Over-the-Line swings into San Diego for 64th year

Posted at 12:46 PM, Jul 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-08 16:09:32-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Thousands hit Fiesta Island Saturday to find relief from the sweltering heat and to take part in a time-honored local tradition.

Drinking beer and hitting a ball with a bat.

Okay, so it's not that simple, but the annual Over-the-Line (OTL) Tournament has a unique reputation. Celebrating its 64th anniversary this season, the tournament is known for its colorful signage, characters, and beer.

Fans and players flock to the coastline every summer, with beach chairs and brews in tow, to take part in the classic game that first hit the region in the 1950s.

The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC)only asks that participants and fans follow the "No Bs" of OTL, which include no bottles, no bowzers (dogs), no babies, and no battles (fighting.) While the event is free to the public, organizers also caution that OTL is not the most appropriate and safe event for children due to crowds, language, and the open sports setting.

The basic rules of the game are simple.

  • 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.

No bases are actually run. Three outs end a half-inning, just like in baseball.

So how do you 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.

Hopefully that all makes sense.

If not, you have another week to brush up on the rules and head over to check out San Diego's favorite sporting tradition. The tournament will wrap up on July 15 and 16, 2017.

Check San Diego traffic and weather conditions before you head out.

For more information on location, parking, and more, visit the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club online.

Mark Saunders is KGTV digital producer. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkCSaun.