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Cosplay Contest Rules

Cosplay Contest Rules
Updated 2/25/2016

The official Cosplay signup page is Live!

Cosplay Contest Signups

Section I: Contest Rules

  • You must have a valid A-Kon badge in order to participate.
  • Entrants 13 and under must have their parents’ permission to enter, and must be accompanied by a legal guardian or adult relative at the show.
  • By entering this contest you agree to read and abide by all rules as posted and that failure to do so will result in your disqualification from the contest and/or removal from the event. Upon check-in, all entries will be required to sign their entry form to verify that they have read the rules and agree to adhere to them or be dropped from the contest.
  • Kon Cosplay Staff and A-Kon reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone to the Cosplay event for any reason.
Contest Guidelines:
  • Cosplay is a PG-13 event. Offensive language and sexual humor is not allowed. Be clever, not crass. Judgment on appropriateness of material is left to the discretion of the Cosplay Director and Cosplay Staff.
  • All costumes must provide as much body coverage as a bikini. Body paint, latex pasties, thongs, etc. are not considered adequate body coverage on their own.Underwear and/or supportive garments must be worn underneath revealing or skin-tight costumes.
  • Entrants must exhibit good sportsmanship and remain professional at all times. Rude behavior and offensive remarks or insults toward staff, judges, or other entrants may be considered grounds for disqualification.
  • Entrants must be able to make it up and down a set of three stairs in order to get on stage. If your costume/prop cannot make it onto the stage this way with the assistance of a handler, please enter the Hall Cosplay contest instead.
  • Entrants may not enter costumes entered in any previous A-Kon Cosplay contests (Main Cosplay contest, Hall Cosplay contest, or Video Game Cosplay contest).
  • Costumes entered must be presented with reference images and recreate characters from anime, manga, animation, etc. Steampunk variations and original characters will not be permitted; however, other art book variations and other reinterpretations of existing characters will be allowed with an accompanying reference.
  • There will be a limit of 10 skit entries and 50 walk-on entries. A minimum of 10 walk-on entries will be accepted on-site. All skit entries must be submitted online by the deadline, no skit entries will be accepted on-site.
  • All skit audio must be pre-recorded, including all dialogue, music, and sound effects. Written scripts will not be accepted for approval. Audio tracks must be received by the Cosplay Director no later than May 15, 2016 for review and testing. Scripts will not be accepted in lieu of recorded audio in order to meet the deadline.Any skit entries that do not submit a pre-recorded soundtrack by the deadline will be disqualified. Should a soundtrack be deemed inappropriate, entrants will be allowed to re-record it once. After audio has been approved, it may not be changed or resubmitted for ANY reason. If submitted audio tracks exceed the time limit, they will be cut off at 3 minutes.
  • Walk-ons will be performed to runway-style music chosen at the discretion of Cosplay Staff.
  • Skit performances will be limited to 3 minutes on stage with one minute allowed for setup. Walk-on entries will be limited to 30 seconds.
  • Skit performances cannot exceed more than 10 people, including handlers and set crew (“stage ninjas”), and only 6 people may be on the stage at one time. Walk-on entries may include up to 5 people.
  • When you check in, you must let us know how many parents/handlers you will be bringing backstage with you so we can make sure enough seats are available.
How and when to enter:
  • Signups for the A-Kon 27 Saturday Night Cosplay contest will begin on March 1, 2016. All entries are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline for online entries is April 8, 2016.
  • To enter, the entrant (or group leader) is required to submit the Cosplay Sign-Up Form online (to be posted March 1, 2016). Submit only one entry per group, please. Audio for skit entries must be submitted to by May 15, 2016 for approval.
  • On-site walk-on entries will be accepted beginning at 3:00pm Friday, June 3 and 10:00am Saturday, June 4. A small number of entries will be accepted each day, subject to availability. No skit entries will be accepted on-site.
  • If your entry is confirmed, you must check in at Cosplay HQ (Peacock Terrace) at your scheduled judging time or you will be dropped from the contest.
Stage rules:
  • No microphones may be used by the contestants at any time. ALL audio material must be pre-recorded and submitted as a skit entry (see above).
  • Everything brought onto the stage during a skit or walk-on entry must be removed at the end of the time limit. Messy substances including confetti, glitter, flower petals, and water are not allowed to be brought on the stage. Pyrotechnics or special effects such as fireworks, flash paper, or smoke machines will not be allowed on the stage or backstage area. You may not throw anything off the stage or into the crowd.
  • Non-firing toy weapons will be allowed on-stage without peace bonding, but any live weapons will result in immediate removal from the stage. No food, animals, or remote control devices are allowed on stage.
  • All stage fighting or acrobatics must be limited to half speed and quarter strength. One foot must remain on the floor at all times. Climbing onto the stage or leaping off the stage is prohibited.
Craftsmanship judging:
  • All costumes must be made by the entrant(s) or credited to the appropriate creator(s) on the entrant’s entry form. Creators not entering in costume must be present to receive awards. No purchased costumes will be allowed.
  • All entries must be at least 50% made or significantly modified from original garments.You will be required to list all parts of the costume that were purchased or commissioned upon entering the contest. Borderline costumes will be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
  • Craftsmanship judging will take place in Cosplay HQ (Peacock Terrace) on Friday and Saturday. When filling out the entry form, you must choose a one-hour block during which your group will come in for judging. If your first choice is full, you will be asked to choose another. Each entry of up to 3 people will be allowed 4 minutes to present their costume to the judges; groups of 4+ people will be allowed 6 minutes. Entries that go over their time limit may be disqualified.On-site entries will also be asked to pick a one-hour block to come in for judging based on availability.
  • If you do not come to Craftsmanship judging, you will not be eligible to receive awardsand may be dropped from the contest.
  • Reference images must be submitted with each entry at the time of craftsmanship judging, either printed or on a phone, tablet, or computer.

Section II: Divisions and Awards


In all cases, if the Cosplay Head or a judge feels that you should be placed in a higher division based off the craftsmanship and presentation of your costume, your entry may be changed to that higher division.Groups will be considered as a single entry, combining all awards won by its participants.

Major awards include 1st-3rd places, Best in Show, etc. Minor awards include Judges’ awards, honorable mentions, etc.

  • Novice:
    • This division is intended for costumers with little to no priorexperience 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.
  • Intermediate:
    • 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.
  • Masters:
    • 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.
  • Best in Show: This is given to an entrant or group who has shown an overall exceptional degree of craftsmanship and execution. This award may be given to an entry in any division.
  • Best in Division: This is given to an entrant or group who has shown an exceptional degree of craftsmanship and execution for their particular division.
  • Second Place in Division
  • Third Place in Division
  • Best Prop: This award is given to an entrant with the most creative and impressive prop. Any division may qualify for this award.
  • Best Skit in Division: This award is given to the skit performance with the most impressive execution.
  • The People’s Choice: This award is given to the entry which receives the biggest audience response.
  • Judges’ Awards: Each judge may grant an award to an entry that they feel is exceptional.

Venue Info

Fort Worth Convention Center
A-Kon® 28 at the Fort Worth Convention Center

The Fort Worth Convention Center is within walking distance of thousands of downtown Fort Worth hotel rooms, a variety of delicious restaurants and fabulous shopping. It offers more than 250,000 square feet of exhibit space, nearly 60,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, an impressive 28,160 square-foot ballroom, a 13,500 person events arena, and a 55,000 square foot events plaza that connects to the one-of-a-kind Fort Worth Water Gardens.

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