Cosplay Contest

IKKiCON Cosplay Contest

While we are an anime convention and put a strong emphasis on costumes from anime, manga, Japanese video games, etc. costumes from sci-fi, movies, American comics, Korean sources, original designs, etc. are also allowed for entry.


  1. Entrants under the age of 18 must have a signed waiver from their parent or guardian allowing participation.
  2. 70% of the cosplay must be constructed or altered by the entrant. If you are modeling a cosplay that someone else made in order to be eligible for an award the constructor MUST be present at pre-judging. There is no exhibition category.
  3. Group entries are allowed, limit of 10 entrants. Competing in multiple groups is NOT allowed.
  4. All props must be approved by weapons check. Cosplays with parts that extend beyond arm’s length (e.g. wings), cause trouble walking up and down stairs, or vision impairment: be sure to bring a handler(s) or address your concerns with cosplay staff.
  5. Skill division is strictly enforced. If an entrant is found to have entered a division below their skill level they will be immediately moved to a higher skill division. If an entrant is found to have intentionally entered a class below their skill level that entrant risks immediate disqualification.
  6. Do NOT leave debris or other items on the stage. Do NOT throw anything into the audience or the judges. Examples include: props, glitter, confetti, petals, water, etc.
  7. For safety concerns any battle or fight scenes must be done at ¾ speed and one leg must remain on stage at all times.
  8. Great things are done by a series of small things brought together. – Vincent Van Gogh. His name is your secret word.
  9. Be respectful to other cosplay entrants and the judges. Unruly or disruptive behavior during pre-judging, backstage, or during the contest is not permitted and entrants associated with this behavior will be disqualified. Entrants will not be notified if they have been disqualified, and judges are not permitted to discuss the judging process or the results. This is to protect entrants, judges, and staff as well as to maintain the professionalism of the contest.
  10. The cosplay directors reserve the right to refuse or revoke entry to any entrant for any reason.

Categories and Judging Criteria

Each entry must select a Skill Division: Youth, Novice, Journeyman, or Advanced. If you have questions or are unsure what category you qualify for feel free to ask the cosplay staff ( If you are entering as a group, you must enter under the highest placing member.


This is a category for all 12 and under cosplayers. The Youth category will not be judged for craftsmanship and therefore are excluded from the 70% rule and craftsmanship judging. Awards for this category will be based on performance and accuracy to character. Please note that if you would like to participate in craftsmanship judging and are under the age of 12 you are welcome in the Novice category.


If you have been cosplaying/sewing/crafting less than two years and have not won more than three major awards, enter the Novice category. (A major award is anything other than a judge’s award regardless of size of convention.)   Please keep in mind that while you may enter as a novice our judges do retain the right to bump you up to another category if they feel your craftsmanship warrants it.


If you have been cosplaying/sewing/crafting for over two years or your craftsmanship quality is considered above average, enter the Journeyman category. Even if you have not been crafting very long but feel you are not a novice, this category is for you! You would also be in this category if you have won at least two major awards.


If you have been actively cosplaying/sewing/crafting for over two years or your craftsmanship is of a quality to be considered excellent, enter the Advanced category. Even if you have not been crafting for very long but you feel you are not a novice you may belong in this category! You would also be in this category if you have won more than three major awards at any convention.


There will be 7 timeslots for pre-judging, 4 on Friday night and 3 on Saturday. Entries will request the hourly slot of their choice. Please arrive at the start of your time slot and wait to be called into the judging room. If you arrive too late to be judged during your slot, you run the risk of being dropped from the contest since there may no longer be any other available slots and you must be prejudged in order to participate.

Each entry will be given a maximum of 5 minutes with the judges. Groups over 2 will be given an additional time. In order to ensure everyone gets a chance to be judged fairly, we will be timing entries so please make sure to prepare what you want to talk about in advance.

If you do not show up for prejudging by the time your slot is over we will assume you no longer wish to participate and you will be dropped from the contest. No exceptions. If you are unable to make your slot for some reason please check in with us BEFORE hand and if we are able, we will move you to a different slot.

We highly encourage entries to get prejudged sooner rather than later as slots closer to the contest will be reserved for entries with large/bulky costumes and entries signing up on Saturday.

Bring at least one color reference image of your cosplay for pre-judging (on paper, phone, tablet, etc). If entering with an original character cosplay, bringing a drawing is acceptable. Progress portfolios are HIGHLY encouraged, they include photo documentation of your work from start to finish. Email for examples.

Cosplay Policy

  1. This is a family-friendly convention, please try to keep it as PG as possible.
  2. Make sure your costume does not contour to private body parts. If it does, please wear extra undergarments as necessary.
  3. Men must also wear proper undergarments (this includes dance belts where applicable).
  4. If your costume requires a lot of exposed skin, consider wearing a nude bodysuit.
  5. Ice Skates (with or without the guards) are not allowed as either shoes OR props.
  6. No regular skates or roller blades allowed inside the event space.
  7. Shoes may be removed for photo shoots only, and must be worn at all other times. Socks do not count as shoes. A sturdy covering on the bottom of your foot is a must.
  8. Costumes that can be confused with local, state, or federal law enforcement of any kind are not allowed.
  9. No accessories that you could use to attach yourself, even temporarily, to another person is allowed. This includes, but is not limited to: handcuffs, leashes, ropes, etc.
  10. There is no profanity allowed on costumes or clothing during the convention.
  11. If a complaint is received about your costume or outfit the matter will be investigated and you may be asked to change.
  12. Make sure all pointy objects have been dulled so as not to cause harm to others.
  13. If wearing a large costume with wings or other large pieces that extend beyond your reach, are difficult to retract, or impair your vision then make sure you have a handler or two to assist you and/or be more aware of your surroundings.
  14. Make sure you get cool air or ventilation while cosplaying.
  15. Stay well hydrated by drinking water or Gatorade, not soda and Ramune!
  16. Don’t forget to eat a proper meal!
  17. If you are asked for a photo, please make sure to move out of the flow of traffic. Blocking hallways/walkways is a violation of the fire safety regulations and you will be asked to move.
  18. Leave the judging to the judges.
  19. Remember we are here to have a good time and be respectful.
  20. If you are concerned about if your costume meets the convention regulations, please email


We are once again offering some amazing prizes which we will be announcing closer to the convention!

Best in Show” – We are bringing back the $1000 prize this year! Best in Show is for the individual or group that has overall the most outstanding craftsmanship and presence. Best in Show can be a skit or a walk on from any category.

Best Advanced – Awarded to the Advanced entry with the best craftsmanship and performance.

Runner Up Advanced

Best Journeyman – Awarded to the Journeyman entry with the best craftsmanship and performance

Runner Up Journeyman

Best Novice – Awarded to the Novice entry with the best craftsmanship and performance.

Runner Up Novice

Best Performance – This is a purely performance based award awarded to a skit.

Best Walk-On Performance – This is purely performance based and is awarded to the best walk-on.

Best Craftsmanship – This is a purely craftsmanship based award and can be awarded to a skit or a walk on from any category.

Best Youth – This is for the Youth entry with the best performance.

Judge’s Awards – Award given from each Judge to an entry of their choosing

Practice, Pre-Meeting, and Lineup

Skit practice will take place first 3 HOURS before the contest in the Main Events room (you will need to have proof of being in the contest to enter the room). Each skit has 10 minutes to practice.

The Pre-Meeting will take place one and a half hours before the contest. You are required to be present in the room one hour before the start time of the show. We will discuss what is allowed on stage, the flow of the contest, demo submitted audio and practice walk-ons. This will be followed by lineup and arranging everyone back stage in order.

Entry Type


Walk-Ons will be given 30 seconds to strut their stuff and strike their poses. You are allowed to use your own walk-on audio, an MP3 file must be emailed to by December 16, 2017 and cut to size (30 seconds), otherwise default audio will be provided. No music will be accepted on site.


Skit entries will be given up to three and half minutes, but is not required to use the full time. All skits must have prerecorded audio. A skit does not have to have dialog to be considered a skit. Pre-recorded audio must be emailed in MP3 format to by December 16, 2017 and cut to size (3.5 minutes max). Entrants are required to submit a copy of their script for pre-screening. If it is a dance skit, a “script” outlining the basics with stage directions and choreography is acceptable.

Skit entries have the option to opt out of craftsmanship judging and will only be eligible for “Best Performance” and “Judges’” Awards.

10 minutes of practice time will be provided for each skit before the contest.

Sign Up!

We will be accepting online applications from November 16, 2017 to December 16, 2017. There will only be 70 entry spaces with 12 additional entries for the Youth category, 20 spaces are reserved for the Advanced category. Any Advanced spaces unfilled by end of day Friday will be opened up to entries of any category.

Signing up in advanced will allow you to request the date and hour of your prejudging slot; however it will not guarantee you will get that slot. We will do our best to accommodate everyone; however we can only fit so many people in any given time frame. Once you sign up you will receive an email confirming your entrance and the day you will be pre-judged, as well as an hourly time slot. YOU MUST CHECK IN AT THE COSPLAY TABLE TO RECEIVE AND CONFIRM YOUR PRE-JUDGING SLOT. We encourage you to do this as soon as you can. IF YOU DO NOT CHECK IN WITH THE COSPLAY TABLE BEFORE PREJUDGING YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED INTO PREJUDGING. No exceptions. If you have not checked in with us by the time your slot is over we will assume you no longer wish to participate and you will be dropped from the contest.

As long as slots are available, you may also sign up during the convention Friday and Saturday at the Cosplay Sign-up booth. Sign up hours will be posted on the IKKiCON Schedule.

Hall Cosplay

Rules and Guidelines:


  1. You must have a valid badge in order to participate.
  2. Entrants 12 and under must have their parents’ permission to enter.
  3. By entering this contest you agree to read and abide by all rules as posted and failure to do so will result in your disqualification from the contest and/or removal from the event.
  4. Cosplay Staff reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone to the Hall Cosplay event for any reason.



  • This division is intended for costumers with little to no prior experience in making costumes, and no formal training in costume or fashion.
  • Novice Division entrants must not have won more than one award of any level at previous conventions.


  • This division is intended for people with some to moderate experience making costumes, some formal training in costume or fashion, or who have competed previously and won more than one award.
  • Intermediate division entrants must not have won more than five minor or three major awards at previous conventions.


  • The Masters division is intended for people with advanced formal training in costuming or fashion, extensive experience in making costumes, or who have won several awards for costumes.
  • Anyone may choose to enter this division.
  • Professional costumers must enter in this division.

Contest Rules:

  1. Entrants must exhibit good sportsmanship and remain professional at all times. Rude behavior or insults toward may be considered grounds for disqualification.
  2. Cosplayers may enter both the Hall Cosplay Contest and the Main Cosplay Contest, but CANNOT enter the same costume in both events.
  3. Costumes entered must be presented with reference images and recreate characters from anime, manga, animation, etc. Original characters will not be permitted due to inconsistencies.
  4. Hall cosplay judging is based entirely on craftsmanship. Therefore, at least 80% of the costume pieces should be handmade.
  5. If someone else helped make your cosplay, they must be present for judging.
  6. You will never be required to go on stage or in front of others for Hall Cosplay, but awards are announced on stage during the Main Contest.

The Process:

  1. Show up to the Hall Cosplay table next to the Main Cosplay Contest Table during one of the operation times wearing the cosplay you want to be judged in.
  2. Sign up and fill out a basic form. The information on the form is kept confidential and destroyed after the contest.
  3. Answer questions and talk about your costume to the judges right at the table. A photo is taken for reference later.
  4. Enjoy the rest of your day.
  5. OPTIONAL: Come to the Ikkicon Cosplay Contest on Saturday where the winners will be announced. If you aren’t there to receive your award, we will contact you using the information you provide at sign up.
  6. That’s it! Super easy, friendly, and takes little or no time at all!

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