Cosplay Contest

Click here for a Guide to geekOUTucr (*pdf)

These rules are for all competitors in the geekOUTucr Cosplay Contest. If you are a cosplayer, but not interested in entering the contest, you’re still welcome to show off your skills! Our POLICIES page guidelines give you an overview of what costumes are appropriate without all the details necessary for our cosplay contest entrants. You can find our POLICIES page by clicking here.

geekOUTucr Cosplay Contest Official Rules


All contestants who wish to participate in the FREE contest must be registered for the FREE geekOUT conference. The direct link to the Eventbrite page to reserve your free ticket to attend is here.

THERE ARE NO ONLINE APPLICATIONS for the cosplay contest! They will only be available physically in the lobby at geekOUTucr from 11am-1pm or until we reach our capacity of 20 contestants.

All contestants must first get cleared through the geekOUTuct weapons check table prior to registering for the cosplay contest. You can find the prohibited weapons policy here.

The cosplay contest is limited to the first 20 contestants. Openings will be offered on a first come, first serve basis for all contestants who are deemed applicable. (Contestants can only enter once as an individual or with a group.)

  • Individual – All single participants walking the catwalk stage alone.
  • Group – Groups will register for the contest under a single name. If multiple participants are wearing a single large costume they will be listed as a group. If a group is awarded a prize the group leader will be solely responsible for splitting the prize among the group.

Cosplayers from all genres (video game, comic book, anime, movies, television, etc.) are acceptable. The majority of your costume must be homemade! (Contestants are encouraged to bring a reference photo of the character they are portraying. The judges may not know the character in question, and this will help their ability to gauge the effectiveness of the costume.)

Judging will occur on the 3rd floor HUB the day of the competition. All contestants must arrive to the catwalk stage by 4:30pm and are required to stay in that area until the winners are announced.

The contest will be fashion show style. Each individuals or groups will be allowed 2 minutes on the catwalk stage; if the time is exceeded, contestants may be disqualified. Contestants will walk across the stage as an emcee introduces them. Contestants are encouraged to be creative during their time on stage. Action poses, working with props, or calling out a character’s catch-phrase, where relevant, will all be viewed favorably. A positive stage-presence will be valued and appreciated by the judges, assuming it does not involve breaking any of the rules listed below.

  • Costumes, introductions, and actions on stage must be in good taste. No nudity, offensive language or unruly behavior is permitted. This is a family-friendly event.
  • While on stage, jumping, flipping, running, throwing items into the audience or any movements that could compromise the safety of any contestants or spectators is prohibited. Any of these actions will result in automatic disqualification from the contest. Do not use any sort of projectile at all!! Nothing must leave your person while you are on the catwalk.
  • Only cosplay weapons that have passed the geekOUT weapons check will be allowed on stage.
  • The use of fire, glitter, liquids, or any other objects that will cause a mess are prohibited. No flashpots or smoke effects or similar special effects devices are to be used. Leaving any portion of a costume on stage will result in automatic disqualification from the contest.
  • We ask that all contestants display good sportsmanship to each other and the judges.


Each judge will rate cosplay characters based on the criteria below, 5 being the highest possible score, 1 being the lowest. All decisions of the geekOUTucr cosplay contest judges are final. In the event of a tie, audience participation will be utilized to determine an overall winner.

  • Accuracy / Character Likeness - What we look at: We will be checking how faithful your costume, hair, make-up and props are to the character you’re cosplaying as. (Print out a picture of your character showing the full costume. If what you’re cosplaying as is not an existing character, mention at least a point of reference or inspiration.)
  • Stage Presence / Presentation - What we look at: The goal of cosplay is to look as much like your character as possible, this includes body motions and phrases you say.
  • Construction / Quality / Effort - What we look at: We will try and determine how hard each person had to work to complete their costume, find a rare prop, style the appropriate wig or do their make-up.


  • 1st Place - $200 gift certificate for 4 Color Fantasies
  • 2nd Place - $100 gift certificate for 4 Color Fantasies
  • 3rd Place - $50 gift certificate for 4 Color Fantasies.
*4 Color Fantasies will be at the geekOUTucr Exhibit Hall

CHANGES TO THE RULES – While no changes to these rules are foreseen, certain circumstances may require that the rules be changed. Any changes to the rules will be noted in bold red print on this page. A complete set of current rules will be posted at the cosplay contest check-in table.

geekOUTucr will be capturing images and content during this event. By entering this contest, you consent to and authorize recordings of you and to use said photographs and recordings for promotional purposes. A Photo Release form will be completed during the Cosplay Contest registration process on-site.

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Maps & Directions to geekOUTucr

Check-in begins at 10am in the 3rd Level Lobby outside HUB 302. The Exhibit Hall opens and events begin at 11am. The Habit and Subway San...

geek OUT ucr lands February 17, 2018