Shame on me. I’ve lived in San Diego a good chunk of my life, and I’ve never headed to Fiesta Island to experience the legendary fun of OTL. Well, I finally went early this morning!
Over The Line, commonly called OTL, is a San Diego original, a unique beach game that every year seems to gain in popularity. Played on the sand, it resembles a simple version of softball with no baserunners. You must hit the ball over “the line” and between two foul lines, and not have it be caught, which would result in an out. Three innings, three outs. While the rules are a bit more complicated, that’s the gist of it.
The OTL World Championship has become a local institution. It’s played on Fiesta Island, which is located near the center of Mission Bay. It’s put on by OMBAC, the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club. The highly anticipated annual summer event is now 61 years old! But you might never guess this spectacle was so venerable, given its outlandish party atmosphere and the sheer raunchiness of the crowd.
Team names are often juvenile and sexually explicit, to the extent you’d probably just roll your eyes. But it’s all very good-natured and amusing. The crowd is composed largely of males in their 20’s and 30’s, and beer is chugged freely everywhere, as it’s BYOB. I suppose as the day progresses, the crowd becomes more randy–I’ll admit that’s one reason I swung by so early in the morning. That and the avoidance of a hot afternoon!
The tournament goes on for two weekends. This first weekend is for the amateurs; on the second weekend the teams and the play become more serious.
I’m glad I checked it out. Now I know what I’ve missed all these years!
Follow me as I arrive from the shuttle bus around seven in the morning. The sun hasn’t broken through the clouds yet…
As you might guess, there’s a bikini contest, and every year the winner is titled Miss Emerson.