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Categories & Guidelines

To maintain as high a level of consistency and transparency as possible, published here are the official guidelines which the judges will have on hand. The category guidelines were based on the World Beard and Moustache Association definitions. The 13 competition categories are listed to the left. The Official Judging Guidelines packet which will be provided to the judges is also available as a PDF.

Each non-Fake competitor will be able to register for a single category. Choose wisely.

We will also be awarding a “Longest Beard” trophy and prize pack for the competitor who traveled the furthest to participate.

Judging Standards & Guidelines

Welcome, judges! Thank you for being an important part of our competition. Please review and keep in mind the criteria below for the categories. Remember: the facial hair is the key judging matter, any outfit or performance while on stage consideration is solely for the benefit of the audience.

Preliminary Round

When each category is called, the contestants will line up to the side of the stage and come up as announced. After displaying their fine follicles for the audience, (s)he will approach the judges’ table for review. This is the time to evaluate, ask brief questions, and take notes. The contestant will then move to the other side of the stage. Once the entire group has been evaluated, they will all line up in front of the table, visibly displaying their numbers, for a final preliminary judging. Write down the number of the 3 contestants you think fit the criteria best and should continue onto the Final Round. 

In any category with more than 15 contestants, Preliminary Round judging will be broken up into a series of heats. You will then choose your top 3 contestants from each heat that you want to move onto the Final Round.

Final Round

At the Final Round, those contestants who have received the highest number of votes from the judging panel will return on stage. You will each then score them Olympic-style, holding up the appropriate scoring paddle. The points 10, 9½, and 9 may be only be given once by each judge per category (i.e. you cannot award a 9½ to 2 people in the same category). The people with the top 3 point scores will take 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Places, respectively. In the event of a tie, a second vote will happen to determine that place, and therefore the next lower place, if applicable.

The Best In Show contestants are all of the 1st Place category winners, with audience response determining the winner of Best In Show.

Natural Categories

For the Natural categories, take into consideration:

  • Density – How full the features of the facial hair are. Denser is considered better than sparse.
  • Size – Length is a consideration as long as it complements the overall look. A long ratty beard shouldn’t beat a well-kept shorter beard.
  • Healthiness – The facial hair form looks healthy and as it should.
  • Personal Fit – How well their facial hair suits their face, and compliments them.

Styled Categories

For the Styled categories, take into consideration:

  • Complexity/Difficulty – The more involved and detailed the better.
  • Craftsmanship – Quality matters.
  • Creativity – What about their styling makes them stand out?
  • Personal Fit - How well their facial hair suits their face, and compliments their overall look.

Legal aids in the styled categories include only wax, hair spray, and other hair cosmetics. The use of hair extensions, fake hair, detached hair, or any form of hair pins or supporting elements is prohibited.

Groomed Category

For the Full Beard Groomed category, take into consideration:

  • Tidiness - How solid and clean all the edges of the facial hair are.
  • Presentation - How “nice” the gentlemen look with their facial hair.
  • Personal Fit - How well their facial hair suits their face, and compliments their overall look.