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Costume Judging

Last Updated: Jun 23, 2017 04:16PM PDT

Contestants are only judged on the skill level of their class (Novice, Intermediate, or World.) Costume judging is not required, but it is recommended. Judges are looking for the principles, skills, technique, development, and style in the construction of the costume.

  • Costume judging is only worth 50 points out of a 100 point total.
  • Contestant must arrive 10 minutes before their judging time, and have with them all the elements of the costume.
  • If a contestant is late, without contacting the Masquerade department, a make up judging session cannot be guaranteed.
  • It is encouraged for the cosplayer to be in full costume for the judging session, but it is not required. Hair, make up, or props that do not appear for the the costume judging cannot be judged.
  • If there is special make up worn with the costume, we recommend you bring a picture of the makeup on the cosplayer so we can see the full effect.
  • Costume Portfolio: Entrants that intend to be judged should prepare a costume portfolio detailing the progress of the costume constructions. The costume portfolio should include the following:
    • Binder (no larger than 1.5 Inches)
    • Reference picture of the character
    • Progression pictures (minimum 2 per costume)
    • Captions (optional)
    • Fabric swatches (optional)
    • Brief background information of character (optional)
      • Title of anime, manga, or video game of origin
      • Why you picked the character
      • Any success or difficulties
  • Applying for the preliminary costume judging takes place after you physically enter the Cosplay Office on Day 1. Upon confirming your arrival, appointments can then be scheduled with our Masquerade staff for best available time between the judges and the group.
  • The entrants will be judged in the costumes they intend to compete in during Masquerade.
  • Any entrants who wish to compete for Craftsmanship Awards must submit to a preliminary costume judging. Any entrant who does not take part in preliminary costume judging cannot qualify for any Craftsmanship Awards or Best in Show.
  • Entries of any skill level may take part in for preliminary costume judging. The maker’s skill level will be taken into consideration when the costume is examined.


Click here to see a Sample Judging Sheet for Construction

Judging Scale – Construction – Novice

1-2 Poor: The cosplay is unimpressive and generally shows a lack of involvement or effort

3-4 Fair: The cosplay shows the discovery of skills and principles. Development is inconsistent causing variations in the look of the cosplay. Essential efforts are not yet understood and in some cases, are not even displayed yet. Adherence to style is not yet understood. The training process is still in a developing stage. Cosplay is incomplete and may limit the cosplayer’s opportunity to demonstrate skills and achievements.

5-6 Good: The cosplay shows the application of skills and principles. There are still inconsistencies with continuity and/or adaptability; however, the cosplay shows an effort to overcome that. It may be a work in progress, but the cosplayer has an adequate opportunity to demonstrate their abilities.

7-8 Excellent: The cosplayer’s show an understanding of principles and efforts and achieve a consistent degree of uniformity. The skill and execution are apparent and deliver an excellent cosplay over all. Techniques used show an ability to overcome the challenges of the cosplay in a way suitable to character and style.

9-10 Superior:  The cosplay shows a flawless execution of form and function. The cosplayer presents a clear understanding of principal and skill as well as the ability to properly adapt it to the cosplay. Overall, it’s an amazing demonstration of excellence in all fields. This group is ready to compete in the next class.
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