What obligation does my keeper have to chase after errant shots on goal that go 30-40 yards out of bounds after each shot. Our rules required the home team (not me) to provide 3 game balls but they only provided one. After the first errant shot, I asked the AR where the other game balls were and was told there were none. I suggested they get some because my keeper is not going to run 60-80 yards after each bad shot. After no other balls were forthcoming and after about the fifth bad shot, I told my keeper to walk to get the balls, and the referee criticized me for timewasting. I said this would not be an issue if you would get the required number of game balls. My real question is does my keeper have to get the balls at all?
USSF answer (April 12, 2011):
Whichever team is putting the ball back into play must make the effort to go after balls that are kicked beyond the immediate area of the goal line. (We cannot give a specific distance as a measure, as fields differ in their setting.) In any case, in order to expedite play each team should volunteer one person to stand behind each goal to retrieve the errant balls.
If the rules of the competition (league, cup, club) require that the home team provide three balls, then the referee MUST also enforce the rules before worrying about the visiting team not running great distances for the ball. However, if the home team cannot come up with three balls, then the visiting team may be able to furnish them. (The referee must also have checked all three balls prior to the start of the game for suitability, in accordance with Law 2 and Law 5.)