OTL Granted Permit, Participants Can Bring Booze

San Diego’s famous Over the Line Tournament (OTL) will go on as planned this month and participants will be allowed to bring their own alcohol to the bayside event, city leaders announced Wednesday.

The City of San Diego has granted a special events permit that allows for all ages attendance to the 61st annual event hosted by the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC), as well as permission for the public to bring booze to the event – the same rules as in years past.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said not making any changes to the iconic summer event is the way to go.

“For the past six decades, Over the Line has become part of the fabric of San Diego. This announcement means thousands of San Diegans and visitors from across the world will be playing Over the Line on the sands of Fiesta Island just like they have since 1954,” said Faulconer.

This year the tournament is scheduled for the weekends of July 12-13 and July 19-20 on Fiesta Island in Mission Bay. The rowdy beach baseball tournament involves spirited teams – often in silly costumes with equally colorful team names – whose primary objective is to hit the ball “over the line” about 55 feet in front of the batter.

According to OMBAC, the tournament was the target of a lawsuit last year that nearly resulted in its cancellation. With the threat of litigation looming over this year’s event as well, OMBAC had planned to modify this year’s event with additional restrictions on alcohol sales.

However, in the end, OMBAC revised its permit application to reflect the tournament’s original, traditional plan and the city approved it earlier this week, so the sandy show will go on.

In a statement released Wednesday, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said leaders stand by their decision.

“Over The Line is a San Diego tradition that the City welcomes. There was no legal basis for last year’s lawsuit seeking to cancel OTL and we are prepared to defend the City’s permission for the event, again, if necessary,” said Goldsmith.

In addition, San Diego Police Department Chief Shelley Zimmerman had this to say about the approved permit for OTL: “The San Diego Police Department has had a long standing, collaborative and successful relationship with OMBAC. We appreciate everything OMBAC has done to ensure the Over the Line tournament is enjoyable and safe for all.”

By the way, in order to enjoy OTL safely and responsibly, event rules prohibit attendees and participants from bringing glass containers to Fiesta Island.

Besides bottles, there are no bicycles, dogs, babies and fighting allowed at OTL. Public displays of nudity or violations of San Diego Municipal Code will not be tolerated.

According to event organizers, OTL began 61 years ago when three guys couldn’t snag a volleyball court and instead came up with the bat-and-ball game to play in the sand.

Since then, it has grown exponentially into a two-weekend summer event featuring sports, food, entertainment and more than 1,200 three-person teams from all over the world vying for trophies awarded across 10 divisions.

For complete details on OTL, visit the event website.

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