This paper is concerned with block acknowledgement (ACK) mechanisms in wireless regenerative relay networks. In an N-relay network, a total of (2N+1) block ACK packets is required to acknowledge the data transmission between source and destination nodes via the N-relay nodes. In this paper, the authors propose a block ACK scheme based on network coding (NC) to significantly reduce the ACK overheads by N block ACK packets. In addition, this achieves a reduction of N(N-1) computational operators. Particularly, we derive the error probability of the determination of the packets to be retransmitted at the source and relays, which shows that the NC-based scheme also improves the reliability of block ACK transmissions. Furthermore, asymptotic signal-to-noise (SNR) scenarios for forward links are considered and a general expression of error probability in multi-relay networks is derived for each SNR scenario. Finally, simulation results are presented to verify the analytical findings and demonstrate a lower number of data retransmissions for a higher system throughput.