I'm familiar with the categories, did the exam online, waiting for a tasting seat. I think its gonna be a long wait.
I enter a lot of mead contests. What I was after is, I wont say they may look down on it, but is it viewed as easier than beer by the beer judges.
Looked down on? I don't think so. Easier than beer? Well it might not be as much physical work on the day you make it, but there is much attention to it over the next several day when the fermentation is going on to add nutrients and de-gas. I also think having good quality honey, fruit and spices is more important to the final product. You are also judging to style, and choosing the best examples on the table. If not why have all those styles? Just IPAs and Barrel aged Stouts.
I live 35-40 minutes from Schramm's Meadery, and having that level of mead available for purchase has damped my desire down to makin no more than 1 or 2 batches a year, just enough to see that if I can nail a batch.
The mead judges can give their $0.02.