Sounds a bit crude, doesn’t it?
It’s a word we often use here in the industry and not surprisingly one that we often field a lot of questions about.
Given the apparent root of the word, many of those who have never heard it immediately think we are referring to either a rest room or a shortcut to one through a maze of aluminum seating. Truthfully, the latter isn’t terribly far off.
History of Vomitory
The original Latin translation from the word vomitorium was derived from vomere to be defined as “disgorging the spectators”. The definition became more defined through the mid 1700s when the first known use of vomitory was recorded and defined as “an entrance piercing the banks of seats of a theatre, amphitheater, or stadium” according to the good folks at Merriam-Webster.
Moving into 2019, the definition hasn’t really changed much. When it comes to bleachers, no matter how big or small, the engineering process goes far beyond simply designing a structure to hold spectators. Among the most complex part of the planning and design process is determining the points of egress, or exit, from these sometimes-complex structures.
While points of egress are slightly more complex, they do not exist, or simply cannot operate without the right vomitories in place. These key points allow spectators to exit easily and safely from the bleacher structure and these egress points are strictly enforced by building codes across North America.
Vomitories include but are not limited to aisles, cross-aisles, both sloped and level walking surfaces, ramps, stairs, tunnels and various other bulk exit areas designed into bleacher seating.
For more information on vomitories, design services and necessary points of egress on your next seating project, do not hesitate to contact an experienced member of our team.