Article 01: General points & definitions
1.a) The present rules describe the progress of the European Cosplay Gathering Finals and show, below named ECG Finals. It may be completed or modified without prior notice.
1.b) Participation to the ECG Finals depends on the approval and respect of the present rules.
1.c) Any Cosplay show is a show of people or groups of people parading and performing in costumes, below named shows.
1.d) The festival and Cosplay contests staff work for the organization and good progress of the shows, they are below named Cosplay organizers.
1.e) The cosplayers entering the selections or the Finals and performing on stage in costume are below named Participants.
1.f) The Participants making the costumes in their entirety or majority are below named Crafters.
1.g) The people performing alongside the Participants on stage but not wearing any costumes are below named Stage Ninja.
1.h) The Participants once selected through their local qualifiers are named below Representatives.
1.i) The ECG Finals is a live show produced by Sefa Event.
Article 02: Themes, categories & number of participants
2.a) Participants may perform in costumes representing characters from anime, manga, comics, video games, movies, TV series, comic books, J-Music, and stage musicals. The costumes must have official reference therefore, personal creations and fanarts are not allowed in this contest. Each entry will have to be submitted and validated by the Cosplay Organizers.
2.b) Figurines and dolls, if suggested as the main source, must be produced from the original copyright owners, not from a third-party company buying or renting the license. Figurines and dolls may serve as additional references as long as they are identical to the original source. An approval from the ECG main organizer is mandatory when it comes to this situation to ensure the guidelines are respected.
2.c) Participants may enter as a solo, a duo, a trio, or a quartet. Participants wishing to participate as duo, trio or quartet must wear costumes from characters of the same source (for example, Kamui from X and Lina from Slayers cannot belong to the same group). It is allowed to mix sources of different opuses from the same license (example Soul Calibur 2 and 3)
2.d) Solo, duo and trio Participants have the option to make use of a Stage Ninja for their performance. (Please refer to Article 5 for further details about the Stage Ninja).
2.e) In case of litigation about the legitimacy of the material, the Cosplay Organizers have the final decision.
2.f) Each country taking part in this contest will be represented by either a solo, duo, trio or quartet.
2.g) These limits may be modified without prior notice by the Cosplay Organizers depending on the general organization of the festival.
2.h) The shows are open to any public, of any age and sensibility, therefore the Participants’ costumes must be made for the widest audience.
Article 03: Participation to the shows
3.a) The representatives will have to confirm their participation to the Cosplay Organizers, who will validate their costume and performance.
3.b) In case that the selected representatives wouldn’t be able to attend the event, the first runner-up will take their spot.
3.c) The representatives’ nationality must be the same from the country of the event. Participants from another nationality but owning a “Permanent residency card” (or equivalent document depending on the country legislation) are allowed to enter the selections from the country they live in. However they are not allowed to take part in the selections of their nationality country for the same season.
3.d) The participants will have to provide all the documents and material required by the Cosplay Organizers. Failing to do so will result in penalties or disqualification.
3.e) For the group category, one member will be designated leader and will have the responsibility to send all the required documents and material to the Cosplay Organizers on behalf of his/her group.
3.f) The leader must respect and make the other members of the group respect the present rules and the instructions that may be given to him/her by the Cosplay organizers, under any conditions.
3.g) On the premises, he/she has to make sure that all the members are present and that all the documents given for the performance actually work.
Article 04: Performances & accompaniment
4.a) The Participants are required to make a performance for the ECG Finals.
4.b) Each configuration has a different maximum performance time:
- Solo Participants have 1m30 maximum.
- Duo Participants have 2m30 maximum.
- Trio Participants have 3m00 maximum.
- Quartet Participants have 3m30 maximum.
The Stage Ninja doesn’t count in the number of Participants on stage, a solo Participant using a Stage Ninja will have 1m30 maximum for their performance.
4.c) The performance duration on stage may be modified at any time.
4.d) Should Participants exceed this limit of time; the Jury will inflict a penalty on the Participants’ score or disqualify the Participants.
4.e) The shows are open to any public, of any age and sensibility, therefore the Participants’ performances must be made for the widest audience.
4.f) mp3 audio files only are accepted.
4.g) mp4 video files only are accepted. Full HD video files are required to ensure the quality of the show.
4.h) No audio or video montage will be made by the Cosplay Organizers, before or during the shows.
4.i) Cosplay Organizers are not allowed to lend Participants a microphone for their performance. If it contains some voice, it is suggested the Participants to record it. It is allowed to use the official voice and dubbing in your performance.
4.j) For the Finals, if the exhibition media includes voices, they will have to be recorded in English or French so that most of the audience will be able to understand their performance. The Participants must provide the script of all speeches of the performance.
Article 05: Stage Ninja regulations
5.a) The Stage Ninja is someone selected by the Participants. The Cosplay Organizers will not provide a Stage Ninja.
5.b) The Stage Ninja is an assistant on stage that can help the Participants in various ways. They can operate various devices or props, puppeteer stage props, assist with costume change, and many other tasks imagined by the Participants, as long as they remain hidden from the audience view. Stage Ninjas are not allowed to wear any costumes.
5.c) Only one Stage Ninja is allowed per entry.
5.d) If the Stage Ninja is openly visible on stage by the audience, this will affect their performance score.
5.e) The choice to use a Stage Ninja can be different between the selections and the Finals. A Stage Ninja will be considered a Representative for logistics matters. The Representatives must warn their Local and Finals Cosplay Organizers about their project at the earliest, should they decide to use a Stage Ninja for their Finals performance.
Article 06: Compulsory elements
6.a) A picture or illustration in good quality of the cosplayed character must be provided to the Cosplay Organizers.
6.b) An accompaniment media in one of the allowed formats (article 4.f and 4.g) and lasting the allowed time for your configuration (article 4.b) must be sent to the Cosplay Organizers.
6.c) All the files must be clearly identified in the following way: Country name – Series – Name of the character.
6.d) Script and dialogs of your performance must be given to the organizers so they can make a translation and subtitles for the ECG Finals.
6.e) Work in Progress pictures of the costume for the ECG Finals must be provided to the Cosplay Organizers (up to a maximum of 30 pictures per costume or via a portfolio template provided by the Cosplay Organizers).
6.f) Some additional documents will be required by the Cosplay Organizers like lightplan and costume listing. The original document will be sent by the Cosplay Organizers.
6.f) The registration will be invalidated, and the Participants disqualified if any of the documents required is not provided at a precise date given by the Cosplay Organizers.
Article 07: Prizes for the shows
7.a) The ECG Finals will reward the 3 best entries, decided by the jury members based on the criteria listed in article 8.a. The content of the prizes will be announced later by the organization.
7.b) Additional prizes may be added by the organization without prior notice.
Article 08: Rating criteria
8.a) Each final jury can give 60 points for the costume and 60 points for the performance.
- For costumes
- Accuracy (20): This criteria is about how faithful the Participants’ cosplays are compared with the official source; if all details, patterns, colours, shapes etc. are accurately recreated. This includes make-up, wigs, accessories, and hand props if relevant to the character. This criteria also covers how well the Participants have adapted the different parts of the costume to their body. Please note that body size, complexion, or other physical characteristics of the Participants are not relevant when it comes to the Accuracy score. Regarding embellishments, please refer to article 8.c.
- Finishing details (20): This criteria is about the quality and precision of every aspect of the Participants’ craft and how well-finished every part of the cosplay is, including make-up, wigs, accessories, and hand props. The finishing of details such as potential embellishments will have an impact on this score, please see article 8.c for more information.
- Complexity and techniques (20): This criteria is related to the different techniques used by the Participants to produce their cosplays and how well they are applied. The jury will evaluate the number of techniques used, their complexity, and their execution to give a score to the Participants. If many techniques are used but with poor execution this will affect their score; just like a perfectly produced costume using few techniques or low complexity will also see this score affected. Embellishments can be used to display more techniques and skills, please see article 8.c for more information.
- For Performance
- Acting and Staging (30): This is regarding the skill and successful execution of the Participants’ performance on stage. The score will reflect how invested and expressive the Participants are on stage, as well as how well they act, move, and interact. The Stage Ninja and the quality of their work on stage will also have an impact on this score.
- Quality of Media and use of the stage props (10): This score refers to the quality of the media used for the Participants’ performance. The quality of the sound and/or video includes how clear and easy to understand it is for both the jury and the audience. This score will also include how well the stage props are used and interacted with on stage by the Participants or how the Participants worked around not having some stage props for their performance.
- Creativity and Entertainment (20): This criteria will score how inventive, original, entertaining, and well-thought-out a performance is. It covers how the video or sound are used to support the story told on stage and how well the stage props are used and designed for the performance. When applicable it also covers how creative the use of the Stage Ninja is.
8.b) Stage props are not included in the costume grading but will be considered and have impact on the performance mark depending on their usefulness during the performance.
8.c) As long as the official source of the design is respected by the Participants, embellishments on costumes will be allowed, this will be assessed by the jury’s expertise and discretion.
These embellishments can come in many forms: strass, patterns, textures, LEDs other special effects etc. All Shapes, designs, patterns, colors, details appearing on the official source design should be present on the created costumes to aim for the maximum score on the ‘Accuracy’ criteria, otherwise penalties shall apply.
These embellishments can be used to display a further range of crafting skills and/or add extra effects for the sake of the performance. Depending on the embellishments, they may have an impact on the ‘Finishing detail’ and ‘Complexity and Techniques’ criteria.
They are by no means mandatory and no Participants will be penalized for not adding any on their costume, also embellishments can’t replace an existing element of the official source.
8.d) One final criteria that will influence the jury decision is “the balance”. It represents the amount of efforts that were made on the costume as well as the performance. If one of the criteria is completely overlooked, the balance will be negative; if efforts were made but could have been clearly improved the balance will be neutral; and finally, if the Participants gave their all in both domains the balance will be positive.
8.e) The cosplay presented during the costume judging must be identical to the ones used for the performance on stage. Any modifications will be penalized, this includes make up, special effects, props, accessories & shoes.
8.f) During the costume judging the costume must be worn the same way it will be worn once on stage for the performance.
8.g) Accessories or hand props not used during the stage performance won’t be accepted for the costume judging.
8.h) Regarding the costume scoring and when it comes to comparing solo Participants with Participants in a group configuration, the score of the group will be the average of each individual costumes according to the criteria listed in article 8.a.
Article 09: Jury and rating
9.a) The official Jury is made of 5 persons from different countries. An official ECG Officer will be present during the deliberation to make sure the criteria are well respected during the discussions.
9.b) The members of the official Jury cannot take part in the contest.
9.c) The winners of the Finals will be chosen by a general decision of the Jury.
9.d) The number of members of the Jury may be modified by the Cosplay Organizers at any time without prior notice.
Article 10: Participation restrictions
10.a) Each Participant must compete with the costume he announced during their registration.
10.b) Apart from the costume used during their selections, each Participant is not allowed to enter the ECG Finals with a costume previously awarded by a selection or a prize at any other international competition event.
10.c) The Cosplay Organizers, as well as the members of the Jury, cannot take part in the shows.
10.d) All costumes presented by the Participants must be hand-made at least for 80%. For the duo, trio, and quartet, it is allowed that one or more Participants is the Crafter of the costumes for other members of the group, and for these members to not have taken part in the crafting process. Help from friends or relatives is tolerated as long as the majority of the work is done by the Participants. A Stage Ninja can’t be the Crafter of a Participant’s costume. Any purchased or commissioned costume or parts will be rejected from entering.
10.e) Any part of the costume not made by the Participants will have to be declared and will be acceptable as long as they fall within the tolerated range. Failing to do so will result in penalties or disqualification. This includes 3D models, embroidery patterns, electronic kits, and other kind of patterns.
10.f) Each Participant must be 18 at the time they get selected.
10.g) Participants aren’t allowed to alter their skin tone with the intention of portraying or matching a character from an ethnicity, existing or similar to an existing one, other than their own. This aspect of portrayal doesn’t have any incidence on the scoring regarding accuracy to the original source material.
Article 11: Props and limitations
11.a) Stage props are categorized into 3 sizes:
- Big size props can't exceed 20 kilos and require 2 staff to carry it in AND off the stage in one go in 15 seconds max.
- Middle size props can't exceed 11 kilos and require 1 staff to carry it in AND off the stage in one go in 15 seconds max.
- Small size props can't exceed 3 kilos and must be carried by the cosplayer in AND off the stage in one go in 15 seconds max if no staff is available.
Each entry at the finals will have the help of up to 4 staff members max to carry the stage props in and off the stage.
Weapons and accessories held in hand don't count in this limit.
11.b) The Participants are responsible for the construction and resistance of their props on the stage. These accessories must be solid and stable enough to be carried without special care.
11.c) The Participants must send detailed information as well as pictures for the accessories and props. These accessories will have to be validated by the Cosplay Organizers. Any props or accessory not declared/validated beforehand through the official forms and documents won’t be allowed on stage, even if they fit within the designated limitations. The Participants must make sure these equipment are not too heavy, harmful or dangerous for them, the audience or the staff members.
11.d) The Cosplay Organizers are the only ones to decide if a prop fits the rules & guidelines are not.
Article 12: Safety
12.a) Regarding safety issues, pyrotechnics (fireworks, firecrackers, lighters, inflamed or incandescent objects, candles) is forbidden.
12.b) Liquids are forbidden on stage (water guns, full bottles…), even in a closed container.
12.c) Weapons (sword and blade replicas) are forbidden, except the ones made by the Participants if they are no threat to anyone.
12.d) Dropping or throwing confetti, glitters, feathers etc. is forbidden on stage.
12.e) The organization has the right to interrupt any performance that could be dangerous to the Participants or the nearby audience.
12.f) For their own safety, Participants are not allowed to get closer than a meter to the edge of the stage.
12.g) Each Participant is responsible for their own medical care and the costs related to it.
It is advised for each Participant to make sure they are covered on the French territory in case of emergency.
Article 13: Disqualification
13.a) Every Participant not complying with one of the articles from these rules exposes themselves to getting permanently disqualified.
13.b) Every Participant not complying with the Cosplay Organizers’ directions can be instantly disqualified.
13.c) Every Participant guilty of vandalism, theft, act of aggression (physical or verbal), offending behavior, or any other offense during the festival will be instantly and permanently disqualified. Pursuits will be enforced against them according to the current laws and rules.
13.d) Plagiarism regarding the performance is not allowed. Participants are required to enter with an original project. Inspiration is of course encouraged and legitimate (from previous cosplay or any other kind of performances), but a plain copy from an existing cosplay performance will end with a disqualification. The sanction can happen post-event after a thorough investigation by the Cosplay Organizers and the ECG Officials. After investigation, the ECG Officials are the only ones with authority to arbitrate on the situation and act.
Article 14: Image property
14.a) By agreeing with the rules, the Participants allow every picture or video taken during the festival to be used for means of communications or promotion of this contest without any financial compensation.
14.b) After the ECG Finals, videos and photos from the Participants will remain the Cosplay Organizers’ property and could be used in various uses as promotional material. In addition, in the event of a DVD, website, photobook or other material production, there won’t be any financial compensation.
14.c) As for the organizers, they promise that the pictures comply with the ethic and the law. Every picture degrading an individual, pornography and violence are strictly forbidden.
14.d) These rules must be filled in and signed, and then handed to the Cosplay Organizers for each Participant.
14.e) This authorization lasts for three years. The Cosplay Organizers may ask to prolong that period with the agreement of the Participant.
Article 15: Additional Information
15.a) The Participants are allowed to compete in a different costume than the one worn for the selections, provided that the Cosplay Organizers approve it. If they wish to do so, they will have to provide pictures of the characters.
15.b) The Participants must be able to come to France for a period of one week in early July.
15.c) All the Representatives shall cooperate in a positive way to ensure the success of the ECG Finals. The Representatives will be coached during the whole ECG Finals trip by the official Finals Cosplay Organizers. The Representatives will have to follow their advice.
15.d) The Participants agree to provide as soon as possible every document the local or ECG organizers could ask (identity card, official documents, …).
15.e) Every Participant must bring 2 to 3 costumes in France for the different days and events during the ECG Finals.
15.f) Excess baggage at the airport due to the weight of the costumes will have to be paid for by the Participant, and not by the Cosplay Organizers. One alternative would be to ship the costumes to France prior to the Finals, but the shipping fees will entirely be paid for by the Participant. The Participants are asked to keep this in mind when making and registering their costumes.
15.g) Only the Participants and the Cosplay Organizers are allowed to be in the backstage during the Finals. Helpers are tolerated but will be asked to leave if they interfere with the good progress of the show or with the work of the Cosplay Organizers.
15.h) The organizers or any other outsider are not allowed to help you during your exhibition.
15.i) Performance order will be chosen by draw at your arrival in Paris.
15.j) The schedule of the ECG Finals will be communicated to the Representatives by the official Cosplay Organizers. Participants will have to respect the planning and activities scheduled by the Cosplay Organizers.
15.k) For the costume judging during the ECG Finals, Participants are allowed to bring books, portfolios, samples… However, these document and material can only be viewed by the jury during the Participants interview time and cannot be left to the jury for examination later. After their interview time, the Participants must leave with all the document and material they brought.
15.l) During the Finals in Paris for logistics and access matters, a Participant can’t benefit from both a Stage Ninja and a helper.