World Cosplay Summit United States 2014 Preliminary Rounds

Please read all rules fully and completely, and please check back for any updates. You will be responsible for all items listed in the rules.  Qualifier rounds will be added as contracts are signed for the 2014 competition year.


Confirmed Qualifier Rounds for the 2014 Preliminary Circuit 

Gulf Qualifier:  San Japan in San Antonio, TX  : August 16 -18, 2013
Resume Submissions Open at Noon (Central Time) MONDAY, June 10, 2013
[10AM Pacific, 11AM Mountain, 1PM Eastern ]
Resume Submissions CLOSE at 11:59PM (Central Time) on FRIDAY, July 19, 2013
[10PM Pacific, 11PM Mountain, 1AM Eastern ] 

Mountain Qualifier: Nan Desu Kan in Denver, CO – September 13 – 15, 2013
Resume Submissions Open at Noon (Mountain Time) MONDAY July 15, 2013
[ 11AM Pacific, 1PM Central, 2PM Eastern ]
Resume Submissions Close at 11:59PM (Mountain Time) on FRIDAY, August 16, 2013
[ 11PM Pacific, 1AM Central, 2AM Eastern ]

Eastern Qualifier: Katsucon in National Harbor, MD – February 14 – 16, 2014
Resume Submission Open at Noon (Eastern Time) MONDAY November 18th, 2013
[10AM Pacific, 11AM Mountain, 12PM Central]
Resume Submissions Close at 11:59PM (Eastern Time) on FRIDAY, January 17th, 2014
[8PM Pacific, 9PM Mountain, 11PM Central]

Competition Format:     World Cosplay Summit is a pairs (2-person) competition.  You and your partner must select a source of Japanese origin (Anime, Manga, Video Game or Tokusatsu), from which you will prepare costumes, props, and a stage performance.   Teams will be evaluated on craftsmanship during a scheduled time slot, as well as performance during the main event.

Official WCS US National Site: http://www.wcsus.com
Official WCS Site: http://www.tv-aichi.co.jp/wcs/e/
WCS US Prelims Official Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/WCSPrelimsUS 
WCS USA Emails: 

General Information and Questions: info@wcsus.com
Marketing: marketing@wcsus.com
Resume Submission: resumes@wcsus.com
Contracts and Conventions: contracts@wcsus.com

Event Twitter: @WCSPrelimsUS


1.    Only teams of two (2) are permitted to enter.

2.    Both cosplayers must be performing as characters from the same source material.

3.    You must be 18 years or older on or before March 28, 2014 in order to enter.

4.    To be eligible to compete in the United States Preliminary Round, you must be either a Citizen or Permanent Resident of the United States.  This includes citizens from the United States territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the US Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.If you are a permanent resident of the United States, you may enter the US Preliminaries if you have a valid permanent resident ID card and a passport.

* If you are a Permanent Resident of the United States but have already competed in a preliminary round in your country of citizenship, you will not be permitted to enter the United States preliminaries for the same competition year.  Sanctions by the other country is at the discretion of that country’s governing body.

* Should you enter the United States preliminaries, lose, and then proceed to enter another country’s preliminaries for the same year, you will be disqualified from entering the United States Preliminaries the following competition year.   

5.    Those who judge for another country’s preliminary round will not be permitted to enter the United States preliminaries for the same competition year.  Likewise, should you advance to the Final rounds of the US Preliminaries, you will be prohibited from judging another country’s preliminaries during that same competition year.

NOTE:  All individuals who judge for any round of the United States Preliminaries will not be permitted to enter until the full competition year has passed.  For Example: If you judged during any of the 2014 preliminary circuit, you will not be permitted to enter until the 2015 competition year.

6.   No costume or fashion industry professionals are allowed to participate in the competition. If you are unsure if you would be classified as a professional, please email info@wcsus.com — If you are industry and wish to be a part of the event, please direct those inquiries to the same email.

7.    Costumes and performance must be new. You may not use costumes or performances from any other event. This includes the hosting convention’s competitive cosplay events. *NOTE* This does not apply to qualifier teams advancing to the finals — In fact it is strongly advised that you do NOT elect to create new costumes and performance between the Qualifiers and Final Round, but rather enhance your current costumes and performance.

8.    If you do not advance to finals after your first qualifier entry, you may enter at another regional qualifier in the same competition year.   However, should you chose to do this, you will be required to produce a completely new entry, including new costumes and performance.  Repeat entries will not be accepted.

9.    Although you may compete in any qualifying round(s) of your choosing, you MUST advance through a qualifier in order to compete in the final preliminary round — there will be no entries permitted directly at the final round.

10.   It is expected that, as a participant, you will cooperate in a positive manner, in order to ensure the success of the World Cosplay Summit. This means that, as a potential worldwide representative of WCS US and its community, we ask that everyone remain positive, respectful, and supportive of other participants before, during, and after the preliminary events; carry yourself as an ambassador to your country. This also means that when you are asked by staff to supply items for the performance, or for further information, please send it in a timely manner and within deadline. Judges are permitted to take poor conduct into consideration during evaluation.

11.  Previous winning United States representatives may enter again, under the following restrictions: *NOTE* These restrictions do not apply to the winners of the regional qualifying rounds, only to those who have held the title of Team USA and participated in the World Cosplay Summit Championship in Nagoya, Japan.

a.  The winning team for any given competition year may not enter until at least one competition year has passed. Example: Team USA 2013 would not be permitted to compete again until the qualifiers for 2015.

b.  Former US Teams who judge are subject to the same entrance-restrictions as other judges, with the extra restriction that they must sit out a full competition year before being allowed to compete again. Example: Judges of any preliminary round in 2013 may not compete in 2014, and must also abstain from judging in 2014, to enter in 2015.

c.  If Former US Team Members enter with a new partner, their former partner will not be permitted to judge that competition year. Conversely, if a Former US Team Member is judging, their former partner will not be permitted to enter that competition year.

12.  If your team disbands prior to the competition, and you did not pre-pick an alternate, you cannot enter with another partner using the same performance or costumes as your previous submission.* If you opt in, and list an alternate on your resume, this person will be your partner throughout the rest of the team involvement during that competition year. You may not win with an alternate, and then switch back to the original partner.

13.  Any Withdrawals / Drops from the competition must be done at least 72 hours before the preliminary hosting event begins. You will face possible exclusion from any other qualifier rounds and/or participation the following year if you do not. Example: if you sign up for a 2013 round, and do not show up without previously notifying a member of the WCS Staff, you may not be able to participate in any part of the 2014 prelims. * If an emergency comes up and conflicts with your ability to attend craftsmanship judging or the ability to perform, you must notify the WCS staff as soon as possible. We understand that sometimes, emergencies and other circumstances beyond your control may occur, but you will be expected to make every effort to keep the staff informed. In such an instance, exclusion from future events will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

14.  Some information from your resume will be used for press (primarily cosplay alias, photos, experience, and why you love to cosplay). Your real name and all personal contact information will be kept private. If you want to use your real name for press as well as your cosplay alias, please note this during the submission process.

15.  After the World Cosplay Summit Unites States Preliminary Rounds have finished, images/footage of cosplayers, photographs, programs broadcast, internet homepages, etc. come under the jurisdiction of the World Cosplay Summit Executive Committee, the World Cosplay Summit – United States Preliminaries, and the respective owners of the media taken. Compensation will not be furnished for such images used by the media. By Participating in the World Cosplay Summit preliminaries, you agree that you have read, understood, and accept these terms.

16.  If your team is selected to represent the United States for the Championship in Nagoya, Japan, and you do not already have an active US Passport, you must acquire one by June 15, 2014.


1.   In order to compete, you must be a registered attendee of the hosting convention, and have your badge with you at the event. We will verify at craftsmanship judging, and before the performance.

2.   For your group to be in the event, we require a group resume to be submitted. Please see the RESUME PROCESS section below. Please send the resume to the official email  WCSprelimsUS@gmail.com when submissions open.

3.   You must abide by the convention’s weapon policy.

4.   We will be allowing 30 pairs to enter. This is subject to change per event. 


1.  Resumes must be submitted in PDF or Word format.

2.  When submitting resumes, please include the name of the qualifier you are entering, in the email subject line. 

3.  Resumes will only be accepted during the posted time for each convention; all others will be disregarded.  This includes resumes received before submissions open, and after submissions have closed.   See Dates listed above per qualifier event.  

4.  Should one of you be unable to attend the event, you have the option to list an alternate for your group on your resume. If you do not have a preset alternate, you will have to re-enter and submit a new resume [See GENERAL RULES]. Reapplying will only be allowed if the submission process is still open.  Please provide the following for each team member:

* Full Legal Name:
* Cosplay Alias:
* Group Name: (If you don’t already have one, create one or the default that will be used are the two cosplay aliases)
* Age:
* Date of Birth:
* Gender:
* Home Address:
* Contact Phone Number:
* Contact E-mail: (Make sure this is your regular email address that you check. All further emails for the event will be sent here.)
* US Passport: (yes/no currently)
* Costume and Series intended for the prelim round (please include a reference image):
* Cosplay Website (if applicable):
* History of Major Costumes and Awards (include the conventions):
* Include a few sentences about why you love to cosplay
* Attach four photos of your favorite costumes that you’ve made, with descriptions as to why they are your favorites.  For your team as a whole, please complete the following only once:
* Include the general idea that you will use for your performance* Include a team biography. This will be your introduction when you enter the competition stage. It only needs to be a couple of sentences.
* A team photo must also be included with the resume. In costume please. It does not need to be the costumes being worn for the preliminary round (I suggest that it not be). This photo will be released on the official Facebook page before the event. If you can’t get your team together to take a photo or have no photo to use, make a single photo by editing photos of each of you together. Please note we will not edit any photos for you.
* Send an additional copy of the group photo as an attachment as well as including it in the resume. Should you decide to elect an alternate for your team, please include the following for them: Full Legal Name, Cosplay Alias, and Age.  If you switch to your alternate, a new resume will need to be resubmitted with the alternate’s full information, but your place will still be held to compete.

PLEASE NOTE: You may not compete with an alternate, and then switch back to the original partner for finals.  


1.  Both team members must be in costumes from the same source material.  

2.  Costumes must be new for the competition — costumes which have been entered in any competitive event, including but not limited to other cosplay events at the qualifier hosting event, will not be permitted. *NOTE* This does not apply to qualifier teams advancing to the finals — In fact it is strongly advised that you do NOT elect to create new costumes and performance for the final round, but rather enhance your current costumes and performance.

3.  The costumes are limited to Japanese created manga, anime, games, and tokusatsu (live-action film or television dramas that usually feature superheroes).

 a.  Vocaloid is permitted, but there are some costume restrictions. The costumes must be from video games, art, manga or music videos that are from an officially recognized source. Send in an email if there are any questions regarding the work you may want to cosplay from.

b.  When portraying characters, the characters must have originated from Japan. For example, portraying Disney, Star Wars or Marvel characters is not allowed even if they are taken from Japanese-made anime/manga/or games.      

 c.  Coterie/theater works, anthology works, doujinshi, and live-action movies based on manga, anime and games are not allowed.

d.  Costumes derived from Shueisha series (ie: Bleach, One Piece, Naruto, etc.) are not permitted at the World Cosplay Summit in Japan.  You may use these characters on the preliminary level, but should you win the title of Team USA, you will not be able to use these costumes and performance in Japan.      

e.  Costumes from any work that is unfit to be sold to a person under 18 years old and would be classified as adult is prohibited from entry. 

4.  Cosplay costumes are to be hand-made. Pre-/ready-made costumes are not allowed.

a.  It is permissible for family and friends to help with costumes, but if you receive any help, it must be documented within the craftsmanship portfolio [see JUDGING] as to what was worked on and the name of the person (or cosplay alias).

b.  Help cannot be in the form of a paid commission or another making the item for you without your assistance.  Teammates may work on each others costumes as well.

c.  Reworking and modifying ready-made parts (such as boots, wigs, and gloves) into a costume are acceptable. 


1. The performance time limit is 2 minutes 30 seconds.*Please strictly adhere to the time limit.* Stage staff will set the maximum 3 large stage props before your performance and remove them after your performance.* You will have 40 seconds for your prop items to be set on stage, and 40 seconds to remove all of your items from stage.* Only the team and the official stage staff are permitted to be onstage to set up the props for the performance* No stage ninjas are allowed to help during the performance. 

2. You performance must be prerecorded in a common file format (mp3, wav, wma). If dialogue is used, please record in English for the preliminary rounds. If you move on to the finals, you will be expected to re-record any dialogue in Japanese. 

3.  The deadline for audio submission is 2 weeks prior to the event.  Exact dates will be given per qualifier event.  You will also be expected to bring a backup copy of your audio to the event, in the form of an audio-burned CD.  

4.  All equipment, costumes, hand props and stage props for all of the performance rounds are limited to a maximum weight of 40 kilograms (roughly 88 lbs) combined for both performers. 

5.  All props need to be self-contained. Items which require external power sources will not be permitted.   You will also not be permitted to use any convention property as a prop. 

6.  All large props or backdrops set on stage before the performance begins are limited to a maximum combined weight of 10 kilograms (roughly 22 lbs) Of the overall 4-0 Kilogram (roughly 88 lbs) limit.  Prop dimensions are limited to 2100 millimeters (approx 6.8 ft) in height, 2100 millimeters (approx 6.8 ft) in width and 900 millimeters (approx 2.95 ft) in depth. 

7.  All large props or backdrops set on stage are limited to a maximum of 3 items. Dimensions of smaller props carried onto the stage must be relayed to the organizer. Performance and prop details will be asked for before the event via email.

8. It is not permitted to directly copy trademarked illustrations or logos on to your equipment or props.  Please note that the use of the original voice tracks from the source material in your audio is prohibited. 

9. It is possible to scatter things on stage during your performance, but staining, marking or damaging the stage in any way, as well as anything with may damage other competitors props or costumes, is prohibited. Anything that takes time to clean up on stage is also not allowed. 

10. It is prohibited to take your performance into the audience area. 

11. Using fire or water on stage is prohibited.

12. Smoke related special effects are prohibited.

13. Performance order will be determined by assigning a number to each group.  The numbers will then be placed in a program to randomly generate a sequence of numbers that correspond to each group name.

The judging will consist of two components: performance and craftsmanship judging. 

1.  Groups will be required to submit a craftsmanship portfolio that includes reference images of the characters and progress shots. This will be presented during your craftsmanship judging time, and it does not need to be sent in with the resume. Include a minimum of 6 progress shots and 1 reference image per costume.

2. Each judge can award 10 points for costume, 10 points for performance, and 5 points for faithfulness to the original work, for a maximum total of 25 points. .* Performance (10 points): quality of performance, inventiveness, entertainment value* Costume (10 points): design, faithfulness to the original characters costume with consideration to smart changes and embellishments, craftsmanship* Fidelity to Original (5 points): level of faithfulness of the performance towards the original story and characters, how much respect is shown to the original work* If there are any questions regarding interpretation of the rules or decisions on specific cases please contact us via email at info@wcsus.com.

 3.  In the event of a close competitions where a decision cannot be easily made on craft and performance alone, judges are permitted to take entrants experience, aesthetics, as well as conduct/behavior into consideration.  


1. The 1st place team of the qualifier event will be sent to the national final round, with flights and hotel covered by the qualifier hosting event.   

2.  The 2nd place team will be offered “Wild Card” status, with only a spot secured in the final round.  Costs of flight, hotel, etc, would be the Wild Card team’s responsibility, though individual hosting events may chose to provide support in the form of cash prizes or additional coverage, at their own discretion.

3.  In the event that the 1st place team is unable or unwilling to attend finals, the prize would be offered to the 2nd place/Wild Card team.  In the event that the 2nd place team replaces the 1st place team, or is unable or unwilling to attend finals themselves, the Wild Card offer would be extended to the 3rd place team.

4. As the winner of the qualifying round, it would be the teams choice whether or not they chose to keep their current entry, or create something new.  However, you are strongly encouraged to modify and enhance your winning entry, and any consideration of changing completely should be brought to the attention of the WCS USA Staff.


If you have any questions, please direct them to the email Winfo@wcsus.com — our staff will do their best to make sure you get the correct answer.  Thank You!

WCS US National Staff