Fox 40 was born out of necessity when founder, Ron Foxcroft, suffered a football career-ending injury and turned his attention instead to becoming a part time basketball referee. He was successful in his career, which included officiating professional and Olympic basketball games. However, Foxcroft was frequently unhappy with his most essential piece of equipment: his whistle.
The most common problem he encountered was that the pea – the small ball inside the whistle that creates the shrill sound by causing vibration – would become stuck and render the whistle useless. Other issues that he encountered included too-soft a sound that was easily drowned out by the roar of the crowd. In the fast-paced world of professional sports, a missed call could harm a referee’s reputation, as well as lead to rule violations. In one such instance, Ron’s whistle failed to make a sound in front of a crowd of 18,000 at the Montreal Olympic finals when a Yugoslavian player elbowed a team member from the United States and the foul could not be called.
After that instance, Foxcroft developed a wishlist for his ideal whistle and approached a plastics molding company. After many failed attempts, the Fox 40 pealess whistle was born. This whistle sounded much like its predecessors that contained peas, with the added benefit that it was louder and guaranteed not to suffer from a pea malfunction. In addition, the Fox 40 was extremely durable thanks to a plastic molded injection process that welded the whistle together, as opposed to using glue.
In 1987 the Fox 40 was first used at the Pan Am Games in Indianapolis, Indiana. Word quickly spread about the whistle’s innovation, and even the Indianapolis police were inquiring about its use. By 1990 the whistle found utility with the NHL, NCAA, NFL, AFL, CFL, and in numerous Olympic and World Championship venues. Today, the Fox 40 pealess whistle has found favor with sportsmen and women of all varieties, including dog owners!