- Georg Anders (Germany)
- Mait Arvisto deceased (Estonia)
- Gyongyi Földesi (Hungary)
- Jerzy Kosiewicz (Poland)
- Zbigniew Krawczyk (Poland)
- Michal Lenartowicz (Poland)
- Joachim Mrazek (Germany)
- Otmar Weiss (Austria)
The European Association for Sociology of Sport (eass) was founded on November 16, 2001 in Vienna. During its first years (2001-2006), Otmar Weiss served as President and Georg Anders as Secretary General. In 2004 the European Journal for Sport and Society (ejss) was established, and has since been edited on behalf of the eass. The first Editor-in-Chief, Dieter H. Jütting (2004-2009), was followed by Bernd Schulze (2009-2011), Siegfried Nagel (2011-2014), and Ansger Thiel (2014- ). At the General Assembly, which takes place every two years, the following eass Presidents were elected in accordance with the Articles of Association: Otmar Weiss (2006-2008), Georg Anders (2008-2010), Nicola Porro (2010-2012), Hannu Itkonen (2012-2014), Jeroen Scheerder (2014-2016), Siegfried Nagel (2016-2018). The following members were elected as Secretaries General: Joachim Mrazek (2006-2008), Andrzej Pawlucki (2008-2012), Kim Wickman (2012-2016), Hanna Vehmas (2016- ).
The idea for founding the eass originated from two key factors. Firstly, up to that time there had been no organization representing experts in the area of sport and social sciences on the European scene. Secondly, the accession of ten new member states to the European Union, most of them Eastern European countries, posed a number of challenges not only for politics and the economy, but also for sport and social sciences. The ongoing process of enlargement concerns not only the Eastern European countries, but all of Europe, with cultural dialogue as a significant bi-product, as in a living laboratory. In Europe, with its ethnically and/or culturally diverse population, the role of sport as a vehicle for cultural dialogue is of particular interest. With the growing importance of sport, the exploration of its functions and problems regarding sociocultural, sociopolitical, socioeconomic etc. aspects has become a task of increasing importance for the sociology of sport.
In this context, new perspectives for scientific orientation and research activities (e.g., cross-cultural studies) have evolved on the European scene. It is essential for the sociology of sport to investigate the development and differentiation of sport over time and across different societies. The eass conferences, which are held annually, have an identity-forming potential both for the discipline itself and for the participants. The latter contribute to building international networks and relationships in the forefront of the field, facilitating both the circulation of knowledge and international research collaboration. Such bridges are vital for sparkling new initiatives and for creating a larger scientific community.
According to its Articles of Association the eass is a non-profit organization with the purpose of promoting social sciences and social research in sport at the European level and to offer scientific advice to European institutions such as the EU and the Council of Europe.