Ooh, good point, dizzylizzy. I hadn't thought of that.
Most of the time when I judge I'm not forced to give out all awards - if anything, we don't have ENOUGH awards, as opposed to too many. We're kept to a quota so we're not giving out too many honorable mentions. I don't like that much either, but I'd at least prefer the freedom of not having to give out an award if there's no one eligible so as not to stack awards. Especially since Best in Show generally bumps people up into Master class locally/regionally if not more, so one wants to be a little more careful about just throwing that one around.
Founder and President, Madison Area Costuming Society, a chapter of the International Costumer's Guild
Strange Land Costuming - www.strangelandcostumes.com