Cosplay Rules and Contest Info

Cosplay has become an important part of many fan conventions around the world. Cleveland Comic Con is no exception! Fans from all over dress up as their favorite heros and heroines from comic books, movies, animation, books, and other media and strut their stuff in our hallways.

Beyond just dressing up for the fun of it, we also have a cosplay competition taking place at Cleveland Comic Con where you can be judged on your craftsmanship and costume construction! See below for further details.

General Cosplay Rules

  • Dress Code: All cosplayers must wear the following articles at all times while inside the event:
  • Clothing: This is a family friendly event. No costume is considered No Costume. Absolutely no nudity. Please ensure that all costumes are properly secured at all times and are not prone to “indecent accidents”.
  • Footwear: To ensure your safety, we ask that you wear footwear at all times. You should consider wearing a minimum of sandals (ie, flip flops) at all times even if your character is barefoot. Skates and rollerblades are prohibited in the hallways. Sneaker-skates may only be worn as a sneaker at all times inside the convention area. Cleveland Comic Con will not be held accountable for any damages or injuries that occurs due to inadequate or improper footwear.
  • Weapons Policy: 
    Regarding weapons purchased in the dealers room:
    After purchasing a weapon that normally violates our weapons policy, it must remain in its packaging and be taken immediately to your room or car for storage.


    No metal swords, knives, bayonets, cane-swords, and/or other objects made of metal, which have a sharp point or sharpened edge. Exceptions may be made for cosplayers during the masquerade.
    No real or replica guns of any kind permitted. There are to be no:

    • Pellet guns
    • Airsoft Guns
    • Mini or Pistol crossbows
    • Stun guns
    • Dart or Blowguns

    Exceptions may be made for cosplayers during the masquerade.

    Exceptions regarding guns
    Easily identifiable toy plastic guns with no moving parts and that have a clearly visible non-removable orange tip will be permitted. Resin models will be permitted as long as they are marked with clearly visible non-removable orange tip.

    Nunchakus are not permitted. Nunchaku made out of craft materials for cosplay purposes will be permitted in the halls so long as it is not misused. Exceptions otherwise may be made for cosplayers during the competition.

    There are to be no explosives or chemicals of any kind, including but not limited to smoke powder, sparklers and fireworks.

    Bows: Bows must be unstrung at the con. We understand that your bow may be an important part of your cosplay, but we don’t wish for people to be accidentally harmed. Exceptions may be made on a case my case basis with the cosplay department while taking part in the masquerade.


    Wooden weapons that are permitted:

    • staffs
    • walking sticks
    • bokken and other wooden swords.
    • toothpicks

    Fake or made-up weaponry (example: made of wood, plastic, foam, plaster of Paris, cloth etc) are permitted if they are safe and not dangerous to the other con-goers around you. For example, dangerous conditions include but are not limited to wires sticking out, items that trip passersby, clothes lining a member, etc.

    Please limit the size of the weapons to less than 8 feet in height and weighing less than 50 pounds. If you do happen to make something heavy, make sure you are able to carry it without a problem.


    Misuse of any weapon, such as swinging it in a public area or causing hazards to passerby, will get your privilege revoked immediately.

    If we deem a weapon to be unsafe for the con, we will ask you to store the unsafe weapon in your private quarters (i.e.: your room or car). If there is a repeat offense, we will escort you out of the convention and off of convention grounds so that you can place the weapon in your private quarters; if the weapon is illegal, we will turn it in to the appropriate authorities.

    Any weapon purchased in the dealers’ room that is boxed, should remain boxed and stored in your private quarters. Weapons are not to be taken out of their packaging or wrappings while at the convention.

    All objects brought into the convention may be checked and considered by Cleveland Comic Con staff. You may be asked to have your weapons peace bonded at the con.

    All questionable items will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Anything deemed illegal outside the convention is deemed illegal inside the convention premises. All Cleveland Comic Con staff decisions on weapons are final.

  • Mock or Play-fighting is not allowed in the hallways and convention area. Wielding or handling weapons or props in a way that could potentially cause harm to others is prohibited, whether there was intent to harm others or not. Mock-fighting is allowed on stage during cosplay but must be carefully rehearsed, reviewed and approved by cosplay staff.
  • Large Costumes: Please be sure to keep all large costumes contained as much as possible. We recommend the use of handlers to help manage your costume if it is large costume. Large costumes or large parts of costumes are not allowed inside the dealer’s room due to blocking the flow of traffic and other hazards.
  • Picture taking: Do not stop for pictures in smaller, crowded hallways. Please go outside, to a less crowded area, or to the designated picture taking areas. Do not block doors, ramps, exits, corridors, and aisles while taking pictures.
  • We reserve the right to remove you from the convention and/or cosplay events at any time. If for any reason we feel that your actions pose a threat or hazard to others while at Cleveland Comic Con, we will ask you to stop or you will be removed from the cosplay events. We simply ask you to be courteous towards others at all times.

Cosplay Competition (3PM Saturday & Sunday)

Sign ups for the Cosplay Competition will take place from 12pm-2pm at the Cosplay sign up table in Building 1.

We will be giving out the following prizes:

Judges Choice
Best Overall Youth
Best Boy (Youth)
Best Girl (Youth)
Best Male
Best Female
Most Creative
Best Craftsmanship
Best in Show

(Awards are subject to change based upon participation)

For those who are ages 12 and under, our first part of our cosplay competition will be for the kids. Please sign up at the cosplay sign up table. They will need to be in their costume at least 15 minutes before the competition starts. But they do not need to be in costume during sign up. Awards for the kids will be handed out before the 13+ contestants show off their costumes.

Families that are cosplaying together are welcome to compete in the 13 and over competition. If any child aged 12 and under is confident in their work, they are free to enter in the 13+ competition if they so wish.