A break away from the traditional Costume Contest, the Costume Tournament at Infinicon is a bracketed head-to-head competition. You don't have to outscore every other constant to win this one... just come out ahead of the person on the other side of the stage each round.
There are nine rounds in all, each with its own little twist to keep the event interesting. There is a strict limit of 48 competitors. Additional sign-ups are accepted in case of no-shows at competition time, but only 48 may compete.
FIRST PLACE: Choice of Brother SE400 Embroider Sewing Machine or Brother 1034D Serger
SECOND PLACE: Remaining prize after first place chooses
All competitors must have a convention badge to Infinicon.
There are no age, category, or skill divisions. All costumes compete together.
All participants must be registered in advance of the event.
Contestants must appear in some form of legitimate costume. Event staff reserves the right to determine what actually constitutes a legitimate costuming effort.
Rented or store bought costumes are not eligible to compete.
No more than 50% of a costume may be commissioned work.
No nudity allowed - "no costume" is not a costume.
Store bought props and/or pieces are allowed. What goes on the stage with you, comes off the stage with you.
This is a costumer's competition. (Customized "off the rack" costumes are likely to score low.)
Each participant must show his or her own costume on stage. A model may not be substituted.
Single entries only. Groups will not be allowed.
Stage Fighting is not permitted.
Direction for each round will be reviewed before each round.
Only one entry per person. Sign-ups are in-person at the convention.
Weapons. If your costume has a prop weapon or a costume weapon secure it and use it only as a costume piece. Security staff will take threatening others (even in play) seriously. All weapons will be peace-bonded and any brandishing or otherwise aggressive behavior will be dealt with according to security's discretion. All decisions regarding weapons ultimately lie with event staff, hotel staff, or hotel security. Please respect all decisions regarding this policy.
Keep it PG-13. No nudity or risqué costumes or gestures.
No substances that can be harmful to you, the staff, or the audience will be allowed. This can include, but is not limited to: silly string, water, flames, explosives, and paint. Make sure that anything that comes onto stage with you leaves with you.
Surprise the audience, surprise the judges, surprise yourself! But do not surprise the event staff. The event staff have absolute authority to disqualify any participant if necessary, at any time for any reason. All rules are subject to change.
All decisions by event Judges decisions are final.
Event staff reserves the right to reject any entry for any reason.
Failure to comply with these rules or failure to follow the instructions of the event or security staff will be grounds for disqualification.
Any competetitor may be removed during pre-judging if their entry does not meet competition standards.
Any competetitor not present when their entry is called to stage may be disqualified.
Contestants that have been disqualified or removed will not be eligible for any prizes or awards.
Eat, drink, and use the restrooms before the event. Don't starve yourself. The stage and staging area are hot places to be dehydrated. Especially if you're in a hot stuffy costume.
Bring a crisis kit for your costume! Through an accident or other act of fate part of your costume may become loose, damaged, or worn. A small package of thread and needles, tape, scissors, safety pins etc. can go a long way.
For cumbersome costumes - be sure you can safely get on and off the stage repeatedly, in a reasonable amount of time.
The following is a technical review of how the tournament is operated. Other than being aware of the formats, contestants don't have to have the event order committed to memory. Convention provided off-stage handlers and the on-stage MCs will guide each group of contestants though the rounds.
Round one is performed as a classic costume contest. All 48 contestants will be issued a number, which will stay with them and not change during the contest. Contestants will have their introduction read along with information they supply about themselves and their costume. There is no scoring or eliminations during this round. It's your opportunity to shine without any pressure.
The second round begins the head-to-head aspect of the tournament. The contestants will be assigned into one of twenty-four different brackets ("sets") made up of themself plus one other competitor.
The round's theme is "Strike a Pose". Part of the application will inclue the opportunity to note a specific pose you would like to strike in order to most impress the judges.
Winners of each bracket will automatically be advanced into the fifth competition round. Costumers who do not win in their second round brackets will all compete again head-to-head as the Reserve group in the third round.
The Reserves aren't out of the tournament yet. Six of them will be able to win their way back into main pack.
Round Three is the Improv round. The M.C. will provide cooperative improvisational scenes. Each bracket will take to the stage to pantomime their scene.
The winners of the third round will move on to the next round. The other twelve will be retired from the tournament.
To show their own eye for costuming and appreciation for others, each contestant in this bracket will be asked in turn to find an aspect or detailing of their opponent's costume that makes it worthy of the win. Genuine encouragement of the other costumer will help the contestant to move along to the next round.
Six will be retired from the tournament. The other six will re-join the Round Two winners to continue the main event tournament.
In round five the tournament is back up to thirty competitors. Each bracket of competitors will get to strut the stage while they are re-introduced to the audience.
The fifteen winners from this round, plus one who did not win but is selected to received grace, will progress to the next round. Fourteen contestants will be retired from the tournament.
Contestants will have up to 30 seconds to tell briefly about any costuming organizations they belong to, or who inspired them into costuming. The focus should be on friends and/or family.
Round six is the first awarded round. The eight retired contestants will receive fifth place awards. Eight contestants move on to the next round.
The judges are down to just four brackets in the tournament. In this round each judge will ask each contestant one question with regards to their costume. (Detail of construction, choice of interpretation, etc.)
Four winners will be advanced to round eight. The remaining four will be awarded fourth place and retired from the tournament.
The final four, in each of the two brackets, must take to the stage and in a family-friendly way of their own devising, encourage the audience to stand up and "make some noise" on their behalf. Stage rules apply.
Two contestants will be awarded third place. The other two will progress to the final round.
Who from the final bracket will go home the Grand Champion, and who will be the fine Reserve Grand Champion?
The competitors will "draw for order" and give their winning acceptance speeches. (60 seconds or less.) There is no judging in this round. When the last speech is concluded, the Champions will be awarded in reverse order.