Whether you prefer competing as a contestant on stage or viewing the skits and costumes from the audience, the Cosplay Contest is Kumoricon's main costume event where entrants compete for recognition and top prizes. Join in the fun yourself, or cheer on your favorite characters as they perform original skits and dazzle the audience with amazing costumes.
Rules listed below were for the Kumoricon 2022 Cosplay Contest. Rules may be changed before entries for the 2023 Cosplay Contest open. Please review the final rules before entering.
Cosplay Contest entries will open soon. When they open, the entry form will be available at the end of this page, below the rules.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- All participants must read and agree to follow all rules of the Cosplay Contest.
- Costumes previously entered in a Kumoricon Cosplay Contest are ineligible.
- By registering for the Cosplay Contest, all participants agree to allow Kumoricon to use their images for promotional purposes, both photographs and video—both those submitted in the entry, and those taken by us. Photographs of winning entries may be shown at the Kumoricon Closing Ceremonies.
- All convention policies must be upheld during the entirety of the Cosplay Contest. Anyone breaking Kumoricon rules will be disqualified and reported to Operations or Yojimbo.
- Kumoricon general staff may enter the Cosplay Contest as long as staff-related responsibilities are fulfilled.
- Board members may not compete in the Cosplay Contest.
How to enter
- Entries will open soon.
- To sign up, fill out the cosplay/skit entry form on this page, below these rules, once entries open.
- The exact deadline for entry forms received online is still to be announced.
- The total number of entries that will be allowed this year will be 30 skits and 30 cosplay portfolios. (Rules subject to change for 2023.)
- All entries are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. If all entry slots are full, there will be a waiting list for additional entrants who may be called in if anyone drops out or is disqualified.
- Entrants must attend and be present on-time at the following events:
- All participants must attend the Technical Rehearsal at their assigned time.
- Skit entrants are also required to attend the Pre-Meeting (currently scheduled for Friday at 12:00 noon in Willamette 6 in the Hyatt).
- Costume Construction entrants must attend their assigned judging time.
- Entrants who miss any of their assignments will be disqualified. See the schedule for times and locations of required events. Please see the official Kumoricon schedule (once released) for times and locations of required Cosplay Contest meetings and activities.
- Kumoricon is an all-ages-friendly event. Content should not go beyond mild PG.
- Offensive language of any kind is not allowed—no racial or sexual epithets; no profanity, etc.
- No excessive violence.
- No sexual activity or contact—real or implied.
- All sexual jokes must have a non-sexual interpretation that is at least as obvious as the sexual one.
- No nudity—all costumes must adhere to the official Kumoricon code of conduct.
- No characters from adults-only source material or hentai will be allowed.
- Be clever, not crass! If you think your costume or presentation might be too risqué or offensive, it probably is.
- If you have a question about your content, please feel free to ask the Cosplay Staff if it is allowable.
- You may surprise the audience, but never surprise the crew.
- No fire, flame, smoke, fog, dry ice, wind machines, lasers, pressurized gases, or liquids.
- No messy substances—wet, dry, or oily—in the green room or on stage.
- No jumping on or off stage—please use the officially designated stage entrances and exits.
- Any props/scenic elements that are larger than handheld need to be submitted to the Cosplay Contest for approval. (Please contact us at email@example.com.)
- Entrants must abide by the convention weapons policies. Pointing weapons at anyone not in your cosplay group will not be tolerated. The Cosplay Coordinator must approve any actions involving weapons.
- Contestants may not use stage time to make political, religious, insulting, or other demonstrations not related to their entry.
- Contestants who violate any of our performance rules may have their performance stopped and may be disqualified.
- If for whatever reason one contestant is removed from competition for any violation the entire group may be disqualified as well depending on the situation.
- Decisions made by the Coordinator(s) may only be challenged if brought to the Director of Programming.
- You must have some kind of foot covering. Shoes or boots are required. Be aware of safety concerns. If your character does not wear shoes the lack of accuracy will be forgiven; consider flesh-toned or clear shoes.
- All health and safety rules established by Kumoricon or the convention center will be upheld.
"Skit" and "Costume Construction" judging are entirely separate. There is a judging panel for Skit and a judging panel for Costume Construction. Each panel selects and grants its own awards. Costume Construction judging is not required for Skit entries, and the decisions and deliberations of the Costume Construction judging panel have no influence on the Skit judging panel, and vice versa.
- Entrants may enter in both Skit and Costume Construction contests.
- Best of Show requires both Costume Construction judging and Skit performance.
The judges are free to give as many or as few awards as they choose.
- Skits will be judged based on the performance of the whole group.
- Skit awards are granted to the entries that have shown excellent presentation.
- Costumes entered in the Skit judging do not have to be self-made.
- Skits will be divided by the following genres:
- Pre-recorded music and dialogue are required.
- File uploads are preferred.
- Alternatively, you may deliver your file by USB thumb drive.
- For this method, please include your person/group name and skit title in the filename.
- One track is preferred; we cannot change tracks or start in the middle of a track.
- We can accept MP3, M4A, and other common file types. We strongly prefer 128kbps or higher.
- Recorded music and dialogue must be clear to hear.
- Bring backup copies of your audio on USB thumb drive to ensure it's not lost. Kumoricon is not responsible for damage to or loss of your media device.
- We will not play or rip music off of portable MP3 players, such as iPods or cell phones, or from YouTube.
- Leave the stage as clean as it was when you set foot on it. Arrange to remove all items you brought on stage at the end of your presentation. If you have a particularly intricate presentation, we recommend you recruit your own stage ninjas.
- No entry may be a repeat of an entry from any previous competition at Kumoricon.
- Don't plan for complex lighting. The default lighting cue is: lights go up, music starts, you come on at stage right, you leave on stage left, music stops, lights go down. If you desire anything other than default lighting or music cues, discuss it with the Cosplay Coordinator before the convention.
- The Costume Construction awards are based on the following factors:
- Representation of your costume to the character design.
- Skill in scale and body fit adaptation.
- Resemblance to character shown in documentation.
- Overall Construction:
- Use of materials, construction methods, and durability.
- Use of appropriate or innovative methods and applications.
- Extra points may be awarded at the judges' discretion for construction done above and beyond the normal effort expected for a costume.
- All costumes from all genres and media are accepted for Kumoricon's Cosplay Contest review, including original designs as a separate category.
- One costume will be allowed per entrant.
- Reference pictures will be required. This includes screen captures, posters, or any other official media that reveals the character's full costume. The pictures should reveal different views of the character (i.e. front, back, sides). Do not assume judges know your costume or character! You will be required to submit reference pictures when entering.
- If you don't have progress pictures, proof of commitment is being requested with your submission: a project outline/timeline, or a budget, or proof of materials—show us the plan for your cosplay.
- Commissioned, purchased, rented, or commercially made costumes will not be allowed to enter the Costume Construction contest. A portion of the costume (such as a leotard, tights, and shoes) may be from purchased finished goods, but at least 60% of the costume should have been constructed by the creator of the costume. More is expected if you are entering at Journeyman or Master.
- If you have made heavy alterations to a store-bought garment and wish to enter it into the contest, you must be able to explain how you have altered it and the processes that such an endeavor entailed. Unaltered store-bought assemblies of clothing to represent a "costume" are not allowed.
- Costumes worn for any previous competition at Kumoricon are ineligible.
To ensure that entrants with limited experience compete with their peers and not against more experienced entrants, skill levels have been established. Entrants may elect to enter different skill levels for Cosplay and Skit. The judges will assess entries of higher skill levels using stricter criteria.
- These rankings apply to the costume maker, not the wearer as they are for construction, not presentation.
- Group entries will be judged at the highest division amongst your members.
- A group should compete in the skill division of the group's most experienced member. If in a group and all participants are Novice, but one participant is Master, the group must compete in the Master Division (as no one may compete in a Division lower than their own). You cannot compete lower than any Division award you have won.
- All costumes will be judged by skill level. If your costume is an original design (see below) you will still be judged by skill level, but you will also be eligible for the original design award.
- The Master category is intended for skilled cosplayers with extensive cosplay experience and several awards.
- Those competing in the Master Costume Construction category must submit a portfolio showcasing the progress of their costume and a minimum of three previous costumes.
- Professional costumers, tailors, pattern-makers, seamstresses, or people who take commissions for creating costumes or other clothing are required to compete at this level for Construction.
- Anyone who has won two or more awards as a Journeyman, or
- An individual who has achieved "Master" status at any other major convention, or
- Anyone who chooses to compete in this division may do so.
- The Journeyman category is intended for people with some cosplay experience and/or some awards.
- Those competing in the Journeyman Costume Construction category must submit a portfolio showcasing the progress of their costume.
- Has won fewer than two awards as a Journeyman, or
- Has won at least two awards in the Novice category, or
- Anyone who is not required to compete as a Master and who chooses to compete in this division.
- The Novice category is intended for people with virtually no cosplay experience or cosplayers with little to no prior experience competing.
- First-time performers and/or costumers fit here.
- Any group with at least one member who is old enough to not qualify for the Youth division, or a Youth group that prefers to compete in the Novice division.
- Anyone who has never won an award in a cosplay competition at any convention.
- All members of the group are under the age of 14 on the day of the Cosplay Contest.
- For Costume Construction: Contestants under the age of 14 on the day of the competition who have created at least 50% of their costume on their own (if an adult created the costume, the costume is entered under the adult's skill level).
- Note: For Skit, parents used as "props" for small children do not bump children into an adult class.
- Original Design will be treated as a separate competition. Costumes that are considered original design are as follows: gijinkas, genderbends, characters with no published artwork, fan art designs, original video game characters, etc.
- Cosplays based on art by well-known artists are no longer considered "Original Design" and can compete by skill level.
- Original Designs will be judged solely based on construction.
- Original Design contestants must submit a portfolio of all reference/inspiration material and progress photos.
Please note that any entry may be reclassified by the coordinators or judges if they feel it is appropriate.
Entries for the Kumoricon 2023 Cosplay Contest will be opening soon. Watch this space!