ISML 2014 Charter

The Annual Charter complements the ISML Constitution in defining values, schedules, additional limitations, etc. that have not yet been addressed. This allows ISML to be slightly different each year (keeping things exciting) while also retaining consistent core values.




I. Voting Policies and Procedures
A. IP addresses of voters will be logged to determine authenticity and uniqueness.
B. A voter may not circumvent the Policies stated in Article IV of the ISML Constitution by using multiple IP addresses to cast votes in the same round.
C. Voters found in violation of these procedures may have their IP addresses or subnets banned from voting in future ISML-hosted events for the remainder of the year. The length of ban is at the discretion of the Staff.
D. Voters may change their vote (if cast in error) by contacting the Staff by email at admin@internationalsaimoe.com. Vote change requests must include the IP address from which the vote was cast, the original incorrect vote, and the requested new vote.

II. Nova and Stella Divisions
A. Beginning with the Preliminary Period, Candidates and Contestants in ISML 2014 are separated into the Nova Division and the Stella Division.
B. All characters begin in the Nova Division. They must advance to the Stella Division upon achievement of any of the following:
1. Recipient of a Division Championship or League Championship
2. Contestant in Regular Season four or more years ago (i.e. 2008, 2009, 2010)
3. Contestant in Regular Season two or more times

III. Automatic Qualification
A. No characters are permitted to advance directly to the Regular Season.
B. The Top 12 Contestants from ISML 2013 Regular Season, Nova Division who have not advanced to ISML 2014 Stella Division are permitted automatic entry into ISML 2014 Preliminary Period, Nova Division.
C. The Top 8 Contestants from the ISML 2013 Seasonal Tournament who have not advanced to ISML 2014 Stella Division are permitted automatic entry into ISML 2014 Preliminary Period, Nova Division.
D. Characters who have participated in Regular Season for three or more years and at least once in the last three years (2011, 2012, 2013) are permitted automatic entry into ISML 2014 Preliminary Period, Stella Division.

IV. Nomination Period
A. The Nomination Period lasts seven (7) days.
B. Character eligibility will be checked according to Article III of the ISML Constitution with one additional condition: Character data occurring after 31 December 2013 will not be considered.
C. The nomination form will separate Nova Division and Stella Division.
1. Voters may nominate up to eight (8) characters for Nova Division.
2. Voters may nominate up to six (6) characters for Stella Division.
3. Voters must nominate at least three (3) characters.
4. Voters must nominate from at least two (2) anime series.
D. Nominated characters must be unique.
E. Invalid nominations will be discarded individually and will not void the entire ballot unless the discards result in a violation of any of the subsections of Rule C.
F. At the end of the Nomination Period, Characters with the most nominations in each Division will advance to the Preliminary Period until the allotted slots are filled.
1. The number of allotted slots for each Division is eighty-four (84) minus the number of automatic entries defined previously.
2. Staff will resolve any ties that occur in the last available slot(s). Priority consideration shall be given, if applicable, to those characters who were not selected in ISML 2013.

V. Preliminary Period
A. Characters participating in the Preliminary Period are referred to as Candidates.
B. Nova Division has three phases of preliminary competition: N-I, N-II, and N-III.
C. Stella Division has one phase of preliminary competition: S-I.
D. Phase N-I and S-I occur concurrently.
E. No inter-divisional matchups occur during the Preliminary Period.

VI. Preliminary Period, Phase S-I
A. Phase S-I features eighty-four (84) Candidates.
B. Phase S-I consists of four (4) voting rounds.
1. In each round, voters may select up to two (2) Candidates per group.
2. Candidates are regrouped in each round based on their performance in the previous round.
C. Round 1 consists of twelve (12) groups of seven (7) Candidates. The Candidates receiving the least votes in each group are eliminated from the tournament.
D. Round 2 consists of twelve (12) groups of six (6) Candidates. The Candidates receiving the most votes in each group advance to the Regular Season.
E. Round 3 consists of twelve (12) groups of five (5) Candidates. The Candidates receiving the most votes in each group advance to the Regular Season.
F. Round 4 consists of twelve (12) groups of four (4) Candidates. The Candidates receiving the most votes in each group advance to the Regular Season. Remaining Candidates are eliminated from the tournament.
G. Ties in any group after each voting round will be broken in the following order:
1. Average total Votes For (VF)
2. Ranking in the previous voting round
3. Ranking at the end of the Nomination Period

VII. Preliminary Period, Phase N-I
A. Phase N-I features eighty-four (84) Candidates.
B. Phase N-I consists of four (4) voting rounds.
1. In each round, voters may select up to two (2) Candidates per group.
2. Candidates are regrouped in each round based on their performance in the previous round.
3. Candidates eliminated in Phase N-I will advance to Phase N-II.
C. Round 1 consists of twelve (12) groups of seven (7) Candidates. The Candidates receiving the least votes in each group do not advance to Round 2.
D. Round 2 consists of twelve (12) groups of six (6) Candidates. The Candidates receiving the least votes in each group do not advance to Round 3.
E. Round 3 consists of twelve (12) groups of five (5) Candidates. The Candidates receiving the least votes in each group do not advance to Round 4.
F. Round 4 consists of twelve (12) groups of four (4) Candidates. The Candidates receiving the most votes in each group advance to the Regular Season.
G. Ties in any group after each voting round will be broken in the following order:
1. Average total Votes For (VF)
2. Ranking in the previous voting round
3. Ranking at the end of the Nomination Period

VIII. Seeding Matches
A. Special matchups for seeding purposes will occur during the Preliminary Period.
B. The size of each matchup and their rate of occurrence will vary based on Nomination Period results and based on previously completed matchups in the Preliminary Period.
C. Results from these matches will be used to seed Candidates in future Preliminary Period rounds and to seed Contestants in Regular Season.

IX. Preliminary Period, Phase N-II
A. Phase N-II features seventy-two (72) Candidates.
B. Candidates are divided into eight (8) groups of nine (9), seeded based on the results of Phase N-I and any seeding matches that occur during Phase N-I.
C. A three-member round-robin tournament will take place in each group. The voting rounds are seeded as follows:
1. Round 1: 168, 249, 357
2. Round 2: 159, 267, 348
3. Round 3: 147, 258, 369
4. Round 4: 123, 456, 789
D. Candidates receive the following points based on their performance in each match:
1. Four (4) points for a win
2. Three (3) points for a first-place tie
3. Two (2) points for a second-place result or for a three-way first-place tie
4. One (1) point for a second-place tie
5. Zero (0) points for all other results
E. Ties in each group will be broken in the following order:
1. Head-to-head result between tied Candidates
2. Win percentage
3. Effective Vote Differential (EVD)
a) EVD = ( ( 3 * Votes For ) - Vote Total ) / 2
4. Votes For
5. Most current head-to-head result from ISML 2013
6. Highest career finish from ISML 2013
7. Highest nomination count from ISML 2014 Nomination Period
F. At the end of Phase N-II, Candidates with the most points in each group will advance to Regular Season. The remaining Candidates will be ranked collectively by points and tiebreakers to determine seeding for Phase N-III.

X. Preliminary Period, Phase N-III
A. Phase III features sixty-four (64) Candidates per Division.
B. Candidates are divided into sixteen (16) groups of four (4).
C. A single-elimination tournament will take place in each group.
D. Ties are broken by comparing the Candidates' greatest Votes For average prior to Phase N-III.
E. Bracket winners will advance to the Regular Season. The remaining Candidates are eliminated from the tournament.

XI. Regular Season
A. Characters participating in the Regular Season are referred to as Contestants.
B. Each Division consists of thirty-six (36) Contestants, who will participate in a round-robin tournament.
1. The Regular Season's format and schedule are identical to both Divisions.
2. Inter-divisional matchups will occur during the Necklace Showdown, described later.
3. Additional Competitors will be present, participating in Exhibition Matches occurring alongside the primary matches but having no bearing on Regular Season results.
4. Contestants are seeded based on results from the Preliminary Period.
C. The Regular Season consists of five (5) Periods in the following order: Aquamarine, Amethyst, Ruby, Emerald, and Topaz. Each Period consists of seven (7) Rounds.
1. Each Round features eighteen (18) matches from each Division for a total of thirty-six (36) matches.
2. Each Contestant has exactly one opponent per Round.
3. Exhibition Matches will be featured during the Round.
4. Each Round will last twenty-four (24) hours.
5. Round results will be available on the Website no sooner than twelve (12) hours after the Round's scheduled end.
D. At the end of each Round, the Contestant who receives the greater number of valid votes in her Match will be declared the winner; the opponent will be declared the loser. If the Contestants have an equal number of valid votes, the match will be declared a draw; both Contestants will record a tie in their statistics, and no overtime match will occur.
E. A ranking system for each Division will be utilized to track the Contestants' progress throughout the Regular Season and in each of the five Periods.
1. The primary index for rankings will be League Points. Contestants are awarded League Points following each round depending on the result:
a) A win awards three (3) points.
b) A tie awards one (1) point.
c) A loss awards fractional points calculated as (Vote For / Vote Against).
2. League Points are also referred to as a Contestant's Strength of Schedule.
F. Contestants in the same Division may not have the same rank at any point in the tournament. If Contestants have the same amount of League Points after a given Round, tiebreaker procedures will be applied in the following order:
1. Greater number of wins
2. Winner of the tied Contestants’ head-to-head match, if applicable
a) This is calculated only at the end of each Period and at the end of the Regular Season
3. Greater Strength of Schedule of Defeated Opponents (SDO)
4. Greater Strength of Schedule of All Opponents (SAO)
5. Greater Vote Differential (VD)
6. Greater number of Votes For (VF)
7. Selection by Staff
G. At the end of the Regular Season after all tiebreakers have been applied, the top sixteen (16) ranked Contestants of each Division will advance to the Postseason.
H. Every ballot submission will be recorded in a database. At the end of each Round, the Staff will validate and verify each submission before calculating totals.
I. All Voter Policies and Procedures stated in Article IV of the Constitution apply with the following additions:
1. Voters may abstain from any match in a given Round, but a ballot must have a minimum number of votes to be considered valid. This value differs depending on the Round and will be specified on each voting ballot.
2. Voters may make changes to their submitted ballot in the allotted time by contacting the Staff with their IP address and change request.
3. Votes submitted from a proxy IP are not allowed and are grounds for banning.

XII. Necklace Showdown
A. After the end of the seventh Round in each Period, a free-for-all voting round called Necklace Showdown will occur to determine the winner of the Necklace representing that period.
B. There will be only one Necklace awarded per Period. Contestants from both Divisions will face each other for the Necklace.
C. Only Contestants who have not already won a Necklace this year are eligible to participate.
D. A total of seven (7) Contestants will participate in the Necklace Showdown based on their Rank for the Period.
1. The three (3) highest ranked and eligible Contestants from Stella Division.
2. The three (3) highest ranked and eligible Contestants from Nova Division.
3. One (1) Contestant between the 4th-ranked Contestants in either Division determined by Regular Season tiebreaker rules.
E. The voting round will last twenty-four (24) hours.
F. Voters may select only one (1) Contestant among the finalists on their ballots.
G. At the end of the round, each Contestant receives a Necklace Score, calculated as the sum of her SDO for the entire Period and her voting percentage for the round multiplied by 220. (SDO + 220*Vote%)
H. The Contestant with the highest Necklace Score is awarded the Necklace. Ties are resolved using the same procedure in Regular Season rounds.
I. Exhibition matches will be scheduled alongside the Necklace Showdown.
1. Results of exhibition matches will not impact the rankings or point totals of Contestants.

XIII. Postseason, Phase I
A. Sixteen (16) Contestants from each Division will participate in a Swiss-system tournament consisting of four (4) matches.
1. Phase I's format and schedule are identical to both Divisions.
2. No inter-divisional matchups will occur in Phase I.
3. Additional Competitors will be present, participating in Exhibition Matches occurring alongside the Postseason rounds but having no bearing on their results.
4. The same time limits, voting procedures, and voter policies from the Regular Season apply to Phase I.
5. Contestants are seeded according to their final ranks at the end of the Regular Season. The first round will feature the following matchups based on seed: 1 vs. 16, 8 vs. 9, 5 vs. 12, 4 vs. 13, 6 vs. 11, 3 vs. 14, 7 vs. 10, 2 vs. 15.
B. Contestants advance through the bracket according to Swiss-system rules.
1. The winner of the Nova Division tournament will be declared the Nova Champion of ISML 2014 and awarded the Sapphire Circlet.
2. The winner of the Stella Division tournament will be declared the Stella Champion of ISML 2014 and be awarded the Diamond Circlet.
3. If Contestants have the same number of votes at the end of a voting round, the Contestant who won the head-to-head match during the Regular Season will be declared the winner. If that match was also a draw, the higher-ranked Contestant according to the final Regular Season standings will be declared the winner.
C. At the end of Phase I, Contestants in each Division will be ranked from 1st to 16th by the following procedures:
1. Most wins during Phase I
2. Most wins against Contestants with the same number or greater number of wins within Phase I
3. Regular Season ranking
D. The top eight (8) ranked Contestants in each Division will advance to Postseason Phase II. The remaining Contestants are eliminated from the tournament.

XIV. Postseason, Phase II
A. Eligible Contestants from each Division combine into one single-elimination tournament.
1. Additional Competitors will be present, participating in Exhibition Matches occurring alongside the Postseason rounds but having no bearing on their results.
2. The same time limits, voting procedures, and voter policies from the Regular Season apply to Phase II.
3. The first round will feature the following matchups based on Contestant ranking at the end of Phase I: 1N vs. 8S, 5N vs. 4S, 2S vs. 7N, 3N vs. 6S, 6N vs. 3S, 2N vs. 7S, 4N vs. 5S, 8N vs. 1S.
B. Contestants advance through the bracket according to traditional single-elimination rules.
1. Eliminated Contestants will be seeded into the Consolation Brackets, a series of single-elimination tournaments that will determine the final Postseason rankings from third place to sixteenth place. These matches will take place during the Phase II rounds at the earliest possible opportunity.
2. The winner of this tournament will be declared the Champion of ISML 2014 and be awarded the Heavenly Tiara.
3. If Contestants have the same number of votes at the end of a Postseason, Phase II round, the Contestant who won the head-to-head match during the Regular Season will be declared the winner. If that match was also a draw, or didn't occur, the higher-ranked Contestant according to the final Regular Season standings will be declared the winner. If a tie still remains, then the tiebreaker procedure from the Regular Season will apply.

XV. Exhibition Matches
A. Exhibition Matches are official ISML-hosted events designed to raise awareness of anime series and Japanese media characters who are not currently participating in the current year’s contest. The matches may focus on anime series airing after ISML had begun or on other outlets possibly previously unknown to members of the Community.
B. Exhibition Matches have no effect on the Main Tournament.
C. At least one Exhibition Match will be scheduled during each round of the Regular Season.
D. Exhibition Matches may be scheduled during each Period’s Necklace Showdown.
E. Several Exhibition Matches will be scheduled during the Postseason voting rounds.
F. Voting or abstaining in an Exhibition Match carries no benefit or penalty.

XVI. Schedule
A. All dates in this section will be published on the Website for easy access by the Community.
B. All dates are subject to change. ISML may change the schedule without updating this section of the document; however, any and all changes must be published on the Website as early as possible.
C. All tournament matches will last for 24 hours. Staff may extend the time period if system errors prevent votes from being submitted during this period. All extensions will be reported on the Website.
D. The Nomination Period is scheduled from 0000 GMT, 1 January 2014, to 2359 GMT, 7 January 2014.
1. This period will be extended if system errors prevent nomination submissions for more than twenty-four (24) cumulative hours.
E. The Preliminary Period is scheduled from 2 February 2014 to 18 March 2014.
1. All matches in this period are scheduled to start at 1500 GMT on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
2. Phase N-I, Phase S-I and Seeding Matches will take place on 2 Feb, 4 Feb, 6 Feb, 9 Feb, 11 Feb, 13 Feb, 16 Feb, and 18 Feb.
3. Phase N-II will take place on 2 Mar, 4 Mar, 6 Mar, and 9 Mar.
4. Phase N-III will take place on 16 Mar, and 18 Mar.
F. The Regular Season is scheduled from 13 April 2014 to 21 August 2014.
1. All matches in this period are scheduled to start at 1500 GMT on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
2. Aquamarine Period will take place from 13 Apr to 1 May.
3. Amethyst Period will take place from 11 May to 29 May.
4. Ruby Period will take place from 8 Jun to 26 Jun.
5. Emerald Period will take place from 6 Jul to 24 Jul.
6. Topaz Period will take place from 3 Aug to 21 Aug.
G. Postseason, Phase I is scheduled from 7 September 2014 to 14 September 2014.
1. Matches are scheduled to start at 1500 GMT on 7 Sep, 9 Sep, 11 Sep, and 14 Sep.
H. Postseason, Phase II is scheduled from 21 September 2014 to 5 October 2014.
1. Matches are scheduled to start at 1500 GMT on 21 Sep, 23 Sep, 25 Sep, 28 Sep, 30 Sep, and 5 Oct.

XVII. Legal
A. The information presented on the website, including but not limited to biography information, statistical history, and copyright information, is not guaranteed to be completely accurate. ISML, including its staff and owners, cannot be held legally liable for any harm caused by the use or misuse of information contained within the pages located on the internationalsaimoe.com domain.
B. The names of all characters and Japanese productions featured on the Website do not in any way belong to ISML. All copyrights and intellectual property belong to their respective owners. Images are used for identification purposes only.
C. During vote-checking, Staff shall not show any favoritism to any Contestant during the validation process. Once voting results are released for a match, a member of the Community may appeal the results within 24 hours. Once an appeal is accepted by the ISML Commissioner, the Staff will repeat the validation procedures and make any appropriate adjustments. After 24 hours have passed, the result is final and cannot be changed.
D. While the Staff will attempt to enforce the Voter Policies as strictly as possible, situations may occur where not all votes in violation of the Policies will be detected or where voters banned for Policy violations discover alternate methods to submit votes. Staff will work to the best of their ability to minimize the occurrence of these situations.
E. All scheduled dates and times are subject to change without prior notice. However once changed, the Community will be notified on the Website.
F. Each year, ISML and the Staff attempt to present a fair system of matches such that Contestants have a chance to compete against all other Contestants. While the fairness and parity of the Regular Season as a whole is guaranteed, the fairness and parity of each of the five Periods is not. The Staff have assured their best, honest, and virtuous effort to arrange a respectively even Strength of Schedule for all Contestants without bias or favoritism or discrimination.

XVIII. Amendments
A. Once approved and published, the contents of this document shall not be altered. It may only be amended, in which amendments may update or supersede the statements in this document.
B. Amendments may be suggested by any member of the Community and are subject to approval by the Staff and Commissioner at any time during the course of the tournament.
C. Approved Amendments must be reported on the Website.
D. [5-6 January 2014] Portions of Article XIII were rewritten to clarify the tournament structure. The original wording of single-elimination plus consolation is better described as a Swiss-system tournament. The plans for the tournament remain the same.
E. [16 April 2014] The Necklace Score calculation was updated for the 2014 Regular Season.