Hall Cosplay Contest | Zenkaikon, Anime & Sci-Fi Convention, Lancaster PA

Zenkaikon, Anime & Sci-Fi Convention, Lancaster PA

April 1-3, 2016, Lancaster County Convention Center

Hall Cosplay Contest

Welcome to the Hall Cosplay Contest!

There will be a pre-registration process for a certain number of slots as well as open slots for at-con registration. All slots are first come, first serve.  Pre-registration guarantees you a slot with the judges while "at-con" registration has no guarantee.  Due to popularity, we highly suggest applying to showcase your costume during the Masquerade if pre-registration slots are full. (Both contests value your workmanship.) We will cap the Hall Cosplay Contest.

PRE-REGISTRATION for the Hall Costume Contest will open on April 14th at 10AM and run until April 28th at 11:59 PM or until all pre-reg spots are full! We will have at-con sign-ups that are first come, first serve.

PRE-REGISTRATION SUBMISSION FORM will go live at that time.

Location: Montgomery House

Friday Session: 5pm-9pm

Saturday Session: 9am- 1pm

Hall Cosplay Contest judging is a closed event. Only the participants -- designers and models, parent/guardian of participating minors (under the age of 13), and others deemed acceptable by Zenkaikon Cosplay staff, may be present for judging.

There will be judging on Friday early evening and Saturday morning of the convention.

There is an optional “Fashion Show” during the Masquerade on Saturday evening if you wish to show off your handiwork. Participating in the "Fashion Show" requires attending the Masquerade and being seated in the audience. Participants are expected to wear their competition piece for the "Fashion Show".

Any participant who does not follow the rules of the competition, misses line up times, or does not follow the instructions of cosplay staff during the event, may be disqualified at the discretion of the Head of Cosplay


  1. Participants may not enter a costume in the Hall Cosplay Contest that they did not make. It is expected that participants are the primary creator of the costume and make at least 75% of it. Youth participants can be expected to have received help with their costumes, however, the youth participant must have had a hand in its construction.
  2. If the costume has ever won a “Best of” award or placed (ie. 1st, 2nd, 3rd), at any convention, it may not be entered in our competition.
  3. PRINTED reference material is required. Even if a character is popular or well-known, reference material is needed in order to judge for accuracy. Lack of PRINTED reference will greatly affect scoring, as not every judge has knowledge of every detail of every character. Quality printouts of screen-captures and official images of characters, and art book images are acceptable. Please include images that show front, back, and sides to demonstrate details of your costume. Not every character will have such images available, but the more shown to the judges, the better they can analyze the costume. Progress pictures of construction work may also help, but remember that judging time is very limited and the judges do not have the time to look through pages upon pages of reference.
  4. All costumes and props are subject to the Zenkaikon Convention Policies.
  5. Participants may have models to display their costumes. However, the primary creator must be present to explain their creations, and only the creator will be eligible for any awards for those costumes. No more than five (5) models/costumes may be presented.
  6. Groups are welcome to be judged together but no more than five (5) participants may be in any given group.
  7. Staged falls, as well as smoke, pyrotechnics, glitter, or other special effects that will leave a mess behind are prohibited. This rule also applies to the “Fashion Show” and Masquerade, for the safety of all entrants.
  8. Entries may be in the form of Anime/Manga, Video Game, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Original Design, Adaptation, Fan-Art costumes, and any other costumes related to one or more of these genres. Costumes are not limited to source.
  9. Participants’ costumes must allow them freedom of movement. Cosplay staff will be unable to assist entrants with their costumes. For the “Fashion Show”, entrants must be able to navigate stairs and move across the stage unassisted.
  10. The number and types of awards presented are at the discretion of Zenkaikon Cosplay Staff and the Head of Cosplay.
  11. You must be ready for your scheduled judging appointment.  Lateness and lack of preparation will DISQUALIFY your entry. To be early is to be on time.
  12. Zenkaikon Staff are not permitted to enter the competition.
  13. Entrants will be judged according to Skill Level. The skill levels for judging are as follows:


This is the category for those under 13 years old. Participants in this category will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. This includes groups that are majority youth.
Though it is expected that junior entries will have assistance, it is assumed that the work entered is still mostly created by the junior entrant. If the work is wholly created by a parent/guardian, a relative, or an older sibling, the entry should be entered in the appropriate Skill Level under the actual creator.


  • Professional costumers may not enter in the Beginner division.
  • A contestant who has competed and won in any division other than Beginner may not enter as a Beginner.


  • Professional costumers may not enter in the Intermediate division.
  • Open to competitors who have won at least one Major Award, but not more than 3 Major Awards.
  • If you have won more than 3 Major Awards at this level, you must compete at Advanced Division.


  • Any contestant may enter the Advanced division.
  • Professional Costumers must enter in the Advanced Division.
  • A contestant who has won 3 or more major awards in the Intermediate division must enter in the Advanced division.


  • Professional costumer is defined as someone who makes over 50% of their income through costume making or commissions.
  • Major awards are defined as “Best in Show”, “Best of Division”, “Best of Day” or placement (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.)
  • Minor awards are defined as those such as Honorable Mention, Judge’s Awards, and those not covered under Major awards. They do not affect skill level placement.


If, after reading the above, you are still uncertain about what level you belong to, or if you have any questions, please use the contact form and select “Cosplay” as the category.