ISML 2018 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.

  1. Voting Policies and Procedures
    1. The IP addresses of voters will be logged in order to verify ballot authenticity and voter uniqueness.
    2. Voters 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.
    3. Voters may not submit ballots using proxy IPs.
    4. Voters may not engage in bribery, blackmail, aggressive intimidation, or similar unethical activities. Ballots will be voided if sufficient evidence exists that they were submitted under such circumstances. In addition, all ballots of all parties sufficiently involved will be voided.
    5. 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.
    6. Voters may change their vote (if cast in error) by contacting the Staff by email at [email protected] Vote change requests must include the IP address from which the vote was cast, the original incorrect vote, and the requested new vote.
    7. 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. Main Tournament Divisions
    1. The Main Tournament will be divided into two Divisions: the Female Division and the Male Division.
      1. The Main Tournament's format and schedule are identical for both Divisions.
      2. Characters participating in either Division are known as Contestants. Each Division consists of one hundred and twenty (120) Contestants.
    2. Additional Competitors will participate in Exhibition Matches scheduled to occur alongside the primary matches (See Section XI).
      1. Mixed matches are restricted to Exhibition arenas.
  3. Tournament of Champions
    1. The most recent eight (8) champions, per division, of ISML will participate in a side tournament to be held during the 2018 Main Tournament. This tournament is referred to as the Tournament of Champions.
    2. Characters participating in the Tournament of Champions are ineligible for the 2018 Main Tournament.
    3. Past champions who fall outside of the Tournament of Champions bracket are eligible for the Main Tournament
  4. Automatic Qualification
    1. The two (2) finalists from each of the ISML 2017 Seasonal Tournaments are permitted automatic entry into the ISML 2018 Main Tournament, bypassing the Nomination Phase (Section V). This is a total of eight (8) entrants.
    2. Any winner of a 2017 Necklace or Pendant is permitted automatic entry into the ISML 2018 Main Tournament, provided he/she is not participating in the Tournament of Champions. This is a total of twelve (12) additional entrants.
  5. Nomination Period
    1. The Nomination Period lasts seven (7) days (See Section XII.D).
    2. 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 2017 will not be considered when determining eligibility for the Main Tournament.
      2. For entry into the Female 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 qualification as above except with regards to male and masculine characters.
      4. A character who qualifies as both male and female may enter one division only; the prevailing gender will take priority.
    3. The Staff reserves the right to deem any avatar-type character ineligible for the Main Tournament.
      1. We define "avatar" as any entity, virtual or otherwise, that is controlled by a distant conscience.
      2. An avatar may be eligible in the following cases:
        1. His/her status as an avatar has not been revealed in the anime adaptation.
        2. The character only appears as an avatar; i.e, the controlling conscience is never revealed or does not have a corporeal form.
        3. The avatar gains, or regains, his/her own individual conscience.
    4. The Female Division, Male Division, and Winter Seasonal share a single character nomination form.
      1. Voters may nominate up to twenty (20) characters each.
      2. At least five (5) eligible anime franchises must be represented on the ballot.
      3. At least two (2) female and two (2) male characters must be included on the ballot.
      4. At most three (3) characters from any given series or franchise may be nominated on the ballot.
      5. No character may be nominated more than once on the ballot.
      6. All nominations have equal weight. There is no ranking of nominations.
    5. Characters who are eligible for the Female Division will first be considered for the Female Division, even if the intent was to nominate them for the Winter Seasonal. Only if they fail to qualify for the Female Division will they be considered for the Winter Seasonal.
    6. Invalid nominations on a ballot will be discarded individually and will not void the ballot unless any discard results in that ballot being in violation of Section V.D, in which case that ballot will be voided.
    7. At the end of the Nomination Period, the characters with the most nominations for each Division will advance into the Main Tournament until the allotted slots are filled.
      1. The number of allotted slots for each Division is one hundred twenty (120) minus the number of automatic entries permitted in Section IV.
      2. The following sequence of tiebreakers will be used to break ties in favor of the character(s) who fits the stated description:
        1. Characters who have never appeared in any ISML Main Tournament, Regular Season, or Preliminary Phase.
        2. Characters with the most years removed from an ISML, taking into consideration only appearances in a Main Tournament, Regular Season, or Preliminary Phase.
        3. Characters with the most years removed from an ISML, taking into consideration only appearances in a Main Tournament or Regular Season.
        4. Characters with the latest appearance in a TVA episode, OVA release, or movie release. Re-broadcasts, re-releases, and re-screenings are not taken into consideration.
        5. If a tie persists, the Staff will choose the character(s) they believe will perform the best.
  6. Seasonal Tournaments
    1. There will be a separate nomination period for each Seasonal Tournament (except Winter. See Section V.D).
    2. The same guidelines ruling eligibility for the Female Division (Section V.B.2) and eligibility of avatars (Section V.C) apply to all 2018 Seasonal Tournaments.
    3. Characters must satisfy the following conditions to be eligible:
      1. The character has appeared in an anime series after 31 December 2017.
      2. The character did not qualify for the 2018 Main Tournament.
      3. The character was not eligible for any of the previous four (4) Seasonal Tournaments.
    4. Qualification for a Seasonal Tournament is based on two factors.
      1. Characters with more nominations have an increased chance of qualifying.
      2. Characters who have less nominations than a different character from the same series has a decreased chance of qualifying.
    5. No series will be allowed more than three (3) characters in a Seasonal Tournament.
    6. Winners of the Seasonal Tournaments will be awarded the corresponding Seasonal Diadem. Posters of each winner will be released within five (5) days of the release of the relevant results.
  7. Seeding Matches
    1. The 2017 Necklace and Pendant Winners will be given the top 6 seeds in their respective Divisions according to their 2017 ranks.
    2. A seeding match will occur to decide the seeding of the rest of the Contestants.
      1. Fifty-four (54) Contestants from each Division, including the eight (8) 2017 Seasonal finalists and at least top 40 contestants by their 2018 nomination numbers, will be subject to an Approval Voting match.
    3. Seeding for Tournament of Champions will be done via Single Transferable Vote during the Aquamarine Necklace Match.
  8. Group Stages
    1. The Group Stages consist of seven (7) Periods in the following order: Aquamarine, Topaz, Amethyst, Sapphire, Emerald, Ruby and Diamond.
    2. In each Period, Contestants will be split into Groups of six (6). Contestants in the same Group will compete with each other in a round-robin format.
      1. The number of matches in a Round will vary depending on the number of Groups in the Period (Section VIII.G).
      2. Each Contestant has exactly one (1) opponent per Round.
      3. Each Round will last twenty-four (24) hours.
      4. A Round's results will be available on the Website no sooner than twelve (12) hours after the Round's scheduled end.
    3. At the end of each Round, the Contestant who received the greater number of valid votes in his/her match will be declared the winner of that match; the opposing Contestant will be declared the loser. If opposing Contestants have an equal number of valid votes, their match will be declared a draw: both Contestants will record a tie in their statistics, and no overtime match will occur.
    4. A ranking system for each Group will be utilized to record the Contestants' results in each of the seven (7) Periods.
      1. Rankings will be decided primarily by League Points. Contestants are awarded League Points following each Round.
        1. A win awards three (3) points.
        2. A tie awards one (1) point.
        3. A loss awards fractional points calculated as (Votes For / Votes Against).
      2. After each Round, the following iterative process will be used to update the rankings within a Group: the highest available rank is given to the Contestant who satisfies the following conditions, applying each subsequent condition only among tied Contestants.
        1. Greatest number of League Points
        2. Greatest number of wins
        3. Won the tied Contestants' head-to-head match, if applicable
        4. Greatest cumulative sqrt(Vote For)
        5. Greatest cumulative Vote Differential (VD)
        6. Selected by Staff
    5. At the end of each Period after all tiebreakers have been applied, Contestants who have performed well will advance to the next Stage.
      1. After the Aquamarine Period, the top four (4) Contestants in each Group and the five (5) Contestants with the highest CVP among the 5th ranked Contestants will advance. The rest of the 5th ranked Contestants plus the top ten (10) in CVP among the 6th ranked Contestants will collectively be subjected to an Approval Voting match. The top eleven (11) will advance. This additional match is known as a Wild Card Match and will occur alongside the Necklace and Pendant Matches (See Section IX).
      2. After the Topaz Period, the top four (4) Contestants in each Group and the two (2) Contestants with the highest CVP among the 5th ranked Contestants will advance. The rest of the 5th ranked Contestants plus the top eight (8) in CVP among the 6th ranked Contestants will collectively be subjected to an Approval Voting match. The top six (6) will advance.
      3. After the Amethyst Period, the top four (4) Contestants in each Group and the three (3) Contestants with the highest CVP among the 5th ranked Contestants will advance. The rest of the 5th ranked Contestants plus the top six (6) in CVP among the 6th ranked Contestants will collectively be subjected to an Approval Voting match. The top nine (9) will advance.
      4. After the Sapphire Period, the top four (4) Contestants in each Group and the three (3) Contestants with the highest CVP among the 5th ranked Contestants will advance. The rest of the 5th ranked Contestants plus the top five (5) in CVP among the 6th ranked Contestants will collectively be subjected to a Single Transferable Vote (STV) match. The top five (5) will advance.
      5. After the Emerald Period, the top four (4) Contestants in each Group and the one (1) Contestants with the highest CVP among the 5th ranked Contestants will advance. The rest of the 5th ranked Contestants plus the top four (4) in CVP among the 6th ranked Contestants will collectively be subjected to a STV match. The top three (3) will advance.
      6. After the Ruby Period, the top three (3) Contestants in each Group and the two (2) Contestants with the highest CVP among the 4th ranked Contestants will advance. The rest of the 4th ranked Contestants, all of the 5th ranked Contestants, and the top three (3) in CVP among the 6th ranked Contestants will collectively be subjected to a STV match. The top four (4) will advance.
      7. After the Diamond Period, the top three (3) Contestants in each Group will advance. All of the remaining Contestants will be subjected to a Range Voting match. Their scores in this match will be multiplied by sqrt(their Diamond Period Points) to generate a Seeding Score. The top four (4) in Seeding Score will advance.
    6. The Aquamarine, Topaz, Amethyst and Sapphire Periods will be the Stage of one hundred twenty (120), ninety-six (96), seventy-two (72), and sixty (60). The Emerald and Ruby Periods will be the Stage of forty-eight (48) and thirty-six (36) . The Diamond Period will be the Stage of twenty-four (24).
      1. After each Stage, all advanced Contestants will be re-seeded according to their results in prior Stages before being allocated to their respective Groups.
    7. Other statistics may be posted and kept for study and analysis.
  9. Necklace and Pendant Showdown
    1. At the end of each Period, there will be a Necklace Showdown for the Female Division to determine the winner of the Necklace for that Period. The Male Division will have a similar Pendant Showdown.
    2. Only one Necklace and one Pendant will be awarded per Period.
    3. Contestants who win a Necklace or Pendant are ineligible for later Showdowns for the remainder of the year.
    4. A total of eight (8) Contestants from each Division will participate in a Necklace/Pendant Showdown based on their performance during the relevant Period. For each slot, the slot will be filled by the eligible Contestant who satisfies the following conditions, applying each subsequent condition only among tied Contestants.
      1. Highest ranking
      2. Greatest number of League Points
      3. Greatest number of Wins
      4. Greatest cumulative sqrt(Vote For)
      5. Greatest cumulative Vote Differential
      6. Selected by Staff
    5. The voting round will last twenty-four (24) hours.
      1. Voters will rank the eight (8) Contestants in each of the Showdown matches.
      2. Exhibition Matches (See Section XI) will be scheduled alongside the Necklace and Pendant Showdowns.
    6. At the end of the Round, the winning Contestants, as decided by an Instant-Runoff Voting system, are awarded the Necklace and Pendant.
      1. Ties are resolved in favor of the Contestant who was ranked highest on the most ballots. A continued tie will be broken using the number of second-highest ranks, and so on.
      2. If a tie persists, it is resolved using one iteration of the process detailed in Section VIII.D.2.
    7. The results for a Necklace and Pendant Round will be available on the Website thirty-six (36) hours after the Round ends. Posters of the Necklace and Pendant winners will be released within two (2) days of the results being announced, provided no extraordinary circumstances.
  10. Elimination Stage
    1. Sixteen (16) Contestants from each Division are seeded according to their performances in the prior Stages. The 1st round will feature the following matches based on seed: 1st vs 16th, 8th vs 9th, 4th vs 13th, 5th vs 12th, 2nd vs 15th, 7th vs 10th, 3rd vs 14th, and 6th vs 11th.
      1. Contestants advance through the bracket according to traditional single-elimination rules.
      2. If opposing Contestants have the same number of votes at the end of an Elimination Round, the Contestant who had won their previous head-to-head match during the Group Stages will be declared the winner. If that match was also a draw, or did not occur, the higher-seeded Contestant according to the initial Elimination Stage seeding will be declared the winner.
      3. Eliminated Contestants will be seeded into the Consolation Brackets, which are a series of 1 vs. 1 matches that will determine the final rankings from third place to last place. These matches will take place during the Elimination Rounds at the earliest possible opportunity.
      4. The winner of the Female Division will be awarded the Heavenly Tiara and the winner of the Male Division will be awarded the Lapis Scepter. Posters for each champion will be released within two (2) days of the results of the championship matches being announced, provided no extraordinary circumstances.
  11. Exhibition Matches
    1. Exhibition Matches are official ISML-hosted events designed to raise awareness of anime series that are not represented and Japanese media characters who are not participating in the Main Tournament. The matches may focus on anime series airing after the Nomination Period had begun or on other outlets possibly previously unknown to members of the Community.
    2. Exhibition Matches have no effect on the Main Tournament, unless an exception for a specific match is announced at least one week before the start of that match.
    3. At least one Exhibition Match will be scheduled during each Round of the Group Stages.
    4. Exhibition Matches may be scheduled during the Necklace and Pendant Showdowns.
    5. Several Exhibition Matches will be scheduled during the Elimination Rounds.
  12. Schedule
    1. All dates in this section will be published on the Website for easy access by the Community.
    2. 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.
    3. All tournament matches will last for twenty-four (24) hours. Staff may extend this time if system errors prevent votes from being submitted during this period. All extensions will be reported on the Website.
    4. The Nomination Period is scheduled from 0000 GMT, 10 April 2018, to 2359 GMT, 16 April 2018.
      1. This period will be extended if system errors prevent nomination submissions for more than twenty-four (24) cumulative hours.
    5. The Main Tournament is scheduled from 13 May 2018 to 29 January 2019.
      1. All matches in this period are scheduled to start at 1500 GMT on the dates reported on the ISML Calendar.
      2. Aquamarine Period will take place from 13 May to 19 June.
      3. Topaz Period will take place from 28 June to 29 July.
      4. Amethyst Period will take place from 7 August to 2 September.
      5. Sapphire Period will take place from 11 September to 2 October.
      6. Emerald Period will take place from 9 October to 25 October.
      7. Ruby Period will take place from 1 November to 18 November.
      8. Diamond Period will take place from 27 November to 13 December.
      9. Elimination Stage will take place from 13 January to 29 January.
  13. Legal
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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 twenty-four (24) hours. Once an appeal is accepted by the ISML Commissioner, the Staff will repeat the validation procedures and make any appropriate adjustments. After twenty-four (24) hours have passed, the result is final and cannot be changed.
    4. 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. The Staff will work to the best of their ability to minimize the occurrence of these situations.
    5. All scheduled dates and times are subject to change without prior notice. However once changed, the Community will be notified on the Website.
    6. Each year, ISML and the Staff attempt to present a fair system of matches. The Staff will ensure their best, honest, and virtuous effort to arrange a respectively even schedule for all Contestants without bias or favoritism or discrimination.
    7. The Staff is authorized to delay the start of the voting session should any problems arise due to technical issues or other areas of concern. In such cases, the Staff are allowed to delay the end of the voting session and the release of results.
  14. Amendments
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Approved Amendments must be reported on the Website.