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The Standard Division System

The Standard Division System exists to promote fairness and ensures both novices and experienced costumers have reasonably equal chances to win awards in masquerades using divisions based on skill and experience. Any participant can choose to enter a division higher than the one they belong to, if they feel that their experience is greater than that of their current division. For example, a contestant that has made more than a dozen costumes in the past but has never participated in a masquerade may enter at a higher level than novice, depending on the overall level of the competition he/she is looking to compete in. Keep in mind that if the contestant wins in that higher Division, they must compete in that Division in future competitions.

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.

Novice Division

A contestant who has not won a major award at a masquerade other than as a Junior costumer. A contestant who has won numerous awards in the Novice division is encouraged to enter in the Journeyman division.

Journeyman Division

A contestant who has won fewer than three (3) awards at Masquerades while competing in the Journeyman Division; or who wishes to enter this division, if they do not belong in a higher division in use in the competition.

Artisan Division

Any costumer who has won three (3) or less awards in the Journeyman division; or who wishes to enter this division, if they do not belong in a higher division in use in the competition.

Master Division

A contestant who has won three times (3) or less in the Artisan Division or has won a Master award at a nationally recognized regional anime convention; or who wishes to enter this division.

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.

Workmanship Judging

Judging for Workmanship Awards will take place 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 displays, tailoring, execution, finishes, fit, fabric and materials manipulation and much more! The judges need to know what parts of the costume were constructed by you and what parts (if any) were purchased.


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 reference. Documentation can include any pictorial representation of your costume. Provide copies only; do not bring originals.