Sun 'n' Fun

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Not to be confused with Spring Undergraduate Novice, Sun God, or Florida Sunshine.

Sun 'n' Fun (or Sun 'n Fun, or Sun n Fun) was a series of collegiate packet sub tournaments run by USF in the summer. The inaugural Sun 'n' Fun was played in 2000; the next decade saw intermittent Suns 'n' Funs culminating in Sun 'n Fun XI in 2010. The intended difficulty of the tournaments ranged from Fall to Regionals, with the final iterations claiming Nationals-level. By the end of its existence, Sun 'n' Fun was known for its inconsistency, high difficulty, and poor quality; nevertheless, it remained a popular tournament, with many players traveling to the main site in Florida each year.

Every possible combination of apostrophes in "Sun 'n' Fun" has been used in official discussions of the sets.

Before 2006

As with other artifacts of early 2000s quiz bowl, it is difficulty to find information on early Sun 'n' Funs because they predate many of the extant forms of documentation like the forums and the database.

The packet archive only contains editions of the set from 2005 and 2000 - it is unclear whether there were additional instances of the set or if the naming scheme of Sun 'n' Fun VIII was chosen to be intentionally wrong.


Have you ever been to one of those museums that are housed in some dead eccentric rich guy's old mansion? And the museum's collection is made up entirely of random things that the guy collected? This tournament was exactly like that; it was a display of random things that Ahmad collects inside of his mind.[1]

Bruce Arthur

Sun n' Fun VIII and a 1/2: Fewer Ns Better Qs was the first modern Sun 'n' Fun and was edited by Ahmad Ragab; this was also the first tournament that Ahmad had ever edited.[2] Ahmad's editorial style would come to define the tournament, which were all edited by him; his tendency to over-represent his interests and his unwillingness to cut overly difficult questions, coupled with the nature of packet sub, produced four sets that were praised for their novel content but criticized for both over- and under-shooting difficulty and having excessively long questions. Jerry Vinokurov called Arrabal "[his] own Sun-n-Fun" due to its difficulty and vanity nature.

The reception of the set was mixed: the difficulty had swung wildly from "easy 30s" that hit the advertised difficulty of 'Fall to Regionals' to "5 or 6 answers that were going dead everywhere". However, much of this was attributed to the low quality of the submissions rather than Ahmad, whose work on the editor packets was received much more positively. A young Chris Ray called the set "absolutely horrible" and listed out a number of answers - these form an interesting slice into what was considered "too hard" at the time.[3]


Sun 'n Fun IX: The Medusa Laughs Again, Or Avoiding the Curse of the Ninth was held May 10, 2008 at USF. The set was again edited by Ahmad Ragab, with contributions from Rob Fernandez, Jeremy Rasmussen, Anthony Napolitano, and Ellen O'Connell.

This iteration of the set made use of writer tags but bizarrely embedded them between the question number and the first words of the question.

A Maryland mirror was held.


Sun 'n' Fun 2009: A Decade Under the Influence was held at Valencia on July 11, 2009; the change from the typical location at USF was due to issues with room reservations.[4] The set was edited by Ahmad Ragab, with contributions from Anurag Kashyap, Susan Ferrari, Auroni Gupta, Sandy Huang, Jeff Amoros, and Chris Kennedy.

This tournament aimed higher than previous iterations by initially advertising as "ACF Nationals level difficulty", then as "a tic easier than this year's Missouri Open" - it overshot both these marks, with Matt Weiner directly comparing it to 2008 Chicago Open.[5][6] The history was cited as distinctly weaker than the rest of the set, which had many of the flaws that had plagued Sun 'n' Funs of the past. A question on Duel of the Fates from Star Wars Episode I was designated as one of the seven total music questions (of which three were on opera) - people were varying levels of unhappy about this.[7][8]

Discussion of the set can be found here.

After the Maryland mirror[9], teams intended to play side events like Tyrone Slothrop and Henry Darger but were sidelined by logistical difficulties that resulted in the main tournament having a twelve-hour run time. This was due in part to a large event in Jimenez in which members of the National Student Leadership Conference cordoned off play rooms as part of a biohazard simulation.[10]

A Minnesota mirror was also held.


2010 Sun 'n' Fun XI: Ars Longa, Tossups Brevis was held at USF on August 14, 2010 and was the final iteration of the tournament. Ahmad Ragab remained the editor, with some help from Jonathan Magin, and Mehdi Razvi, Isaac Hirsch, and Sean Platzer contributed questions. This tournament made use of half-packet submission: the submission of half packets, rather than full packets.

Discussion can be found here.


  1. Re: Sun 'n' Fun 2009 Discussion by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:40 pm
  2. Results by SnookerUSF » Sun Jul 01, 2007 1:03 am
  3. Sun n Fun Discussion by wd4gdz » Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:49 pm
  4. Re: Prelim. Announcement: Sun 'n Fun X July 11, 2009 by ValenciaQBowl » Tue May 05, 2009 9:15 am
  5. Re: Sun 'n' Fun 2009 Discussion by vcuEvan » Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:13 pm
  6. Re: Sun 'n' Fun 2009 Discussion by Matt Weiner » Mon Jul 13, 2009 2:07 pm
  7. Re: Sun 'n' Fun 2009 Discussion by Theory Of The Leisure Flask » Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:59 am
  8. Re: Sun 'n' Fun 2009 Discussion by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:39 pm
  9. ANNOUNCEMENT: Sun 'n Fun X Mirror (7/11/09) at Maryland by DumbJaques » Tue May 05, 2009 7:18 pm
  10. Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Sun 'n Fun X Mirror (7/11/09) at Maryland by DumbJaques » Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:25 pm