ISML 2015 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. Contestant Divisions
A. Female and male characters will compete in separate tournaments. They may face each other in exhibition arenas only.
B. Beginning with the Preliminary Period, female Candidates and Contestants are further separated into the Nova Division and the Stella Division.
C. All female characters begin in the Nova Division and automatically transfer 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 (2011 or earlier)
3. Contestant in Regular Season two or more times

III. Tournament of Champions
A. All winners of the ISML Championship will participate in a single-elimination tournament during the 2015 Postseason. This includes the 2015 Tiara winner along with previous winners.
B. Other than the eventual 2015 Tiara winner, characters in the Tournament of Champions will not participate in the Regular Season, except for the previous year’s Champion if she won from Nova Division (thus, had never been in Stella division).
C. If such an exception exists, that character is eligible to participate in the Regular Season (by way of Nominations and Preliminaries) and face other Contestants; however, she will not be eligible for Postseason Phase I or Postseason Phase II.

IV. Automatic Qualification
A. No characters are permitted to advance directly to the Regular Season.
B. The top two (2) Contestants from each of the ISML 2014 Seasonal Tournaments who have not advanced to ISML 2015 Stella Division are permitted automatic entry into ISML 2015 Preliminary Period, Nova Division. This is a total of eight (8) entries.

V. Nomination Period
A. The Nomination Period lasts fourteen (14) days.
B. Character eligibility will be checked according to Article III of the ISML Constitution with the following additional conditions:
1. Character data occurring after 31 December 2014 will not be considered.
2. For entry into the Nova or Stella Division, the character must be female, must possess a female form (in which case only the instances when the character is female shall be considered), or must regularly exhibit feminine qualities when the character's gender is unknown or cannot be determined.
3. The male division considers the same qualifications as above except with regards to male and masculine characters.
4. A character who qualifies as both male and female may enter only one division only; the prevailing gender will take priority.
C. The nomination form has separate sections for female characters and male characters.
1. Voters may nominate up to fourteen (14) characters for the Nova and Stella Divisions.
2. Voters may nominate up to eight (8) characters for male division.
3. Voters must nominate at least three (3) characters.
4. Voters must nominate from at least three (3) distinct anime franchises.
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 (80) 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 not selected for the previous year's Regular Season.
G. An additional form for the Winter Seasonal Tournament, an exhibition tournament, will be available during the Nomination Period. This form accepts female characters (per rule V.B.2) with appearances on and after 1 January 2015 and who have not appeared in the 2014 Preliminary Period or any seasonal tournament in 2014.
1. Voters may nominate up to five (5) characters.
2. Thirty-two (32) characters will be accepted into the tournament; prioritization is a mixture of nomination results and maximizing the number of anime series represented.

VI. Preliminary Period
A. Characters participating in the Preliminary Period are referred to as Candidates.
B. The Preliminary Period features eighty (80) Candidates per Division.
C. The Preliminary Period consists of five (5) voting rounds, defined below.
1. Round 1 consists of eight (8) groups of ten (10) Candidates. Voters may select up to three (3) Candidates per group. The two (2) Candidates who receive the least votes in each group are eliminated from the tournament.
2. Round 2 consists of eight (8) groups of eight (8) Candidates. Voters may select up to two (2) Candidates per group. The two (2) Candidates who receive the least votes in each group are eliminated from the tournament.
3. Round 3 consists of six (6) groups of eight (8) Candidates. Voters may select up to two (2) Candidates per group. The two (2) Candidates who receive the most votes in each group advance to the Regular Season.
4. Round 4 consists of six (6) groups of six (6) Candidates. Voters may select up to two (2) Candidates per group. The two (2) Candidates who receive the most votes in each group advance to the Regular Season.
5. Round 5 consists of four (4) groups of six (6) Candidates. Voters may select up to two (2) Candidates per group. The three (3) Candidates who receive the most votes in each group advance to the Regular Season. Remaining Candidates are eliminated from the tournament.
D. Remaining Candidates after Rounds 1 through 4 are divided into new groups based on their performance in the previous round.
E. Ties in any group after each voting round will be broken in the following order:
1. Average Votes For (VF) total
2. Ranking in the previous voting round
3. Ranking at the end of the Nomination Period
F. Seeding matches will begin in Round 4 and continue after Round 5 has concluded.
G. The Winter Seasonal Tournament will begin at the same time as Round 2.

VII. Seeding Matches
A. Special matchups will occur during the Preliminary Period that will determine seeding in the Regular Season.
B. These arenas will appear after Candidates have begun to advance to the Regular Season following Preliminary Period Round 3. They continue after Round 5 until the seeding process is complete.
C. All seeding arenas will have six (6) Contestants. Voters may select up to two (2) Contestants per group.

VIII. 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 all 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 fifty-four (54) 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 (Votes For / Votes 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 All Opponents (SAO)
4. Greater Vote Differential (VD)
5. Greater number of Votes For (VF)
6. Selection by Staff
G. At the end of the Regular Season after all tiebreakers have been applied, the sixteen (16) Contestants in each Division with the most League Points will advance to the Postseason.
H. Contestants will accumulate a Seeding Score throughout the season. This value is used primarily for initial seeding in the Postseason.
1. All Contestants begin with a Seeding Score of 100.
2. After every match, the winner will receive N% of his or her opponent’s Seeding Score. The loser will lose N% of his or her Seeding Score.
3. The value N begins at 1 for the first match of the season and will increment by 1 until the last match of the regular season (where N would equal 35).
I. Other statistical values may be posted and kept for study and analysis.
J. Special awards will be given to two male Contestants at the end of the Regular Season.
1. The male Contestant with the highest Seeding Score will be awarded the Sapphire Crown.
2. A special match will occur alongside the Topaz Pendant Showdown. It will feature 7 male Contestants subject to the following eligibility:
a) Previous Lapis Scepter winners who have not yet obtained a Diamond Crown.
b) Contestants with the highest Seeding Score who have not obtained a Pendant or Crown this year and who are not in the Topaz Pendant Showdown.
3. The winner of this special match will be awarded the Diamond Crown.
K. 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.
L. 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.

IX. Necklace and Pendant 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. This round is known as the Pendant Showdown for the male division.
B. There will be only one Necklace/Pendant awarded per Period. Nova and Stella Divisions will compete together for the same Necklace.
C. Only Contestants who have not already won a Necklace/Pendant 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. A total of seven (7) Contestants from the Male Division will participate in the Pendant Showdown based on their Rank for the Period.
F. The voting round will last twenty-four (24) hours.
G. Voters may select up to two (2) Contestants among the finalists on their ballots.
H. At the end of the round, each Contestant receives a Necklace/Pendant Score, calculated as such:
N/P Score = (voting percentage in Round) + [(SAO in Period) * (League Points in Period) / 63]
I. The Contestant with the highest Necklace/Pendant Score is awarded the Necklace/Pendant. Ties are resolved using the same procedure in Regular Season rounds.
J. The winner of a Necklace is guaranteed a slot in Postseason, Phase I.
K. Exhibition matches will be scheduled alongside the Necklace and Pendant Showdown.
1. Results of exhibition matches will not impact the rankings or point totals of Contestants.

X. Postseason, Phase I
A. Sixteen (16) Contestants from Nova and Stella Divisions will participate in a single-elimination tournament. The Male Division does not have this phase.
1. Phase I's format and schedule are identical to both Divisions.
2. No inter-divisional matchups will occur in Phase I.
3. Slots for each Division will be filled first by Necklace winners from that Division, then by Regular Season points rank.
4. Additional Competitors will be present, participating in Exhibition Matches occurring alongside the Postseason rounds but having no bearing on their results.
5. The same time limits, voting procedures, and voter policies from the Regular Season apply to Phase I.
6. Contestants are seeded according to their final score 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 traditional single-elimination rules.
1. The winner of the Nova Division tournament will be declared the Nova Champion of ISML 2015 and awarded the Sapphire Circlet.
2. The winner of the Stella Division tournament will be declared the Stella Champion of ISML 2015 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.
4. Contestants eliminated in the first, second, and third rounds will participate in consolation seeding matches organized similar to a Swiss-system tournament.
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. Win-Loss difference among remaining tied Contestants
4. 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.

XI. Postseason, Phase II
A. Eligible Contestants from Nova and Stella Divisions combine into one single-elimination tournament. Sixteen (16) Contestants from the Male Division will participate in a 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 of the female tournament 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.
4. The first round of the male tournament will feature matchups based on final score ranks at the end of the Regular Season: 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 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 the female tournament will be declared the Champion of ISML 2015 and be awarded the Heavenly Tiara. She will also participate in the Tournament of Champions this year.
3. The winner of the male tournament will be awarded the Champion's Scepter.
4. 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 did not 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.

XII. 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.

XIII. 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 March 2015, to 2359 GMT, 14 March 2015.
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 19 April 2015 to 14 May 2015.
1. All matches in this period are scheduled to start at 1500 GMT.
F. The Regular Season is scheduled from 7 June 2015 to 15 October 2015.
1. All matches in this period are scheduled to start at 1500 GMT.
2. Aquamarine Period will take place from 07 Jun to 25 Jun.
3. Amethyst Period will take place from 05 Jul to 23 Jul.
4. Ruby Period will take place from 02 Aug to 20 Aug.
5. Emerald Period will take place from 30 Aug to 17 Sep.
6. Topaz Period will take place from 27 Sep to 15 Oct.
G. Postseason, Phase I is scheduled from 01 November 2015 to 08 November 2015.
1. Matches are scheduled to start at 1500 GMT.
H. Postseason, Phase II is scheduled from 15 November 2015 to 03 December 2015.
1. Matches are scheduled to start at 1500 GMT.

XIV. 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.

XV. 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. [18 February 2015] Rule III.D has been removed, which had allowed previous Lapis Scepter winners to participate in Regular Season. The wording of Rule VIII.H has been updated, because the Seeding Score is now used for a second purpose. Rule VIII.J has been inserted (shifting subsequent rules down one letter), describing the process to award the Sapphire Crown and Diamond Crown.
E. [22 February 2015] Rule V.G was appended with an extra condition ("...and who have not appeared in the 2014 Preliminary Period or any seasonal tournament in 2014") to clarify eligibility for the winter seasonal tournament.
E. [1 March 2015] Rule V.C.1 was updated to allow 14 nominations in the Nova and Stella divisions, increased from 12. Rule V.C.4 was updated to remove the restriction that 3 franchises must be represented per gender; instead it is a total of 3 franchises on the entire ballot.