Ballot Rules

Rules Governing Ballot Formulation and Implementation to Determine the Annual IPWHF Induction Class

I. THE BALLOT

The ballot shall consist of induction candidates in each of the following categories:

A. Posthumous Category


1. Pre-1925 Division
In order to honor the earliest pioneers of professional wrestling, the Pre-1925 Division will exclusively include candidates whose professional wrestling vocation ceased prior to 1925.

a. Ten (10) to fifteen (15) North American choices on ballot (may include male/female wrestlers, managers, promoters, etc.)


b. Ten (10) to fifteen (15) European, Asian, African, Australian/New Zealand and Central/South American choices on ballot (may include male/female wrestlers, managers, promoters, etc.)

 

2. Post-1925 Division
 

a. Ten (10) to fifteen (15) North American choices on ballot (may include male/female wrestlers, managers, promoters etc.)


b. Ten (10) to fifteen (15) European, Asian, African, Australian/ New Zealand and Central/South American choices on ballot (may include male/female wrestlers, managers, promoters, etc.)

 

B. Living Category


a. Ten (10) to fifteen (15) North American choices on ballot (may include male/female wrestlers, managers, promoters, etc.)
 

B. Ten (10) to fifteen (15) European, Asian, African, Australian/ New Zealand and Central/South American choices on ballot (may include male/female wrestlers, managers, promoters, etc.

II. Candidates for Induction
 

A. Eligibility - Candidates for consideration shall include wrestlers, managers, referees, promoters, announcers, publicists and other ancillary personnel who have made a significant impact in the field of professional wrestling. While "significant impact" is a subjective phrase, professional wrestling does not lend itself to objective criteria such as batting averages, win-loss records and other statistics associated with other sporting activities.
 

B. Tag Teams - A tag team will be considered to be one candidate. If one or more members of the tag team is living, the tag team's entry will be placed in the Living Category.
 

C. Category/ Division Placement - There will be candidates whose careers will not fit neatly into one of the categories. For example, Stanislaus Zbyszko had a stellar in-ring career in Europe prior to extensive wrestling in the USA and later became a prominent promoter in South America. In such instances, the Ballot Committee will strive to place the nominee in the most appropriate category on the ballot.
 

D. Ballot Name - The candidate’s name on the ballot will be the name deemed by the Ballot Committee as most recognizable to the Voters. It may be the candidate’s birth name, ring name(s) or combination of those names. For example, there were several wrestlers and at least one wrestling manager who performed as “Gorgeous George.” Therefore, if the most famous of those performers were to be listed on the ballot, it would read “Gorgeous George (Wagner)” to remove any doubt as to the person on the ballot. Similarly, if a tag team is on the ballot, the two wrestlers’ names will be included as there have been several iterations of various tag teams such as the Kangaroos, Demolition and others. Additionally, some tag teams are so intimately identified with their managers that the tag team may, at the discretion of the IPWHF Board of Directors, include three people (i.e. Road Warriors Hawk, Animal and Paul Ellering).
 

E. Ballot Category/Division Changes - Should the IPWHF Board of Directors determine that various classifications of candidates such as female wrestlers, tag teams, managers, referees, announcers, publicists, etc. are not adequately represented either on the ballot or in the Induction Class, the Board may choose to modify the Categories and Divisions to reflect improved inclusion of those potential ballot candidates.

III. Ballot Committee

The Ballot Committee shall consist of at least three, but no more than five persons, to serve one-year terms on the Ballot Committee.


A. Duties of Ballot Committee Members
 

1. Diversity - Committee members shall strive to produce a ballot with a balanced representation of candidates by including nominees from diverse countries and without discrimination in regards to gender, race, ethnicity, religion or other biases.


2. Confidentiality - Committee members shall conduct all discussions in strict confidence.


3. Communication - Committee members shall maintain timely communication with the Ballot Committee Chairperson in order to meet timelines set within these Rules and Regulations. Email responses should be obtained within twenty-four hours. Committee members need to respond via email to IPWHF Ballot Committee emails within twenty-four hours.


4. Unanimity - While unanimous consensus among the committee members is the desired goal for the final ballot that will submitted to the IPWHF Board of Directors for their approval, a majority vote shall be acceptable if unanimous consensus cannot be attained.


5. Replacement - Should a Ballot Committee member not fulfill his or her duties as described, the Ballot Committee Chairperson shall inform the Board of Directors that said Committee member may need to be replaced. The Board must approve a replacement based on the recommendation(s) of the Ballot Committee Chairperson prior to the replacement being placed on the Ballot Committee.


B. Ballot Committee Chairperson - The IPWHF Board of Directors shall appoint one person, knowledgeable in both the history of professional wrestling and in the goals of the IPWHF, to be the Chairperson of the Ballot Committee.
 

C. Duties of the Ballot Committee Chairperson - The Ballot Committee Chairperson will appoint at least three, but no more than five persons, to serve one-year terms on the Ballot Committee. The committee members shall consult among themselves to determine the candidates most worthy of inductions honors for the next annual IPWHF Induction. The Ballot Committee members shall be composed of persons with expertise in various eras of wrestling history and also include members from widely diverse geographic regions relative to professional wrestling. The Ballot Committee Chairperson shall submit the Committee’s proposed ballot to the IPWHF Board of Directors no later than eight months prior to the next scheduled IPWHF Inductions.
 

Alternatively, the Ballot Committee Chairperson may select to appoint three persons to serve one-year terms on the North American Section of the Ballot Committee (NA) and to also appoint three persons to serve one-year terms on the European, Asian, African, Australian/New Zealand and Central/South American Ballot Committee (EAAACS). The members of each committee shall consult among themselves to determine the candidates most worthy of ballot inclusion for inductions honors for the next annual IPWHF Induction. The Ballot Committee Chairperson will facilitate the formulation of the final ballot to be submitted to the IPWHF Board of Directors with members of the NA and the EAAACS Divisions. The Ballot Committee Chairperson shall submit the Committee’s proposed ballot to the IPWHF Board of Directors no later than eight months prior to the next scheduled IPWHF Inductions.
 

D. Tenure - Although there is no limit placed on the number of terms that a Ballot Committee Chairperson may serve, a Ballot Committee Chairperson shall not serve more than two consecutive one-year terms.
 

E. Ineligibility – In order to prevent undue influence or collusion, any member of the IPWHF’s Board of Directors will not be permitted to serve on the Ballot Committee or be a member of the Voting Pool.

IV. IPWHF Board of Directors’ Ballot Role
 

A. Ballot Approval – The IPWHF Board of Directors shall either return the ballot to the Ballot Committee as either approved or as disapproved within one week of its receipt by the Board. Should the IPWHF Board of Directors chose to recommend any revisions, amendments or other changes to the proposed ballot, the Chairperson shall reengage committee members to address the potential changes to the ballot. If disapproved, the Ballot Committee Chairperson will address any specific issues with both the Board of Directors and Ballot Committee members in an effort to resolve the issues within a one week period of time. Once the Board of Directors has approved the ballot, the Ballot Committee will send the ballots to the Voting Committee no less than seven months prior to the next IPWHF Induction. In the rare case that both the Board of Directors and the Ballot Committee are unable to reach a mutually acceptable ballot in the allotted time periods, the Ballot Committee’s decision will take precedence, due to the confidence initially placed in the Ballot Committee members by the IPWHF Board of Directors. Additionally, the separation of the duties between the Board of Directors and the Ballot Committee will prevent any potential undue influence upon the Ballot Committee’s independent work product.
 

B. Number of Candidates on the Annual IPWHF Ballot - Each year, the IPWHF Board of Directors shall determine the number of inductees from each category and/or division to be chosen from the highest completed vote totals procured from the returned ballots. The number of inductees to be chosen for induction honors will be determined prior to sending any ballots to the Voting Committee. This number shall be relayed to the Ballot Committee Chairperson by the Board of Directors no later than nine months prior to the next scheduled IPWHF Inductions. The IPWHF Board of Directors shall inform the Ballot Committee of the aforementioned predetermined number in order to avoid any eleventh hour attempt to manipulate the results to include a greater or lesser number of inductees.
 

C. Top Vote-getters – Although the ballot will instruct the Voters to choose a specific number of candidates in each Division on the ballot, the actual number of inductees for that Division may vary from the number that Voters are asked to choose. For example, if Voters are asked to choose five (5) candidates in one Division but the IPWHF Board of Directors has decided, prior to the ballot being sent to Voters, that four (4) candidates will be inducted from that Division, the top four (4) vote-getters will be inducted. Conversely, if Voters are asked to choose five (5) candidates in one Division but the IPWHF Board of Directors has decided, prior to the ballot being sent to Voters, that six (6) candidates will be inducted from that Division, the top six (6) vote-getters will be inducted.
 

D. Timing of Ballot Presentation to the IPWHF Board of Directors and to the Voters – The Ballot Committee shall submit their tentative ballot to the Board of Directors no later than eight months prior to the date of the subsequent IPWHF Induction.
 

E. Death of a Candidate in the Living Category - If a wrestler achieves induction honors in the Living Category but passes away prior to his or her induction, that wrestler will still be inducted and his name will be retained within the Living Category of inductees.

 

V. Voting Committee


A. Number of Members - The Voting Committee shall consist of no fewer than thirty (30) and a maximum of forty (40) people knowledgeable in the history of professional wrestling. Whenever possible, preference will be to have the Voting Committee composed of 25% to 50% of members who are past or present in-ring performers. The members of the Voting Committee shall be referred to as Voters. The Ballot Committee Chairperson will present such a list to the IPWHF Board of Directors for approval prior to ballots being sent to Voting Committee members.
 

B. Annual Reconfiguration - By annually changing the composition of the Voting Committee, the IPWHF Board of Directors seeks to avoid any bias through the development of "voting blocs."
 

C. Voting Pool - The IPWHF Board of Directors will seek to have a Voting Pool consisting of at least one-hundred (100) Voters from which the Ballot Committee Chairperson will annually choose no fewer than thirty (30) members to receive induction ballots. Candidates for the Voting Pool will either be solicited by members of the Board of Directors and/or by the Ballot Committee Chairperson based on the potential Voter’s accepted wrestling expertise or by an application submitted to the IPWHF by the potential Voting Pool constituent.

 

 

VI. Ballot Distribution
 

A. Timeline - The ballots will be sent to members of the Voting Committee at least seven months prior to the next scheduled IPWHF Inductions. The ballots will clearly state a date upon which the ballot will no longer be accepted for consideration.
 

B. Telephone Ballot Confirmation - The ballots will be sent to members of the Voting Committee at least seven months prior to the next scheduled IPWHF Inductions. The ballots will clearly state a date upon which the ballot will no longer be accepted for consideration. Ballots may be conveyed electronically, by physical postal services or, if necessary, by telephone. If submitted electronically or by telephone, at least two Ballot Committee members or one Ballot Committee member and one Board of Directors member will confirm each electronic or telephone ballot.

 

C. Tie-breakers - Each year, the Ballot Committee will choose the ballots from three (3) persons from the Voting Pool to serve as "Tie-breakers" should one or more nominees obtain the same number of votes. These three persons will be designated, in advance of distributing the ballots, by the Ballot Committee Chairperson as Tie-breaker #1, Tie-breaker #2 and Tie-breaker #3. If one or more ties are able to be broken by Tie-breaker #1’s ballot choices in the tied category or categories, the tie-breaking process in that cases(s) will cease for that year. If the tie is not broken through Tie-breaker #1's choice(s), the Ballot Committee will continue the same procedure with the ballot of Tie-breaker #2 and then, if needed, the ballot of Tie-breaker #3, applying their ballot choices solely in the tied categories. Thus, a Tie-breaker’s ballot will only apply in the category or categories in which there still remains a tie. Should a tie fail to be broken by the three Tie-breakers, the Ballot Committee will determine the candidate(s) to be inducted.  

 

The IPWHF Board of Directors reserves the right to induct two or more candidates, in any or all categories, who received the same number of votes even if the predetermined number of inductees for that year is exceeded. Such a decision by the Board will be made prior to utilizing the tie-breaking process outlined above.  

 

D. Abstentions - Each ballot will contain the choice of "Abstain" should a Voter feel as if he or she cannot confidently or fairly pick the best candidates in any given category.
 

E. Inaccurate Completed Ballots – If a ballot is received which contains more selections in a particular Division or Category than are permitted in that Division or Category, the choices made in that Division or Category shall not be counted toward a final vote tally. If a ballot is received with fewer choices in a Division or Category than may be selected, the choices in toward the final vote totals. Exclusively with specific authorization from the IPWHF Board of Directors, the Ballot Committee Chairperson shall contact a Voter who selected more candidates than allowed to inform the Voter that his or her choices will not be included in a final vote count unless one or more names are withdrawn from his or her ballot.
 

F. Final Ballot Tally – The Ballot Committee Chairperson shall tabulate the final total votes received for each candidate within two days of the last date for which ballots are valid. Vote totals will be transferred within two days to the IPWHF Board of Directors with accompanying copies of documentation supporting those vote totals.
 

G. Announcement of Induction Class – The IPWHF Board of Directors shall determine the date and the format for the public announcement of the subsequent class of inductees.

VI. Annual Rule Review

At least one time per year, the IPWHF Board of Directors shall review all suggested modifications to the “Rules Governing Ballot Formulation and Implementation to Determine the Annual IPWHF Induction Class” that have been received since the previous review of such rules. Prior to adopting any revisions, the Board shall consult past and present Ballot Committee Chairpersons to gain their perspective on the proposed changes. The Board will retain the right to make modifications to the rules as the Board feels is necessary to achieve the objectives of the IPWHF Charter.


 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

International Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame

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