Judging, What you need to know

Skill Categories

Competition with one’s peers is the cornerstone of fairness. We believe it’s unreasonable for somebody who is new to costuming to compete against competitors with years of masquerade experience for every award.

I borrowed this statement from the International Costumers Guild Website. I have believed in and agreed with their guidelines for skill division for over 30 years. I have personally competed under these guidelines and believe they are fairest way to separate the amazing talent we have to offer and to highlight them so everyone has the opportunity to Shine!

So how do I know where I qualify?

Anime Detour’s Cosplay/Masquerade uses a three tiered skill level competition:

Skill Levels

  • If you are a professional (have sewn for others and received payment for those services).
  • If you have won at least five awards at the Local or regional level, or three at the international level.
  • ANY competitor may entered in this division.
  • You have won an award at a Local or Regional Masquerade/Cosplay competition, but not more than five local or regional awards.
  • You have competed at the International level and won at least one but not more that three awards.
  • These awards may include but are not limited to:
    • Best in show, Best in division, Best preformation, Best Workmanship, Judges award, If you are unsure, please ask.
  • You have never entered a Masquerade/Cosplay competition before.
  • You’ve entered, but never won an award.
  • You can alway choose to compete at a higher level, but once you advance, you can’t go back

Special Qualification and Considerations
We also have two sub-categories:

Sub Categories

  • 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.
  • They may, if they choose, compete in any of the skill categories.
  • 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 allotted up to 45 seconds. Alway remember, Shorter is better.
  • An entry whose purpose is to perform an act in addition to displaying the costume
  • Performance pieces should consist of 2 or more entrants.
  • Performance entries are allocated at maximum 2 minutes.
  • 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 backstage prior to the start of the Masquerade.
  • All entrants are to arrive to workmanship judging in full costume and makeup.
  • These awards, for excellence in construction, will be given out alongside the major Contest awards.
  • Workmanship applies to original costumes and re-creation entries in any of the Skill Categories and Entry types, except for Exhibitions.
  • Quality is quality and effort is effort, no matter the skill level, and a beautiful job deserves recognition.
  • Our Workmanship Judge(s) will look for technical skill, finishing, fit, handling of fabric and materials, etc.
  • If you did not make your costume (i.e., “storebought costumes”), you will not get a Workmanship score.
  • Judging for Performance Awards will take place during the Masquerade.
  • These awards, for excellence in performance, will be given out alongside the major Contest awards.
  • Performance applies to original costumes and recreation entries in any of the Skill Categories and Entry types, except for Exhibitions.
  • Quality is quality and effort is effort, no matter the skill level, and a good performance deserves recognition.
  • Documentation can include any pictorial representation of your costume.
  • Provide copies only; do not bring originals.
  • It is strongly recommended that you provide documentation for costume entries. Pictures of the original character (if replicating an existing anime or manga character), action figures, etc, are examples of “documentation”.


  • Best Young Fan
  • Best Novice
  • Best Journeyman
  • Best Master
  • Judges choice in Workmanship
  • Judges choice in Performance
  • Best in Show (Best overall entry in any category & skill level)

Costumes or performances that have won awards in other competitions are not eligible for awards competition and if entered must be an exhibition entry.

My promise to contestants- A message from your director
I will work to the best of my ability to use the tools available to present you and your costume in the best way possible. If you you adhere to the rules as set forth to the contestant, and work with the cosplay staff as a member of our team we will strive to produce the best presentation possible.Any questions? ASK! We’re happy to answer them.

Questions? Cosplay