Masquerade Competition Categories (“The Sorting Hat”)

     Information about skill divisions, judging, etc. These Divisions are based on guidelines published by the International Costumers’ Guild (ICG) and have been modified for this competition. When you register for the Masquerade, you are required to choose which division you are entering. As always, when in doubt, check with the Masquerade Director before the competition. You can find them in the online form, at the Masquerade Registration Table in the Horizon Lobby, or you can email questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If an entry appears to be grossly mis-categorized, the Masquerade Director reserves the right to re-categorize it.

The Divisions: (Open/Journeyman/Novice/Young Fan)

Open - This division is for anyone who:
     * is considered a “Master” in International Competition, or
     * is a professional costume maker, or
     * has won three or more awards or a Best in Class as a Journeyman at the Regional or International level, or
     * chooses to compete in this class based on their personal assessment of their skill level.

Journeyman - This division is for anyone who:
     * Is not required to enter as a “Master”, and
     * has won at least one award as a Journeyman at the Regional or International level, or
     * has won at least three awards or a Best in Class as a Novice at the Regional or International level, or
     * chooses to compete in this class based on their personal assessment of their skill level.

Novice - This division is for anyone who:
     * Is not required to enter as a “Journeyman”, and
     * has won fewer than three awards as a Novice at the Regional or International level, or
     * has become old enough to NOT qualify for the Young Fan Class.

Young Fan - This division is for anyone who:
     * is 12 or under on the day of the competition (born on or after July 7, 2005), and
     * is also not part of an adult group.

I’m in a group - What’s my Division?
     A group should compete in the skill division of the group’s most experienced member. For any possible individual exceptions in a group entry, please consult with the Masquerade Director.

Judging Categories: (Workmanship/Presentation/Exhibition)

     Entries considered as eligible for competition are automatically entered in Presentation judging. Entries eligible for competition are also encouraged to sign up for Workmanship judging, as warranted.

     Workmanship judging involves judging the construction of a costume/costume set, or specific parts of a costume (such as, for example, a particular handcrafted prop, headpiece, etc.) It is strongly encouraged that the creator of the piece be present in order to answer questions on the construction. It is difficult to give credit to a creator's ingenuity otherwise.

     - Takes place in the Masquerade Green Room before the show.

     - There will be a certain number of time slots available for signup beforehand. Entrants should sign up in advance for a slot.

     - If the creator of a costume and the presenter of that costume are different people, any Workmanship award won by the costume belongs to the creator (who must be at least a supporting member of Spikecon)

     - For a group entry, the entry may be judged individually by participant and/or as the entire group. Group sizes should be no more than 6. 

     - Presenting a costume in the Masquerade itself does not guarantee the right to be judged on Workmanship unless the creator is a member of Spikecon. (These costumes may, however, be eligible for Presentation judging.) 

     - Entrants may choose to have only parts of their costume judged, such as a prop, armor piece, or headpiece. If in doubt - visit with the Workmanship judges anyway. Leave it to the judges’ judgment as to whether your work is special in the context of this competition. We are our own worst critics. 

Documentation for Workmanship Judging:

     Please try to provide documentation of the details of your workmanship process and/or your source material; especially if your costume(s) is a re-creation or creative interpretation. The judges aren't necessarily familiar with all the sources. Sufficient documentation is extremely helpful for the Workmanship judges to fairly and impartially evaluate your work.

     - Documentation should be submitted to the Masquerade Registration desk before judging, during the Mandatory Contestants’ Meeting, or at the start of judging. Early submitted documentation is the best way to assist the judges. 

    - Please clearly label your documentation with your name and title of the entry, and NOT use a generic label such as “Spikecon Masquerade — Star Trek”.

     - Don’t write a novel. Photos, sketches, screenshots, and short written descriptions of your work are encouraged. Judging time is limited. 

     - Photos and any other documentation will be returned to you after the show at the “Behind the Seams of the Masquerade” panel on Sunday, July 7. 

     Presentation Judging involves the judging of how a costume or group entry is presented onstage. They can be in skit/performance format, or as a walk-on; whichever showcases the costume at its best to the judges and audience. Good presentations can win Presentation Awards, and a lack of coherent or entertaining presentation can hurt your chances. 

     - Judges will be looking at your costume from the audience’s point of view.

     - Qualities judged include the entire costume, make-up, and presentations points such as how well it works with the music, script, and choreography. 

     - Make sure the audience has enough time to see your whole costume, what you can do, understand your story, and then leave the stage. Taking too long on presentation can ruin the experience for all. 

     - Remember, funny or dramatic is good, shorter is better, but short, funny, and exciting is best!

     This category is for entries which don't wish to be judged, or not eligible for Workmanship or Presentation judging (e.g., an entry that previously won a major international award. When in doubt, ask the Masquerade Director.)

     Although they aren't eligible for awards officially, they may possibly be given an award by a special guest of the convention.