I recently attended a sports photography class sponsored by National Camera Exchange. We were given access to the U.S. Figure Skating Championship at the Xcel Energy Center. The evening started with classroom instruction by Carlos Gonzalez, a sports photographer for the Star Tribune. He showed many of his best sports images (many of which are found here on his website gallery) and he shared some of his techniques.
Later, we ventured into the arena. Only credentialed photographers were permitted to shoot, so it was a privilege to have this opportunity to shoot a national sporting event. We had two designated shooting positions. One was at ice level, right behind the official photographers and next to the skating judges.