The SCA is divided into administrative regions which it calls kingdoms. Smaller branches within those kingdoms include Principalities, Regions, Baronies, and Provinces, and local chapters are known as Cantons, Ridings, Shires, Colleges, Strongholds, and Ports. Kingdoms, Principalities, and Baronies have ceremonial rulers who preside over activities and issue awards to individuals and groups. Colleges, Strongholds, and Ports are local chapters (like a shire) that are associated with an institution, such as a school, military base, or even a military ship at sea.
All SCA branches are organized in descending order as follows:
- Kingdom: area ruled by a King and Queen (typically covering several U.S. states or Canadian provinces, and can be as large as countries or collections of countries).
- Principality: area within a kingdom ruled by Prince and Princess (large area sometimes comprising entire states).
- Region: equivalent of principality without ceremonial representative
- Barony: area administered by a Baron and/or Baroness, the ceremonial representative(s) of the Crown.
- Canton: local branch reporting through a barony
- Province: equivalent of barony without ceremonial representative
- Shire: local branch reporting directly to a kingdom or principality.
- College: institutional branch based at a school, research facility, etc.
- Stronghold: institutional branch based at a military installation
- Port: institutional branch based at a military installation in situations where groups of members will be detached for long periods, as with ships at sea.