Penalty Box Meaning

(idiomatic, figuratively) A temporary punishment, or, metaphorically, a similar setback (e.g., loss of control, embarrassment, etc.).

Example:   Both players got to cool their heels for five minutes in their respective penalty boxes after the fight.
2003, Tim Breithaupt, 10 Steps to Sales Success: The Proven System That Can Shorten the Selling Cycle, Double Your Close Ratio, ISBN 081447165X, pg. 170:
  A visit to the penalty box occurs when the salesman has relinquished control of the sales call by immediately answering the customer's question.
2003, John Portmann, Sex and heaven: Catholics in bed and at prayer, ISBN 0312294883, pg. 155:
  What can land you in this metaphorical holding cell, the penalty box of Catholicism?
2008, John Zarrella and Patrick Oppmann, "Florida, Michigan seek exit from Democratic penalty box," CNN.com, [1]:
  Florida, Michigan seek exit from Democratic penalty box