Rules & Regulations
AnimeWorld Chicago 2012 Masquerade Rules
- You must have a valid AWC 2012 badge to enter the Masquerade.
- You must have a costume to enter the Masquerade. You may enter in Performance AND Craftsmanship, but you may enter each category only once. You may not enter more than one costume in the Masquerade.
- All Masquerade costumes must be related to some facet of Japanese culture (anime, manga, J-rock, etc.). Cosplaying from a non-Japanese source will not be considered a valid entry for the Masquerade. If you are unsure if your costume is eligible, ask in advance. Contact information for Masquerade staff is available on the website and forums.
- To participate in the Masquerade, you must submit a completed registration form and receive an entry number. Online pre-registration for the Masquerade is open through (DATE TBD). If you are unable to attend during registration hours on Friday but want to participate in the Masquerade, you must pre-register. At-con registration for the Masquerade will be open on Friday (check the program guide for location). Registration forms will be available at this location. Entries are limited, so please enter early!
- It is mandatory for all participants to meet at the green room at 5:00PM on Saturday for line-up. The green room location will be posted at the registration table when you check in. DO NOT BE LATE. If you are late, you may be listed as a no-show, and your entry may be discarded.
- NO-SHOW POLICY: Entries are very limited, and we want as many people as possible to be able to participate! Therefore, cosplayers who register for the Masquerade but do not show up for their judging/skit approval appointments will be barred from preregistering for future AWC Masquerades. We do understand that costume malfunctions and other unforeseen things can happen; we just ask that you keep us informed. If you are unable to make your appointment for any reason, please inform a member of Masquerade staff as early as possible so we can allow an alternate to take your place.
- Group entries are limited to 6 people maximum.
- Skits are limited to a maximum time of 2 minutes and 30 seconds. If your skit runs over time, a time penalty will be deducted from your score, and you may be disqualified.
- NO LIVE STEEL ON STAGE. Anything that could be mistaken as a realistic weapon must be approved by staff before entering the contest. You must bring all props you plan on using during your skit to rehearsal for approval.
- Your skit content, including language and thematic content, must be limited to PG-13 or under. This includes anything you say, do, imply, or act out on the stage. Sexually suggestive or racially offensive content will not be permitted. Please keep in mind that AWC is a family-friendly event, and the Masquerade will be attended by young children and parents. Staff reserves the right to disqualify or remove a skit from the Masquerade if they feel the content is inappropriate.
- Please do not leave anything on stage when you exit. AWC is not responsible for anything lost while participating in the Masquerade.
- Performance entries must attend mandatory skit approval on Friday or Saturday. Staff will observe your skit rehearsal to be certain it is safe for our stage setup, and also to make sure the content is appropriate. Stage combat, gymnastics, dancing and other extreme movements must be approved by the Stage Manager.
- If your on-stage presentation deviates from what you show the Stage Manager at rehearsal, you and your group will be disqualified. WE DO NOT LIKE SURPRISES! If you want to surprise the audience, go for it. However, Masquerade staff must have full disclosure as to what you and your group will be doing onstage.
- If you have music or prerecorded dialogue for your skit, please have your skit audio on a CD or flash drive, ready-to-play as one single track, edited exactly as you want it to sound. Your track may not be longer than 2 minutes, 30 seconds. Your track must be encoded in CDA, MP3 or WAV format. Please bring your CD/flash drive to skit approval.
- Staff may choose to enter the Masquerade if there are open Performance entries, but they are not eligible for any awards. Attendees will have first shot at all open entries.
- You must have made or modified at least 60% of your own costume to be eligible for Craftsmanship judging. Store-bought or commissioned costumes are not eligible Craftsmanship entries, even if they have been modified. A costume made for you by someone else is permitted ONLY if the person who made the costume is present and registers with you.
- You must bring reference pictures of your character to your judging appointment. Do not assume the judges will know your character! If you do not bring references to show your character, a penalty will be deducted from your score.
- Multiple cosplayers may enter Craftsmanship as a group entry, provided that all members of the group worked on all the costumes in the group. Up to six cosplayers may enter as a group; larger groups must split into multiple entries.
- If one person made ALL of the costumes in the group, the other group members may enter as models for that person’s craftsmanship entry, but it is not considered a group entry.
- All participants must sign up for a Craftsmanship judging appointment on Saturday. Judging times will be assigned in 5 minute increments. Judging is from 11AM to 3PM. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled judging time. If you miss your time slot, your costume will not be judged, and you will be disqualified.
- If you are entering Craftsmanship ONLY, you are required to participate in the walk-on in the Masquerade so the audience can see your costume.
Found Item Category Rules
- Found Item costumes must be assembled and/or modified from individual pieces. Commissioned and store-bought costumes are not eligible Found Item costumes. (For example: A costume assembled from various pieces you bought at Goodwill is eligible for a Found Item award, but not a Craftsmanship award. A complete costume purchased in the dealer room or from a website is not a valid entry.) Found Item costumes are eligible for the Found Item award ONLY. Points earned in Found Item judging do not count toward Best In Show.
- Please observe Craftsmanship Rules #2-6, above. These apply to the Found Item category as well.
- You may enter as either Novice or Advanced for both the Craftsmanship and Performance categories.
- Any cosplayer who has won 2 or more awards in the category in which they are entered, or has participated in 4 or more Masquerades, will be considered Advanced, and must enter as an Advanced entrant. For example:
- If you are entered in Craftsmanship and have won two prior Craftsmanship awards, you are considered Advanced.
- If you are entered in Craftsmanship ONLY and have won two prior Performance awards but no Craftsmanship awards, you are considered Novice in Craftsmanship.
- If you have never won an award but have participated in four or more Masquerades, ever, in any category, you are considered Advanced.
- If you are not sure what skill division you should be in, or if you have extenuating circumstances, please contact Masquerade staff prior to the convention.
- If you are entered in both Craftsmanship and Performance, you will be entered in both categories according to your highest skill level. You may not enter as Novice in Craftsmanship and Advanced in Performance, or vice-versa.
- For our purposes, Honorable Mention and Judge’s Choice Awards count as awards. If you have received two prior Honorable Mentions in the same category, you must enter that category at the Advanced level.
- Group entries will be placed in the division of the highest eligible member. For example, if three members of a group are Novices, but the fourth member is Advanced, the entire group will be judged in the Advanced division.
- Cosplayers 12 years old and under are eligible to enter the Youth category. If a Youth entry has previously received two or more awards, he/she may be placed in a higher division at the discretion of Masquerade staff.
- As awards are not always conclusive indicators of skill level, Masquerade staff reserve the right at any time during the event to move individual or group entries to a different skill division, as they see fit, with or without informing the participant(s).
- The Found Item category is separate from the Novice, Advanced and Youth divisions. Found Item entries do not need to specify Novice or Advanced Craftsmanship.
Any questions, special circumstances or requests for clarification should be directed to Masquerade staff.