Martin Canniffe started his hockey career with Belvedere Hockey Club in Cork. He moved to Dublin in 1991 and umpired for 30 years, retiring in 2009. Umpiring at interprovincial level, Martin also travelled to Europe representing Ireland at indoor and outdoor tournaments as a Judge, Technical Official and Tournament Director. He officiated at over 30 tournaments in Europe including the Eurohockey Nations Championships, EHL, KO16 and finals, FIH Olympic Qualifiers and World League.
Martin was Vice President of Hockey Ireland for 2017/2018 and President of Hockey Ireland for 2019/2020. He received a letter from Marijke Fleuren, President of the European Hockey Federation, in March 2021, thanking him for his 15 years of officiating for the EHF. Martin was given Honorary Life Membership at the Hockey Ireland AGM in 2021