In the game of cricket, the slips are a series of fielding positions that are designed to catch balls that have deflected off the outside edge of the bat.

The slips stand on the off side, just to the right (assuming a right-handed batter) of the wicket-keeper. While occasionally there is no slip, there is usually at least one, and sometimes as many as four. They typically stand in a staggered pattern, with the first slip (closest to the wicket-keeper) standing a couple of paces deeper than the wicket-keeper, the second slip standing level with the wicket-keeper, and each subsequent slip standing a little closer to the batter. This staggered pattern allows the slips to avoid collisions when diving for catches that are bisecting their positions, and also makes sense in that as the angle of deflection from the bat increases, the speed of the ball decreases, making it sensible for the wider slips to stand a little closer in order to catch the ball before it bounces.

One seldom-used variation of the slips is the position of fly slip, which is located somewhere between the standard slips and third man, around half way to the boundary.

Slip fielding is a semi-specialist position that is suited to fielders who have fast reflexes and are safe catchers. Players with speed and good throwing arms are often employed elsewhere. Most slips fielders tend to be batters, although there are exceptions, such as Australia's Shane Warne.

The slips are generally regarded as attacking positions, as their sole purpose is to take wickets rather than to prevent runs being scored.

The primary purpose of the slips cordon - which generally includes one to three slips and possibly a gully fieldsman - is to catch balls that have hit the edge of the bat, and moved away from the wicket-keeper. It is incredibly difficult to be a slips fielder as it requires very quick reflexes and incredibly good eyes. You can generally tell just how attacking a fielding team is by looking at the number of slips they have: none to one means very defensive, two means a little defensive, three means aggressive, four or more means very aggressive. (Of course, it also pays to look at the spread of the field: deeper fieldmen = more defensive; more fieldsmen on the leg side = more defensive.)

Occasionally, players field nine slips. This is the entire field in the slips cordon (the bowler and wicket-keeper make eleven) and is usually not very serious (ie. for the purposes of photography or to attempt to score a hat-trick) and very daring (it is easy for batsmen to hit away from the slips). However, sometimes this tactic works.

Variations of the slip include the fly slip (as mentioned above, a slip who stands further back from the wicket), the floating slip (a slip who stands somewhere in the region of third and fourth slip, and patrols the area rather than simply standing there), the leg slip (equivalent position on the opposite side of the pitch), and the fly leg slip (combination of fly and leg slip). The gully generally stands about half way between point and fourth slip, and can be a dangerous fieldsman for batsmen who enjoy late cuts.

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