It works because of natural rivalries between neighboring towns.
Logistics-wise, it makes sense because it cuts travel costs, Brewer noted. Schools don't have to travel to San Diego for league contests.
But there is a big disparity in enrollments between the schools, and in turn, some say a disparity in the level of competition. With more students, logic says there is a larger talent pool from which to draw.
The smaller schools wanted a realistic chance to compete for a league title and on more level footing. So the schools' athletic directors devised a plan. There would be two divisions.
"We wanted to keep things simplified," Brewer said.
But in doing so, confusion set in. And the schools' ADs on Wednesday tried to sort it all out.
The four larger high schools in the area — Central Union, Southwest, Brawley and Calexico — comprise the Imperial Valley League. The four smaller schools — Holtville, Calipatria, Imperial and Palo Verde in Blythe — make up the Desert League.
To try to make it a little more fair, it was decided large school teams would play each other twice in basketball and the small schools once and vice versa.
There was some confusion as to whether cross-over games, from the large and small school divisions, would count as league or non-league contests.
Central AD Steve Evangelist pointed out if the large schools only counted games against other large schools as league contests, and small schools did the same thing, there would only be six league games that would determine a champion.
That wouldn't be enough to crown a true champion. So it was agreed all games involving the eight schools would be counted as league matches.
But when it comes time to name league champions, there will be both an IVL champion and a DL champion.
But what happens when the IVL's Brawley faces the DL's Imperial. It's a league game, so what league game is it called?
"That's a good question," Brewer said.
"Maybe you call it a IV/DL game, or a D/IVL game," Brewer said.
In terms of deciding who leads in the races for league titles, Brawley is in first place in the large-school IVL boys division with a 4-0 mark. Calipatria is 3-1 in the small-school DL boys race.
For the girls, Calexico and Southwest lead the IVL with 2-1 marks while Holtville at 4-0 stands atop the DL.