Organizers of the recent Berkley B1 tournament at Lake Erie were forced to change the outcome of the tournament four days following its conclusion after it was discovered a late penalty was not assessed against the winners of the two-day event.
The team ofPerry Poirier and Caitlyn Gilmet were deemed the winners on Aug. 15 after tournament officials determined a two-minute late penalty (worth one pound) was not applied to the results of the team of Matt Pezzetta and Daaron Joyner on the final day. The tournament was contested on Aug. 10-11 out of Port Colbourne, Ontario.
Pezzetta and Joyner were initially credited with a two-day total of 44.78 pounds, but after other competitors alerted tournament officials of a possible discrepancy related to their arrival time, it was discovered the Pezzetta/Joyner team was mistakenly listed under the wrong flight on the official check-in sheet. Rather than their names being listed with the flight due to check in at 3 p.m. on day 2, they were listed with the 3:10 group. When they checked in at 3:02 p.m., tournament officials didn’t notice the error.
Poirier and Gilmet, the leaders after day 1 with 24.35 pounds, finished with 44.44 pounds. After the penalty was applied, Pezzetta and Joyner had 43.78 pounds.
Ben Woo, the president of the B1, said the organization realized the mistake after an internal investigation.
“After the event, we started getting some comments from the anglers expressing concern that the team in question was late coming in,” he said. “Based on our records at the time, they were not marked as late.”
Woo said as more anglers reached out, the level of concern grew that something was amiss.
“Angler feedback began to come in Sunday evening and continued Monday,” he said. “At that point, we decided to investigate it and we uncovered the error Monday evening.”
Woo said a thorough review of the official documents was done, including the check-in sheet with the times marked on it.
“After further investigation, we found they were marked as checking in at 3:02 with a check in of 3:00,” Woo said. “We had them mistakenly marked as a flight-2 boat.”
On Tuesday, Pezzetta and Joyner, who won a new Ranger aluminum boat and had taken it home, were informed of the error. On Wednesday, the organization released the following statement:
“After an in-depth review following last weekend’s event in Port Colbourne, we have uncovered a discrepancy in the final results. A 2-minute late penalty was not applied to the final score of Team #21 Matt Pezzetta and Daaron Joyner. Their actual final weight after penalties applied is 43.78lbs putting them in 2nd place. Therefore, the actual winners are Team #50 Perry Poirier and Caitlyn Gilmet with 44.44lbs. The B1 organization apologizes for this error. Moving forward, we will review and improve our scoring procedures to ensure the utmost accuracy and precision.”
Woo said his organization deserves the blame for the mistake.
“This was a human error,” he said. “At the end of the day, we made an error. It wasn’t the anglers’ fault other than someone on our staff made a human error. We followed the proper procedure to look into it because of angler feedback and that’s what was important. They stepped up and gave us the information. We dug it up and owned up to the mistake.”
The tournament started with 51 boats and was cut to the top 25 after day 1 with six other boats also heading back out on day 2 to compete for points toward their season total. Woo said he was in a boat with another tournament staffer both mornings for blastoff while the staffer held up a dry erase board with each flight’s check-in time written on it – 3 p.m. for flight 1 and 3:10 for flight 2.
Woo said that Pezzetta and Joyner were “upset” when informed of the organization’s error, but that he “expects the utmost cooperation” from them in arranging for the boat to be delivered to Poirier and Gilmet.
“It’s an emotional rollercoaster for them,” Woo said. “It’s a tough position to be in.”
Woo said he and his staff will thoroughly review their entire tournament operations process from start to finish in an effort to eliminate the possibility of similar errors occurring in the future.