These days it seems we all need a break. We all need a laugh, we all need a break from our lives, and we all need to remember what it is like to be a kid. The past two weekends I was able to escape with my friends and family into a worry free and exceptionally crazy and fun world by means of the 56th annual Over the Line World Championships played on Fiesta Island in San Diego, California.
For those of you that have heard of this legendary tournament, or have even been lucky enough to attend, you know how much ridiculous fun I am talking about. If you haven’t, book your flights for next July to San Diego, it is definitely a spectacle everyone should see and even better participate in at least once in their life. Nearly 1,200 teams composed of men’s and women’s teams ranging from age 21-75 compete every year in this double elimination tournament, and most do not survive past the first day of competition.
The tournament itself attracts a lot of beer, a lot of sun, and the occasional topless woman, but nonetheless serves as a reminder to chill out, play a game, and that life should not be taken too seriously. The game of OTL is played on the beach and can almost be thought of as a combination of baseball, golf and cricket. It is an extremely refined and athletic practice that truly takes years to master. There are 3 players to a team, and the simple object of the game is to hit the ball so that it drops in the sand over the line away from the 3 fielders trying to catch it, which is about 55 feet away from the hitter. If the ball does not travel past the line, it’s an out. The field itself is about 55 feet wide, and as far as you can hit it. Three hits is a run, and any ball that goes past the very last fielder without being touched is a homerun. Seemingly simple, but extremely difficult once you make it past team Hooters or Little Darling’s Showgirls and start playing with the top 10 teams in the world. Literally some people travel all year long to play this game, and I envy them just a little bit.
My team, the “Blonde Beezies” (an amazingly mild OTL team name) has played together for close to 5 years and have set the goal of winning the entire tournament by 2011. Our team collectively has 2 NCAA softball titles, 3 seasons of professional softball, and has only finished in the top 5 of OTL a humbling and sobering one time. We can definitely cover more beach defensively than any team out there, but have been wickedly schooled in the art of OTL hitting. Next year we have vowed to actually practice before the tournament and attempt to refine our hitting.
Despite our shortcomings every year, it is nonetheless my favorite two weekends of the entire summer. My husband and I literally postponed our real honeymoon to play this year. The “Blonde Beezies” placed in the top 10 this year, and most definitely won best dressed thanks to our Electric Orange slipless headbands, Cool Racerbacks, and Coal speed shorts. We were feeling smokin’ haute and were definitely baffling the competition with our outfits alone. The moisture wicking, and coolness of our outfits were absolutely essential on the extremely hot sand, and proved to be much more functional than the bikinis that seems to give other teams sand wedgies and full exposure when diving plays would occur.
Once again disappointed in our finish, the “Blonde Beezies” will nonetheless continue to charge the sands of OTL for years to come and will eventually win this thing. Yet win or lose, we always enjoy the weekend of sun, friends, playtime, beer, occasional Jell-O shots, male followers that heckle our opponents, and truly remembering to take a break from reality and simply enjoy life. Whether you go to this phenomenal tournament to party or compete, everyone at OTL has one thing in common, a smile on their face, most likely a beer in their hand and a cell phone covered in sand and ignoring the outside world. I can’t wait to get back to the sandbox and OTL playground again next year! Maybe the amazingly talented lululemon designers will release a special OTL outfit. A girl can dream right?