Pentathlon Rules

The rules for the Kingdom Arts & Sciences Fair and Pentathlon are interpreted for the event by the Competition Steward. For questions about how the stated rules are being interpreted for the current year’s competition, contact the Competition Steward or the Kingdom A&S Competition Deputy.


Categories and Subcategories

There are seven major Arts & Sciences categories: Visual, Functional, Armor & Weaponry, Fiber, Culinary, Performance, and Compositional. A subcategory is any breakdown of a category. Some categories have multiple layers of subcategories. For purposes of this competition, the subcategory in which an entry is entered is defined as the lowest layer listed (e.g., Functional: Furniture, Bed is the subcategory for beds).  For a complete list of categories and subcategories visitCategories and Judging sheets

Entry Levels

Entrants indicate the level at which they wish to enter each entry:
Apprentice: Beginner, early effort.
Journeyman: Competent in basic techniques and working at a medium skill level.
Artisan: Creates or teaches as an expert or receives professional commissions in this skill/art form

An entrant’s entries do NOT need to be all at the same level. An entry’s level should be based on your knowledge and skill in the art form, the item’s level of difficulty, and the finished product. First and second time entrants may enter all their entries at the Apprentice level. If you’re not sure of the most appropriate level for your entry, seek advice from others who are experienced with the competition or from the Entries Steward.

If an entrant places first or second in a subcategory level for two consecutive Kingdom Arts & Science Fair and Pentathlon and Crescent Artisan competitions, any future entries by that entrant in that subcategory must be made at least at the next highest level.

The Kingdom Arts & Sciences Fair and Pentathlon is open to all who regularly participate in SCA activities ofthe Kingdom of Caid. SCA membership is not required.

There are two types of entrants: Individual Entrants and Team Entrants. An Individual Entrant is the only one who works on his or her entries. A Team is composed of a minimum of three members and a maximum of eight members, each of whom enters or contributes in a major way to at least one entry.

A competitor may enter as an individual, as a member of a team, or as both. A competitor may be a member of more than one team. Each individual competitor and each competing team is considered “an entrant” and is assigned a unique entrant number. Individual Entrants and Team Entrants do not compete against each other.

An entry is an item, performance presentation, or composition that an Individual or Team Entrant is entering in the competition.

All entries are required to be historically-based and associated with a pre-1650 culture.  Entrants should strive to make items that are historically and artistically accurate. Keep in mind that the goal of this competition is to encourage scholarly research and to provide entrants with feedback on the work they’ve done.

Where necessary, entrants may substitute modern components and/or techniques for period ones(e.g., using power tools or alternatives for toxic, or prohibitively expensive ingredients). The reasons for doing this should be explained in your documentation. Showing how you’re using the most accurate components and techniques available showcases your entry in the best possible light for the judges.

Entries may not be or be done on modern items. Entries that are or are on totally modern items will be disqualified. Examples include embroidery on denim jeans, a scientific instrument from a fantasy TV show, or a filk of a contemporary song.

Each entry may be entered only once in the competition. For example, one physical manuscript maynot be entered as both an Illumination and a Calligraphy entry. One dress may not be entered inCostume Construction and as a component of a Costume Review. In the same way, a tool used to makean item may be entered as a tool or as part of the presentation for the item, but that one physical toolmay not be used in both places. You may, however, make two dresses, two manuscripts, or two tools –
identical ones if you want – and enter them separately.

Do not put your name on any of your entries. This is an anonymous competition.

This is a competition for finished items. Do not enter works-in-progress.

Entries must have been completed between the last Kingdom Arts & Sciences Fair and Pentathlon and the current one. An item that has been entered into any part of a Kingdom Arts & Sciences Fair and Pentathlon cannot be entered again in Pentathlon or Crescent Artisan. The only exception is if the item is extensively reworked, then with special permission by the Event Steward the item can be entered again. Reworked items are decided on a case-by-case basis. If you are thinking of resubmitting an item, contact the Event Steward at Requests for consideration, along with a detailed description of the rework done, must be submitted no later than two weeks before the Registration Deadline.

Documentation is required for all entries except for those entered in the Junior Youth division or as noted for some Compositional entries. You must supply three copies of your documentation when you check in at the event.

Do not put your name of your documentation.

Documentation should be written in English understandable to the general populace. Entries must be double-spaced and typed or computer printed in a readable 12-point font. No calligraphy or interesting fonts.

For more information and tips on research and documentation please visit our Research and Documentation pages.

The registration deadline for the current year’s event will be published on the event announcement along with details about the registration process. The recommended donation for processing and production expenses is $3 per entry, which must be postmarked by the registration deadline. Checks should be payable to SCA, Inc., Kingdom of Caid. All registration information must be postmarked or received electronically by the published deadline. No exceptions.

Entries in the Compositional category and documentation for the Performance: Persona Presentation subcategory are due to the Entries Steward by the registration deadline. Email a copy of your entry in .doc or .pdf format to In the body of the email (NOT in the file itself) include your SCA name, your email address, the category number and name, and the title of your entry. When completing the registration form, be specific about what you are entering. For example, list “14th century coif” instead “hat”. This helps the Event Staff find qualified judges for your entry. If an entry is extremely unusual or obscure, contact the Event Steward in advance of the registration deadline to provide the maximum time possible to find knowledgeable judges.

If you are entering Pentathlon, indicate your intention in the appropriate place on the registration form Be specific about the type of display area you are requesting. Standard space is 2 feet by 18 inches (as part of a 6 foot by 3 foot table). Indicate if you are requesting a different amount of space (larger table area, additional space for a dress-maker’s form or an armor stand, etc.).  If an entry requires an unusual amount of setup space or time or additional assistants for setup (for example, a large pavilion), be specific about what you need. It’s okay to coordinate with the Entries Steward before you send in your registration.

If you need to withdraw from the competition in one or more of your registered entries, notify the Entries Steward as soon as you know. This will allow the judging schedule to be adjusted accordingly.The judges are all volunteers, and some are coming from great distances. Of course, last minute cancellations sometimes happen (illness, travel plans that fall apart) but keeping last minute cancellations to an absolute minimum makes the event more enjoyable for everyone.

Special note for Western Seas entries: Entries for the Performance category may be sent on DVD or as an electronic file. Recorded entries are due to the Entries Steward NO LATER than the registration deadline (postmarked). Physical entries may be transported, setup, and returned by a representative so long as the representative is responsible for and performs all the on-site tasks required of entrants. Include the representative’s name and contact information on the registration form. Please contact the Event Steward at for further instructions.

Display and Peoples Choice
Except for Culinary and Performance entries, all entries must remain on display until the end of the Display portion of the event, which will occur after the judging is over. If you cannot stay, then you must make arrangements for someone else (NOT the Event Staff) to transport your items. All items on Display will be entered in the People’s Choice Competition. The People’s Choice award will be awarded at the close of the Display to the entry receiving the most populace votes. Entrants with Culinary and Performance entries are encouraged to bring photographs, presentation  displays, and/or self-sufficient recordings for the Display.

Non-competitors may display one item.

1. All general rules apply.

2. An entrant may enter up to ten entries in the Kingdom Arts & Sciences Fair, with no more than two in any subcategory.

3. Both Individual and Team Entrants have the option of entering only the Kingdom Arts & Sciences Fair.

4. An entrant’s entries do not all have to be at the same level. Any mix of Apprentice, Journeyman, and/or Artisan is acceptable.

5. Entries by Individual Entrants are eligible to compete for first or second place placements in subcategories. Superb entries by Team Entrants are eligible for recognitions.

6. Entries by Individual Entrants and Team Entrants are independent of each other. A person may enter up to ten items as an Individual Entrant and make or contribute to making up to ten entries as a member of a Team Entrant. A person may be a member of more than one team.

7. Entrants must be in garb, have a site token, be checked in, and have their entries set up by the deadline listed in the event announcement. Late entries cannot be accepted. Each Individual Entrant will be allowed one assistant to help set up displays. Assistants may NOT set up displays by themselves, they may only help under the direction of the entrant. Only Team members may set up Team entries.

8. An entry will be judged only if it meets the criteria for the subcategory in which it is entered. Please contact the Event Steward at if you have questions about which subcategory to use.

9. You must supply three copies of your documentation and your Display copy for any Compositional entries when you check in at the event.

10. Performance and Costume Review entrants must be at their designated performance area 15 minutes before their scheduled performance time.

1. All general rules and Kingdom Arts & Sciences Fair rules apply.

2.  Entries must be worked on only by the entrant. This does NOT mean you need to do your individual entries in a vacuum. You must do all the work by yourself, but it’s perfectly acceptable to take classes, talk to mentors, and ask people you trust and respect to give you feedback on your entry and documentation.

3. Individuals intending to enter Pentathlon and compete for the honor of being Kingdom Arts and Sciences Champion must indicate their intention on their registration form.

4. An entrant in Individual Pentathlon must submit at least five entries spanning at least four categories. Those categories are :
Armor & Weaponry

For a complete list of categories and subcategories, visit our Categories and Judging sheets page.

5. The entrant may choose to enter only four of the above categories, with the fifth entry being a second item in a category already entered. No entrant, however, may enter more than 10 items total and no entrant may enter more than two items per subcategory.

6. Pentathlon scores are based on the entrant’s five highest Kingdom Arts & Sciences Fair scores spanning at least four categories.

7. Entries by Individual Pentathlon Entrants remain eligible to compete for placements within subcategories in the Kingdom Arts & Sciences Fair as well.

8. Individual Pentathlon Entrants compete only against other Individual Pentathlon Entrants.

9. If an entrant withdraws some entries and no longer has enough in the appropriate breadth of categories, the entrant will no longer be eligible to compete in Pentathlon. However, the remaining entries will still be entered in the Kingdom Arts & Sciences Fair and will be eligible for placements in
the subcategories in which they are entered.


1. All general rules and Kingdom Arts & Sciences Fair rules apply.

2. A Team must be composed of three to eight members. Each member must enter or contribute in a major way to at least one entry. Entries may be constructed either by one member or by two or more members of the team. If more than one person has worked on an entry, it may only be entered as a team entry. Each team must designate a Team Leader as a point of contact for the team. The event staff’s communication with the team will be done through the Team Leader.

3. Teams intending to enter Pentathlon must indicate their intention on their registration form.

4. A Team Entrant in Team Pentathlon must submit at least five entries spanning at least four categories. Those categories are :
Armor & Weaponry

For a complete list of categories and subcategories, visit our Categories and Judging sheets page.

5. A Team Entrant may choose to enter only four of the above categories, with the fifth entry being a second item in a category already entered. No team entrant, however, may enter more than 10 items total and no team entrant may enter more than two items per subcategory.

6. Pentathlon scores are based on the team entrant’s five highest Kingdom Arts & Sciences Fair scores spanning at least four categories.

7. Entries by Team Pentathlon Entrants remain eligible to be awarded recognitions for superb work within subcategories in the Kingdom Arts & Sciences Fair as well.

8. Team Pentathlon Entrants compete only against other Team Pentathlon Entrants.

9. If a Team Entrant withdraws some entries and no longer has enough in the appropriate breadth of categories, the entrant will no longer be eligible to compete in Pentathlon. However, the remaining entries will still be entered in the Kingdom Arts & Sciences Fair and will be eligible for recognitions in the subcategories in which they are entered.


1. All general rules and Kingdom Arts & Sciences Fair rules apply, except as specified below.

2. There are two Youth divisions: Junior (up to age 10) and Senior (11-15 years). Any person age 16 or older who wishes to compete may do so as an Individual Entrant or as a member of a Team.

3. Youth are eligible to enter any category open to adults. Up to ten categories may be entered, with a maximum of two entries per subcategory. Youth entering in the Junior or Senior divisions will receive
feedback with age-appropriate skill sets taken into consideration.

4. Youth entering in the Junior or Senior divisions do not compete against adult entrants for placements. Junior and Senior Youth division entries the judges feel are outstanding may be awarded recognition by the judges.

5. Documentation is encouraged but not required for the Junior division. Documentation is required for the Senior division.

6. Youth participation at the event will be in accordance with modern law and Society and Kingdom policies. Each Youth Entrant must have an adult guardian who will be with him or her at the event.

7. Junior and Senior Division Youth Entrants in the Performance category may perform with an adult, but only the youth will be judged. Youth competing in the Performance category as members of a Team may perform and be judged with their team members.

Check-in and Set up
At check in, you will be provided with labels to mark your entry and all copies of your documentation. You may bring small pins to pin the label to fiber entries, if needed. We do not want you to damage your item. If
you need help figuring out a way to do this, contact the Entries Steward and ask for suggestions.

Setup time is limited and will be detailed in the event announcement. Some suggestions to help you make the most of the time available: Practice setting up your entry at home and viewing it as if seeing it for the first time. Ask others to comment on your presentation. Pack each entry separately and in reverse order so you can remove the pieces of your entry in the order needed, perhaps even have each entry in a separate box. Consider dressing a dressmaker’s form at home so all you have to do is position the form and make last-minute adjustments on site.

When your setup is done, do a quick sweep past all your entries to make sure you’re satisfied with how your items are presented. Be sure your entries are as you want them to be. Then you’re done! You’ve done your part and your entry is now in the judges’ hands.

When setup time is over, rooms will be closed until the judges arrive. Please do not make life difficult for those providing security for the rooms. Their directive is to keep everyone out except for specified staff.

Presentation is a scored part of the judging. A good presentation sets the stage for your entry.  It should enhance the entry and not overwhelm it. The amount of presentation you do is entirely up to you. The entrant must supply all presentation items.

The standard area provided for a physical item is a bare section of shared table. Entrants can bring table coverings and other items (armor stands, tools, dressmaker’s dummies, etc). as needed to best display the entry.

Performers should consider dressing in culturally appropriate attire and disguising any computer printouts or tablets being used.

Performance Times
When you check in, you will be given your schedule for Performance and Costume Review entries. You, and any instruments and props must be at your designated performance area 15 minutes before your scheduled performance time.
Judges score each entry in relation to a 100-point ideal – the most culturally authentic and highest form of workmanship. The judging sheets are designed to recognize and reward research that has led to historical and artistic accuracy. Entrants are not competing against each other at this point in the competition. Judges aren’t looking at the level at which the entry was entered. They’re determining a numerical score that shows where the entry did – and did not – meet the ideal standard.

In addition to the 100 points, up to five bonus points may be awarded at the judges’ discretion for outstanding entries. These points can be used to acknowledge and reward exceptional additional work on an entry. Examples include an entrant dyeing the linen used to make a garment in costume construction, or also illuminating the manuscript entered in the calligraphy category, or providing outstanding documentation.

The following explanations regarding the judging rubrics are general and apply to most categories. For more information on judging criteria for specific subcategories, please review the judging sheets or contact the Competition Steward. Judging sheets will be available at Category and Judging Sheets the Caid Arts & Sciences website in advance of the competition.

Documentation (15% of total points)
Documentation shows the judges your thought process and knowledge about the item. It should be as concise as possible while still providing good information about the item. Be sure to address any deviations from period construction (i.e., “I substituted X ingredient because the one used in period is poisonous”). Good documentation should answer the basics questions of Who (would have used it)? What (is it)? When (was it used)? Where (was it used)? Why (was it used)? And How (was it made)?

Judges consider things like whether the entrant explains how the entry fits into period style. Does the entrant discuss special tools or methods used? If the progression of the entry from inspiration/start to finish is relevant, is the progression given? How strong are the sources used? Is rationale given for original work or deviation from period norm? Is outside assistance given by someone other than the entrant documented or acknowledged? (Entrants must do all the work on the entry by themselves, but they are encouraged to ask others to give feedback and teach new skills.) Look at the judging sheet for the subcategory in which your entry is entered and be sure your documentation addresses the areas being judged.

For more information about research and documentation visit our Research and Documentation pages

Execution (60% of the total points)
Execution considers the following:
1. Workmanship: How successful was the attempt? How well does the entry do what it was meant to do? How well do the various elements work together? How well are the details handled?

2. Authenticity: How “period” is the entry in terms of style, function, appearance, and combination of elements? Has rationale been added when non-period materials and techniques are used? A higher score will be awarded to an item that would be accepted by a period audience without question than to an item that has just the look and feel of being authentic but was produced with modern materials (e.g., power tools).

3. Creativity: How much originality and innovation are shown by the entrant in a period context? If the entrant is replicating an extant item, the creativity needed to choose the extant piece is considered (i.e., is the extant item located in an obscure museum? How did the entrant find the extant item?). The creativity demonstrated during construction is also considered (i.e., did the entrant have to overcome obstacles such as making the tools needed to create a period effect?).

Complexity/Difficulty (25% of total points)
Complexity/Difficulty addresses the scope of the endeavor, techniques required, and variety of elements combined. How much research was necessary? Does a simply-made item depend on extensive construction of tools or forms?

Expert Feedback Comments
When the score is determined, the judges look at the entry level (Apprentice, Journeyman, or Artisan). This allows the judges to be aware of the experience and skill sets the entrant is likely to have and the resources with which he or she is likely to be familiar. This also helps them gauge what type of commentary and suggestions to make. Apprentice level comments tend to be general, letting entrants know if they’re heading in the right direction. Comments for Journeyman will be more complex and nuanced. Artisans are experts so comments at this level will be detailed and extremely specific.

Judges are required to provide comments. Judges provide concrete, constructive comments specifying what worked and what didn’t (and if, possible, why) and offer suggestions on how to correct the things
that didn’t work. In the “Take It to the Next Level” section of the judging sheet, they also suggest areas for improvement and provide helpful resources. Judges are required to put their names and contact
information (usually an email address) on the judging forms. If you have questions or want more clarification, contact your judges. They’re judging because they want to help you!

Placements and Recognitions
After scoring, judges then determine subcategory placements for individual entries. First and Second place Apprentice, Journeyman, and Artisan placements can be awarded within each subcategory. The following range shows where points are usually awarded for First place entries at each skill level. This scale is only a guide to help judges do commentary, feedback, and placements.

A 1st place Apprentice level entry should have scored around 60 points.
A 1st place Journeyman level entry should have scored around 80 points.
A 1st place Artisan level entry should have scored around 100 points.

At their discretion, judges may “bump” an entry to a higher level, as long as the bump will still allow the entry to receive first or second place in the higher category. For example, an Apprentice-level entry scores 78 points. This item can be bumped to Journeyman as long as the bump will award the entry a first or second place Journeyman placement. Judges cannot bump an entry down.

If an entry is awarded second place in a level for which no first place was awarded, this does not mean the judges didn’t like the item. It simply means no entry placed in the appropriate scoring range.

For team entries, judges may award recognitions for outstanding entries. This is generally done for entries that have scored at the top of the level in which they were entered or that have a score indicative of work generally done at a much higher level. Recognized works are not compared to any
other entries.

For Junior and Senior Division Youth entries, judges may award recognitions for outstanding examples of work done in relation to age-appropriate skill sets.

Entrants who have entries only in the Kingdom Arts & Sciences Fair are allowed to judge in major categories in which they have not entered. For example, someone with an Arts & Sciences Fair entry in Culinary: Sweets may judge in non-Culinary categories, but not in Culinary: Breads or any other Culinary subcategories. Entrants in either Individual or Team Pentathlon may not judge, even in categories in which they do not have entries.

Judges’ scores and comments will be made available to all entrants. Those who wish their judging sheets mailed to them should contact the Competition Steward at for instructions.

Performance entries are open to the populace. If you are among those viewing the performance entries, please remember to be courteous to all performers. This means not entering or exiting the room until a performance is over and remaining quiet at all times so the judges and performers can do their work. Polite applause, however, is perfectly acceptable.