The sections below are taken verbatim from the Judging packets each judge will be working from. Please read through all the sections below, as it also outlines how the competition will be structured. If you haven't already, be sure to register in the category that best suits you!

Types & Categories

We’re following NACBMA standards of four overall facial hair types: Moustaches, Partial Beards, Full Beards, and Artistic. These are divided into specialized categories, such as Moustache Natural or Moustache English, which are then defined by the use of product and further defined by any category-specific shaping or styling.

All beard lengths must be measured directly down from the base of the bottom lip.

These Types are further divided into Categories, such as Moustache Natural, Moustache Styled, etc. Each participant will have presented themselves before a pre-jury on-site at registration to ensure they are in the correct category.

Terminology: The 4 Main Facial Hair Types

  • ARTISTIC - Artificial and imaginative creations meant to resemble facial hair of any category, either literally or abstractly.. There are 2 categories:
    • Realistic
    • Creative
  • MOUSTACHE – A moustache is composed of facial hair above the upper lip. At international contests, it is agreed that moustache hairs can start growing from up to a maximum of 5/8" (1.5 cm) beyond the end of the upper lip. There are 2 categories:
    • Natural
    • Freestyle
  • PARTIAL BEARD – A partial beard is any facial hair that is neither a full beard nor a moustache. Natural or shaven gaps define the different styles and classes in this competition. There are 4 categories:
    • Natural
    • Natural - Sideburns / Chops
    • Natural - Alaskan Whaler
    • Freestyle

  • FULL BEARD - A full beard consists of hair on the upper and lower lip, the chin, the cheeks, and the sideburns, without any natural or shaven gap. Lengths are measured from the bottom of the lower lip. There are 6 categories:
    • Natural - Under 2"
    • Natural - 2"-6"
    • Natural - 6"-12"
    • Natural - Over 12"
    • Natural - With Styled Moustache
    • Freestyle

Acceptable Styling Methods & Aids

Natural Categories

These categories show off the facial hair as it is naturally, in its most essential form.

For the Natural categories, where the facial hair is presented without the use of styling product, 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 score higher than a well-kept shorter beard.
  • Healthiness – The facial hair should look well-cared for, maintained, and robust.
  • Personal Fit – How well their facial hair suits his face, and compliments him.

Acceptable styling methods to be used with natural categories include brushing, combing, conditioning (including the use of beard oils and light balms), and shampooing. Any styling method should be used to only accentuate, and must not be used in excess, resulting in an unnatural look.

Styled Categories

For the Styled/Freestyle categories, where the facial hair is presented with the use of product, take into consideration:

  • Craftsmanship – Quality in execution matters. Look for clean, smooth forms.
  • Creativity – What about their work makes them stand out?

Legal aids in the Styled/Freestyle 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, bands, or supporting elements is prohibited. Dreadlocked facial hair, due to the constricted state and product-dependent style, will be placed in the relevant Styled category.

Part of the challenge of these categories is the ability to implement a design yourself, working in 3-dimensions using a 2-dimensional mirror. Self-styling is enthusiastically encouraged. As such, it is at each judge’s discretion to score based on whether the competitor styled his beard himself, or it was styled instead by someone else. If so, you must be consistent in awarding your points.

Artistic Categories

If there’s some uncertainty about which category a fake beard should go into, take into account the materials used and theme or presentation:

  • Are the materials visually similar to natural hair? Regardless of the category style recreated, is it styled or presented in a way that if it was made of actual hair it wouldn’t look out of place on a man’s face? → Realistic
  • Are there clearly re-purposed materials used to represent facial hair? Are there unusual elements or objects involved not commonly found in facial hair? → Creative

For these categories, take into consideration:

  • Craftsmanship – Quality in execution matters.
  • Creativity – What about their work or concept makes them stand out? What was their inspiration?
  • Complexity/Difficulty – When applicable to the concept, a more involved or detailed work is desirable.
  • Fit – If there’s a theme, how true to the inspiration is it?

Awarding Points
  1. The contestants in each category will be presented in a group on the stage before the judges, then present themselves one-at-a-time before the panel, with their number prominently displayed.
  2. Each judge will then give a score between 10 and 5 points to each contestant, with the highest points awarded to the competitors they think best fit the criteria. Half points are possible. No-shows will automatically receive a score of 0.
  3. The competitors will then be presented in a group. The contestants in each category will be presented in a group on the stage before the judges, then present themselves one-at-a-time before the panel, with their number prominently displayed.
  4. Points of 10.0, 9.5 and 9.0 can only be given once by each judge in each category and must be awarded. Each judge can then award any of the other points as often as they like.
  5. Ties - The positions 1st, 2nd and 3rd must be decided clearly. In the event of equal scores (a tie) for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place, a second vote will be conducted.
    • In the event of two competitors tieing again, the judges will be asked to award either 10 or 8 points to each contestant. The judges will not know whether the re-scoring is for 1st & 2nd place, or 2nd & 3rd place.
    • In the event of three competitor tie, the judges will be asked to award 10, 8, or 5 points to each contestant. (Highest points, again, being the most preferred).

Disrespectful conduct or likewise protest of any decisions of the judges can result in disqualification from the competition and expulsion from the venue.

Tallying Scores

Following each category, your score sheets will be collected by the stage assistant and the numbers tallied. The results will be held until the end of the night.

Large Categories

Any category with 16 or more competitors will be broken up into heats of 8 competitors or less, with each heat being as equally numbered as possible. If the competitor count exceeds 30, it will be broken up into heats of 10 competitors or less. If a category has greater than 30 competitors in two successive years, the following year it will be split into two categories. Conversely, any category with less than 3 competitors in two successive years will be absorbed into the more generic style for the type.

Initially, you will not give points, just note on your score sheet the numbers of the 3 competitors you want to see back from each heat. Those heat finalists will then reassemble in a final round for that category to be scored, using the same points system above as with the other categories.

Best In Show

Our Best In Show is awarded to the contestant, from a category with more than 5 or more competitors, with the highest cumulative score of the night. In the event of a tie, the judges will be asked to live paddle score the competitors, awarding either 10 or 8 points to each contestant, solely for the purposes of breaking the tie.