Definition of Bootleg

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What does the term "bootleg" mean in the world of football? What is meant by a "bootleg"?

In football, a "bootleg" is a misdirection attempt where the quarterback runs in one direction, pretend to hand off to a running back and then runs in the opposite direction.

THe meaning of the American football term Bootleg is explained.  What type of a play is it?In many cases, the bootleg will result in a running attempt by the quarterback, though they do have the option of throwing before they cross the line of scrimmage.

Bootlegs can be effective for both mobile and non-mobile quarterbacks.

A mobile quarterback will have the opportunity to run for a gain, while the non-mobile quarterback will likely really confuse the defense with a bootleg, as they will almost certainly be expecting a handoff to the running back.

The one problem with the bootleg is that it leaves the quarterback exposed to a potentially big hit, as in order to be truly deceptive, no blockers will be left to protect the quarterback in the backfield when they pivot in the opposite direction.

If the defense catches on to the bootleg, they have the potential to sack the quarterback for a large loss, as the quarterback will run far into the backfield to pretend to hand the ball off to the running back.

The bootleg, however, usually takes the quarterback outside of the "tackle box", meaning that they will have the opportunity to throw the ball away if the play doesn't develop properly.