013 – Joe DeRosa and Smitty Official’s Apparel

Joe DeRosa (Wikipedia) – former NBA official and current NCAA D1 official – joins us to talk about officiating apparel.  He’s very well known for being one of two officials to have worked both the NBA Finals and the NCAA Final Four.  But he’s also the man behind the “S” printed on the shirts we wear.  The “S” stands for Smitty Official’s Apparel.  In our conversation, Joe tells the story of how he got this business started and what it has become today.  He also talks about the different styles of pants and shirts he and his company are putting on the market.

If you’re looking to purchase new official’s apparel, Joe says that Smitty is being sold by a number of retailers throughout the country.  Currently, his two largest customers are Purchase Officials Supplies and Ump-Attire.


Thanks again for listening to The RoundBall Referee.  Be sure to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions for upcoming episodes.



012 – Blow Your Whistle! w/ Ron Foxcroft and Fox40

Rarely do we officials think about the significance of that piece of plastic we have sticking out of our mouths during  a basketball game.  It’s just there – always there.  And if it’s not, we’re in big trouble.

We call it a whistle.  And if you think about it for a moment you quickly realize this is the one piece of equipment we can’t referee without.  You can ref a game with or without shoes.  Pants or shorts doesn’t really matter.  Striped shirt, grey shirt, collar or no collar.  But no whistle…good luck; see how that goes for you.

And, let’s be honest, not all whistles are created equally.  If you want to be a great basketball official, you definitely want to have a great whistle to work with.  Ron Foxcroft, founder of Fox 40 International Inc.  joins me on today’s show to talk about the whistle he created and why it’s so revolutionary for officials in all major sports.

In this episode Ron tells the story of how Fox40 came to be.  But I also highly recommend you check out the show: Million Dollar Genius (season 1, episode 1) on the History Channel.

Also, check out this list of Ron’s involvements, achievements and awards.  And this is only a part of the list…

  • Chairman, & C.E.O. – Fluke Transport and Warehousing.  “If it’s on time…it’s a Fluke”, is more than a slogan – it’s a guarantee.
  • Inventor of the Fox 40 Pealess Whistle which is now sold in 140 countries and is sanctioned by almost all major sports worldwide, including the NFL, CFL, NHL, NCAA, NBA, search & rescue and military professionals worldwide.
  • Named by Referee Magazine as one of the 52 most influential people in Sports Officiating history.
  • Fox 40 NCAA Whistle & Ron Foxcroft featured in the New York Times.
  • Officiated over 1,600 International basketball games in over 30 countries, including the 1976 MONTREAL OLYMPICS, GOLD MEDAL BASKETBALL GAME.
  • Officiated 4 NCAA Tournaments and advanced to the SWEET 16 Tournament in 1998.
  • NBA Evaluator & Observer of Officials 2003 – 2016. First Canadian ever employed by the Basketball Operations Department of the NBA.
  • 2010 – Only Canadian Named by NASO Top 30 Who Made a Difference in the World of Officiating.
  • 2015 – Private audience with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace.
  • 2016 – Named Recipient of the Gold Whistle Award by the National Association of Sports Officials
  • 2016 – Named to the MAAC Honor Roll, awarded by the Metro Athletic Atlantic Conference in partnership with the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.