CONCEPTION BAY SOUTH, N.L. — A seven-year-old boy and his bowling team will be given gold medals after they were stripped of their bowling championship over the weekend for wearing the wrong pants.
Todd Powell of Conception Bay South, N.L., went public with his anger over the disqualification of his son Grayson's team in a provincial tournament in St. John's.
He said in an interview Wednesday that he was told before the tournament that black pants were required, but on short notice was only able to find a pair of faded black jeans for his son. One of the boy's teammates also wore faded jeans.
Powell said he's now aware Grayson's coach was told of concerns early in the tournament, but said he believes parents should have been told prior to the end of the event that their children would be disqualified over the dress code.
He said the children were on the lanes waiting for their medals when he was called into a room and given the news that his son had been disqualified.
"The way the outcome played out is just wrong ... I think that rule needs to be changed," he said.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Youth Bowling Council initially stood by their decision, stating that the rule is a long-standing one in the sport.
But later Wednesday, the organization's president issued a statement on Facebook apologizing for the decision and for not relaying more information to parents during the tournament.
"I informed Todd that the kids had bowled magnificently and, yes, they deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments," Gord Davis said.
"We will make sure these kids are taken care of first because that is what we are all about."
Davis said he and Powell "both realize that this was blown out of proportion for simple communication problems."
He added that the Youth Bowling Council cannot reverse the decision, but will recognize team's victory at a gold medal ceremony.
"We will have to make sure in the future that any infractions are brought to the tournament director's attention before it starts," Davis said. "That way all situations are handled immediately and no surprises."
The Canadian Press