Question recycling is the practice of reusing questions at more than one tournament. In general, question recycling is only acceptable under the limited provision that it is stated outright and that no one who could have heard recycled questions would be able to attend a tournament where recycled questions are being used without knowingly committing a violation.
Examples of acceptable question recycling include
- The use of questions at a multi-site tournament where the sectionals are held on the same day.
- The reuse of a portion of the questions for different divisions of a tournament, held on the same day.
- The reuse of packets during the same season for different regions, where the questions are prohibited from being discussed in the interim.
Unacceptable question recycling includes
- Reusing questions from a previous season.
- Using questions that have been cleared for practice.
- Using another question provider's questions.
Known instances of unacceptable question recycling
- Questions Galore has reused old questions for the Nashville quizbowl show Westfield Insurance Quizbusters
- In the 1980s, CBI reused questions from six years before, which according to policies at the time, were supposed to have been destroyed.
- Platypus Questions has reused questions; given the fact that the questions appear to be completely computer-generated from a database, this isn't really that surprising.
- Chip Beall has admitted that questions from preliminary rounds of the NAC are recycled; since the rounds are a week apart and Chip doesn't ensure question security, this practice is unacceptable. (It also doesn't help that some of the questions had been previously used.)
- Reach for the Top
- In the 1990s, Answers Plus sold questions for a Northern Illinois University invitational that had already been used in an Illinois Masonic tournament and sold to some of the teams as practice questions.
- The 2015 NAC New Orleans phase used questions previously sold for practice in a playoff round.