Judging, What you need to know

Skill Categories

We want to make sure that not only are our contestants have a fun time competing, but that we also make the competition fair. We have four categories for our contestants (Young Fan, Novice, Journeyman, and Master) that help keep it fair by competing with your peers in the appropriate category.

To figure out what category you fall under, please refer to the below information:

Skill Levels

  • If you have won at least five awards at the Local or regional level, or three at the international level. (Judges’ Awards do not count)
  • ANY competitor may enter this division.
  • You have won at least 2 awards (Judges’ Awards do not count)
  • For Craftsmanship Judging, 80% of your costume must be handmade
  • You have never entered a Masquerade/Cosplay competition before.
  • You’ve entered, but never won an award.
  • For Craftsmanship Judging, 70% of your costume must be handmade.
  • Any cosplayer under 13 years of age at the time of this competition may compete in the Young Fan Division.
  • The Young Fan Division may be self made or with the help of an adult.

Special Qualification and Considerations
We also have a sub-category:

  • Re-creation entries still must fall into the Master, Journeyman or Novice classifications.
  • A re-creation must be based on at least one pictorial representation of the costume.
  • Judges cannot be expected to recognize every recreation costume or source. You are encouraged to provide documentation showing or describing the costume you are recreating.
  • This documentation must be presented at the time of Workmanship judging.

Entry Types

  • An entry whose sole purpose is to display the costume. This includes but is not limited to:
    • Simple walk on with three point modeling
    • Light acting/Dance
  • Walk ons are limited to 45 seconds max. Any longer than 45 seconds may result in disqualification
  • An entry whose purpose is to perform an act in addition to displaying the costume
  • Performance entries are limited to 2 minutes maximum. Any longer than 2 minutes can result in disqualification
  • An out of competition entry.
  • No scores are taken or awards given.
  • This can be either a skit or a walk-on.
  • Exhibitions are allowed at the discretion of the of contest staff only.

If you are unsure which category you should enter please contact the Cosplay Contest staff.

Due to time constraints for our show extended performance times are not available. Please plan accordingly.


  • Judging for Workmanship Awards will take place prior to the start of the Masquerade.
  • All entrants are to arrive to Workmanship judging in full costume and makeup.
  • To be eligible for Workmanship Judging, you must have handmade the following percentage of your costume per level:
    • Novice – 70%
    • Journeyman – 80%
    • Master – 90%
  • Signups for Workmanship Judging times will be on Friday at Sign-up/Sign-in
  • Rehearsals will be on Saturday throughout the day
  • Rehearsal Times will be posted Friday night by 9:00pm by Lakeshore C and in the Cosplay Masquerade Discord channel
  • This can be either a skit or a walk-on.
  • Even if you are Performance Only, you still must attend the morning meeting on Saturday
  • Documentation is REQUIRED in paper form for worksmanship judging
  • Your documentation must include:
    • Reference Images
    • Work in Progress photos
  • If you do not provide documentation, you will hurt your score
  • Do not provide your documentation via electronic methods (ex. Tablet, laptop, cellphone, etc.)
  • If you have any questions about documentation, please reach out to the cosplay department at Cosplay


  • Best Young Fan
  • Best Novice
  • Best Journeyman
  • Best Master
  • Judge’s Choice
  • Best in Show (Best overall entry in any category & skill level)

Questions? Cosplay