City: no under-21 guests, players at OTL
by JOHNNY MCDONALD
May 28, 2014 | 19839 views | 0 0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Over-the-Line National Championships, sponsored by the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club for 60 years, will now prohibit under-21 spectators and players because of a new city rule prohibiting underage drinkers from attending. Photo by Jim Grant
The Over-the-Line National Championships, sponsored by the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club for 60 years, will now prohibit under-21 spectators and players because of a new city rule prohibiting underage drinkers from attending. Photo by Jim Grant
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Because of a recent change in city rules, officials with the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) who organize the annual Over-the-Line National Championship Tournament have announced that the two-weekend event will now be restricted to players and spectators 21 years of age and older.

“OMBAC regrettably has been forced by the city of San Diego to make this major change to our San Diego tradition, and we must inform you that this will now be a 21-and-over event,” said OMBAC media representative Sonny Petersen. “The entire playing area will be transformed into a giant ‘beer garden,’ and those coming to the event must present an ID as proof of age.”  

Since 1954, the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club has hosted its Over-the-Line Tournament in Mission Beach. The tournament took on a life of its own and outgrew its previous locations and moved to Fiesta Island in 1972.

Petersen said that for the last 60 years, OMBAC has enjoyed hosting its more than 30,000 guests over two weekends in July.  

He said this allowed visitors to bring and enjoy an adult beverage while sitting in the sand and watching an incredibly unique sport. 

“After 60 years of what has been considered a model of how to run a large special event, OMBAC is sad to announce that we will no longer be able to host the public as a whole,” Petersen said. “OMBAC deeply regrets to have to bring this change to our public. We have done everything possible to preserve this traditional event, and hope the public continues to support the club’s many fundraising programs.” 

Meanwhile, players have been registered, and the top teams are being seeded for the event, which runs during the weekends of July 12-13 and 19-20.   

About 1,300 men and women will swing away at softballs on 50 courts from 7:30 a.m. to sundown on those days to determine 10 class-winners.    

 “We’ll still conduct the event one way or another,” Petersen said.
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