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Brief Guidelines for Judging


There are four categories of Clowns - with similarities and differences - that we judge.

A. The WHITE FACE Clown is the typical circus clown. There are two quite different types of WHITE FACE Clowns; the Classic or European white face and the Comedy white face.

1. The Classic white face clown (sometimes referred to as Pierrot clown) is the most “traditional’ and artistic of all the clowns and is usually the clown in charge. The clown is elegant, gentle, colorful, bright and cheer. The make-up is all white, with minimum lining color(s) (black and red) and/or glitter to express the regular features (eyebrows, nose and mouth). All exposed skin, including the neck and ears, must be white. The head is covered by a white skull cap with no hair and a hat that fits the clown personality/character (short or tall cone shaped hat, short cup or flat hat, or the typical “Pagliacci” hat. Considered the “most beautiful clown”, the costume, is well fitting, full gathered, ruffled type suit or one-piece jumpsuit, both with a ruff at the neck. The tunic or blouse can be a straight, flared, short medium or long sleeve. Buttons, pom poms, piping and ruffles should be of a contrasting bright color. It could be made of white or colored material with colored trim. It may be quite elaborate and very elegant. Shoes are generally small, but should be simple.

1. The Comedy WHITEFACE Clown (also referred to as Grotesque clown) is a bit less artistic and a little more like the Auguste in spirit, but still a WITE FACE CLOWN. All exposed skin, including neck and ears, must be white. The coloring and design of the facial features is what differentiates it from the classic design. The classic design is purposely kept simple; the comedy white-face can use large features around the eyes, use large false eye-lashes, a larger mouth, a clown nose and may have other designs on the face. Some of these features may be outlined in black. Glitter and sparkles are also used frequently. Varying styles and colors of clown wigs are used in lieu of a skullcap. The color of the wig is generally chosen to accent another color in the costume. The costume may be well fitting or may be too small. The traditional jumpsuit may be worn but this clown is equally acceptable in suit or in shirt and pants. It may be elegant with metallic, glittering fabric, or it may be comical with bright colors. The shoes should be outlandish but the color should complement the costume.

White face clown they are portraying and how well they executed that type.

B. The AUGUSTE Clown is the most comical of all clowns; he is the prankster, the rabble-rouser. He is the most slapstick of all the clowns; his actions are wilder, broader and more clumsy and awkward than the other types. The AUGUSTE Clown gets away with more and bigger pranks. When appearing with a whiteface, he is the brunt of the joke; but with the tramp he becomes the instigator in control of the situation. His is the most comic face. The make-up is a flesh color (pink, reddish or tan) instead of white. The features (usually red and black) are exaggerated in size. Other lining colors, in moderation, are acceptable. Depending on the size and shape of the clowns face and the character, the smile could be as small as a tight-lipped grin to the proverbial ear-to-ear smile. The mouth is usually thickly outlined with white, which is often also used around the eyes. A red shadowing around the muzzle area should be used to highlight this area. Outlining is very important. Gradual shading of colors is often used. He will usually have a ball nose, but there are many exceptions. Glitter and sequins in the makeup are not appropriate.

The AUGUSTE clown will almost always wear a wig - usually red, yellow or orange. The wig may be full or one with a bald center (colored the same as his flesh) with a fringe around the sides and back. The hair may be straight or curly. The hat is usually too small - just sits on top of the wig or bald spot. However, normal sized bowlers or caps are sometimes used. Its material may be the same as the coat or pants, or it may be entirely different. The color should complement some part of the costume.

The original AUGUSTE (German word meaning ‘foolish’) clown wore a costume in which he could play jokes on other clowns that often backfired on him and/or do ‘prat falls’ and other tumbling exercises when he is the butt of the joke. This costume consisted of baggy pants, a knit-neck type shirt or one with a very large or very small collar (sometimes he wore a bib or shirt front that curled up), and large, loud colored shoes. He seldom wore a coat, but when he did, it was always way too big or too small. His costume was a tailor’s nightmare. The typical fabric was a large plaid; the brighter or gaudier the better. Each piece (pants, shirt, coat if worn, tie or hat) had a different design, i.e. horizontal stripes, vertical or diagonal stripes, polka dots, plaids, etc. The color(s) of each piece were bright and would clash with as many other of the pieces as possible. Each part of the costume was a misfit; either too large or too small. In recent years, especially in competition, the AUGUSTE’S costume has moved closer to that of the comedy white face clown. Although the various items of his costume may still not always fit, his costume now often fits correctly. More often than not the costume is now coordinated and may be very elaborate. All in all, the AUGUSTE should look like the ‘foolish’ clown.

B. The TRAMP or HOBO clown is each really a character clown, but is considered a separate category, because of the large number of TRAMP and HOBO clowns. The TRAMP/HOBO character is the only true North American clown. This character grew out of the tramps/hoboes who rode the freight trains across the country looking for work. Although the TRAMP or HOBO clown is considered a single category, each is unique. The main differences between these subcategories lie in the areas of attitudes and costumes.

1. The TRAMP believes the world owes him a living; that his condition is caused by others. He wants (and expects) everybody to feel sorry for him. He does everything in his power to avoid work. The shaggy vagabond is the individual for whom nothing ever goes right. The face and neck are colored to make them ap-pear dirty and unshaven. Usually black or gray is blended into flesh color to look like a beard, but occasionally, the beard is the clown’s own. Red is added above the beard line to make the face appear sunburned and mouth and eyes are white where the tramp has wiped away the dirt with his hands. The eyebrows should be small and worried looking. He may have a drop of glycerin or similar material to make a tear running down the side of his face. His expression is usually SAD and/or SOULFUL. Many time tramps use their hair, which has been ratted up to look shaggy. If a wig is used, it will be one of the darker, duller shades.

The TRAMP is ragged but clean. His costume is usually a two or three-piece suit which is extremely worn and ragged. The rips and tears may be left open, patched (with ragged patches – not neat iron-ons), or pinned together with large safety pins. The color is usually black or another dark color but may be brown, gray or tan. The vest, if one is worn, may e a dark mismatch. The shirt can consist of a worn and full of holes red ‘long handles’ or a worn out regular or work shirt. The color of the shirt should be something other than white. The necktie would NOT be flashy. It should be a regular tie that is worn out. A clothespin, a mouse-trap, or other article might be used as a tie clasp. A rope might be used for a belt or suspenders.

2. The HOBO Clown (vagabond or happy tramp) wants to be a hobo; he may be down but he is certainly not out. He often appears HAP-PY. A HOBO usually will not ask for a ‘handout’, preferring to work for it. He will take a job – but usually not for long because he wants to move along to someplace else. His face is much like the tramp’s make-up except in the expression. He is apt to smile and his eyes generally appear larger, more wide-awake, open and HAPPY looking than the tramps eyes. His costume is quite similar to the tramps but may contain brighter colors in various parts. His vest is likely to be a bright color, as are many of

An ELEGANT TRAMP or ELEGANT HOBO has the same character except his costume might consist of a well-worn tuxedo or tail, patches, etc. A worn and torn ‘dress shirt’ beat-up top hat, black (holed) socks, etc. and perhaps spats would be appropriate.

The TRAMP/HOBO category is the only category in which the use of any kind of gloves, gloves with holes, and gloves with fingers cut off, or the complete absence of gloves is permitted. However, if gloves are used, they should be CLEAN but APPEAR DIRTY, STAINED and WORN. The overall effect of make-up, costuming and performance must compliment the character portrayed.

All of these TRAMP type clowns are judged in the same category. The clown is judged on how well he executed the character.

B. THE CHARACTER CLOWN - MUST PORTRAY A PARTICULAR CHARACTER. The character portrayed should be easily recognized and not require the competitor to tell what he is. Here is where any specific individual may be characterized or portrayed as a clown in good taste, such as Chaplin, Laurel, Hardy, W.C. Fields, Smokey Stover, Keystone Kops, Lord Fauntleroy, and on and on. NO MASKS will be allowed. Portrayal of an animal is not considered appropriate. The theme must be carried all the way – costume, make-up, shoes, gloves, etc., and the clown should remain in character at all times. Any props should go with the costume and make-up.

 The MAKE-UP for ALL clowns should include:

1. Well-defined lines wide enough and dark enough to be seen at whatever distances the clown is from the audience. The lines should generally follow or mesh with the natural lines of the face; not just painted on.

2. Colors must be well PATTED IN, SMOOTH, COMPLETE and BLENDED smoothly together, except where separated in distinct areas, i.e., mouth and cheek, or by outline.

3. All exposed areas of the face, ears and neck (except TRAMP and CHARACTER CLOWNS) must be covered. All make-up must be WELL POWDERED and DRY.

4. The nose may be painted on or a false nose may be worn. The size, shape, and color of the nose should be coordinated with the face, wig and costume to emphasize and add to the character the individual is portraying.

5. The ancients believed the EYES are the windows to the soul. Certainly they are the focal point and eyebrows, eyelashes, and/or other lines should be used to draw attention to the eyes.

6. The MOUTH should NOT be too large (spread from ear like a slice of watermelon) but should exaggerate and/or caricature the individual’s mouth. It may turn up at the corners into a perpetual smile, or turn down to depict sadness. The upper lip may be very thin or nonexistent. The face color – white, flesh, pink, etc. – applied down to the top of the upper lip will add considerable flexibility to expressions. The mouth may be outlined by a large white muzzle area (AUGUSTE) or by none (WHITE FACE or TRAMP). It and the muzzle may be outlined in black or some other color or not outlined at all. However the mouth is treated, it should be coordinated with and emphasize the impact of the other features to create a clown character.

The OVER 55 category is the newest category. This category was established so that members who no longer have the smooth, young, unlined faces could compete fairly. This category may use any of the previous mentioned make-ups. However, you may not enter in any other category competition if you enter in the OVER 55 category

Good Luck in the competition


The officers of this Association believe that no UNIT should, because of size, money, affluence, control of meeting, or available manpower, have an edge year after year on trophies of recognition. The spirit of competition should be kept alive and nourished so that all UNITS will want to enter into the fun and gaiety that prevails at our Shrine conventions and competitions.

These rules supersede all other RULES heretofore published by the Association and shall be in effect until such time as they are superseded or reclined.


A. Conduct and Discipline

1. The promotion and advancement of Shrine Clowning is the upper-most reason for participation in the fellowship and competition at these events. For this reason, conduct of all individuals and Units must be consistent with specified Shrine conduct.

2. While each individual must govern himself, it becomes necessary that each UNIT HEAD assist by governing the conduct of his members. Any conduct that would bring unfavorable criticism upon the Shrine, a Shrine Clown Unit, or clowning in general could result in an entire unit being disqualified from competition.

3. In particular, all members are expected to abide by the following general rules of conduct.


Participating clowns shall not:

1. Drink any intoxicating beverages before or during any parade, performance or public event while in costume.

2. Wear any costume or use any equipment that may be offensive to the Association or the general public.

3. Touch women while in costume in public.

4. Abuse spectators by subjecting them to practical humiliating jokes or by squirting or shocking them.

5. Use any obscene gestures or language while appearing in costume, make-up or uniform.

6. Impersonate a woman, Negro or any minority groups.

7. Smoke while participating in any Association function in costume. The use of DEAD

8. No items may be thrown by members of from vehicles. This includes candy, gum or balloons. These items may be handed out if other Rules and Regulations do not specifically prohibit.

9. The use of live animals or fowl is strictly prohibited.

10. The use of facemasks, cartoon characters, etc., are prohibited.

11. Members of this association should strive to look his best as a true clown.

12. No vehicle will be equipped with either flashing lights or sirens.

13. No showing of anything relating to bodily functions such as toilet paper, commodes, etc.

14. No bottles shall contain the Brand Name used on any

Alcoholic beverage, nor the word Whisky. You MAY use the symbol “XXX” or “White Litnin” however on a non-identifiable bottle such as a brown jug or clear bottle.

15. The President or his emissary will have authority to discipline at his discretion, including ejection from functions of this Association, any member who does not abide by the Code of Conduct as listed above.


1. All clowns and Units in good standing in this Association are eligible to participate in the competition.

2. All members participating in competition must have a current Shrine dues card and a current Association dues card readily available for examination at the time of participation, and be wearing a current Association patch. There shall be a registration fee of $10.00 for all Makeup Competitions with an additional $5.00 for Children’s Choice or Balloons. Anyone participating in Children’s Choice or Balloons ONLY shall pay a flat fee of $10.00 ONLY.

3. A Unit shall consist of at least five (5) members in good standing in the Association.

C. Drawing for Positions

1. The drawing for positions will be accomplished at the business meeting preceding the competition.

2. The Delegate representing each Unit must be present to draw for position.

D. Presentation of Awards

1. Trophies and awards will be presented at the Annual Awards Affair following the competition, or such other time and place as the President may direct. Winners will not be announced until this time.

2. In the event of ties for any award, a duplicate prize will be obtained and presented as soon as possible.

A. Individual Clown Competition

1. Clowns will be grouped and presented for judging according to the category they wish to enter. A clown may enter only one category. As each clown enters the judging area, his name and Unit will be recorded and a number will be as-signed. Judges will know the individual by number only.

2. Upon being directed, clowns will walk into the prescribed area and do a complete turn-around so they can be viewed from all sides. As soon as the judges are satisfied, they will direct the clown to walk off.

3. Judging will be based on costume, make-up, facial expression, mime, gestures, etc. Talking is not allowed by contest-ants.

4. Hand-carried props may be utilized during competition.

5. A clown must be in costume and complete make-up including base coat and coverage of all exposed areas of neck and ears. Make-up will be powdered down.

6. Make-up will be complete. The exposed flesh area around the ears and back of the neck are as important to the clown image as his face and throat area and must be covered.

7. Make-up should complement the character being portrayed and should not detract from the overall effect.

8. No rubber ears, Halloween type eyeglasses or nose and glass combinations of the ten-cent store variety will be permitted.

9. No masks, partial masks, or false eyelashes are permitted.

10. Gloves are required of all Whiteface and Auguste Clowns. Tramp or Hobo Clowns may wear gloves as appropriate. If worn, they should help portray the shabby image of the sad, sorrowful, head-in-the-clouds character.

11. A specific individual may be caricaturized or portrayed. However, it must be realized that to mimic an established individual such as Chaplin, Laurel, Hardy, etc., is not being creative in regards to make-up costumes or presentation. For this reason, a clown doing such a characterization probably will not receive the same amount of points in competition, as would an individual that shows originality and creativity.

12. Individual Gimmicks will be allowed 2 minutes total time from step on to step off. Over 2 minutes they will be disqualified.

13. The attached Individual Clown Competition score sheet will be used in judging the Individual Clown Competition event.

B. Best Unit Skit or Stunt – first, second and third place awards will be made for the Best Unit Skit.

1. Each Unit Skit or Stunt must consist of two (2) or more clowns in appropriate costume to participate.

2. Each Unit participating in this event will be allowed only ONE skit or stunt, with a maximum time limit of five (5) minutes. Each Unit will be allowed one (1) minute to set up their props and one (1) minute to remove the same from ring. This time is in addition to the five (5) minute presentation time. Units not using props will be allowed only the five (5) minute presentation time. Units will be penalized points on a time basis, with disqualification one (1) minute in excess of the five minutes for presentation. Time starts from the commencement of any introduction on the microphone.

3. Each Unit will confine their skits or stunt to an area 40 feet in diameter. (This will be marked out before the event starts.)

4. The use of explosive devices, water, pies, props and slapstick comedy are helpful criteria for good skits. Each skit or stunt must always be in good taste as children are in attendance at every performance. Crowd appeal and laughter will sway the judges, so govern yourselves accordingly.

5. The participating Unit must restore the skit area to its original condition as soon as the skit is completed, within the one (1) minute time limit.

6. Confetti may be used and it may be tossed into the crowd if appropriate. The area where confetti lands need not be cleaned up immediately; however, the area must be swept up by the Unit after all skits have been completed.

7. Any presentation that causes an injury to any spectator will automatically disqualify the Unit.

8. The attached Unit Skit or Stunt score sheet will be used in judging the Unit Skit or Stunt event.

C. Best Clown Parade Unit – First, second and third place awards will be made for the best Clown Parade Unit.

1. If judging is done at a walk-around at the Clown-A-Rama, movement is to be the same as if the Unit was moving in a regular parade. While the main movement must be forward, this does not preclude the individual clowns from moving the various directions such as would be encountered during a regular parade. Movement past the judges reviewing area must be completed within one (1) minute. A presentation may be made during the movement, but is not required.

2. A minimum of five (5) clowns participating in costume is required for Unit’s eligibility.

3. Judging is based on costume, make-up, expressions and particularly clown appeal. The Unit is judged as if it were playing to a crowded parade route. Clowns other than Hobos may have two (2) fingers out of their gloves, cut off at the knuckles, on each hand ONLY if they are blowing balloons during the parade.

4. If judging is done during a regular parade, the judges will be located at three (3) separate locations along the parade route. Crowd appeal will be an important criteria.

5. The attached parade score sheet will be used for scoring.


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