Best Soccer Referee Whistle

As a soccer referee, your whistle is your most important tool. Here’s how to pick the right one.

What should you look for in a soccer referee whistle?

The two main things to look for in a referee whistle are that it’s loud enough and that you can vary the tone based on the severity of the FIFA rules violation.

You’ll also want to make sure you get an adjustable lanyard that fits your wrist. Even if you prefer to hold the whistle itself, you will drop it.

Neck lanyards are dangerous and look unprofessional. Finger grip whistles are for hockey referees, so don’t use them if you wear ref shoes instead of ref skates.

Some whistles have a cushioned mouth grip option, but it doesn’t really do much.

What are the most common referee whistles?

The good news (or bad news if your favorite whistle no longer exists) is that there are fewer options than there used to be when you’re looking for the right whistle.

Whistles for Professional Referees

There are three main whistles used by MLS referees.

  • Fox 40 Sonik

  • Molten Valkeen

  • Molten Dolfin

Each of these is a pealess whistle designed to provide a penetrating sound in the largest stadiums.

The high volume can actually be a bit much if you’re working games with no crowds. These whistles can also be hard for a new soccer referee to figure out how to use them.

Most Common Whistle

The most common whistle is the Fox 40. This whistle is used by many referees in all sports.

It’s loud, and the coaches will hear you even if you’re a long distance across the field.

Alternative Sound Whistles

The Acme Tornado 2000 and Acme Tornado 2000 are less popular pealess whistle options.

They give an alternative sound that can make it easier for players to figure out which whistle is which when fields are close together.

These whistles aren’t as loud as the Fox 40, and you could have trouble being heard on a windy day.

Pea Whistle

Many referees aggressively hate on pea whistles, but they have their uses. A good pea whistle makes it much easier to vary the tone of your whistle.

A bad pea whistle just isn’t loud enough to command authority. Even good pea whistles usually aren’t loud enough for stadium games.

Electronic Whistle

Electronic whistles should be a pass. They give a consistent sound but aren’t very loud, and the robotic tone makes it impossible to communicate with the players.

Some places required soccer referees to use an electronic whistle during the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re not really useful for any other purpose.

1 thought on “Best Soccer Referee Whistle”

  1. Thank you for bringing up that working games without crowds can make a loud whistle a bit excessive. As you noted, there are some whistles that a novice soccer referee can find challenging to use. Ever since he saw the soccer coach use one, my son hasn’t stopped asking me questions about them. The next time we see one, I’ll make sure to tell him about this. I appreciate you sharing!


Leave a Comment