Cosplay contest entrants will need to PRE-REGISTER at the COSPLAY JUDGES BOOTH on the show floor (see convention map/program). 

The adult cosplay contest will be held on Saturday, November 3rd. There will also be a kids cosplay contest held on Sunday, November 4thFor exact judging and contest times, please see the convention schedule in the official program. 

2018 Cosplay Contest Rules and Categories:


If you are found to have any of these items, you will be removed from the convention by security without refund:

  • Functional firearms (including air soft guns, BB guns, cap guns, paintball guns and pellet guns)
  • Realistic replica firearms (including reproduction, fake or toy guns that can be confused for functional firearms)
  • Functional projectile weapons (including blow guns, crossbows, long bows, silly string, slingshots, water balloons and water guns)
  • Sharpened metal-bladed weapons (including axes, daggers, hatches, knives, kunai, shuriken, swords, sword canes and switch blades)
  • Explosives (including firecrackers and fireworks)
  • Chemical weapons (including mace and pepper spray)
  • Blunt weapons (including brass knuckles, clubs and nunchaku)
  • Hard prop weapons (including props made of metal, fiberglass and glass)
  • Instruments that cause excessive noise levels like vuvuzelas, grenade whistles and grenade horns
  • Whips
  • Aerosol mustard

Prop weapons will be allowed providing they are composed of foam or cardboard only. Prop firearms are allowed only if they cannot be mistaken for real weapons. The barrel of all prop firearms must be covered with brightly-colored caps. Prop bows will be allowed providing all arrows have soft tips.

IMPORTANT: All costumes entered in the Adult Craftsmanship section must be at least 50% homemade.

It is acceptable to have a model wear the cosplay for you, but you must be present during pre-judging to explain your work.

No more than 5 people in a group can enter into either section in the Adult Cosplay Contest.

Kids 16 and under can enter the kids cosplay contest.

There are two sections for the adult contest: Craftsmanship and Exhibition.

Craftsmanship – For contestants who have created their own cosplays. They must go through a pre-judging process before the contest and explain their work for award eligibility.

The Craftsmanship section has two categories people can enter as: Beginners and Experts.

  •      Beginners – Contestants who have won none or one major award in a cosplay contest can enter in this category.
  •      Expert – Contestants who have won two or more major awards can enter in this category.

Contestants in this section must pre-register before pre-judging time with their cosplay name, the character they are cosplaying, the series the character is from, and whether they are entering as a Beginner or Expert.

Please be prepared to talk briefly about your costume and why you chose your character. Please be prepared with photo references since not all judges will be familiar with every character.

You must be present during the posted judging time. If you show up after the cut off time you will not be able to enter.

Exhibition – Anyone can enter and get the chance to walk on stage to showcase their cosplay. This category is not eligible for any monetary prizes.

Contestants in this section must pre-register before the cosplay contest with their cosplay name, the character they are cosplaying, and the series the character is from. No pre-judging necessary.

The kids contest has no sections or categories.


Best in Show – This can be given to anyone in either the Beginner or Expert category. This is for someone or a group that went above and beyond with their cosplay.

Best Expert

Expert 2nd Place

Best Beginner

Beginner 2nd Place

Judge’s Award – Each judge will give an award based on something unique about a cosplay that didn’t fit into the other categories.


1st Place

2nd Place

3rd Place

Judge’s Award – Each judge will give an award to one person or one group based on something unique about the cosplay that didn’t fit into the other categories.

Judging Criteria

Exclusively for the Adult Craftsmanship section:

Accuracy – How close the costume is to the original design

Originality – How creatively the design was brought to life

Fit– Proper sizing and proportion to the body

Quality of Construction– Costumes should be sewn properly and hold together when worn

Kids Contest:

Accuracy / creativity