2020 Cosplay Masquerade Rules

Come showcase your costumes and/or stage talent! The Senshi Con 2020 Masquerade is a competition for both Craftsmanship and Skits, and it is open to Cosplayers of all levels and abilities. You may choose to sign up for Craftsmanship only, Skit only, or Skit AND Craftsmanship (limit one entry per individual). Craftsmanship Entries are broken down into four categories (Bought, Novice, Journeyman, and Masters) and will be evaluated on the quality of construction, accuracy/originality, and attention to detail. Skit entries will be evaluated on stage presence, entertainment value, creativity, and audio quality.  

For any questions regarding the rules and sign-up details, please contact the Cosplay Coordinator* at cosplay@senshicon.org

*Cosplay Coordinator and staff have the final say on rules. Failure to comply may result in disqualfication. Senshi Con and the venue in which it takes place are not responsible for any damage or loss to a prop or costume brought on-site.

Contest Format/Time Requirements

Participating in the Senshi Con 2020 Cosplay Contest requires time commitment for mandatory judging sessions (for craftsmanship entries) and pre-show check-in.

  • Each entry choosing to undergo Craftsmanship judging will receive an email prior to the convention to communicate their preferred judging time for the contest. You will be expected to fill out a pre-judging form prior to your judging time. If you are unable to due to circumstances out of your control, you must notify the coordinator as soon as possible to determine if accommodations can be made.
  • This is an online Cosplay Contest and participants must be able to provide the digital media needed in order to participate (photos, videos, mp3s, etc.)

General/All Entries Rules

  • All contestants must be registered online attendees of Senshi Con.   
  • All costumes and skits must adhere to Senshi Con policies. Please see the Senshi Con Code of Conduct for a complete list.
  • Each contestant may only appear in a single entry, whether a Skit entry, a Costume entry, or a combination of both.  
  • Applications will be accepted until Saturday, September 19th at 11:59pm. If all slots fill before then, entries received after hitting the entry cap will be placed on a waiting list. If any confirmed entries drop, places will be offered to those on the wait list on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Craftsmanship Entries

  • For those entering in Craftsmanship, there will be (2) portions: the Prejudging portion and the Presentation portion. Additionally, there is a 40 entry cap. Once this fills, the rest will be placed on a wait list. If a confirmed entry drops, the space will be offered to those on the wait list on a first-come-first-serve basis.
  • The Prejudging portion will take place via Zoom the day of the contest during one of three time slots that you will indicate preference for.
  • At the time of pre-judging, must have digitally submitted the following materials for judging:  
    • At least 2 color reference images of each costume. We recommend that at least one be a full-body shot.  Exceptions will be made where only one image exists (i.e. an art book illustration or promotional art).
    • At least 5 color progress pictures of each costume, including a full body image of the final piece.
    • 1 Prejudging form
    • 1 “Stage” video with a pose, walking toward the camera, pose, walking away from the camera, pose.
      • An example video will be sent out to contestants.
      • Videos must be shot horizontally
      • Videos will be compiled into a single cosplay contest showcase video to be shared on Senshi media outlets
  • During judging, which will occur over Zoom, contestants will need to be in full costume and have a good internet connection.
  • Contestants will be evaluated one entry at a time. Individuals will be granted 5 minutes, while groups will be granted a minimum of 5 minutes, up to 10 minutes depending on the size of the group.
  • Craftsmanship Entries will be evaluated on the following criteria:
    • Execution – How well the costume is constructed.
    • Accuracy – How close the costume is to the source material. Areas NOT considered for accuracy include race, ethnicity, size, use of mobility items, corrective vision or lack thereof, socioeconomic status, other health, cultural or religious identities that may differ between yourself and the character.
    • Complexity – How wide the range of skills used in the project, and the difficulty level of those techniques.
    • Creativity – Design choices, use of unusual materials, personalized embellishments, etc.
  • Entrants MAY NOT enter a costume which fits any of the following criteria:
    • Has been entered at a previous Senshi Con cosplay contest and features no significant additions or changes.
    • Has won an award in Masters or Best in Show at any convention.  (Novice and Journeyman award winners from other conventions may be entered, at the level above the award received.)
  • Craftsmanship Entries may be either Individual, or as a group.
    • Individual entries will be judged on the quality and craftsmanship of a single costume (including props and accessories).
    • Group entries may have 2 to 5 cosplayers. Any groups larger than that must be approved by the contest coordinator. Groups will be judged based on the quality and craftsmanship of the group as a whole. In other words, the entire group will receive a single score.
  • All entries, Individual or Group will register under ONE of the following categories.  Groups must enter under the category of their most experienced group member:
    • Bought/Commissioned: You bought more than 25% of your costume from a store or online supplier, or you commissioned/paid someone else to make more than 25% of your costume for you.
    • Novice: You has never won a contest, or have entered fewer than three (3) contests before. At least 75% percent of your costume was made by you. Parts not made by you must be disclosed at the time of judging.
    • Journeyman: You or anyone in your group has won an award in the past, have participated in more than three (3) contests before, or have made more than 8 costumes. At least 75% percent of your costume was made by you. Parts not made by you must be disclosed at the time of judging. This category is also open to anyone who feels they belong there so long as they do not also meet the requirements for the Masters category.
    • Masters: You or anyone in your group has won an award in intermediate or higher at any convention, or have made more than 20 costumes. Anyone who does cosplay work professionally (such as commission work, selling pre-made costume accessories, or works for industry events) MUST enter at Master Level. At least 75% percent of your costume was made by you. Parts not made by you must be disclosed at the time of judging. Anyone may enter the Master class at their own discretion.
  • Judges reserve the right to adjust your category if they deem that your cosplay was entered at a level below the appropriate category. In this instance, the judges must unanimously agree to the adjustment.
    • Upon entry approval, Craftsmanship contestants will be given a link to a Dropbox folder. This will be where you will submit any files/documentations requested/applicable to your entry (photos, videos, etc.) — though you do not have to submit them at the time of your approval, all files are due no later than Sunday, September 20th at 11:59pm (24 hours after sign-ups close)

Any questions regarding the rules or application process can be directed to the Cosplay Coordinator.

Skit Rules

Those choosing to enter a skit may do so with or without craftsmanship judging.  Skits will be judged based on the quality of the performance, including entertainment value, stage presence, and audio quality/clarity.  

  • There are no levels in the Skit category — Skits will all be evaluated equally, with awards handed out based on overall quality.
  • Skit Entries will be evaluated on the following criteria:
    • Stage Presence – How well is the skit performed, do the performers appear to be confident, and how obvious are mistakes.
    • Entertainment Value – How well does the performance engage and keep the attention of the audience and judges.
    • Creativity – performance choices, use of unusual movements and/or materials, personalized performance, etc.
    • Audio Quality – Is audio clear and does it complement the performance (technical difficulties on Senshi Con’s part will not affect this score)
  • Skits are limited to 3 minutes and should be planned with this limit in mind.  If this limit absolutely cannot be met, up to 3 minutes and 30 seconds may be allowed on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of the cosplay coordinator.  Anything over that will NOT be accepted. Please email the Cosplay Coordinator with questions.
    • Skits must be screened for general content. Sometime before your audio submission, please provide a ‘script’ in your digital file-share folder, including any of the following which applies to your skit:  Dialogue, general blocking (IE: Character A sword fights with Character B), and your choice of starting/ending lighting cues. For Dance-Focused performances, you may simply note the style of dance (IE: Belly Dancing, Ballet, etc.) or in the case of dance-covers, provide a link to video of the original choreography. The Cosplay Coordinator may ask for additional information or clarification. If there is anything questionably against the rules or deemed inappropriate, you may be asked to make changes. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
      • This is a PG event – please keep this in mind when planning your skit/or performing on stage. If you are unsure whether something is allowed or not, please email the Cosplay Coordinator.
  • Skit Audio MUST be prerecorded and sent as a separate mp3 file. Video entries will need to be filmed using that prerecorded audio (as if you were performing it on stage)
    • Videos must be filmed horizontally, using a single stationary camera (again, as if it were being watched live)
    • Videos will be compiled into a single showcase video to be shared on Senshi Con media outlets
  • There will be a maximum of 10 groups allowed for the Skit Category.  Once this fills, the rest will be placed on a wait list. If a confirmed entry drops, the space will be offered to those on the wait list on a first-come-first-serve basis.
    • Groups are limited to 10 persons, including stage ninjas.
  • All audio for your skit must be pre-recorded. Audio must be submitted by Sunday, September 20th at 11:59pm in MP3 format only.
    • Upon entry approval, Skit contestants will be given a link to a Google Drive folder. This will be where you will submit any files/documentations requested/applicable to your entry (Audio, Skit Scripts, etc.) — though you do not have to submit them at the time of your approval, all Audio for Skits and Costumes are due no later than Sunday, September 20th at 11:59pm (24 hours after sign-ups close)

Cosplay Contest Policies

It is up to the contestant to state any possible conflicts of interest. Such conflicts will be evaluated by the cosplay coordinator, and appropriate action will be taken at the discretion of the cosplay coordinator and Senshi Con staff.

All awards are final. Poor sportsmanship may result in disqualification and barring from future contests.

Harassment of judges or staff, or any conduct that violates the Senshi Con Code of Conduct may result in disqualification and barring from future contests. Further action may be taken at the discretion of programming staff.

Thank you for participating and good luck!