Fair-Play Scoreboards » Company History

Company History

Fair-Play’s founder started our company on a simple premise: bring scoring accuracy and innovation to those who support sports for the love of the game.

Fair-Play founder, Elmer Foster, stands next to his Model A scoreboard.

Fair-Play founder, Elmer Foster, stands next to his Model A scoreboard.

After the fate of his team’s district championship was decided on a final basket in the game’s closing seconds, Elmer Foster created the first time clock for high school sports. The advent of an affordable time clock was a simple development that started a revolution. It freed teams from the inevitable disputes arising from inaccuracies of manually timed contests—allowing coaches, players and fans to follow the game’s progress.

Foster created the means for a fair game, using technology to level the playing field and bring up-to-the-minute information to amateur sports enthusiasts. The company maintained this focus to develop time clocks and scoreboards illuminated by incandescent lamps. Fair-Play made this technology accessible to everyone from local YMCAs on up through professional-level sports programs.

The Houston Astrodome

The Houston Astrodome

More developments have followed over the years. LED (light emitting diode) technology is now quickly replacing incandescent lamps as the scoreboard industry standard with its low maintenance and energy savings. Scoreboards today can even generate revenue through advertising, and electronic message centers add a higher level of information and excitement to the game. Reliable wireless controls score games from virtually any location. Game clocks, scoreboards and accessories hold true to our original purpose—delivering accuracy and innovation in sports scoring.

Over 100,000 gyms, playing fields and stadiums later, Fair-Play is your single source for sports timekeeping equipment. From electronic scoreboards and message centers to marquees and accessories, Fair-Play stays ahead of the game by designing and building everything you need to track time and keep score.

Genoa-Kingston High School marquee

Genoa-Kingston High School marquee

At our division headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, we work hard everyday to reflect the same values you instill in your own players. Show up with a “can-do” attitude. Work as a team. Give your best effort. And play fair by providing objective information to help customers select the right scoring and timing products for their organizations. That’s the Fair-Play tradition—today and in the years to come.

For style, performance and innovation, join the thousands of schools, colleges and municipalities that believe in Fair-Play. Fair-Play maintains a singular commitment to the schools, colleges, municipalities and recreational programs that made our company what it is today.