Cosplay Competition Divisions

So you’ve decided what contest you want to enter. Great! Now it’s time to sign up according to your division. At the time of writing this article there is no universal standard for cosplay craftsmanship divisions in the USA. Here is a general breakdown of some of the most popular categories.

-Youth: A category for cosplayers based on age rather than previous awards. The age cut-off varies from convention to convention, but it’s generally for the pretty young crowd.

-Novice: This is for people over the age bracket of the youth group and those who are new to cosplay contests. Usually this category is for those who have never won an award or who have only won a couple awards.

-Journeyman: This is the intermediate division. Journeyman is for the people who have won some awards, but not as many as Master. The number of awards required for Journeyman varies based on the convention.

-Master: Sometimes lumped in with professional, this is often the highest tier of competition. Members of this category have won many awards and are quite skilled at their craft.

-Professional: Some conventions have an additional category for professionals. This group is for entrants who are professionals in the sewing industry. Conventions with a Professional category state in their rules what percentage of an entrants income must be from sewing in order to enter.

There is a certain amount of flexibility with these categories. If an entrant does not have a lot of awards but feels they have extremely good craftsmanship they can enter at a higher competition level. This does not work the other direction, however. If a group of cosplayers are competing together they are automatically placed in the level of the highest-ranking member of the group.

tsubasa sakura cosplay

Some contests have Judge's Awards or other sub-categories beyond the big name awards.For example, this costume did not place in the competition it was entered in, but it did receive recognition from a fellow Halloween-loving judge. (photo by Webyugioh)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Want to learn more about cosplay sewing? Check out my e-book: (currently available in Kindle format, though can be read on other devices through the free Kindle app).

cosplay sewing for beginners

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