AnimeFest 2022 AnimeFest Convention Jul 29th – Aug 01st 2022 Sheraton Dallas Hotel
The Cosplay Runway is where con goers get to show off their craftsmanship and skill in re-creating a costume of their favorite character. There have been some changes to the cosplay rules this year so please look them over carefully. Also note that we will be returning to the Main Events hall on Saturday, December 18th! We look forward to seeing you there!

  1. Cosplay Runway Rules
  2. Cosplay Rehearsal Rules and Regulations
  3. Cosplay Divisions
  4. Cosplay Awards
  5. Cosplay Entry Form
  6. Cosplay Runway FAQ

Section I. Cosplay Runway Rules

  • With the creation of GameFest, costumes from Video games, tabletop games or media that utilizes tabletop RPG systems at its core (The Adventure Zone, Critical Role, Harmonquest ETC.) will be permitted in this year’s cosplay runway contest, provided there are established reference images for these characters. We will not accept Original Characters for this portion of the cosplay contest. OC’s can be submitted to Strut your stuff or Hall Cosplay. If you are uncertain if your cosplay will qualify, please reach out to us at cosplay@animefest.org
  • All other costumes must embody the spirit of the AnimeFest convention and celebrate Japanese culture and ALL that it touches and influences. If you have any questions do not hesitate to email us at cosplay@animefest.org.
  • All Cosplay Runway participants must be members of AnimeFest/GameFest 2021. Your badge must be present and visible at all times.
  • Your costume must adhere to the AnimeFest Dress Code Policy.
  • No costume is NO COSTUME.
  • Per the Dress Code Policy, you must wear shoes at all times even if your character does not wear shoes. This will not be counted against you in the judging process.
  • Your costume may not render you immobile. AnimeFest believes that cosplaying involves behaving like a character while wearing your costume, not being a costumed mannequin.
  • No real weapons of any kind. Please read the convention Weapon Policy. If you have questions regarding the Weapon Policy specifically, please email safety@animefest.org
  • If you have previously entered your cosplay into another competition and won a major award, you will not be eligible to participate in the Cosplay Runway show. If the Cosplay Staff has determined that you have, you will be disqualified.
  • Use of a live cosplay model in place of yourself is permitted as long as the entry is submitted in your name and you are present for the judging.
    Commissioned cosplays are only permitted if the creator is part of the group or using a cosplay model.


The AnimeFest Cosplay Manager reserves the right to disqualify anyone for any reason deemed sufficient.

Section II. Rehearsal Rules and Regulations

  • Pre-Judging will be done prior to the Cosplay Runway contest and will take place at the cosplay office. BE ON TIME so the judges can look at your costume in detail. Please be aware that the pre-judging sessions are timed. You will be given a warning before your time expires and then you will be asked to leave when your time is complete
  • There will be a mandatory dress rehearsal/walk-through at Main Events. All questions pertaining to the actual Runway portion of the contest will be addressed at this rehearsal so if you show up late and have not given adequate notification, you may be disqualified from the Cosplay Runway contest.
  • Rehearsal starts at 5pm on Saturday.
  • Music will be provided by the convention.
  • Each participant will have approximately 45 seconds on the stage, regardless of group size. There are three points on the stage in which you must stop and pose. Each pose at these points must be unique (meaning each pose you make must be different). Failing to do so will result in points deducted from your overall judging score.
  • Please do not throw anything onto the stage or at the audience. We WILL make you clean it up and it could also potentially get you removed from the convention.

Section III. Divisions

You will select a Division upon registration.
  • NOVICE:
    • The novice category is intended for costumes with little or beginner skills in making costumes.
    • At least 35% or more of the costume must be handmade and not store bought or commissioned. If you do not meet this requirement you will be disqualified.
    • Participants can not have won more than three minor awards and/or one major award at previous conventions.
  • INTERMEDIATE:
    • The Intermediate category is intended for those who have won a limited number of awards in cosplay contests or those with moderate costuming ability.
    • At least 50% of the costume must be handmade and not store bought or commissioned to qualify for this division.
    • No member could have won more than 3 major awards at previous conventions.
  • MASTERS:
    • The Master’s category is intended for people with extensive costuming ability or who have won several awards for costumes that do not fall into the other two classes.
    • At least 80% or more of the costume must be handmade and not store bought or commissioned to qualify for this division.
    • It is suggested if entering in the Masters division to provide a portfolio of your cosplay (in addition to the reference images you provide upon registering) for judging purposes.

Examples of Minor Awards:
Honorable Mention, Judge’s Award, Best Prop, Unconventional Material, etc.
Examples of Major Awards:
Best in Show, Best in Division, Best Craftsmanship, or First Place, Second Place, etc.

Performance only awards are not considered in determining your Cosplay Runway division.

In the case of a group, a division will be determined by the awards won by the majority of the contestants. For example, if an entry consists of 3 participants, one participant with zero craftsmanship awards, and two participants that have won more than two major awards but no more than three, would be placed in the Intermediate Division.

You may be moved into a different Division than what you selected at registration to ensure you are competing against those of a similar skillset. If this occurs, cosplay staff will relay this in a timely manner.

Section IV. Awards

  • BEST IN SHOW:
    • This is given to an exceptional entrant and can be a part of any division. This award determines that you are the best in the entire cosplay event, therefore you will not qualify to win any other awards. Only one Best In Show award will be given with a cash prize of $750.
  • FIRST PLACE:
    • This is given to an entrant that has shown an exceptional display of craftsmanship and presentation for their particular class. Three First Place awards will be given, one to each division, with a cash prize for each.
      This is given to an entrant that has shown an exceptional display of craftsmanship and presentation for their particular division.
      • Novice $150
      • Intermediate $250
      • Masters $500

  • BEST YOUTH:
    • Granted by the judges for an entrant aged 12 or under that they feel was exceptional.
  • JUDGE’S AWARDS:
    • Granted by the judges for an entrant they feel was exceptional. Any division may qualify. Each Judge can award a $100 Cash Prize.
  • CREATIVITY AWARD:
    • This award is given to an entrant that shows exceptional use of materials and innovative use with those materials all around for their costume. Any division can qualify for this award. The creativity award is a $100 Cash Prize.
  • BEST PROP:
    • This award is given to the entrant the judges feel had an exceptional craftsmanship of their prop. The best prop award is a $100 Cash Prize.


Additional awards may be created at the convention itself at the discretion of the Judges, Cosplay Manager and Director. Awards that do not show as a cash prize will still be receiving goodies from us. This could be AnimeFest swag, gifts cards etc. Awards for the cosplay contest can be picked up at the cosplay office Saturday or Sunday during office hours. For accounting purposes, you will need a valid photo ID for cash prizes. Please be sure to use the name that is on your ID when registering for the contest. Cash prize pick up will take place after the cosplay contest on Saturday night. Please meet at the cosplay office following the contest.

All amounts listed are the total amount for that prize regardless of the number of members in an entry.

Section V. Entry Form

  • Please find your applicable checklist which will also link you to the correct form: Cosplay Submission Form
  • You must submit supporting character documentation. You will not be permitted to enter a judging session unless you can provide reference images for your cosplay to the judges.

Section Vl. Frequently Asked Question

Q: Where is this Cosplay HQ you speak of?

The Cosplay HQ is on the 2nd floor of the hotel side in Pearl 4

Q: What is Cosplay HQ's hours of operation?
  • Friday: 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sunday: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

We all enjoy coming to the Sheraton every year for this convention so be sure to treat the hotel and its staff with the same respect you would like to receive.

While no changes to these rules are foreseen, certain circumstances may require that the rules be changed. Any updates to the rules will be noted in bold red print. A complete set of the rules will be available at Cosplay HQ throughout the convention.

If you have any further questions, please contact the Cosplay Staff at cosplay@animefest.org