a slot is a small opening in the wing or tail surface of an aircraft. It is used to manage air traffic at busy airports, which prevents repeated delays caused by too many flights trying to take off or land at the same time.
A slot receiver is a wide receiver who lines up behind the line of scrimmage or in the slot area instead of on the outside, like a wideout. This makes them versatile, since they can run up, in, or out of the formation and gives quarterbacks easier routes to read.
They need to have great speed, excellent hands, and be precise with their routes and timing. They also need good chemistry with their quarterback.
In the NFL, a slot receiver is often targeted on nearly 40 percent of all passing attempts. This has made the position more popular in recent seasons.
The term “slot” comes from an electromechanical slot machine’s “tilt switch”, which triggered if the machine was tilted or otherwise tampered with, such as having a door switch in the wrong state, a reel motor that failed to operate, or paper that was out of order.
Modern slot machines do not have these switches, so they have other security measures to protect them from theft or accidental damage. These include an alarm, which can be a mechanical or electronic device that activates when a specific trigger point is met. These devices can also have sensors that detect if a player is tilting the machine or changing its position.