- What counts as a "sports anime?"
- Can I join more than one team?
- Can I switch teams?
- How do I drop from/leave the SASO?
- I can't contact my teammates!
- "Team Dreamwidth community?" What's that?
- Can you tell me more about Main Round collaboration?
- Can you tell me more about what is and isn't allowed for Round entries?
- Can I have full specs for the Main Round Limitations?
- What will get a Main Round entry disqualified from final vote?
- Can you give me more Bonus Round prompt & fill guidelines?
What counts as a "sports anime?"
We count any anime/manga title that is based on sports competition, especially those that are school-age based and team based. This includes:
- Any anime based on a real world sport, ranging from obvious things like basketball, boxing, and football (American or otherwise) to more esoteric things like ping pong. "Is it in or being considered for the IRL Olympics" would be a huge point in its favor, for example.
- Anime that aren't quite sports-based but are focused on a school-age team competing for a championship against other same-age teams, such as Chihayafuru and Girls Und Panzer.
- Having a healthy degree of realism also helps; the more fantastical elements a series has, the less likely we are to accept it.
- The more hallmarks of a sports anime title that it hits (e.g., training camp arcs) the better a chance it has, too.
- Another consideration: is the goal of the series to excel within your chosen field, as demonstrated through a plot-central competition series, or is the central concept about self-improvement of another kind? We're looking for titles that demonstrate the former.
- For even more detail, please refer to this post.
Multiple distinct series within one larger franchise must be each nominated separately.
(For example, "Love Live! School Idol Project" and "Love Live! Sunshine!!" would require two distinct nominations.)
If you're not sure if your fandom counts but you feel it's in the spirit of the SASO, nominate it anyway. We reserve the right to reject any title that strays too far from this guideline, but we also expect to be pretty accepting about what counts.
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Can I join more than one team?
No. Joining multiple teams isn’t just unfair to the teams you’re on, because you won't have energy to be active on them all. Having two (or more) active DW accounts in the event gives you more voting power in the main rounds, and that’s cheating! If we catch anyone with more than one DW account they will be automatically removed from the SASO.
One person, one DW account, one sign up, one team.
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Can I switch teams?
You can switch teams as much as you want throughout the sign up period. If sign ups close and your team is too small to participate in the SASO, you will have a few additional days in which you can switch to another team. After main round one there's also a Team Switching Period, where you'll be allowed to switch what team you're on. (For more information, see the Schedule)
Besides those times, team switching will be allowed only under extreme circumstances, i.e., when there is intense interpersonal stress within the team or severe conflict with the team's captain. You can also switch if so many of your teammates have defaulted that you'd like to join a team that's more active. In these cases, to switch teams please contact the mods.
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How do I drop from/leave the SASO?
Remove yourself from the team roster by submitting a sign up form with your team name as REMOVE.
It's polite to send your Captain a note so they know you're leaving. If you don't want to contact them yourself, you can message the mod team at email@example.com—please mention your DW username and your team—and we'll contact them for you.
In advance, thank you for officially dropping instead of just disappearing. It's hard for a team when members vanish without a word.
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I can't contact my teammates!
First, leave a post on your team's Dreamwidth community and see if that drums up any response. If that doesn't work, contact the mods asking for help.
If your Captain has vanished, please contact the mods ASAP. Your team can't compete without a Captain! If the mods can't contact them within five days, we may ask you to step up for Captaincy yourself.
Once your team qualifies for the SASO, it's cleared to compete the whole event. If your team falls below the four participant minimum, or even if you're the only one left on your team, if you want to rep your ship in the SASO, we're happy to have you. But if you'd feel more comfortable on a more active team, you can also switch teams. Just contact the mods.
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"Team Dreamwidth community?" What's that?
Each team Captain is responsible for creating a team Dreamwidth community (click the link for a walkthrough). All team communities will be listed on the Team Rankings Spreadsheet. Teams can use these communities to:
- coordinate, host, and discuss fanworks before submitting an entry to a main round
- exchange contact information
- mingle and get to know one another
- anything else they want.
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Can you tell me more about Main Round collaboration?
Although multiple team members may create many works in response to a main round prompt, each team may only submit one cohesive entry to each main round. Round entries can be multimedia, and can be created in collaboration, though neither is required. For example, a five member team could create five (or more!) individual entries for the prompt; two members could work on one entry and the other three could work on a second; all five could work on a single entry; or any combination thereof.
However, no matter how many works the team creates, only one entry can be sent to represent the team in the round. It's up to your team to figure out your game plan for the round, as well as which piece is going to be your main round submission.
The extra works don't gain points, but can be posted anywhere (tumblr, AO3, etc.) AFTER round voting is over for everyone to enjoy!
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Can you tell me more about what is and isn't allowed for Main/Bonus Round entries?
Entries can use content that was made by your teammates specifically in response to the prompt within the round's time period. Your entry cannot use work of any kind that you or your teammates made before the round. It also cannot use fanwork that was made by people outside of your team.
You can also use non-fandom work from outside of your team (such as popular music, well-known art pieces, manga panels, stock photography, anime screencaps or OSTs, etc.) with some limitations. If using outside work, please obtain permission from the original creator(s) whenever possible. This is a bit of gray area; when using famous works (e.g., the Mona Lisa), you can probably just go ahead and use it. However, if the original creator asks for their work to be removed from your entry, you must comply. This can potentially put your entry in jeopardy, so please do your best to obtain permission whenever possible.
Your entry cannot use work created by another SASO participant. As it can sometimes be hard to determine who is participating in the event, this makes it doubly important to get permission whenever you can.
Any work that was not created by your teammates must be clearly credited. These credits do not count against your work count.
You also cannot build off of already-existing AUs. You can use general AU ideas, such as a Pacific Rim AU or a Coffeeshop AU, as long as you do not take from any specific, already-existing fanfics/fanart/etc. that use that AU setting. Crossovers with other fandoms/series are allowed.
The next question might also be useful to you.
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Can I have full specs for the Main Round Limitations?
You can pick any of these areas for your entry. Pick one, pick several, it's up to you. If you've got something that doesn't fit these parameters, contact the mods and we'll work limits out with you.
Work maximums are as follows:
Credits: These are free and do not count toward any word limits. Please credit anything your entry uses that comes from outside of your team. However, please withhold teammate credits until the round's final vote is complete.
Writing: 1,000 (min) to 4,000 (max) words.
- Poetry can be less than 1,000 words but no longer than 4,000 words. If poetry is part of a larger piece, the entire piece must conform to the min/max word limit. (You can't have 4,000 words of fic and then 300 words of poetry; you will be considered over the limit.)
- Multi-chaptered works are fine, as long as they are not works-in-progress or incomplete.
- Our word count tool is Google Docs.
Art (without words): 1 (min) to 20 (max) images.
- Favicons are free and don't count towards any limits.
Comics (with or without words): 1 (min) to 8 (max) pages. There are no size limits or word limits. However, if you integrate a comic into a larger entry, it becomes beholden to the combination entry limits (see below).
Combination Art/Writing Entries (any work that includes both, excluding games): There are four tiers of limits.
- up to 1,000 words and 20 images
- up to 2,000 words and 15 images
- up to 3,000 words and 10 images
- up to 4,000 words and 5 images.
- If any part of your entry text is difficult to read, embedded in an image/program/game, spread across multiple pages, not screen-reader accessible, etc., you must include a link to a script with your entry. You should also include an image list if you have graphics.
- This limit includes script-style character indicators (e.g., instant messenger conversations)—for example,
Haruka: Says something.All seven (7) words in the last example would count for the limit.
Haruka: Says something else.
- Words embedded in an image (for example, dialogue in a comic) count towards the word limit, and should appear in the script your team submits. If you mean for the audience to read those words, it counts towards your word limit and should be included in your script. This includes ellipses and things like street names.
- Non-visible text, such as HTML/code or alt/hover text, does not count towards the limit. Please do not include code in the script you provide the mods.
- If you must host your entry off-site, you may include up to three safe-for-work preview screenshots so people know what they're getting into. Your preview image(s) are freebies and should not be included in your image list. The link(s) to your off-DW entry is also free and shouldn't be included in your script or word count.
- Using the same exact image more than once only counts as one image for the limit.
- You can also apply slight modifications to a base image and have them all count as one image. Examples include cropping/resizing an image, adding a gradient to an image, moving the pose of a limb or changing a character's expression but leaving the rest of the image untouched, etc.). Use common sense; if it's obviously another picture, it counts as a new image towards the limit.
- Example: "image01.png," even if used multiple times in your entry, still counts as one single image towards the limit. "image01-crop.png," "image01-gradient.png", and "image01.png" also count together as one image for your team's count. Doing anything else to the image counts as two (or more) images towards the limit.
Games: (meaning visual novels, flash/HTML5 games, and similar works. Twine games and choose-your-own-adventure style games do not use these limits. Those use the combination art/writing limits above.)
- Text: up to 4,000 words.
- Images: One 4,000 x 4,000 pixel spritesheet. Anything you can cram into that spritesheet is fair game—text (like "save" or "load"), images, sprite variations, backgrounds, etc.
- Anything that is saved in an image format (.jpg, .png, etc.) belongs in your spritesheet. Everything else counts for text and should be included in your script. Coding doesn't count towards either limit. Animated GIFs should have each frame included on the spritesheet.
- You must include a link to your spritesheet with your entry.
- It is strongly recommended, though not required, that you create a video walkthrough of your game for people who can't play it due to technological or other limitations. This playthrough is not beholden to any limits, and doesn't require a script/image list. However, please don't add additional commentary on your playthrough either, such as voiceovers or extra music.
Gifs/Animations included in a larger work (such as a fic or comic): max 20 seconds in total.
- Gifs must be one single image that is animated in some way. The base of the image must remain the same, with minor modifications (in addition to sprite animations, this would also include things like crops or pan-and-scan type animations). Otherwise it will count as separate images. For flash animations, etc., please refer to the video/audio limits.
Cosplay: Costumes should be made/assembled at least 50% new for the SASO. You can't completely reuse a cosplay you made previously for a con, for example, though you could use up to 50% of it.
- You can reuse any SASO-made costumes from round to round.
- Each round's cosplay photos must have evidence of a unique photoshoot. Ideally this would be through the use of different settings/backgrounds, but having the same background and full costume changes/props on the same cosplayer, or multiple different participants, and/or obviously different photomanipulation are also acceptable options.
- Cosplay shoots may NOT feature people who are not on your team. It is acceptable to use an outside photographer, but all pieces of the cosplay must be made/assembled by teammates, everyone in the photos must be teammates, and all manipulation/editing of the images must be done by teammates. If it is not geographically possible for teammates to meet up to cosplay together, some possible options are to have one person in the shot and imply the ship through framing/prop choices, or you can have one person play both parts (or two people cosplaying remotely) and photoshop the images together.
- If this sounds intimidating, this guide might help.
You can clean things up during the editing period. It's most important to get something in before the round deadline. (What's allowed during the editing period?)
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What will get a Main Round entry disqualified from final vote?
Your main round entry will be accepted to the round, but will not be eligible for the final vote if:
- Your entry is late/submitted after the round deadline.
- You delete and resubmit your entry. (You can edit the post, though.)
- Any part of the entry header block is left blank, especially the Major Content Tags.
- You do not include a single-page full-length script with your entry (where applicable; obviously if you have no words a script is not necessary, and fanfics that fit in a single post do not require additional scripts). Scripts should also include a list of image filenames used, when applicable, and should not include HTML/code—visible text only please. When in doubt, include a script + image list with your entry.
- Your entry is not behind a cut.
- Your entry is a work-in-progress/incomplete.
- Your entry is 5% over the work cap in any medium. For example: the word maximum is 4,000 words. 5% over that is 200 words. Therefore, entries with 4,001-4,200 words will be penalized 50 points. Entries with 4,201+ words will not be eligible for final vote.
This applies to all mediums. If an entry includes audio or video and the recording goes 5% over the time limit, then the entry will be disqualified from the final vote. If a team is using the 1,000 word/20 image limit and submits 21 images, they are within 5% and will incur a 50 point penalty. If they use 22+ images, they will be over the 5% cap.
Can you give me more Bonus Round prompt & fill guidelines?
Here are some other general guidelines for bonus rounds. These apply to each individual participant.
- You can submit prompts and fills for any ship from our list of nominated fandoms for the current year, not just those already represented by SASO teams. This includes your own team's ship, crossover ships, and selfcest.
- You can submit and fill as many prompts as you want (though you may only receive points for some of them; see Scoring).
- All fanwork types are accepted for bonus rounds, including multimedia fills.
- You may only fill each prompt once.
- You cannot fill your teammates' prompts. (Team Grandstand is exempt from this rule.) You cannot collaborate with people outside of your team.
- You cannot fill your own prompts.
- If teammates collaborate on a bonus round fill, their team will only receive points for a single fill.
- A prompt can receive multiple fills/be filled multiple times, as long as each fill is distinct from the others and by a different person.
- Your prompts and fills gain points for your own team, regardless of the ship you're creating for.
- Team Grandstand members don't earn points through their prompts and fills—only fun!
- Fills that are too long to fit in a single comment should have the rest of the fill placed as replies to the original fill comment. The subjects of these extra comments should be something like "part 2 of X" or "continued."
- You can cross-post your bonus round fills wherever and whenever you want (we recommend our AO3 collection).