Main Event Room
7:00pm to 9:00pm
Preregistration Link At Bottom
- All cosplays and props or weapons must be in compliance with the Cosplay and Weapon Policy
- All contestants must have a valid convention badge.
- Guests of the convention, including cosplay guests, media guests, guest artists, musical guests, voice actors, and any other guests are not eligible for competition. Guests are welcome to enter as exhibitions, but will not be eligible for any awards.
- Staff of the convention from any department (Guest Relations, Cosplay, Registration, Security, Con Ops, any and all departments including those not listed) are not eligible for competition. Staff are welcome to enter as an exhibition if their work schedule allows. Exhibitions are not eligible for competition and do not receive any awards.
- The cosplay contest is pre-judged, so you will need to sign up for a judging slot. Links for pre-registering are listed below along with the rules for their category. Any unfilled slots after the pre-register period closes will be available for sign-ups at the convention on Friday, with the exception of performances. Due to the nature of performances, they are pre-register only.
- All judging will take place on Saturday, with the Cosplay Contest in the evening.
- Small children (toddlers, etc) are welcome to participate in the Exhibition category, see the information about that category below.
- Craftsmanship is judged before the contest. Performance is judged during the contest. Awards and certificates are presented at the end of the contest.
- If it comes on the stage, it must leave the stage. This means the cosplay must not shed, all body paint must be properly sealed, and no confetti, loose sparkles, fire, flash powder, lasers, explosives, or open flame of any kind will be allowed to be part of the skit or cosplay.
- Performances and cosplays that have won major awards (these include: Best in Show, Best Craftsmanship, 1st place, Best Novice, Best Advance, Best Journeyman, Best Masters, or Best [category], etc) at previous events are not welcome to compete They are welcome as exhibition if time allows. Cosplays and skits that you have entered in previous competitions that did not place are welcome to compete.
- Any participant found guilty of falsifying claims about their skit, cosplay, or their past experience (including but not limited to; plagiarizing another person's skit and claiming it as your own, falsely claiming a lower rank that you are, or falsely claiming you have never won a prize with the skit or cosplay you have entered, and trying to enter the contest without a badge or with a falsified badge) will be disqualified and banned from future contests. Participants found guilty of falsifying claims may be moved to the Exhibition category without prior notice, or asked to leave.
- Reckless behavior resulting in falling off stage, or breaking/damaging equipment (or nearly doing so) will result in disqualification. If you break something, you buy it.
- Any media is welcome in the competition, including anime, manga, video games, comics, television, movies, etc. As long as there is published media, it is welcome into our competition. If no official reference material is provided, the contestant will be disqualified and entered into the Exhibiton division without notice.
- Original characters, original designs, gender-bent (this does not include crossplay), costumes based on fan art, and gijinka (humanized pokemon, etc) are not eligible to compete, but are welcome to enter as an Exhibition. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to email and ask.
- All contestants must provide the judges with PRINTED color reference pictures of official artwork. No cellphones, tablets, or laptops will be accepted. Failure to provide printed references will take points off of your total score. The printed reference needs to be a front view, a back view, and have your name as well as your character's name and the series they are from on it. These will be left with the judges, but will be able to be picked up after the masquerade if requested. Build pictures are also appreciated, especially for complicated pieces, but are not required.
- The costume must be 75% made by hand, by you. The additional 25% is generally reserved for shoes, wigs, belts, etc. Modified or altered pieces do not count as hand made, but are eligible for 'Closet Cosplay,' see rules below.
- Pre-bought or commissioned costumes, or portions of costumes are strictly prohibited. Commissioned or pre-bought props are allowed to be carried, but will not be judged. The only exception to this rule is if the commissioner is present with the cosplayer during the judging. Then the cosplayer will be treated as a model and any awards will be presented to the commissioner. Both the cosplayer and the commissioner's name need to appear on the registration form. For cosplays not make by hand, see the Exhibition section. For cosplays made out of altered pieces, see the Closet Cosplay section.
- The cosplayer must be able to freely move, and navigate the stairs of the stage. A handler is welcome on stage should one need be needed. The only exception to this rule is for a medically needed wheelchair or other medically necessary mobility device, to which the competitor will need to contact the cosplay director prior to the event to make accommodations.
- All competitors must pre-register and sign up for a pre-judging slot. Judging will occur during this slot. This means do not be late for your slot, and arrive in full costume and full make-up. Failure to do so will result in disqualification from the contest. Due to our limited time, there will be no rescheduling of judging times once assigned, so plan your day accordingly.
- No special accommodations such dimming the lights, special music, or using the microphones will be made. Plan your walk across the stage accordingly.
Closet Cosplay Competition
Closet cosplay is a division for folks who wish to cosplay more casual characters that can be assembled from found objects and clothes out of their own closets or from the thrift store, etc. Closet Cosplay does not mean buying a pre-made costume or school uniform and adding on some accessories.
- Costumes that are purchased from Halloween stores, cosplay companies (websites, eBay, Amazon, etc), or are commissioned are not considered closet cosplays.
- Made elements of the costume must be restricted to props and accessories, but garments are allowed to be slightly altered.
- This is not a 'catch all'
division. Closet Cosplay is an art unto itself, and a lot trickier than most people would think. If you have a question about this division and if your costume is appropriate for it, please email us.
- Performances may be from any media, including anime, manga, video games, comics, television, movies, etc. Original characters are welcome to perform as an exhibition, which is not eligible for awards, if time allows.
- All performances MUST be pre-registered. No at-con signups will be offered for this category.
- Performances must not exceed 3 minutes in length. You will be given 30 seconds to set up, and 30 seconds to leave. Performances any longer will not be allowed to perform, asked to leave the stage, or be disqualified.
- The performance may not contain any fowl language, suggestive dancing, adult themes, and must not exceed a PG rating. This includes any music you use - no lyrics with fowl language or adult themes. You may be asked to alter your performance at the discretion of the judges and/or cosplay director, should they find your performance inappropriate. Failure to do so will result in you not being able to perform and being disqualified.
- There must not be any chance of a major cosplay malfunction or nudity during the performance. If the judges feel that this is a problem, you will be asked to change your outfit, or be disqualified.
- All performances MUST sign up for a pre-screening appointment and the skit MUST be performed in it's entirety in cosplay during that appointment. If there are any 'surprises' for the judges during the masquerade, you may be asked to leave the stage, or be disqualified.
- The performers must be able to freely move, and navigate the stairs of the stage.
- No microphones will be provided to the performers. All audio must be pre-recorded in one continuous file. No audio cues will be given other than when to start.
- All audio files must be digital (mp3 preferred) and submitted by the deadline set by the cosplay director, which will be included in your email for your appointment time. The audio file submitted will be the one used in the contest, no changes may be made once submitted. If no file is received by the set date, the performance will be removed from the schedule.
- Because of our limited setup time and resources, we will not be able to accommodate musical performances such a band, singing, or playing of musical instruments.
- Junior - 12 and under. You can have help from friends and family to make your cosplay! Purchased costumes are not eligible for competition, but may enter as an exhibition.
- Novice - This category is intended for folks new to cosplay, and are still learning the ropes. You cannot compete in this division is you have more than 1 major award previously won, or 3 minor awards.
- Journeyman - This category is for people who understand how to put together a costume and show more developed skills and knowledge. You cannot compete in this division is you have won more than 2 major awards or 4 minor awards.
- Master - This division is for people who knows the ins and outs of cosplay - a master of the cosplay arts. A master level cosplayer must have won 3 or more major awards.
- Exhibition - Costumes for the Exhibition division include commissioned, store bought (such as eBay), rented, and/or borrowed costumes. You will not be receiving any awards. Nor will your costume be judged for craftsmanship. You will just show up early for the event (preregistration is still required), and walk across the stage to strut your stuff!
- While the judges are just as nerdy as you, they don't know every show, anime, and game out there. References let them know who it is your cosplaying, and allows them to judge you accurately. All contestants must provide the judges with PRINTED color reference pictures of official artwork. No cellphones, tablets, or laptops will be accepted. Failure to provide printed references will take points off of your total score. Basically, if you don't bring printed references, you won't win any awards, so make sure to bring one! The printed reference needs to be a front view, a back view, and have your name as well as your character's name and the series they are from on it. These will be left with the judges, but will be able to be picked up after the masquerade if requested. Build pictures are also appreciated, especially for complicated pieces, but are not required.
- Come in knowing what it is you want to say to the judges. Explain to them how you made the costume, overcame design problems, what sort of materials and fabrics you used, etc. If you want the judges to see something specific, be sure to point it out! They will ask you questions to guide you through the process if you are nervous or have never been judged before.
- The judges will be looking at your costume up close. This means they will be looking at pieces, seams, hems, props, etc. Expect the judges to surround you and look at things up close. They are cosplayers too, so no need to worry about them damaging anything, we get how fragile cosplays can be.
- Judge's Choice - These are minor awards given by the judges to a competitor of their choice, based on their own criteria.
- Performance - Best Novice, Best Journeyman, Best Master, Best in Show - Performance
- Cosplay - Best Closet Cosplay, Best Junior, Best Novice, Best Journeyman, Best Master, Best in Show - Cosplay
If you have any questions, concerns, etc, please don't hesitate to contact the Cosplay Department at firstname.lastname@example.org
. All communication about the cosplay contest will be through email only. Messages received through social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc) about the contest will be directed to email us. So save yourself the time, and just shoot us an email with any questions! There is only one person dealing with the email, so you will always be talking to the same person.