View of empty stadium due to poor air quality from...

View of empty stadium due to poor air quality from Canadian wildfires. The semifinals games for the New York State High Public School boys lacrosse East state semifinal tournament have been rescheduled to a later date, Wednesday, June 7, 2023, in Albany, N.Y. Credit: Hans Pennink

The boys lacrosse state semifinals and finals have been postponed to Friday and Sunday because of air quality concerns stemming from wildfires in Canada, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced Wednesday. 

The decision comes as state officials advised New Yorkers to limit their outdoor activities on Wednesday because of the smoky and particulate-filled air moving south from the wildfires. 

State semifinals were scheduled to take place in Albany and Cortland on Wednesday and will now happen Friday, June 9. State finals were scheduled for Saturday at Hofstra but will move back a day to Sunday, June 11.

This affects Cold Spring Harbor, Farmingdale, Garden City and Manhasset, which were all scheduled to play in Albany on Wednesday.

“We understand it, and it’s outside of our control,” Manhasset coach Keith Cromwell said. “We just have to make sure we regroup. I thought we were ready to travel today and play a big game. So, I think from our perspective, the coaches and the players, we just have to reset for a day.” 

The new schedule for Friday is: 

At Fallon Field, University of Albany

  • Class A semifinals: Farmingdale vs. Scarsdale, 3 p.m. 
  • Class C semifinals: Manhasset vs. Rye, 5:30 p.m. 

At Ford Field, University of Albany

  • Class D semifinals: Cold Spring Harbor vs. Pleasantville, 4 p.m. 
  • Class B semifinals: Garden City vs. Niskayuna, 6:30 p.m. 

The NYSPHSAA said it relies on the information and data provided by the state Department of Environmental Conservation in making its decision. 

The DEC has issued several air quality warnings in recent days due to plumes of smoke from wildfires raging in eastern Canada's Nova Scotia province that the National Weather Service said made their way over to New York and throughout the northeast United States. More than 160 wildfires have burned in Quebec this week, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center. 

"The safety of our student-athletes is the highest priority right now,” NYSPHSAA executive director Dr. Robert Zayas said in a statement. “After closely monitoring the air quality reports in the last 24 hours, it is evident the outdoor environment is unsafe for our athletes to compete in interscholastic athletics at this time. We will continue to closely monitor the forecast and air quality reports, and communicate as frequently as possible with our member schools and the public.” 

AQI indexes in the Upper Hudson Valley region, which encompasses Albany, read 110 on Wednesday morning according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The state is also using guidance from the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) to make decisions. According to the NYSPHSAA, the NFHS states that the air quality standard must be 100 or under for events to take place and that an air quality index greater than 100 held at a location hosting a championship would prompt a postponement.

State championship events scheduled for Friday include baseball semifinals in Binghamton, softball semifinals in Moriches, girls lacrosse semifinals in Cortland, boys tennis large and small school championships at the National Tennis Center in Flushing, and track and field in Middletown. 

The NYSPHSAA said in a statement that no other state championship schedules have been changed.

The NYSPHSAA clarified that all boys lacrosse tickets purchased will be honored for the rescheduled semifinals and finals. Fans who cannot attend the new game times can contact

AIR QUALITY INDEX READINGS (as of 2 p.m. Wednesday)

Albany (boys lacrosse): 195

Cortland (girls lacrosse): 438

Binghamton (NYSPHSAA baseball): 438

West Islip (CHSAA baseball): 155

Moriches (softball): 155

Flushing (tennis): 235

Middletown (track and field): 1691

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