Cosplay Competition/Masquerade

  1. Due to the stress that convention signups cause, NekoCon will be accepting Pre-Registration for the Cosplay Competition/Masquerade online.
  2. Online registration will be limited to the first 25 confirmed entries. Confirmed means they have been contacted by the Cosplay Staff and have replied to this contact. Once 25 entries have been reached, we will post here that Cosplay signup is full. On site at the convention there will be an additional five (5) slots open, with preference being given to young cosplayers. This limit will be strictly enforced. Any unused pre-registration slots will be transferred to the At-Con signups.

  3. There will be a mandatory Full Dress Rehearsal for the Cosplay Saturday morning. This will take place between the hours of 9:00am – 12:30pm in Main Events. We are going to a Time-Slot Rehearsal. Time slots will be given out on a first come-first serve basis at con! We will be taking roll call for entries, sorting you into groups, giving out your cosplay badges, and rehearsal time slot on Friday between 10am and 6pm upstairs in front of rooms 201-202 across from Main Events. We will begin again Saturday morning between 9:00-9:30am for those who don’t make it to the Friday check-in. We will NOT give badges to other group members, the individual it belongs to must show up to receive it unless first discussed with the Head of Cosplay before Saturday.

There are no exceptions. All skits must be performed in their entirety, in full costume, and with all props, and will be reviewed by the Cosplay coordinators. You will be given ample time to work out any necessary additional details with the Tech Crew. You are expected to arrive on time for your rehearsal time slot as there is a lot of information to be given out and gone over.

Tech Crew will only accept CD music media.  We cannot use your personal iTunes/music/media accounts to draw music from.  Make sure you have previewed your sound BEFORE bringing your homemade CDs to the convention.  Tech Crew is not responsible for balancing your sound once you give them the CD, they simply put it in and press play at the proper time. Thumb drives can be used At your own risk! Video is now being accepted and must be submitted via email at least 3 weeks before the convention so we can verify if it functions with our equipment (MP4 is preferred). Pictures must be submitted via email at least 1 week before the convention.

Failure to attend the Rehearsal, arriving after 9:30am on Saturday to get a time slot, or arriving late for your assigned time slot can and will result in the disqualification from the Masquerade of you and/or your group. If you cannot make the Rehearsal your entire group must talk with the Head of Cosplay before Saturday morning. Please note that if you have NekoCon Staffers on your team make sure that they are not scheduled to work on Saturday as Rehearsal, Costume Craftsmanship Judging, and the Masquerade itself will take up the vast majority of the day.

Rehearsal times are subject to change. If it does, this will be posted either on the forums before the convention or in the following locations at the convention: Operations, Info Desk, Registration, and Main Programming.

  1. Speaking of Rehearsal, here are some points to consider while preparing your skit.

Time limits for each group are as follows:

1 person = 1 minute

2-4 people = 2 minutes

5+ people = 3 minutes

Handlers and parents/guardians do not count towards your time limit. For safety reasons, there are to be no more than 8 people on stage at any given time.  You can have more than 8 people in your skit; just choreograph so that no more than 8 are on stage at any one time.

  1. While we all do enjoy a good martial arts sequence, we must insist that there be no jumping, kicking or bouncing around on stage. This also includes brandishing weapons. If your presentation absolutely requires any of these things, you must clear it with the Cosplay coordinators at Rehearsal. Remember, there will probably be fragile equipment on the stage, and if you break it, we’re sending you the bill.

  2. We will publish the stage dimensions on the website as soon as we possibly can.

  3. On stage props must be assembled in two minutes or less and must be stable if standing alone or being held up by a group member. Nekocon Cosplay staff will not be responsible for holding up your props!

  4. We know that there are some risqué costumes out there. We have no problem with these as long as you follow the below guidelines:

You are required to wear a nude bodysuit under your costume if your costume would be rated above a PG rating. If you are not sure, bring one anyway and consult the Cosplay coordinators, or email for an abbreviated list of costumes that require a body suit.

Intentional flashing of any kind will result in the immediate disqualification of you and/or your entire group, and possible removal from the convention.

  1. No foul language please! Usage of any of the 7 restricted words or any other foul or abusive language is ground for instant disqualification and removal from the Cosplay area.

  2. We will be using our interpretation of the World Costuming Guild’s rules in our categorizations. Use the descriptions below to find which group you fall into:

Youth – Any entrant aged 13 years and younger. For safety reasons, children under the age of 8 cannot be allowed on the stage during the Cosplay for any reason, unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Entrants between the ages of 8 and 13 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian backstage who has a valid NekoCon admission badge.

Novice – Any costumer(s) who has won 2 or fewer awards. This is the category you select if you have never cosplayed before, or have not won any contests.

Journeyman – Any costumer(s) who has won 3 – 7 awards.

Master – Any costumer(s) who has won 8 or more awards.

If you have a group, determine who has the highest skill level and use that when registering.

Example 1: You have a group of 4 Novices and 1 Journeyman. You will be entered as Journeyman level.

Example 2: You have 3 Masters and one Novice in your group. You will be entered as Master level.

Entrants are always welcome to compete at a higher level should they wish. Awards will be given for the best Craftsmanship and Performance in each level, Best Convention Themed Costume, Overall Best Craftsmanship, Overall Best Performance, and Best in Show. Judges may wish to add their own special notes for outstanding entrants.

  1. All entrants who wish to compete in the Costume Craftsmanship Judging, must first register for the Masquerade as either a skit or a walk-on. Costume Craftsmanship Judging will be on a first come, first served basis at the convention itself. If you wish to have your costume judged for Craftsmanship, you must fill out the Craftsmanship registration form at Rehearsal. Information about where Craftsmanship judging will be done will also be handed out during Rehearsal. You will need to sign up for the Masquerade online either as a walk-on or with a skit before being eligible to sign up for the Craftsmanship Contest.

  2. The Head of Cosplay is in charge of the Cosplay. Their word is law and final. Do not try to make their job harder than it already is, and follow any instructions without fail. They will not make any unreasonable demands. Their #1 priority is to ensure the safety of the entrants and that the Cosplay goes off as smoothly as possible.

  3. Please, do not try to bribe, cajole, entice, offer favors, or otherwise influence the judges in your favor. They are mighty oaks that are immune to your wiles, plus it just looks bad.

  4. The MC is a trained professional improvisational actress/actor and has mastered the art of combat sarcasm. Please do not take anything she/he says personally, and do not try to heckle her/him. You will lose, and you just might be escorted out of the Cosplay.

  5. Remember, these rules are subject to change at any time with no prior notice. The Head of Cosplay, and a select few officers of Nekocon have the right to reject any skit that they feel crosses the boundaries of good taste and decency, or might be inappropriate. (Don’t karaoke in the Cosplay, please do it on Friday night at the karaoke event!)

  6. Poor sportsmanship is grounds for disqualification from future Nekocon contests. Be a gracious winner and loser. Additionally, bullying another contestant is strictly prohibited. If the contest coordinator finds out that bullying has occurred the bully will be disqualified. Be kind to your fellow contestants.

  7. No entries may contain religious, political, insulting or offensive statements. We utilize the following definition of offensive cosplays: cosplays that incite violence, racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, transphobia, ageism, and bigotry. This includes race-facing (e.g. blackface/brownface/yellowface) as well as costumes that replicate or make light of historic or current international or national tragedies (this includes depictions of the novel corona virus in any way).

  8. And keeping all these rules in mind, remember, the most important rule: Have fun!
Nekocon Masquerade Craftsmanship Rules
  1. All participants must have reference pictures of their costume character; without proper reference material, the judges cannot assess the accuracy of a costume. Please bring printouts, manga, art books, or any other form of reference material for the Judges to use to aid them in their task.
  2. Craftsmanship is the assessment of the costumer’s skill at making a costume.

Any costume that consists mostly of bought items will not be considered for craftsmanship judging (ie. buying regular street clothes that require no alterations). Only 10% of your costume may consist of bought items. 90% must be created by you.

If you commissioned your costume, it will not be considered for craftsmanship judging. You cannot receive credit for another person’s work.

Questions about this should be addressed to

  1. Craftsmanship registration forms will be available at the Cosplay Rehearsal. Please see the Craftsmanship Head judge for your forms to be filled out. You will need to register for the Masquerade before you can register for Craftsmanship Judging.

Register for the Masquerade either online at or at the Cosplay Rehearsal Saturday morning if any open slots are available. Please keep in mind that registration for the Masquerade is on a first come first serve basis and it is best if you register early to ensure your entry.

At the Rehearsal please fill out the Craftsmanship registration form completely and give it back to the Craftsmanship Head Judge.

Bring all reference material for your character(s) to the Craftsmanship Judging.

  1. Craftsmanship judging will take place before the Cosplay Masquerade and is dealt with on a reserved time slot basis. Once you are registered, you will choose your time slot. The location of the Judging will be in the Cosplay Green Room (rooms 201-202).

5. Doors will close 15 minutes before the end of judging to make sure all entrants have been dealt with. No exceptions. If you miss this time you forfeit your Craftsmanship entry.