Stay In Touch With Us Coaching Videos

Carroll: ‘My favourite code has to be 60x30’

After so much success over the years in doubles, the general handball public might have forgotten what a formidable singles player Brian Carroll is, writes Paul Fitzpatrick.

The Kells, Co Meath clubman (37) has won Minor and Intermediate All-Ireland titles in singles and competed strongly at the business end of Senior Singles championships in the not-too-distant past – but his recent win in the Men’s Open Singles at the Irish Softball Nationals in Wexford ranks right up there with anything he has achieved in the game.

“It ranks quite highly, being regarded as a doubles player for the last whatever number of years, it’s nice to claim a singles title,” Carroll told

“It was a big one, a special one to win, my first senior national singles title. It’s great being regarded as a doubles player but I was a singles player for a number of years and kind of held a top four or five spot in both 40x20 and 60x30 for a number of years and made Senior Singles semi-finals.

“It’s nice to be regarded as a doubles player but it’s also nice to remind people that I’m a singles player as well, albeit I haven’t played much singles in the last five years or so.

“It definitely ranks up there, I’m delighted with the win.”

While he has played all forms of handball and was primarily a 40x20 player in his younger days, Brian is a devotee of the softball code and believes it’s the best form of handball.

“My favourite code has to be 60x30. It would have been probably the 40x20 when I was in college and underage I didn’t really play 60x30 but then I suppose I developed and I started playing more 60x30 and enjoyed it better, I think it’s definitely the best code, my favourite code.

“Most of my success has been in the 60x30 so that’s probably one of the reasons too.”

Heading to the south-east, he wasn’t expecting to win the event – in fact, he says, he was travelling more in hope but once he got a win under his belt, the tournament opened up for him and he was playing well enough to go all the way and capture a major title.

“I had little or no expectations of winning a game or winning the tournament, I had plans on Sunday, that’s how much I didn’t think I was going to win my first game. Once I got the win over Kyle Jordan I knew I was actually playing reasonably well, hitting the ball well.

“He’s obviously one of the up and coming stars so I was delighted to get a win over him and then facing Gary, I had been beating Gary in training the last few weeks so I was kind of expecting he would up his game and I didn’t really expect to beat him if I’m honest.

“But once I took the first game and I settled into the second game, I felt good and felt like I wasn’t going to lose.

“At that stage, I was in the final and knowing that I was playing the winner of Tommy Hynes and Michael Gregan and at that stage I felt I had a great chance, not that I was being over-confident.

“I went from having absolutely no expectations at the start to feeling like I had a good chance. That could be the key, don’t put pressure on yourself, just play your game, don’t over-think it. It’s a simple game when you don’t think too much about it and just do what’s natural.”

Next up for Brian is an assault on the Senior Softball Doubles with partner Gary McConnell.

“The one and only goal for me is to win the senior 60x30 doubles with Gary, to retain that,” he said. “That’s my only goal now at the moment to be honest, I know the Worlds are coming up, I don’t know if I’ll play in it. We’ll see after the doubles.”