Super Smash Con Costume Contest Rules and Regulations

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

  2. ENTRY – Entry into the costume contest does not have an additional cost, but all entrants must have a day pass for Sunday or weekend pass. Super Smash Con staff and volunteers are ineligible to compete in the costume contest.
  3. ADVANCE REGISTRATION – There will be online registration for the costume contest. This will secure your spot as an entrant. Only the first 50 entrants will be accepted.
  4. DAY-OF REGISTRATION – In the event that not all 50 spots have been registered by the opening of Super Smash Con on Sunday morning, we will allow on-the-spot registration at the judging tables. These spots will be awarded to entrants on a first come, first serve basis.
  5. JUDGING –
    • Judging will take place on Sunday at 1 PM. All contestants are required to report to the contest table at this time.
    • Late contestants will be disqualified!
    • Judges are allowed to see (but not touch!) your costume from all angles.
    • This is exclusively a costume contest. Feel free to pose or yell your favorite tag line, but no presentations or skits etc. will be allowed.
    • Only contestants and judges will be allowed in the judging area, but the public is free to look on and take photographs while judging is taking place.
  1. CATEGORIES – Entries will be separated into two categories:
  • Individual– All single individuals. See COSTUME DESIGNERS below for unique cases. Multiple individuals wearing a single, large costume will be entered as an individual.
  • Group – Groups of individuals are encouraged to stick to a common theme (e.g. villains) or game (e.g. characters from A Link to the Past.) Groups will register for the contest under a single name. The monetary prize will be awarded to the group leader, who will be solely responsible for splitting the prize among the group.
    • All costumes must pertain in some way to a character found in a video game (Nintendo games are strongly encouraged.) Only specific characters unique to a game set in a larger universe are allowed (For example, Darth Malak, antagonist of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, is allowed. A stormtrooper is not, because they are not unique to any single game or series.)
    • Characters from any game are welcome, but please be aware that not every judge may know every character from every game. If your costume reflects a more obscure character, be willing to tell us about your source material. Bringing source material is even better!
    • Any individual can only enter the contest one time. An individual cannot enter as an individual AND as part of a group.
    • Entrants are allowed to have an assistant help with last minute repairs and preparations before the costume contest. Costume contest judges will do their best to accommodate contestants who need extra time due to emergencies and malfunctions, but in the interest of fairness we cannot guarantee that any extra time will be allotted.
    • Costumes that have won any major awards at any convention may not be entered in the costume contest. Award winning costumes that have been substantially changed may be entered, contingent upon photographic proof and the agreement of SSC costume contest judges.
    • Professionals, or any individual who makes a living designing and building costumes are strongly encouraged to show off their work at SSC, but are not eligible to enter the costume contest.
    • No glitter, confetti, pyrotechnics, live flame, or smoke generators of any kind are allowed in the Dulles Expo Center. Any costume that “makes a mess” will not be allowed in the Dulles Expo Center.
    • Costumes and props must be worn and carried with no risk of injury to people or property.
    • Purchased, professionally made, or rented costumes are prohibited. Costumes consisting mostly or entirely of store bought items are also ineligible. 
    • The costume contest, like all SSC events, will be observed by people of all ages. Excessive blood or gore, overly sexual, or otherwise inappropriate costumes will be ineligible for entry, and you may be asked to leave the Dulles Expo Center. It should then go without saying: No Nudity! “No costume is no costume!”
    1. PHOTOGRAPHY – Pictures will be taken during judging of all participants. These pictures will be used for record and judging purposes. By entering the costume contest, you are agreeing to allow your image to be used in future advertising efforts.
  • COSTUME DESIGNERS – In rare cases, some costume designers may prefer to design and build a costume for other individuals. (For example, a young woman may design a Terran Marine costume for her 6’ 11” brother to wear.) In this event, the designer MUST be present with the costume model at the time of judging. Monetary prizes will be awarded to the DESIGNER of the costume. Sharing that prize is exclusively at the discretion of the designer.
  • JUDGES – All decisions of the costume contest judges are final.
  • PRIZES – Prizes in both categories will be $150 for first place and $50 for second place. There will also be a winner in the “Judge’s Favorite” Category. All winners will also receive a photoshoot and the resulting professional photographs.
  • 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 costume contest check-in tables.