Lawsuit threatens OTL Tournament - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Lawsuit threatens OTL Tournament

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A popular tournament known for its raunchy names and playful atmosphere may get shut down as a local organization files suit against OTL.

The annual event draws thousands of people and is scheduled to get underway in just a few weeks.

But, freepb.org has filed a lawsuit claiming the city is allowing the tournament without following certain guidelines.

The 60th annual Over The Line tournament is still a month away, but Kristen Fike and her teammates are already prepared to compete.

She said, "It's a time to have fun and get away and spend a good time with good friends."

That good time might not happen this year, if freePB.org has its way.

Earlier this week, the non-profit organization filed this lawsuit against the City of San Diego, asking for an injunction.

Why?

They accuse the city of approving OTL without conducting an environmental review.

They also allege officials are playing favorites.

In a letter to the City Clerk, FreePB.org's attorney wrote in part, "My client is under the impression that high-level members of your agency's staff have promised the permittee that the permit would be issued at the last minute to avoid any legal challenges to the permit."

Kevin Haas, who signed up for the tournament said, "I don't think it will work. There's too many people that come from out of state, it's not just a local event."

The tournament, scheduled for the weekends of July 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st is expected to draw 50,000 competitors and spectators.

OTL is a game where players score runs for hitting the ball within a designated area.

Alcohol is usually part of the tradition. Sometimes criticized for its debauchery, veterans say times have changed.

Tony Annino said, "I played earlier in the 80's and stuff and it was pretty crazy. We had kegs, we had people with their tops off, squirt guns. But, over time, they've outlawed almost everything."

The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club, who sponsors the event, did not want to comment.

But, their lawyer told the Union Tribune, the group is heartbroken over the potential cancellation. A sentiment felt by many who just want to play ball.

"We're just here to have fun, so hopefully they can settle it."

The tournament at this point is still scheduled to go on as planned, so still a lot of details to come out of this.

In the lawsuit, freepb.org also raises concerns about an event they were supposed to hold but were denied the permit.

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