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Cosplayers of all experience levels are invited to participate in our cosplay competition! There are no limits to your creativity (within reason) at our contest. Join us on Saturday of the convention in the afternoon for the contest! To participate you must register before the competition starts and participate in our run-through and judging process.

Cosplay Competition

Our competition allows you to compete in the appropriate categories.

Inexperienced Craftsmanship

This tier is for those who have never won a costume competition anywhere else at any other events. (Note: If the event had less than 5 contestants, it doesn't count.)

Experienced Craftsmanship

This tier is for competitors who have won any competitions elsewhere.

Master Craftsmanship

This tier is for any competitor who has won two or more "Best of" Cosplay awards.

We also have a performance competition - all performances are judged at the same level.

So that makes for 4 prizes and our favorite of those 4 will win Best In Show!


Never won before.


Won elsewhere before.


Won more than once elsewhere.


Sketches, scripts, and acting.

Please remember we do not supply participants with any of the following: make-up, make-up applicators and/or removers, paint, etc. Please come to the convention with everything you need to complete and/or assemble your cosplay.

Prepared Audio Guidelines



  • Sound for your entry is not required but is highly recommended for the Performance category. You should plan to record any dialog for your entry if you have multiple people as there is only one microphone available. We will never give you more than 1 microphone. Any words spoken from stage will not be heard by the audience.

  • There will NOT be audio editing software/machine on site. Please have all audio prepared ahead of time.

    • For pre-recorded sound, we highly recommend you work on getting quality audio. Record multiple times if necessary. Every individual should be the same level of volume.

  • We will only accept submissions in MP3 format on a flash drive. Not accepted: cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs, etc. Bring your laptop or other backups of your audio files.

  • The pre-recorded music/dialogue submitted to the Masquerade staff must be 2 minutes or less. There will be no exceptions to the "2 Minute" rule, unless you request permission prior to the convention. Any entry over the 2:10 mark will be stopped at that point.

  • All audio must be turned in on Friday before the cosplay department closes.

Our Cosplay Contest Rules

  • Run-through and judging times are essential to running the contest on time. If you miss these, the show will be late and disorganized, therefore we do not make any exceptions. You must participate in any run throughs and judging sessions you are assigned - there is no exception if you miss these.

  • Run-through is mandatory! If you miss it, you will be disqualified. Disqualified contestants will not be allowed on stage.

  • Be on time for your judging block. If you miss it, you will be disqualified.

  • If you make 50% or more of your income from crafting or sewing, or you are performing in a semi-professional to professional capacity you may not compete for a standard award, but if we have enough interest we will add a "Professionals" category.

  • If your cosplay/prop/performance has won a “Best in” award at a convention of 10,000 people or larger, you may not compete with it.

  • If your cosplay/prop/performance has won a “Best in” award at a convention under 10,000 people, you may compete with it.

  • If your cosplay/prop/performance has won 3 or more “Best in” awards you may not compete with it regardless of convention size.

  • "Judge’s Choice" and "Honorable Mention" awards do not count toward your number of awards won to define your division and eligibility.

  • Performance content that is a direct duplicate of an existing performance will get you disqualified unless you credit the original source.

  • Passing other people's work off as your own original work whether it be crafting, designing, or performance, or not making 75% of your cosplay is considered unethical and will get you disqualified. If in doubt, always inform the judges, even if not asked.

  • Run-through may take 2-3 hours, and judging may take time too. Expect this to take up a lot of your Saturday of the con.

  • Be careful onstage! Glomps, tackles, cartwheels, etc, might not be very safe.

  • All Cosplay participants must be registered attendees of the convention.

  • Staff members of the convention, and immediate family, are not eligible to win in any category, though they can earn honorable mentions and "shout outs". Staff are welcome to perform during intermission as well.

  • Presentations have a required minimum of 30 seconds to be on stage in any competing category. That way, the judges have enough time to actually do their job and see/judge your cosplay or performance.

  • Presentations may not exceed 2 minutes, 30 seconds in duration, unless you have received permission by our department head. Plan ahead. If your skit is affecting the flow of the program, or is running excessively long, we reserve the right to interrupt and end your performance. If your skit is so interrupted, it will not disqualify you from winning any of the awards, unless you refuse to leave the stage.

  • NO blatant nudity/adult related content. This event is rated PG-13, and we are a family-friendly convention. Please use some discretion with your character, props and presentation. Also, please keep bad language out of your scripts.

  • You can not enter purchased costumes or rented costumes in our craftsmanship competition. These may be entered on stage in the Performance Category but will not be eligible for workmanship awards.

  • Youth participants (ages 13 and under) can be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

  • Your entry must be finished before you get to the Masquerade room. No sewing, gluing, spray painting, welding, or other construction work is allowed backstage. However, final assembly of large pieces and/or props and unexpected repairs will be allowed.

  • Participants will be required to sign a liability release and a release for use of video and photo images.

  • For safety reasons, the following are not allowed:

    • Live animals

    • Substances which might damage or stain

    • Aerosol sprays

    • Projectiles of any kind.

    • No pyrotechnics will be allowed including but not limited to: fire, flash powder, explosives, smoke bombs or fireworks.

    • Entries that could potentially damage the Convention Center facilities, other participants or the wearer will not be allowed.

    • Illegal weapons of any kind are not allowed.

    • Prop weapons used as part of the costume are allowed with restrictions. You are expected to act responsibly with your weapon. If you decide to carry a weapon, by attending you accept any legal and financial responsibility for damage your weapon may cause to persons or property.

    • Entries with electric power requirements need to be self-contained. There will be no access to electrical outlets on stage.

  • Surprise the audience, not the Cosplay staff. If you are planning something completely different, let us know well in advance. All information will be held in the strictest confidence. Also let us know well before the masquerade starts if there are any last minute changes to your performance!

  • Smoking is not allowed in the Convention Center. Contestants who leave for a smoke break may lose their turn to appear on stage.

  • All contestants must be able to move their costume on their own. So please no 80 lb wings or giant mecha unless you can walk up stairs in it. This is for your safety.

  • There will be only one microphone available, and NEVER more than one. Any and all music and/or skit audio must be pre-cut, pre-recorded and turned in (in MP3 format) on a USB Flash Drive at sign-up. Bringing back-ups is strongly encouraged to ensure you have working audio.

  • People can only enter as part of one costume our group. If a person has made multiple costumes, they must be entered as a group, otherwise you must select only one to compete in the Workmanship contest.

  • If your costume is made almost entirely by someone else, they must be present to win in workmanship and the prize will go to them.

  • It's okay for entrants in the inexperienced category to have help from a relative/friend, but they should have made most of the costume themselves. The helper must be present and in attendance, in case the judges need to ask them questions directly, and for verification.

  • Audience members are not allowed to run up to the stage area for any reason.

  • Audience members should be courteous and respectful. Please do not boo or shout negative things to masquerade contestants.

  • The cosplay director, or judges, have the right to change your division to a higher division to create a fair competition. Consider this an honor. The director and judges also have the right to not give out an award for any reason they see fit.


Convention Staff have the right to eliminate any entry from the competition on the basis of taste, danger to the audience, building or yourself, violation of any of the above rules, or any other reason deemed sufficient.

Registering for the Contest

Do you have questions about our cosplay competition? We are here to help.

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