As with many parliamentary voting procedures around the world, the Skating System will obtain a result when a 'Majority' is reached.
A 'Majority' is defined as more than half, so for; 6 adjudicators the majority is 4
7 adjudicators the majority is 4
8 adjudicators the majority is 5
9 adjudicators the majority is 5
And so on……
Consider an example of 9 adjudicators judging a single dance competition. For any couple to win this event outright they must be marked 1st by the majority of adjudicators. The majority of 9 is 5, therefore at least 5 adjudicators must mark you first for you to win outright.
The majority rule works both ways to protect couples from 'human error' (or bad adjudicators depending on your point of view), in a similar manner to scoring systems that remove the highest and lowest scores. While dancing the above event one adjudicator may have considered you to be placed last but if the majority have marked you into 1st place you win the competition. In fact 4 adjudicators could have marked you in last place but you will still win outright if the majority of adjudicators have marked you into first place.
In reality adjudicator marks tend to be widely spread, consider the example below from an actual competition.
A quick count of the 1st places each couple have received shows that no couples have a majority of 1st places. Couple number 36 has the most 1st places, 4 x 1st places out of a possible 9. The majority required for 9 adjudicators is 5, therefore no couple in this dance has won outright.
As no couple has a majority of 1st places we turn our attention to the 2nd place marks. This time we count all the 1st and 2nd places and we find that two couples now have a majority of 1st & 2nd places. Couple number 39 has a total of 5 and couple number 36 has a total of 7 and as couple number 36 have the greater total, they are awarded 1st place.
FYI, if it turned out that both couples had an equal quantity of 1st & 2nd places, the scrutineer would then add up the arithmetic value of each of the places, (i.e. 1+1+2+1+2+2+1=10), the couple with the lowest aggregate would be the winner.
But wait there’s more……
If it turned out that both couples had the same aggregate the whole process would be repeated for these two couples and the 3rd place marks would be considered. If the count of 3rd and above is the same for each then the places would once again be added to produce a sum. This procedure is repeated until a winner is found.
A tie will only be awarded for this dance once all places have been accounted for.
You can see from this simple example that the Skating formula is designed to seek out the couple that has performed with the best overall consistency. Of course we have only discussed first place here but the basic concept remains the same for all other places.