Costume Contest Rules


Cosplay Contest Rules:


These rules apply to all contestants. Please read the rules to the very end as we have revamped them for the 2017 Cosplay Competition. If you have any additional questions regarding the rules, please email the Cosplay Area Head.



Cosplay Competition Rules


  • You must be pre-registered with the convention before you register online for the costume contest.
  • NDK weapons policy will be enforced.
  • Cosplay area head has final say!


Costume Requirements

  • Contestants may not enter a costume that has won at a previous NDK, has won two or more awards or has won an award at a larger convention than NDK.
  • No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service: This is the hotel’s policy. Even barefoot characters must have shoes on for the contest. The lack of authenticity will be forgiven.
  • All contestants, male and female, must have a torso covering. This pertains to the chest area, not the stomach.
  • Nudity, even the illusion of such, is strictly forbidden.
  • While we appreciate costumes from other genres, NDK’s cosplay contest will be limited to those of East Asian origin or sources inspired by East Asian cultures. It is now acceptable to cosplay from things such as Avatar the Last Airbender, RWBY, Pacific Rim, and other cartoons and movies with heavy influences or inspirations taken from Asian cultures. If you have any questions, please email the Cosplay area head.
  • Street Clothes: Street clothes are defined as any item that has been purchased off the rack. All requirements regarding this are given below in respective categories.
  • Modeled Costumes: Modeled costumes are permitted only with prior consent given directly from the costume maker to the cosplay area head. Any prizes won will go to the creator of the costume, not the model. If you fail to give proper credit, you will be permanently banned from the contest.
  • Commissioned Costumes: Must be one-of-a-kind, made for the wearer, and must be entered as a modeled costume. No eBay costumes allowed.
  • Professional Costumer: NDK defines a professional costumer as any person who earns 50% of their income from costuming commissions.



  • There are 60 slots for Walk-Ons, and 8 slots for Skits.
  • Participants can only sign up for one slot in the contest either walk-on or a skit. Max of 8 participants on each slot.
  • Entry slots are non-transferable.
  • All slots for the contest will be available online. Slots are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. If there are leftover slots, they will be available on site at check-in on Friday evening. No adding more members to a slot after sign up has been achieved. Max of 8 members to each slot.
  • All online entrants must be at check-in on Friday night or Saturday morning. If you do not check in by the end of the check in period, your slot will be given away and you will not be allowed to compete. At check in, all members of an entry must individually sign the NDK Cosplay declaration (legal liability, publicity waiver)


Audio, Performance Times, Scripts and Stage Information

  • Skits are limited to 2 1/2 minutes and there will only be 8 skit slots available.
  • Walk-on entries are limited to walk-on performances 45 seconds or less. There will be a total of 60 slots available to contestants entering in the beginner, intermediate, and master categories.
  • NDK’s cosplay contest is rated TVPG (Parental Guidance Suggested): This program contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children. Parents may want to watch it with their younger children. The theme itself may call for parental guidance and/or the program contains one or more of the following: moderate violence (V), some sexual situations (S), infrequent coarse language (L), or some suggestive dialogue (D).
  • Any contestants who have music or audio must enter online and must submit any music or audio you want played the same day you fill out the online entry form. No music or audio submissions will be accepted late or on site. All audio submitted for walk-on entries will start when the first contestant steps onto the stage unless otherwise asked for. All audio submitted for skit entries must note visual cue, otherwise audio will begin when first contestant steps onto the stage. Total maximum running time is 45 seconds for walk-ons, and 2 1/2 minutes for skits. This does not include pre-audio set up on stage for skits. Overlong audio will be rejected and entrants will be asked to resubmit. Audio must be 4mb or under in .mp3, .wav or .wmv format.
  • Scripts are due the same day you register, if you are entering for a skit slot scripts are mandatory. If you are entering as a walk-on and are planning on acting out a little scene you will need to send in a little script.
  • If you need help getting on or off stage because of the size or intricacy of the costume you may have one handler with you. They must be pre-approved either online or at check-in on Friday night/Saturday morning. They do not have to be pre-registered for the convention but we will need their full name. Due to space issues children may only have one parent or guardian accompanying them backstage.
  • You may not throw or whip props around. You may not take or use any sort of spray paint, silly string, fireworks, pyrotechnics, water or any other items on stage that could mar the stage or leave a mess. You may not run onstage or run/jump offstage or perform any other acrobatics. You may not use signs in costume contest. Doing any of these things will immediately disqualified and you will be held responsible for any and all damages and/or medical bills that may occur as a result.



  • Contestants may sign up for the category they think they belong in. However, the masquerade area head and the craftsmanship judges reserve the right to move contestants into a different category based on the work presented. If you are found intentionally entering a category below your level you may be disqualified from the contest.
  • Contestants in any group may be from different series, games, or musical groups. However, all contestants in a group must be at the same skill level. If there is a member of the group that is at a higher level than other members your group will be bumped up to the appropriate level.



  • There are only 5 slots for Children’s which are all on-site registrations.
  • All children 12 and under are in this category. Children of age 10 or over, who have made their own costumes, may elect to enter in the Beginner category. Any entrants wishing to do so will need to bring their costumes to the craftsmanship judges during Friday check-in time although they are not required to have Craftsmanship Judging.


  • Open to entrants 13 and over who are not a professional costumer and/or who have not won awards.
  • Entrants cannot have more than 50% of their costume be street clothes. Out of that 50%, 25% of the street clothes must be modified.



  • Open to entrants 13 and over who are not a professional costumer and/or have not won 2 best in show awards, or any master level awards. You may enter at this level even if you have not won any awards before.
  • Entrants cannot have more than 25% of their costume be street clothes and all street clothes used must be modified.



  • Open to entrants 13 and over.
  • Entrants are not allowed to have any street clothes. Any props not made by the contestant must be approved by the cosplay area head.


Cosplay Skits

  • Maximum of 8 entries; all of which will be offered only online.
  • Performances will be limited to 2 1/2 minutes each.
  • All skits must be pre-approved with the submission of both a full script with stage directions and, if applicable, any audio. Significant deviation from approved skit will result in being disqualified.
  • All audio that you want played during your skit must be sent via email or registration form the same day you fill out the online registration form. Your registration will not be complete until you send in your script and your audio!



  • Craftsmanship will be on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Master contestants must sign up for a judging time when you sign up for the contest. If you don’t, you’ll be assigned a time, one that might not be convenient for you.
  • Everyone else has the option to sign up for a spot online when the time sheet is released, which will happen as soon as reasonably possible after the conclusion of registration week, August 12th-19th, 2017.
  • If there any remaining spots after online registration they will be available onsite on Friday night during check-in/sign up. If you are signing up online you will need to send in your craftsmanship questionnaire before the deadline, August 26th, 2017. Otherwise you will lose your spot. If you have extenuating circumstances that require more time for the completion of the form, contact the Area Head BEFORE the deadline.
  • 3 printed copies of Workmanship Judging Questionnaire and reference images, are to be turned in at craftsmanship judging session. No digital copies at judging allowed. (i.e. no portfolios accepted on cell phones and tablets during judging.)



Eligible Awards

  • Best in Show Audience Favorite
  • Best in Performance in each Category (Beginner, Intermediate, Masters and Skit)
  • Best in Craftsmanship in each Category (Beginner, Intermediate, Masters and Skit)
  • Best in each Category (Combination of presentation and craftsmanship. Beginner, Intermediate, Masters and Skit)


Specialty Awards

  • Cosplay Area Head Award
  • George Robbert’s Traditional Costume Award
  • Spirit Award
  • Best Video Game Award.
  • Cosplay Judges Award

Judge’s Awards are awards given out by NDK’s guest judges to their favorite costume or cosplay contestants. These awards go to the costume of each judge’s choosing. There are no contest-mandated criteria for who a judge or specialty award may give an award to.


How to Enter

  1. Online via the NDK website All of the entry slots will be available online with the exception of children’s entries. There is room for 60 walk-on entries and 8 skit entries. Please fill out the appropriate form, which will be available August 12th, 2017, and submit it.
  2. On site at the hotel Any walk-on entry slots not filled by the time online registration ends will be offered on site. Any skit entry slot not filled by the end of the registration period will be turned into a walk-on entry and offered on site. There will be 5 children’s slots available only on-site.

Important Times and Dates

  • Online signup for NDK 2017 is on August 12th, shortly after noon. Any emails sent prior to the beginning of signup will be deleted and the entrant will need to re-apply. Email confirmation of walk-on entries will be sent within 3 days. Skit entries will be sent after the script and audio recordings have been previewed. If you do not receive an email, please email!
  • Craftsmanship questionnaires (for those who checked the craftsmanship box on the online form) will be sent out with online registration confirmations.
  • Online registrants must check-in on site. There will be check-in on Friday evening from 6:30pm to to 8:00pm, location TBD, and Saturday morning from 9:00am to 10:00am. All members of an entry must check in by 10:00am Saturday morning; any entry failing to do so will not compete. Contestants that sign up online and do not show up to check in, or notify the area head that they do not want the spot before Saturday will not be allowed to sign up for the contest the following year
  • For those who did not get a slot in the contest, a waiting list will be kept with contestant names. If any pre-registered contestant fails to make the 10:00am Saturday deadline, their slot will be offered to those on the waiting list in order. Unclaimed spots will be filled by waitlist contestants between 10am to 11am.
  • On-site sign up for leftover spots from online sign up will be Friday evening of the convention, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm.
  • Available craftsmanship judging times will be determined closer to NDK 2017.
  • Green room is mandatory. Any person who does not go to the final check-in will not go on stage; if you happen to be part of a group, your group will go on without you. Green room information will be given at time of check-in.


Cosplay Catwalk Show


The Hallway Cosplay Show is a great way to show off your cosplay if you weren’t able to make the cut for cosplay competition. It’s also a great way to test out the waters on how you fair walking on the stage .


The Hallway Cosplay Show is during the intermission of the competition and is open to anyone. There are no awards or competition with the Hallway Cosplay Show. This is just an opportunity to show off your work if you haven’t gotten chance to do it. Important information for the Hallway Cosplay Show.


  • Show up for green room check in for the cosplay competition. Green Room Check In is Saturday Between 5:30pm to 6:00pm in the Cosplay Green Room at the back of Main Events.
  • You still have to follow all the convention rules about cosplay.
  • There is no limit of what kind of characters are allowed, no matter the country origin or style of the character. That’s right- it doesn’t have to be Asian Origin or Asian Inspired.
  • This is much like a costume show, so each entry or walk on will only get about 30 seconds to walk on and do a couple of poses. Like a Catwalk!
  • Once you’re done just walk off stage and sit down and enjoy the rest of the show!