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Over-the-Line World Championship started with a man known as the 'Godfather'

Mike Curren the 'Godfather' of OTL in San Diego
mike curren.png
Posted at 3:02 PM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 21:21:30-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Bat meets softball this weekend at Fiesta Island with the 69th annual Over-the Line World Championship Tournament.

It's a game that was first introduced to San Diego back in the 1940s by a bunch of kids waiting for volleyball courts to open up at old Mission Beach.

"The first games we played were down by the water on the ocean side," says Mike Curren.

Curren says while he and his friends didn't invent the sport, they added to the game.

"At first we used seaweed to make up the sidelines, and the line that you hit the ball over was drawn in the sand with your toe."

The 92-year-old Curren is one of the founding members of the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club and is considered the "Godfather" of the Over-the-Line World Championship Tournament, which started in the 1950s.

"The first year we played there were eight teams, just eight. There were 24 players total."

It started with 24 players and over the years that number has grown into an event that now includes 1,500 teams and 3,500 players.

"It's fun," says Curren. "Anyone can play it and you don't need any special skills."

Over-the-Line has become a San Diego tradition and for Curren, he always looks forward to the second and third weekends in July.

"I wouldn't have done it for as long as I have if it wasn't fun, and that is the way OMBAC is."