The World Curling Federation's update on the men's championship.

We’ve seen lots of games postponed over COVID-19 concerns, some at the last minute, and that’s led to broadcasters having to adjust their schedules. What happened Sunday at the World Men’s Curling Championship in Calgary was stranger still, though, with a qualification game between the U.S. and Switzerland (winner moves on to the semifinals) proceeding with a player who had tested positive, then negative involved, but with broadcaster TSN electing to pull their camera crews and not show the match over safety concerns. Here’s TSN’s tweet on that:

It’s unclear at this point if TSN’s crews will return and broadcast a featured semifinal game (both semifinals are set to be played at 6 p.m. Eastern) and then the gold-medal game (set to be played alongside the bronze-medal game at 11 p.m. Eastern) as originally planned.

This came after the entire event was shut down Friday night following positive tests. And the U.S.-Switzerland match, which was initially set to be held Saturday, was postponed. However, the World Curling Federation announced Sunday morning that the games would go ahead, with the still-involved player with a positive test not competing.

After that, though, the situation changed. That player was allowed to compete, curlers were told to wear masks, and the match went ahead, but with TSN pulling out. However, the match is still being broadcast on the world feed. In the U.S., that’s on the Olympic Channel (webstream available here, but requires cable/satellite provider authentication). Elsewhere, it can be seen on the WCF’s World Curling TV YouTube channel.

CBC’s Devin Heroux has been covering this on Twitter. Here are some of the key tweets there:

That’s quite a bizarre situation. And yes, it’s remarkable to see that change so quickly with the player initially being ruled out, then being declared eligible, but with curlers then being told to wear masks. Here’s what the WCF statement on their site Sunday morning said:

Despite that negative result, the player who had previously tested positive — and had that result run through confirmatory testing to ensure it was a true positive — will not be able to participate in the remainder of the championship due to Alberta Health regulations.

That ruling then somehow changed. And that led to TSN not broadcasting this match. That’s remarkable to see.

[Devin Heroux on Twitter; World Curling Federation]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.