the Thursday game is always kickoff time, regardless of the overall pick deadline for your pool. If you haven't selected a pick for the Thursday game by then, you will be unable to make a pick for that game.

What happens if the Thursday game starts before I enter my picks? - If you miss picking a Thursday game, you get a "no pick" for that game, which is neither a win nor a loss. You can still enter your picks for the Sunday games, provided it is before your deadline unless your pool manager requires "all picks" in their contest. If your pool uses Autopicks, the computer will pick for you when you forget. If you don't use the Autopicker, you'll get a "no pick" for every game that you don't enter picks for.

For missed entries in a confidence pool, you lose your highest ranks first. For example, if your top rank is 16, you lose your 16 pointer when you miss entering the Thursday game.

Can I change my picks? - Yes, for pools that have a pick deadline (not Share or Square pools) you can change your picks as often as you like, but only up until the pick deadline. After that time, no picks can be made or changed. Also, you can never change a pick for a game that has already started.

What do I do if I miss the pick deadline? - If you have made use of the Autopicks feature, the website will make your picks for you. Check with your pool manager to see if Autopicks is enabled for your pool.

If you are not using Autopicks, we recommend that you immediately post your picks on your pool's message board (which is time stamped) and then try to contact your pool manager who may take pity on you and accept your late picks.


What if someone forgets to enter picks? Can we give him all the Home Teams? - Yes. CG has a feature called "Autopicks" that lets your contest manager choose which default picks they want. They can choose from All Home, All Road, All Dogs, All Favorites, or All Random.  Only the contest manager has the option of allowing or not allowing Autopicks.

Can I change picks made by the Autopicker? - Maybe. If it's before your pick deadline and before gametime, you can change your picks. However, most of the time, the autopicker doesn't run until after your pick deadline.

Can the Autopicker change the picks that I already entered? - Absolutely not. The Autopicker will never change your picks. The way we have it coded, it's impossible for the Autopicker to change anything.

How do the Confidence Ranks for Autopicks work? - The autopicker always assigns the lowest rank (pts) to the earliest game (the game highest on the picksheet) and works up to the highest rank on the latest game (the game lowest on the picksheet like the Monday Night game). There is one exception to this rule: when you are set for ALL Favorites and your pool is scored straight up, in which case it assigns the highest rank on the biggest favorite and works down to the lowest rank on the smallest favorite.

How do Autopicks work for Survivor Pools? - In Survivor Pools, the Autopicker gives you the biggest favorite, based on the point spread, that you haven't picked already and whose game has not yet been played. So if according to the point spread, the biggest favorite of the week is playing in a Thursday game and your deadline is only on Sunday, the Autopicks will be given on Sunday, and you WON'T get Thursday night's favorite, you'll get the biggest favorite of the remaining teams whose games have not yet started.

I have a Best Bets pool (we pick 5 teams each week). Why does the autopicker only choose the last 5 games of the week? - With Best Bets, our autopicker functions in two different ways depending on which autopick option is selected by the pool member. a. If the Autopick option is set to "Random", it will assign truly random picks regardless of the game startime (i.e. a team from the first game of the week is just as likely to get picked as a team from the last Monday night game). b. If the Autopick option is set to anything other than Random, then teams from only the last 5 games (if you have a pick 5 Best Bets) will be picked according to the autopick setting (favorites, dogs, etc.). This is so that if you miss getting your picks in and are assigned autpicks, then if the contest manager is willing to shift the deadline for you, you still might be able to change some of the remaining picks if the games have not been played yet.

Standings and Scoring

How do I exclude pre-season results from the season standings for Pick'em Pools? - The contest manager can change the weeks that get included in the season standings by using the Contest Admin Settings page. You can start and stop your season standings in any week including the pre-season, the regular season, and the playoffs.

What if my Survivor pick ends in a tie? Do I get a win or a loss? - The contest manager has the option to chose whether a tie counts as a win or a loss.  This setting will be specified in the contest description of the contest you are participating in.  

Point Spread Questions

How do point spreads work? - Point spreads on contestgeneral.com are always shown relative to the home team. A negative number means the home team is favored and a positive number means the road team is favored. Add the point spread to the home team's final score to see who covered the spread.

Who sets the point spreads? - We get our spreads from BetDSI. We always set the spread to end with 1/2 point to avoid ties. In 2014 we are rounding DOWN. If the line is even, say -3, we'll make it -2.5. If it's +7 we'll make it +6.5.

For Share Pool format pools, we don't always use a 1/2 point line.

When do the point spreads get set? - We set the lines on Tuesday mornings by 12:30 am Eastern Standard Time. Generally, the college lines go in sooner, like on Monday nights but the official time for all lines is 12:30 am est Tuesday.

Can my pool use custom point spreads? - Yes. If you prefer, you can enter your own custom point spreads only in Football Pickem contests.

Do the point spreads change during the week? - For most pool formats the answer is No. Once we set a line it never changes. However there are rare instances where the company that issues the line feed enters the line incorrectly and it will change with the next update. This normally happens on Tuesday and we notify everyone affected by the line change.

For Share Pools the lines (point spreads and over/under totals) can change anytime during the week. You are graded at the line that was in when you made your pick.

Special Options and Contest Operation Questions

Can other people see my picks? - It depends. The contest manager can opt to hide everyone's picks until after the pick deadline, or he can leave all the picks open for viewing. The manager can NOT change this setting back and forth during the week. Picks are always viewable once the games start or once the pick deadline passes.  

Can the pool manager enter someone's picks after the week is over? - For Pickem and Survivor pools, yes, the contest manager can enter/change picks after the fact.  Go to Picks>Admin Picks on the tabs.  Picks that get changed by the manager are flagged in the standings and poolwide picks pages so that everyone can see that a change has been made. The contest manager can also change someone's score without modifying their picks.

How do the confidence rankings work? - In pro pools where there are up to 16 games each week, you value your picks 16 (highest) through 1 (lowest) receiving points for each win corresponding to your rating. Your 16 point team is the team you are most sure will win. If they win, or cover the spread, you receive 16 points. Your 1 point team earns you 1 point for a win. If a game ends in a tie, you get half the confidence rank (rounded down to the nearest integer).

Standings in a confidence pool are determined by total points.

In weeks where there are only 14 games, the values go from 16 to 3, but we can set you up to make it 1 to 14 if you like. In college pools, the values start with the number of games you have and go down to 1. For example, if there are 10 games, the values go from 10 (highest) to 1 (lowest) and so on.

How many people can join my pool? - There is no limit to the number of people who can join your pool. We have hosted pools with thousands of members.

What is the best way to invite people into my pool? - We have an invitation form that contains all the information people need to register with the website and join your contest. The contest manager can find this form under CONTEST ADMIN>Invite Friends. Another option is to forward the email you received after you set up your pool. That email contains a link and all the directions necessary to join your pool. Finally, if people are already familiar with CG, you can give them the Pool ID and Pool Entry Code and send them to CONTESTS > Join a Contest.

I'm planning to reuse my pool from last year. How do I remove players who won't be participating this year? - You can boot people out of your pool using the roster page. Find it at CONTEST ADMIN>Roster.

I'm planning to start a new pool this year and don't want to confuse people with last year's pool. How do I get rid of my old pool(s)? - Pool managers can delete their old pools at CONTESTS>My Contests.

Once I boot someone, how do I prevent them from rejoining? - To prevent someone from rejoining your pool after you boot them, simply change the entry code of your pool. The other people in your pool won't be affected by the password change.

How do I change the pool entry code? - To change the pool entry code (a.k.a. Authorization code), go to CONTEST ADMIN>Settings. If you have a deadline to join your pool, changing the pool entry code is a good way to prevent people from joining after that deadline.

Can there be 2 pool managers? - Yes, the main pool manager can designate another pool member to be a co-manager and the co-manager will have most all the same rights as the main manager. To designate a co-manager, go to your CONTEST ADMIN>Add New Contest Manager.

Can I change the name of my pool and keep everything else the same? - Yes. To change your pool name, go to CONTEST ADMIN>Settings.

Can I divide the season into 2 parts and have winners for the 1st half, 2nd half, and full season? (Pick'em only) - Yes. On the Settings page, you can change the start and end weeks of your pool. A normal pool will start in week 1, and end in week 17. The first part of your pool would start in week 1 and end in week 8, and the second part would start in week 9 and end in week 17. You can use the week feature to do separate standings for preseason and playoffs, too.

I want out of a contest. How do I remove myself? - Go to CONTESTS> My Contests and click on the link to "Request Boot". If the season has NOT started yet, you will be removed from the pool as soon as you click on ! "Request Boot". If the season HAS started, you need to request to be removed from the pool by your pool manager.

Error Questions

The picks shown on the web site are not the same picks I entered. I should have 3 more wins in the standings. Can you fix it for me? - Absolutely not. You are responsible for confirming that your own picks are accepted by the web site, and we never change anyone's picks.

I entered my picks earlier in the week, but now it says that I didn't enter them. Can you enter my picks for me now? - Sorry, but no. You are responsible for confirming that your own picks are accepted by the web site, and we never change or enter anyone's picks. The best way to confirm your picks is to return to the picksheet page and see that your picks are prefilled on the form. When you do this, don't use the "Back" button on your browser. Instead, click on the "MY PICKS" link. This will ensure you are looking at a fresh page.

I have to log in again each time I click on a new link within the website. Can this be changed? - Yes. If you have to log in every time you click a new link in our website your browser is probably configured to not accept cookies.

Miscellaneous Questions

Refunds: All contests can be created free of charge and run for 7 days from the start of the contest. At that time payment is due and is non-refunable or contest can be closed with no fee.

How can I prevent people from joining my contest now that it has started? - To prevent people from joining your pool after it has officially started, you should change your contest entry code in the Contest Settings. This will prevent anyone new from joining your contest.

Can I do a Basketball tournament contest on CG for Madness? - YES! You can make Tournament Bracket and Tournament Square Pools.  We will also be adding other contests and features to CG in the coming months.

Can I run a Private Label Contest on CG? - YES! Nothing creates as much excitement as a Football Pick'em or Tournament Madness contest. We will work with you to create your own branded contest. Once your contest is set up, you can begin marketing it.

Offering prizes or discounts is a great way to attract additional players and market your brand. Our system collects mailing address, phone numbers and e-mail addresses during registration for which you will have access to for your own marketing use.  A few examples of who would use our Private Label Contests are as follows:

Radio/TV - Audience participation increases ratings and loyalty and adds value for advertisers
Newpapers - Expand your online presence with additional content and reader participation
Sports Bars - Increase name recognition and patronage as users participate for prizes and discounts

Employee/Office Pools - A great way to build employee comradery in the office by sponsoring a pool for your staff and employees.  Instead of having lost productivity in the office place, use the Tournament and Football season as a team building tool.

Websites - Double, Triple, Quadruple your site traffic by expanding your content with a user participation contest

We enable our customers to build one-to-one relationships with their customers, employees, partners and friends by running pool contests.  Our system is designed for charity fundraisers, corporate contests and marketing promotions. 

What if I still have some questions? - You can write to us using our Contact Submission Form.

Email - For most questions, email is the best way to get service. We monitor our Contact Submission Forms 7 days a week and prefer that you contact us this way.

Telephone - Some questions are better handled by phone and we're happy to help you this way too. Before calling, please note the following:
- Please check the FAQ page before calling.  It will address most, if not all questions that we frequently receive.
- Due to the high volume of calls we receive, it isn't always possible to leave a voice mail.  If you can't reach us during business hours, sending an email is the most efficient way to contact us.  You can do this through our Contact Submission Form.
- We are normally in the office, Monday - Friday 10:00am - 5:30pm Eastern.  However, we also monitor all Contact Submission Forms throughout the weekend.
- We can be reached by phone at 1-888-887-0660