The portion of the field on either side between the hash marks and the sideline. The outside is where the wide receivers frequently line up and where certain running plays attempt to advance the ball. During the play, the outside is often considered to be the area wide of the offensive tackle on either side of the line. The outside helps the officials recognize whether or not the quarterback is in the pocket, which changes certain rules regarding contact and intentional grounding.
Plays that are run towards the outside have certain traits. Running plays tend to try to spread the defense out to create a hole to run through. Passing plays will use the sideline as an asset, whether to stop the clock or to gain separation from the defense. The outside also represents an area where the rules regarding the quarterback change. A quarterback outside the pocket can throw the ball away without incurring an intentional grounding penalty as long as the ball reaches the line of scrimmage.