The cosplay contest will be capped at 65 entrants this year to ensure every contestant has a reasonable amount of time to present themselves to the judges.
For the adult division:
Rules for Qualifying for Specific Categories:
Best in Craftsmanship: At least 75% of the cosplay needs to be made to be made by the cosplayer – sewing, armor molding, prop construction, etc. Wigs, shoes, and contacts are not expected to be made by the cosplayer, but shoes should match the costume (modified and painted, as appropriate) and wigs need to be styled. The cosplay needs to be clean and presentable to the judges (not including post-apocalyptic cosplays like Mad Max, Borderlands, etc.). Entrants in this category will be sent a more detailed questionnaire by the cosplay committee, to be answered prior to the contest. Depending on the number of entrants in this category, there may be a brief judging session prior to the actual contest to ensure the judges have enough time to look at the craftsmanship of each costume.
Most In-Character: The cosplayer will need to act like the canon character they are portraying to qualify for this category. Each contestant will have 30 seconds to act out mannerisms and say a script if they wish. While likeness to the character is important, this category is more about performance, charisma, and owning the character. Please send us a picture of the canon character and be sure to identify what fandom they are from so our judges have something to compare to.
Best Original Character: Cosplayers portraying characters of their own creation are welcome to compete in this category. This can be a character from an RPG, an original character within an existing fandom (for example, a student at Hogwarts created for a game or fanfic), or an original character in the cosplayer’s own story/setting.
Best Likeness (Canon Character): you will need to look as much like the character as possible ie, your cosplay needs to be as accurate as possible. Body type, ethnicity, age, height, gender, do NOT bar you from cosplaying any character. Accuracy via contacts, wigs, shoes, costume is what judges will be looking at. Please send us a picture of the canon character so our judges have something to compare to.
Best Theme Cosplay: The winner of this category will have a cosplay best tied to the convention theme of “Through the Ages”. A cosplay related to time travel or a specific period in history is appropriate for entry into this category.
Best Group Cosplay: There need to be two or more people in cosplay from the same show, comic book, anime, etc., to qualify for this category. You do not need to do a skit to qualify, though it is encouraged! The group will be judged on consistency from one member to another (are all costumes of similar quality/skill/accuracy) and cohesiveness of the group (do they look/act like a group as opposed to just a random group of people in costume).
Categories for ALL Contestants (even winners of specific categories):
Best in Show: The cosplay that is simply the best combination of craftsmanship, accuracy, skill, and wow factor. The Grand Champion of the Cosplay Contest! The winner may be someone who entered (and even won) one of the specific categories, or one who didn’t quite fit in any of the categories, but still has an amazing costume.
Judge’s Choice: The cosplay that may not be the best, but stirred the hearts of the judges. It may be the most funny, the most heartfelt, the most bizarre – at any rate, it did something to make the judges sit up and notice! Again, winners of other categories have a chance to win this one too.
For the youth division (ages 14 and under):
The youth division will be separate from the adult division, and will be simply judged for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.