Over-the-Line game goes under the microscope

the flip side

July 20, 2006

Mr. Flip doesn't get out much, so maybe it's no surprise he had never heard of the California beach game called Over-the-Line.

According to a report on ESPN.com, the game is a baseball-cricket kind of deal in which players try to hit a heavy foam ball - tossed up by a teammate - with a wooden bat, making the ball land within a court shaped like a giant pencil. No one runs any bases; a hit results in a "ghost runner" who can be moved along until he scores.

And there are other elements Mr. Flip could pass along, but the key thing is how the annual tournament in San Diego is, as writer Mary Buckheit puts it, "a mix of Mardi Gras, MTV Spring Break 2006, a Jimmy Buffett beach bash and a Girls Gone Wild video."

She described the beach scene as "a massive sandy space packed with people and teeming with debauchery."

So this could be a sport with a chance to catch on.

The San Diego event serves as a fundraiser for youth sports, and it draws 1,200 three-player teams and a total crowd of 52,000, according to organizers. Now, surely not all of them are drunk or bikini-clad.

Because that would be over the line.

Arrested development

Willie Williams could do the crime, but he didn't get the time.

Williams was arrested 10 times between 1999 and 2002 and received three years' probation and 250 hours of community service for a probation violation, but Miami still gave him a football scholarship. After redshirting his freshman year, Williams apparently wasn't on the field enough past season, because the linebacker is reportedly transferring to West Virginia over lack of playing time.

Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel blames the Hurricanes for poor scouting.

"If you're going to sign a guy with 11 arrests," Bianchi wrote, "can you at least make sure he can run fast when he doesn't have a stolen TV under his arm?"

Compiled from wire and Web reports by Mr. Flip, who can't run fast even with just an iPod under his arm.

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