ISML 2016 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 [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.

II. Contestant Divisions
A. Female and male characters will compete in separate tournaments. They may face each other in exhibition arenas only.

III. Tournament of Champions
A. Past winners of the ISML Championship, together with the 2016 winners, will participate in a tournament in 2017 before the Main Tournament, named the Tournament of Champions.
B. Other than the eventual 2016 Tiara and Scepter winners, characters in the Tournament of Champions will not participate in the Main Tournament in 2016.
C. Characters who last won an ISML Championship more than eight (8) years before the start of the Nomination Period for the Main Tournament will be removed from the Tournament of Champions, and be allowed to be nominated for the Main Tournament.

IV. Automatic Qualification
A. The top two (2) Contestants from each of the ISML 2015 Seasonal Tournaments are permitted automatic entry into ISML 2016 Main Tournament, without having to go through Nominations. This is a total of eight (8) entries.

V. Nomination Period
A. The Nomination Period lasts twenty-one (21) 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 2015 will not be considered 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 qualifications 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.
C. The same nomination form is used for both female characters and male characters.
1. Voters may nominate up to eighteen (18) characters.
2. Voters must nominate at least five (5) characters.
3. At least three (3) eligible anime franchises must be represented in the nomination ballot.
4. At least one (1) male and one (1) female character must be included in the nomination ballot.
5. All nominations have equal weight. There is no ranking of nominations.
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, in that case the ballot will be discarded entirely.
F. At the end of the Nomination Period, characters with the most nominations in each Division will advance to the Main Tournament until the allotted slots are filled.
1. The number of allotted slots for each Division is one hundred and twenty-eight (128) 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 Main Tournament.

VI. Seasonal Tournaments
A. Nominations for female characters who debuted after 31 December 2015 will be automatically considered for the appropriate Seasonal Tournament.
B. Seasonal Tournament selection will be made based on number of nominations and series representation.
C. No series will be allowed to have more than three (3) characters in the Seasonal Tournament.
D. A character cannot be in both Seasonal Tournament and Main Tournament. Priority will be given to Main Tournament.
E. Characters who did not get accepted into the Main Tournament, and appeared in an anime series after 31 December 2015 will be considered for the appropriate Seasonal Tournament.

VII. Group Stages
A. Characters participating in the Main Tournament are referred to as Contestants.
B. Each Division consists of one hundred and twenty-eight (128) Contestants.
1. The Main Tournament's format and schedule are identical to all Divisions.
2. Additional Competitors will be present, participating in Exhibition Matches occurring alongside the primary matches but having no bearing on Main Tournament results.
3. Contestants are seeded based on results from the Nomination Period.
C. The Group Stages consist of seven (7) Periods in the following order: Aquamarine, Topaz, Amethyst, Sapphire, Emerald, Ruby and Diamond. Each Period consists of six (6) Rounds.
1. Each Round features eight (8) matches from each Division for a total of sixteen (16) matches.
2. Each Contestant has exactly one (1) 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 his/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. Each Period will consist of eight (8) Groups of four (4) Contestants from the Female Division, and the same number of Contestants from the Male Division. Each Group will compete in a round-robin format, with each Contestant competing against all other Contestants in the same Group exactly once.
F. A ranking system for each Group will be utilized to record the Contestants' results in each of the seven 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).
G. Contestants in the same Group 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
3. Greater number of Votes For (VF)
4. Greater Vote Differential (VD)
5. Selection by Staff
H. At the end of each Period after all tiebreakers have been applied, the two (2) Contestants in each Group with the most League Points will advance to the next Stage.
I. The Aquamarine, Topaz, Amethyst and Sapphire Periods will be the Stage of one hundred and twenty-eight (128). The Emerald and Ruby Periods will be the Stage of sixty-four (64). The Diamond Period will be the Stage of thirty-two (32).
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.
J. Other statistical values may be posted and kept for study and analysis.
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.

VIII. Necklace and Pendant Showdown
A. During each one-week break of the ISML Tournament after every four weeks of matches, a free-for-all voting round called Necklace Showdown will occur to determine the winner of the Necklace representing the respective Periods in the Female Division. This round is known as the Pendant Showdown for the Male Division.
B. There will be only one Necklace/Pendant awarded per Period.
C. Only Contestants who have not already won a Necklace/Pendant this year are eligible to participate.
D. A total of eight (8) Contestants from each Division will participate in the Necklace/Pendant Showdown based on their performance during the Period. Eligible Contestants will be chosen according to the following tiebreaker procedures:
1. Higher Ranking in Group
2. Greater number of Points
3. Greater number of Wins
4. Greater number of Votes For (VF)
5. Greater Vote Differential (VD)
6. Selection by Staff
E. The voting round will last twenty-four (24) hours.
1. Voters may select up to one (1) Contestant among the finalists on their ballots.
2. Exhibition matches will be scheduled alongside the Necklace and Pendant Showdown.
3. Results of exhibition matches will not impact the rankings or point totals of Contestants.
F. At the end of the round, the Contestant with the highest votes received is awarded the Necklace/Pendant. Ties are resolved using the same procedure in Main Tournament rounds.
G. Round results will be available on the Website no sooner than twelve (12) hours after the Round's scheduled end.
H. Posters for the Necklace/Pendant will be available on the Website no later than one (1) week after the Round's results are released.

IX. Elimination Stage
A. Sixteen (16) Contestants from each Division are divided into Groups of four (4) and compete in round-robin Group matches.
1. The Group match format and ranking system are the same as in each Period. The same time limits, voting procedures, and voter policies apply.
2. Additional Competitors will be present, participating in Exhibition Matches occurring alongside the primary matches but having no bearing on their results.
3. After all matches have completed and all tiebreakers have been applied, the two (2) Contestants in each Group with the most League Points will advance to the Quarterfinals.
B. The eight (8) Quarterfinalists are seeded according to their performances in the prior Stages. The Quarterfinals will feature the following matchups based on seed: 1 vs. 8, 4 vs. 5, 3 vs. 6, 2 vs. 7.
1. Contestants advance through the bracket according to traditional single-elimination rules.
2. If Contestants have the same number of votes at the end of an Elimination round, the Contestant who won the previous head-to-head match during the Main Tournament will be declared the winner. If that match was also a draw, or did not occur, the higher-seeded Contestant according to Quarterfinal seedings will be declared the winner.
C. Eliminated Contestants will be seeded into the Consolation Brackets, a series of single-elimination tournaments that will determine the final rankings from third place to sixteenth place. These matches will take place during the Elimination rounds at the earliest possible opportunity.
D. The winner of the Female Division will be awarded the Heavenly Tiara. The winner of the Male Division will be awarded the Champion's Scepter.

X. 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 Main Tournament.
D. Exhibition Matches may be scheduled during Necklace/Pendant Showdown.
E. Several Exhibition Matches will be scheduled during the Elimination Stage voting rounds.
F. Voting or abstaining in an Exhibition Match carries no benefit or penalty.

XI. 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 twenty-four (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, 22 May 2016, to 2359 GMT, 11 June 2016.
1. This period will be extended if system errors prevent nomination submissions for more than twenty-four (24) cumulative hours.
E. The Group Stages are scheduled from 11 July 2016 to 4 November 2016.
1. All matches in this period are scheduled to start at 1500 GMT.
2. Aquamarine Period will take place from 11 Jul to 22 Jul.
3. Topaz Period will take place from 25 Jul to 5 Aug.
4. Amethyst Period will take place from 15 Aug to 26 Aug.
5. Sapphire Period will take place from 29 Aug to 9 Sep.
6. Emerald Period will take place from 19 Sep to 30 Sep.
7. Ruby Period will take place from 3 Oct to 14 Oct.
8. Diamond Period will take place from 24 Oct to 4 Nov.
F. Elimination Stage is scheduled from 7 November 2016 to 30 November 2016.
1. All matches in this period are scheduled to start at 1500 GMT.
2. The Round-of-16 Group matches will take place from 7 Nov to 23 Nov.
3. The elimination bracket will take place from 25 Nov to 30 Nov.

XII. 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 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 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.
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. The Staff have assured their best, honest, and virtuous effort to arrange a respectively even schedule for all Contestants without bias or favoritism or discrimination.

XIII. 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. [10 August 2016] Rule VIII. H. was amended such that posters would come out at the latest one week after Necklce Round result announcement rather than at the earliest one week after result announcement.