1. All contest participants must be a registered attendee of Rob-Con.
2. The cosplay competition will be divided into different categories reflecting the cosplayers’ relative experience, based on recommendations from the International Costumers’ Guild. The divisions will be Novice, Journeyman, and Master for individual contestants.
Novice division is for entrants who are new to cosplay and costume creation. You would not qualify for the novice category if you are a professional costumer, you have placed more than twice in the Novice category at any other cosplay competition, or if you have won “Best Novice” or any higher award at any other cosplay competition. Anyone meeting these criteria should consider entering the Journeyman division.
Journeyman division is an interim division for contestants who have consistently won awards in the Novice division, but who feel they are not yet ready to compete in the Master division. You would not qualify for the journeyman category if you are a professional costumer, you have placed more than three times in the Journeyman category at any other cosplay competition, or if you have won “Best Journeyman” or any higher award at any other cosplay competition. Anyone meeting these criteria should consider entering the Master division.
Master division is for anyone who wishes to enter, including professional costumers. A contestant may always choose to compete in a higher division than is recommended by these guidelines, but they may not choose to compete in a lower division.
Any questions about which division you should enter should be directed to Cosplay Event Staff.
3. No nudity. No costume is NO costume. Body-paint costumes are not eligible.
4. To compete to win prizes in the judged portion of the cosplay competition, you must pick up a sign-up form for the competition at the registration desk. On the form, you will indicate which skill division you wish to enter, as well as provide contact information. Once the form is completed, you will be directed to the Judging area where you will be given a number. Judging will be first-come, first-served between the hours of 9:30 and 1:30. All contestants will be given time before the judges, which allows them to see your cosplay up close, ask questions, and listen to you talk about the techniques you used to make your cosplay.
5. It is not required, but strongly recommended that you bring full-color reference pictures for the character you are cosplaying to judging. You may not be eligible for full accuracy points if the judges are not familiar enough with your character to make a determination without a reference picture.
6. It is not required, but you are permitted to bring pictures showing your costume creation process. No more than 6 pictures will be considered. Pictures must be printed in color. No electronic files or devices will be accepted. Keep in mind that the judges will not have time to read a lot of text if you choose to make a full portfolio. Not having progress shots will not adversely affect your score, but they do offer a much better view into all the work you have put into your cosplay.
7. Costumes need to be at least 75% crafted by you. Commissioned costumes are not eligible in scored competition.
8. All genres of costume are allowed, including original designs, however, it is recommended that contestants entering original designs bring a reference picture (or two) of the character or style that inspired the design. (For example, Steampunk Batman or Lady Loki)
9. Surprise the audience, but never surprise staff! Any ‘surprise elements’ must be run by the event coordinator and approved. Violating this may result in disqualification from future contests.
10. No profanity allowed. This includes messages on signs or clothing. Anyone who violates this may be disqualified from the competition and may be asked to leave the convention area.
11. No political or religious statements. Anyone who violates this may be disqualified from the competition.
12. Costumes must be self-contained. Any electronic elements must be wired to a battery pack and integrated into your cosplay design. Contestants will not be allowed to plug in any electrical elements for competition.
13. Nothing is to be left on the stage after the performance including, but not limited to, glitter, confetti, and streamers.
14. All prop weapons must conform to the Rob-Con Props and Weapons Policy.
15. For safety reasons, the following are not allowed:
Substances which might damage or stain
Projectiles of any kind.
Pyrotechnics, including but not limited to: fire, flash powder, explosives, smoke bombs or fireworks.
Entries that could potentially damage the facilities, other participants, or the wearer.
16. Each contestant may only enter one costume into competition, appearing on stage once in a single entry.
17. Large elaborate costumes must be handled by the contestant and/or assistants the contestant brings to help. No assistants will be provided.
18. Tech rehearsals are not offered.
19. All contestants are asked to report back to the Judging area at 2:00 to line up for presentation on the main stage. The stage walk portion of the contest will begin at 2:30.
Inspection and Peace Bonding
All costume props and weapons must be inspected at the registration desk upon entry. After your costume prop or weapon has been checked for policy compliance, it will be peace-bonded.
Peace-bonding is the act of making it clear that your weapon cannot be used (either by a brightly colored tie, wristband, or trigger lock) and that your intentions are peaceful. In order to display or carry a costume-related prop or weapon on your costume in the convention space, your prop weapon must be peace-bonded.
Guns and Projectile Weapons
Live firearms including airsoft, modern, hunting or historic, either functioning or de-commissioned, are not permitted at Rob-Con. Replica firearms made from metal are not permitted. Solid resin/plastic/rubber/foam replica firearms may be permitted subject to thorough inspection.
All realistic-looking firearms/projectile weapons are required to have orange safety tips at all times on convention grounds.
No props or weapons capable of firing any projectile or powder charge of any kind are acceptable. This is for the safety of both yourself and the people around you. As such, pellet guns, water guns, BB guns, etc. are not allowed.
NERF guns and other foam dart guns ARE allowed, but they must not have any foam darts loaded at any time.
Longbows, crossbows, and slingshots are allowed and can be strung; however, they must not have enough tension to fire an arrow or other projectile with any appreciable speed.
Swords, Knives, and Other Bladed Weapons
Any form of Live Steel is not permitted at Rob-Con, even if it is sheathed. This includes swords, daggers, knives, bayonets, throwing stars, and objects made of metal that could hold an edge, regardless of whether or not it is sharp.
Replica bladed weapons made of non-metal materials are allowed, pending inspection. All such items must be kept with their tips towards the ground, so they may not present a danger at any time to those around you.
Wooden props and weapons
Items allowed by Rob-Con include, but are not limited to staves, walking sticks, bokken, and other wooden swords. All such items must be kept with their tips towards the ground, so they may not present a danger at any time to those around you.
Attendees may pose with their props/weapons in appropriate static, non-moving action poses in areas that will not block the general flow of foot traffic, as long as the cosplayer takes responsibility for ensuring the safety of those around them.
Horseplay with weapons will not be tolerated. Everyone involved may be penalized depending upon the nature of the offense. Penalties can include immediate loss of the privilege to carry weapons and/or removal from the event with no refund. All complaints of behavior of this nature will be dealt with immediately by Rob-Con staff.
Rob-Con’s mission is to be an inclusive space for fans, with a zero-tolerance policy against harassment of any kind.
Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to race, age, religion, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, or body size
stalking or following
harassing photography or recording
sustained disruption of panels or other events
inappropriate and unwelcome physical contact
unwelcome sexual attention. Remember, Cosplay is not Consent.
Harassment of any kind is unwelcome at Rob-Con and will not be tolerated. Violation of this policy will result in removal from the event with no refund.
Should you feel like you are being harassed, please find the nearest staff member so that a report can be made.