A boys' basketball tournament in Canada ended early when one team organized a protest on the court after being eliminated from the championship game for breaking a gameplay rule.

The Windsor Warriors hadn't lost a game in the Blessed Sacrament tournament at Cathedral High School before they were kicked out for not following the rule of giving all team members equal playing time, instead using their more talented players for more minutes. But according to TheSpec, the Warriors say they didn't do it on purpose:

Here's what happened: the Warriors played — and won — the semifinal game against the St. Catharines Rebels Sunday morning. But after that game, they say the Rebels' coach complained to the convener that the Warriors weren't giving their players equal court time, as per the rules.

They wanted them to forfeit their win. But here's the rub: The teams weren't on the same page.

[Tournament convener] John Rocchi says an email went out from Basketball Ontario in December that clarified the rules, but the Windsor squad says they never got that message.

In fact, Rocchi, too, says he hadn't seen it before this weekend. But a rule's a rule — he had to honour it.

As a result, Windsor was knocked out of the gold medal game.

In response, parents of the Warriors created adorable protest signs out of pizza boxes—with phrases like "UN-FAIR PLAY!!" and "IT'S NOT FAIR"—and the boys (and a couple of girls who apparently felt like yelling without consequences) marched around at halfcourt chanting.

The two teams that had made the championship game went home, and the final game was cancelled. But everyone learned a valuable lesson. Probably.

[TheSpec]

H/t to Michael