Nerd Mafia at Loscon 49

Presented by Nerd Mafia

Cosplay Contest Rules

All Loscon members, weekend or day pass are eligible to participate in the contest, except Loscon Staff members.


  1. We are proud to bring you the ultimate Costume Contest! The Costume Contest is a craftsmanship award show, with a pre-judging session and a catwalk display. Join us for pre-judging in the MARRIOTT LOS ANGELES AIRPORT HOTEL on Saturday Nov 25th between 3:00 and 5:30 pm in the convention lobby at the Nerd Mafia table. The runway display and awards show will be at 6pm, location to be announced at the table and in the con program.

  2. If you would like to participate in the Costume Contest, please come to pre-judging by 5:30pm in the MARRIOTT LOS ANGELES AIRPORT HOTEL Exhibit area on Saturday Nov 25, 2023.

  3. Contestants can only enter in one category, Individual or Group. Due to the unpredictable size of groups, a prize for each member cannot be guaranteed. 

  4. No skits during judging or catwalk. 

  5. No nudity. No costume is no costume. 

  6. No profanity allowed on stage. That includes messages on signs or clothes. Anyone who violates this may be disqualified from the competition. 

  7. No political or religious statement during the catwalk. Anyone who violates this may be disqualified from the competition. 

  8. Do not use any sort of projectile at all! Nothing must leave your person while you are on the catwalk. Anyone who violates this rule may be disqualified from the competition and may be asked to leave the convention area. 

  9. No flash pots, explosive devices, or similar special effects are to be used. No glitter, confetti, pyrotechnics, live flame or smoke generators of any kind are allowed in MARRIOTT LOS ANGELES AIRPORT HOTEL Exhibit area or inside of the building. Anyone who violates this rule may be disqualified from the competition and may be asked to leave the convention area. 

  10. All prop weapons must conform to the LosCon Weapons Policy, which is as follows: All weapons must be non-working and peace bonded.  No functioning projectile weapons – including water pistols, silly-string guns, and ping-pong pistols. Bladed weapons must be cased or sheathed at all times. No clowning around or showing off in the common areas. Any weapon used in an offensive manner will be confiscated. Anyone who violates this rule may be disqualified from the competition and may be asked to leave the convention area. We expect you to use good judgment; with your help, we can continue to allow peace-bonded weapons. 

All Weapons are subjected to inspection by LOSCON STAFF, Nerd Mafia STAFF, or on-site Security Staff.

  1. All applications must be submitted at the time of pre-judging, Saturday at 5pm at the MARRIOTT LOS ANGELES AIRPORT HOTEL Exhibit Center, and applications will be available at that time. THERE ARE NO ONLINE APPLICATIONS, Sign-ups are at the Nerd Mafia Booth. All contestants not participating in the youth category must be at least 2 years of age to enter. Contestant under the age of 14 must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian during all portions of the contest. All judging will be done before the showing, off-stage. 

  2. Costumes must be self-contained. 

  3. Do not enter or exit the catwalk except at the designated points. 

  4. Each contestant may only enter one costume into competition. 

  5. Large elaborate costumes must be handled by the contestant and/or assistants the contestant brings to help. LosCon will not be able to provide assistants. 

  6. Pictures and video will be taken during the “Performance” portion of the Judging process of the participants. These pictures/videos are the property of LosCon, for the purposes of advertising and promotion of future events and contests. 

  7. This is an open genre costume contest. Genres include but not limited to: 

  8. Zombies, Sci-Fi, Anime, Comics, Novels, Steam Punk, TV, and Film. 

  9. All costumes must abide by the rules of the convention dress code and weapons policy. If a policy violation is discovered by any of the LosCon staff or judges panel, that entry will be disqualified. 

  10. Purchased costumes are prohibited from entering the contest.  However, exceptions can be made for costumes that contain “found” pieces, “modified” or in other words, altered from its original design or purpose; although this may affect the total craftsmanship score of the participant, it is not meant to discourage participants from entering the contest. Costumes that are considered as “kits” are allowed so long as kit was assembled by the participant. All participants should be prepared to briefly explain the process through which their costume was created, altered, or modified. Costume(s) should be 80% “hand-made”. 

  11. We cannot turn the lights off prior to your performance. Each participant will have 30 seconds of time to perform on stage. This is your time to shine. So make the best of it. 

  12. To be judged for accuracy a visual reference, preferably a front and back color photo on paper, can be turned in with your application. Electronic media (i.e. CDs) will not be accepted nor will bringing a laptop or video device (i.e. iPods) to pre-judging. This is not required. However, you may not be eligible for accuracy points if the judges are not familiar enough with your character. 

  13. While no changes to these rules are foreseen, certain circumstances may require the rules or times be changed. Any changes will be noted below. A copy of these rules will be posted at the information table on Friday and Saturday of the convention.