The Pentathlon

What is this Ice Dragon Pentathlon people keep talking about?

That’s quite a question.

The Ice Dragon Pentathlon is an arts competition that dates back to the second Festival of the Passing of the Ice Dragon. While it has had many forms over the years, the most recognizable and often used is the format we’re using this year: multiple categories anyone can enter and win, with an overall competition among those who have chosen to enter a minimum of five different categories.

You can enter one item in one category at Ice Dragon.
You can enter up to five items in one category at Ice Dragon.

This enters you into the competition for that category.
So essentially, we’re having 19 separate arts competitions.

If you choose to enter the Grand Pentathlon, you will need to enter a minimum of five separate categories. You can enter more. Only your top score in each of five categories will count. The 19 categories are listed here with explanations.

  • The folks who choose to enter the Grand Pentathlon will have their top score from each of their top five categories added together to determine their Grand Pentathlon score. So
  • If you entered Culinary Arts with five entries and got five perfect scores, only one of those will count toward your Grand Pentathlon score (but we WILL be at your next feast).
  • If you enter ten categories, only the top five scores FROM FIVE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES will count towards the Grand Pentathlon.
  • There are nineteen categories. If you enter – and win – ten categories, it is possible for someone to enter – and lose – five categories, and still beat you in the Grand Pentathlon based on the scores because the Grand Pent only counts each competitor’s top five scores in five separate Categories


To determine an item’s score, each item is evaluated on five criteria on a scale of 1-6 by three judges. These are added together for a potential score from 15 to 90 points The criteria used are dependent on the category entered and are broken down into four groups:

  • Material Culture (THINGS, including all written word entries except research papers)
  • Live Performance
  • Research Paper
  • Youth (minors are welcome to enter as adults if they wish to do so)

More details about these criteria may be found here.

The winner of each Category is based on the best individual or group score of all items entered into the category. Winners of major categories will be announced and prizes awarded for them at the event.

An entrant’s Grand Pentathlon score is calculated by taking the entrant’s single highest score in each Category they are entered in. If the entrant has entered more than five Categories, the top five are used. These are added together to produce a Grand Pentathlon score. The Winner of the Grand Pentathlon is determined solely by the scores.

It is possible for a person to win five or more Categories and lose the Grand Pentathlon to another person who has won NO Categories. We have 19 Categories. A person scoring 50 in each of five Categories, winning those Categories, has a Grand Pentathlon score of 250. A person scoring 60 in five other Categories, but coming in second in each to five other people thereby NOT winning the Categories, will have a Grand Pentathlon score of 300. This is why we base the Grand Pentathlon on score, not on the number of major categories won.

Youth Entries

People 17 and under may – but are not required to – enter as Youth in the same categories as adults, but they will not be judged as adults and they are not eligible for the Grand Pentathlon. The highest scoring Youth entry across all categories will win the Youth competition.

Alternately, people 17 and under may choose instead to have their work judged as an equal to any adult entry in the category appropriate to the materials and/or construction.

Special Competitions

Special competitions are established at the discretion of the Pent Coordinator in consultation with the Event Autocrat and Rhydderich Hael Baronage.

King & Queen’s Choice

Chosen at the discretion of the Æthelmearc Royalty. All items in all displays are eligible for and automatically entered in this competition.

Baron & Baroness’ Choice

Chosen at the discretion of the Rhydderich Hael Baronage. All items in all displays are eligible for and automatically entered in this competition.