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Pent room with judges

Photo by Master Fridrikr Tomasson.

Each year, the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael hosts the Festival of the Passing of the Ice Dragon. One of the largest features of the event is our Kingdom’s premiere Arts & Sciences competition, commonly known as the Pentathlon, or “Pent”. The Ice Dragon Pent Coordinator details the rules and changes to the rules for 2020 here:


Rules Changes

The modifications to the Ice Dragon Pentathlon are continuing this year.

  1. The list of categories HAS CHANGED SIGNIFICANTLY.
    **There Are No Sub-Categories**
  2. The rules HAVE CHANGED SIGNIFICANTLY or been expanded upon.
  3. The scoring system and judging criteria are being updated.

Most notably, as stated above, we are removing the sub-category level. Instead, we will be working with the Major Categories only. This in turn changes the rules about how many items you may enter in each. Previously, you could enter two items into each sub-category. The highest scoring item in all the sub-categories won the Major category. There was no “win” for sub-categories. Only your top scoring item in the Major category counted toward your overall Pent score.

The individual arts will still be listed as examples of what you may enter into each Category (Used to be Major Category).

You will now be able to enter up to five items in any Category. The best scoring item will win the Category. Only your top scoring item in the Category will count toward your overall Pent score.

Please read this article completely and address any questions to cori at IDPentGuy@wnysca.org

Judging is also changing this year. There is a summary below and there will be separate articles regarding these changes.

As we did last year, there will be additional competitions, including the 5-in-1 Competition. More information on these will be forthcoming.


1. No Kits.
If, historically, an artist would have used tools and material from other sources, this is NOT considered a kit. An example of something that is not a kit is needlework patterns. Another example of something that is not a kit is a paint set or pigments for painting. It is strongly suggested that entrants thoroughly document their resources and work.

2. Proxy Entries will be allowed.
This means that you may send your entry with another person. You will need to download, fill out, and sign the registration sheet (See rule 5).

People may not enter other artists’ work without their express permission in the form of a signed registration sheet.

3. Entrants are limited to ONE cross entry of ONE item only into ONE additional Category.
When cross entering you must supply a set of appropriate documentation to be present on the tables for each Category entered.

If you do not have enough sets of documentation for each Category you are entering an item into, this may affect your score if the judges have trouble tracking down your paperwork.

Additionally, appropriate documentation for an item for one Category may not be as good for a second category. The judges are not responsible for tracking down documentation that is not included on the Category table the item is entered in. Be sure to mark the Category on the documentation to lessen the chance that the judge will read the wrong version for that Category.

4. Entrants are allowed up to FIVE entries in each Category.
Example of arts appropriate to each Category are listed for inspiration for our artisans. Except where specifically noted, the final decision to enter any item in a specific Category is the entrant’s. However, the Pentathlon staff is happy to assist in getting items into appropriate Categories. If the judges determine that an entry in a Category is inappropriate, the Pent Coordinator will discuss it with the entrant. Please bear in mind that items in an inappropriate Category will not be judged as effectively and this may be reflected in the scoring and commentary.

Any Category may be deleted, expanded or combined to meet the needs of the entrants and/or judges.

5. All scores will be published after the event.
As we have had people object to this in the past, written permission to publish scores is now a requirement for entry and is part of the registration process. For those sending in proxy entries, you MUST print and sign a copy to go with your entry. For those sending in advanced registration, you will need to sign the form when you check in.

6. We will be using advanced electronic registration again this year.
It is to your benefit to register early as it gives us more opportunity to tailor our judging recruitment.

We are also investigating providing an opportunity to send documentation in advance so judges can read it before the event. More on this to follow.

***MARCH 14, 2020***

If You Do Not Receive Confirmation That We Have Your Electronic Registration, WE DON’T HAVE IT.

Proxy entrants MUST send a signed form with their entries.

7. Group entries are allowed in both individual categories and in the Grand Pentathlon.
Group entries are defined as entries in which each item entered has been worked on by all members of the group with generally equal contributions. For group entries into the Grand Pentathlon, all members must provide generally equal contributions to all items the group enters.

E.G. – Jack, Jill, and Joan work together on a loaf of bread, a piece of clothing, and a song. This is an acceptable group entry.

Jack makes a loaf of bread, Jill makes a piece of clothing, Joan sings a song. This is NOT an acceptable group entry.

An individual’s participation in a group entry may NOT be used as part of the individual’s entry in the Grand Pentathlon.

8. You may not enter an item which has previously WON a CRITERIA-BASED COMPETITION.
This is any competition in the SCA that has an advanced published criteria set or rubric.

– If you won the Grand Pentathlon, those five items used to calculate your score should not be entered again.

– If you won the Woodwork Category at Ice Dragon 2019 with chair, do not enter the same chair.
If you won the Culinary Category with your loaf of bread, do not bring the same loaf of bread. (Please do not bring the same loaf of bread!)

However, you may use the same bread recipe and you may use the same set of construction plans for your chair.

Entrants are encouraged to enter and display items in both competitions and in non-competitive venues. Use these opportunities to increase your knowledge and make your entry better. But please leave any items that won previously at home or bring them for the display-only space we will be providing.

9. There are no requirements as to time frames items were created in.

10. The items in the Special Prize 5-in-1 Competition may not be used to enter the Grand Pentathlon.

11. Entries may be handled only by the person entering the item, the judges for that specific Category, and Pentathlon staff as determined by the Pentathlon Coordinator.
Anyone else touching entries will removed from the Pent room. All judges are asked to wash their hands before handling entries and to be gentle when doing so. Gloves will be available for those judges who wish to use them.

12. Absolutely no food or drink in the Pent room other than the entries at the Culinary and Beverage category table.
If you need to eat or drink, you also need a break – step outside and relax for a bit. Wash your hands before you come back.


This Category is for mixed media items that you would have on or about your person as part of your ensemble. It is limited to items that, due to a
combination of materials, are difficult to place. Entry in this category is by discretion of the Pent Coordinator.

Farming arts including growing plants or crops, forestry topics, and land management.

Tools of the trade or accessories made for the use of animals

This Category may include, but is not limited to:
Equestrian, Beekeeping, Hunting, Farming, Fishing

Items crafted from materials harvested from animals EXCEPT fiber arts (FIBER ARTS) and edible items (CULINARY and BEVERAGES)

This Category may include, but is not limited to: Leatherwork, Bone, Items made from
Parchment, Tanning, Parchment making

Extremely well researched items too simple or modest to compete fairly in a more traditional category. The score would be split between the research paper and the item, with the paper being worth more than half of the points.

The paper/research portion of the entry must be submitted in advance. Entries in Applied Research must be received electronically or postmarked by
*** February 1, 2020 ***

A liquid prepared for human consumption.

This Category may include, but is not limited to:
Beer & Ale, Wine & Mead, Cordials, Non-alcoholic beverages

Items made of ceramics or glass.

This Category may include, but is not limited to:
Pottery, Glasswork, Beadmaking, Stained glass

Formula or recipe-based items that are not food/beverage.

This Category may include, but is not limited to:
Dyeing, Pigments, Paints, Stains, Cosmetics,
Glazes, Perfumery

Items prepared for human consumption (beverages excluded).

This Category may include, but is not limited to:
Main dish, Side dish, Sweets, Subtleties, Breads, Food preservation, Sauces, Flavorings

Unique or unusual entries that don’t fit in any of the traditional categories. Entries in this category must be approved by Pent Coordinator in advance.

Deadline for registration in this category is
***March 14, 2020.***

Any items made of fabric

This Category may include, but is not limited to:
Clothing, Accessories, Household items

Application of surface decoration on fabric

This Category may include, but is not limited to:
Embroidery, Applique, Fabric printing and painting

The arts associated with making yarn/string or the creation of fabric

This Category may include, but is not limited to:
Spinning, Weaving, Narrow-work, Sprang, Knitting, Netting, Nalbinding, Lacemaking, Felting

Entries in Literary Arts must be received electronically or postmarked by
*** February 1, 2020 ***

Entries may be sent electronically or via hardcopy in the mail. If you do not receive a confirmation email that an electronically submitted entry has been received within 24 hours of sending it, contact me. Please contact cori in advance if you are sending hard copy.

This Category may include, but is not limited to:
Musical arrangement & composition, Poetry & prose, Research paper [A research paper may be written in any style which the entrant chooses (EG Chicago, ALA, etc.) The judging of the paper is to be focused on the research presented, and any theories or conclusions presented. The entrant is strongly encouraged to be consistent in the use of the style they choose.]

Items made of metal or use of metal as a decorative element.

This Category may include, but is not limited to:
Armor, Domestic, Jewelry

Entries should not exceed 15 minutes unless you have made prior arrangements with the Performing Arts Category Coordinator. As there are time and space limits, the number of longer performance entries may be limited and are at the discretion of the Coordinator.
All entries must be performed in the area where the judging is taking place.

This Category may include, but is not limited to:
Instrumental, Vocal, Physical (dance, juggling etc.), Storytelling, Drama/Comedy/Improv, Oratory, Historic Combat( Entries of artistic endeavor showcasing a martial art of SCA period and/or used currently within the Society. The format is limited only by the entrant’s creativity and safety considerations.)

SPECIAL NOTE: No entry will be accepted if the presentation requires a Marshall or safety equipment to be present. No active combat (by Society definition) of any type will be allowed.

Items that would be made by a scribe. Handwritten and/or painted pages based on documents or manuscripts.

This Category may include, but is not limited to:
Calligraphy, Illumination

Various visual arts that require a specialized set of tools or space to create.

This Category may include, but is not limited to:
Drawing, Printmaking, Painting, Bookmaking

Items made of wood or use of wood as a decorative element.

This Category may include, but is not limited to:
Construction, Embellishment, Turning