The option run or option is a designed play in American football and Canadian football. In the simplest version of this play, the quarterback receives the ball and runs either to the right or left, accompanied by an additional offensive player (typically a running back or a fullback). As the defense moves to tackle the quarterback, the quarterback may choose to laterally pass the ball to his accompanying player. If the defense moves to engage that accompanying player, the quarterback may keep the ball and thus advance it himself. This gives the quarterback the option of two different actions during a run.
The option run may be made more complicated by adding additional players (usually another accompanying player), blocking schemes, or feints.
The option offense heavily features the option run and many different variations of the play.