Cosplay Masquerade Rules


Some exceptions apply to larger props and accessories that will only be worn or carried during the contest.

Want to show off your costume or awesome performance on stage? Why not participate in our Saturday night Cosplay Contest? We will have online sign-ups for the contest available until 1 week prior to the convention. For those who wish to sign up at the convention: Friday allows for craftsmanship and exhibition while those who sign up on Saturday are automatic exhibition only. Everyone entering the cosplay contest will need to check-in with cosplay staff to sign up for scheduled time slots, which are first-come, first-served. You do not have to be in costume during this time. Judging will take place on Saturday. If you do not arrive on time for your prejudging time slot, you will automatically be disqualified. No exceptions unless previously discussed with staff.

Information on the times and locations of cosplay registration and judging will be available as the convention date draws near.

ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST HAVE A BADGE​​: EvilleCon requires that all participants have a valid badge prior to cosplay registration or check-in. Affiliates of EvilleCon are not permitted to enter into the cosplay contest (Staff, Guest, Featured Cosplayer, Featured Panelist, etc.). If you have any questions please contact cosplay staff.

Getting on stage?

For those of you who have never competed in a cosplay contest before, you may be wondering how this is done. You will be going on stage to show off your costume for the audience. You will have already been judged at this point, but this is for the audience to see all the amazing cosplays! You are not required to perform a skit, but you are required to go on stage!

Walk On​​: You will be going on stage for a few brief seconds, posing, and showing off your costume to the judges and audience. It’s a low-stress and fun way to participate in a cosplay contest. Think of it like a fashion runway show!

Performance: A cosplay based performance such as a skit or reenactment from a show or movie. Singing and dancing are also permitted. All performers are required to be in cosplay.

When you register for the cosplay contest, you will be selecting your division as described below.

About Divisions

Everyone entering the cosplay contest is required to choose a division. A division is simply your placement and competition level. Here’s what each division entails:

Competition Divisions

The following divisions are for those who want to compete for awards with their costumes

Chibi- For juniors 12 and under. We do ask that if your costume was made by a parent or friend that you enter the Exhibition division.

Exhibition- For those who wish to go on stage just to show off their cosplay! In this division you are ineligible to receive any awards outside of Best Stage Presence. This division is designed for those who wish to compete in the future or for those with cosplays they would like to show off

Craftsmanship- In order to compete here, your costumes must adhere to the following criteria:

  1. All costumes must have been made from scratch or by heavily modified existing parts (at least 70% or more by the costume creator).
  2. Must have front and back reference photos as a minimum. 
  3. Commissioned costumes cannot be entered in the competition divisions; however, if a designer chooses to use a model for their cosplay, the designer will get the award, not the model.
  4. Group awards do not affect your individual placement
  5. Alternative versions of licensed characters will be placed here. Including genderbends. Examples: female Deku, gijinkas (humanoid versions of animal characters), customized video characters/armor (halo, warhammer, etc.)

Original Design- A cosplay made based on an original idea or concept. The following are examples of such things. If you have any questions please contact a cosplay staff member.

  • Costumes that are not based on licensed characters
  • Characters of one’s own creation (original characters or OC’s)
  • Any and all fursonas (original design fursuits) 
  • Personal D&D characters

Performance- You will have 3 minutes to perform and 30 seconds for any setup before and teardown after. Your total time should not exceed 4 minutes and points will be deducted after you reach 5 minutes. All performances should maintain a PG or PG13 rating. Any adult themes or profanity will result in disqualification and, if severe enough, badge revoking and an escort out of the convention. All performances will be screened prior to the contest. Sign-ups are limited based on time constraints.

Craftsmanship Divisions 

You will be judged based on the craftsmanship and accuracy of your cosplay. This is not a look-a-like contest, it is a skill contest. These divisions are meant to separate you based on your level of skill so that you can be judged accurately. If you have any questions please contact cosplay staff.

Novice- This division is intended for those new to making their own costumes or performing on stage and has not competed much, if at all.

Criteria for Novice Division

  1. No more than (1) major award won previously at a comparable-sized convention or larger for their costumes or performances.
  2. No more than (2) years of experience creating costumes or performing on stage.

Journeyman- This division is intended for those who are more experienced with creating their own costumes or performing on stage.

Criteria for Journeyman Division

  1. No more than (2) major awards won previously at a comparable-sized convention or larger for their costumes or performances.
  2. No more than (3) years of experience creating costumes or performing on stage.

Master- This division is intended for those who have adequate experience with creating their own costumes or performing on stage.

Criteria for Master Division

  1. More than (3) major awards won previously at a comparable-sized convention or larger for their costumes or performances.
  2. At least (3) years or more of experience creating costumes or performing on stage.
  3. Anyone who takes professional costume commissions will be placed here

Non-Competition Division

Exhibition​​- This division is intended only for people who wish to show off their costume on stage for fun but are not interested in competing for awards.

Criteria for Exhibition Division:

  1. Costumes that you did not make yourself. These include commissioned, store bought (such as Ebay), rented, borrowed costumes or closet cosplay (costumes made up of entirely existing/found parts with little to no modification).
  2. Costumes that have already won at least one (1) major award, and/or two (2) minor awards in the past.

EvilleCon Awards​​:

Major Awards:

  • Best in Show
  • Best Master
  • Best Journeyman
  • Best Novice
  • Best Performance

Minor Awards​​:

  • Judges Awards- All of the judges will be giving awards away to whomever they would like based on their own personal criteria.
  • Best Original Design

Awards as applicable:

  • Division Runner-ups
  • Best Group 
  • Most Unconventional Award (Costumes made from duct tape, cardboard, etc, that really WOW the judges)
  • Best Wig
  • Best Prop
  • Best Makeup
  • Audience Favorite


  • Too Cute
  • Best Presentation
  • Most Energetic


  • Best Stage Presence

All About Costume Judging

Remember that, in order to have your costume judged for craftsmanship, you must enter for one of the competition divisions: Novice, Journeyman, or Master. It also must meet the criteria listed above.

When you register/check-in for the cosplay contest, you will be able to schedule an appointment to have your costume judged for craftsmanship. Here are some things that you need to know about the judging process!

  • Bring reference: A reference is a picture of the character that you are cosplaying. Both front and back reference photos are REQUIRED. Without a reference, we cannot accurately judge your costume for accuracy. It would be beneficial to your score to bring as much reference as possible, preferably as a color printout, but bringing figures, manga, books, etc., will also be accepted. ​Reference is required for judged categories. ​​Without reference, accuracy cannot be judged and no points will be awarded in that area. Fan art unfortunately is not an acceptable form of reference for craftsmanship divisions. 
  • Fan art will only be accepted in the event of alternative designs/outfits. It will not be accepted for canon designs. 
  • We request that reference materials are not digital to avoid potentially damaging personal property, but it will still be accepted. If you do present digital reference EvilleCon representatives are not liable for any damages.
  • Be prepared to talk about your costume: Come in knowing what you want to say. Tell the judges everything about how you made your costume. Things you should talk about include fabric, construction methods, or any special methods you used to get around a problem in designing the costume. The judges will be there to help guide you in your costume judging.
  •  The judges will look at your costume up close: Make sure that your hems and seams are finished properly! Your costume may look great from 5 feet away, but if it looks sloppy up close or on the inside, you won’t score as high! Take time now to make sure that your costume is as neat as possible. Also, don’t forget to iron your costume and brush your wig!

Judging Appointments​​: There will be a limited number of judging appointments available. They will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis! We will give each entrant roughly 5 minutes for individuals and 10 minutes for groups and masters for the judging process as a guideline. Generally, the time is spent half discussing your costume, and half looking at your costume up close. 

Judges reserve the right to move you up a category based on your experience or prejudging. Typically this is done with the consent of the contestant, though other times it is not. 

Please direct any questions or concerns to cosplay staff.

Remember to have fun!!