Cosplay Expo Rules

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Registration is REQUIRED for all categories, and participants must have purchased, at minimum, a Saturday pass for Ohayocon.

Before registering for any category, please review the Costume & Prop Policies and the following competition rules and procedures. YOU are responsible for reading and understanding this information. If you have questions regarding any of this, please contact the Expo Coordinator.

Only ONE entry per contest. However, an individual/group may compete in both contests as long as either entry does not conflict with the other during the Expo. (i.e. costumes worn during for the Performance must be the costume being judged for Craftsmanship)

Groups are limited to a maximum of SIX people for Craftsmanship and NINE people for Performance. If a group has more than the allotted amount of members, they may petition the Expo Coordinator to allow the group to compete.

Participants may NOT compete with a costume or skit/musical-act that has previously won any Major Award at any convention.


Participants competing in the Character Cosplay category will compete in 1 of 4 skill divisions. See the Expo Policies & Processes for a breakdown of the skill divisions.

At least 60% of an entry’s costume (50% if competing in the Junior Division) must be handcrafted by the participant. Modification to purchased or commissioned costumes is not viewed as original work and does not qualify for the Craftsmanship contest.

No commissioned, purchased, or rented costumes. Costumes from costume shops, designer direct, auctions, CosPay, or any other store-bought costumes are prohibited and will negate individual/group eligibility (even if only one participant in a group has a disqualified costume) to compete in the Craftsmanship contest.

The costume’s creator(s) may have a model wearing the costume for the contest. In these cases, the creator(s) must be present for the pre-judging appointment, must be the owner of the costume and would be credited for any awards, not the model.

Participants registering to compete in the Craftsmanship Contest will be required to submit a cosplay portfolio. A standard cosplay portfolio should at a very minimum include your name, your registration ID number, the character’s name, the character’s series, and reference photos of the character front & back (Original Design & Lindsay Mascot would require concept drawings that the cosplay was based on for judges to reference).


Performances are to be strictly no more than 3 minutes long. Participants will have up to 30 seconds to set up/enter and 30 seconds to break down/exit (This is in addition to the 3 minutes for the performance).

A transcription of spoken lines or lyrics must be provided for the ASL interpreter’s reference prior to the Cosplay Expo (preferably by your scheduled audition appointment).

Material rating should not exceed PG-13. Actions, dress, or mannerisms that would not be allowed on a public street must be avoided. Specifically, the following must be avoided: explicit sexual gestures, nudity, and explicit swearing (i.e. Seven Forbidden Words of TV). Think about your material as such: if you cannot perform it for a first grade class or your grandmother’s friends, it is probably not acceptable.

In the interests of safety, stage combat is severely restricted. All prop weapons must be used with extreme caution and never used in a manner that may cause injury to another. No projectile weapons will be permitted. No throwing objects (even soft ones) into the audience.

Feel free to surprise the audience, but not the Cosplay Staff. If you are planning something “unique,” you must petition the Expo Coordinator IN ADVANCE to get it approved.

Be aware of floor stand microphones, cables, speakers, curtains, screens, etc. If you break a piece of equipment, deface the facilities, or cause any other damages, then you will pay to replace what you damaged. No exceptions.

Cosplay Coordinators or the Stage Manager has the right to cancel your performance at any time for any reason.


Ohayocon, the Ohayocon logo, and the Lindsay Howard mascot are trademarks of Ohayocon. All Rights Reserved.

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