A penalty in hockey given to a player who breaks a more severe rule than those broken in a minor penalty. The result is a five-minute penalty to be served by the player receiving the penalty. Major penalties occur most often for fighting, but can also result from charging, boarding, butt-ending or spearing another player.
If a player from each team is involved in a fight, and both receive major penalties, the game will continue at even-strength. This means that even though there will be a player from each team in the penalty box, each team will not lose a player on the ice as they would if a minor penalty occurred. If only one player from a single team incurs a major penalty, that team will play short-handed for the entire five minutes. Unlike minor penalties, major penalties are not removed from the clock if the opposing team scores a goal on the short-handed team.