A&S Competition rules

These are the rules that govern A&S competitions run in Lochac. If you need any clarification on these rules then contact Lochac’s Minister of Arts & Sciences.

In these rules, where the word “item” is used this can also mean research paper, performance or any other display of the Arts and Sciences. “Item” is used for ease of language.

Competitions at any event

Lochac is a very big Kingdom, and not everyone can travel to Kingdom events to have their work judged for consideration in Kingdom competitions. Thus Lochac’s A&S competitions can be judged at any event or gathering deemed to be an official SCA event in Lochac. This includes A&S meetings, guild meetings, feasts, balls, tournaments, etc.

Judging will occur at all Kingdom events. These events determine the beginning and end of “competition seasons” (see below).

Competitions must be supervised by the local A&S officer, or the Kingdom Minister for Arts & Sciences, or a person deputised by the Kingdom Minister. Results for the competitions must be uploaded to the central results reporting form by the person supervising the competition.

The Categories

Winners will be announced in court in one of four categories. The first three categories depend on the experience of the person who is making the item, for the skills involved in making that item.

  • Beginner: someone with 0-3 years of experience of the skill they are demonstrating
  • Intermediate: someone with 3-5 years of experience of the skill they are demonstrating
  • Experienced: someone with more than 5 years of experience
  • Group entry: an entry by more than one person, of any experience level.

Experience is cumulative, not elapsed. i.e. if someone practiced a skill for 18 months 10 years ago and the item they are entering took a few months to make then they are a “beginner” not “advanced”. This means, for instance, that a Laurel for brewing could enter a woodwork category as a beginner if they’ve only just started tinkering with that craft. No-one is going to check so you can pick whichever is appropriate for you.

Determining a winner

The winner in each category is the person with the most points from all eligible judging sessions held around the Kingdom at the end of the competition season. A second and third place may also be announced. Points are only calculated if they are submitted to the online reporting form.

A token is awarded to the top entries from each category.  The token is a small bell, threaded with ribbons of red, blue and white, to represent the colours of Lochac.  First place gets a gold bell, second and third places gets a silver bell.

Competition themes and competition seasons

Every Kingdom event has three competition themes allocated to it. Entries must meet one, and only one of the three themes. Entry forms must clearly state which theme is being entered under.

A competition season is the period of time in which a specific competition theme is able to receive entries and be judged. The season commences at the end of closing court of a Kingdom Event and finishes once judging is completed at the next Kingdom event, and all scores have been tallied. The season is named for the event of the final judging round. For example ,the 12th Night competition season starts at the end of November Crown closing court and finishes once the judging at 12th Night has finished.

Judging

There must be a minimum of two people judging an item. Judges must assess an item against the Lochac A&S judging scheme (“rubric”). Points must be allocated as fairly as possible based on the judge’s knowledge and experience. Judges are allowed to “phone a friend” in cases where they are unsure about an item and need specialist advice. Judges are also allowed to ask clarifying questions of an entrant.

ALL items presented for judging must be scored on the Scoring and Feedback Form. Feedback must also be provided to the entrant.

There is no minimum number of entries required for a competition to run. As the competition is judged at various events across the Kingdom, then there will be sufficient entries to determine a winner in each category.

Photos should be taken of every entry and uploaded to the Kingdom Competitions Photo Folder, clearly labelled by event and entrant identifier (name is good, except in cases where there are privacy concerns). A lack of photos will not preclude the points being awarded, as photos will be used in the highly unlikely case of challenges to decisions.

Distance entries

Entries can be posted to a competition for judging, the How to enter an A&S competition page has more information on this. Documentation only entries are also allowed.

Use of potentially offensive symbolism or messaging

Kingdom competitions encourage in-depth exploration of history through researching and recreating the arts and sciences. In some cases, individuals may choose to investigate potentially unpleasant or difficult avenues of research. These works could be challenging due to both an historical context (violence or adult content for example) or due to awareness of modern sensibility (symbols co-opted by hate groups such as the swastika for example).

Individuals may also use historical resources and extant materials that have become available through problematic means (archeological finds or colonial acquisitions for example) or that have been published with a contemporary bias (revisionist histories for example).

Artisans who enter such items in competitions in Lochac are asked to approach their research and work with special care. They are expected to:

  • remain aware of potentially offensive symbolism or messaging within their works and to treat their research and reproductions with sensitivity and understanding (symbols co-opted by hate groups such as the swastika modified into another motif for example).
  • present these materials with proper context and framing so that their historical use and purpose can be understood while trying best to avoid offense and misunderstandings (thorough documentation and explanatory display for example).