The Valley League was founded on May 15, 1897, in Edinburg, Virginia, and included charter members Winchester, Woodstock, Strasburg, Front Royal, and Edinburg.
It evolved in the early years from a Class D minor league to an NCAA-sanctioned league in 1961, operating under NCAA rules. The league adopted wooden bats in 1993. Each team plays a 42-game schedule June through early August, concluding with a top-eight-team playoff to determine the Lineweaver Cup Championship.
The VBL is funded in part by a grant from Major League Baseball and is a member of the National Alliance of College Summer Baseball (NACSB), a national affiliation of 13 collegiate summer leagues. The Valley League has produced well over 1,000 professional baseball players, included a league record 79 former players drafted in the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. In 2021, 25 Valley League alumni were playing in the Major Leagues, and 21 were selected in the 20-round MLB draft.
In 2011, the VBL transitioned to not-for-profit status. All teams as well as the overall League are now not-for-profit organizations supported by numerous volunteers and sponsors. The Valley League name is derived from the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, which is nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains to the East and the Alleghany Mountains to the West.
In 2023, the league will consist of 12 teams playing a one division format. Current franchises include teams in Charlottesville, Covington, Culpeper, Front Royal, Harrisonburg, New Market, Purcellville, Staunton, Strasburg, Waynesboro, Winchester, and Woodstock.
Each team will play a 44-game schedule beginning June 1, with playoffs slated to begin the last week in July and extending into early August. The last possible date for play is August 9.