Over-The-Line Tournament 2010: Opening Weekend

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The opening weekend of OMBAC’s Over-the-Line Tournament kicked off this past Saturday, July 1oth, with a turnout that did not disappoint despite the less-than-perfect grey skies and chilly atmosphere.

In fact, the cloudy weather seemed to benefit the event, which got off to a fairly mellow but enthusiastic start and saw crowds in the thousands milling onto Fiesta Island to play some ball, mingle, and of course, drink. According to officials, more than 15,000 competitors and spectators attended the event on Saturday, and about 9,000 attended on Sunday.

Amidst the bikinis and the booze, the tournament plays host to various competitive teams, many of whom filter into San Diego from a large section of the West and Southwest, including the states of Arizona, Nevada, and Washington.

According to event organizers, international teams are also making an appearance, with people from as far away as Iceland, Germany, and Japan taking part this year. Many of these teams and players have upwards of twenty years of experience—meaning that the Over-the-Line tourney isn’t just about getting sloshed and ogling hot babes (although everyone certainly loves those traditions as well).

The first weekend of the tourney typically weeds out the teams that play for fun from the more serious competitors, which makes the second weekend more about the sport than the partying—the Championship weekend.

Over 1,200 teams began this year’s games on Saturday, and by next weekend that number will have dwindled down. Organizers expect overall attendance to be somewhat diminished as more and more teams are weeded out and only the most serious players compete to win the final ten trophies in ten divisions.

Aside from the sports and the revelry, Over-the-Line poses an interesting challenge for event organizers and law enforcement. OMBAC was granted a city permit that allows for the consumption of alcohol in designated areas during the tournament, despite San Diego’s two year-old beach drinking ban.

While alcohol and large crowds of people generally don’t mean good news in the eyes of the police, this year only 18 people were arrested during the tourney’s opening weekend—a number Lt. Mark Hanten, head of SDPD Special Event Operations, considers “really low”, according to an interview with Fox 5 San Diego. “Over a two-day span on a weekend, I think that’s very manageable,” he said.

All in all, event organizers, law enforcement, spectators and competitors alike were all happy with the way the 57th Annual Over-the-Line tournament got started, and the upcoming finale weekend is sure to continue the revelry.

Photo from lululemon athletica via flickr

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