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Cosplay Contest Registration

This form will open on March 15 at 10:00 AM MST until April 30 at 7:00 PM MST.

Note from the Cosplay Director

Hello Cosplayers!

I am so excited for this year's contest, it is shaping up to be the best ever!

Pre-Registration has now ended but don't fret, you are still going to be able to register and compete on the day of the convention! There is still plenty of room left in the contest so don't hesitate to come see me at the Info desk and enter!

Here is what you can expect for the day if you are going to enter the Cosplay Contest:

10:00am - 12:00pm - Registration and Pre-Judging

The Cosplay Registration Desk will be located in the ICT Main foyer, near the Info Table. There you will be filling out your registration form and then going on to see our judges for pre-judging of your costumes. THIS IS MANDATORY AND FAILURE TO DO SO WILL RESULT IN REMOVAL FROM THE CONTEST! NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE! This is also when you will be submitting your music to me, please have your CD or flash drive ready for me at this time. This step should only take about 10-15 minutes so don't worry about setting aside the entire 2 hours. Come early to ensure a spot in the contest as it will fill up quickly! Once registration has been cut off or registration time is over, there will be no more applications accepted. NO EXCEPTIONS!

12:00pm - 2:15pm - Free to attend the Convention

Just keep in mind that if you are attending a panel or in a viewing room to keep an eye on the time. Make sure that you take the time to grab something to eat and use the washroom. You are welcome to come hang out with me and the other Cosplayers in the Cosplay Green Room (Bianca) and you can also leave your bags there while you visit the other events.

2:30pm - Contest Setup

Please be in the Cosplay Green Room (Bianca, on the second floor of Mac Hall, in the Arts Hallway next to the Upstairs Ballroom) for final instructions and setup for the contest. This means that ALL members of your group (if you have one) must be in costume and ready to go at this point. You will be able to leave your bags in the room while you compete and will be returning here after the contest. If you are not in place and ready to compete by 2:45pm at the latest, YOU WILL BE DISQUALIFIED! NO EXCEPTIONS!

3:30pm - Contest Begins (Upstairs Ballroom, Mac Hall)
5:00pm - Contest Ends, Judging Begins
5:15pm - 5:30pm - Awards are given out (in the contest hall)
5:30pm - 6:30pm - Cosplay Photo Shoot

After the contest is over, everyone will return to Bianca for a quick photo shoot with our photography team. After this is over you are free to grab your personal items and can enjoy the rest of the convention!

I know that it ends up taking a good portion of the day, but following this schedule will not only make for a fantastic Cosplay Contest, it will ensure that everyone is there and ready to start on time and everyone will finish on time for the concerts and the dance afterwards!

If you have any questions or concerns, please send me an email (cosplay @ and I will answer you as soon as possible. Make sure that you read over the Rules and Regulations for the Contest (below) as well as the Otafest Policies (especially the sections regarding prohibited items) before the event and we will all have a great time!

Thanks again and I'll see you at Otafest!

Happy Cosplaying!

Amanda Langer
Cosplay Director

Cosplay Contest Rules

Please read these rules thoroughly, then click the button at the bottom of the page to pre-register.

  1. *New 2014* The cosplay contest will ONLY be open to costumes that have real world counterparts and have verified reference material from an accepted media form (including but not limited to: anime, manga, video game, movie, comic, etc.).
    • You will not be allowed to enter the cosplay contest with an original or made up character, regardless of how much reference material you provide. This decision has been made to ensure the fairness of judging between all contestants.
    • If you have a costume made of an original character that you or someone else has designed that is not from an official source, you will be allowed to enter both the Cosplay Showcase and the Mr. and Miss Otafest contests, but will not be eligible to enter the Cosplay Contest. Any questions can be forwarded to the cosplay director at cosplay @ before the convention.
  2. There will be three categories in which contestants will be judged: Costume, Performance, and Authenticity.
  3. The Costume and Performance Categories will have 2 judges each, while the Authenticity Category will have 1 judge, all of whom are successful in their respective category, scoring ONLY for their category. ie. The performance judges will not be scoring on authenticity and so forth. Those judges will each give their own score for each contestant and then the average of the two scores will be combined with the other scores for a final TOTAL score.
  4. The three categories will be scored as such:
    • Costume (100 Points)
      • Construction: how the costume has been put together, ie. Sewing machine, hand stitching, tape, etc.
      • Materials: functionality of all materials used, including props
      • Creativity: how the costume was created, ie. Sewing patterns, free cutting, bustform, etc.
      • Overall Impression: the individual judge's opinion on the completeness of the costume
    • Performance (100 Points)
      • Conception/Creativity: how well the performance was put together ie. Storyline, completeness, uniqueness, etc
      • Preparation: how well rehearsed is the performance? Does everyone know their lines?
      • Performing Skills: does everyone speak clearly? Are people blocking others on stage?
      • Entertainment Value: is the performance entertaining? Does the audience get involved?
      • Time: how long is your performance? Do you go over your allotted time limit?
    • Authenticity (50 Points)
      • Character Personality: how closely does your actions match the actual character?
      • Costume: is the outfit instantly recognizable as the character you are portraying?
      • Performance: does the performance depict a realistic scenario for the character?
  5. Each judging pair will be responsible for awarding the prizes for their respective categories, and will also be contributing their scores to the overall scores. If needed, any of the judges may consult with the other judging teams for a second opinion. The Award system is as follows:
    • Costume Category: Best Costume and Best Costume Runner Up (awarded to an individual)
    • Performance Category: Best Performance and Best Performance Runner Up (individual or group)
    • Authenticity Category: Most Authentic and Most Authentic Runner Up (individual or group)
    • Best in Show and Best in Show Runner Up (individual or group): The Best in Show awards will be a total average of all of the judges scores.
    • Fan Favorite and Fan Favorite Runner Up (individual or group): The Fan Favorite Awards will be decided upon by the judges in concert with the Cosplay Director and the Cosplay Host depending on the overall reactions of the audience during each entrant's performance.
  6. The judges will be provided with access to resources in the event they need to verify their results, ie. Needing reference material for an unfamiliar character, etc.
  7. All costumes will need to be pre-judged by the Costume judges during the registration portion of the day. Your total score will be impacted by the pre-judging as this is the only time that the costume judges will have the opportunity to speak with you about your costume and ask questions. Pre-judging is MANDATORY if you wish to participate in the contest, there will be NO EXCEPTIONS. The Costume Judges will be in attendance during the performance only to add or deduct points for use of costume in the performance, costume malfunctions or for props used in the performance (including banned weapons that have been given permission to be used for the performance, see Rule 7)
  8. Any forbidden weapons to the convention are also banned from the Cosplay Contest. However, some weapons and props may be given special permission to be used ONLY during the Cosplay Contest as per the discretion of the Cosplay Director. These weapons will be stored by the Otafest Policy Enforcement personnel until the time of the contest and then will be brought to the green room for you to use. Use of a banned weapon or a weapon or prop that has not been inspected by Otafest Policy Enforcement will result in immediate disqualification from the contest as well as potential removal from the Otafest festival and/or legal action. If you bring a weapon that is deemed banned by Otafest Policy Enforcement at time of registration, please let the judges and the director know upon check-in on the day of the contest.
  9. All Participants in the Cosplay Contest must abide by all Otafest Policies at all times.
  10. The Time Limit system will be as follows:
    • Every Entrant (single or group) will be given a base time of 2:00
    • Each Additional member to a group (beyond the first participant) will be granted an additional 0:15 to the total time allotted for the group. (eg. A group of 5 people would be granted 3:00, 2:00 + 4 x 0:15)
    • Special time requests may be submitted at Pre-Judging time and will be noted for the performance judges who will be monitoring the time of your performance.
    • Going over your allotted time limit will result in deductions from your performance score.
    • If you are performing a walk-on, you will not receive a performance score but will still be required to stay within your allotted time limit.
  11. Only costume items (clothing pieces, props, accessories, etc) that were created by the contestant (with reasonable help from friends and family) will qualify to receive a costume score. This includes re-purposed clothing (changing or adding on to a store bought base piece of clothing or footwear) and all prop material. Store bought or commissioned costumes will not qualify to receive a costume score during pre-judging. Please be honest when asked about your costume by the judges, they are experts in the field and will appreciate honesty.
  12. If you require music to be played during your performance, you may upload it using the pre-registration form, otherwise you must bring your music either on a CD that has been tested beforehand or a flash drive and submit it during Pre-Judging. This CD must be a burned copy with ONLY the track(s) you will be using in your performance on it. Due to potential loss or damage of CD, make sure this is something that you can part with. The flash drive will be inserted into a computer and the music file transferred during pre-judging and will be returned. No other forms of audio will be accepted. If for any reason your form of music can not be used, please have a back up plan in place.
  13. Due to time constraints on the duration of the Cosplay Contest, the Cosplay Director will be capping the number of entrants once a pre-determined number of entrants have registered and have been pre-judged. There will be no further entries accepted past this point. Due to the variety of entries (both single and group entries), there will be no fixed number announced prior to registration, however it will be announced when the maximum is approaching.
  14. Any other questions not included in the above rules should be brought up with the Cosplay Director or Judges before the contest. All questions can be forwarded to cosplay @ and will be answered promptly.