November 2nd - 5th 2017 in Downtown Detroit
Cobo Center & Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center


All attendees who wish to enter their costume in a contest require a judging appointment. There will be a sign-up table in the Cosplay Registration booth on Level 4. There you can find the required forms, as well as the list of available appointment times. Entrants will sign up for a craftsmanship judging time, a skit approval time, or both. You may enter either or both Friday and Saturday Hall Cosplay contests, and/or the Masquerade, provided that you have a different costume for each. Only Masquerade entrants will appear stage during the Masquerade. Hall Cosplay contestants do not appear on stage.


Friday 3PM—9PM 7PM—11PM
Saturday 9AM—2PM 10AM—3PM


  • No metal weapons, real firearms, or props loaded with high velocity projectiles are allowed. Realistic weapon props may be peace bonded at the discretion of security or Masquerade staff.
  • Props should be carried and posed with in a way that does not inconvenience or risk injury to other attendees.
  • Costumes must be tasteful and cover appropriate areas of the body. Shoes must be worn in public areas of the convention for your own safety.
  • What is illegal outside the convention is still illegal inside the convention.
  • Costumes entered into the competition are encouraged and preferred to be of Japanese origin. This includes anime, game, manga or other media such as sentai, music, J-rock, etc. Pokemon or other gijinka-type costumes based on fanart are permitted, but you must bring a reference photo, no exceptions. Korean media is also acceptable. The contest is also open to Western-inspired costumes. This includes Western cartoons and comic books. However, we retain the right to limit the number of costumes coming from non-Asian media to ~50% or fewer of the entrants and may waive it based on availability. No original character costumes or designs are permitted.


During craftsmanship judging, our judges will evaluate the quality and accuracy of the costume(s).
  • Costumes CANNOT be judged for craftsmanship if they were primarily store-bought or commissioned. Children 12 and under are exempt from this rule. If modeling someone else's work, the person who constructed the costume must be present.
  • You must provide a reference for your costume. A picture, a figure, whatever. (We prefer paper references that we can keep.) The judges are not familiar with every series or video game. References are needed to check accuracy. Lack of a reference will hurt your chances at winning higher awards.
  • The judges WILL inspect your costume up close. So be prepared to have your costume touched and be asked to show specific details.
  • Entrants will only have 5 minutes per judging session (up to 10 minutes for larger groups). So if you have something special that you wish to highlight to the judges, make sure to point it out whether they ask you about it or not.
  • The judges will ask you questions about your costume. Be prepared to answer truthfully and accurately.
  • You DO NOT have to be in character while being judged. That wastes time and is unnecessary. Save it for the stage.
  • BE CONFIDENT. Please don’t tell the judges what you did wrong. They want to know all the wonderful things you did right.


There are 2 types of overall costume types.
Large groups may contain a mixture of costumes from all types of media these will be determined on a case by case basis based on the breakdown of the group:
  • Classic(name subject to change): Japanese & Asian media only
  • Other(name also subject to change): All other media
Everyone will also enter in one of these skill level categories:
  • Novice: Cosplayers with no prior awards
  • Journeyman: Cosplayers with 1-5 awards
  • Master: Cosplayers with 6 or more awards
  • Youth: Cosplayers age 12 and under
  • Staff: Youmacon staff members
*Categories are based on any type of previous major award, craftsmanship or presentation. Division qualifications are subject to change to ensure even award distribution. Honorable Mention awards do not count toward your skill level category.


Put on a performance or show off your costuming work in front of a large audience at Youmacon’s Masquerade! Skits can enter for performance, craftsmanship, or both, but only those entering both categories are eligible to win Best in Show. You can also model your costume in front of an audience by entering as a walk-on for craftsmanship judging.
  • The Best in Show winners (those who excel in BOTH craftsmanship AND presentation) will win FREE ADMISSION to Youmacon 2017 plus a fabulous trophy. Those who win the best in their respective categories will also receive a fabulous trophy.
  • Masquerade participants should be at the Green Room (Mackinac Ballroom) at 6PM with their badges for check-in. Once everyone arrives, all participants will receive a number.
  • While waiting for the Masquerade to start, drinks and snacks will be provided. Once the Masquerade begins, participants will listen for their number to be called. Once they are finished with their presentation/walk-on, they will then return to the Green Room.
  • Awards for both Hall Cosplay and the Masquerade will be given out at the end of the Masquerade.


1 to 2 people = 2 minutes
3 to 4 people = 3 minutes
5 to 8 people = 4 minutes


  • All the general cosplay and craftsmanship judging rules above apply.
  • Skits must be “PG-13”
  • Groups may not exceed 8 people.
  • Participants’ costumes and props must be able to traverse the 6’ wide backstage hallway.
  • No jumping onto or off of the stage or acrobatics.
  • No throwing items off of the stage.
  • Clean up after yourself. Do not leave anything behind on the stage.
  • Stage combat will be allowed only if approved by the judges after a demonstration during skit approval.
  • No special effects. Electronic flashes are permitted only if okayed by Masquerade staff. An announcement will be made to attendees at the start of your skit.
  • Karaoke is not a skit. Please save it for the karaoke.
  • No surprises.


  • During skit approval, our staff will evaluate skits for time and content. MP3s and CDs with dialogue and/or music to use during the Masquerade will also be used and collected at this point.
  • You will need to perform your skit in front of our approvers. They are not judges, they are simply checking for time and content. So if your performance is not perfect, don’t worry about it. Our approvers can also give you advice to improve your skit.
  • It is okay if one of the people in your skit group can’t make it to approval. We will use our imagination.
  • You DO NOT have to be in costume for skit approval.
  • If you also want to get judged for craftsmanship, we can do one longer appointment —subject to availability— instead of two separate appointments
  • If your skit is NOT approved, we WILL give you time to correct it. We love skits, and we want to give everyone a chance to participate.


Groups with three or more participants are highly recommended to pre-record audio to ensure being heard by the audience and judges. Handheld microphone availability is not guaranteed.
  • We accept submissions on CD or MP3.
  • You must bring your audio file to your skit approval
  • If you are using an MP3 file, you need to bring your submission on a flash drive. We will extract the file and return your flash drive to you immediately
  • When submitting a CD, if you need it back we can extract the file and return it to you immediately.


The Hall Cosplay contests give cosplayers a chance to get their craftsmanship judged without the pressures of an audience.
This is also a chance to get additional costumes judged.


  • All of the general cosplay rules above apply.
  • All participants must be registered for Youmacon and bring their registration badge to judging.
  • Participants must fill out a cosplay registration form with legitimate information for award purposes.
  • You may enter the Friday and Saturday Hall Cosplay contests and the Masquerade, but not with the same costume.
  • Reference material is required.
  • Costumes cannot be judged for craftsmanship if they were primarily store-bought or commissioned. Children 12 and under are exempt from this rule. If modeling someone else's work, the person who constructed the costume must be present.
  • Costumes that have won a major award at other events are ineligible to win another award in the same category.
  • You need to make a judging appointment upon cosplay registration. Be sure to show up to judging a few minutes early in your costume. If you miss your appointment, you may be rescheduled, time permitting, no guarantees.
  • Costumes in the Hall Cosplay contest must be able to traverse the Youmacon hallways.
  • Hall Cosplay awards will be announced at the end of the Masquerade.
  • Hall Cosplay participants may watch the Masquerade from the Green Room (Mackinac Ballroom) if they wish. Those who do not wish to watch the Masquerade may check in with us in the Green Room periodically to find out when awards will be announced. You may also watch the Masquerade from the audience.


Youmacon features scheduled gatherings for cosplayers from the same series to meet up and get photos. These gatherings will take place in the Winter Garden, located in the RenCen, as well as various other locations that will be mentioned in the program guide. Check the schedule in the back of this guide for times.