Judging Competitions

Guidelines for Judging A&S Competitions

The following guidelines are designed to assist judges with their task.  It has been developed from previously published guidelines, Kingdom and Principality Files.

Number of Judges

A Kingdom competition will, ideally, have a total of 3 judges for each category (a minimum of 2 judges is required).  For example, if the categories in the Kingdom A&S Competition are fletching, embroidery and a cordial, there should be 3 judges for each individual category and a total of 9 judges.

Point System

Items entered in the Kingdom A&S Competitions are judged on the following Criteria and judges may award up to 10 points for each:

  1. Documentation
  2. Authenticity
  3. Creativity/Plausibility
  4. Workmanship
  5. Complexity

A perfect score in each category would give the entrant a 50/50 – i.e., the maximum points, per judge, is 50.  The total score per entrant is the average of each of the 3 judge’s scores out of 50.

What to consider

Every item entered, whether or not it is completed, must be judged and must receive comments.  An extremely complex, yet incomplete item could score higher than a simple, undocumented work.  It is important that every entry is judged, whether or not there are sufficient entries for the competition to run, as the item entered is still eligible to be considered for the Event Champion.


The following may assist a judge in deciding how many points to award an entrant for documentation.  While there are no “hard and fast” rules for what constitutes “good” documentation (and this would vary based upon the item, availability or primary sources, etc.), a general rule of thumb is that no attempt at documentation would gain no points, and brief, but a fulsome analysis of expert sources would score maximum points.

Documentation not provided (0) or very brief. May not adequately demonstrate that the entry is based on something period. Documentation does not adequately describe the decisions made during the recreation process. Very few, if any, sources listed and/or they may not be considered reliable. 0-3 pts
Documentation provided demonstrates that the entry is based on something period and that the entrant is aware of areas of uncertainty in the documentation. The documentation describes the decisions made throughout the recreation process. Several sources are listed, including at least secondary sources. 4-7 pt
Documentation is extremely thorough and provides detailed and reliable information that the item is based on something period. The entrant is clearly aware of uncertainties in their documentation, but they are few, and alternatives are extremely well justified. A wide range of sources are listed, including Primary sources 8-10 pts

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Authenticity is defined as the use of materials and techniques to create an authentic piece.  Higher scores should be given to items which have been made in a “period” manner and with “period” materials.  However, sometimes substitutions are required because of considerations such as cost, availability and time constraints.  Ideally, as many authentic materials and processes are preferred, but intelligent discussion on extant items, authenticity, background and reasons for substitution should be marked accordingly.  A mark of 10 would be for an item made with authentic construction and documentation to back it up.

Item is not based on a period idea, or very loose connection to period item and/or accessible period materials or techniques have not been used. 0-3 pts
Item is demonstrably based on authentic period item and a reasonable attempt to use period materials and techniques has been undertaken. 4-7 pt
Item is demonstrably based on authentic period item and wherever possible, period materials and techniques have been used. 8-10 pts

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High scores should be given to items which are unique, or a skilful adaption of an extant piece.  However, an item which is a replication should not lose marks – take into consideration its uniqueness and whether it is being adapted for use in the SCA.

Elements of the piece are not logical to period, Non period item/Modern item. 0-3 pts
Use of some plausible elements. Original work logical to period context in design or execution. 4-7 pt
Creative interpolation in combinations or elements, much innovation, plausible to period. Original innovative combination of Period materials, techniques and designs as might have been done in period. Special consideration such as personalization to an event, individual or idea. 8-10 pts

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This Ranks the quality of execution and success of the entry. How well the item was put together and does it look how it should look, do what it is supposed to do or sound as it should?

Contains several notable flaws in craftmanship that detract significantly from the success of the piece. 0-3 pts
Contains some flaws that detract from the success of the piece. 4-7 pt
Little to no evidence of flaws that might detract from the success of the piece. Showing master of the style. Museum quality piece (10). 8-10 pts

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Complexity is specific to the art form.  Entries should, therefore, be judged in light of what that art for is – not what other art forms might be more difficult.  A score of “1” is that for which minimal effort was necessary to complete the item.  How much time was involved?  How was the item actually made – the tools, individual techniques or parts to make it?  How many processes taken to make the item?  How much of the item was hand-made or store bought?  Again documentation, discussion or talking to the entrant will help in this area.

Little thought given to the entry. Simple processes involved. 0-3 pts
Average Complexity. 4-7 pt
Complex, multistep process required to make the item. Higher points if all elements of the final product are created by the entrant. 8-10 pts

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All entries are to receive comments.  It is important that judges comment with sensitivity, particularly to the experience level of the entrant.  Comments, in particular any criticism of the work, should be constructive. Suggestions for additional resources or further information is always welcome.

Criteria for the Event Champion

The event champion can be chosen from any entry, regardless of whether the Kingdom category has sufficient entries to run.  The item must be of a particularly high standard, giving regard to:

  • Highest overall score for the overall Kingdom A&S competition at any one Crown Event
  • Outstanding quality, authenticity and documentation above and beyond any other entries supplied for that event
  • A minimum of 3 sources cited
  • The score is over 42/50


The Judging Form must be given to the A&S Steward for the event.  The A&S Steward then transcribes the scores onto the Kingdom A&S Report Form, which is sent to the Kingdom A&S Officer, to enable the KMoAS to keep track of the scores for the Annual A&S Championship.

The Judges Comment Forms are given back to the entrant so that they will know how their entry scored in the competition and they will be able to see the judge’s comments.

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