Constitution of the International Saimoe League

The purpose of the Constitution is to provide a permanent set of guidelines that govern and provide the basic framework for the structure and execution of all ISML tournaments. While staff members may come and go throughout the years, the principles of the League should not change. Supporting the Constitution are the Annual Charters mentioned in Article VIII which fill in the blanks and provide specific details for the particular year's tournament.

Article I. Identification, Mission, and Definition

Section 1. This organization shall be called the International Saimoe League ("ISML" or "League").

Section 2. The primary mission of ISML includes the following:
1. Increasing exposure of Japanese animation and pop culture to the public,
2. Discovering which anime character is the most moe as decided by majority rule,
3. Maintaining a community and network of anime enthusiasts,
4. Planning and executing events responsibly, ethically, and efficiently.

Section 3. ISML shall host a regularly-scheduled contest that features a large pool of eligible Competitors and systematically narrows the list down to one Champion.

Section 4. Executive authority of League proceedings shall be vested in one Commissioner who has sworn to uphold the statements in this document and to dedicate his or her best effort to achieve the League’s mission. The Commissioner shall delegate specific responsibilities to appointed individuals — all who will be collectively known as the ISML Technical Staff ("Staff").

Section 5. The public at large who participate in ISML-hosted events by casting their votes or by contributing to ISML-related discussion and promotion shall be collectively known as the Community.

Article II. Tournament Format

Section 1. The primary contest format of ISML shall be a round-robin head-to-head tournament, also called the "Main Tournament." It shall take place during the League's Regular Season. The duration and schedule of the Main Tournament and the maximum number of Contestants will be defined in the Annual Charter by the Staff.

Section 2. Following the Regular Season, the League shall host an elimination-style head-to-head tournament featuring the top finalists of the round-robin tournament. This event among other optional events will be classified as the Postseason. The duration and schedule of Postseason activities and the number of Contestants admitted to the elimination-style tournament will be defined in the Annual Charter by the Staff.

Section 3. Prior to the Regular Season, a period to be known as the Preseason shall consist of additional tournaments and events to determine eligible entry into ISML, including at minimum a Nomination Period and a Preliminary Period. The Nomination Period shall allow the Community to recommend any eligible character to become a competitor in the League.

Section 4. The sequence of Preseason, Regular Season, and Postseason phases shall not collectively last longer than 365 days. No phase shall be held twice in one Gregorian calendar year.

Article III. Competitors, Candidates, and Contestants

Section 1. Competitors are characters in Japanese media who compete in ISML-hosted events and receive votes from the Community.

Section 2. Prior to becoming a Competitor in any ISML-hosted event, every character must be reviewed for eligibility by the Staff. The following minimum qualifications must be satisfied or the character will be deemed ineligible to participate in League events:
1. 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.
2. The character must possess both a humanoid appearance and anthropomorphic qualities.
3. The character must have a name or a universal means of identification.
4. The character must appear in a product that is published and distributed in Japanese media and is not rated 18+ or classified as pornographic.
5. The character must either appear in the production on a regular basis or have individual significance to the series’ storyline.
6. Sufficient information and promotional material regarding the character must be readily accessible to the public and the Staff.

Section 3. Eligibility for the Preliminary Period (and subsequently the Regular Season and Postseason) additionally requires the character's appearance in a full-length animation published and distributed in Japanese media (television, theatre, Internet-exclusive videos, and video discs) on a commercial scale by a registered animation studio.

Section 4. Competitors are classified as Candidates upon advancement to the Preliminary Period. Candidates are classified as Contestants upon advancement to the Regular Season.

Article IV. Voter Policies and Procedures

Section 1. A voter is any person who submits a form containing character selections in an ISML-hosted event. Voters are considered part of the ISML Community.

Section 2. Voting in any ISML-hosted match is completely voluntary. ISML shall not coerce any member of the Community to participate, and ISML shall not be held responsible for any person's actions as a result of voluntary participation.

Section 3. Each voter is limited to one (1) vote per match per round. A voter may not vote on behalf of another person.

Section 4. A vote may be cast only during the specified time period for that particular match and round. Once cast, a vote may be edited by its owner only during this time period and subject to approval by the Staff.

Section 5. Violation of any of these procedures shall result in the voter's ballot rendered void and may also result in temporary or permanent restriction from voting or participating in future ISML-hosted events, enforced by the Staff.

Article V. Staff Policies and Procedures

Section 1. ISML is to be executed under the command of the Commissioner, whose powers and duties are listed in Article I, Section 4. The Commissioner is the senior member of the Staff and breaks any and all ties in Staff-related votes.

Section 2. The Commissioner must appoint a Staff of at least three (3) additional individuals for the division of responsibilities and for the availability to advice and feedback. Any member of the ISML Community is eligible to be appointed to Staff and may refuse the appointment if desired. Only the Commissioner may make appointments to Staff.

Section 3. Duties of Staff members include the following:
1. Upholding the statements in this document,
2. Devoting best effort to achieve the League's mission as stated in Article I, Section 2,
3. Maintaining regular contact with the ISML Community,
4. Behaving responsibly, respectfully, ethically, and professionally at all times,
5. Accepting any and all Community feedback and presenting it before the entire Staff.

Section 4. Any Staff member may designate, with majority Staff approval, a Community member to become a member of Honorary Staff. Honorary Staff may be present during Staff meetings to offer advice and feedback about the League but are not eligible to vote on Staff decisions. The Commissioner reserves the right to hold private meetings with only Staff.

Section 5. Staff may form Committees to assist in the execution and promotion of ISML. Committee members will be, at minimum, Honorary Staff.

Section 6. The owner(s) of the ISML Website and related web interfaces will be, at minimum, appointed to Honorary Staff but will reserve the right to reject Website content that violates domestic or international law or otherwise legally endangers the League, its Staff, or its Community.

Section 7. No Staff member shall assume maximum authority over a decision or action pertaining to the League. Any action or decision may be subject to counsel with the Commissioner and all other present Staff if a concern is raised by one member and seconded by another.

Section 8. Any Staff or Honorary Staff member serves in a volunteer capacity and may resign from his or her position at any time.

Section 9. Once appointed, a Staff member may be relieved of duties with at least 2/3 majority consensus from the other Staff members. The Commissioner may be impeached with at least 3/4 majority consensus of the other Staff members.

Section 10. If the Commissioner is removed or is otherwise unable to perform his or her duties, a new Commissioner must be selected from the remaining Staff by a majority Staff vote.

Article VI. Communication

Section 1. At the time of writing, ISML shall exist primarily on the Internet and World Wide Web. An official League Website shall be made available and accessible to the ISML Community at large. Voting forms, all rules and regulations including this document, event schedules, event results, and all other tournament information shall be published on the Website.

Section 2. Official announcements and news regarding the League and its events must appear in a location directly on or accessible from the front page of the Website.

Section 3. The League shall provide the Community with an official medium for League-related discussion.

Section 4. Vote-checking procedures may be kept secret from the Community for purposes of security but must be known to the Staff to ensure completeness and accuracy.

Article VII. Finance

Section 1. ISML shall not charge any fees to the Community for their participation or involvement in League-hosted events or activities. ISML shall not restrict a person's participation or involvement with ISML-hosted events or activities on the basis of money.

Section 2. ISML shall not offer or award any monetary or material compensation for contributions, counseling, or labor provided for the League.

Section 3. ISML may accept monetary donations or gifts strictly for purposes of paying operational costs, such as the Website. All donations must be documented by the Staff; however, donors reserve the right to keep their identities private.

Section 4. ISML shall not accept donations that have terms or conditions attached. ISML shall never accept money or favors in exchange for services or actions which would violate the integrity of the League or the statements and principles of this document.

Article VIII. Annual Charters

Section 1. This document supersedes any and all Annual Charters.

Section 2. The Staff shall draft and publish an Annual Charter for each cycle of the ISML tournaments. The Charter must define the values required by this document, including but not limited to the number of Competitors for each tournament phase, any additional eligibility requirements, tentative schedules for each tournament phase, and additional voter policies and procedures.

Section 3. No Annual Charter may define values or dictate events occurring a future ISML cycle.

Article IX. Amendments

Section 1. Amendments to this document must be ratified by a majority of the presiding Staff.

Section 2. Amendments may be proposed by any member of the Community.

Article X. Ratification

Section 1. Upon unanimous acceptance by the presiding Staff, this document will go into effect immediately.


[Nov 2010] Article II, Section 2 — "double-elimination" was changed to "elimination-style" to allow greater flexibility on the format of the Postseason tournament.