Hall Cosplay Rules & Regulations

Anime USA accepts all genres of cosplay into our Hall Cosplay Craftsmanship Contest. This includes western animation and live-action series (examples include Dr. Who, DC Comics, and Marvel) as well as the traditional form of eastern animation (Japanese anime, j-pop, manga, video games… etc.) Original characters either based off a series or from an original story cannot be accepted into Hall Cosplay at this time.

Hall Cosplay Craftsmanship Contest deals specifically with the quality and workmanship of the costume/cosplay itself. Participants must have created a certain percentage of their costume in order to compete. The costume does not need to be worn by the creator themselves, but only the creator can enter the costume and model into the contest.

Though third-party cosplayers that have purchased or commissioned their costume cannot compete in Hall Cosplay, they are still allowed to participate and show off their costume in our Cosplay Catwalk & Fashion Show during the Cosplay Masquerade.

Hall Cosplay competitors also have the chance to show off their work during the Cosplay Catwalk & Fashion Show no matter which day they compete. If they do not wish to walk on stage, it is still advised that Hall Cosplay competitors attend the Cosplay Masquerade as awards are presented towards the end of the show.

Registration Requirements

  • All participants must have an Anime USA (AUSA) member badge (this includes Associate, Dealer, Press, and other specialty badges). Members of AUSA staff are ineligible to compete in Hall Cosplay.
  • Any contact information, such as names, emails, and phone numbers will be kept in confidence and not be shared beyond Cosplay Department staff.
  • Participants are eligible to compete with two separate costumes for Friday and Saturday. Costumes that are submitted to Hall Cosplay are ineligible to be judged for craftsmanship for the Cosplay Masquerade and vise versa.
  • One or more designers may design and construct costumes for an individual or for a group who serve as model/models. The group will be considered as one entry. The designer(s) must be present at the judging to explain the construction techniques used. If this is a group presentation, the designer(s) may also wear a costume.
  • Cosplay Masquerade participants are unable to register for Saturday Hall Cosplay. They are still welcome to participate in Friday Hall Cosplay.
  • Pre-registration will be made available online to help streamline the process. Those who pre-register will still need to check-in during a select time to select a judging time slot at the convention on the day they have registered for. Slots not taken by pre-registrants will be opened to at-con registrations on that day. All judging-slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis until all slots are claimed.
  • Friday check-in and at-con registrants cannot select time-slots for Saturday. They must return for check-in and at-con registration on Saturday.
  • Registered participants will be scheduled for a time-slot upon check-in. Participants are expected to be 5-10 minutes early to their time-block. Those who miss their time-slot by 10-minutes or more will lose their spot, and their entry will be removed from the contest entirely. Due to the tightness of judging, there are no exceptions to this rule.

Submission Requirements

  • Costumes that have won any major awards for craftsmanship any convention may NOT be entered in the Hall Cosplay Craftsmanship Contest.
  • All costumes submitted must relate to a specific series or genre where references can be provided. This includes both Western and Eastern genres.
  • Original or fan-art designs such as fashion theme combinations (example: Steampunk Sailor Moon), gender-swapping, or gijinkas (example: human Pikachu) are also eligible to compete, but require references to the original source material as well as references of the new design to be used for judging. If you are unsure if your costume is eligible, please contact cosplay@animeusa.org.
  • Fully original characters, even those that are derived from another genre are not eligible to compete.
  • Purchased, professionally made, or rented costumes are prohibited. Costumes consisting mostly or entirely of store bought items are also ineligible. Participants should be prepared to briefly explain the process through which their costume was created.
  • All costumes must abide by the rules of the convention. If a costume is deemed acceptable for the convention according to established policies, then it will be allowed in the Hall Cosplay Craftsmanship Contest. Please review the dress code, weapons policy, and other important rules. If a policy violation is discovered in a costume competing in the Hall Cosplay Craftsmanship Contest, that entry will be disqualified.
  • No electrical power connections will be provided. If your costume requires power it must be part of your costume design.
  • Costumes will be judged on a variety of criteria, including craftsmanship and overall effect. The winners of both contests will be announced during the Cosplay Masquerade Awards Ceremony.
  • All entries are strongly encouraged to bring reference material for their costume(s). While we will not turn away entries that do not bring reference material, the absence of reference material could greatly affect your final score. Not all judges know all characters, so it is in everyone’s best interest to bring a color picture (or several) if at all possible. The reference should depict the details of the costume you are presenting.
  • All participants will be required to sign a permission/release/waiver form to participate in the contest. Minors under 18 years of age may participate in the Hall Cosplay Craftsmanship Contests only if a permission/release form signed by the minor’s legal guardian is provided. Forms are available at the Hall Cosplay registration desk.

Division Categories

Entries are separated into these categories:

  • Youth
    • A contestant who is under the age of 13 and has made at least 40% of their costume
    • A parent/guardian may ask to compete as youth with the minor if they too created their costume. Please communicate this to the Cosplay Coordinator or Cosplay Co-Coordinator before registering. This can be done at con or by emailing cosplay@animeusa.org.
  • Novice
    • A contestant who has yet to compete.
    • A contestant who has 0-2 major awards* for craftsmanship or performance in the Novice Division.
    • Minor awards** for craftsmanship or performance may be counted towards placement at the discretion of the costumer.
    • The following people cannot enter Novice Division:
      • Professional costumers
      • A contestant who won a major award* in Journeyman or Master Class
      • A Novice who has won ‘Best Overall Novice’, ‘Best in Show’, or ‘Best of Weekend’ at another competition
  • Journeyman
    • A contestant who has won at least three major awards* for craftsmanship or performance in the Novice Division.
    • A contestant who has won at least one major award* for craftsmanship or performance in the Journeyman Category.
    • The following people cannot enter Journeyman Division
      • Professional costumers
      • A contestant who won a major award* for craftsmanship or performance in Master Class
      • A Journeyman who has won ‘Best Overall Journeyman’, ‘Best in Show’ or ‘Best of Weekend’ at another competition.
  • Master
    • A contestant who has won at five or more major awards* for craftsmanship or performance in Novice or Journeyman.
    • A contestant who has won one or more major award* for craftsmanship or performance in the Master’s Category.
    • The following people cannot enter Master Division
      • Professional costumers.

*Major Awards include: Best Overall, Best of Division, Best in Show, First Place, Second Place, Third Place, etc

**Minor Awards include: Judge’s Choice, Honorable Mention, etc.

Contestants are allowed to jump up classes if they believe they are capable of competing at that level. A novice with no awards under their belt can compete as Masters if they wish. However: Once you have placed at a higher level, you can no longer go down.

Group entries’ appropriate category is determined by the participant with the highest ranked award

  • Example: A group of three consists of a novice participant with zero major awards, another novice participant with two major awards in novice, and a journeyman participant with one major award in journeyman. The group will be registered as Journeyman class.
  • Example: A group of four consists of two novice participants with zero major awards, a journeyman participant with two major awards in journeyman, and a master participant with one major award in masters. The group will be registered as Master class.

Awards won for performance ONLY are not considered awards counted towards the skill level for craftsmanship. Awards that combine performance & craftsmanship from other Masquerades (Best in Show, Best Overall Class, ect) do count towards craftsmanship.

Other Regulations

  • The Cosplay Department Coordinator and the Cosplay Department Co-Coordinator has the full authority to request a change to a costume for any reason. Refusal to make the requested change will disqualify the person or group from the competition.
  • The Cosplay Department Coordinator and the Cosplay Department Co-Coordinator has the full authority to remove a contestant and their entry for any reason. Those who challenge this decision may face blacklisting from future Anime USA cosplay competitions.
  • All decisions of the Cosplay Department Coordinator and the Cosplay Department Co-Coordinator are final.

Ready to Participate?

Once you’ve read all the rules and regulations above, click the button below to start your application

Anime USA 2016 Hall Cosplay Application

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