Answered: Referee Ring Return

An interesting situation came up today at the JumpStart tournament in Washington.

Some tubes were missed at the goal on the wall next to the red alliance driver station, and fell out of the tube. The referee did not notice until far later in the game, amidst some shouts from the crowd. He had to weave his way through the feet of the red alliance to pick up the tube and return it.

So the question:
How should tubes dropped outside the field at a location that would interfere with the drivers if a referee should try to return it to the field be dealt with? Not questioning whether or not it should be returned (I assume it needs to be returned), but how should they do so in order to keep distraction of the drivers at a minimum?

I can see this becoming an interesting (albeit unspirited and ungraciously professional) strategy.

The referees and field personnel will attempt to retrieve the rings promptly in the least intrusive way possible.