Over the Line state championships part of Moffat County Balloon Festival | CraigDailyPress.com

Over the Line state championships part of Moffat County Balloon Festival

Softball variation returns to Craig in August

A new sensation in Colorado is coming up, and organizers plan for it to be bigger and better than ever. The first step: its name.

The Over the Line tournament returns to Craig in August as part of Moffat County BalloonMoffat County Balloon Festival Aug. 6 at Loudy-Simpson Park, this time bearing the title Colorado State Over the Line Championship. Festival Aug. 6 at Loudy-Simpson Park, this time bearing the title Colorado State Over the Line Championship.

Moffat County Balloon Festival Aug. 6 at Loudy-Simpson Park, this time bearing the title Colorado State Over the Line Championship.

A little bit of hyperbole helps garner interest, organizer Derek Cleverly said, but the name is not actually an exaggeration.

"It's the only place in Colorado where this game is played as far as we know," he said, noting he received special permission to use the term from the World Championships in San Diego, where the activity began. "It's just for fun, but you bring a team, you come out, you win, and you're the state champions."

The game Over the Line was originally created by Old Mission Beach Athletic Club, a variation of bat and ball games like baseball and softball that involves three-person teams.

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Hitters do not run any bases, and the field consists of a triangle in place of home plate and a rectangle for fielders. A batter's teammate serves as the pitcher and tosses them the ball — a modified version of a softball — which they hit into the field of play.

Anything not caught by opposing fielders landing in the field qualifies as a hit, with three hits scoring a point. A home run is anything hit past and clearing all fielders without them touching it.

For a full explanation of the setup and rules, visit http://www.ombac.org/over-the-line/otl-rules-of-the-gamehttp://www.ombac.org/over-the-line/otl-rules-of-the-game..

http://www.ombac.org/over-the-line/otl-rules-of-the-game.

In its first year in Craig as part of the festival last year, eight teams joined the action, and Cleverly hopes to double that this time.

"It's just a unique way to play some softball," he said. "People were having a great time."

The cost is $75 per team for a group of three. Teams can be co-ed, and women are allowed to wear gloves while fielding. Players must be 12 or older.

The deadline to register is July 31, and forms are available at Jackson's Office Supply, 106 W. Victory Way.

For more information, call Cleverly at 970-629-8499.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.