Ronald Foxcroft




Ron Foxcroft's development of the innovative Fox 40 sports whistle was a consequence of his distinguished career as a basketball official. Foxcroft had been the only Canadian ever to officiate in the National Collegiate Basketball Association (NCAA) championships. Foxcroft was also a highly regarded international basketball referee who handled many important games, including the men's Olympic gold medal game between the Soviet Union and the United States in Montreal in 1976.

Foxcroft invented the Fox 40 whistle as a result of his experiences as a referee and the problems he encountered with the malfunction of conventional whistles. On a number of occasions, Foxcroft had worked as an official in a tension packed basketball games where he had attempted to call a foul, only to have the cork pea in the traditional whistle jam in the whistle cavity, causing the whistle to malfunction with no sound produced. At an Olympic qualification game in Brazil in 1984, Roxcroft's whistle froze as he was attempting to call a foul against Brazil's opponent. When no sound was produced, the enraged local fans triggered a riot that ended the game.

Foxcroft appreciated through his work as an official that the only piece of equipment that simply could not fail a referee was the whistle. The Fox 40 designed by Foxcroft was patented and first manufactured in 1987.

A conventional pea whistle produces sound by means of the vibration of the pea against the interior chamber of the whistle. The Fox 40 whistle has no moving parts and no pea or other apparatus to become jammed or clogged due to dirt entering the chamber. The Fox 40 produces a clear and distinct whistle as a result of the shape of the plastic mouth piece and the tuning of its three air chambers. The Fox 40 can be heard up to one mile away from the user. For these reasons the Fox 40 has become the official referee's whistle of professional sports leagues such as the National Basketball League, the National Football League, the NCAA, FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, and numerous others. The Fox 40 is now the preferred sports whistle of organizations that oversee aquatic sports, such as the international federation FINA, as the Fox 40 performance is not affected by exposure to water; a cork pea whistle will deteriorate in moist or humid environments.

The Fox 40 is sold in over 100 countries, and the Foxcroft invention plays a role in hundreds of athletic contests every day around the world. Foxcroft is a member of the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame.

SEE ALSO Basketball; FIFA: World Cup Soccer; Sport Performance.