CONCEPTION BAY SOUTH, N.L. — A Newfoundland family is upset after a seven-year old boy was denied a gold medal in bowling due to the shade of his trousers, but the official involved says he simply enforced the sport's "classy'' black pants tradition.
Todd Powell of Conception Bay South went public with his anger over the disqualification of seven-year-old Grayson's team in a weekend provincial tournament in St. John's on his Facebook page.
He said in an interview Wednesday 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 had faded jeans on.
Powell said he's now aware Grayson's coach was told of concerns early in the tournament, but continues to believe parents should have been told prior to the end of the tournament 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.
"It's an outdated tradition, 30 or 40 years old. You've got to go with the times. These jeans had no outcome on how my son played.''
Powell has also asked for an apology from Gordon Davis, the president of Newfoundland and Labrador Youth Bowling Council, for his role in the decision.
"It's an outdated tradition, 30 or 40 years old. You've got to go with the times."
Davis said in an interview he isn't changing his mind, adding that emails informing participants of the dress code were sent out well in advance, Powell's team coach was clearly informed of the issue, and the rule is a longstanding one in the sport.
He also said he consulted with two other members of the council's executive before making the decision.
"It's been in our rules for decades and it's been followed by thousands of kids that come up through the program,'' he said. "They're not allowed to wear jeans at all.''
"Everybody loves (black pants). ... All the kids feel a good sense of belonging, it's great for their self esteem. It makes us look classy. It makes the kids look classy,'' he said.
"It's a tradition.''
He added that there has been some relaxing of the rules in recent years to allow below-the-knees black shorts and black leggings for female players, but the colour black is still strictly required.