Black Badge Award

The SAINTCON Black Badge Award is given to the top finisher of a Black Badge Eligible contest at SAINTCON. It usually consists of a “blacked-out” version of the same conference electronic badge, but has sometimes been something else.

This award has deep-rooted tradition in the hacker/security communities, first given at DEF CON. Their model inspired us and we appreciate their incredible contributions to the community.

This award grants the winner the ability to redeem the Black Badge each year for free entry into the conference as an attendee.  However, we have found is that it is rarely used because once someone wins a Black Badge, they usually end up taking a staff or volunteer position to improve the very contest they won.

Anything else you hear about the Black Badge for SAINTCON, is just rumor and speculation.  So because of that here are the answers to the most asked questions about the Black Badge.

How many Black Badge awards has SAINTCON given out?

There is an exact count, but on average we have given 1-2 out each year since 2007. 
As of 2022 the number of Black Badge Awards is: 27

Do awardees get free entry for life?


This award is intended to encourage the Black Badge awardees to continue to attend the Conference for the benefit of all attendees by their interactions, networking, and contributions to improving the contests and events they won in the first place.

Are Black Badges ONLY given to Contest Winners?


There are a small number of the Black Badges that have been given to deserving folks or influencers based on their role and contributions in our community as a recognition for service and as an expression of our appreciation.

We expect to continue this tradition for the truly deserving.  A prime example would be a Black Badge award for a retiring long-serving committee member.

Can I lend my Black Badge to a friend in need?

Unfortunately NO.

The intent of the program is to award an individual with that privilege, and the privilege is non-transferable.

If you have someone in need of discounted or free entry, we offer several other programs to assist:  Scholarship Program being the most direct option.