I dont ref all that often, but when I do ….
Attacking team kicks the ball out over the goal line. Player from the attacking team goes off the field, is right next to the ball, but does not retrieve the ball. I actually did think about carding this young lady for Unsporting behavior?
To paint the picture, she was right there, but, in the opinion of this referee, deliberately did not make any effort to gather the ball back for the defending team to take the goal kick.
Also, got me thinking about this case, which DID NOT actually happen today, but …
Defending team kicks ball out over the goal line. Player from the defending team retrieves the ball, sends it to the corner. Attacking team takes the kick before said defending player – oh lets say it is the goal keeper – is back in position. Unsporting behavior?
By the way, when I coached, I did tell my players to never retrieve a ball for the other team ….
USSF answer (November 24, 2011):
As we all know from experience, no coach will ever tell his or her players to provide any sort of aid to the opposing team’s players.
It is certainly common courtesy for a player to retrieve the ball if he or she is near it, but there is no requirement that the team that put the ball out of play must retrieve it. Just as in the case of the referee waiting until a substitute reaches his or her proper playing position for the restart, it is also traditional that the team with the restart wait until the opponent who retrieved the ball has returned to a proper playing position. The referee must be proactive and stop the restart if the team is unsporting enough not to wait for that player. However, it is not illegal if the player takes the corner kick before the goalkeeper returns to the field — provided that the goalkeeper was not the player who retrieved the ball.