SNAFU Con is an anime convention in the Reno/Sparks area of Nevada. Friday, October 29th through Sunday, October 31st, 2021 in The Grand Sierra Resort & Casino, 2500 E. Second Street, Reno, NV 89595


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Masquerade Policies

SNAFU Con Cosplay Masquerade will take place Saturday November 16th, 2019.

  • All entries must be registered for the convention and be able to provide their badge at the time of sign-in and judging.

  • Participants need to be signed up before the masquerade- if you are wanting to be judged for craftsmanship you need to be signed up before pre judging begins. No craftsmanship participants will be added for judging after judging has started. All late entries -that do not need craftsmanship judging- will not be permitted to sign up or accepted 2 hours before masquerade starts.

  • All participants must sign a performance waiver. Participants under 18 must have the waiver signed by a parent or guardian in advance. Please bring the signed copy with you. Copies will also be available on-site.

  • By participating in the masquerade your image may be used in an advertisement or promotional item.

  • Participants, please do not give the judges anything that could be perceived as a bribe. No object to be given to judges. Even if in character-and that's what the character would do-giving the judges anything could be awkward for everyone. Please don't do it.

  • Any contestant found to be cheating in any way will be permanently banned from entering any SNAFU Con costume contests.

  • Contest staff will reserve the right to cap the number of entrants as necessary. If this happens, entrance into the masquerade will be on a first come, first served basis.

  • This is an all-ages con and as such your skit, outfit, and behavior must fit within a "general audience" rating.

  • Your skit or background audio must NOT contain any reference to drugs, sex, or gang violence. Background audio mut fit within a "general audience" rating.

  • All skits, props, music, and behavior must align with the convention's general policies, weapons policies, and dress code.

  • No one may participate in or be a member of more than one group or performance.

  • Contestants are limited to 1 costume per contestant.

  • If you have SNAFU Con staff members or volunteers in your team to make sure that their schedule is clear for the masquerade, craftsmanship judging, and the rehearsal. (Cosplay staff may not compete.)

  • Skits are limited to 2 minutes. We can make exceptions for LARGE groups if you contact us and we approve it in advance. The audio tech will cut you off at 2 minutes unless you have special approval.

  • Walk-ons are limited to 30 seconds.

  • There is no minimum required presentation time, but all participants must be willing to appear on stage.

  • There may be fragile and expensive equipment on the stage. If you break it we will send you the bill.

  • Do not enter a costume which has won a craftsmanship award in another contest. You are welcome to enter a costume which has been entered in other contests but not yet won an award.

  • Costume must be inspired by an anime, manga, comic, video game, tv show, movie, web comic, or some other form of media. Original designs must have concept sketches and be fully hand made.

  • Participants are prohibited from entering or exiting the stage while running, jumping, skipping, or falling.

  • Whatever comes on the stage with you must leave the stage with you. Confetti, silly string, and other "messy" props are prohibited. Your performance must also be limited to the stage area.

  • No flashing lights, fire, flash powder, lasers, explosives or open flame of any kind will be allowed.

  • There will be no special exceptions for extra large cosplays. If the cosplay can not fit through a single door frame, please don't bring it for masquerade.

  • All entrants must have some form of audio. If no audio is submitted, audio will be provided for you. Audio must be submitted via the Cosplay Masquerade Registration System or brought to the rehearsal where the audio tech will be there to assist you.

  • Up to 30 words may be read by the MC as an introduction for your skit.

  • HAVE FUN! No, really! It's a rule. Failure to do so may result in disqualification. ;)


Novices are new to costume making and competing.
  • You are eligible if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • This is your first cosplay competition and you are not a professional in any sewing or costuming field.

  • You have not won more than one award, or you have only won honorable mentions, judge's awards, or gag awards (no major awards such as Best in Class or Best in Show)

  • You are not eligible if you have won multiple major awards or you are a professional in any sewing or costuming field.

Journeymen have some experience and have competed many times already.
You are eligible if you meet any of the following criteria:
  • You have won a major award (such as Best in Class) at the novice level at SNAFU Con or other regional conventions of similar or larger size.

  • You have won fewer than three major awards at the journeyman level at SNAFU Con or other regional conventions of similar or larger size.

Masters are experienced costumers. Anyone may enter the master division.

We will not be awarding a Youth division this year due to lack of entrants in previous years.

If you do not wish to be judged you may enter as an exhibition piece. Your costume and presentation must still conform to all of the masquerade and convention policies. Exhibition pieces receive the lowest priority and if we have too many entries, exhibition pieces will be cut. At this time we will not be allowing Exhibition Skits, only Walk-Ons.


You may always enter a higher division than you qualify for, but you may not enter a lower division. If the judges or director determine that you should be in a higher division then you may not compete in a lower division than where you were placed.


Awards may include but will not be limited to:
  • Best in Show - Best combined craftsmanship and performance scores.

  • Best Master - Best combined craftsmanship and performance scores in the Master category (that did not win Best in Show).

  • Best Novice - Best combined craftsmanship and performance scores in the Novice category (that did not win Best in Show).

  • Best Workmanship - Best craftsmanship score (that did not win Best in Show or Best in Class)

  • Best Performance - Best Performance score (that did not win Best in Show or Best in Class)

  • Merit Awards - Given at the discretion of the Judges. (Examples are "Best use of Tin Foil," "Made the Judges Laugh," etc.)

Awards and categories may be changed at the discretion of the judges, based on the quantity and quality of our entries.

Craftsmanship Judging

Craftsmanship judging is open to those that are competing in the skit or walk-on category. The entry maybe be judged as a group or as an individual.

Walk-on and craftsmanship participants must be present during judging prior to the Masquerade. If the entrant is not present at the time to be judged, he/she will be disqualified for a craftsmanship prize.

The entrant will be judged on the workmanship quality of his/her costume. Costume must be made by the wearer or the creator must be present at the time of judging. Purchased, rented or commissioned costumes or costumes made for the entrant by a designer or seamstress are prohibited in craftsmanship judging.

Exemption: "Found Item" pieces are allowed to represent up to 20% of the costume. These are items that have been found at various retail establishments. Examples of this are gloves, shoes or belts. Items may be altered or unaltered.

All costumes must be made by a member of your group. Commissions, rented, or purchased costumes are not allowed and will not be judged.

All entrants in Craftsmanship must provide printed-out reference pictures of the characters being portrayed. We understand that some people do not have access to a printer at home, and we will have a staff member to assist you with printing one at the cosplay station one hour prior to masquerade rehearsal, as well as during rehearsal itself.


Walk-ons consist of a the entry walking on stage, striking a pose and then exiting the stage. Time on stage will be limited to a 30 second maximum.

Costumes in this category are judged only on craftsmanship and portrayal of character.

Costumes in the walk-on category must be made by the entrant or the creator of the costume must be present at the time of craftsmanship judging.

Audio will be chosen by the tech staff and will play through all walk-on entries. Walk-ons do not get to choose their own audio.

Craftsmanship is mandatory for Walk-ons unless they are registered in the Exhibition division.


Tips for Walk-ons
  • You have a 30 second limit. 30 seconds is an eternity when you're on a stage so don't rush! It's going to be really tempting to rush on stage and rush off but you will make a better impact if you walk on confident and with purpose.

  • Slow down! Take your time and make sure to show off all of your outfit. Practice and time your actions in advance so you know how long you realistically have.

  • You don't have to use your full 30 seconds, but ideally you want to be doing something new every 5-10 seconds that you're up on stage and not repeating the same action or pose. Plan different poses and actions.

  • Think about how your character moves and acts. Try to be your character for the entire time you are on the stage from the moment you step onto the stage until you are completely out of sight.

  • Count to ten in your pose to ensure that there's enough time for the cameras to get their shots. The count will seem like forever but it's not. This is your stage right now. Own it.

  • Plan your exit! You will make a much stronger impact if you leave as strong as you entered. (Keep in mind we may keep you on stage to ask you some questions about your costume before your exit!)

  • Breathe.

  • Tell yourself how awesome you are! Keep your confidence up because you are amazing and brave. Really.

  • During craftsmanship judging, do not ever talk down or say bad things about your costume. It leaves a negative impression. Always talk about the parts you worked the hardest on and are most proud of.

Skits / Performances

Skits are open to individuals or groups of up to 7 individuals. Skits will comprise of the entrant(s) doing a performance on stage while in costume. All participants must be in costume unless he/she is a stage hand/prop.

Skits must be kept within the 2 minute time limit. Any performances going longer than this will be cut off at the 2 minute mark. Performances continuing longer than 2 minutes will be disqualified.

Microphones will NOT be provided for performances, all audio and dialogue must be pre-recorded and submitted via the Cosplay Masquerade registration system. All audio files must be in the .MP3 format. Please ensure your files work prior to submitting them. Again, if you do not submit audio for your performance, it will be provided for you, and choice will be at our discretion >:3

Tech will not shorten your file for you, or start it at a specific point. Your file must be edited to precisely what the tech staff is to play. However, we recommend adding a 2-4 second buffer on each side of the file for the tech staff to fade in/out. Please tell us if you have or have not added that buffer when you register.

Skits may not be exhibition pieces and must be judged on performance. Skits are not required to participate in the craftsmanship competition.

No flashing lights, fire, flash powder, lasers, explosives or open flame of any kind will be allowed.

Up to 30 words of narration can be read before a skit.


Tips for Performances
  • Be creative and original! Don't be afraid to try something new and weird. You don't want some other group doing the same thing as you. (Hint: If it's popular, you probably shouldn't do it.)

  • You don't have to do a "skit." There are plenty of other types of performances you could do, too.

  • You need to tell a story in your performance.

  • Plan your ending well. The ending is the hardest thing to plan, and if you just end it abruptly, or with something random it destroys all that you built with the rest of your performance.

  • This is not a dance competition. You can dance, but make sure you've got a story that's being told in what you're doing.

  • If you do dance, make sure it's choreographed and VERY well rehearsed. This is not improv dancing. You will lose points if you decide to dance and don't do it well.

  • If you're doing something funny, make sure to plan time for laughter.

  • If you're recording your audio, be as expressive as you can in your voice acting - be your character!

  • Also, if you're recording audio make sure it's as high quality as possible. If you don't have equipment, ask around - you may have friends or family who can help.

  • Be expressive in your acting. Be your character. Over exaggerate your movements so that the audience knows what you are doing. Exaggerate your mouth movements so the audience knows you're talking.

  • Practice! A lot. Like . . . a lot, a lot. And in full costume so you know how you can move when you're in it.

  • Practice in front of people. If you can get feedback from people you can improve your performance before doing it in front of judges.

  • Use only your best material. You may want to plan for a longer performance, then throw out all the things that are mediocre leaving only the excellent skit. Then practice only that excellence. Ask your friends/family what they liked best/least about your performance. You don't have to use all your time on the stage, so feel free to keep it short.

  • Keep your plot and script simple. You only have 2 minutes and a complicated plot will just be messy when you try to fit it all in.

  • Don't use inside jokes known only to your friends or people who have seen the show. The skit needs to go other well for people who haven't seen the show you're portraying. Keep the comedy as general as possible.

  • Don't turn your back to the audience without a good reason. If it's planned then that's great, but it only do it deliberately and rarely.

  • Make sure all the actors on the stage can be seen - don't block each other!

  • Make sure all the actors are going to be there. Performances go sour quickly when actors are MIA. (It also doesn't hurt to have a "Plan B")

  • Plan your performance to your characters. Don't force your character into a skit that doesn't fit them.

  • Move around the stage. It makes things more interesting for the audience if you use your space effectively.

  • Keep it PG! This is a family friendly con and it's in our policies. The judges aren't going to award you any points for fanservice or coarse language, anyway.

  • Don't talk to the audience unless you've got a very well planned and intentional breaking of the wall. Unless it's done correctly, breaking the fourth wall just breaks down the reality that you spent so much effort building.

  • Even if you make mistakes (and mistakes do happen) don't panic and stay confident - it really helps. Continue with your performance as if nothing happened.

  • Have fun! If you're not having fun, the audience won't be, either. No one can see that you're as nervous as you may feel. You're a rock star!