Australian football is a popular mate team sport that consists mainly of participants competing at the non-elite level. The main purpose of this study was to compare in non-elite Australian football players competing in sub-elite and community leagues, selected physical capacities recognised as predictors of lower extremity injury in Australian football and/or other sports. Participants were 143 adult (mean age of 22.2 years) mate Western Australian footballers from the Western Australian Football League (WAFL) (sub-elite) and the Western Australian Amateur Football League (WAAFL) (community). During the 2005 regular playing season participants completed a questionnaire and a physical measurement testing session. The physical testing session involved the following tower extremity measures: generalised joint laxity, leg length discrepancy, presence of Morton's toe, foot arch, hamstring flexibility and static balance. Football players from the sub-elite and community leagues did not differ significantly in any of the physical testing session measures or in the questionnaire items relating to injury number in the past 12 months and lower limb preventative device use. However, they did differ in some measures with players from the sub-elite league significantly more likely to stretch after a match and training, and to have a designated stretching Leader at their club. While players from the community league were significantly more likely to smoke and to participate in sports additional to Australian football. Although the selected physical capacities did not differ between the sub-elite and community players in this study, future research should be aimed at identifying differences for a greater number of physical capacities, including skill and endurance, while utilising a larger sample. (c) 2006 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.