Welcome to Beardmond: What’s competitive bearding all about?

Crystal Davis (left) and Katie Quinn (right) sport their crafted beards at The Great American Beard & Moustache Championship 2016 in Denver, Colorado. Photography by Joe Gladski.

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — When I introduce myself, I often speak about my involvement with beard competitions.

The looks I receive range from “you don’t have a beard” to “is that even a thing?” However, if you’re not aware of these amazing events, then pull up a seat because each event is full of fun, camaraderie, and charity. Here are the basics of the competitive beard world.

These competitions are hosted by beard leagues around the world. Each league has their own style and preference on how to pull off a competition. More often than not, members from a beard league club will travel to other competitions and support each other. The camaraderie and acceptance in the beard league communities is expansive and all-inclusive.

Not only do you get to travel to a new city for a fun event, but you also get to meet friends you will have for years to come. The camaraderie present at these events is astounding and you will always feel welcome.

Each competition has multiple categories to compete in. Whether you have a mustache or a full 12’ beard, there is a category for you. Someone with a goatee is not going to go up against a full beard, and vice versa.

Each competition has their own versions of these categories, but they typically fall into categories like the following: Partial beard (goatee, Donegal), multiple full beard categories sorted by length, natural mustache, etc.

A panel of judges will critique and score each category and award 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Some competitions give out trophies, others certificates.

Think these competitions are for men only? Think again!

There are two special categories for women only: Fake Creative and Fake Realistic. Fake Creative is a broad term used to describe any kind of creative idea that can be interpreted as a beard. The Fake Realistic category’s goal is to make a beard as realistic as possible. I’ve seen beards from Joe Dirt to The Wizard of Oz. The creative ideas these ladies come up with are always inspiring and incredible to see.

And most important of all, these competitions raise money for a charity of their choosing. Some clubs have a specific charity they sponsor while others try to spread their love across multiple local charities. The goal of these competitions is to not only have fun, but to raise money for a good cause and build a positive community through charitable work.

Although the approaches vary, the ultimate goal to support the community is the same. There could be an assortment of raffle prizes where the raffle ticket money goes towards the charity. Another way is to donate a portion of the ticket or food sales to the charity.

The basics of beard and mustache competitions are straight forward and easy. Want to get involved? Check out your local beard and mustache club to see when their competition is. You might find yourself addicted.

Stay tuned for more Beardmond from the RVA Beard League in #RVALife.

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