Exploring San Diego


Beers, bats, and bad words: OTL World Championships hit San Diego in July

Posted at 12:19 PM, Jun 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-27 18:02:46-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — It's not the most family-friendly event in town, but it is one of San Diego's most time-honored bashes.

The 66th Over-The-Line (OTL) World Championship returns to Fiesta Island Park for two weekends July 13 and 14, and July 20 and 21. The annual event, known for its color team names and characters, started locally in the 1950s and has since become a highlight of summertime in San Diego.

What more can you ask for during the sweltering heat? Sunshine, brews, and a simple sport that everyone can follow. Well, it may not be that simple for newbies, but it's a quick lesson.

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Here's what to know:

  • The batter and pitcher are on the same team. The batter's goal is to hit the ball into fair territory (over the line) without a fielder catching it. A hit includes any ball that lands in fair territory, if a fielder crosses over the line, or if a fielder drops the ball in fair or foul territory.
  • If a batter connects with the ball but it does not cross the line, it can be saved and ruled a "no pitch" if the batter or pitcher are able to catch the ball before it hits the ground. Kind of like a redo pitch.
  • An out is recorded when the ball fails to cross the line, a batter swings and misses, a fielder catches the ball in fair territory, a batter has two fouls, a player bats out of order, or if a pitcher or batter touch but do not catch a ball that falls short of the line.

Nobody actually runs bases — at times, that's probably for the best — and three outs end each half of an inning just like baseball.

To score:

  • The third hit of a half-inning scores one run and each hit after that scores another run.
  • A home run, which is when a ball lands past the last fielder without it being touched, scores a run and any hits before it. The hit count is then reset to zero.

Anyone is free to spectate, but the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) has a few guidelines. Participants and fans follow the "No Bs" of OTL, which include no bottles, no bowzers (dogs), no babies, and no battles (fighting.)

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While the event is free, organizers warn that OTL is not the most appropriate and safe event for children due to crowds, language, booze, and the open sports setting.

Before heading out, check traffic and weather conditions around the Mission Bay area. For more information on team registration, tickets, and parking visit the OMBAC website.