A dark controversy: Bowling championship stripped, 7-year-old DQ'd for wearing black-ish pants
Conspiracy is in the air, father says
A youth bowling tournament in St. John's has caused a stir over the colour of a participant's pants.
Seven-year-old Grayson Powell bowled the game of his life on Saturday during a non-league tournament, putting up a high round of 171 en route to a championship win for his team of three.
Grayson was given some harsh news immediately after the provincial gathering — he was disqualified for the colour of his pants.
"The rule is you have to wear black pants," his father, Todd Powell, explained. "The problem I have with it, they allowed him to bowl prior [to disqualification]."
Grayson took part in a 15-minute warm-up. Nothing was said. He then bowled three games — the best three of his young life — and nothing was said.
It wasn't until he was lined up next to his teammates, ready to accept a gold medal for winning the just-for-fun tournament, that Youth Bowl Canada provincial director Gordon Davis pulled Grayson's mother into an office.
Her son, who was wearing faded black jeans, was disqualified.
His pants were just not black enough to meet the tournament's dress code.
"Parents ruin it for kids," Powell said. "If this is what sport is about when it comes to kids...shame on them."
While semantics can be argued — how black were his jeans, really? — Grayson's father has a deeper theory than the colour of his son's pants.
Davis also coaches teams out of a bowling alley in Corner Brook. The teams finishing second and third, who were bumped up to the top spots, were both from his lanes on the island's west coast.
"He should be ashamed of himself," the senior Powell said. "For [Davis] to go back to Corner Brook saying that, 'We won a provincial medal' — no. The three individuals that bowled on Saturday, they are the ones that won that medal."
Davis ejected the Riverdale team to use the provincial win to bolster his own club, Powell alleged.
"He owes these three individuals — three kids — a written apology."
Davis did not return messages left by CBC News.
As for Grayson, he went home feeling dejected, his father said.
When asked by a CBC reporter how the disqualification made him feel, he had only one word.
With files from On The Go