The devil is in the details
If you’ve ever coached a kids team or helped plan/run an event made specifically for kids, you know that sometimes the biggest obstacle is the parents.
It’s hard to do anything with children today, from school to extracurricular activities and more, without parents giving their two-cents on a matter. And why shouldn’t they? It’s their kid, after all. But at what point do parents become a bigger problem- causing more distraction than support system?
As it turns out, it happens pretty often.
Seven-year-old Grayson Powell and his youth bowling team learned that the hard way earlier this week when their first-place tournament medals were taken away after a dispute seemingly caused by the parents. And it all had to do with their uniform.
Have we gone too far?
Grayson is only seven years old, but he already has a passion and knack for bowling. Hopefully his recent experience doesn’t ruin that.
Earlier this week, Grayson had his first-ever bowling tournament, where he wowed everybody with an impressive score of 171. Before the tournament, he was bowling an average of 103. His big points helped earn his team first place in the Newfoundland’s Youth Bowling league’s tournament at St. Pat’s Bowling Lanes up in Canada.
But just before their medal ceremony, Grayson’s mom and several other of his teammates’ parents were pulled aside and informed that their sons’ team had been disqualified.
What for? According to even organizers, the boys’ pants weren’t black enough.
Above, you can see a picture of the jeans Grayson wore to the tournament. If you had to describe them in one color, you’d likely say they are black. But according to NL Youth Bowling workers, they weren’t dark enough and thus didn’t meet the league’s uniform rules.
This violation resulted in a disqualification that denied the boys their hard-earned medals just moments before they were set to receive them.
Naturally, this didn’t bode well for the team, their parents, the league organizers, and other parents at the tournament.
“The rule is you have to wear black pants,” Grayson’s father Todd explained. “He did wear a faded black jean. I understand the rule, I’m not arguing the rule whatsoever […] The problem I have is that they allowed him to bowl prior [… the league] could have approached him and said ‘Grayson needs to wear black pants’ […] Neither was said, so they continued to let Grayson bowl in this tournament.”
Todd then implied that Gord Davis, an executive of the Youth Bowling League, supported the disqualification because it allowed his team to win first place. “If this is what sport is about when it comes to kids… shame on them.”
But not everyone agreed with Todd’s remarks. Another parent, Mark Whiffen, came to Davis and the league’s defense, writing:
“Anyone who has ever volunteered organizing these events and running programs like minor hockey, ball, bowling etc often give more hours in a week than some people work. I have regularly seen coaches spend more time dealing with griping parents than actually coaching. This may be very unfortunate for the kids, but any objective look at it will place the responsibility in the parents court. The real unfortunate situation here is that the parents did not do what they should have done, and as a result put the organizers in an untenable position; eating still more of their time, after they volunteered countless hours. Unfortunate yes, but stop beating the organizers and take responsibility. Even better, get involved and volunteer.”
But Gordon Davis wasn’t about to sit by silently. Here’s how the league lashed back. Keep reading!