At its core, roller derby is an action sport (while I’m doling out shocking revelations, I should also point out that the sky is blue). That normally means you shoot a little wide to make sure you get the hits, and give players room to fly away without leaving the frame. Seriously, this is the stuff photographers worry about.
That said, the photos I really like tend to focus on one skater. They use a slightly longer lens than normal, like the 160mm f2.0 prime used here. One expression, one subject, one emotion. Clean. Powerful. Sometimes they don’t even have to be in the pack, like this shot from the last Downriver Roller Dollz bout. Ruby Rottweiler, solo on her way to the scrum. Technical details of this shot would take a couple paragraphs, but the result’s one of the simplest subjects in derby.