Costume Contests

Masquerade

Costume Contest

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Age 13+ division.
All participants must pre-register online.

Children’s

Costume Contest

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Age 12 and under division.
All participants must pre-register online.

Hallway

Costume Contests

Each day of the convention.

Sign up onsite at the Costuming Contest Registration desk.

Registration

Contest Rules

Contest Categories

The Masquerade Costume Contest is sponsored by

Masquerade Costume Contest

Best in Show Prize

Prize: Bernina 535E (MSRP $4,699)

Features:
  • Sewing and Embroidery Functionality
  • Adaptive Thread Tension
  • Extended Freearm (8.5″ right of the needle)
  • Modern Full Color Touch Screen with On-screen Support
  • 5.5 mm Stitch Width
  • Up to 1,000 Stitches per Minute
  • Jumbo Bobbin
  • Automatic Thread Cutter

Additional prizes to be announced soon.

Costume Contest Categories

The SoonerCon Costume Contest categories this year closely align with the International Costumers Guild guidelines. While we ask the costumer to select an age division and competition category prior to the show, the Costume Chair will have final authority in determining the appropriate category entry for each contestant.

Each costume contest category will have a maximum number of entrants due to time constraints. See costume contest rules below for more information.

Beginner

The Beginner division is to encourage those new to the hobby. You may not enter if you have ever received professional compensation for costuming (inclusive of, but not limited to subscription revenue-generating services like Patreon, paid professional modeling of cosplay, or other compensated appearances). Contestants may not routinely compete at the intermediate / Journeyman level in regional competition, or have accomplished any of the following in international competition: have won in a higher division, have won “Best-in-Show” or have won in the beginner division a number of awards to be determined by the Costume Chair. There is no guideline on the number of beginner division awards a person may win and continue to compete in this division. It is expected that 50% of the contestant’s costume has been made or modified by the contestant.

Intermediate

This is an interim division to allow further development of costuming skills. Contestants may not enter if they have accomplished any of the following in international competition: have won three times in an intermediate division, have won any award in a master category, or have won “Best in Show.” It is expected that 75% of the contestant’s costume has been made or modified by the contestant.

Master

The master division is an open class. Anyone may enter. It is expected that 90% of the contestant’s costume has been made or modified by the contestant.

Skit

Skits are primarily judged on performance and visual impact. Craftsmanship judging is optional and can be selected additionally at the time of competition registration. Skit audio must be pre-recorded, and will be submitted at the time of registration, along with a written description of what is to be performed on stage.

Children’s Contest

Participants should conceptualize and make the majority of their own costumes. Adults, parents, and siblings may help, but they should not construct the entire costume for the child to wear. Allow young contestants to be creative! The purpose of this contest division is for youth to discover the joy of costuming and to be able to compete against similarly-skilled participants. Costumes that appear to made solely by an adult will be negatively judged.

Costume Contest Rules

The SoonerCon Costume Contest categories this year closely align with the International Costumers Guild guidelines. While we ask the costumer to select an age division and competition category prior to the show, the Costume Chair will have final authority in determining the appropriate category entry for each contestant.

Contestants who have assembled their costume from commercially produced or otherwise primarily found assemblies are encouraged to enter one of our Hallway Cosplay Competitions, held every day of the convention. Rules for those contests are stated below in the section “Hallway Contests.”

GENERAL RULES / REGISTRATION POLICIES

The SoonerCon Costume Contest rules are modeled from standards found at other conventions in addition to the International Costumers Guild guidelines. The purpose of these rules is so that everybody can have a safe and enjoyable costuming experience:

All participants must be paid Members of SoonerCon. Children age twelve (12) and under receive a free membership with paid accompanying adult membership(s).

All participants must complete and return a contest registration form by noon on Friday, June 12th, regardless of division, or until all contestant slots are filled, whichever happens first. Contestants thirteen (13) years of age and older must enter the Masquerade Costume Contest. Children’s Costume Contest participants must be twelve (12) years of age or younger on the day of the competition. Contestants will be notified of receipt of their form and official entry into the contests.

Any audio/visual needs for the costume contests must be declared in the online registration form. SoonerCon staff will contact contestants to transfer sound files after the registration form has been received. Sound files must not be longer than one (1) minute and any sound file that exceeds this length will be edited down to the first minute of the sound file. Sound files must be in .mp3 format and must not contain any explicit content. Links to videos are not permitted and electronic devices, such as phones or iPods are not allowed.

CONTESTANT RESPONSIBILITIES

Masquerade Costume Contest contestants must attend a pre-judging session with the contest judges. Pre-judging sessions will be held on Saturday, June 27th, and each contestant will be assigned a time slot prior to the beginning of the convention. It is the responsibility of the contestant to be present fifteen (15) minutes prior to their appointed pre-judging session. Participants found in violation of this rule may be disqualified from the contest. All contestants must be in full costume at the pre-judging session and may present a printed portfolio of the costume’s fabrication process. Reference image material for contest entries is encouraged, but not required. Judges are not always able to look-up reference images on their own, so it is best to show up prepared for the contest.

Masquerade and Children’s Costume Contest participants must attend their Costume Contest’s pre-show meeting (unless excused by the Costume Chair) prior to the contest to receive final instructions and presentation order placement. The locations of these pre-show meetings are listed in the convention’s pocket program guide, available at Con HQ and Registration and at the costuming sign-up/info table. Participants found in violation of this rule may be disqualified from the contest.

All weapons and props must be inspected by a member of the costume staff at the pre-judging session. All local laws, codes, and regulations will be enforced, along with Convention Policies. If the weapon or prop is to be part of the contestant’s stage presentation, it must be inspected at the pre-judging session. Props or weapons not inspected will not be permitted on stage. Participants found in violation of this rule will be immediately disqualified from the contest. While staged fighting within a presentation is allowed, at no time will any weapon be used to threaten anyone outside their presentation, even in jest. Participants found in violation of this rule will be immediately disqualified from the contest.

MASQUERADE DAY-OF COMPETITION RULES / PRE-JUDGING INFO

During pre-judging, each entrant will be allowed approximately three (3) minutes to present their costume. Be prepared to tell the judges what you want to make sure they know about your costume, and be courteous to the judges and your fellow competitors by keeping your presentation brief.

Pre-judging is not open to the public. Only contestants and their handlers are allowed in pre-judging areas.

The judges reserve the right to bump you up or down a craftsmanship level if they feel it is necessary after they have seen all entries during prejudging.

Costumes must be finished before you get to pre-judging, and no additional components should be added or modified before the onstage portion of the competition. No sewing, gluing, soldering, or other construction work will be accepted, with exception for unexpected repairs. Unexpected repairs are to be brought to the attention of the Costume Chair so they can be deemed as necessary and not last-minute modifications.

Costumes with electric power requirements need to be self-contained, as there will be no access to power outlets.

Nudity: No costume is no costume. Nude or indecent (discretion of the Costume Chair) entries will not be accepted. Please remember that children and members of the media will be present.

MASQUERADE ONSTAGE / EXHIBITION RULES

Onstage time for Beginner, Intermediate, and Master categories will be determined by the capacity and number of participants. Plan for one (1) minute or less of stage presentation time. Onstage time for the Skit category is three (3) minutes for the actual performance, with one (1) minute total for set up/teardown (e.g. 30 seconds to set up and 30 seconds to tear down, or 40 seconds to set up and 20 seconds to tear down). SoonerCon is not responsible for the quality of any sound file submitted and played, but will make every effort to ensure that sound files play correctly and at a reasonable volume.

SoonerCon is not responsible for any damage to costumes caused by tripping, falling, or costume malfunction. If necessary, a handler may accompany you for assistance. For other accessibility needs and considerations, notify our costuming team during registration.

Do not leave anything on the stage that a staff member cannot quickly remove. If you plan to leave anything on stage, please let us know so we can clear the stage before the next contestant enters. If using large props, you need to bring your own handlers to aid in getting them on and off stage. We will need this information during registration.

You may not use a microphone on stage. Audio material must be pre-recorded and submitted as an .mp3 during the time of contest registration. Any audio/visual needs for the costume contests must be declared in the online registration form. SoonerCon staff will contact contestants to transfer sound files after the registration form has been received.

No fire, loose glitter, confetti, explosives, projectiles, or objects emitting smoke, vapors, excessive noise, or light are permitted. Participants found in violation of this rule may be disqualified from the contest and may be responsible for fire and safety code violations imposed by the city of Norman and/or Cleveland County, in the state of Oklahoma.

Loud noises, dangerous weapons, and devices must have full, proper, and prior clearance by the Costume Chair before entering the contest.

We strongly encourage contestants to create exciting and energetic stage presentations of their costumes. Contestants may surprise the audience, but all elements of the stage presentation must be identified in the pre-judging meeting. Do not surprise the staff or judges at the competition. Participants found in violation of this rule may be immediately disqualified from the contest.

Upon completing one’s stage exhibition, contestants are not permitted to enter the stage area unless specifically invited to do so by staff or judges. Participants found in violation of this rule may be immediately disqualified from the contest.

MASQUERADE CATEGORIES OF COMPETITION

Costumers must select the category in which they wish to compete on their contest registration form. Categories are adapted from the International Costumers Guild guidelines and are defined as:

Beginner

The Beginner division is to encourage those new to the hobby. You may not enter if you have ever received professional compensation for costuming (inclusive of, but not limited to subscription revenue-generating services like Patreon, paid professional modeling of cosplay, or other compensated appearances).

Contestants may not routinely compete at the intermediate / Journeyman level in regional competition, or have accomplished any of the following in international competition: have won in a higher division, have won “Best-in-Show” or have won in the beginner division a number of awards to be determined by the Costume Chair. There is no guideline on the number of beginner division awards a person may win and continue to compete in this division. It is expected that 50% of the contestant’s costume has been made or modified by the contestant.

The Masquerade Costume Contest will permit a maximum of twenty (20) entrants into the Beginner category, due to time constraints. This may change based on registration responses.

Intermediate

This is an interim division to allow further development of costuming skills. Contestants may not enter if they have accomplished any of the following in international competition: have won three times in an intermediate division, have won any award in a master category, or have won “Best in Show.” It is expected that 75% of the contestant’s costume has been made or modified by the contestant.

The Masquerade Costume Contest will permit a maximum of twenty (20) entrants into the Intermediate category, due to time constraints. This may change based on registration responses.

Master

The master division is an open class. Anyone may enter. It is expected that 90% of the contestant’s costume has been made or modified by the contestant.

The Masquerade Costume Contest will permit a maximum of ten (10) entrants into the Master category, due to time constraints. This may change based on registration responses.

Skit

Skits are primarily judged on performance and visual impact. Craftsmanship judging is optional and can be selected additionally at the time of competition registration. Skit audio must be pre-recorded, and will be submitted at the time of registration, along with a written description of what is to be performed on stage.

The Masquerade Costume Contest will permit a maximum of four (4) entrants into the Skit category, due to time constraints. This may change based on registration responses.

 

MASQUERADE CONTEST AWARDS
For each class, individual contestant entries will be awarded one of the following awards:

Best Craftsmanship

This award is given to a contestant whose entry exhibits exceptional skill in its construction.

Best Runway

This award is given to a contestant whose stage presentation exceptionally enhances the interpretation or appreciation of the contestant’s costume.

Best in Class

This award is given to a contestant exhibiting exceptional skill in all areas of costuming within the expectations of the aforementioned class.

Across the entire competition, individual contestant entries will be awarded one of the following awards:

Best in Show

This award is given to a contestant who exhibits unparalleled excellence in all areas of costuming, across all competitor classes in the competition.

Best Skit

This award is given to a group entry into the skit category whose presentation exhibits exceptional interpretive performance.

Judge’s Choice

Each competition judge selects one (1) contestant whose costume warrants special recognition. The criteria for this award is solely at the discretion of the judge granting the award.

All Masquerade Costume Contest awards will be presented at the close of the competition on Saturday, July 27th.
HALLWAY CONTESTS & AWARDS

Each day of the convention, a Hallway Costume Contest will take place adjacent to the Costuming Contest Registration desk. Contestants must sign up at the registration desk and allow their pictures to be taken by a staff member.

Hall Costumes must conform to all Convention Policies and must be worn in accordance with the Costuming Policy. An escort is recommended if the costume impedes vision and mobility. If carrying a weapon, please be sure to carefully read all Weapons Policies.

Contestants will be judged solely on their appearance in their photographs. Group entries are permitted. Judges will recognize three contestants for each day of competition and award them as follows:

First Place, Runner-Up, Honorable Mention.

Awards will be announced at the closing ceremonies of the convention on Sunday, June 28th. Participants do not need to be present to win and will be contacted based on the contact information given when registering for the contest.

CHILDREN’S CONTEST COMPETITION RULES & AWARDS

Participants should conceptualize and make the majority of their own costumes. Adults, parents, and siblings may help, but they should not construct the entire costume for the child to wear. Allow young contestants to be creative! The purpose of this contest division is for youth to discover the joy of costuming and to be able to compete against similarly-skilled participants. Costumes that appear to made solely by an adult will be negatively judged.

Judges will recognize three contestants during the competition and award them as follows:

Best in Show

Runner-Up

Honorable Mention

Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. This is strictly enforced.

The Children’s Costume Contest may have a cap on contestants due to time constraints.

 

GENERAL STIPULATIONS

SoonerCon has the authority to eliminate anyone from the competition on the grounds of obscenity, harassing behavior, danger, contest rules violations, and Convention Policy violation.

Signature Requirement: Each entrant in the contest will be required to give their signature on the day of the competition, at the pre-show meeting, to verify that they have read the rules and will adhere to them. Minors must have a parent or guardian’s accompanying signature. Participants found in violation of this rule will be immediately disqualified from the contest.

APPEALS AND QUESTIONS

Contact costuming@soonercon.com with any questions regarding the aforementioned rules of competition.

Appeals against disqualification must be made directly to the Costume Chair. If the contestant is dissatisfied with the outcome of the first appeal, they may appeal to the SoonerCon Board of Directors, whose decision is final and cannot be superseded.