To investigate the effects of age on the reciprocal peak torque ratios during knee muscle contractions, 25 elite male soccer players, aged 22.3 +/- 3.8 yr (18-28), volunteered for the present study. The players were grouped as adult (>21 years, n = 13) and young players (less than or equal to 21 years, n = 12). Maximal concentric (CON) and eccentric (ECC) isokinetic thigh muscle strength was measured at angular velocities of 30 degrees, 180 degrees, 240 degrees and 300 degrees/s. ECC and CON peak torques of knee flexors (hamstring, HAM) and CON peak torques of knee extensors (quadriceps, QUA) in the dominant knee were greater (P < 0.05) in adult players than in young players at 180, 240 and 300 degrees/s. ECC HAM/CON QUA peak torque ratio at 300 degrees/s was greater (P < 0.05) for adult players compared to young players in the dominant knee but not in the nondominant knee. Furthermore, conventional HAM/QUA peak torque ratios of the dominant knee at all angular velocities for ECC contraction were higher (P < 0.05) in adult players than in young players. In conclusion, the findings of the present study indicate that the reciprocal torque ratio is influenced by age in the dominant knee of elite soccer players. Because there was no effect of age for the nondominant leg, the findings of the present study are more likely to be the result of the training background of the players than their age.