Masquerade Rules

Masquerade Rules

Entry types:

  • Sketch/Skit: A short scripted performance of maximum ONE (1) minute. May be performed alone or as part of a group, however larger groups will NOT be given more time. If the skit should run over the time limit, the entry will be disqualified, sound and lighting will be cut and the participant(s) will be escorted off the stage.
  • Parade/Walk-On: A presentation of the costumer’s workmanship. The participant walks onto the stage, poses at center stage showing various angles of their costume and character portrayal, and then exits the opposite side of stage. Background music is permitted and should be supplied by the contestant.

Microphones will not be provided for the entrants. It is strongly recommended that participants provide pre-recorded material on audio CD. No other audio playback means will be provided. This audio CD should be playable in any ordinary CD player (DO NOT provide MP3s or MP4s and DO NOT use rewritable CD-RW disks [normal write-once CD-Rs are fine]). To avoid confusion, it is highly recommended to only have one track on the CD and to make sure it plays well before handing it over at the registration table.

The maximum of participants per entry is limited to twelve (12). We will not accept groups larger than this size.

There is a LIMIT of 60 entry slots TOTAL for the Masquerade. No EXCEPTIONS will be made, so register early!

  1. Use of open flame, fire, flash powder or flash paper is not allowed. No laser pointers allowed. Sealed electronic flashes are permitted. If you are using a strobe effect, please note it on your form so the MC may warn the audience. 
  2. No messy substances on stage. If in doubt, ask the Masquerade Director. The stage must be in as good a condition when you leave as when you entered. If you are leaving something on stage, it must be easily retrievable by the stage crew, or you will be expected to bring your own ninja for that purpose.
  3. No flagrant nudity. Masquerade is classified “PG not suitable for young audience”. A “G” rating presentation may contain some violence. However, this kind of violence is nearly absent, very light and is presented without obliging. No nudity can be presented and love scenes are also discreet. Within specific context, some coarse language may be acceptable. (
  4. No real firearms, no realistic copies, and no projectile weapons are allowed. No metal blades are allowed, regardless if they are dull or live. If your costume requires a bow, it must be unstrung when you are not on stage. All weapons must follow the Convention’s Weapons Policy. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE. 
  5. Each person may participate in only ONE entry during the Masquerade. Individuals may enter several costumes into competition, but they can only wear one of them and the others must be worn by other Masquerade contestants.
  6. Contestants must report to the Masquerade Green Room on time. Report times will be supplied at the convention at the Masquerade Registration Desk. Failure to appear or to be ready to go on stage may result in disqualification. Note that Acts of God may, to an extent, mitigate this.
  7. The Masquerade Directors reserve the right to remove anyone from competition based on taste, danger to the audience or other contestants, or for any other reason deemed sufficient.
  8. This is an amateur competition. Professional costumers are ineligible for awards, but may still present their work during the show in the Out-of-Competition category.
  9. Commissioned costumes are allowed only if the designer of the costume has filled out and signed the registration sheet. While the designer does not have to walk on stage, his/her presence in the Green Room is obligatory. Costumes bought online will NOT accepted. Wigs and small accessories/jewel are exempt of this rule. 
  10. The decisions of the judges are final. Other than categories, types of awards will be determined at the discretion of the judges and Masquerade Director. 

The Standard Division System

The Standard Division System, in accordance with the International Costumers’ Guild Guidelines, will be used as follows:

Junior Division
(Also known as the Young Fan Division)
Any contestant less than 13 years of age at the time of this competition may compete in the Junior Division. The Junior Division is divided into two subdivisions.
Junior Self-Made: A Junior contestant who has largely or wholly constructed his/her own costume.
Junior Adult-Made: A Junior contestant whose costume has been largely or wholly constructed by an adult.

Novice Division
A contestant who has not won a major award at a Masquerade other than as a Junior costumer.

Journeyman Division
A contestant who has won fewer than three awards at Masquerades while competing in the Journeyman Division.

Artisan Division
Any costumer who has won three or more awards; or who wishes to enter this division, provided that they do not belong in a higher division in use in the competition.

Master Division
A contestant who has won more than three times in the Artisan Division, or has won a Master award at a nationally recognized regional anime convention. Also, anyone who is a professional in a costume-related business must compete as a Master. For the purpose of this competition, a professional is defined as making 50% or more of their income in the costuming-related business.

Out-Of-Competition Division
The Masquerade is an amateur competition. Purchased or rented costumes may not be entered in competition for awards, but may be shown on stage in the Out-Of-Competition Division. Costumes made for business purposes, theatrical and professional events are not eligible for awards but may also be shown in this Division. In addition, anyone who wants to show their costume in this Division may do so.

Note : A contestant may compete in a Division higher than the one they are eligible to enter. Keep in mind that if the contestant wins in this higher Division, they must compete in that Division in future competitions.

Workmanship Judging
Judging for Workmanship Awards will take place backstage prior to the start of the Masquerade. These awards, for excellence in construction, will be given out in addition to the Masquerade awards. You can be judged on your costume or on a specific piece or prop. Workmanship judging is mandatory for Artisan and Masters only. It is optional for all other divisions (except for the Out of Competition Division), but highly recommended.  Quality is quality, no matter the Division, and a beautiful job deserves recognition. Our Workmanship Judge(s) will look for technical skill, finishing, fit, handling of fabric and materials, etc.  The judges need to know what parts of the costume were constructed and what parts (if any) were purchased.

Documentation can include any pictorial representation of your costume. Provide copies only; do not bring originals. It is strongly recommended that you provide documentation for re-creation costume entries if you feel the judges may not be familiar with a particular anime/manga.