The paper describes a versatile, robust, and parametric ball animation model that can be used in many types of interactive virtual reality (VR) environments. The generic model is particularly useful for animation of ball-like objects such as tennis balls and footballs in networked collaborative environments where low frame rates, network delays and information losses complicate collision detection of fast moving objects. The ball animation model includes a multi-level physical modeling as well as collision detection and treatment. Finally, the parameterization of typical applications is discussed