Cosplay Contest Rules & FAQ

Competition Categories:

Self-made Costume Categories:

        To be qualified for this category, your costume/cosplay and props must be made by you with little to no assistance from outside sources. If your costume/cosplay was created by someone else or purchased from another source, you do not qualify. Costumes/cosplays created by combining and altering existing pieces of clothing beyond tailoring are permitted in this category.

  • Novice Class
  • This class is made up of any person or persons who is a beginner at sewing, costume making, prop making, and the contest scene.
  • You are not qualified for this class if you…
  • Are a professional costume/cosplay maker
  • Have won novice level contest or above before - if this is the case, please consider entering in the Intermediate Class category.

  • Intermediate Class
  • This class is made up of any person or persons who has been creating costumes, sewing, prop making, and participating in contest for a while. Particularly those who have won awards at lower level contest.
  • You are not qualified for this class if you…
  • Are a professional costume/cosplay maker
  • Have won multiple awards in intermediate or higher level contests. If this is the case, please consider entering in the Expert Class category.

  • Expert Class
  • This class is made up of any person or persons who have been creating costumes, sewing, prop making, and participating in contest for many years. Particularly those who have won many awards at lower levels or competed in Expert Class contest before.
  • Any person or persons may enter this category at their own discretion.

Commissioned/Purchased Cosplays:

        This category is for anyone who has purchased a costume/cosplay from a store, a friend, or any other source. Commissioned costumes/cosplays do count as a purchased costume/cosplay from an outside source and therefore, must be entered under this category.

Competition Rules

  • After fifty (50) entries, the application will be closed and no more contestants will be admitted into the contest.


  • Groups entering the contest count as one (1) contestant.


  • Groups are not permitted to be larger than five (5) people.


  • Any weapons, oversized props, and/or props that are potentially dangerous must be peace bonded during entry to the convention or by one of the Task Force volunteers.


  • Any contestants that have large costumes/cosplays and/or have difficulty getting on and off of the stage are responsible for bringing their own handler or asking a staff member in advanced for assistance.


  • All contestants are required to attend the Cosplay Contest Dress Rehearsal on Day One (Friday) The time and location will be released to contestants at a later date. Failure to attend will result in the contestant(s) being marked as a no show and being barred from going on stage during the competition.


  • All contestants are required to arrive in the designated roll call area 30 minutes prior to the start of the Cosplay Contest. Failure to do so will also result in a being marked as a no show. The designated area will be specified to contestants when needed.  


  • Microphones will not be handed to any contestants. Attempts to take the microphone may result in disqualification from the cosplay contest.


  • Do not manhandle, play with, or intentionally misuse anything that is on, near, behind, or infront of the stage. Failure to comply may result in disqualification from the Contest up to expulsion from the convention.


  • Senshi Con and all of its affiliates are not responsible for any personal effects. It is the contestant’s responsibility to watch their items.  Any thefts, damages, injuries, etc. to any and all participants and their costumes/props during the Senshi Con Cosplay Contest are at the fault/risk of the contestant.

Judging Rules

  • All contestants will be judged individually.


  • Each group entry will be judged together as one contestant.


  • All contestants must upload one accurate and colored reference photo for the judges during their application. The reference photo must be at least a majority of the character’s body but a full body photo is prefered. Their accuracy score will be heavily based on the photo provided.


  • Any Original Characters or fashion outfits also require a reference photo.


  • Reference photos must be clear on who the subject character is with no unrelated characters.


  • Please refrain from using a pixelated reference photo as it will make it difficult to accurately judge a contestant’s costume and may result in a lower score.

Judging Criteria

All of the following criteria will be used in the judging process:

  • Accuracy
  • How close is the resemblance between the costume and the character being cosplayed?
  • How close is the resemblance between the props and the character’s prop?

  • Craftsmanship/Construction
  • What material was used and how was it used?
  • How long did construction take?
  • Was it completely by yourself or did you have help?
  • Is there any creation process that you’re specifically proud of?

  • Overall Look/Coherence
  • Does the costume/cosplay look complete with the hair, makeup, fabric choices, weathering, etc.?
  • If in a group, does everyone look like they match or belong together?


Q: When will the dress rehearsal be held?

A: The dress rehearsal will be held during the first day of the convention (Friday). Exact location and time will be disclosed to contestants via their prefered method of contact. 


Q: I’ve won awards before but they weren’t for first place, does that still move me up to the next category?

A: This is more of a judgement call, but most likely, no it would not. If you happened to lose first place by a thread, please move up to the next level.


Q: I don’t want to compete but I still want to go across stage, will there be a chance for that?

A: On Day 3 of the convention, you will have a chance to join the Family Cosplay Contest. This is going to be a separate event that is not judged and will have no limit for entries.

Q: What happens if I miss the dress rehearsal or the roll call?

A: If you miss the roll call or the dress rehearsal you will result in you defaulting on your space and being marked as a no show. A no show will be written out of the script for the MC and now allowed on stage.


Q: My costume is an OC, am I still allowed to compete?

A: As long as you have a valid reference photo of your character, it is completely okay for your character to be an OC.

Q: My costume is a fan version of an existing character, am i still allowed to compete?

A: When it comes to steam punk versions of princesses, pokemon trainer versions of superheroes, and zombie apocalypse Dora the Explorer, as long as you have a qualifying reference photo, you’re good to go!

Q: What if a family member/friend helped me make my costume? Does it still count as self made?

A: As long as the costume is at least 60% made by you, the contestant, it is still a qualifying entry in the self made category.

Q: Is the 50 max contestants for each category or overall?

A: Overall, once the contestants in all categories reach 50, applications will be closed, successful applicants and runner ups will be informed of their positions.

Q: What is a Runner Up?

A: In the event that we hit our maximum of 50 contestants, any applications after that will be assigned a runner up number and be contacted in the event of a contestant dropping prior to the dress rehearsal.