For over half a
century State Park Little League has offered youth baseball programs to the
kids of Duneland.
1953, SPLL was created with the goal in mind of guiding the boys of
Westchester Township into good citizens with the help of baseball.
Since 1953, SPLL
has adapted to the needs of the community and has added programs. In the
early 1980s, softball was added to give girls the opportunity to play.
Chesterton High School also started softball programs in the early 1980s, so
SPLL gave young girls a chance to prepare for the future.
In 1994, the league
added a Challenger Division to their program. This division is comprised of
mentally and physically challenged children who play a modified form of
baseball. Kids can join the Challenger Division at 5 years old and can play
until they are 21 years old.
Over the years,
SPLL has offered various levels of baseball based on the age of the players.
Kids can start playing for SPLL beginning at age five and can play all the
way until they are 18 years old.
In 1953, SPLL
consisted of only four Little League teams. Today, SPLL has over 30 teams
and six divisions. According to SPLL President Duane Dibble, there were
about 375 Little League players for the spring season.
The highest number
of players SPLL has had for a single season was 450 players about six years
ago. That number declined to 330 players last year. The number of players is
beginning to grow again and Dibble expects 400 players to sign on in 2016.
In 2009, the league
decided expansion was needed at the League Lane site in Porter. A committee
of SPLL supporters began a project called the “Field of Dreams.” This
project would include the creation of a new field, restroom facilities, a
new storage/concessions building, batting cages, and general facility
In 2013, a new
field was built on land donated by Ron McColly along Woodlawn Ave. and plans
for construction of the new building are in progress. The new field’s
primary use is for the Challengers players, but it can also be used by other
Dibble, the new building will cost more than $100,000. The league has about
a fourth of the money on hand, but plans to do fundraisers in the future to
raise the rest of the funds needed to complete the plan.
There are two
seasons each year for SPLL. The spring season runs from early April through
mid-June, with teams playing 14-18 games. Tournament play typically runs
through mid-July culminating in a trip to Williamsport, PA, for a select
In the Fall, SPLL
offers a lighter version of spring season play. There is only one game a
week and it runs for seven weeks. This season typically runs from September
SPLL is non-profit
and completely run by volunteers. The league is always looking for parents
to volunteer and help SPLL run smoothly. “Running a Little League is no easy
task, it takes a lot of committed people,” said Dibble.
about registration for SPLL or to volunteer, go to