Held in the beautiful Mission Bay area of San Diego, the Over-the-Line Tournament (better known to locals as the OTL tourney) takes place on Fiesta Island, a small island in the midst of the bay.
I had never heard of it before, so when PubClub.com sent me to experience it first hand, I was all about it! (The 2012 event is July 14-15 and 21-22. This is the 59th annual event. The "alcohol ban" of San Diego beaches does not apply for OTL. So bring your Budweisers!)
Fiesta Island has only one access road that circles the island. It is much better to take one of the free buses onto and off of the island than to try and fight for a parking spot. Unless you arrive early, there is not a parking spot to be found for most of the day unless you want to fight off someone with a stick to nab one.
Held in the middle of July over the span of two weekends, the OTL tourney begins early in the morning no sooner than people can begin popping tops off their beers. Beer coolers are scattered among the sand playing courts almost as abundantly as the attendees playing and observing the games.
Now these people do it RIGHT at the OTL!
Chelsea Hunter at the OTL stage and sign.
The PubClubettes get the rules explained in typical OTL entertaining fashion.
On a typical day the OTL starts out at 8 a.m., and goes until about 6 p.m., or so. The day's end is dictated by a series of semi-final multi-level eliminations. And because most of the breast-baring beach babes have taken off by that point!
The writer found the game confusing, but it was hardly her fault.
The game itself is a form of softball. I had about three different people try to explain the game to me, but considering most attendees were already 5-6 beers deep by the time I arrived, I never really grasped the exact rules. It didn't matter, though, because everyone was in good spirits and was having a blast, especially as we plastered PubClub.com temporary tattoos on everyone at the tourney!
The OTL is limited to 1,200 teams of three persons each, playing almost 2,400 games in two weekends with 52,000 in attendance. The teams themselves range from competitors from 18-80 years old and I had several proudly tout they have been attending the OTL tourney since they were 5 or 6 years old!
These are not your typical corporate teams however, as half the fun of OTL is seeing who can come up with the most comical team name. Some of the more classy team names were "Porta-Potty-Peep-Cam." "Purely Ghetto." "Sons of Beaches" and not to forget the old classic "Butt, Sweat and Beers" team.
The beach is big enough to accommodate players and partiers.
A look at Fiesta Island during the OTL.
PubClubette Chelsea with Miss Emerson.
The 2012 event will be the the 59th annual OTL tournament so it has been around for a while to say the least. As I walked around the Fiesta Island grounds I tried to get some more background info on the games. I learned that the OTL tourney is sponsored and organized by the O.M.B.A.C organization (Old Mission Beach Athletic Club).
Two men named Ron Lapalis (better known as "Fox") and Pat Kearny started the game years ago on Mission Beach and had the passion to keep it going and start the formal organization of the tournament. The court, as legend has it, is said to be 23 "Fox" steps in length.
If you're lucky – or you have boobs and are willing to flash them – you can get access to the O.M.B.A.C tent, which serves the "official" O.M.B.A.C drink of rum and coke. One of the few shaded areas on the island and a definite hot spot for skin-bearing beach babes, it is where most of the old-time tournament legends hang out exchanging stories of OTL tourneys of the past.
The Miss Emerson
girls line up on the stage.
An annual OTL highlight is the Ms. Emerson contest.
Another interesting part of the tournament is the "Miss Emerson" contest click here for more).
Now I have to admit, I was skeptical as to the validity of this contest and what exactly the judging specifications were based on. I originally thought that it was solely a "who has the bigger boobs" contest which, do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with at all!
Come to find out, it is much more than that as I learned when I interviewed one of the recent winners, Mary Kraszewski. The judges are looking for a beach beauty who carries herself with style and grace. Out of all the qualified contestants only one is crowned Miss Emerson, based on her interview with the committee of 9 judges!
The contestants' interview skills and stage presence determines the winner. The newly appointed Miss Emerson is then expected to attend all the events that O.M.B.A.C sponsors for the next year.
(Editor's note: It should be pointed out that the writer, Chelsea Hunter, is a former Miss Fitness Arizona and was the first runner-up in the 2007 Miss Long Beach Grand Prix contest.)
The PubClubettes at the Over The Line tournament, ready to report on it.
Big John is happy to see the PubClubettes!
See what happens when PubClub.com sends the PubClubettes to the OTL!?
Even though the beer, bats and babes are a ton of fun, the OTL tourney encompasses much more; it actually does a lot for the San Diego community and serves as the primary fundraising source for O.M.B.A.C 's year-round charitable programs.
The majority of the tournament proceeds are contributed to wheelchair sports for both adults and children in San Diego.
So while you are enjoying your beer, pizza and sexy sights of beach bound women, you can also feel good about your contribution to the community.
How great is that?!
Admission is free but organizers expect spectators to observe the '5 B's'
No Bottles, Babies, Bowser's (dogs), Birds, or Boa's (Constrictors). Bicycle use is limited as well
he 2012 Miss Emerson contest will be on Saturday, July 21. Girls who would like to enter can sign up the first weekend.
Chelsea talks it up with an OTL player.
PubClubettes Chelsea and Tara get a lot of attention at the OTL.
Not that we blame him for posing with our PubClubette.
Nice shot; is anybody watching the games at this point!?
Bikinis and Budweiser; that's a good start to the OTL for sure.